Festivals Cornwall

Trevithick Day celebrating the life of inventor Richard Trevithick


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camborne-hill steam-engine Richard Trevithick 1771-1833, widely regarded as the father of the high pressure steam engine. Born in the parish of Illogan, near Camborne Cornwall, the son of a Cornish mine captain. After leaving school he went to work in the Cornish mining industry where a flair for all things steam was soon apparent. One of the first proponents of the use of high pressure steam as a source of power- for raising water and ore from deep down in the mines.

On Christmas Eve in 1801 he exhibited his locomotive the Puffing Devil, making a short journey up Camborne Hill carrying a group of his friends. This is widely credited as being one of the world's first passenger carrying road going vehicles. A replica of the Puffing Devil can often be seen in steam during the festivities. Trevithick's later locomotives included the ‘Pen-y-Darren' which in 1804 made a nine mile journey on rails - the first steam locomotive to do so. And the Catch Me Who Can which in 1808 achieved the then unheard speed of 12 mph on a specially built circular track in Euston Square London.

miniature Trevithick Day Festivities: include model exhibitions, street entertainment, a fun fair, the Bal Maidens and Miners Dance led by Camborne Town Band, the parade of miniature engines and, what everyone comes to see, the display of steam engines and the steam parade.

miners-dance There is something very special and so evocative about several dozen steam engines working, particularly as they wind their way through the narrow streets of this Cornish town. Their whistles hooting as they set off, the smoke hanging low, billowing from their stacks, as they slowly climb Tehidy Road (Camborne Hill) back into the town centre. In 2004 the police advised that the parade could not occur on public safety grounds. In 2005 any such fears were allayed and the parade again took place (as these photos show) as it had done without mishap for many years before.

Held on the last Saturday of April.

Trevithick Day

trevithick-day punch-judy town-trail tehidy-road fairground-organ

Please check exact programme, timings and date of event before setting out.
You choose to attend and participate at your sole risk.
The event has an outstanding safety record.

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