Somehow I managed to lose a few blogging days last week. It’s
been a bit tricky trying to meet writing deadlines that are earlier this month
than usual because everyone, me included, wants to take time off for Christmas.
Anyway, I have a small window of time today, so I thought I’d tell you about
our visit to Wheal Martyn as promised.
The final day of our Cornish holiday seems in the dim and
distant past now. Actually it was only the end of October, and just looking at
our photos takes me right back to it. It was the first day that we woke up to
rain, but it was our only chance to see the open air clay museum exhibits, so
we went anyway. And once we were there, the rain lessened and finally ceased.
In any case, we started with the indoor displays that told
the story of the workers when this was a working clay mine, and of the lives of
the local community. And we read about some of the characters connected with
the mine over the years, all of which I have to admit has gone out of my mind
was very well behaved in there, but glad to emerge into the open air at the far
end. Then we were following a historic trail through the former china clay
works, and the first thing we saw was an enormous waterwheel. At 35 feet high
it is the largest working water wheel in Cornwall.
there we entered a yard with some ancient vehicles and railway carriages that showed how the end
product was transported away from the works.
Here we found more shelter from
the rain and more indoor exhibits to wander around, before heading upstairs to
where the clay was dried on a tiled floor heated by hot air from furnaces in
the blacksmith’s workshop below. When it was dry, the clay was packed into
barrels ready for transportation.
this we followed a roundabout route passing another water wheel, and noting
various methods of moving water around to and from the settling tanks and sand
Jade was not too sure about entering the flat rod tunnel, through which
the rods from the massive water wheel below pushed the power used in the pit.
she did follow us as we bent down to walk through it on our way to the pithead viewpoint
where we could see more modern methods of extracting the clay taking place far
the way back we passed this quaint seat waiting for tired ramblers.
We also took
in a nature trail that pleased Jade no end. Then she was tired enough to rest in the car while we polished off another Cornish pasty lunch.
Most people can't afford to live on the one mile peninsula that separate Poole Harbour from the sea. You have to have a few million pounds to be able to buy a home there. But everyone can enjoy its beach and amenities. This is how it can look on a winter's day.
Many of the children prefer to spend time in the playpark behind the beach huts