Objects & Stories

explore the collections

Explore our world-class collection and discover the history of global communications and the people who made it happen. From the early days of the electric telegraph and undersea cables, to the invention of wireless, satellite, fibre optics and beyond.

PK Stories

A Small Book for a Momentous Occasion

In the PK Porthcurno archive, there is a small, red booklet. Though beautifully bound in leather and decorated with an intricate gold motif, its size belies the significant achievement that its publication celebrated. Over 150 years ago, Porthcurno saw the arrival of an undersea telegraph cable stretching 5000 miles across the globe to India, heralding

Latest News

In Loving Memory of Albert Lorens

Many will remember with great fondness Albert Lorens, who sadly passed away in early January at the age of 101. Albert had been a valued volunteer at Porthcurno since the early days of the museum and was always happy maintaining our working machinery.

Latest News

‘A Message to PK Porthcurno’ – The Cornish Caretakers

PK Porthcurno's second schools tour of our Cornish Caretakers show 'A Message to PK Porthcurno' has just finished and we have a brilliant new blog by Emily Harrison who starred alongside Edward Rowe (Kernow King) in this unique story of global communications...

PK Stories

World Maritime Day 2022

For World Maritime Day read our collection of success, failures, historic moments and wars involving cableships throughout history.

PK Stories

PK Porthcurno at Cornwall Pride 🏳️‍🌈

At the end of August, we had a wonderful time at Truro History Pride. We really enjoyed sharing our secret code activity, talking about the history of global communications, and meeting lots of friendly people. 

Latest News

The Cornish Caretakers

Ed Rowe, the Kernow King, shares his experiences of bringing our Cornish Caretakers show to schools and classrooms around Cornwall.

students at PKPK Stories

Oral Histories on PKOC

The archive at PK holds histories collected from those connected with C&W available to listen to online through the PK Online Collection.

Latest News

Telegraphy in West-Africa

Annabelle Garfield, Masters student at Exeter Uni explores a photo album from our PK archives about African Telegraphy throughout the 1900's

PK Stories

Mindfulness in Porthcurno

For Mental Health Awareness Week we are happy to share this guest blog and beautiful mindfulness video by filmmaker Alban Roinard.

PK Stories

PKOC World Map – Explore the Global History of Communications

The collections held at the Museum of Global Communications contain archive material and objects from around the world, reflecting the global nature of the industry. The PK Online Collection (PKOC) provides a World Map that allows users to explore the items we have connected with a particular place.

Latest News

A Message to PK Porthcurno

PK Porthcurno are delighted to bring a new Cornish Caretakers show and workshop called ‘A Message to PK Porthcurno’ to 40 schools across Cornwall between March to May 2022.

PK Stories

Porthcurno Awarded ‘Plastic Free Communities’ Status

Porthcurno Awarded ‘Plastic Free Communities’ Status as it Takes Action on Single-Use Plastic Porthcurno is leading the way nationally as part of a network of communities across the UK who are taking on the challenge to tackle throw away plastic at source. The village has been awarded ‘Plastic Free Community’ status by marine conservation charity, Surfers

PK Stories

“I Remember this Christmas…”

Christmas is a time of memories and for many people throughout the decades, the celebrations have continued throughout some especially unique and life-threatening circumstances for some Cable & Wireless staff.

School takeover outside the front of the museumEvent

Kids in Museums Takeover Day

For our Kids In Museums Takeover Day students from Exeter University, took over our engagement team and delivered a climate themed workshop for King Charles Primary School in Falmouth.

PK Stories

Monarch Under Fire

The history of the Second World War is one rich in stories and those of cableships are no less courageous and hazardous than those of warships. Learn about a 'friendly' fire incident with the cableship Monarch.

PK Stories

What is a cableship?

Discover the history of cableships from the early ships repurposed to lay the first telegraph cables across the Atlantic, to the development of purpose built cableships that lay and repair fibre optic cables today.

PK Stories

The Lady and the Wolfpack

Our cableship blog series continues with this account from the Second World War. In 1943, cable repair ship, Lady Denison-Pender, is escorted on hazardous duties by an armed convoy, in what is to be a very close call with a U-boat wolf-pack near the Spanish Sahara.

PK Stories

The End of the Grappler

Duncan Mackenzie explores the fateful story of the cableship Grappler which got caught in the pyroclastic flow of the Mont Pelée volcano eruption of 1902. Part of our cableship blog series.

PK Stories

Colonia vs the U.S. Navy

Duncan Mackenzie continues his cableship blog series with a story about the British cableship Colonia being fired upon by the US Navy in 1920!

PK Stories

Congor Bay Satellite Earth Station Revisted

Explore the site of the Satellite Earth Station in Congor Bay, Barbados, with PK Porthcurno volunteer Robert de Corday Long, who worked for Cable & Wireless when the station was originally opened in 1972.

PK Stories

The Great Eastern

Duncan Mackenzie, our Digital Collections Officer, explores the history of Isambard Brunel’s SS Great Eastern. The SS Great Eastern was a formidable but flawed iron ship that laid the first successful transatlantic cable in 1866.

PK Stories

The Languages of Telegraphy

Citizen curator Hannah Reeves, researched the Marconi Map, created in 1917. The map is colour coded to show the language most used for communications in each country.

PK Stories

Darwin subsea cables

Young Curator Raquel Coning, based in Australia, and inspired by information discovered in The Zodiac magazine, researches the heritage listed subsea cables that connected Darwin, Australia to the world 150 years ago.

Bobby & FamilyPK Stories

Bobby’s Letters

Last year PK Porthcurno was gifted a collection of letters, written between the years 1915 to 1925, from the nephew of Edgar Lawrence Smith - who began his career working for the Western Telegraph Company.

PK Stories

Sir Edward Wilshaw Family Films

In 2020, PK Porthcurno was gifted a collection of digitised films, the majority of which have been filmed by Sir Edward Wilshaw, Chairman for Cable & Wireless from 1936 to 1947.

PK Stories


Introducing PK's 2021 Citizen Curators and International Research Interns and the projects that they will be undertaking using our archives and collection.

PK Stories


Sophie Meyer, Collections Cataloguer at PK Porthcurno unearths a mystery during some recent research in the photography archive.

PK Stories

SES Digitisation project

Learn about the SES sponsored digitisation of 448 engineers reports from our archive that is being undertaken by the collections team.

Family learning

British Science Week 2021

It's British Science Week and we are looking at the advent of the electric telegraph - the precursor to today's internet!

International Day of Women in SciencePK Stories

The Telcom Girls

To celebrate the International Day of Women in Science we highlight a groundbreaking unit of Cable & Wireless that launched with the first female employees to be stationed overseas.

Family learning

Play in a socially distanced world

PK Porthcurno was selected to take part in a Kids in Museums mentoring project that explored ways of bringing play into the museum, in a socially distanced world.

storylines, sennen school, communityPK Stories

Storylines and Sennen School Project

Inspired by the uniformed Messenger Boys, who delivered telegrams by bicycle or foot, children from Sennen School will become ‘Messengers,’ sharing their own stories and collecting stories from their families and friends.

The Medical Side of Porthcurno

Citizen Curator Explores Medicine at the College Citizen Curator Susan Kersley brings her knowledge of medical matters to an exploration of the medical issues encountered in Porthcurno during the years of the engineering college in a video.  It can be found on our YouTube channel. A unique exploration into an aspect of Porthcurno’s history, the

The Development of the Telephone Box

New Videos on the Museum’s YouTube Channel Communications are all around us and have revolutionised our lives.  In our mini-series on classic public communication on the street, we look at the development of the iconic British telephone box.   And in a supplemental video, we take a little look at the curious meeting between the

Latest PK Videos on YouTube

Pillar Boxes, Telephone Boxes, and a Little Talk & Tea It has been an active month on the museum’s YouTube channel, with seven videos being uploaded in only three weeks.  These videos include ‘Talk & Tea’, created for an exhibition in our tunnels.  Between January to March 2019 pupils from St Buryan Academy Primary School

Citizen Curator Video: Once Upon a Time

Citizen Curator Lucy Coyne’s Video Now Showing! Lucy Coyne’s video – the result of her involvement in the Citizen Curators programme – focuses on the impact of the cable station and engineering college in Porthcurno on local people.  It is a video full of interviews and stories.  Find out about milk-bottle throwing and little boy

A Classic British Icon – the Red Telephone Box

Our Latest Video is on YouTube As part of our mini-series on classic public communication on the street, our latest video looks at the red telephone box, an icon of British design recognised across the world. We focus on the ‘K2’, which is recreated in the video using Blender software (that thumbnail image of a

Citizen Curators Present . . .

Our Citizen Curator Tiffany Coates’ Video Inside our collections, there is a mysterious object: a digeridoo!  Follow Tiffany Coates as she attempts to uncover the secret of how it came to be in Porthcurno, and what a close examination of it can reveal! Watch the video, ‘A PK Mystery: the Digeridoo’ to learn more!

Communication On the Street – New Video

Our Latest Video is About the Humble Police Box We have a new video on our YouTube channel, called ‘The Police Box – classic public communication on the street’.  It is part of a short series on communication before the wide-spread use of the telephone.  If you needed the police but the local station was

PK Stories

1870: The Year We Made Contact

In 1870, the cable to India was laid.  But it wasn't the only thing to happen that year.  Our latest video explores the events of 1870, a year that brought the modern world closer.

Scroll to top