Well ‘we left me’ in my very young nakedness on Carbis Bay Beach … my grandmother’s house was about half-way down the steep Porthrepta Road to the beach … and Carbis Bay Hotel, where the G7 Summit is going to be held (apparently!) …
lower down Porthrepta road there was a lane through to a rough path above the
railway line, which took us through nut groves … always overgrown – but if the steam
train passed and the driver saw us … we’d get a toot, or two! – just what kids
needed – we waited with baited breath on hearing the puffing billy approach.
St Anta Church, Carbis Bay
This track is now the 21st century South West Coastal Path – there’s lots of information on the net about the various routes. Back in the day – we’d grope through the hazel nut fronds pushing out to claim their light …
… this took us round Carrack Gladden headland and on towards the sand-dunes of Lelant … but hidden in these rocks above the path was Hawk’s Point – an early mine producing 670 tons of copper, 1 ton of ochre and some tin – most during its short life 1851 – 1870. (see first photo above).
from these 60 metre (200 foot) cliffs … transported somehow – possibly by mule
to be smelted or processed at a local mine … probably via Hayle to the major mining
area of Camborne/Redruth during the 1800s – 1900s – South Crofty, the last
mine, closed in 1998.
St Ives station c 1890
Mining began in the early Bronze Age (bronze is mostly copper with some tin) … and it is possible that the Phoeniceans controlled tin mining (one of the earliest metals to be exploited) (c 1250 BC) … but more likely under the Veneti tribe of Brittany – trading with the Roman Empire.
But the railway did get to its westerly terminal, Penzance, in 1852 … and the branch line to St Ives opened in 1877 … too late for the ‘scraggy’ Hawk’s Point mine.
I’m having difficulty breaking down these snippets of remembrances into salient posts … but I think I’ve worked it out finally!
I’m going to cover the first 20 years of my life to 1968 – the time my
grandparents were still alive and living in Carbis Bay, before my mother moved
her mother over to the house she’d bought in Penzance/Newlyn – where she made
her future life. They won’t be long …
bits of history added in …
Ad in the late 1920s or 1930s
For info: T for Tin Miners ... post
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