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Port mulgrave ironstone tunnel (May 2015)

ACID-REFLUX

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Little bit of history first :- Port Mulgrave owes it"s existence purely to the Ironstone industry. Created at a cost of £45,000 circa1852 by Sir Charles Palmer who needed a way of transporting his Ironstone from port Mulgrave to the blast funaces & Ironworks in Jarrow (owned by himself & his brother George) Originally it was named Far Rosedale, but to avoid confusion with the existing Rosedale Ironworks in North yorks moors he renamed it port Mulgrave in honour of the Earl of mulgrave a local prominent landowner.

Tunneling began circa 1854 and the ironstone was extracted directly from the surrounding cliffside being loaded onto ships via wooden jetty"s with a narrow gauge line of 3ft above and below for direct loading into the hulls of the boats.

By the 1870"s Port Mulgraves depleted Ironstone production was replaced with more productive seams found 3 miles away in Grinkle Park and as the only means of transporting the Ironstone was still via the sea the Port Mulgrave tunnel was extended a further mile through to Dalehouse & futher additions through the valley incorporating 3 wooden viaducts & a futher tunnel under Ridge Lane to the newly formed Grinkle Mine.

Port Mulgrave harbour continued transporting the Ironstone until 1917 when a rail link to the Whitby to Middlesborough main line was connected, mainly due to the new maritime risk to ships due to WW1.

A fire severely damaged the jetty"s which was repaired but the now basically unused harbour was finally blown up by the Royal Engineers in WW2 in case those pesky Nazi"s tried to use it.

Now, i cannot stress this enough, the Port Mulgrave tunnel system & drift mine is "DEADLY" to say the least. It has multiple roof collapses along it"s length, with the first one almost immediately inside the main tunnel portal, never mind the following collapses along it and the fact as you climb up into what is basically the roof void, the remaining roof structure is still collapsing, even without help from being knocked by a camera mounted on a tripod. it really is that fragile. i had to push very large rock sections that were hanging precariously out of the roof to get them to fall controlled rather than risk them falling onto me as i slid underneath them, and this was at both blockages.

As you will see in the pics water flows from the left hand tunnel, which was the Ironstone drift part into the Tramway tunnel, through deep ochre & water along with it"s own multiple collapses as far as you can see or risk to venture. The water /ochre from the drift side is pretty deep inside the tramway tunnel, this appeared to be due to a small roof collapse into a side audit which looks like part of a side drift coming off the tunnel itself. I decided for some reason to waste valuable time etc removing large rock sections & cleaning the audit entrance to allow the water to drain into the drift (as of leaving the water level had dropped @4") although this still required waders to proceed to the 2nd tunnel roof collapse.

Longer story short, as there"s no recent reports from here (TBH i"ve not found anything past the first flooded section) it was always going to be possibly high on the risk factor, especially solo, & even allowing for a recce i made the the week before & discussions with Stranton regarding the "AIR" issues & possible cave ins i returned solo like a complete "[email protected]"!! Totally Ignoring the conversation we"d had about me finding some dead explorers inside

Note that the first section is fine & dandy if you don"t mind crap air & possible roof collapses along with associated slips & falls into orange & black mud. I had to walk down the rail lines due to the depth of water, it should be fine in whellies by now after my hard work unblocking (y) After climbing through the 2nd tunnel collapse it dries out dramatically due to the roof collapse blocking the flow. All side audits throughout have collapses completely filling them up & spalling into the tunnel. (the first one being the only one relatively clear).

This also raises the obvious question of air quality, especially with no flow of air felt inside Indeed i had to remove my mask as i was having trouble breathing easily even in the first section while i was taking my pics (in both directions as i proceed, cos you never know ;) & i just accepted the smell of damp & mud etc ( first clue you idiot o_O) after sampling the air in the 2nd section of the tunnel it seemed no different so i carried on with my picture taking including the other trackway running off to the left (as you face the sea) which was completely blocked by a major roof collapse. ( there"s a trend forming here) & i progressed to the 3rd major roof collapse. This was a little more restrictive and after climbing up & into the roof void again i was met with loose rocks & falling debris at the slightest touch. I decided to leave my camera mounted tripod on the roof pile & check out the next section without it, due to the restriction created by this roof collapse. I slid down into this section which was much the same as the last & could see another collapse in the distance to which i walked up to through a few inches of mud. The tunnel was now completely sealed by this blockage so i decided to just take a few pics on my phone rather than the farce that would be going back for my camera etc.

As i went for my phone i realised i was hyperventilating, that"s weird i thought i"ve not exerted myself, i slowed my breathing down but was unable to get my breath,i immediately felt sick & wanted to void myself this is when the penny dropped and i bailed as fast as you can in a mud filled debris strewn tunnel section in complete darkness, hoping my head torch didn"t fail & i didn"t die (ironically) with my heart seemingly coming out of my chest like a pounding drum & my lungs over inflating trying to find some breathable air inside i threw myself up the first collapse grabbed the camera as threw myself back down into the 2nd section hoping to find some air, especially as i"d already come through here without any problems. No exactly the same situation as the last one, by this time which seemed like forever & i honestly thought it was my time. I could see the next collapse ahead of me but i didn"t think i could make it as the pain from my chest & lungs were joined with a feeling i was drifting off. I only just managed to get up & over the collapse bringing some of the roof down on me as i did, & ended up on my knees in the flooded 1st tunnel section with hardly any strength to carry on, obviously as i"m writing this (badly) there was breathable air still in this section and i managed to somewhat regain my breathing & heatbeat down to @200BPM & after about 5 mins came out of the complex. Then for some reason instead of the long cliff walk of broken ankles i decided to climb straight up the cliff side above the tunnel portal to get to the top of the cliffs (don"t do it,it"s too dangerous especially in the wind & rain. i blame the lack of oxygen for this idiotic act, as for entering the tunnel :wanker

Anyway on with the pics, in hindsight i can honestly say it was"nt worth it & the last thing i"d want is anyone to attempt this without BA & buddies. All i can think is i had used all the breathable air as i traveled through the tunnel system ?

I"ll do this is two parts with the drift mine side being the first & follow it with the O2 free tunnel afterwards. I won"t apologise for the picture heavy post, but i do apologise for the ramblings above, except the "WARNINGS"

Below is an original image of the wooden Jetty"s and Harbour showing the 3ft narrow gauge tracks etc Copyright image archive.

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://image-archive.org.uk/wp-content/MAX/2011_04/port-mulgrave.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.image-archive.org.uk/?cat=63&h=641&w=1000&tbnid=I1mHqZYoYPJTKM:&zoom=1&docid=hJS-dMor9gIHyM&ei=m-pTVd-5FIzXU42-gOgD&tbm=isch&ved=0CCgQMygIMAg

Below is one of the Locomotives that ran from Grinkle mine through to Port Musgrave. Copyright Image archive.

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://image-archive.org.uk/wp-content/MAX/2011_04/Dale-House-to-Port-Mulgrave-tunnel.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.image-archive.org.uk/?cat=63&h=535&w=800&tbnid=5OmAxxpicdMOnM:&zoom=1&docid=hJS-dMor9gIHyM&ei=m-pTVd-5FIzXU42-gOgD&tbm=isch&ved=0CCQQMygEMAQ

Below a copy of the information panel on the cliff top at Port Mulgrave showing the original set up, the Tunnel portal can be seen with the rails running over the Jetty, and the spur tunnel running underneath this one. Thanks to Phils link, more so as he"s been an inspiration regarding tunnels & the fact it was raining so didn"t get a clean shot of the information panal on the cliff top lol

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http://www.flickriver.com/photos/phill_dvsn/sets/72157605736236124/&ei=h-xTVcz4KsG8UqDvgIgE&bvm=bv.93112503,d.d24&psig=AFQjCNHAoUmgd5PSUkGbniKl6Yalgigvgg&ust=1431649246006843

Port Mulgrave Tunnel

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Lower level Portal

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Main portal

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Looking back t entrance Portal

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Looking down from first collapse down to twin Tunnel Portals.Drift on left, Tramway on right.

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Drift Tunnel 1

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Drift Tunnel 2

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Drift Tunnel 3

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Drift Tunnel 4

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Reverse view in Drift Tunnel 1

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Reverse view in Drift Tunnel 2

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Tramway Tunnel 1



Tramway Tunnel side Drift 1



Side Drift, un-blocked

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Tramway Tunnel 3



Tramway Tunnel 4

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Tramway tunnel first roof collapse





Looking down from the roof collapse

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2nd section Tramway Tunnel

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Continuing down the Tunnel

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Looking towards roof collapse No 2



2nd roof collapse

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Reverse Tramway Tunnel

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Twin Tunnels. Lower Tramway Tunnel on left



Back into 1st section



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coolboyslim

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Jesus sounds crazy. But bloody good pics. Glad you fooking survived it. Even if you where bloody stupid doing the on ya tod run lol. Roof collapse pic 2 is missing a [ icon so is not showing. And I have just one question Did you find the bones/bodies of any explores lol. Good stuff m8ty

 

ACID-REFLUX

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No bodies mate lol

Might be now though?

This is the one i took the GF too last month if you remember, we"d just come out of Sandsend & kettleness tunnels when we spoke, as that shooting party were giving us concerns about discharging their Guns into the tunnel as we walked through them.

Link sorted now matey, cheers :)

 
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hamtagger

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Jesus you must've cacked yourself when you realised there was no air, must've been a horrible feeling. Well, glad you survived and a top set of pics for your efforts, especially like that Tramway Tunnel side Drift 1 shot (y)

:comp

 

ACID-REFLUX

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This is an awesome reportI've seen the pics before, but re-read it all again.

Be careful in future mate!
Idiotic report mate, which is why i left the "I"m a Wanker" stuff in .

I"ve finally got myself a 4Gas Meter & i can honestly say it makes for a more relaxed explore (as it should) i should have got one a long long time ago. The amount of dead end railway tunnels & the like with no air shafts etc never mind the culverts with pockets of god knows what waiting, it"s just not worth the risk.....but we do it for some reason.

I wouldn"t risk it at work without the correct PPE but for some reason it"s ok as a Hobby :eek:

I was reading up on it the other day. 2 breaths is all it takes of low O2 and you"re down. i thought we could survive on less Oxygen TBH before any issues, how wrong was i!

 

ACID-REFLUX

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Jesus you must've cacked yourself when you realised there was no air, must've been a horrible feeling. Well, glad you survived and a top set of pics for your efforts, especially like that Tramway Tunnel side Drift 1 shot (y) :comp
Cheers matey :)

Combination of trying not to lose all bodily fluids at the same time as running/climbing etc etc mate....not recommended i"ll tell you lol

Funny how only one other person followed me down :eek: Muntagen, with a Meter and he registered 15% O2 halfway down the first tunnel section, which is low enough to cause serious problems & didn"t go any further.

It"s probably one of the few tunnels that Google Images has very little on. Mine should be the most extensive.....which they wouldn"t have been able to add to my Tombstone ironically :D

The beauty of this place is that Ironstone reacts with water to produce CO2 ......ooops

 

The_Raw

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Cheers for risking your life for us all mate (y)

the last thing i"d want is anyone to attempt this without BA & buddies.
The A Team? :lol:

 

Ferox

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Bloody hell mate, I was hyperventilating just reading this. Sound like a very close call bud. Glad you survived it mate  :-D  Pics are awesome as usual  (y)

 

ACID-REFLUX

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Bloody hell mate, I was hyperventilating just reading this. Sound like a very close call bud. Glad you survived it mate  :-D  Pics are awesome as usual  (y)


Cheers mate  :)

I was having a bad day when i wrote it up so it rambles on & on but i think the general idea is in there somewhere lol

 
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