Published March 6, 2012
A bit of history , Cornish Produce , Cornwall in the headlines , Photography , Stories
Tags: Black and White Photography, Camborne, Kodak Tri X film, photography, Poole, Redruth, South Crofty, South Crofty Closure, South Crofty Miners, South Crofty Supporters
Following on from the St Piran’s day celebrations I thought it would be an appropriate post to show some images that I took of the closure of South Crofty mine back in 1998. I was at college and had got myself a NUJ (National Union of Journalists) press pass for a few years which was a fabulous thing and got me into some situations that the man on the street would struggle to get into – sometimes maybe for the best! A quick flash of the pass at the gates of South Crofty and with a large black camera sporting the letters N I K O N and I was in! With a lot of press in the area I was being pushed from side to side by the big boys of Fleet Street. But with some Cornish determination I got a few pictures that day that I was pleased with. Here are a few work prints I have found in my boxes. All shot on Kodak’s lovely Tri -X film!
A proud Cornishman supporting the miners on the last day of the mine being open
The derelict looking landscape surrounding South Crofty in 1998
The tag board showing the few miners underground on the last shift
Local well wishers whom have sent letters and donations to support the miners, even one from over the Tamar!
Two of the last miners to come out of the mine from their final shift
Thankfully South Crofty has reopened and the future is looking bright, well not underground – that’s pretty dark still but the future of South Crofty is bright and its providing jobs for locals again!
…..and finally the PRESS pass
should have gone to SpecSavers! ( I think I did!)
Published February 22, 2012
Cornwall on TV , Photography , Places to visit
Tags: BBC1, Bodmin Moor Walks, Brown Willy Bodmin Moor, Brown Willy Cornwall, Cornish Granite, Cornwall Landscape Photography, Desaturated photographs, Granite, Hugh Dennis, Julia Bradbury, Landscape Photography, photography, Rough Tor Bodmin, Rough Tor Cornwall, walks in Cornwall
For those interested in the geology of Cornwall you must watch The Great British Countryside with Hugh Dennis and Julia Bradbury that was on BBC last week. Pick it up on iPlayer here before it disappears into the ether. It was a great programme with an interesting insight into how Cornwall was formed millions of years ago.
They touched on the moorlands of Devon and Cornwall which spurred me to write this post. Rough Tor pronounced Row-ter with its summit 1313 ft (400m) above sea level, making it the second highest point in Cornwall. With its rough craggy rocks it’s a spectacular walk to the summit and achievable by most able bodied person with a bit of will power. Allow yourself an hour to the top and another hour to walk back down again. Why not pack your rucksack with a couple of pasties and a flask of tea and walk to the top of the tor for you lunch? It an ansom’ view!
Here are a few pics from a recent walk to the top. I will touch on Rough Tor again in later posts but for now enjoy these few pics and if the weather is looking pretty this weekend, get those pasties from down Rowes bakery and get up there.
To give you a starting point in finding the place here is the Telegraph’s walk of the month of Rough Tor and Brown Willy – that’s Cornwall’s 1st highest point!!
Published December 17, 2011
A bit of history
Tags: Coast, Cornish, Cornwall, Newlyn, photography, Radio 4, Ronald Binge, Sailing By, Sea, Shipping Forecast explained, The shipping forecast, waves
When we cannot sleep at night we often switch on the radio beside the bed and listen to Radio 4 and to whatever is being broadcast. At some point in the night there must be some kind of children’s entertainment on World Service because sometimes I awake feeling like I’m on speed as the children’s entertainment is not conducive to a good nights sleep. But more often that not if its been a late night we will doze off listening to the shipping forecast which also is not that conducive to a good night sleep…
‘PLYMOUTH SOUTHWEST 5 TO 7, OCCASIONALLY GALE 8 OR SEVERE GALE 9 IN SOUTH, VEERING NORTHWEST 4 OR 5 LATER. RAIN OR SHOWERS. MODERATE OR GOOD’
As you are dozing it’s just words that don’t always make sense so I thought I would google it and find out what it all means.
Now where do the Two Fat Badgers come into it? Well, the two fat badgers run a website which in an independent look at places to visit around the UK and pubs to visit etc. They have also done some homework on explaining the shipping forecast.
Take a look at their website here to see what it’s all about.
Finally as I’m scratching my head deciphering the shipping forecast most of the time I will fall asleep to “Sailing By” composed by Ronald Binge in 1963, and performed by the Alan Perry/William Gardner Orchestra. It’s a beautiful track and can be listened to here.
It may be cold outside but I think its going to be a quiet one tonight – sleep tight!
The sea like a mill pond - Newlyn
Published December 16, 2011
A bit of history , Photography , Places to visit , Stories , Wildlife in Cornwall
Tags: Cornish Nature Reserves, Cornwall, Gunpowder, Kennal Vale, photography, Ponsanooth, walks in Cornwall
If you are looking for somewhere to walk off those mince pies after Christmas or in my case before Christmas then take a walk around Kennall Vale.
Old mill stone lies next to the River Kennall.
Situated between Redruth and Falmouth in the village of Ponsanooth, Kennall Vale is part of Cornwall’s rich heritage from the Tin mining era. Gunpowder was produced here with production starting around 1812. By 1860 some 50 men were employed in the gunpowder ‘factory’ until its closure in the early 1900s when alternative and more sophisticated methods of explosives were used in the Cornish mines.
Kennall Vale is now a tranquil and serene place to have a quiet walk and is very popular with dog walkers. The valley has a river (The Kennall!) running through it which would have provided the power to work the machines within the gunpowder mills. Now, just lies the ruins of the old granite buildings and parts of the cast iron wheels which once turned.
A walk around Kennel Vale is not for the faint hearted, it starts off with a nice wide even path with a slight gradient going under the canopy of large beech trees, as you walk along you can hear the water running in the nearby river but it’s not until about half a mile before you experience the whole drama of this amazing place. As you pass some old buildings and the old quarry on you left hand side (from where the granite was taken to build all the mills) now filled with water you will turn a corner and the footpath then crosses the river (via a bridge). Take time to stop on the bridge and watch and listen to the incredible power of the water beneath you. As you walk across you will see many waterfalls in front from where the water was channelled down to drive other parts of the mills workings. Take care now along this path as you walk back along the river from the other side. This path is narrow, muddy, slippery, and everything you didn’t want to hear! But it all adds to a fantastic experience, as you wonder back imagining what it must have been like to work in such a place – producing gunpowder too!
And yes finally, for those who are interested in any gunpowder incidents which happened at Kennall Vale click on the worldheritagecornwall.com.
It’s a great walk, will take an average able-bodied person around 45 minutes – 1 hour to do the circuit and it certainly burn off a few mince pies. – Just remember to leave those cigarettes in the car!
This shot taken straight from the camera without any manipulation. Georgous colours over the bay before the sun finally disappears for the day.
'Which ball do you want me to pick up?'
For those of you who enjoyed the dog blog post earlier this week check out this cheeky chappy.
Quick quiz, there’s a free saffron bun going out to the person who tells me where in Cornwall this was taken? UK entrants only please otherwise it will go stale!