Ken and Lynda Dinneen are Lapidary Artists and Rock Hounds Ken is a Lapidary, Lynda has taught Jewellery Design, Silversmithing, and Lapidary Art, as well leading many mining and

Rock Hounding tours in and around the western United States. Ken and Lynda work from their studio on the east flank of the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains in Sisters, Oregon.

Continuing right along our path of metals and their fascinating history, we are moving into the Noble Metals, so called because they stand alone and in chemistry, are metals which are resistant to corrosion and oxidation in moist air.

If any of you saw the BBC production, ‘THE STORY OF WALES’ then you already know that the oldest copper mine in the world was located in what is now Wales.

between what is now the Cornish coast (tin) and what is now the north coast of Wales (copper) near the town of Llandudno was prolific and sophisticated in the Bronze Age. It seems that the more we learn, the less smug we are. That's a good thing!

Wars’ are launched for

resources. Great Britain has always been awash

in resources making Her raw copper

Here I must just make a comment, because the facts that we have explored here this year regarding mining and mineral resources in Great Britain, (and that being a bit over 130 sq. km or roughly 1/2 the size of California) is so truly staggering as to be completely jaw dropping! In industry, innovation, trade, education and thought, England has led the world. By setting a high standard, the planet as a whole is the better off.

Copper and tin produce bronze. Trade

vulnerable to invaders. The implication to the humans of the Isle is earth shaking. Coal, tin, iron, copper, aluminium, silver and gold translates to tools for agrarian and hunting cultures, implements of war, home-making, art, religion, travel, trade and more. Almost every human societal endeavor was supported and encouraged by the possession of these raw ingredients. Britain has it all!

hand forged copper bracelet

Today, there is ample proof that the people of the Isle were engaged in mining long before anyone ever thought that they were. No surprise! With the longest known history of mining in the world, is it any wonder that I have encouraged the young to consider studying Geology? What will we think of next?

copper specimen

Now one more thing, copper is mixed with gold to make ‘rose gold’ and it is in fact, used in jewellery making. Copper is used alone but my favorite way to use copper is as embellishment to sterling, or fine silver. I think the juxtaposition of the white metal against the red is lovely. As a dyed-in- the-wool rock hound, I do have several samples of raw copper in my mineral collection and frankly, I love them!

Well, off on another adventure, so until next time…

Happy Hounding!

w Lynda Dinneen


journey downstream from

Rubbybanks Mill on the River Cocker where we ended our last article.

Between the mill and the railway arch stands Railway Terrace, a row of six houses erected in 1882. Cockermouth’s waterworks once occupied this site. Between Victoria Bridge and Quaker Bridge on a site now occupied by number 7 and 8 Rubbybanks, there was Sim’s dye works. This was shown on the 1832 map but by 1841 an advert indicated he had left the premises. Below the Quaker Bridge on the left bank there is the former Croft Mill, which was converted into flats in the ’70s. It was referred to as a ‘woollen’ mill but probably varied from time-to-time like a number of other mills in the town. Just below Croft Mill was Cocker Bridge (End) Mill, which extended to Main Street, where the former HSBC. Bank stood. On the opposite bank between the Quaker Bridge and Cocker Bridge, there were two industries. The first was Sanderson’s woollen mill and the site is now occupied by the Town Hall. The riverside car park was the mill drying ground. The second industry was Thomas Wilson’s hat factory. At its peak, it was producing around 4,000 hats per week. Thomas Wilson built Grecian Villa (now known as Manor House Hotel) as his family home.

Below Cocker Bridge on the right bank, was John Stoddart’s cotton mill. There was a lintel


above a doorway showing the date J. & M.S. 1800. The building has been demolished and the date stone is now incorporated in the wall beside the river. Below this mill were the old brewery and the old brewery tannery, both of which have been replaced by modern brewery buildings and beyond them was an iron foundry and a windmill. The windmill was probably built in the 18th century and its assumed use was to grind bark for the adjacent tanneries. The windmill gradually deteriorated and the floods saw its demise. The foundry building, owned by W and J Herbert, had a girder above the doorway ‘COCKERMOUTH 1874’. The foundry passed from the Herbert’s to the Noble brothers.

On the opposite bank to the brewery, there were three other small-scale industries. The first was Sim’s dye works and was shown on the 1863 map. It is presumed he moved here from further up the river after 1841.The second industry just upstream from High Sand Lane was a churn mill. The third industry on this bank of the river was a mangle roller mill. An industry not on the river but was situated in High Sand Lane was the cooper’s where the barrels for the

Rubbybanks Mill with Tinkers Dam and footbridge

brewery were made, being trundled over ‘Barrel Bridge’ (Waterloo Bridge). Here, we now reach the point where the Cocker joins the Derwent and will continue our journey downstream in a future article.

AND FINALLY: our annual exhibition is now underway at the Kirkgate Centre: ‘Every Object Tells a Story’, looking at some of the interesting objects we have in our store, all significant in Cockermouth’s history. The exhibition is open every day until 26th August, 10.00am until 4.00pm and admission is free, with lots of local history books on sale. Please come and visit us.

Eric Cass

Telephone: 01900 823966

17 AUGUST 2017 ISSUE 417 PAGE 7

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