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Arts in Newquay
From the 1900s to 1930s music recitals for up to 1000 people took place at Porth where a harmonium was hauled across the beach to Newquay’s Porth Island to a cavern known as the banqueting hall. Overlooking the beach at the Glendorgal Hotel in 1955 it is understood that Ralph Vaughan Williams composed part of his 8th symphony while staying there.
The author William Golding was born in the town in 1911 and the Beatles stayed in the resort during their Magical Mystery Tour in 1964.
Newquay’s local population has always welcomed its visitors and this combination provides and introduces a range of often changing creative activities, whether they are the traditional cornish songs sung at the rowing club on the harbour (non-members welcome) or the arts and crafts made by local artists along with the entertainment at Newquay’s Lane theatre.
In recent years a number of Newquay visual artists have participated in the South West open studios event (August - September: booklets available from tourist information centres). Others have set up their studios in Newquay as a base from which they develop their national and international careers such as painter Jason Walker and artist Bridgette Ashton whose work is uniquely inventive and eclectic.
Overlooking little Fistral beach on Towan Headland is Newquay’s former lifeboat Station, built in 1899 and now the permanent studio of figurative painter Nicholas Williams. The 2001 Hunting Prize winner is one of a few traditional realists working in Britain today. Details of his work and future exhibitions can be seen on http://www.bluestone.co.uk/art