Saturday, 4 December 2010

Memories of the CSM pilot plant

With Jim Turner and Nick Wilshaw
Today was the Camborne School of Mines (CSM) Association Christmas lunch in Redruth, attended by many old boys and staff. Sadly there were only 3 mineral processors present, myself, my old colleague Jim Turner, and 1980 old boy Nick Wilshaw, now an independent consultant. We naturally talked about old times, and in particular the unique student 'pilot plant run', which Jim and I initiated in 1979. Nick was in the first group of students who spent a week on shifts operating the plant, treating ore from the nearby South Crofty tin mine, under conditions simulating real mine continuous conditions. Unfortunately this was just one of the good things which was lost when CSM was assimilated into Exeter University in the mid 1990s.

Coincidentally, little over a week ago I had coffee at the Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town with Gaynor Yorath, a senior researcher at the University of Cape Town. Gaynor graduated from CSM in 1985, and she brought photographs to show me of her time at Camborne, and in particular of the valuable week that she had spent on the pilot plant operation.

Among the young faces in the photos, some may be familiar to attendees at recent MEI conferences and IMPCs.

The CSM Pilot Plant
Gaynor with fellow members of her shift crew
Steve Downard, Paul Morgan, Paul Benjamin,
Andy Mitchell, Jim Turner and Ray Manser
The late Dr. Vic Phillips in the shift foreman's office


  1. Such fond memories of a great week running the pilot plant. Who are those two other with Gaynor, I recognise LEe Varrah (spelling) and John Ford but not the two on the left.


    1. Pity that CSM did not retain the pilot plant on the move to Tremough. I am as much in the dark as you as to the identity of the two on the left. Hope to catch up with you soon.

  2. I can still hear the sound of clattering spanners as Tony Clarke was asked to repair another pump .... other sounds as well.

    Nick Wilshaw 1980


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