[fusion_text]Some 30 or 40 Society members and friends from Mid and East Cornwall gathered in Liskeard on Saturday 15th September for the launch of John Manley’s new life of William West, “The Last Great Cornish Engineer”. Those attending were treated to an illustrated lecture by John at the Liskeard Museum which is currently undergoing refurbishment. Then followed a brief guided walk through the Town Centre which amply confirmed, should any doubt it, the huge influence of William West in Liskeard and its vicinity.

On arrival at The Bookshop we were treated to readings from the book by our author punctuated by readings from a splendid Victorian eulogy of the great engineer. These were performed with gusto by John’s son, another William. John announced at the outset that he hoped further to disprove the popular fallacy in engineering that “Watt invented the steam engine, Stephenson the railway and Brunel everything else. Certainly our West book was given a splendid send-off; thanks go to the Museum and Bookshop in Liskeard and to Cheryl Manley for her contribution, not least facilitating contact with an author literally ‘all at sea’ during the book’s preparation.

Graham Thorne  [/fusion_text]

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