Local History

 

Barbican plymouth27 New Street is located in the heart of the oldest part of the Barbican.  It is a cluster of storehouse buildings dating back to the 1700’s which have survived the many changes that have gone on over the years in and around the Barbican.

 

Barbican new street plymouth

They are set back a few yards from the waterfront at the end of New Street – one of the oldest streets in Plymouth – and just 100 yards from the famous Mayflower Steps where the Pilgrim Fathers set sail in 1620 to establish colonies in North America.

You will find 27 New Street just behind Island House opposite the Glass Blowing Restaurant on what used to be the Fish Market.

The storehouses have been intimately connected with the fishing industry since their original construction.  Built of local Plymouth limestone and brick, several of the main wooden beams are made from masts of sailing ships dating back to the Spanish Armada in 1588.

In the past the Barbican has been host to large fishing fleets that used to land their catches directly onto the fish quay.

During the last century 27 New street was occupied by Percy Turner Fish Merchants, with deep freezes, pilchard tanks and fish packing rooms.  There was also a crab processing factory (the smell has long since gone!) and part of the stores were used to hang and mend nets.

Barbican turner's fish packers plymouth 1908To the left is a picture taken around 1908 showing Percy and Bob Turner with others posing for the photographer in front of Turner boxes and barrels.

 

 

 

Over recent years the buildings have been variously used by French onion sellers, furniture restorers, a garage, tattoo parlour and a museum of fishing.

Today 27 New Street is occupied by one of the largest collection of antique traders in the South West, led by Parade Antiques which also showcases a curios museum.  There is a range of other traders who buy and sell a wide variety of items including vintage and modern jewellery, collectables, books, coins, stamps, as well as a craft area that sells handmade cards, cushions and much more.

29 Responses to Local History

  1. david carter says:

    Hi, just browsing your web site. 27 new street the address where I was born, My grandmother lived in Island house, it was a wonderful family home. the family name was Manning, well known on the Barbican, my uncles were on the trawlers. thought you might like to know this little bit aout New street.

    DP Carter Herne Bay Kent

    • ianturner says:

      Hi David, thanks for the comment. I have passed it on to my mother (wife of Russell Turner, who was a son of Percy Turner) who remembers your family and the fact that some worked on trawlers owned by the Turners. Also my Uncle Robin has recollections of the Manning family. Cheers, Ian Turner

  2. Peter Kelly says:

    Seeing this name brings back Memories I use to work on the Fish quay many years agoand I knew Percy Turner, but I knew his daughter Susan before, I also knew Fred Brimacombe and the Down Brothers Rex and Lloyd, who has a store in the Panier Market in Plymouth

    • ianturner says:

      Dear Peter, I suspect that the person you remember as Percy was in fact my father, Russell, and my sister, Susan (who still lives at Plympton. Percy had three boys (Vernon, Russell and Robin) and in the later years of the Percy Turner and Sons fish business it was my father Russell who was at the helm. Thanks for your comment and best wishes for 2012.

      Ian Turner

  3. DONALD TURNER says:

    HELLO WOULD ANYONE BE AWARE . IF PERCY TURNER HAD CHILDREN OR RELATIVES BY THE NAMES OF RODNEY OR NELLIE TURNER WHO MOVED TO TORONTO CANADA ABOUT 1920. ALSO A RELATIVE NAMED HORACE WHO SERVED IN THE ROYAL NAVY DURING WW2 AND VISITED TORONO DURING WW2 THANK YOU DON TURNER

    • ianturner says:

      Dear Don, I’m afraid I can’t turn up any connections and conclude that Rodney, Nellie and Horace must all be of a different family line from Turners the Fish Merchants on the Barbican. I hope you have success in tracking them down! Best wishes, Ian Turner

      • DONALD TURNER says:

        HI MY FATHER IS RODNEY TURNER MY AUNT ELLEN OR NELLIE AS I KNEW HER . ELLEN MARRIED TOM WILLIAMS .HORACE VISITED MY FATHER DURING WW 2 WHILE ON LEAVE I WAS TO YOUNG TO REMEBER THE DETAILS .WAS MY FATHER RELATED TO PERCY TURNER OF 27 NEW STREET PLYMOUTH . ANY INFORMATION WOULD BE WELCOME AS I KNOW VERY LITTLE OF MY FAMILY PAST THANK YOU DONALD RODERICK TURNER P.S. MY FATHERS NAME IS RODERICK NOT RODNEY

    • Kay Mabin says:

      Hi Donald
      Just seen this message so hope you get this one!
      Nell (Ellen Turner) was my great granmothers sister who emigrated to Canada.
      Horace Holmes was my grans brother (Ethel Myrtle Holmes)
      How do you know them?
      Please email me thanks.

  4. terri mcclean says:

    Hello:) I’ve just opened a small salon in the market on 27 new street , i must say i absolutely love the building i! I had an instant feeling of connection with the place, and actually found out today through my grandmother that my great great grandparents lived just a few doors down. My gg grandmother used to sell cocked and mussels on the barbican, and their son George (my great grandad ) was a fisherman, he probably used to be in and out of the building regular! He also had a fish stall in the town market ! My family name was bunt . X anyway i love the place:) x

  5. terri mcclean says:

    My grandads nick name was dicky drew, and they lived there from mid 1800’s 🙂

  6. Ian Carter says:

    Hello Ian
    I wonder if you can clarify exactly when the Robin John went down. I sailed on this trawler after I left school in 1967. I then joined the merchant navy and I am sure it went down around 1969 and not 1972 as I recently read. I enjoyed my time on this trawler and well remember the skipper John. As the boy, I had to do my watch in the wheelhouse with him. I also remember eating the best of the fish we caught.
    I guess I was very lucky to have left when I did.
    Regards Ian.

    • ianturner says:

      The Robin John was sank on 5th July 1972 with the loss of 3 crew including the skipper John Taylor.

      • ianturner says:

        The trawler you refer to is the Twilit Waters fishing out of Brixham which was lost with all 9 hands at sea in April 1951 off the coast of Cornwall. An enquiry later that same year concluded that the sinking was most likely caused by an external explosion of exceptional violence, almost certainly attributable to the detonation of a German mine. You can read a copy of the full enquiry on the following website: http://www.plimsoll.org/resources/SCCLibraries/WreckReports/14184.asp

  7. Claire D says:

    Hi
    Just come across this through researching The Robin John. My father inlaw son was one of the crew that went down on this vessel. Very sad for everyone involved.

    • Deb Johns says:

      My cousin Victor was also on the Robin John when it went down, he was never found. it was his 1st time out to sea on the boat I believe. Very sad, just a boy.

  8. ianturner says:

    Dear Bill, many thanks for your comment. I am too young to remember the people you mention, but my uncle Robin knew Maria Martin and Harry Chaffe. You mention Percy, Vernon and Robin Turner, but I suspect that you mean Russell, Vernon and Robin – who were the 3 sons of Percy. (My father was Russell and he was sometimes called Percy, which he always took as a compliment!). The Robin John (PH1) was the first motor trawler owned by the Turner family – bought second hand from Bideford and later sank at sea in 1972. The Pentille (PH43) was a Plymouth trawler that sank at sea and the Fleet Lady (PH36) was built at Mashford’s boatyard and has since been scrapped. The Bosloe (PH122) is local crabber built by Mashford’s which is still going strong. You might like to ‘trawl’ through the photos on http://www.trawlerphotos.co.uk where you can search for some of these vessels and many more.

  9. Mike CREBER says:

    Have just discovered your site whilst searching for details concerning the ‘Robin John’.
    My wife, Eileen, is the daughter of the late John ‘Jack’ Taylor who was skipper of the ‘Master Hand’. Jack lived with his family on the corner of St Dunstan’s Terrace, St Judes, whilst your predecessor (Ted Turner?) lived in Craven Avenue? Jack also skippered the ‘Iago’ and ‘William Allen’.
    He worked for Torbay Trawlers.
    Do you know the registration identity number of the ‘Master Hand’ please?
    Regards,
    Mike Creber

    • ianturner says:

      The Master Hand was built in Rye in 1920 and first registered in Lowestoft as LT 1203. She was later registered in Brixham in 1947 as BM 43 and finally decommissoned in the mid-1970’s and ended her days decaying in the timber pond at Torpoint.

    • Hi Mike and others interested in the “Master Hand” and the “William Allen”.
      My great uncle Albert Claxton owned the “Master Hand” and was a director at Torbay Trawlers. I am in the process of building a web site at http://www.claxtonhistory.co.uk for my Claxton family history. I have a lot of photos of the boats they repaired at Ramsgate and some photos from Brixham. I have just added one of the “William Allen” with a couple of people standing next to her. Perhaps someone knows where the photo was taken and who the two people are? Later I will be adding a page about the “Master Hand” and other boats owned by the family. The web site is in the very early stages and details will be added when time permits.

  10. Joanne says:

    Hi
    I’m the granddaughter of John Taylor the skipper of the Robin John. My mum was only 12 when the boat went down on the 5th July 1972, it was hit by a dutch vessel. She is after any other information or pictures anyone may have of either my granddad John or the Robin John PH1.
    Thank you
    Joanne

    • Les Taylor says:

      Hi Joanne
      As a boy I went to sea with your Grandfather (my uncle) ….. he was a great uncle and an excellent unique skipper. Get in touch with me and I’ll tell you how your grandad was at sea.

      Les Taylor

      ltaylor20@sky.com

  11. Shaun Horner says:

    Hi.
    Just seen the site whilst following trail of Stevensons Excellent.
    I was onboard Robin John during the easter school holidays in 1964 as a go’fer, 13 years old and living at Noss Mayo. Job fixed by Sutton Harbour harbour master. Later worked with the leading hand who by then was skipper of the Plymsand, he was at school studying when Robin John was lost. Remains of Master Hand now in Torpoint. In September 1999 I saw one of the other older boats in a harbour on the West coast of Norway outside Bergen, think she was the Pentillie, but have heard that she later sank and was broken up. Is Percy Turner still functioning as a Fishing Company?

  12. Anna sword says:

    Hi I’m trying to track down my great great grandad photo of himself mending the nets on a boat it was for a postcard going back then the last name is too key my mums mother was called Gertrude Dixon my mothers name is Elsie Dixon now Owen thankyou

  13. John Morton says:

    what great history, iv my self ran the Plymouth crabber Metan PH 322 for Mike Turner for many years.

  14. John wallis says:

    Hi would like to add I started work on the pentillie 13 april 1970.as decky learner and stayed until Christmas 1970 when i went to Lowestoft fishing when i was 15.Tommy Taylor was the skipper. brother of John lost on the Robin John 1972.Mashfords owed Pentillie PH 43. Flete lady, and the Master hand,the Pentillie was a ww2 MFV fleet tender built in 1943,I was told that the Flete lady was built with wood from the Mildmay whites flete estate ermington hence the name Flete she was built in 1958 at mashfords cremyl very simular lines to the pentillie Master hand was built at rye sussex in 1920 for a Lowestoft owner,As a sailing smack .Edgar J March. Gives a good account of her in his book sailing trawlers.two other smacks at that time i believe where named helping hand and willing hand. possibly by the same owners.I remember a Fish sales man by the name of Dicky Drew he was allways on the barbican in the 1970s with his mate a man called Roubin, does anyone remember.

  15. Bill Blow says:

    Hello,
    Can anyone provide me with information of the funnel colours and markings for steam trawlers operating out of Plymouth in the 1950’s.
    I have a database of some 3000 funnel markings for the UK but Plymouth is poorly represented and I would like to rectify this situation.

  16. Hi,
    I have now set up the web page just for the “Master Hand” (owned by my great uncle Bert Claxton) at http://www.claxtonhistory.co.uk/master-hand.html

  17. Mark Harrad says:

    Hi

    Does anyone have any information regarding the Harrad family. They moved into New Street in the late 1840’s (from Slapton) and generations continued to fish from there until the 1920’s i believe. They had several vessels which I can provide but one was called ‘Lavinia’.

    Hope you can help.

    Mark

  18. Beverley Vosper says:

    I am trying to track some info about my Grandad Bill Launder. I know he skippered the Oakwold GY948 and the Atlantic GY1058 but I read in the Barbican Voice paper that someone had said that he had rammed and sunk a German submarine during WW2. Can anyone help me with this? Thank you

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