A Geevor Miner's Tale

A Geevor Miner's Tale - Ian  Davey,  Eileen Coak A short book (pamphlet, really) about life working in a Cornish tin mine.The author was a miner at Geevor tin mine and, when we visited it during a family holiday in 2003, he was working as a guide in what had become a heritage and visitors' centre. Reading his story brings back memories of walking through the derelict offices, abandoned changing rooms and dimly-lit tunnels, silent since that the miners stopped working in 1990. It was both impressive and depressing - a hard but dignified way of life that had become history (at least in that part of the world), but was still a part of living memory.Mining is a kind of work I can only imagine, but the hard graft and danger it entails seems to instil a fierce pride in the men that do it. Geevor seemed haunted by their demise. One February day in 1990 managers, many of whom the men had never seen before, told them the mine was closing immediately. The miners were instructed at 07:15 in the morning to have their personal property cleared from their lockers by 09:30, anything remaining at that time to be burnt. A shocking and dehumanizing way to treat men who risked their lives each time they went underground.When we left Geevor towards the end of its opening time, I was feeling rather melancholy, filled with a sense of decay and dissolution, doubtful to be the effect the County Council wanted for its visitors. Still, I had the consolation of driving away towards the westering Cornish sun, shining over the sea and turning the cliffs red, and later cheered up by bags of chips with the family on the sea-front at Sennan Cove.