J. A. (Allen) Buckley
Allen Buckley is probably Cornwall’s leading mining historian, bringing to his work some 30 years of experience in the industry. He has been a working miner at both South Crofty and Geevor and managed Crofty Consultancy. He has degrees from Exeter University and the Camborne School of Mines and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. A Bard of Gorseth Kernow since 1994, Allen was awarded an MBE for his work in Cornish mining history in 2013.
In addition to his books for the Society, Wheal Basset (2015) and Dolcoath Mine (2010), he has published more than 20 books on medieval, local and mining history. These range from the very earliest days of mining in Cornwall right up to the present day. Allen also edited the Journal of the Trevithick Society for many years. His history of The Great County Adit was reissued in 2016.
Gerald Williams has been writing about the mines of West Cornwall for 30 years, since his first article on the Giew Mine appeared in our Journal in 1984. Over 20 articles have since appeared there.
In 1996 he wrote his first article about the famous, but largely unrecorded Ding Dong Mine. At the suggestion of Journal editor Allen Buckley, this began many years of research into Ding Dong, which culminated in publication of the mine’s definitive history, written jointly with Peter Joseph, in 2014.
Gerald continues his work in the Journal of the Trevithick Society, with more articles ready and promised.
Lawrence P. S. Piper
Lawrence Piper was born in London and grew up in Gloucestershire. His varied career included time in the textile industry as well as lecturing in the areas of health and education. In Cornwall he spent 12 years as Vice-Principal of Cornwall Technical College and 10 years as Principal of Cornwall College, retiring in 1991.
It was that passion for education which led Lawrence Piper to produce his definitive account, Camborne School of Mines: A History of Mining Education in Cornwall. This was published by the Trevithick Society in 2013.
Courtney Rowe was born on The Lizard, a distinctive area of Cornwall where he now resides. An engineering apprenticeship at the Telecommunications Research Establishment led on to a first class degree in Physics and a career in the aerospace industry where he worked in the areas of microwaves and electronics miniaturisation. Later he spent time in the project management of major spacecraft projects.
A long-standing member of the Trevithick Society, Courtney was involved in the restoration of the Levant beam engine, as a founding member of the ‘Greasy Gang’. This led to the publication of his Drawings of the Levant Whim (1998), popular with model engineers. On retirement, a return to The Lizard saw his interests combine to produce, Marconi at The Lizard (2000), a pioneering study of the area’s pivotal role in early communications systems. He was also involved in the National Trust’s restoration of the Marconi station there.
J. H. Trounson
: John Hubert Trounson (1905-1978), known to one and all as ‘Jack’, spent a lifetime in the Cornish Mining industry, working as a surveyor at East Pool Mine and then at South Crofty. His work at the Cornish Mining Development Association led D. B. Barton to say in 1967 that he had “done more than any other man in the last twenty years both personally and as chairman of the CMDA to further a lasting revival of Cornish tin.”
Jack Trounson did much but wrote little. He is though, remembered for his many reports on tin prospects in Cornwall, some now published by Exeter University Press, and his huge collection of mining photographs, now preserved as the Trounson-Bullen Collection. He also had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the Cornish Engine and in 1966 he gave a lecture on the subject at the Royal Institution of Cornwall. This was republished by the Trevithick Society in 1985 as Cornish Engines & the Men Who Handled Them. It has been continuously in print ever since.
Tony was born in Penzance and has lived and worked in Cornwall all his life. A graduate of Camborne School of Mines, he has been involved since 1980 in such projects as the Hot Dry Rocks Geothermal Energy Project. He has worked as a mining consultant and on geothermal energy at the Eden Project.
For 35 years Tony has been one of the team working on the preservation of Rosevale Mine in West Penwith. Great Wheal Vor, published by the Society in 2015 was the culmination of several years’ research.
Born in Redruth, Philip Hosken was educated at Truro School and followed his entry into banking with a management career in which he developed numerous UK and international manufacturing and retailing companies, mainly in the construction and motor industries. Upon his return to Cornwall he launched Cornish World and edited it for six years. This provided him with a solid understanding the Cornish Diaspora and a link to the Trevithick Society. There he led the project to build a replica of Trevithick’s 1801 Camborne locomotive and gave a number of local and International lectures on its inventor.
As the previous chairman of the Trevithick Society and a frequent helper on its stand at steam and other events, he was frequently asked why Richard Trevithick was not better known. Some research into this shortcoming revealed much more about the man and his associates than had been previously appreciated. His two books, The Oblivion of Trevithick, (2011), and Genius: Richard Trevithick’s Steam Engines, (2013), help to resolve this issue and raise awareness of Richard Trevithick and his work. Away from this controversy, Philip is a Bard of the Cornish Gorsedd and father to Treve, Tamsyn and Lowenna.
Robert Waterhouse is an archaeologist, hailing originally from North Devon. He has worked at a variety of sites in the West Country, most notably at Morwellham from 2002 to 2010.
His fascination with the Tamar Valley and Tavistock developed after reading Frank Booker’s pioneering book, The Industrial Archaeology of the Tamar Valley. His own 2017 volume, The Tavistock Canal: Its History and Archaeology, is the result of some fifteen years of research and field activity. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, Robert is currently working as an archaeologist for the States of Jersey.
Pete Joseph is a trained geologist and industrial archaeologist who has been writing for the Trevithick Society since 1996. Based in West Cornwall, he has written prolifically about the mines of that area in books such as, Mining Accidents in the St Just District (1999), Hard Graft: Botallack in the Twentieth Century (2010) and Ding Dong Mine, with Gerald Williams, (2014).
He has also updated two of the Society’s best-selling histories, From Holman Brothers to Compair (2013) and Levant: A Champion Cornish Mine (2013) and wrote the history of Penzance’s undersea Wherry Mine, So Very Foolish (2012). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, has served as the Trevithick Society’s Curator and Historian and is very much involved in the production of our publications.
John Manley has lived all his life in East Cornwall, always within sight of Caradon Hill. With his wife Cheryl, he has played a major role in the industrial archaeology of East Cornwall, and they are the energy behind the Trevithick Society’s East Cornwall Branch.
A navigator by profession, his love of old cartography led to his republishing a number of Victorian mining maps. A map of the Liskeard area led him to an 1863 book, History and Progress of Mining in the Liskeard and Caradon District by William Webb and Edward Geach. A transcription of this with John’s notes and commentary was published by the Trevithick Society in 2011. John’s latest book is a biography of William West, one of that generation of engineers who brought to near perfection the Cornish Engine. The Last Great Cornish Engineer, the first life of West since 1879, appeared in 2014.
R. J. (Rick) Stewart
A Yorkshireman, Rick Stewart’s interests include industrial narrow gauge railways, caving and mining history, all of which he has written about. Since 1995 he has worked at the Morwellham Quay Museum, latterly as Mine Manager. Following his arrival in the Tamar Valley, Rick had begun work on one of the great untold stories of West Country, British, and indeed World mining – the history of Devon Great Consols.
After a Trevithick Society field trip at DGC in 2011, agreement was reached for the Society to publish Rick’s proposed book and Devon Great Consols: A Mine of Mines appeared to great acclaim in 2013. He has now turned his attention to the early days of Cornish mining and Mine Pumping Engines in Eighteenth Century Cornwall appeared in 2017.
Bryan Earl was born in Edinburgh and after five years in coal mining, trained as a mining engineer at Camborne School of Mines. He mined copper in Africa and then worked on the application of explosives to mining, quarrying and prospecting. In 1968 he wrote Cornish Mining: The Techniques of Metal Mining in the West of England, Past and Present, a most valuable work; then in 1970 came his masterly survey, Cornish Explosives, still the standard work and reprinted in 2006.
Bryan was the President of the Trevithick Society for many years, and had a wide range of interests in the mining and industrial history of Cornwall including the arsenic industry. A bard of the Cornish Gorseth since 1998, his bardic name was Whythrer Defnyth Tardha, Researcher of Explosives. Bryan Earl died in 2017.
Born in 1831 Moissenet graduated with honours from the Ecole des Mines in 1856. His Excursion in Cornwall 1857 was at least partly compiled when he was still a student and published in the Annales des Mines for 1858. It is a remarkable account of mid nineteenth century mining practice with particular reference to mechanical methods of tin dressing.
The first English translation was made by Tony Clarke of Camborne School of Mines, himself a specialist in mineral dressing, and published by the Trevithick Society in 2010. Moissenet had a distinguished career, first with the Ecole des Mines to 1877, then in private practice, returning to state service as Chief Inspector of Mines in 1893. Leon Moissenet died in 1906.
Diane was born in Troon and her family has many connections with local mining and engineering. Her father worked at Holman Brothers, grandfathers worked at Dolcoath and Wheal Grenville and an uncle was secretary of the School of Mines. Diane graduated from the London School of Economics and the University of Limerick.
Now retired from lecturing she still lives in Limerick and is a frequent visitor to Cornwall. Diane’s first book for the Society, The Metal Mines of West Cork, 2010, went through two editions, won a Holyer an Gof award and sold out on both sides of the Irish Sea. Cornwall’s Fuse Works, 2016, is the definitive history of a once important local industry.
Tony’s lifelong interest in Cornish mining history and archaeology began in the early 1960s when he was still at school in Redruth and began to visit and record mining sites. He has been able to expand this since retiring after a 25 year career as a mining processing technician. No mean photographer himself, Tony prepared the Society’s 2011 volume, H G Ordish: The Early Mining Photographs: 1920 – 1933, with the support of Geoffrey Ordish’s family.
His earlier discovery of Leon Moissenet’s 1858 volume on Mechanical Methods of Tin Dressing, resulted in that book’s first appearance in English; Tony having undertaken the translation himself.