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Murdoch Day celebrates Redruth’s Famous Inventor

Murdoch Day celebrates Redruth's most famous inventor. Watch the Children's Procession, browse the street market, ride the Old Tyme Fair & enjoy live music.
Most towns have a famous son, but few have a special festival to remember that person 200 years later! Redruth certainly does their famous citizen proud by celebrating William Murdoch on Murdoch Day, held on the second Saturday in June.

changed the lives of working people, not only in Cornwall but across Britain with his steam engine improvements and genius inventions in the 1780s.

Redruth’s Murdoch Day is a family friendly day packed with a full programme of activities. They cram in a Children’s Dance and Art Procession, a street market, Old Tyme Fair, exhibitions, crafts, stalls, refreshments, live music and entertainment from dawn to dusk.

Murdoch Day celebrations

Murdoch Day starts with a Children’s Parade from the Trewirgie Junior School at 10am, so you have to be up with the larks to reach Redruth early in the day. The parade includes children from 11 local schools and they really get into the spirit of the event by dancing the Murdoch Spring Dance. Lively music from the Illogan Sparnon Silver Band keeps the dancers in step, if not in tune!

After the dancers the procession has children carrying works of art that they create for the festival which always has a theme. In between the paraders you will encounter competing music from the Golowan Band, the Haylestorm Samba Band and a Joint Schools Samba Band. It’s hard to remember where you are with all that lively music straight from the Rio Carnival!

A stage is set up by the town clock and miner statue with a line-up of musicians and singers at the ready to keep everyone entertained throughout the day. In between groups there is line dancing, so get ready for a fun workout!

Choirs, fair and arts exhibition at Redruth Murdoch Day

If you fancy trying your hand on a rodeo bull, beating the goalie, playing giant space balls or enjoying a tasty snack, head to St Rumon’s Social Club and Gardens on Penryn Street. They also have live music from local Male Voice Choirs, bands and a disco.

Other local choirs and dance groups put on dazzling displays at the Market Way Performance Area which can be anything for choral singing to zumba!

Another popular area for families with children is the Flowerpot Chapel car park where an old-fashioned Old Tyme Fair is set up. Alternatively pop into the library where they have craft sessions and a great exhibition of photographs depicting life in Cornwall.

There’s a free rugby match at Cornwall’s only Rugby League Club in Redruth, an Arts Exhibition at various venues around the town, hands-on nature workshops on Fore Street and stalls and refreshments at the Methodist chapel.

They pack an awful lot into 12 hours at the Murdoch Day celebrations!

Who was William Murdoch?

William Murdoch was a 18th century inventor and mechanical engineer. He was born in Scotland and moved to Redruth to work in the mines as an engine erector for Boulton and Watt. Murdoch pioneered gas lighting so that homes could be lit safer and more efficiently with gas lamps rather than candles. He also built the first ever steam carriage which he drove around Redruth in 1784, long before the age of automobiles.

Murdoch is best remembered in the mining communities as his engineering inventions improved the efficiency of steam engines. They were the source of power for pumping out water to enable miners to extract tin and other metals and minerals. You can see more by visiting near St Just which offers tours of a former tin mine and its buildings along with an interesting museum.

Do you live in Redruth or know the town well? Let us know what you enjoy about Murdoch Day and feel free to share any local tips for visitors.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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