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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 16:50 GMT
Roadsigns are 200 years late
Replica of Trevithick's engine
The Trevithick Society re-enacted the first car ride
An embarrassing confusion over the scene of the world's first-ever car journey has been sorted out, 200 years after it took place.

Richard Trevithick's invention failed to reach the summit of a hill at Camborne in 1801.

The journey has become legendary in Cornwall, thanks to one of the county's best-loved songs, "Camborne Hill."

But no such place appears on maps - and when a re-enactment was staged in April, many spectators stood on the wrong hill.

They stood by the engineer's statue in Camborne, expecting to see a replica steam car climb Beacon Hill.

Richard Trevithick
Trevithick is hailed as the inventor of steam
But the original route - between Camborne and Beacon - ran along modern-day Fore Street and Tehidy Road.

The Trevithick Society pressed the town council to end the confusion for tourists who have heard the much-loved chorus, "Going up Camborne Hill, going down".

Seven months later, it has put up two signs marking the route of the epic journey.

Richard Trevithick was born in Illogan, near Redruth, in 1771.

Unmarked grave

On Christmas Eve, 1801, his steam-propelled vehicle became the first ever to carry passengers when it set off up the celebrated hill.

But it ran out of steam half way and rolled back down to the bottom.

Three years later, one of Trevithick's engines successfully hauled 10 tons of iron the nine miles from Merthyr Tydfil to Abercynon in Wales.

He is hailed by many as the inventor of the steam locomotive - but he is buried in an unmarked grave at Dartford, Kent.

See also:

27 Jan 00 | Business
Cornwall's last chance
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