IN a landmark achievement for Saltash Museum, the launch of their 2024 exhibition showcases the most extensive collection ever assembled of a renowned local artist.

The launch of the exhibition was inaugurated by the mayor and mayoress Cllr Richard and Sarah Bickford of Saltash. It shows the work of John Henry Martin RA who produced much of his notable work while residing in the town.

At the launch event a number of distinguished guests including descendants and other family members of John Henry Martin RA were welcomed by the heritage chair, Mrs Jean Dent.

Mayor Cllr Bickford expressed his gratitude to the Saltash Heritage members and stewards for their dedicated volunteer efforts in sustaining the museum's operations, highlighting the town council’s proud support of the society and its mission to preserve local history.

Every year, alongside its permanent collection, Saltash Museum unveils a new exhibition and this years these delves into ‘Lost Art and Skills’.

This year the spotlight has fallen on the works of John Henry Martin, a London native who travelled the world, honing his craft in Antwerp before settling in Newlyn prior to its recognition by Newlyn artists’ collective.

Upon its discovery, Martin found comfort in Saltash where he spent the remainder of his days. The exhibition boasts numerous studies depicting late nineteenth-century Saltash – capturing the essence of the Waterside area and the majestic sailing ships of that era.

It was said that many of these pieces, including previously unseen original sketches, have been generously loaned by the Martin family and local residents.

Under the overarching theme, visitors can explore various crafts such as pottery and photography. The enchanting showcase titled ‘Miss Austins’s Haberdashery Shop’ offers a glimpse into a bygone era with its array of embroidery, lace, and needlework tools. Additionally, a tribute to the blacksmith’s trade pays homage to the once thriving smithies in Culver Road, Moorlands Lane Burraton and Longlands Moor.

Located in Lower Fore Street, the museum now welcomes visitors on Wednesday afternoons, all-day Saturdays and bank holidays with extended hours during the summer months. Admission remains free although donations are warmly welcomed to support the museum's entirely volunteer-led endeavours.