Max Searl.                                                                                                                                              


What are Cornish Boys to do? (WIP)


An extract from the song ‘Cornish Lads are Fishermen’ by Roger Bryant

Well Cornish lads are fishermen,
And Cornish lads are miners too,
But when the fish and tin are gone,
What are the Cornish boys to do?



‘What are Cornish Boys to do?’ looks at Cornwalls historic mining past, exploring both the environment and landscape left, as well as the population that living and currently work in the area.  Mining boomed at the start of the 16th Century, with Cornwall earning a reputation for high grade Tin and Copper. The 19th Century saw the peak of the mining industry in Cornwall, with some 600 steam engines working to pump water out of mines up to one kilometre deep. The middle to late 19th Century saw the beginning of the end for mining in Cornwall, with more profitable Tin and Copper found overseas, with South Crofty near Redruth being the last operational mine to close in 1998.

Twenty five years later and ‘What are Cornish Boys to do?’ explores the reminiscence of the mining industry in Cornwall, with images both above and below ground, as well as portraits of the communities and people that call central Cornwall their home.



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All Images © Max Searl, 2024