Year 7s Explore Geevor Tin Mine

“I can see a Tin Mine!” On Monday 13th January, 12 Year 7 students descended into Geevor Tin Mine on a field trip tackling elements of English, history, geography and Cornish heritage.

Greeted by wind, rain and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, the students, led by Tour Guide Mark, learned about life as a miner at Geevor. They saw the mining process from start to finish, hearing about the use of dynamite and smelting, visited the changing rooms where the miners’ possessions can still be seen and explored a section of the mine for themselves.

The 300 year old mine produced around 50,000 tons of black tin during its operation between 1911 and 1990, before closing on the 16th of February 1990. The students had the opportunity to speak to Eddie, who once worked up to 12 hours a day on mine machinery. Eddie described what life was like in the mine; how it could be dark and cold, big, expensive and noisy, but how it was a way of life rather than just a job, and that there was a strong sense of family at Geevor.

How is tin used today? Was Geevor affected by the bombs during the war? Where did the idea for ‘panning’ come from? Questions eagerly asked by students

The students were fascinated to hear that children were once employed at the mine above and below ground and, using tools, they each had a go at chipping away at some rock. The day ended with an opportunity to pan for gold, with pupils finding a range of gemstones using large plastic pans.

Mrs Libby, Assistant Head of Year 7, said: “Today was fascinating for everyone. It’s so important to learn about the history of Cornwall’s mining industry and there are interactive elements and exciting things to see at every corner. Every child in Cornwall should experience Geevor.”