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100 years ago: Plight of Cornish miners

17 June 2022

June 16th, 1922.

THE tide of holiday-makers begins to set towards Cornwall, and we would ask those who find upon its glorious coasts health and rest to give one thought to the distress which prevails in the less pleasant parts of the Duchy. For more than eighteen months the tin miners of Cornwall have been out of work, owing to the high price of coal and the low price of tin. Their need has been met partly by unemployment allowance which ceased, for ninety per cent. of the men, a week or two ago, and partly by the generosity of private charity. The case of these miners is far harder than that of others who have been more clamant. They have never lost a day’s work through being on strike. Their maximum pay during the war was £2 10s., their minimum pay £1 15s., and they neither asked for nor received any inflated war bonus. When some of the mines were about to be closed down the men voluntarily gave up 20 per cent. of their pay to try to keep them going. The Chief Constable of the county says that their conduct has been exemplary. They are men whose forebears have been tin miners, who have been brought up in the industry, who know no other craft or trade, who are in a corner of the island where no other opening for their labour can be found. The Chief Constable, from his office at Bodmin, has asked for supplementary collections to be made at church doors for their relief, and we note that one bishop at least has commended the application to the clergy of his diocese. We cannot think that those who go to Cornwall for pleasure will be altogether unmindful of the distress of those Cornishmen who to-day are prevented from following an immemorial industry.

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Sun 03 Jul @ 21:48
A parish priest reflects on a moving encounter with a confirmand https://t.co/GYT34So7jz

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