News

St Just Mining Exhibition

An exhibition of St Just-related mining artefacts and minerals is being held at the St Just Free Church Hall, Bosorne Terrace, St Just TR19 7LY. Open 10-5 Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Admission £3 for adults, £2 children. Cafe area for museum visitors, treat yourself to homemade cakes, soup and hot and cold drinks.

New book

Bob Richards has published a book on the Redruth and Chasewater Railway. Click on the image for the full-size version.

Editor of TS Newsletter

We are looking for volunteers who are interested in acting as Newsletter Editor for the Society. We publish four editions annually and the role has responsibility for sourcing and editing submissions, as well as including the Society programme and news. We will need a new Editor in place following this edition to ensure that there is continuity: the copy deadline for the Summer Edition is 10 June 2024. If we don't receive any volunteers, then we may have to suspend publication until we have a solution. Please contact the Chairman, Brian Jones, if you would like to discuss the role.

TS Meetings Programme at Liskeard

We have held meetings with a varied set of talks in Liskeard for many years. These are now becoming unsustainable, with very few members attending. In January this year, for example, the speaker, our Programme Secretary and Zoom operator all travelled from the Newquay and Truro areas— and only one TS Member was present! If one or more Members who live locally to Liskeard would volunteer to take on the responsibility for running these meetings, then the Society can look to continue them after this Summer. Otherwise, we plan to move to 'Zoom-only' for the Liskeard sessions: meetings at King Edward Mine would not be affected. Please contact the Chairman, Brian Jones, if you would like to discuss helping with the Liskeard meetings.

New Trevithick Book

Joel Antony has written a book about his travels in South America, tracing the footsteps of Richard Trevithick. More information here: https://www.facebook.com/share/p/UnKRowKCb8JXCur4/ (opens in new window).

Trevithick Society merchandise

A selection of Society merchandise - T and sweat shirts, mugs, coasters, etc - are now available online. Follow this link to find them (opens in new window).

New book: Tin Mining in Cornwall 1900 to 1950, Decline, Fall and Resurrection

This book is written by Roger Burt with Michael C. Gill and Norikazu Kudo. It is available from Tormark, prices £35 for the hardback and £25 for the softback. This book provides a welcome history of Cornish mining for the first half of the 20th century. Concentrating on East Pool, Geevor and South Crofty he analyses the successes and failures of the industry. The book also gives portraits of several key individuals as well as interesting perspectives on the problems facing any revival of Cornish mining now or in the future. This is an important original work from an author who has made an extensive study of metal mining with particular reference to Cornwall, and a major addition to the story of Cornish Tin.

East Cornwall talks

Dave Crewes is organising talks in Liskeard. Check the Programme page for details.

Forthcoming book: Charlestown Engineering 1828-2002

This book is written by Jeremy Jackson and will be available in the near future - we will pass on details when we have them. The book shows the history of the site from its beginnings as the Charlestown Iron Foundry and Iron Works Company up to its closure and subsequent conversion into a housing estate.

Mount Wellington

Richard Shaw has written a review of the Mount Wellington book for the Peak District Mining Historry Society. He describes the account as "fascinating", more so because of the author's close connection with the project from start to end. The photos in the book brought back many memories of a visit to the mine in the late 1970s.

John Hurr's book on the reopening of Mount Wellington Mine is very readable and continues to receive very positive reviews. Grab one while there are still some left! Great value at £15, if you have any problems trying to get a copy please contact Kingsley on 01209 716811.

Readers said:
“A superb book . . . a must read for anyone interested in recent Cornish mining history.”
“A fascinating first hand account.”
“The story told from the inside . . . a pretty hairy tale.”

Also for Christmas, there are great gifts to be had from the Trevithick 250th Anniversary Shop. T shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and mugs still available.

2023 AGM

Planning is now in place for the 2023 AGM and details are now on the AGM News page.  

Digital versions of the Society's newsletters are now available online, see the Newsletters page link above.

Book Review

It may be a British characteristic but is often the case that projects which never come to fruition are as fascinating to us as those which succeed. The ‘might have beens’ or ‘never weres’ also tend to attract their share of speculation and legend. A good Cornish example of this is the Great Western Railway’s proposal for a brand new branch railway from Plymouth to Looe. This was one of a number of major works proposed in the late 1930s and backed by a government seeking to reduce unemployment.

The Looe proposal receives a mention in most railway histories of the area but details have been scant and in some cases contradictory. This has now been splendidly rectified by our member, Alec Kendall, in his latest offering, “The Great Western Railway’s Last Resort”. Here we find details of the proposed route, which left the main line near Trerulefoot and terminated on the cliff at East Looe. The very substantial engineering works, the proposed stations at Hessenford, Miilendreath and Looe are described as well as the luxury hotel – designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens no less – the 18 hole golf course and possible residential developments all of which would have transformed Looe as a resort. The new Looe station could have handled through express services as well a diesel railcars shuttling from Plymouth. Alec also gives details of post war activity which shows that it was not just the Second World War which brought the scheme to an end. Had it gone through, Looe would have changed utterly and the existing branch would surely have closed. Some might feel that was too big a price to pay.

“The Great Western Railway’s Last Resort” must be the definitive story of this fascinating project; it runs to 150 pages with generous plans and illustrations. Alec has made a lifetime study of the railways of Looe and Caradon and it shows. A very few copies are available for Society members at a price of £25 including postage. All income will be donated to the Caradon Heritage Project. If you want to reserve one, please contact Alec direct at Kendall940@btinternet.com. Do not delay.
Graham Thorne