I arrived at a deserted parking lot. It did have a sign"Poldark Mine", but where was everybody else? What was going on? I thought I'd call one of the guys, but there was no signal. Then I saw somebody walk there. I approached the person: it was one of us! So I was at the right spot. Dave, for it was he (the Cornish Dave; any UK caving club seems to need at least two men called Dave) welcomed me, and showed me where the few other members were working. One guy was putting a metal collar on a shaft, and another one was painting a shed. While walking around there, I realised this was a tourist mine! (Look here!) I had no idea. It was quite nice; lots of equipment still in place, and some more displayed in convenient places, and lots of information plaques and whatnot. I should have known about this place!
I was asked to go and paint stuff as well. Fine with me! They picked a wall that was dry-ish, and brought out paint in several colours, and paint brushes, and sandpaper, and a ladder, and anything else I might need. And when I was done, it was lunch time. The Poldark people provided pork sandwiches and tea! I was really warming to the place. And after lunch, I moved to the gate. I managed to paint one section of it before time ran out. But I was glad to have showed up, and to have made a contribution!
Isn't that just one beautifully painted wall.
The first thing Dave had said when I met him was that he would show me around underground. So when I decided I was done painting (it was still a long drive home) I asked if he could do that. And he could! It was quite a pretty old mine. It had been active in the 18th Century. And he even came with a surprise: when we reached a small underground chamber, he declared "this is where I got married!" I hadn't seen that one coming.
When I left I felt bad about only having showed up one day. But it's about 3.5hrs driving to get there and back. It had been worth it though; and I hope I'll visit Poldark again! And for those who visit the Southwest: do visit it as well! And pay close attention to the white wall on your left that you pass when you leave, and the right section of the gate...