I have a great appetite for old photos of Cornwall – particularly of parts I know and love. Charming as they undoubtedly are, we’ve all seen the classic black and white photos of Penzance in the Frith series around and about, so it’s exciting that Penlee House has recently acquired a collection of long-buried pictures of Penzance and Newlyn.

A choice selection from the archive is currently on display at Penlee House Gallery and this week is the last chance to see it. I just loved the ladies with parasols on the prom, the gents in waistcoats chatting importantly on Market Jew Street, and the crowds out for the spring fair – blimey, it seemed like such a thriving place in the 19th and early 20th century.

Best of all, you can purchase any print you like very reasonably. Pictures reproduced here with kind permission of Penlee House.

‘Through the Lens: Pictures from a Magic Lantern’. Penlee House Gallery, Morrab Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4HE. Until 17 March 2012 – this Saturday! Full exhibition details here

Click through for more pics