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John's parents bought the whole Croft site from Patrick Ryan in 1948. The Trelissick Manor Farm had passed through a number of hands before Ryan bought it in 1932. Soon the Croft was built amongst the mine waste and the property remained in the family until John sold it to the developers in 1987. 1982 saw a small parcel of land sold off for the realignment of Water Road when the new A30 bypass was made.
Thanks John for letting us see your photographs.
This marvellous aerial photograph was taken by John about 1973 with a hand held camera whilst flying over his property. This is long before Google and the quality is just a good. It shows the Croft in its entirety and the state of the land. In the distance you can see Tolroy Garage on the Helston road with the other half of Mellanear Mine opposite on the other side of the road.
This is the chalet bungalow built on the Croft and shows the uneven ground hiding the mine dumps which are covered in gorse and brambles. You can see Water Lane on the right and I guess that the house is Tresanton.
John Says "The old building is the engine man's house in about 1956. Sorry, this might be significant! On the reverse is written 'shaft men's house' makes more sense than 'engine man's' anyway. My father took the picture and did the writing although he always called it Engine man's etc. In the background is what became 'Tresanton'".
This photo is from the family album. It is December 1987 and Gundry's shaft has been located and exposed by the developers as part of the surveying process and eventual infill.
John says 'Here are 2 pictures of the shaft once the site had been cleared. Unfortunately I never saw it in this condition but I understand it was timbered up to almost the top. The timbers were in great shape, probably preserved by the copper salts in the soil. I still find it amazing that this was within and under unconsolidated mine waste and yet not visible (and didn't fall in). The ground level we see now in the picture is probably 10 -15 feet below the mine waste height'.
This is one of the handful of original mine charts that John was able to salvage from the Mine's Count House. There would have been a number of duplicates made and the ones I have on this site are faithful copies - but you can not beat an original.
These are photos of Mr Hart who was the engine driver operating the pump engine at Gundry's shaft up until the mine's closure. The photos were taken in the early 1950s. Considering his age he looks quite sprightly. He was the chap that reassured us as to the precise location of the shaft - but was wrong by about 30 feet! He was paid £ 3 a month and his stoker 24 shillings a month. Girls were employed at 6d and 8d a day ( 07.00 - 17.30 ) with ½ hour for 'dinner'. Up to 19 girls were employed some from as far as Leedstown.