Saturday, 1 August 2009

Bicentennial Celebrations

Today was a big day for the village as there were festivities to mark the 200 years since the creation of the Portreath to Poldice tramroad which linked the county's inland mines with Portreath harbour.

In 1809, Francis Basset, Lord De Dunstanville, laid the first piece of track linking the small port with the mines in the St Day area. At Portreath, Cornish copper ore would then be transported to South Wales for smelting and coal from South Wales imported to power Cornish engines in return. The day's events all began after lunch when people gathered at the village school and there was a procession to the harbour.

Many people had dressed up in Victorian costume for the occasion and it was led by Cornish fiddlers complete with a pack-horse, a horsedrawn carriage with Mr Williams of Scorrier House on board and traditional dancing by local children.

While they were progressing to the harbour a 40ft Cornish Lugger arrived as part of the re-enactment of the copper for coal exchange.

We then listened to speeches and a ceremonial exchange of a piece of coal for a piece of copper.

The procession then left the harbour ...

and made its way to Greenfield Gardens for the unveiling of the replica early 19th century tram wagon which had been built by Pool Business and Enterprise College and mounted on cast iron plates and original set stones.

After a few more speeches the local children were given a Portreath penny which had been specially minted from Cornish copper to mark the occasion.

The Cornish Lads entertained us in the gardens ...

and everyone had a fantastic afternoon. The sun shone which in itself was a miracle considering all the bad weather we'd endured during the week.

In the evening when we walked Hamish we went back to the Gardens to see the wagon and memorial stone ...

1 comment:

Sage said...

I know where I am going next when I get a chance... thanks for putting a post up, I did manage to walk a fair way on the tram trail but it wasn't much like the tv programme they did.