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The Hain Steamship Company was formally incorporated as a public company in 1901, but traces its roots back to 1816 when an ambitious father and son bought a share in the fishing lugger, Dasher.


Edward Hain founded this famous local Steamship Company in St. Ives in 1878. It was his Father who established a local fleet of merchant sailing ships, one of which was the Margaret Hain. The subsequent Steamer Fleet all bore the Cornish 'Tre' place names such as Trewidden, Trelyon, Tregenna, etc. John Readhead & Co. at South Shields built a total of eighty-four vessels for Hain's of St. Ives. Sadly in 1915 Capt. Edward Hain, the only son of Sir Edward Hain was killed in action at Gallipoli, thus the family link was broken and it is said Sir Edward Hain never recovered from the loss of his only son.

This hastened Sir Edward Hain's death in 1917. The P. & O. Steam Navigation Company bought the Hain Steamship Company. They administered it as an independent company until it was phased out in 1974. This room is still visited regularly by many men who served with this unique shipping line.

Briefly must be mentioned one of the great sea stories of all time, as it concerns the Hain ship Trevessa. In 1923 this vessel foundered halfway across the Indian Ocean. The two ship's lifeboats sailed west, resulting in lifeboat number one, under Captain C Foster, reaching the island of Rodriquez in twenty-three days. The other lifeboat under Chief Officer J C S Smith arrived at nearby Mauritius two days later; 11 men died, but 33 survived the 1,700-mile distance from where their vessel sank.

Within this room are displayed numerous paintings and photographs that portray the different vessels that this St. Ives-based shipping company once possessed. Models too show the detail and pride that the company maintained. Nautical items and documents related to the days of sail, as well as the steam power that superseded that mode of propulsion. By here is the corridor hung with paintings and photographs connected with people, places and property.

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