Archive for community history month

In May I learnt about Slime…

Posted in meet the geevor staff with tags , on June 19, 2009 by geevor

Jo W museumsatnight09Jo W’s belated month of May post.

In May I learnt about Slime…or to be more accurate, about The Slimes Plant. I had no idea of the whereabouts of this building, let alone any recollection of having set foot in it already…..testimony to the size of the Geevor site.

Bill led a small contingency down there and Nick T printed out some old photos to give us an idea of what it would have been like and off we went….

The older part of the building housed the Eastern Calciner (early 20th C) which was all about roasting the ore to get rid of the arsenic and other sulphide minerals. Geevor clearly had good moral values even back then and unlike nearby Levant and other mines in Cornwall did not go in for mass extraction of arsenic (and hence the poisoning of young boys and men to collect the arsenic). I’m strangely obsessed with arsenic and shall return to this topic in a future blog. The Slimes Plant next door was a last chance saloon for those tiny particles of tin that had so far escaped processing. The waste from the Mill was processed here one last time to recover as much of the tin as possible. This building is amazing. Although some bits of equipment look a bit makeshift, a lot of this technology was cutting edge in its day. The rusting brazier and wooden seat at the end adds a human dimension as this is where the night shift man passed the hours.

By far the highlight of May was our Museums at Night event. We had 41 people – wow! Geevor never has 41 people turn up for anything!!! And we took them round several of the buildings that would have had a night shift when the mine was running. Although it will never be possible to recreate the sights, sounds, smells and activity of a working mine, we were able to offer the opportunity to visit the mine in the darkness and soak up the atmosphere….we made front page of the local newspaper, I was very chuffed.

A few days later I ran a ‘Behind the Scenes Tour’ as part of community history month. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting anyone to turn up and had planned to be tucking into a Sunday roast by lunchtime. However, we had 17 people who I had to take round for almost 3 hours.,…I really enjoyed it but was totally exhausted by the end. Janet had to feed me chocolate to get me home.

Bring on June….. or July…