Miners of South Terras Mine

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Miners at South Terras Mine c1926. South Terras Mine was located between St Stephen and Grampound Road. It was the only mine in Cornwall to produce uranium, although this mineral is widely distributed throughout the county. Madam Curie used South Terras uranium in her experiments. Standing on the far right is Harold Lander who later set up a radio business in St Stephen which he started by charging wireless accumulators. On the left of those seated on chairs is Martin Brenton who was the foreman of the mine; his daughter was a teacher at Grampound School. On the right of those seated on chairs is Mr Brenton Snr - father of Martin Brenton. Seated on the ground at the front third from the left is Mr Davey; he was the grandfather of Mrs Jeanette Cock, wife of Peter Cock who (2008) runs the Handman Service in the village.

In the centre of those seated on chairs is Dr Marcel Leon Pochon. He was the most important person involved in the production of radium concentrates at South Terras. Born at Versailles of Swiss parents in 1889, he studied at the School of Industrial Physics & Chemistry in the Rue Llomond, Paris and graduated in 1906/7. In 1912 he left Paris to work with Jacques Danne at South Terras, returning to superintend the extraction of radium at the mine in 1920. The narrow-lode shallow underground operations at South Terras presented no unusual mining engineering challenges but the expertise demanded on surface in the extraction and concentration of radium was of paramount importance. For more details go to www.dangerouslaboratories.org/rcw3.html.

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Tags: 1900s ~ 1910s ~ 1920s ~ 1930s ~ People