The C.P.R Tryptych

“Well Cornish lads are fishermen and Cornish lads are miners too

But when the fish and tin are gone what are Cornish boys to do?”

(Graffiti written after closure of South Crofty mine, Pool, from the song Cornish Lads, Roger Bryant 1994)



Camborne, Pool and Redruth


Cornwall’s Poorest Region

Speeding down the A30

St Ives set in your sat-nav

Ignore the heartlands

Aim for the periphery

The effervescent white foam

Bordering the turquoise sea

Not the dark igneous rock

That gave it shape

Ignore the huge memorial

As you hurry on past

The gravestone on the hill

The burial mound of old money

Here lies old prosperity…

A long barrow with an inert wheel

Marks the Cornwall left behind

Cradle of innovation, ignition

The spark for industrial revolution

In the lands that betray it now

But come to play around its edge.

Home of The Great Flat Lode

Where mining tin became easy

Well, as easy as it could ever be.

And copper at nearby Gwennap

Made it the richest square mile

To be found in the Old World.

The money made in boardrooms

Would eventually trickle down


Down the shafts, into the pockets

Of the miners who earned their tribute

At the cost of their health and lives.

© graylightfoot