My latest book- The Last Great Cornish Engineer -William West of Tredenham-has just been published by the Trevithick Society. Launch is next week at Liskeard (13th September 2014). The day is going to more than just a glass of bubbly and a few signatures. I will be using the opportunity to spread the word a bit more about Mr. West, get a bit more recognition for this Cornish Engineer. So, over the next few posts as I prepare for the day I will tap away on this blog my speaker resources. They will not be in any order, but then neither will be the day! Hope you find them of some use.
Phoenix 100- a book is born
WHERE THE IDEA OF “THE LAST GREAT CORNISH ENGINEER” STARTED
The book’s birth came amongst the events surrounding the Caradon Hill Heritage Project’s Phoenix 100 events. These events celebrated a visit made on the 10th June 1909 by the Prince and Princess of Wales, the future King George V and Queen Mary, to Phoenix Mine. During the visit the Princess of Wales named and officially started what was to be the last large Cornish pumping engine designed, built and erected in Cornwall.
As part of these events the East Cornwall Branch of the Trevithick Society produced a timeline that told the fascinating interplay of mining and engineering history that lead to the production of the Prince of Wales Engine. One name kept cropping up, over and over again, during the research for that time line. William West of Tredenham. And so, once the festivities was over it was decided to run a series of events the following year based on the engineer’s achievements.
In 2010 exhibitions were staged at Liskeard Museum and Stuart House based on William West. The dismantling of the display stands at the end of the events were accompanied by many requests to -“leave something permanent” as a legacy, and from these requests came the idea of the book came about.