We trove up to Blinman, there we took the mine tour. It was only $27.50 each, which we thought was well priced. The local people run everything in the small town, as there is no local government. All 18 residents came together to reopen the mine. The mine was discovered by a shepherd, Robert Blinman, in 1859. He and 2 other friends brought the mining lease for £10(he couldn’t afford to buy it by himself.) They later sold it for £70,000. The mine was a large copper deposit. 150 m long and 15 m wide. We were very impressed with the tour. There was only the two of us so we could take our time and ask as many questions as we liked.
The copper mine was worked by Cornish miner and I leaned that the word “crib” came from the name of the small bag the miner kept their lunch in. They would the hang the bag around their neck as they climbed down into the mine. (They had their tools on their backs) I also leaned the word “Peggy” camp from the peg the miner would hammer into the wall of the mine to hang their crib bag on keeping it off the ground. Why are these words important to me? I worked in the mining industry for a catering company. We would often clean the “crib hut” and were called “Peggy’s”. Another interesting fact: the Cornish pastry came form the Cornish miners. They would have them for lunch. The crusty bit at the top was the handle. As they couldn’t wash their hand they would hold the top and after finishing lunch they would throw the crusty bit away. The true pastry was 2/3 lunch, (usually veggies) and the last third was often fruit. Bonus. Lunch and dessert at the same time.
After the mine tour we walled around the site. There is a marvelous view from the top of the mountain, which is the mine. Not much remains of the mining buildings now, which for me is a nice thing. The land had not been scared forever.
Blinman is also the home of the big Kibble bucket. It sits outside of the tourist centre. What is a kibble bucket? It is the bucket that is lowered down the mine to be filled with the ore that is to be brought up from the mine. It has been decorated and sits proudly on show. Nice touch.