Saturday, 11 April 2015

J is for Jynjy and Jacka’s Fight …




Jynjy, the Cornish name, for a mine building housing a steam engine.  Many of these have survived in Cornwall and are often visible on the landscape, as in the Poldark series.


Remnants of  the mining industry
that to this day dot the landscape

Richard Trevithick (1771 – 1822) was a British inventor and mining engineer from Cornwall, who pioneered the first high-pressure steam engine.




Richard Trevithick
He was born at Tregajorran, between Camborne and Redruth, in the heart of one of the rich mineral mining inland areas of Cornwall.  As a child he would watch steam engines pump water from the deep tin and copper mines … and was involved in the mining community with its inventors … his mining engineer father was highly respected – this benefitted the young enthusiastic  Trevithick.


Trevithick became engineer at the Ding Dong Mine in 1797 … and while there he pioneered the use of high-pressure steam.


Crown Mines - mining into the Atlantic Ocean


Jynjys are still scattered across the Cornish landscape – reflecting its early mining history.





The Cornish Short
Story book published
1976


Jacka’s Fight is a story by Winston Graham about his grandfather … I found it in a book of Cornish Short Stories (other well-known authors appearing are Daphne du Maurier, A L Rowse, Denys Val Baker).




Towanroath Mining House,
Wheal Coates at St Agnes

Jacka’s Fight is a light hearted tale of a devoutly excessively patriotic Cornish ex miner in the late 19th century, who was forced to leave his wife and six children, emigrated to California in search of his family’s fortune … it’s an interesting story, thankfully with what I would say is a very fortunate happy ending!



Graham lived at Perranporth, while he was working on the Poldark quartet … and he would have walked south along the northern coastal route to see this Jynjy.


That is J for Jynjy early Juggernauts of the Juddering Jangling working Jynjys and J for Jacka’s Fight: Winston Graham’s tale of escape from Poldark’s and other Jnyjys ... from Aspects of British Cornish …


PS ... I've no idea how you pronounce Jynjy ... (Jyn means engine) presumably the suffix 'jy' makes it into a building ... the mix of Cornish, Breton, Celtic and more ancient languages has just evolved ... If I find out more - I'll let you know later on ... 

Also I've no idea how you pronounce it ... I'd say Gin Jay (I don't like gin!) and I'd add a bit of 'ch' too ... 

Ding Dong Mine - I was going to write about mines - but I may get to bring the mine in via another route ... a bell Ding Donged the last shift at the mine from the Church in the nearby village, where my mother lived for a short time ...

Hilary Melton-Butcher

Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

50 comments:

Sharon Marie Himsl said...

Hi Hilary. Interesting description of tin and copper mines. We have silver mines in Idaho (W. U.S) near where I live. Mostly wooden structures, compared to your stone buildings...and a 100 or so years younger. Ding Dong Mine? Funny!

Inventions by Women A-Z
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Lisa said...

both topics are interesting Hilary, I enjoyed reading them

Clarabelle Rant said...

I have to comment on Ding Dong mine, too. LOL. I'm also wondering how you pronounce Jynjys - another funny word. Your abandoned industrial buildings are WAY MORE picturesque than ours ;)

You can find me here:
ClarabelleRant

Bob Scotney said...

Trevithick I knew about but I did not know the Jnyjy name for the steam engine house.

Susan Scott said...

Thank you Hilary - Cornwall here I come. I don't need a travel agent, I've all the info from your blog. The photographs are beautiful! And, incidentally I see you've stopped by me at the same time ..

Susan Scott said...
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Susan Scott said...
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Nick Wilford said...

My comment is similar to Bob's. Jynjy is a great name. I wonder where it comes from.

Rosie Amber said...

Love the word Jinjy, I get the image of a Cornish Pixie from it, didn't know the old mines where given that name.

Natasha Duncan-Drake said...

I shall have to remember that word - Jynjy sounds like it should roll off the tongue. I had no idea that's what they were called. Thank you for educating me :)
Tasha
Tasha's Thinkings | Wittegen Press | FB3X (AC)

Sara C. Snider said...

I once saw a show where a guy renovated on of those engine houses (jynjy--very cool word) to live in. Quite fascinating, and it would be neat to live a bit of history like that. Great post, as always. :)

Out on the prairie said...

Never heard the term Jynjy, but now have a power word for scrabble. Very nice Hilary.

Betsy Brock said...

Well now, that was all very interesting! The story of the fortune seeker sounds good...I want to know what happened! And I did laugh at the name Ding Dong Mine!

Margie said...

Lots of great history in this post, Hilary.
I always learn something new when I visit
So enjoyed all of it, thank you!

Chrys Fey said...

Those mining buildings look neat. I like that many of them have survived because they had something beautiful and mysterious to the landscape. :)

Jo said...

I thought gingee when I read it. Lots here I didn't know about - I still maintain that some of the Cornish are descended from Phoenicians. Something you should maybe look into one of these days Hils. Is tin mined at all these days or is it a totally dead industry?

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

My first question was going to be about pronouncing that word but you beat me to it. I wonder if engineers of those days had any official training. Were they like apprentices?

Stephen Tremp said...

Hilary, yet another fascinating post. I love anything history. Never heard of Jynjys until now. Great that there are still monuments dotting the landscape that attest to this time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some cool old mine shafts that remain.
Here, Ding Dongs are Hostess treats.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I've never heard of the word jynjy - perhaps it's pronounced completely different to how it's spelt so people are saying the word, but I'm not comprehending. I love how that part of Cornish history is still so apparent in so many places.

Annalisa, writing A-Z vignettes, at Wake Up, Eat, Write, Sleep

Lisa said...

I looked up the Poldark series and we don't have it over here yet, in a way I can get to anyway :( But, I will keep faith that it will come soon enough! I want to read the short stories and just bought it on Amazon. I'd never heard of Richard Trevithick, but sounds like his story would make interesting reading. Cool, he pioneered the first high-pressure steam engine. I think I should have heard of him because of that. While reading this, in my mind I pronounced it "gingee" I guess because of the y... Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @ http://www.lisabuiecollard.com

cleemckenzie said...

Love the history of that area. And I've never heard of Jynjy. What a fascinating word. I'd like to know how it sounds.

The Ding Dong Mine set me to chuckling. Made me want to know how they came up with that name.

Mark Koopmans said...

I know mining isn't as big as it once was, but I have the deepest (no pun intended) respect for anyone who would spend nearly all day, every day hundreds of feet under the mountain or hill...

I was going to ask you how to pronounce the Jynjy and then I saw the PS :)

I'd go with "Gin jay"

Paula Kaye said...

Love the picture of the Land mines in the Atlantic!

Rosalind Adam said...

Well, this was a new word to me too. I've seen the Jynjies but never knew they were called that.

KAT Writer said...

How do you pronounce jnyjys- is it gin- gees?
Your abandoned buildings are quite lovely.
It is wonderful to feel your love for your culture and learn about it. Thank you for all the wonderful information you are putting in your posts.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

I like old ruins. The mining houses are interesting.

Thanks for mentioning Susan Scott. I visited her blog and put a link to it on mine!

TexWisGirl said...

interesting word! they look rather quaint, now.

Guilie Castillo said...

Those jynjys on the cliff by the ocean are really impressive! I'll have to search for those Cornish short stories... The whole area and its history sound fascinating!

Thanks for the visit over at Quiet Laughter yesterday... Always a treat to see your name in the comments :)

Moonie said...

Delightfully packed with information and pictures. I enjoyed scrolling down to read through a number of your letters. So enjoyable
Happy A to Zing

Cortney Pearson said...

I've never heard of the word Jynjy before, but find it very interesting!

Vagabonde said...

I had never heard of jynjy and Jacka’s fight - quite interesting. So this game is to write something of interest on a letter of the alphabet? I’d like to do that someday after I write all the posts I am to write. Your next letter will be K then. Well, let’s see I just wrote about Uzbekistan in Central Asia and it borders Kyrgyzstan – K - but don’t know much about this country apart that they have a pretty red flag with a luminous sun in the center of it.

Empty Nest Insider said...

What a jubilant title for "J!" I also like the Ding Dong mine.
Thanks, Hilary!

Julie

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sharon – we didn’t have much wood growing, and the mines were deep – not open pit as the early ones in the States would have been. It’s a fascinating name isn’t it … more anon!

@ Lisa – I’m glad you enjoyed the read …

@ Clarabelle – I’ll post more about Ding Dong this week probably. At the bottom of the post .. I’ve put how I think you pronounce Jynjy .. but I’ve no idea!! Our industrial landscapes can define areas …

@ Bob – Trevithick is very well known isn’t he … but the Jynjy (engine house) is a lovely name (I think!) …

@ Susan – that’s great that you’ve decided to come over to see the county and can make up your own mind from the posts here .. that’s so good to know …

@ Nick – I’m not sure … but the Cornish language is a real mix of ancient people’s spoken word .. I can’t find it easily right now!

@ Rosie – yes I had to put Jynjy for “J” … I expect there are lots of Cornish pixies … but a Jynjy is the actual building: an engine house …

@ Natasha – yes I agree it should roll off the tongue – but I probably need to find a Cornish speaker to tell me about it. Appreciate your comment.

@ Sara – yes thankfully people are renovating old industrial buildings, and I’m sure a Jynjy could well have been repaired … and then to live in that history would be wonderful wouldn’t it – secluded too …

@ OOTP – that’s great enjoy your Scrabble .. but you’ll need the blank too .. only one J I seem to recollect ..

@ Betsy – I’m glad you enjoyed Jynjy .. and Jacka’s Fight was a fascinating tale … it’s not obvious where the Ding Dong name came from … but I’ll write more shortly on it ..

@ Margie – delighted you enjoyed the post and there’s history all around us … just fascinating to write some of it down sometimes …

@ Chrys – they dot the landscape in Cornwall … and they probably survived because the land is very poor and so not much else could be done with them …

@ Jo – I’ve no idea how it’s pronounced – it’s just a good J word! I’ve got no idea re the Phoenicians … and my roots back to that era I think I’ll leave … I’ve plenty of knowledge or more recent times. But it would be interesting to find out.

Tin mining, in fact all metals, have been abandoned now … China Clay is still a valuable export. (See Wiki: Mining in Cornwall and Devon).

@ Susan – yes I suddenly realised I’d better put how I thought Jynjy might be pronounced.

Training for the mining engineers – it was trial and error – as each new method was tried, tested and used … altered, updated etc – there was a great ‘flood’ of talent and ideas … they were always experimenting … and those ideas transferred around the country … it always amazes me how we learnt things …

There wouldn’t really be apprentices – a living was required to be done and you’d enter the mine very young, and do ‘gate keeping’ etc … I’ll post more on this …

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...


@ Stephen – thanks so much .. there’s lots of these buildings around, many in disrepair … and needing safety barriers around them.

@ Alex – they were still working some of the mines in the 80s and 90s in a ‘hopeful’ fashion …

Interesting about the Hostess treats being known as Ding Dongs in the States …

@ Annalisa – the word is a word – obtained from a postcard, and a knapkin … but you’re Cornish … and the history of the county is still apparent isn’t it …

@ Lisa – Poldark has only just come out here … so it will be out I’m sure! That’s excellent you’ve bought the short stories – they’re fun and so Cornish.

Trevithick, along with other pioneers in the industrial machinery age of the 1700 – 1800s, must have had a very enlightening life … trial and error testing …

Pronunciation … I’ve no idea – and have guessed putting it at the end of the post …

@ Lee – lots of mining history around England, but it’s very obvious on the Cornish landscape. I put at the end how I think the word Jynjy sounds … and I’ll do a note on the Ding Dong mine shortly …

@ Mark – no it seems only China Clay now is of value … and I agree spending days underground mining, especially 200 years ago … must have been really terrible. Glad you agree with my “Gin Jay” … but I’ve no idea!!

@ Paula – the mines are on the edge … as they excavated under the sea … ?!

@ Ros – I thought this word would amuse everyone … and they are all over the landscape aren’t they …

@ KAT – I put at the end how I think it’s pronounced … Gin Jays – but I’ve no idea … Cornish is a real mix.

Thanks re the abandoned buildings and for the fact you feel you understand my love of the land that is Cornwall .. and I’m so glad you’re enjoying it …

@ Monti – yes I agree – old ruins can add to the landscape giving it its history … and I’m so glad you went over to meet Susan …

@ Theresa – quaint perhaps ... but very solid buildings!

@ Guilie – that’s good enjoy the Short Stories – they’re there on Amazon .. Lisa found them. The Jynjys stand proud on the barren (apparently) landscape … and so pleased to come over to your place ..

@ Moonie – thanks for the visit – and I’m so pleased you enjoyed the postings so far … and yes exactly happy A-Zing …

@ Cortney – that’s great you enjoy the word Jynjy too …

@ Vagabonde .. I’ve commented on your latest post re the A-Z for next year now I guess … giving you the link. You’d have lots of themes you could use … with all your travels …

@ Julie – it was a good “J” even though I say it myself … and the mine name is an interesting one .. I’ll post more anon on that …

Thanks everyone so much for your comments – and here’s to more A-Zing next week … cheers Hilary

Sophie Duncan said...

I've seen those industrial skeletons around Cornwall, and now I know the Cornish name for them - jynjy :)
Sophie
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles
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Wittegen Press

Vallypee said...

Lovely post, this, Hilary. I adore Cornwall and its wild mystery. I'd like to get that book too, being a Winston Graham and Du Maurier fan!

Rhonda Albom said...

Interesting history and a couple of new words too.

Jeffrey Scott said...

Lots of great information here.
Question. When the mine was abandoned was it a 'Ding Dong Ditch'? LOL

loverofwords said...

I never thought about using steam as power for mining. The mines are still beautiful. Not so beautiful for the miners and the hard work of mining. Those stones endure for years. Ginjay?

Megha said...

NIce Informative post.. Good use of letter J..

Megha said...

However, just a suggestion, the font is too big and bold for eyes, hope you dont mind

Murees Dupé said...

I definitely learnt something new. I have seen these buildings online and just thought they were old homes or something. Now I know better, thank you.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Sophie - I'm glad I posted J for Jynjy as most people don't seem to know the name ...

@ Val - thanks ... and I hope you'll enjoy the Short Story book .. that Jacka one was fun ...

@ Rhonda - thanks .. the history in Cornwall is all encompassing .. I saw a Copper mine on your postings the other day ...

@ Jeffrey - thanks .. and I've no idea re the Ding Dong mine closure - it happened in 1879 ... somewhat before my time!! I'm sure lots of workers lost their livelihoods ...

@ Nat - well they were testing new technology back then ... they look attractive to us today, I guess because we don't have to work in them ... the Jynjys need to be kept in a stable condition ...

Well GinJay was my idea of pronunciation .. but I've no idea ...

@ Megha - I'm glad you enjoyed the post... and thankfully others have said they're happy with the font .. some of us are older ...

@ Murees - well I'm glad I was able to show you what the buildings had been used for ..

Cheers to you all - thanks for visiting .. Hilary

Jean Davis said...

Very interesting bit of history. I have to say Ding Dong Mines made me laugh out loud.

Bish Denham said...

Ding Dong Mine? That seems an unusual and rather funny name for a mine. It's nice that Jacka's Fight has a happy ending as traveling all the way to California would have been an extremely difficult journey.

Kern Windwraith said...

I love the word "Jynjy"--it pretty much radiates history. Plus, it's fun to say, which is always a good thing in a word. :)

Another fascinating post, Hilary. After the challenge, I'm coming back to read all of these again.

Marcy said...

I love Daphne du Maurier's books!

Michelle Wallace said...

I wonder why the name Ding Dong Mine? Maybe to do with a certain sound/bell/whistle that could be heard?
(I just re-read your P.S. at the bottom of the post... so I guessed right.)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

@ Jean - I rather enjoyed writing this post up ... while Ding Dong .. I guess the mine must have been within range of the Church bell ... and perhaps that's why it was named that ... but it's a fun name - I agree!!

@ Bish - as I mentioned above to Jean - it's the only explanation I can come up with ...

Jacka's Fight is a good story - fascinating learning too ... and travelling across the Ocean and the USA would have been tough ...

@ Kern - I too love that word - that's why I had to use it for my J. I've no idea of its origins .. but Celtic/Cornish it is - love the phrase radiates history ...

Delighted you enjoyed the posts - thank you so much ...

@ Marcy - Daphne du Maurier always has many happy readers .. good to see you.

@ Michelle - I think that's right .. the sound of the bell near the mine .. but who knows exactly ... I'm sure the proximity of the Church would have had influence ...

Thanks so much for visiting - apologies for my late respond here - Hilary