Latest News February 2014

I ve been out looking at the "fougou" at Boskednan, metal detected both sections and come up with 3 finds all of which , I am sure, are 20th century. I ve now started putting small holes down into the hard rab floor, but again I have only three pieces of pottery, found just inside the door, within the rab. These are going off for dating but I m not confident of any great age. This is ruling out the theory some have of its' link to the mining industry and certainly one can presume that it was not used on a regular basis by people, leaving the animal shelter as the only logical theory today, but at least now it is being looked into properly.

The owner also showed me another tunnel in the ground, lower down and more closely linked with Ding Dong mine. I ve had a very good look and it seems to me to be a culvert for taking water away, possibly from the treatment area. It is built with granite up the sides and over the roof, suggesting it was dug as a ditch and then covered, as opposed to tunnelled and then built. It vents well as I stoked a fire inside which raged away. It appears to be heading either to the nearby shafts, which I find unlikely or to the treatment works, the floor is made up of rich red slime, sand and silts. Watch this space!

We ve recently been contacted by a gentleman in Oxfordshire concerning some ancestors in Heamoor in 1911 that have registered themselves( father and two sons) as miners. Why? Well there is the possibility that they could have been working at Trewey Downs, which was running in 1909, with little success or more likely is that he was linked with the re- opening of a treatment plant working the heaps from the days of Ding Dong. Certainly a Mr John Osborne was looking at the dumps and having them assayed in 1911 and it proved worthy of setting up The Ding Dong Mining Syndicate in 1912. This business carried on until 1914. Could this have been their workplace or were they part of a small speculation working old dumps and levels? you must remember small enterprises were not necessarily registered.

Stuart Emmett