Friday, 23 June 2017

A select group at the June Cornish Mining Sundowner

The Admiral Benbow in Penzance is a unique pub and restaurant with a worldwide reputation and a famous history, having been in existence since the 17th century. Robert Louis Stevenson's 1883 novel Treasure Island opens at the Admiral Benbow, the inn owned by the father of Jim Hawkins, whose quest for buried treasure provides the tale of adventure. The interior of the pub now houses a fascinating collection of maritime artefacts rescued from numerous shipwrecked vessels which foundered on the Cornish coast during the last 400 years.
Last night the Admiral Benbow was the venue for the June Cornish Mining Sundowner, unfortunately attended by only six people, in no small part due to the extremely heavy traffic flowing down to this remote area of Cornwall.
I travelled by train from Falmouth, and met up with ex-Camborne SOM geology lecturer Richard Edwards (see also posting of 18 March 2016) at Truro station. Richard was on a flying visit to Cornwall and was keen to make his debut at a sundowner. Making their second appearance at the sundowners, having only recently moved to Cornwall, were Alan Matthews and his wife Linda. Alan graduated from Camborne SOM in 1974, and Richard was one of his geology lecturers, so a few anecdotes were swapped in their first reunion in 43 years! Richard recalled delivering what he thought was one of his most inspiring lectures, only to spot Alan fast asleep at the back of the class!
Richard, Alan and Linda
Making up the six were three mineral processors, Bentley Orchard, Tony Clarke and me. Bentley, formerly with FLSmidth and Weir Minerals, is now fully retired, and happy singing in a Cornish male voice choir. Tony, my old colleague at Camborne, I now regard as the leading historian on Cornish mining, and the man I always turn to if I need any information on our wonderful mining heritage.
BW, Bentley and Tony
So a very small turnout last night in the far south west of Cornwall, but a very interesting one.
Twitter @barrywills

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