My title for this blogpost is borrowed from The Trevithick Society's 1992 publication: Levant: A Champion Cornish Mine by John Corin. The book has since been edited and expanded by Peter Joseph. My purchase of a 2013 edition would have happened within a year of arriving as a resident in Cornwall in January of that year. It has proved a most useful read.
|Levant Mine - a National Trust image|
I am one of those 'BOYS' in the title - which is a bit of a cheat because I am not proper Cornish. The other 'BOY' is most certainly a proper Cornish 'boy'. He is John Toman, a former chief surveyor and relief mine captain at South Crofty Mine in Camborne and the father of Belinda, one of our neighbours, up the Stennack in St Ives where we live. John is a very young 83 years and a man of God, an identity I gave him in my latest book, Dying to Know - Running through a Pandemic, published earlier this year.
John was my guide yesterday, Tuesday 24 May 2022, when we explored the grounds of Levant Mine. Am I a fortunate boy! I can't hope to share all that I learned yesterday - I am still digesting some of the technical detail, such as the geological importance of the 'contact' between the killas and the granite for locating the lodes of tin or copper, and the need to find the 1,000 foot level - but I would like to communicate a measure of the pleasure and pride that John feels for his lifetime in mining, and his