Tin mining was important in the Cornish economy from the High Middle Ages, and expanded greatly in the 19th century when rich copper mines were also in production. In the mid-19th century, tin and copper mines entered a period of decline and china clay extraction became more important. Mining had virtually ended by the 1990s.
Fishing and agriculture were the other important sectors of the
economy, but railways led to a growth of tourism in the 20th century after the decline of the mining and fishing industries.. Since the late 2010s there have been hopes of a resurgence of mining in Cornwall after the discovery of 'globally significant' deposits of lithium to help power the electric car revolution. (Full article...)
The Camelford water pollution incident involved the accidental contamination of the drinking water supply to the town of
Cornwall, in July 1988. Twenty
aluminium sulphate was inadvertently added to the water supply, raising the concentration to 3,000 times the admissible level. As the aluminium sulphate broke down it produced several tonnes of
sulphuric acid which "stripped a cocktail of chemicals from the pipe networks as well as lead and copper piping in people's homes." Many people who came into contact with the contaminated water experienced a range of short-term health effects, and many victims suffered long-term effects whose implications remained unclear . There has been no rigorous examination or monitoring of the health of the victims since the incident, which is Britain's worst mass poisoning event. Inquests on people who died many years later found very high levels of aluminium in the brain.
Dame Barbara Clayton led a
Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution enquiry into the incident.
Immediately after the contamination the authorities said that the water was safe to drink, possibly with juice to cover the unpleasant taste. In an inquest in 2012 into the death of one of the victims, the
coroner stated that
South West Water Authority had been "gambling with as many as 20,000 lives" when they failed to inform the public about the poisoning for 16 days, a delay he called unacceptable. In the aftermath of the contamination the public were reassured that there was no risk to health. There were allegations of a
cover-up and West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose stated: "I found there was a deliberate policy to not advise the public of the true nature until some 16 days after the occurrence of the incident." Following an investigation by the government's Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment,
Michael Meacher, the former Environment Minister, claimed that "various associated bodies tried to bury the inquiry from the start." Meacher told one newspaper: "This has become a tug of war between the truth and an attempt to silence the truth."
An April 2013 report by the Lowermoor subgroup of the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment concluded that exposure to the chemicals was unlikely to cause "delayed or persistent harm" and was also unlikely to cause future ill health. In September 2013 the government admitted that there had been a "manifest failure to give prompt appropriate advice and information to affected consumers" and offered an unreserved apology. (Full article...)
The Antenna One satellite dish (dubbed "Arthur") at the Goonhilly Satellite Earth Station, the largest
satellite earth receiving station in the world with over 60 dishes in total. Arthur, built on the site in 1962 to link with
Telstar, is 29.5 metres in diameter and weighs 1,100
tonnes. Dishes are named after characters in
The whole Countrie of Britain ...is divided into iiii partes; whereof the one is inhabited of Englishmen, the other of Scottes, the third of Wallshemen, the fowerthe of Cornishe people, which all differ emonge them selves, either in tongue, ...in manners, or ells in lawes and ordinaunces