Published by the Trevithick Society 2014
William West of Tredenham
William West was part of that generation of engineers who brought the performance of the Cornish engine to its peak. He was reputed to have erected more engines in his career than any man in Cornwall.
Born at Dolcoath Mine, had a poor childhood and even poorer education. Had to go to work at a young age, and after trying unsuccessfully several jobs became recognised has having a natural engineering skill and found work in a fitting shop. From there his skills enabled him to advance rapidly and he worked for the most gifted Cornish engineer of the day, where he learnt much about achieving high performances from Cornish Beam Engines. He built a record breaking engine at Fowey Consols, introduced Cornish engines to London waterworks, produced several inventions and innovations and became very rich. His business empire expanded to include a foundry’s, mines, banks, quarries and a railway. William West died in 1879.
The Last Great Cornish Engineer book
190 pages, 25 Illustrations.
The Last Great Cornish Engineer contains a reprint of an account of William West`s life printed shortly after his death, by an anonymous author. This uncritical sketch forms a narrative framework which I have used to explore the engineer’s fascinating life.
The key issues of every decade of West`s life are taken from the sketch and explored further. In doing so, the original Victorian words are enriched, and his history is shown to be not as simple as the sketch implied. In doing so the Book`s title is transformed from statement to question, a question on which the reader can make their own decision.
Despite of its Victorian origins, I was very keen to produce a book in an an easy to read modern layout. Crisp fonts, open spacing and illustrations have been used, supported by a comprehensive index and site gazeteer.
Where to buy the book
For those passing through Cornwall, then pop into the Liskeard Bookshop, King Edward Mine or Geevor Mine to buy a copy of my books. To buy the books on line, or download the kindle publications then visit my Amazon store