The Last Great Cornish Engineer visits the Looe Literary Festival

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Getting excited about this one, a chance to chat about William West and how the book evolved over a pint or two in a great Cornish setting. And perhaps answer the question

“what on earth is a navigator doing writing a book about an engineer?”

Looking forward to  seeing some of you there on Saturday.

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10 Facts about William West, The Last Great Cornish Engineer

For those scanning the running order of this year’s Looe Literary Festival, and wishing to know more about my book,  ‘The Last Great Engineer’, here are 10 Facts about William West to wet the appetite.

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1 Young West held a candle to Richard Trevithick.

2 He designed the most efficient Cornish Engine ever made.

3 He played an important, but little known role in the eradication of Cholera.

4 One of his inventions saved thousands of miners lives, another saved thousands of man hours of manual labour.

5 His work greatly accelerated the  adoption of Cornish Engines beyond the Tamar.

6 Gin and a fireplace influenced his early education.

7 West and the Duke of Wellington are linked in death.

8 He was said to have installed more steam engines in Cornwall than any other engineer.

9 Railways, mines, banks, and foundries formed part of the West business empire.

10  Most of the copper ore that once covered Looe’s quays was extracted from the ground using West’s machinery.


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For those passing through Cornwall then pop into the Liskeard Bookshop, to buy a copy of my books. To buy the books on line, or download the kindle publications then visit my Amazon store to browse through my books.