The treacle mining industry in Cornwall owes much to the county's unique geology. Millions of years ago seismic changes in the earth's crust resulted in hydrocarbons or fossil fuels such as coal metamorphosising into complex carbohydrates which in turn broke down giving rise to substantial deposits of sugars such as treacle and molasses. During the late 18th. and early 19th. century treacle was mined extensively throughout the county and Cornish treacle was said to be among the finest in the world, with treacle puddings forming an essential part of the traditional Cornish diet. The extraction of treacle was a highly skilled operation requiring stamina and teamwork. Miners however were poorly paid and worked in sticky and often very perilous conditions. Underground deposits of treacle were often under considerable pressure and many brave Cornishmen met an untimely death after inadvertently tapping into hitherto undiscovered reserves. This was in fact the origin of the saying ' to come to a sticky end '. During the latter part of the 19th. century the bottom fell out of the market as treacle prices slumped due in no small part to the importation of cheaper cane sugar and sugar beet from the West Indies. Faced with starvation, many miners and their families left to seek their fortune in the Golden Syrup fields of Kenya and Tanganyika.