Were your ancestors Cornish miners ' Then you may be interested in the following stories which describe life in Old Cornwall before that particular time when thousands of miners and their families were forced to emigrate after many of the mines closed down.
Were your ancestors tinners, or copperers? It does not matter which because both types of miners toiled hundreds of feet beneath the earth for meagre wages to make the mine owners rich.
My maternal grandfather worked in the Herland Mines (near Camborne) as a boy and then tried his luck as a young man in Salt Lake Valley, America. Later, he toiled in the cobalt mines of Canada.
I was familiar with parts of the far-west of Cornwall as a child attending the village school in St. Gwinear — and then I went to Truro to boarding school. In 1953, I began my teaching career in a little fishing-village by the name of Padstow, in North Cornwall. There were no boats in the harbour in those days because of the sand-bar.
Both my parents strongly spoke the Cornish dialect of their childhood, yet the last time I visited the old familiar places in 2003, I did not hear a genuine Cornish accent anywhere. It seems to me that foreigners have completely conquered Cornwall. They have bought and modernised those humble, miners' cottages, thus forcing house-prices up so high that the natives cannot afford to live in their own villages any longer.
The “Bad Old Days” may have gone and housework is easier, but whatever happened to those honest Cornish folks with their hard-working and generous ways?