Passmore Edwards was not able to attend the opening ceremony,
on 7 August 1890, his thoughts were clearly with the crowd that
assembled around the tiny institute building to witness the
Rev Rogers declare the building open.
building is constructed only a hundred yards or so from where
the cottage where Edwards was born once stood. Built of local
stone, the gift of the Tywarnhale Estate, on land donated by
Lord Falmouth, the building was designed by John Symons, Edwards's
former school friend, and his son, Frank. The masonry work was
carried out by James Prowse & Son and the decoration by
Solomon & Co and Mr Craze. Internal furnishing was carried
out by J Symons & Son. Internally the Institute contained
two main wooden panelled rooms with a central wooden divider
which could be removed to enable village functions to take place
as was the case that first evening when a concert was held.
This was well attended and consisted of a programme of music
and recitations. The continued good use of the institute, which
was for the use of all residents of Balckwater, both male and
female, was reported in the West Briton of 29 January 1891 following
a programme of "musical and dramatical entertainment on
Saturday 17/1/91 at the Blackwater institute; " when "not
withstanding the severe weather the room was full to excess.
was also the site for the Dairy School classes undertaken
by the County Technical Instruction Committee.
to Tony Mansell and Clive Benney (A history of Blackwater and
its neighbours) in 1920 the Institute was the scene of a Coroners
inquest into a double murder. Laura Sara and Joseph Hoare were
bludgeoned to death at their home near Blackwater. The case
the WI used the building for some years from about 1954 the
use became increasingly that of a "men's snooker club.