Obed Nicholls produced copper work of a very high standard, from his home in Duke Street, Newlyn (now demolished). One of four children of a local fishing family, he had been crippled as a child by polio, 

John Drew MacKENZIE 'set him up' with tools and materials so that he could earn a living as a metalworker. After the war, he continued working as an outworker for the copper works, cared for by his only surviving sister, Mary Bone Nicholls, who supplemented their income by work in the fish cellars.