Summary of The Transactions – The 2000s
The industrial situation in Cornwall in the first decade of the 21st century showed no improvement from the previous decade. Although there was talk of re-opening South Crofty, the last mine to close, nothing resulted. The other main industry, china clay mining, continued to produce the hight quality clay needed by, for example the paper industry and showed little sign of reducing. Several small specialist companies were set up in the County, particularly in the electronics industry but these employed mainly high grade labour and much of its workforce was recruited from other parts of the country. The growth of the tourist industry meant that by this time Cornwall could no longer be described as an industrial county.
As a result of these changes the Institute became more and more connected with the Camborne School of Mines and when the School moved into the University of Exeter campus at Tremough the majority of Institute meeting were held there.
The President for the 2000/01 session was Mr. D.L. Chilcott. In additions to his address and the AGM there were five General Meetings at which lectures were delivered which, as usual, covered a range of subjects. One of the meetings was held jointly with the Minerals Engineering Society and two with the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall. There were also two industrial visits before the lecture session got under way.
The Secretary noted that there were five new members although three members had died during the year.
He also reported that the Past President, Mr. A. Wetherelt had been nominated to the Steering Committee for the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site Bid and also that the Cornwall Innovation Centre which was founded by the late Mr. H. Stapleton in 1984 had been relaunched in October 2000.
In a move into the modern age of communications the Secretary noted that Mr. P. Oliver in conjunction with the Camborne School of Mines had set up an Institute web site <www.ex.ac.uk/CSM/CIE>
Both industrial visits were made before the start of the lecture season and the Secretary gave short reports on both. The first on 23rd September was to the Eden Project which was still under construction as was the location of the second visit. This visit, on 11th October, was to the project for widening of the Tamar Road Bridge which which had opened nearly 40 years previously.
The lectures as usual covered a wide range of subjects ranging from the history of copper mining in Zambia through the separation of different types of plastics in the waste recovery industry to the way ahead for the small engineering industry.
The Presidential Address on “The Zambian Copper Belt” delivered on 19th October 2000 was a prime example of how the experience and knowledge gathered over thirty years in one industry in one part of the world can be described in a succinct way in a short time. Interestingly, Mr. Chilcott gave an example of the attitude that many of older generation still felt towards the Cornish Diaspora. After he finally returned after many years he met a lady who remembered him from his younger days and who said to him, “‘Ome for good are you?” “Yes.” he said. “I knew it! I told your mother you’d never stick it!”
The second General Meeting on 16th November heard a talk by Dr. R. Pascoe of the CSM on the subject of “Technology for the Separation of Plastics”. This was a joint meeting with the Minerals Engineering Society
The lecture at the third General Meeting, held jointly with the Institution of Designing Designers, was delivered on 7th December by Professor P. Hogarth of Bournemouth University on “ The Way Ahead. Design for the Small Engineering Industry”. He said that design remains as relevant as ever. He demonstrated how timing, luck and identifying a market are major influences in having ideas accepted. As an example he used the air cushion mower. Invented before the second world by an engineering company director it met with no interest. After 25 years the patents had run out and Flymo took up the idea with initially only limited success and it was only when Black & Decker produced a lighter and cheaper version was it a success and it was now the most popular
mower for the small gardener.
On 18th January 2001 Messrs. P. Hosken and J. Sawle gave a talk on “The 200th Anniversary of the motor car” describing Trevithick’s vision and the construction of his car which he drove through Camborne and the replica which had just been built.
The meeting on 15th February was held jointly with the Minerals Engineering Society when Mr. M.Groszek , Managing Director of Torftech Ltd. gave a talk on “Torbed Processors – How to speed up thermal processes” which described new technology for processing a wide range of materials at hight temperature at a fraction of the usual time with high throughputs.
The final General Meeting was held jointly with the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall when a talk was given by Dr. R.F. Symes, OBE on “ Minerals and Mining in the North of England”. The talk was based on a book which he has just published jointly with Mr. Young on the subject.
Annual General Meeting, 5th April, 2001
Secretary’s Report was read and approved for distribution.
Mr. D.L. Chilcott will be President for the 2001/2002 session to complete his two year term with Mr. K. Withey being appointed as Senior Vice-President.
Mr. M.Evans having indicated his willingness to continue in the post was re-elected as Treasurer and Messrs. E. King and K.Rickard were elected as Auditors.
The President announced that the the award of Honorary Membership had been awarded to M. A. Bennetts for his long and valuable service.
The report of the Cornwall Industrial Trust was read by Trustee Mr. K. J. Menadue. Four awards had been made; one to Camborne School to improve access to the Remote Challenger Learning Centre, and three to students studying for degrees, a total of £1150.
Since the first grant was made in 1980 the Trust had made 53 grants totaling £20730. Trustees wished to thank retiring trustee Mr. C.V. Smale for his efforts since the Trust started, he being one of the founder members. Mr. A. Wetherelt had been appointed in his place.
It showed that the Bank balance had decreased over the year ending 31st December 2000 from £976.81 to £551.31. The expenses included a donation of £100 to the St Just Mine Restoration Group and a donation of £300 to the Cornwall College Engineering Centre following the successful Millennium Conference. The value of £2000 nominal 11.5% Treasury Stock 2001/4 was £2024.40 and the balance in the Portman Building Society account was £3680.16.
The William Thomas Memorial Fund on 31st December 2000 was £79.43 taking into account dividends and interest received.
The value of £50 nominal 3.5% War Stock held by the Fund was £38.07 on 31st December 2000.
The J. H. Trounson Memorial Fund was £231.81 taking account of dividends of £199.90 received and the £200 award made. The value of £1999.16 nominal 10% Treasury Stock 2001 was £2012.35 on 31st December 2000.
The Treasury stock held in both the General Account and the Trounson Memorial Fund had both become due for redemption and it had had been decided that in both cases the money would be invested in short dated Portman Building Society Bonds.
There were no nominations for the William Thomas prize and the Trounson prize of £200 had been awarded to Mr.S. Rae, the top student in the MSc Mining Engineering Course.
Mr. K. J. Menadue reported that at the AGM of the Cornwall Industrial Trust which had been held in February 2000 it had been decided that the award to be made for the Millennium would be a single award in the nature of a Travelling Scholarship of £1000. In the event no suitable applications were received and the award was given to support a feasibility study to investigate the use of water power for generation of electricity on a small scale. The investigation site was an old mill near Penzance. To date the old leat had been cleared and made to carry water but there had been no draw-down on the award at the date of the AGM.
Three grants of £250 each had been agreed at the AGM, two of them to students at CSM and one to a student undertaking distance learning under the aegis of the Trevithick Trust. An award of £400 was also made to the Camborne School Neighbourhood Engineers group to part fund the acquisition of a “Remote Challenger Learning Centre”.
After completion of the formal business the President invited Mrs. B. Chard, a Traffic Control consultant previously employed by Cornwall County Council to deliver the final lecture of the session. She had interesting things to say about some of the more awkward local traffic areas such as A30 slip roads, notorious junctions such as the Dudnance Lane/East Hill crossing at Tuckingmill and the Trafalgar Roundabout, noted for its congestion, in Truro. Trouble spots seem to move from time to time but seldom disappear completely!
As noted above the President for the 2001/02 session was Mr. D. Chilcott serving the second half of his two year appointment. The programme for the session included the AGM and six lecture meetings. Four of these were joint meetings, one with the Minerals Engineering Society, one with the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall and two, for the first time, with the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. There were also two visits before the lecture season got underway. The first, on 10th September 2001 was a follow-up to the previous year’s visit to the Tamar Road Bridge widening project. The second, on 26th September was an evening visit to Truro Cathedral which gave the members who attended a chance to climb to the top of one of the towers to get an unusual and magnificent view over the city and surrounds. The talk which followed, on the Cathedral treasures in the crypt, was something out of the ordinary but fascinating for engineers.
Cornwall College invited Institute members to a series of eight lectures by prominent local experts on many aspects of Engineering Management but how many attended is not reported.
During the year several Members had contributed their experience to the Neighbourhood Engineering Groups which aimed to promote engineering among the younger generation. Another development during the year was the allocation of a page on the CSM web site.
The Secretary noted that CSM had initiated the first Annual Victor Phillips Memorial Lecture on 5th March 2002. Dr. Phillips had been a long standing Institute Member. Unfortunately the subject of the lecture was not recorded in the Secretary’s Report
Th first lecture meeting was held on 11th October 2001 and was delivered by Mr. F. Russell, Principle Consultant of Rio Tinto Technical Services Ltd, on the subject of “Block Caving Methods in Mining”. There was an attendance of 64 at this interesting lecture which had been followed by a lively question and answer session. The Secretary had unfortunately found it impossible to reproduce all the pictures, diagrams and graphs used in the lecture.
The second lecture, on 1st November 2001, was on “Coastal Erosion of Devonian Rocks” delivered by Mr. D. Millar of the CSM at short notice because the programmed lecturer had been taken ill. He described the use of rock mechanics in enabling the effect of sea action on coastal erosion which applies applies to other rock formations and as well as the Devonian. He mentioned studies then ongoing into the use the same wave energy that causes coastal erosion to generate energy in old coastal mine shafts.
There were two lectures dealing with waste. The first delivered by Mr. P. Rudin, Development Manager of County Environmental Services Ltd. on 6th December 2001 had the self-explanatory title of “Waste to Energy. The Role of Waste to Energy in an Integrated Solution to our Waste Problem”. The solutions he discussed have not changed since the date of his lecture and are remain the subject of heated discussion over ten years later. This was a joint meeting with Minerals Engineering Society and there was a lengthy discussion with the 29 attendees.
On 31st January 2002 there was a talk on “Resin Transfer moulding at Plastech, Gunnislake” given by the managing director of the company which has pioneered a revolutionary process enabling composite plastics to be moulded into complex structures, cleanly, accurately and efficiently.
Wave energy was the subject of a lecture on 14th February 2002 by Mr. P. Clutterbuck of Seacore Limited. The company, based in the little harbour of Gweek, provides rigs for both shallow and deep water drilling needed for the foundations of wind and wave energy installations all over the world ranging from Hong Kong to the Great Lakes in N. America as well as round the UK coastline.
The second lecture on the subject of waste was a joint meeting with the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall given by Prof. P. Scott of the CSM on 14 March 2002 entitled “Valuable Mineral from Mine Waste”. He looked at the various sources of useable waste of which he identified seven types of waste produced by the extractive industries and then discussed the sources and finally produced a very comprehensive series of tables showing 31 types of mineral operation, the nature of the waste they produced, the current practice for disposal and the potential markets for use. After such a comprehensive coverage of the subject it is scarcely surprising that there were a number of questions.
Annual General Meeting, 11th April, 2002
The Secretary’s Report which was presented to the AGM showed the range of organisations with which the Institute was now involved. In addition to those with which joint meetings were held the Institute was responsible for the Cornish Industrial Trust, and was represented on the CSM Trust by Mr. K.J. Menadue and on the Trevithick Trust by Mr. A. Wetherelt.
Elections had been held for the Officers and members of Council for the 2002/03 session. Mr. K. Withey was elected President for the next two sessions. The post of Senior Vice-President was vacant as Mr. Williams had to leave the area. Mr. S. Barber kindly offered to fill the post and was duly elected. The Treasurer, both Auditors and the Secretary all agreed to remain in post although the Secretary said he would need some help in later years.
There had been a rather high level of financial activity during the year. The Treasurer reported that the Institution income had exceeded expenses by £125. He said that £2000 which had previously been invested in Government Stock, had to be redeemed and it had been added to the £2500 already in the Portman Fixed Interest Bond increasing it to £4500, due for renewal on18 April 2002. The remaining £1350 was placed in the Portman Building Society Account.
Income from subscriptions was up but the tiny Bank interest was now less than half what it had been. £81.25 had been reclaimed from the Tax paid on subscriptions but only half the membership had returned the claim form. The Secretary’s expenses were low. It was extremely difficult to invest in Government Stock at the moment.
It was agreed that the William Thomas Prize should be wound up but it was decided that the Fund should first be boosted to make a final Prize of £100.
The investment in the J.H.Trounson Prize Fund had been redeemed and reinvested in a Portman Bond at 5.2% due to mature shortly but the continuing interest will not be adequate to provide the £200 annual prize. However it had been decided to top this up in future from CIE funds.
The Cornwall Industrial Trust made grants totaling £1400 to three students. One of these was to someone to continue his HND course after the death of his father, one was for the purchase of specialised safety equipment and the third to a married student from the building industry to enable his continuation on a Mining Engineering Course.
A pledge of £500 was made to Camborne Community College to support a bid to obtain specialist status in science and associated areas. £611.25 had been to the adult who was being assisted in his feasibility for a hydroelectric scheme near Penzance.
With the completion of the formal business the President invited Dr. A. Batchelor of Geoscience Ltd.to give a talk on “The impact of Rock Mechanics on the Oil and Gas Industries 40 years after the Mining Industry”. This lecture gave rise to an interesting and lively discussion but there are no details given.
During this first year of Mr. K. Withey’s Presidency several items of interest arose.
Mr. K. J. Menadue and the Secretary were invited to attend a workshop at CSM to discuss the future of the CSM Mineral collection when the School transferred to Tremough. Exeter University had made no provision for the collection except that part of it could be displayed in the foyer at Tremough. The final suggestion by both Professor R. Pine and Professor P. Scott was that the collection should be housed at Tremough and facilities be provided to have parts of the collection periodically on view at selected venues in Cornwall. It was repeatedly stated that the minerals now on show at CSM represented only a small fraction of the total collection and that a similar arrangement would occur at Tremough.
The CIE had been approached by Radio Cornwall to attend a short broadcast at the Trevithick Memorial in Station Road Pool as a local councillor had been complaining that the memorial was in some disrepair. The President and the Secretary attended and were able to confirm that the CIE and the Newcomen Society had installed the memorial on 16 October 1948 when it had then been given to the then Urban District Council. CIE was thanked by Kerrier Councillors for their cooperation.
The Trevithick Trust had reported that it no longer managed Geevor Mine. The Institute subscription to the Trust had been cancelled because it was considered that the increase from £30 to £45 was considered excessive.
The Council suggested that the Secretary should email those organisations who have previously enjoyed a joint meeting facility, to determine that such an arrangement would continue during the following session.
Annual General Meeting, 24th April, 2003
The Council Report brought members up to date with the matters mentioned above and the result of the election of Council Members and Officers for the 2003/2004 session was announced. Mr. K. Withey would be in the second year of his Presidency and Mr. S. P. Barber was elected to be Senior Vice-President.
Messrs. M. Scott Evans and D. C. S. Dixon were re-elected as Treasurer and Secretary respectively.
Messrs. E. King and K. Rickard were willing to continue serving as Auditors and had been duly re-appointed.
TheTotal income, which included £325.5 for the sale of tickets for Biennial Dinner, amounted to £918.15 and expenses were £830.50 giving an excess of income over expenditure of £87.65. Subscriptions had remained steady but it would help if more members signed the necessary form to enable the the Institute to recover £1.68 from the Tax authorities in respect of each tax paying member. However, with £6000 in the Building Society the Treasurer had found no need to increase the subscription.
The Secretary was congratulated for keeping the expenses so low but a major bill had fallen due in the current year and so next year will be larger. His honorarium has stood at £250 since 1998, and in spite of his protestations Council had decided to increase this to £300.
2003 the fund was wound up
The Wm. Thomas Memorial Prize Fund stood at £117.07. In 2002 a final prize of £100 was offered and the fund was then to be wound up with any balance being transferred to the Trounson Fund. However there had been no applicant for the prize and the War Stock has since been sold for £34.77
The J.H.Trounson Memorial Prize Fund had £132.32 in hand and following the redemption of the 10% Treasury Stock the capital had been put into a fixed interest Bond with the Portman Building Society and the interest is rolling up. Consequently the only income had been a quite pathetic 13p interest. However there had no applicant for the £200 prize that year.
With the close of the formal business the President invited Eur.Ing. I. Corkell to present his paper on “Life and Times of William Murdoch, Past and Present.” His talk was of particular interest in covering the building of the conceptual model of Murdoch’s engine.
The second year of Mr. K. Withey’s Presidency saw nearly as much activity as the first although much of it was not readily apparent to most members whose prime concern was understandably the subjects covered in the lecture programme.
An important event occurred which was outside the control of the Institute with the imminent departure of the School of Mines from Camborne to the new University of Exeter Campus at Tremough near Penryn. This meant that lecture facilities at the CSM which had been made available since the institute was formed would no longer be available. However, due to the efforts of Messrs. A. Wetherelt and S. Barber arrangements had been made for the use of the modern lecture room in the Opie building of Cornwall College. This needed a contract to be put in place and for the Institute to obtain insurance cover for any damages that might occur. Use of the new venue was planned to take place at the start of the 2004/2005 session.
There were discussions on the West Medal Prize for which there had been few candidates in recent years. There was apparently a need to publicise the availability of this medal, which was intended to be given for a suitable paper on the subject of Mineral Processing. The need for publicity was evident since the Council had requested that the Treasurer should obtain one of the medals since few of the Council members had seen one!
During the year the Cornish Industrial Trust had made awards totaling £1000 to three students , one of whom was working on the wave project and £500 was awarded as a final payment to Camborne College. The Trust had made awards totaling £22,380.
The CSM Trust had updated the Institute with progress on the move of the CSM to Tremough.
It was also reported that the Trevithick Trust was to be wound up because it had become apparent that it was likely that it would cease to be financially viable in the near future and, as a charity, it was obliged to stop operating while it was still solvent.
The Session started with a visit on 4th October to the GAIA Energy Centre at Delabole which had been reported by those attending as a great success, not least because of the drinks and pasties which were enjoyed at the end of the visit in the pub at Trebarwith Strand.
The theme of energy efficiency was continued in the first two lectures, the first of which was on 23rd October on “Development of the Reciprocating Joule Cycle Engine for Micro Combined Heat and Power Applications” given by Mr. R .Allen of the University of Plymouth. This thermally efficient engine is particularly suited to small plants below 30KW for industrial and domestic applications.
Institute members were invited to a lecture on 19th November organised by the IEE on the subject of “Modern Lighting Systems” by Fitzgerald Lighting Limited but the number of members taking up the offer was not reported.
The second lecture in the Institute programme, on 20th November, was on “Solar Power and its Applications” delivered by Mr. R. Boaden of Solar Flair, Truro who spoke about his experience of such installations.
The third lecture was given at a joint meeting with the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining held on 11th December. It was given by Dr. B, Jones, Chief Operating Officer of Mines Rescue Services Ltd. and his subject was “The History of the Coal Mines Rescue Service”.
On 15th January 2004 the lecture by Dr. T. R. Jones of CSM was on the subject of recycling. Dr. Jones is currently conducting research on maximising the recycling of minerals in the construction and other industries. He discussed the recycling of glass as an example. During the discussion which followed it transpired that as far as Cornwall was concerned this had the disadvantage that the cost of transporting waste glass to the nearest recycling plant was more that the amount received for the glass.
On 19th February the fifth General Meeting was a joint meeting with the Minerals Engineering Society for a lecture entitled “Process Simulation. Getting it all right before you build the plant” delivered by Mr. S. Frankland, Director of Dargo Associates Ltd, Harlesdon who demonstrated some examples.
The final lecture meeting of the session, held jointly with the Royal Geological Society of Cornwall, was given by Prof. P. W. Scott, CSM whose talk was on the subject of “Lime. An essential Mineral for Mankind.”
Annual General Meeting, 29th April, 2004
The President was in the chair for a fairly short meeting. The minutes of the 2003 AGM were approved and there were no matters arising and the Secretary’s report was accepted. A vote of thanks was proposed to him for continuing with his work during a long illness.
The Election of Officers and Council Members had been organised in accordance with the Constitution and the results were accepted by the meeting. Mr. S. P. Barber was elected to be President for the years 2004/05 and 2005/06. Mr M Evans was re-elected as Treasurer and Messrs. A. King and K. Rickard were re-appointed as Auditors
The Cornwall Industrial Trust Report was read by the Trust Secretary, Mr. K. J. Menadue. A total of £1000 had been granted to three students, one of whom was in his second year with support from the Trust. Two students had been assisted with work in Australia. The Trust had been represented as one of the Financial supporters at the launch of the Science College at Camborne. The Trust had now paid £22,380 since 1980 in support of engineering students and related projects.
It was announced that the Biennial dinner would be held at St Michaels Hotel in Falmouth in June when the new President would take over.
During the year to December 2003 the Institute had over spent by £154.67. (Income £585.33, Expenditure £740 ). The subscription income was down and, as expected, Secretarial costs had increased. There was also a speaker’s fee of £50. Tax reclaimed was nearly £100 but could have been more if all tax paying members had signed the form enabling 28p to be recovered from the Tax Authority for every pound paid in tax – £1.68 per member at the existing level of subscription. Only 56 members had signed up to the scheme at present out of a membership of 104.
The Building Society account had a balance of £1474.41. The Fixed Term Bond, for an original sum of £4500 had matured on 25 June 2003 at £4980.45 and was reinvested for a further 2 years at 4%. An Interest payment of £199 could be expected in June 2004.
The Secretary said that time had now come when the subscription level, which had not changed since 1982, needed to be reconsidered. The cost of printing and postage was not going to go down, and if it was decided to take out an Insurance Cover as required by Cornwall College for the use of the lecture room in the Opie Building the premium could be as high as £400 per annum which would be a large portion of subscription income.
There were funds in hand to absorb those increased costs but the need to take remedial action could not be ignored.
There were 104 names on the Secretary’s membership list of which 4 were non-paying Honorary Life Members. If the subscription was increased to £10 p.a., the income, in theory, would be £1000. If everyone was in the position to sign a ‘gift aid’ form it would provide a further £280. He said that of course some of those on the list are no longer active, some do not pay tax, and it was not certain what an insurance premium might be. Non-members attending a CIE meeting would have to be charged a fee, £1 per head perhaps.
The matter of raising the subscription had been discussed at the Annual Council Meeting held a week earlier than the AGM when it had been decided that the subscriptions should remain the same this year and to back up any deficit in income from reserves. The next year, in the light of what extra expenses that will occur with with the new venue at Cornwall College as well as Insurance etc. – an increase to £8 may need to be instigated.
No discussion on the subscription rate was recorded in the minutes of the AGM although the Treasure’s report was accepted. The Institute membership card for the 2004/05 session showed that the subscription rate would be increased to £10 on 1st January 2005
The Treasurer had reported that the the matter of the Trounson memorial was also raised at the Annual Council Meeting and it was suggested that although, as expected, the fund could not pay out another £200 prize, this should be made up from CIE funds next time and the matter reviewed again the following year. The Secretary had been tasked by the Council to look up the terms of reference of the Trounson Prize to see who could receive it.
Having concluded the formal business the President invited Mr. C. Thurlow, a graduate of CSM and author of several books to present his lecture on “The Early uses of China Clay in the Paper and Cotton Industries”.
The session started in what had become the usual way with summer visits. The first was to an entirely new industry for the Institute with a visit to Skinner’s Brewery in Truro on 24th September 2004. The tour covered the whole process from raw materials to the finished product which the members were pleased to sample at the end of the visit. The second visit, the following day was tour of the South Crofty and Tincroft mine workings conducted by the Institute’s Junior Vice-President Dr. K. Russ who is a planning engineer at South Crofty.
There were six General meetings including two joint meetings and the Annual General Meeting and all of them took place in the new venue in the Opie Building at the Cornwall College, Camborne. CSM staff arranged transport for CSM personnel from the Exeter University Campus at Tremough.
The first General meeting on 21st October was to hear the President, Mr. S. P. Barber deliver his Presidential Address on subject of “Mine and Mill Process Auditing”. He explained why mining companies needed reliable material balances including a picture of environmental emissions. He used a fluorspar operation as an example.
On 18th November Dr. D.Watkins, Cornwall County Council delivered a talk entitled “Global Warming. What on earth is gong on?” in which he reviewed some of the technical and geological issues involved. His talk was illustrated with computer models.
The meeting held jointly with the IMMM on 9th December also had computer applications as a key element when Dr. K. Russ, Planning Engineer at Baseresult Holdings Ltd. which was then working on plans to re-open the South Crofty Mine. As Dr. Russ explained computers were the key tools at that stage of the work.
The fourth General Meeting of the session on 20th January 2005 heard a lecture by Mr. K.J. Menadue, Open University Science Tutor. His subject was “Can there be Life Developing Elsewhere?” and he discussed whether conditions under which carbon based life had developed on earth could exist exist elsewhere in the solar or in the wider universe.
The meeting on 17th February was held jointly with the Minerals Engineering Society and was addressed by Mr. J. Dolan of United Utilities. The title of his talk was “The Wheal Jane Water Treatment Process” and he dealt with the the problems that arose after the mine’s closure when metal laden water was discharged into the Carnon River causing extensive pollution in the Fal Estuary. Having described the problem he covered the process and treatment plant which provided the solution.
The final meeting of the session held on 17th March heard a paper on “Offshore Wind Farms” delivered by Mr. P. Clutteruck, Construction Director, Seacore. He described how the company, operating out of the tiny harbour at Gweek, was involved in the construction of offshore wind farms all over the world.
Annual General Meeting, 21st April, 2005
The minutes of the 2004 AGM were read and approved and there were no matters arising. During the year the Council had discussed the future of the Trounson Prize. This annual prize of £200 had been funded by the interest earned on the Trounson Trust investment. However, the low interest rate earned only £120 and the shortfall had been had been made up by the Institute. It was agreed that the prize in future would be reduced to £100. The Treasurer had pointed out to the Council that it was essential to continue the prize as it was looked on favourably by the Charity Commissioners.
It was noted that, as forecast at the 2004 AGM, the Trevithick Trust had gone into voluntary liquidation.
Mr. K. Menadue, Secretary of the Cornwall Industrial Trust read the report which said it had made one award of £350 to a mature student during the year bringing the total paid since the Trust was formed in 1980 to £22730.
Mr. Menadue also read the report of the CSM Trust which said there had been little change except that the expected acquisition of the Holman Test Mine had not happened yet because of a shortage of funds.
The election of Officers and Council Members had been organised by the Council and the results were endorsed by the meeting. Mr. S.P. Barber was elected to be President for the 2005/06 and 2006/7 sessions. Mr. M. Evans was re-appointed as Treasurer Messrs. A. King and K. Rickard were reappointed as Auditors.
The Secretary reported four new members as well as “a few” resignations and one recent death although the membership was still over a hundred. He also reported that the new lecture room at the Cornwall College Opie Building was a success although there had been a few problems with the digital projector when the President gave his Address in October.
The Treasurer’s report showed that in spite of the increase in subscriptions the Institute had overspent by £135.62. However, there was a Bank Balance on 31st December 2004 of £473.22. The Portman Building Society fixed interest bond containing £4980.45 was due to mature during 2005.
The Trounson fund had been discussed at the Annual Council meeting on 7th April and the Secretary announced that the last £200 prize had been awarded to Lavkelinsoni Demana from South Africa. The next year’s prize was to be reduced to £100.
On completion of the formal business the President said that the speaker advertised on the programme card was unfortunately unable to be present but he was pleased to introduce Dr. M. Patching who spoke on the Wave Hub programme. Its intention was to instal what would be essentially an electrical terminal on the sea bed about ten miles off the North Coast near Hayle to enable experimental wave energy devices to be connected to the National Grid. (Note: The installation was completed late in 2010 and connection of the first generation device was expected to be connected in late 2013).
This session started with two visits in September and October 2005 and, for the first time ended with another visit in the following April. The first of the autumn visits on 24th September was to parts of the Imerys China clay works followed, after a pasty lunch, by a visit to the Wheal Martyn Clay Museum. The second visit on 1st October was a repeat of the previous year’s visit to Skinners Brewery at Truro. The popularity of this visit may have been affected by the promised sampling session which followed. There was also a very well attended visit to King Edward Mine followed by a tour of the Great Flat Lode culminating with lunch at the Countryman Inn at Place
The General Meeting session started with a lecture on 20th October 2005 by Mr. A. Wetherelt of CSM and a past President, on the subject of “High Definition Surveying – the future of Geomatics”. He described the latest rapid survey data capture techniques using pulsed laser devices.
The second General Meeting on 17th November heard a lecture by Mr. N Kelland of Sonardyne International Ltd. described current advances in underwater acoustic positioning and he illustrated his talk with details of current projects.
At the General Meeting on 8th December there was a talk by Dr. L. E.T. Jenkin on “The Cycleau Project” which was nominally about a trans-national project to improve the water environment but it focussed particularly on the Red River.
The speaker for the fourth meeting on 18th January 2006 was unable to attend and Professor C. Bristow stepped into the breach with a presentation on a method of finding underground anomalies such as caves and mine workings.
The environmental theme was continued in the meeting on 16th February with a lecture by Mr. G. Patrick, Director of PFA Research entitled “Renewable Energy – Implications for Cornwall” in which he said that the need to generate energy from renewable sources would crate massive opportunities for Cornish engineers and for Cornwall in general.
The final General meeting of the session on 16th March heard Mr. J. Sawle, Vice-President, West of England Steam Preservation Society describing the Restoration of a Foden Steam Engine.
Annual General Meeting, 20th April, 2006
The President, Mr. S.P. Barber, was in the chair and the Secretary’s report was read. It was noted that the lecture venue at the Opie Building was proving successful after some early problems with the visual aids. The staff and students from the CSM were still able to attend the lectures with the aid of the CSM mini-bus.
The increased subscription had also meant an increase in tax refund. The cost of insurance was unchanged at £349 and the bank balance showed a substantial increase from £473.22 on 1st January 2005 to £772.80 on 31st December.
The Trounson Prize Fund contained only £2.85 and the Council had resolved to increase the prize back to £200 and to makeup the shortfall from the General Account.
The Cornwall Industrial Trust report was read by Mr. Menadue who said that the Trust had disposed of all property except King Edward Mine. A grant of £1200 had been made to a student to enable him to attend a conference. This brought the total amount granted by the Trust to £23950.
There was a comment on the need for volunteers to fill vacancies on the Council since there were only five instead of the normal fifteen.
Dr. K Russ, a Planning Engineer with Baseresult Holdings which is attempting to re-open South Crofty Mine was elected as President for two years 2006/2007 and 2007/2008.
Mr. D.C.S. Dixon was re-elected Secretary, Mr. M. Scott-Evans was re-elected Treasurer and Messrs. E. King and K. Rickard were reappointed as Auditors.
The lecture following the meeting returned to the environmental theme of the lecture session when Mr. P. Hosken, Chairman of the Trevithick Society, spoke on “The Be-tec Engine”. He said that if the world was to be a better, cleaner place it would need a new engine to propel its vehicles.
The programme again included two visits and seven General Meeings, including the one given after the AGM.
The session started with a visit on 2nd November, 2006 to the Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Centre hosted by Mr. A. Condy. As part of a very interesting visit members heard an exchange between the Centre and a ship which had made a call from the South Atlantic.
The first General Meeting on 19th October was held jointly with the IMMM and the lecture was given by Professor R. Williams, Pro Chancellor, The Institute of Particle Science, Leeds University on the subject of “Nanotechnology and the Minerals Engineer”.
16th November was the occasion for the Presidential Address by Dr. K. Russ who spoke about the future possibilities of South Crofty Mine.
At the General Meeting on 7th December Mr. D. Nicoll, Area Fund Raising Manager (Cornwall and Scillies) showed a wide range of videos and photographs describing the history of the Lifeboat Service in Cornwall.
On 18th January 2007 there was another joint meeting with the IMMM when a lecture was given on “Corporate Social Responsibility in the Mining Industry” by Mr. J. Eyre, Environmental Technical Director of Wardell-Armstrong International.
The lecture at the General Meeting on 22nd February was given by Professor P. Scott, Camborne School of Mines, on the subject of “Industrial Minerals: Past, Present and Future”.
The final General Meeting of the session was on 15th March when Mr. J. Potter assisted by Messrs. T. Benetts and M. Shipp presented “A Documentary of the Restoration of the Rosevale Mine at Zennor” illustrated with his own films.
The presentation served as an excellent introduction for the second visit of the session which was a tour of the mine conducted by Messrs. T. Benetts and M. Shipp on 31st March.
Annual General Meeting, 19th April, 2007
The minutes of the 2006 AGM were read and approved.
The report was read and approved. He said that failing health made it necessary for him to relinquish responsibility for organising the programme of lectures and visits although he would continue with other secretarial tasks in the absence of a successor. He reported on the success of the diverse programme of lectures and visits, particularly mentioning the presentation on Nanotechnology and that on the RNLI. After the latter a collection had been taken and the sum of £70 was donated to the RNLI.
He also noted that the President was still open to take parties round the South Crofty workings.
The Cornwall Industrial Trust report was read by Mr. K. Menadue who said a total of £25,600 had been awarded to date. Mr. Menadue also read the CSM Trust report who said that Dr. A. Batchelor had been elected Chairman in place of Dr. J. Groom.
The bank balance on 31st December 2006 showed an increase of £61.49 to £834.29 from £772.80 on 1st January. Income included £766 from subscriptions, £173.74 tax refund, £22.38 from Building Society interest, donations of £65.08, £54.35 for RNLI collection and £330 for dinner tickets giving a total of £1621.55.
Expenditure amounting to £1560.06 included £567.43 for Secretary’s honorarium and expenses, insurance premium of £349 and £120 contribution to Trounson Prize. There was £15 for certificate holding fee and £5 to Cornish Mining Development, speakers’ fees of £80, overpaid subscription of £6 was repaid, dinner costed £330, £70 was donated to the RNLI and there were sundry expenses of £17.63.
The Portman Building Society Account on 31st December 1976 was £1567.74 and the Portman Building Society Fixed Interest Bond held £4999.42.
The J.H. Trounson Memorial Fund balance on 1st January was £2.85 and on 31st December was £3.84. The Portman Building Society Fixed Interest Bond of £2219.52 had provided interest of £80.99 which enabled the fund to add £80 to the £120 contributed from the Institute general fund to make up the £200 prize which was awarded.
The minutes of the AGM were prepared by the Secretary, Mr. D Dixon who had held the post for ten years but shortly after the AGM he was very sadly taken ill and died shortly afterwards. Since he had carried out the task of arranging the visits and lecture programmes his loss had a considerable effect on the running of the Institute.
There were seven General Meeting lectures planned for the session including two joint meetings with the South West Mining and Minerals Society and one following the AGM. The average attendance at meetings was 25 of whom 14 were members. There was also a visit planned for the end of the session.
The first General Meeting on 18th October heard a talk by Miss S. Wakefiled of Thurlow Countryside Management on “The Management of Japanese Knotweed”. She explained that this highly invasive plant displaces native species and damages structures as well as threatening new developments since growing shoots are capable of forcing their way through thick layers of concrete. She said there is now a legal requirement that all parts of civil engineering developments have to have any traces of knotweed rhizomes removed before any building work started.
On 15th November Sir Michael Thompson spoke on “energy, landscape and the price of coal.”
He tracked the use of fuels in the U.K. since the Industrial Revolution starting with the dominance of coal before discussing the later developments in the use of oil, uranium and gas. He made particular reference to the visual impact of energy production and use on the landscape. He concluded with mention of renewable alternatives and their impact on the landscape.
The third General Meeting on 6th December heard Dr. S. Schwarz speak on the “Migration of Cornish Mineworkers and the Proliferation of Engine Houses in Foreign Lands.” She said that the decline of the Cornish tin industry was one of the main reasons for the migration of men able to design and build the well tried Cornish engine house as well as the underground workers. This was the reason that so much visible evidence is found as her talk has illustrated.
A joint meeting with the SW Mining and Minerals Society of the Institute of Materials and Mining was held on 17th January 2008 for a talk on “Wireless communications in underground mines” given by Dr. G. Kennedy who had recently obtained his doctorate from the CSM. His talk was largely directed to his work with Mines Rescue Service Ltd. on developing a wireless mesh network for underground safety applications including sensory monitoring and tracking mine personnel.
21st February was the occasion of the first CIE General Meeting at the Tremough Campus at Penryn and it was another joint meeting with the IMM. The subject of the talk by Mr. A Foster, H.M. Inspector of Mines, Health and Safety Executive was “Small Mines in the U.K.” He said that although Tower Colliery at Hirwaun in South Wales was about to close through exhaustion two anthracite mines were being developed in the Neath Valley so there was a future for small mines in the right place.
The General Meeting on 13th March heard a lecture on “Soil Reinforcement Engineering using Geogrid Matting” given by Mr. I. Page, Sales Manager (South of England), Naue Geosynthetics Ltd. He explained the use of geogrids in civil engineering by describing the basic principles and the possible savings in time, materials and cost. He said common applications were in car parks, roadways and earth retaining structures.
The session ended with a tour of the Holman Test Mine led by Dr. P. Foster, Senior Lecturer at CSM. The mine formerly used to test Holman drills and the associated blasting techniques it is now used by CSM for various aspects of their training programmes.
Annual General Meeting, 17th April, 2008
In the absence of the President through illness the meeting was chaired by Mr. P. Foster, Senior Vice-President. There was no Secretary’s Report since no replacement had been found for the lateMr. Dixon.
Mr. P Foster was elected as President for the following two session, 2009/10 and 2010/11.
The income and expenditure account for 2007 was presented and it showed that the current account bank balance on 1st January was £834.29. Income of £1783.21 included £760.00 from subscriptions and the tax refund on subscriptions was £159.00. Building Society interest provided £259.97 and a Building Society bonus provided £505.24. £95.00 was transferred in from the Trounson Memorial Fund and £4.00 was obtained from the sale of an Institute tie!
Expenditure was £1114.21 which was £669.00 less than income.The principal items were the Secretary’s Honorarium of £300 and £349.00 for insurance for the use of the Opie Building at Cornwall College.
The bank balance on 31st December was £1948.50.
The balance of the Nationwide Building Society account was £1596.08 and the Nationwide Building Society Fixed Interest Bond held £4999.42.
The J.H.Trounson Memorial Fund held a balance of £3.84 on 1st January and received £93.22 interest from the Nationwide Building Society Fixed interest bond of £2219.52. The sum of £95 was transferred to the Institute current account to contribute to the Trounson Memorial Prize of £120 which had been awarded in 2006.
At the conclusion of the formal business there was a talk on “Penlee Quarry; Its History and Current and future Development.” It was given by Professor G. Walton, PGW&A, LLP. He described the history of the quarry since its beginnings in the late 1880s. He said the products had included ship ballast, aggregates and rock armour although the major current product was for road construction. However, work was being directed towards producing armourstone for coastal protection needs which could require operating as much as 100m below sea level.
Since the Annual General Meeting in April Mrs. C. Yelland had volunteered to fill the vacancy as Secretary and this offer had been gratefully accepted by the Council.
The planned programme included two industrial visits, two joint meetings with SW Mining & Minerals Society of the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (IMM) and seven lecture meetings, including one following the AGM.
The programme started on18th October with a visit to the Moseley Industrial Narrow Gauge Tramway and Museum at Tumblydown Farm, Tolgus Mount, Redruth. The tour was conducted by the owner, Mr. C. Saxton.
The first General Meeting, on 18th October 2008, was the occasion for the Presidential Address by Mr. P. Foster of Crofty Consultancy, the Wheal Jane Group. His subject was “The Importance of Site Investigation”. He said this was often not done in an attempt to save money but it was most important and he looked at different methods of investigation used in Cornwall.
The Second General Meeting on 20th November heard a talk by Mr. R. Wedlake of Aquasource who said that the government’s drive towards greater home efficiency was likely to raise interest in heat pumps and he described how heat pumps work and how they can be installed.
The talk at the third General Meeting on 11th December was delivered by the Institute’s Junior Vice-President, Mr P. Hegarty of SGS Mineral Services, Europe on the subject of “Ruby Mining in Greenland”. His illustrated talk described the extraction and processing of Greenlandic rubies from the mining in the mountains through to the separation of the gemstones using modern high-tech equipment.
The meeting on 15th January 2009 was the first of what was planned to be an annual lecture in memory of Mr. D. Dixon who had died nearly two years before. It was a joint meeting with the IMM and before it started the audience stood in silence for a minute in memory of Mr. Dixon. The talk which was given by Mr. J. Jobling-Purser, founder of Jobling-Purser, RSV LLP and he spoke on the subject of “A Remote Surveying Vehicle for 3D Mine Surveying” the idea for which had arisen while surveying the CSM test Mine at Troon. The vehicle was a small, remotely controlled, tracked vehicle carrying a laser scanner through tunnels and voids for quick and underground surveying and had carried out a successful field trial in Mexico.
The meeting on 19th February was the first held by the Institute at the Tremough Campus of the University of Exeter, the new home of the Camborne School of Mines and was a joint meeting with the SW Minerals and Mining Society. The talk was given by Dr. G. Rollinson, Experimental Officer of CSM, on the subject of “The Evaluation of Minerals by QEMScan”. He said that QEMScan was a fully automated computer-controlled instrument using four X-ray energy dispersive spectrum detectors and an electron backscatter detector in combination to identify minerals and other inorganic chemical compounds. Initially developed for global mining companies ; CSM was the first university in the world to obtain one in the summer of 2004 and since then it had been applied to many research and commercial areas.
On 19th March the meeting heard a talk by Mr. K. Waide-Bull, Director of the Bodmin and Wadebridge Railway Company on the project to extend the Bodmin and Wenford railway to Wadebridge along the line of the Camel Trail.
This talk led in to the second industrial visit of the session to the Bodmin and Wenford Railway on 22nd March led by the Institute President, Mr. P. Foster who is a volunteer guard on the Railway.
Annual General Meeting, 16th April, 2009
Since the Secretary, Mrs. C. Yelland had been in post for less than a year it was agreed that there would be no Secretary’s report and the meeting proceeded to hear the Treasurer’s report delivered by Mr. M. Evans
He said that 2008 had not been a good financial year for the CIE.
Income had been as expected, together with an additional goodwill payment of £50.00. Expenditure had been as expected, however the Secretarial costs had not been paid and the Trounson Prize, shown in the accounts, was actually for 2007, not 2008. There had also been a payment to the RNLI, to cover a lost cheque from 2006.There had been an unusual profit of £2.50 made on the sale of the Dinner Tickets. In summary, the Income had decreased to a total of £850 (not helped by the current interest rates) and the Expenditure had risen to £1870, anticipating a deficit of about £1000. The meeting was informed that all the money, including the Trounson Account, had been transferred from the Building Society Account to a Lloyds Bank Account, and that the Building Society Accounts had been closed. As the money was not covered by the CCLA in some, perhaps more profitable, of the accounts, it was safer in Lloyds Bank. It was suggested that the Treasurer might take a look at the Post Office accounts, if they would accept monies from charitable organisations. Mr. Evans responded that he was currently looking into other options. It was suggested that the current rate of the subscription be discussed, with the possibility of an increase. Mr. Evans informed the meeting that this had been discussed at the Council Meeting and that it had been decided that the subs would have to be increased to £20 to make a difference and that this could result in the loss of those members, who were in any case showing little interest in the CIE despite paying an annual subscription by standing order. It had therefore been decided that the current subscription of £10.00 should remain in place.
Mr. Evans was re-appointed as Treasurer and Messrs. K. Rickard and E. King were re-appointed as Auditors.
Cornwall Industrial Trust
Mr. K Menadue reported that the Trust continued to support students and lecturers in Cornwall. A £600 grant had been awarded to Mr. H Chalcraft for research visits. In return, he had attended the Trust meeting in November 2008 and had agreed to contribute to the 2009/2010 CIE programme.
A request had been received from Mr. S. Patterson, the CSM Student Association International representative, for £500.00 toward the organisation of an International Study Week at Tremough. This request had been granted.
£26,700 had now been paid out in grants since 1977.
Mr. Menadue reported that with Mr. K. Keith Withey he had gone through the boxes that had been stored at the late Mr. D. Dixon’s house They had cleared through the notes and reports and placed most of the records, dating back as far as 1914, with the Cornwall Record Office for storage, where they would accessible for viewing by the general public on demand.
Mr. Menadue also presented the report on the CSM Trust as follows:
Condurrow Mine had been sold to the Botallack Trust in November 2008.
The lease of the rugby ground to Storm FC was renewed until October 2013.
Talks were still taking place regarding the lease of buildings at Tremough Campus, following the move from Camborne.
The current financial situation at that time could make an impact on funding after 2009. The total funding for 2009/10 had been approved at £104,000. This implied a further total of £66,000 for 2010/11 for student bursaries funded from 2009/10.
An exceptional loan of £12,346.25 had been granted to Mr. Kalutwa Chizema, a Zimbabwean student, to enable him to graduate in July 2008 because his degree had been withheld until clearance of his outstanding debts. He would then be in full time employment and would repay the loan in installments.
The CSM student numbers continued to be encouraging with increased intakes over the previous three years.
The following officials were appointed for the 2009/10 session:
President: Mr. P. Foster. Senior Vice-President: Mr. J. Bennett. Junior Vice- President: Mr. P. Hegarty. Secretary: Mrs. C Yelland.
Any Other Business.
Mr. P. Foster drew attention to the poor attendance at all the visits over the past year. He asked for feedback from the members and in particular whether they still wanted visits and, if so, suggestions for future visits. Mr. D. Chilcott said that the visits were very good and he had thoroughly enjoyed the recent visit to the Bodmin railway. He said that Saturday was the preferred day for visits and suggested that there might be more publicity. Mr. S. Barber said that publicity was efficient but that things might improve if the members email list had been improved once forms had been sent out with the next programmes.
At the close of the formal business the final lecture of the session on “Intelligent Guesswork in the Mining Industry” was given by Prof. H. J. Glass, Rio Tinto Professor of Mining and Minerals Engineering at CSM.
He said that many methods existed to estimate the relevant properties of blocks of ore. Without actually mining and processing it was not possible to verify whether the estimate was accurate. He went on to discuss the factors which influenced the selection of the right method for any particular job.
The planned programme for the session included two visits; one early in the session and one at the end. Two of the General Meetings were held jointly with the SW Mining and Minerals Society.
The first of these was also the first General Meeting on 15th October 2009 when the subject was “Research into the Effect of Tunnel Blast Design on Vibration” and it was delivered by Mr. G. Adversely, CSM. He said that vibration from underground blasts is becoming more problematic with modern civil engineering projects and exhaustion of mineral reserves in areas of greater sensitivity. There are many parameters that affect blast vibration and research at CSM had looked into the effect of two in particular; burden and timing. A series of blasts looking into cut and whole tunnel round had been undertaken using advanced techniques such as high definition surveying and high sped photography.
The first visit took place on Sunday 1st November and was a guided tour of the China Clay Country conducted by Mr. I. Bowditch of Imerys and it included the Pinnock Tunnel and Fowey Docks.
The second General Meeting on 19th November was another joint meeting with SW Mining & Minerals Society and heard Dr. A. Fisher and Dr. R. Narbutt, Directors of the Hydrock Group Ltd. giving a talk on “Stabilisation of the Old Underground Limestone Workings at Combe Down, Bath”.
Underground stone mines developed by Cornishman Ralph Allen (1693 – 1764) for the building of Regency Bath had started and closed well before the legal requirement for survey. Much more recently they were found to create an extreme risk of subsidence beneath the village of Combe Down. The Hydrock Directors told the story of the stabilisation with pictures of the mines before the work began and during the project which, at the time of the talk, was just getting to an end.
The second General Meeting held on 10th December was told about “A Smarter Way to Manage Risk” by Mr. M. Hallewell, Global Business Development Manager of SGS Minerals Service UK Ltd Geometallurgy. The talk highlighted the drawbacks of the traditional way of developing a mineral deposit from ore in the ground to a saleable concentrate. He explained his company’s method of driving down technical risk to ensure sounder, bankable financial investments.
The Annual Don Dixon Memorial Lecture was held on 14th January 2010 and was a talk on “Post Mining Remediation – The Wheal Jane Case Study” by Mr. B. Ballard. He started with a brief background discussion of the site and the mine to the final end of Cornish mining in 1998. His main focus was on the challenges of restoration and re use faced since then. He then returned to the subject of Wheal Jane in the following ten years. The Master Plan was for demolition of the mill, site restoration,economic regeneration, renewable energy opportunities and sustainability.
The General Meeting on 11th February had a talk in similar vein to the January Meeting given by Mr. S. Dennis of Carnon Contracting on “Mine Feature Remediation in Cornwall”. He said he would concentrate on a site which was constructed in a heavily mined area without adequate investigation.The site was subsequently found to be underlain by numerous mining features and up to the time of the talk over 200 metres of lode and 4 shafts had been capped on the site. The talk provided a pictorial journey through the remediation process.
On 18th March Mr. A. Buckley gave a lecture on “The Tudor Tin Industry” based on the book he had recently had published. It deals with the extent of the industry of the industry at the time and included such details as the names of tinworks and tinners in the Penwith and Kerrier districts. At the close of the meeting Mr. Buckley had a book signing session.
An unscheduled visit, led by a member of Cornwall Council was made on 25th March to see the Robinson’s Shaft at South Crofty, Pool which which, with its original beam engine, will be included in the redevelopment of the area known to be known as the Heartland Project.