Wednesday, October 16.
Farmers’ market in Truro, which Michael insists on pronouncing “Tuaro.” We have only driven through Truro, never stopping, so, this seemed like a good way to begin our day. We had also been told that the fresh crab at the market was fabulous and that “Tom the Baker” was THE BEST BAKERY. Between the crab and the bakery recommendations, we had no choice but to go.
It was a tiny market. Not at all what we expected but the offerings at the few food booths (there were a number of “stuff” booths) looked very good indeed. We had to pass on the crab, although it did look delicious, because we had no way to hold it for the day and we weren’t up to eating shellfish at that time of the morning. Would that the same could have been said for Tom the Baker’s treats. A slice of Bakewell tart and a raisin roll went down a treat with a coffee as we sat out in the very blustery sunshine on the square. I also bought a slab of flapjack* to have later in the day.
After a wander through the Victorian cathedral of Truro and a nice visit at the ladies loo with a number of school girls who were on a field trip, I and Michael made our way back to the car park, retrieved our car and set off on the day’s next adventure. But more on that in my next post, it proved to be so adventuresome as to require its own.
Instead, we have to jump to our fallback outing, which was to visit the National Trust property at the East Pool Mine. The landscape of Cornwall is peppered with the skeletal remains of engine houses and chimneys that are the visible part of the extensive tin and copper mining that went on throughout Cornwall for centuries if not millennia. In fact, the last tin mine didn’t shut down until the 1990’s.
Although we have seen the ruins every time we get out on a road, we had never taken the time to find out anything about the industry. Turns out it is pretty interesting as so many things are when you spend even a little bit of time exploring them. We didn’t even know that copper was mined in this area. For some reason, we thought it was all tin. The earliest mining for tin was several thousand years ago and along the cliffs at the sea shore. Once shafts began to be sunk and technology allowed for deep shafts, some of the shafts are thousands of feet deep and tunnels spread out for miles . . . including miles out under the sea. Who knew? Not me. But now I do and I’m glad we took the time to find out a bit about the mines and miners, to say nothing about the Cornish pasty and its possible origin as food for the miners.
*English flapjack is not a flabby pancake thing as we Americans might think; rather, it is a crumbly, oatey bar cookie affair. The one I bought had additions of walnuts and dates.