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Enjoying a few days here in Cornwall.

It is a bit of a trip down memory lane for me in that light years ago when I was with the truck division of British Leyland I was here a lot as English China Clays (ECC Group) was one of our biggest customers and I was forever here demonstrating off-highway trucks for use in the china clay mines. 

The Carlyon Bay Hotel always seemed to feature in our discussions and I popped in for a meal last night to remind me of those days. It has of course extensively modernised over time but some traditions live on – a pianist still performs in the main dining room.

When I was here in the early seventies ECC was a huge employer and the county was littered with spoil heaps. Employment was vital but the side effects of the mining was not pretty. The world moved on and finally by 1999 the company had stopped trading – in its heyday it was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. We tend to think that disruption is a new phenonomen because we see new players moving in and doing things differently but sadly too many industries have failed to reinvent themselves. And now there is a China Clay Museum charting the rise and fall of the industry.

To a visitor like myself Cornwall clearly has a range of industries at work but I get the impression that now tourism is top dog. Indeed the County Council recently decided to keep its Brussels office in an attempt to continue to encourage inward investment despite the Brexit vote.

It’s been a lovely break.


Christopher Macgowan