So far, I have visited the Geevor Tin Mine twice: the first time was in 1974, when it was a busy working tin mine. In addition to the small museum/exhibition, there were guided tours of the tin streaming works.
This was a huge shed full of strange lozenge shaped tables which vibrated noisily. Across each table flowed a stream of water. This contained finely crushed tin ore baring rock, and as it passed over the ridges on the tableʼs surface, you could see the ore being separated from the base rock, and then being collected as it reached the far side.
The second-time was in 1993. The mine had run into financial difficulties in 1985 when the price of tin fell by a third, and had been moth-balled. Some city-slicker had come down from London, and promised to re-open the mine offering the miners the fresh investment needed to make it viable. In fact, as soon as the sale was agreed, he stripped the mine of everything movable (including most of the streaming tables), and thus ensured that it could never be re-opened.
The miners were left showing the visitors around the empty shell of a place that had so recently been such a hive of activity.
The grief was palpable. It seemed no more appropriate take photographs there, than it would be at a funeral.
Since then, the mine has been developed as a tourist attraction bringing jobs, of sorts, to this depressed part of the world. Check the Geevor Tin Mineʼs website for opening times etc.
With the passing of a generation, Geevor will no doubt take its place as just another ride in Theme Park Britain. In the meantime I feel privileged to have known it in its prime, and to have been touched by its passing. Thank you Geevor.