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Holme Bank Mine, Derbyshire, December 2009

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RiF

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The last two operational chert mines in Derbyshire were the Pretoria Mine and Holme Bank Mine, both at Bakewell. Pretoria opened in 1902. Access was from adits in a quarry at Bank Top and the steep workings extended beneath the road to connect with the earlier Greenfield shaft. The chert bed lies on a 1 in 3.7 gradient and the mine was subject to flooding in severe winters. Illumination was by mains electricity in addition to carbide lamps carried by the miners.
The chert bed was on average 9 ft (2.7 m) thick, though up to 18 ft (5.5 m) in places. It was extracted by removing the underlying limestone so that the chert fell under its own weight. A hoist powered by compressed air loaded it onto flat wagons, drawn to the surface by compressed air winches along a 1 ft 6 in (46 cm) gauge railway. The ‘waste’ limestone was built up into substantial roof supports. 
Between the wars the number of employees, which in 1905 totalled 38, fell to about a dozen and by 1964 was reduced to four, only two of whom worked underground. Commercial output from Pretoria ended in 1968/9
In view of the flourishing state of the industry, the reporter was highly critical of the 17 or 18 shillings (85-90p) a week paid to the hard-working miners. Some had 25 years’ experience and all worked long hours underground.
In recent years the few underground visitors to Holme Bank Mine have included cave divers, using the clear subterranean waters for training purposes. Almost 10 years ago the Peak Park Planning Board granted permission for the mine to be opened up to visitors but this plan has so far not materialised.

Visited with lio112, diehardlove and J4M35_UK

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Sorry for so few shots of outside, it was hammering it down and I desprate to get down the mine

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U74A

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Splitting! kinda unnerving

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Stanton 1946

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View the rest here;

http://s68.photobucket.com/albums/i18/Zoot337/Urbex/Derby%20Mine/

 
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