THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
PERRANZABULOE MUSEUM. Bellyboard surfing became popular at Perranporth soon after the end of World War 1 when George Tamlyn and William Saunders returned from the western front where they had met South African surfers. The local coffin maker and builder, Tom Tremewan, knocked up boards at 2s. to 2s.6d. a time. Old floor boards and nails, rather than screws, were used to keep costs down. Additional supplies were sometimes brought to Perranporth on the top of the bus. The first boards were flat and made from two pieces of tongue-and-groove deal screwed to three wooden cross pieces.
Hundreds of surfboards were made each year at Tremewans in Perranporth. Better types of boards, with curved ends, evolved over time, at a higher price of course. Jenny Rilstone of Perranporth began bellyboarding on a 'coffin board' when she was seven and continued until she was 82.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen