Saturday the 28th of April is “Camborne Trevithick-Day”

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Trevithick-Day is an annual day of celebration for the town of Camborne celebrating the great engineer Richard Trevithick. The Camborne born inventor pioneered the first practical application of high-pressure steam and a series of historic steam related innovations.

Trevithick’s first high-pressured engine was erected at Stray Park (latterly a section of Dolcoath Mine) in 1800 and incorporated a series of radical improvements. Trevithick’s influence on mine engines was considerable, particularly following the introduction of his high-pressure ‘Cornish’ boiler which allowed safe, high working pressures. An important legacy however lay in the potential for small, powerful, self-contained engines, particularly in the field of self-propelled transport.

Trevithick is most likely best known for his steam powered Road Carriage; which he first debuted in Camborne in 1801. It was the first time a full sized vehicle had been able to run on a roadway under its own power. The Cornish engine was to be adopted not only by Cornish, UK and overseas mines but, from 1837, by the new waterworks being constructed to service Britain’s rapidly growing towns and cities. Cornwall and west Devon foundries expanded to meet the growing demand. They benefited from being in close contact with their market and rapidly became leaders in engine-building technology.

Trevithick’s work laid the foundation for the development of the steam locomotive, the steam ship, the portable engine, the traction engine and the steam car and lorry; for many of which he built prototypes. The development of efficient high-pressure steam engines with multiple-tube boilers effectively freed industry and communications from the limitations of water power, horse power and wind power. Equally significant, the more economical use of fuel meant freedom of location. It was now possible to take and use steam power anywhere.

Trevithick Day will include:

  • Model Exhibitions
  • Vintage Vehicles
  • Local school children in the Bal Maidens and Miners Dance led by Camborne Town Band
  • Performances by Local Male Voice Choirs
  • Concerts by Camborne Town Band and other local bands
  • Street Entertainers
  • Flower Festival
  • Steam Engines and Stationary Engines
  • Fair Ground Rides
  • Market Stalls
  • The Trevithick's Dance
  • The Steam Parade


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