After the success of the Royal Cornwall Show last week, I’m looking forward to attending Murdoch Day in Redruth this Saturday. There is always an excellent procession in the morning, involving many local schools, dance acts and bands.
It will be good to have the opportunity to catch up with the team at Murdoch House – the former home of William Murdoch, the inventor and engineer who was one of the pioneers of steam power development in Cornwall and also famously invented the first ever gas light using piped gas. It is great to have such an important heritage asset right in the middle of the town.
I remember attending in previous years, and there has been a fascinating exhibition of old photographs and newspaper cuttings on show. It serves as reminder of how much Redruth and the surrounding area gave to the rest of the world. Redruth is not just the industrial heart of Cornwall, it is also the home town for a great many of the seven million people around the world whose ancestors left Cornwall in the late 19th century to build the new world. Around a quarter of all the people who left Cornwall during this period came from the Redruth area and they travelled as far afield as Cape Town, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia and Wisconsin in the Unites States. Press cuttings from that time underline the human and social cost of this mass migration across the world in search of work, with many instances of families separated for the rest of their lives and with wives and young families often left behind.
The new Kresen Kernow archive will celebrate and chronicle some of this extraordinary history. I campaigned hard to ensure that Redruth was selected as the location for the Archive Centre. Our town is home to the world wide Cornish diaspora because of the deep roots we have in the history of mining around the world. I visited the project a few weeks ago, and the progress is astonishing. These are exciting times for Redruth as we see the key historic site of the brewery brought back into use to celebrate our history.
Getting on with Brexit.
Many people feel that parliament is taking too long getting on with implementing the decision our country took two years ago to leave the EU and restore national democracy. Despite the frustrations, things are gradually moving forward. As I write this we are about to face some close and difficult votes on amendments from the House of Lords. By the time you read this you will know the outcome. In my view we need to put the arguments of the past behind us, and unite to make a success of Brexit with a new partnership with the EU based on friendship and cooperation. But as we establish the rule of national law in this country, we must bring to an end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain.