since about Victorian times (roughly 1837 on)
I lived in Falmouth as a child and went to the library on a weekly basis. I don't think I ever went to view the art collection - in fact I was only aware that there was a gallery upstairs long after I had left Falmouth. It may be a reflection of the relative popularity of Victorian paintings in the sixties but it still seems a wasted opportunity.
We've all done the same Alice. When I think of the things I could have seen and done when I was younger but just didn't realise!