Moving the pump-house
28 February 2008
This is the Cornish pump-house, so called because it is modelled on those used in the Cornish mines, incidentally bearing out those posters at Paddington station which extol the exporting of Cornish innovation across the world. It housed the great pumps which removed the water from the mine.
When the licence to mine was granted in the 1970's, a condition was the restoration of this building, which is much loved locally. The mine-wall underneath it was unstable and the building itself in a right state. In the end it was moved 300m, along the beams you can see in front of it, to a more secure position and the structural problems resolved with some clever beams and fixings.
In addition to this being quite a triumph in its own right, this project seems to auger well for the future. It is clear that Martha won't be mined for much longer (nor the nearby, underground Flavona mine), and obviously there are many concerns about the economic future.
There are a lot of words and diagrams in the local i-site about the community consultation, the creation of a Trust and the plans for economic, social and environmental regeneration. Proposals include a large lake in Martha, allowing thermal spas, wildlife habitat and all sorts of water sports. A major draw-card for the area, if it comes about.
Our scepticism (not surprising when you consider how many years experience in regeneration and community development we have) was leavened by the undoubted success of the move of the pump house, and the vigorous programme of public meetings being publicised in the town. Good luck to them all!