History tells us that the British surfing craze (250,000 UK surfers and steadily rising) began during the 1950s and 1960s in Newquay, but a visit to Perranzabuloe Museum reveals how it first took root decades before just down the coast at Perranporth.
© Cornwall Museums and Bernie Pettersen
These objects might just look like simple planks of wood – and in essence that’s what they are. They were made by local coffin maker Tom Tremewan, who knocked them out in the early 1920s when returning First World War servicemen started an unlikely belly boarding craze.
Keeping the costs down to between 2s. and 2s.6d Tremewan used old tongue and groove floor-boards held together with screws and nails. They are a far cry from the polyurethane, fibreglass and carbon fibre beauties we find today, but then Tremewan’s coffin lid boards had no need for Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax to make them stick to the surfer.
See more and make a comment about it on the Cornwall in 100 Objects Page of the History of the World website. See the boards at Perranzabuloe Museum, Perranporth.
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