Archive for the ‘technology/industry’ Category

Redruth writer Abi Wyatt has news of a second Murder of Krows Anthology, co-edited by Abi and Duncan Yeates, which is due to be launched in the autumn at The Melting Pot in Redruth. Along with special artwork, poems include offerings by Dr Alan Kent and Les Merton, and other poets in Cornwall. It will be a limited print run ! Copies are sure to be snapped up so get in touch with Abi, perhaps via Poetry24 or by Red River Poets facebook page.poetry24

Co-edited by Abi, in addition, is the international, news-inspired poetry web site Poetry24, and Abi is keen to encourage submissions from poets based in Cornwall. If you are a poet in Cornwall and would like to contribute, scoot over to Poetry24 and have a look . . . If you don’t yet feel up to contributing (yet), why not scoot over to Poetry24 and have a look anyway at today’s muse on the news.

Of Abi’s own work, her poem ‘The Long Falling Down‘ is included in a recent anthology of poems ‘Journey to Crone‘. This is one of the five star reviews:

Excellent and moving poetry. The Poems are original, insightful, well crafted, and distinctly female. The voices resonate long after the reading is complete.

Ashley and Eileen Ludgate organised a mini-folk music festival at the Bath Inn, Penzance, where Abi performed more of her poems, including the haunting and soon-to-be-anthologised ‘Dozy Mary‘. It’s good that music and poetry are mixing at events in Cornwall.

Staying in Penzance, a new writer’s group called Writer’s Cafe is set to meet every other Tuesday, at 2pm, in the Lost and Found cafe, Chapel Street, Penzance. The 9th July 2013 is the next meeting, that’s this Tuesday coming !! And from the 17th to the 21st July is this year’s Penzance Literary Festival, with dozens of excellent events – have a look at the website and browse through the schedule – too much good stuff to list here (and much of that is Cornish in composition and/or content – the usual suspects and some interesting others (including music) . . .).
Passio Cristi page from Scawen
One of the talks at Pz lit fest is presented by the Penzance Conservation Community Interest Company – in May they took delivery of William Scawen‘s original manuscript of his Antiquities Cornu-Brittanic 1688, and also his Observations on a Cornish Manuscript entitled Passio Christi i.e. the poem Pascon Agan Arluth. Cornwall Record Office also contracted Pz Conservation CIC to restore William Borlase’s 1750 Memorandums of the Cornish Tongue original manuscript. (These historically significant Cornish manuscripts might be held in the proposed Redruth archive centre, which was recently awarded a £386 thousand heritage lottery grant towards the price tag of around £15 million. It would be nice if these manuscripts above were fully digitised for public viewing before too long. Mar plek.)
Williams Llawnt
In 1865 Rev Robert Williams of Llawnt Ugha (Lawns Ughella / Upper Lawn) in Wales published Lexicon Cornu-Britannicum, which was perhaps the first modern Cornish dictionary. Now, Cornish cultural writer Derek R Williams has authored Williams: The Llawnt – a biography of the Welsh minister and linguist, published by the excellent Y Lolfa.
Looking to Cornwall’s east, another publication brought to our attention is Theatreworks, a collection of plays by Charles Causley, edited by Alan Kent and published by Francis Boutle. Included among 11 librettos and other dramatic works are The Doctor and the Devils (inspired by the work of Dylan Thomas), The Ballad of Aucassin and Nicolette, first performed at the Exeter festival in 1978, and The Tinderbox,which Charles Causley wrote for Kneehigh Theatre in 1990. Alan himself drekly will have published his new books Towards a Cornish Philosophy and a book for children, Surf Dogs.

Sadly for its workers as well as for the future of book production within Cornwall, MPG Books of Bodmin has gone into administration in the last month with the loss of more than 50 jobs.

Written, and with photographs collected, by motor engineering aficiando Ernie Warmington of Redruth, Cornish Road Transport Through Time, published by Amberley Publishing (Amberley in Sussex being the resting place of ASD Smith/Caradar, by the way) traces its subject from Murdock’s engine, and horse drawn vehicles of various kinds to internal combustion motor vehicles used, and produced in Cornwall.
Road transport Cornwall


“What he couldn’t say outright was that Nature was getting the better of them, that it felt like a battle, that they were squirming under the gaze of the TV camera’s microscope.”

From November 2009 to January 2011, Lucy Wells’ home on Hayle Towans overlooked the development work for the wave hub – a relatively massive experimental project (something like £30 million from SW, EU and UK) coordinated by SWRDA. Each chapter of the book covers a month of her observations on this work.

The contrast of industrial and elemental factors – embodied in the transient struggles of contractors to implement their masters’ schemes for energy production in truce with nature – is so apt a theme for the history of Hayle as to make this chronicle’s premise recursive. Consider: the mouth of the Hayle estuary is a superb spot where a colourful lacuna of Cornish heavy industry’s bones is slowly veiled by a skein of nature’s fabric – and then swept clear again by both mankind and the inhuman powers of tide and time – a place where the environment is sometimes more dynamic even than the titanic forces of industrial revolution. An apt place, then, to land the cable from the world’s first wave hub – on the former site of Hayle’s historic power station. Lucy Wells’ viewpoint looks both inland to this ‘tethering’ of the experimental wave hub’s cable, and in the other direction, to St Ives bay and the unbidden, primal chaos beyond.

The spirit of the book is pagan, elliptically tho’ not insistently so, and certainly in the sense of the word’s original derivation: rustic, practical, more bound to the non-human than human aspects of the world.

There are no drawings or maps – as in many top-down projects, I guess the designers were none too keen on sharing their know-how. Nor is there detail of the financial manoeuvres implied by the project’s stuttering progress – no doubt this was on a need-to-know basis too. The author does well in teasing some nuts-and-bolts information at least (too little to satisfy engineering readers) from workers. Highlighted in the book is the cosmopolitan variety of contractors who arrive from all parts to do most of the work (drillers from Lancashire, sparkies from London, cable makers from Cleveland, shipping from Finland), and the variety of attitudes and skills they bring. My favourites were the surveyors from Chester who were unsure as to whether they were on the right beach. It’s not a case study of engineering by an insider, but of engineers by an outsider – SWRDA would probably be the only party able to account an over-arching history of the wave hub’s installation campaign and, since the project’s apparently ‘rocky road’ might disincline them to do so, this book’s at least a good insight.

The main thrust of the book is not in technical details, it’s on the effect of the place on the people (rather than the other way round). It contains around 165 pages, with a dozen or so black & white photos to lend extra atmosphere. Cheeky humour provides light to thoughtful shade: the author’s swimming and Tai Chi forms on the beach and dunes clearly give her a lot of time to ponder insights into the nature of Nature, and what we and it do to each other. Realistic reporting of interactions with contractors, visitors and residents (one of the persons mentioned, the relocated gentleman has, I think, died since publication) fills out a human side, often warmly sympathetic – the author’s reporting is cooperative, not judgmental. Gonzo journalism this is not, but it is a sort of investigative slice of industrial life. Ironically it reminds me a little of George Henwood’s Cornwall’s Mines and Miners (1855) – a classic descriptive work for prospective investors. If this book is encouraging us to invest, though, it’s not in the way that we used to.

The wave hub itself (which in the book’s narrative is seen only from afar) is embedded about 10 miles N of St Ives. Up to 4 connected wave-powered devices could safely transmit up to 4-5 megaWatts each, should they generate that much, via the hub, and thence ashore via the subsea HV cable @11kiloVolts, which the onshore transformer substation (pictured on the cover) can step-up (from 11 to 33 kiloVolts) to grid distribution voltage. In total, the current setup of hub, cable and onshore transformer thus provides for up to about 20 megaWatts of power to be generated and fed into the Cornish grid, which, with a nominal and fairly generous average household consumption of about 5 kiloWatts,  means that the system could supply about four thousand such homes. The system can be upgraded to more than double that capacity (i.e. 50MW instead of the present 20MW max, if the hub transmission voltage were also increased to 33kV from present 11kV). Of course, the wave hub system’s purpose is experimental, and I wish we could guzzon and start moulding or welding some things together to plug into it. One firm, Ocean Energy of Cobh, has placed in Galway bay a prototype of the experimental device they’ve agreed to connect to the wave hub soon, the first so far.

The book was self-published / produced by Coherent Visions, London 2011 – if you have trouble obtaining it, Bigglestone’s hardware store at Penpol Terrace (near Foundry Square) in Hayle is a sure bet for a copy, or you can

Mappa Kammbronn

Posted: June 4, 2012 by Peter J in feature, non-fiction, technology/industry
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The new Camborne town trail map has been completed, and is soon to be made available. Speakers of Cornish pitched in to help enrich the map’s content.

Bearing in mind Camborne’s role, along with its illustrious industrial heritage, as one of the centres of Cornish language revival (such as, for some time, in Mount Pleasant House, a course led by bardic language tutor E.G. Retallack-Hooper), the map’s text includes plenty of useful Kernewek vocabulary, Rosetta stone-style, and is beautifully illustrated. It also includes references to Bewnans Meriasek, the medieval miracle play in Kernewek about the life of the saint associated with Camborne (also known as Meriadoc, after whom the local primary school is named), along with locations in Brittany (and whose name was, perhaps, recycled for Meriadoc Brandybuck by Tolkien’s LotR ;-)).

News of other Kernewek literature efforts will be found in the Cornish language partnership Maga’s news web page.