Voices of region's quarrymen are brought to life
Wander up to the quarry below the Cheesewring on Bodmin Moor or Hay Tor on Dartmoor and you are likely to be met by silence.
Abandoned machinery and the encroachment of nature is gradually transforming these former centres of industry into barren wastelands or wildlife havens. Turn the clock back a few decades, however, and the noise of drills, the shattering of rock and the shouts of the workforce would have been deafening at times.
The voices of the many men who laboured in the numerous quarries across Cornwall and Devon are the focus of a new exhibition at Plymouth City Museum this week.
Quarry Voices, which runs until February 2, comprises a series of graphic panels featuring information and images of home, work, health and environment.
Devon limestone and Cornish and Dartmoor granite is found in an array of regional and national landmarks, from Plymouth Breakwater and Exeter Cathedral to the Houses of Parliament and the base of Nelson's Column. But how many of us consider the human story behind the creation of these structures?
Over the last 18 months, the Peninsula Quarry Industry Social History Trust, working in partnership with Plymouth City Council, Cornwall Council, Plymouth University and Geevor Tin Mine Museum, has been recording the memories of people connected to the region's quarries.
Project officer Kayleigh Milden said: "Our volunteers and interviewees have been really generous in sharing their time and knowledge. It's very rewarding to see everybody's hard work result in a really interesting display that will hopefully help visitors to the museum and art gallery understand more about what these people's lives were like."
One of those interviewed for the project was Peter Dare, master mason at Exeter Cathedral from 1969 to 1984, who began his working life at Beer Quarry.
"The project has been able to capture some of our heritage in the South West stone industry first-hand – history that would have otherwise been lost," he said. "My own experience took me from being an apprentice hand-working stone in the Beer quarries to being manager of computer-operated quarries in Australia."
Quarry Voices is at Plymouth City museum until Saturday, February 2. It is open from 10am to 5.30pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am to 5pm Saturday. Admission is free.
OTHER EVENTS THIS WEEK
Queens Theatre Studio: The House that Jack Built. Thursday 8pm.
Queens Theatre: Sinfonia Classica with Martin Roscoe on piano. Sunday 7.30pm.
Roundswell Community Centre, Gratton Way: Barnstaple Keyboard and Light Music Club presents Steve Hubble from Dorchester. Admission £5, members £2. Tuesday 7.45pm.
Village Hall: Craft and tabletop sale. Saturday 10am-noon.
Village Hall: Bingo. Eyes down Monday 7.30pm.
Town Hall: Coffee morning in aid of MacMillan Cancer Support from 9am-11am on Saturday.
Coads Green Social Centre: Coads Green Amateur player present Babes in the Wood. Adults £5. Children £2.50. To book ring 01566 782248 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Fri-Sat, then Jan 31, Feb1 & 2. 7.30pm.
The Flavel Arts Centre: SpinDrift Dance Company – Obstacles and Horizons, contemporary dance. Saturday 7.30pm. Tickets £10 and £5 (under 18).
Duckpool Car Park: 202117. North Devon Ramblers – Coast Path Menachurch Point to Coombe Valley. Eight miles. Sunday 10.45am.
Westpoint: Craft 4 Crafters. Thurs-Sat 10am-5pm; The Toy Train and Collectors Fair. Sunday 10.30am-3pm.
Withycombe Methodist Church Hall: Exmouth Folk Dance Club with caller Simon Maplesden and Jigs for Gigs. Thursday 8pm-10pm.
Merlin Theatre: Miracle Theatre Company present Frankenstein! Friday 7.45pm.
The Royal Standard: Euchre Drive. Monday 8pm.
Village Hall: Goonhavern and District Old Cornwall Society meeting Friday 7.30pm.
Plough Arts Centre Gallery: Rosa Rebecka, Swedish singer/ songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Thursday 8pm; John Hegley 'Peace, Love and Potatoes', poet, comedian and performer. Friday 8pm; Laura Hudson exhibition Transient Landscapes. Until Jan 26.
Day Care Centre: Hayle Flower Club with speaker from the Cornwall Garden Society. No competition. New members and visitors welcome. Wheelchair friendly. Wednesday 7.30pm.
INDIAN QUEENS PIT
Indian Queens Methodist Church Vestry: Annual general meeting. Anyone interested in maintaining our local heritage site is welcome to attend. Friday 7.30pm.
Harbour House: Exhibition with a difference... In Make Space, artist Rosie Burns will turn the empty gallery into a working art studio for a fortnight. Until February 2. Daily 10am-5pm (closed Sunday).
Eagle House Hotel: Launceston Old Cornwall Society 41st AGM, followed with video by John Ellacott, 'The Club's First 40 Years'. Admission is £4, non-members welcome. Wheelchair access. Tuesday 7.30pm.
Long Room: Liskeard Country Market. Friday 8.30am-12noon.
The Community Centre: Antique and Collectors market, Friday 11am-3pm.
Village Hall: Friends of Luxulyan Valley. Our hydro engineer from Ponts Mill will be talking about mining in the valley. Monday 7.30pm.
Church: Fundraiser of the year will be a bring and buy with book and bake sale. Coffee and biscuits on offer. All welcome. Saturday 10am-1pm.
Village Hall: Okehampton Sequence Dance Club. £1.50 per person. Beginners welcome. Wednesday 8pm-10.30pm.
Esplanade Hotel, Esplanade Road: Newquay Pentire Probus Club Lunch, guest speaker Sqn Ldr Shaun Pascoe, officer commanding the RAF Medical Emergency Response Team in Afghanistan. New members welcome. Details 01637 878990.
Courtenay Centre: Rebel Country present Lass Vegas, admission £6. Friday 8pm-11pm.
OTTERY ST MARY
The Institute & neighbouring halls: Scout group mammoth jumble sale. Admission free. Details 01404 812274. Saturday 1.30pm.
The Institute: 100-lot auction. Details 01404 812274. Saturday 2.45pm.
Coleridge Pre-School Playgroup: Giant book sale with CDs and various other items. Details 01404 812274. Saturday from 11am. Admission free.
The Gott Hall: Par Old Cornwall Society meet with refreshments and a chance to view a selection of our library books. Speaker Geoff Provis on 'The Fishermen at Port Isaac'. Hall equipped with facilities for those in wheelchairs. New members welcome. 01726 814286. Saturday 7pm.
Gott Hall: Book and bake sale, huge range of books and scrumptious home-made cakes and refreshments. Proceeds to Par Parish Church. Saturday 10am-noon.
PAYNTERS LANE END
Methodist Hall: Tabletop sale, Saturday 10am-1pm.
Penlee House Gallery and Museum: Troika (Benny Serota) lecture. Monday 7.30pm. Friends £2, non-members £3. Booking essential. Ring the gallery on 01736 363625.
Plymouth Pavilions: Plymouth Raiders vs Durham Wildcats basketball on Friday; Brendan Cole: Licence to Thrill on Sunday.
Theatre Royal: Dirty Dancing, the classic story on stage. Tues-Sat 7.30pm, Fri 5pm 8.30pm, Sat 1.30pm, 7.30pm. Until February 9.
Drum Theatre, Theatre Royal: E Nesbit's beloved classic The Railway Children. Tues-Sat 7.15pm.
City Museum & Art Gallery: Ida Kar: Bohemian Photographer. Until April 13.
St Edward's Church Hall, Home Park Avenue: Plymouth Railway Circle The Classic Traction Railway Year 2012, video presentation by Steve Andrews covering the railway highlights of 2012. Members £1, visitors £2. Monday 7.30pm.
Public Hall: Porthleven Old Cornwall Society presents Cornish Lighthouses: Their History & Present Times by Alan and Anne Cox. Tuesday 2.30pm. Join us for a cuppa.
Village Hall: Whist Drive. Tuesdays 7.30pm.
Wheal Martyn: Burns Night from 6.30pm. £15 per person. Booking essential 01726 850362. on Friday from 6.30pm.
Wheal Martyn: Park and Museum. Daily 10am-5pm.
The Wharf: Acoustic Cafe – music. Thursday 7pm; Have Some Moore – music Saturday 8pm.
The Thurlestone Hotel: National Trust South Hams Centre coffee morning. Entrance £3. Wednesday 10.30am. New members welcome.
Princess Theatre: Starlight Express, until Jan 26.
Hall for Cornwall: Concert by the band of HM Royal Marines Plymouth and the Plymouth Gilbert and Sullivan Fellowship in aid of the RNLI. Sunday 2.30pm. Tickets from 01872 262466.
Hall for Cornwall: Blues Brother UK. Tuesday 7.30pm.
Hall for Cornwall: Country Market. 9.15am-3pm.
Chapter House, Cathedral: Sleeping Beauty pantomime by the Friends of Truro Cathedral, Friday and Saturday 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from the Friends Office or 01872 274986.
Cathedral: City of Truro Wind Orchestra Informal Concert. Free with collection. Saturday 1pm.