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  1. About 3 months after he fractured his spine, I went down to Nailsworth to visit my friend Oort. After a quick coffee and a catch up, we headed straight to the mine for Oort's first mooch after his accident. Not much online. The early history of these quarries is vague. Presumably quarrying of the fine oolite stone has been carried on at the outcrop since Roman times. Due to the steep hillsides, the overburden soon became too great and thus they went underground. There are a number of small scale developments. According to a 90 year old inhabitant of Nailsworth, a Mr William Mortimer who died in 1970, such places were worked in the winter months by cottagers employed in casual agricultural work during the summer. Graffitti dating 1900-1947 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) Cheers for Looking
  2. Visited with The Kwan on a rainy Saturday, some lovely bits left in the area and we missed quite a bit so theres always an excuse for a return visit. Some History The name Ratgoed derives from “Yr Allt Goed”, which means the steep, wooded hillside. Ratgoed mine was also sometimes known as “Alltgoed”. The Ratgoed slate workings lie at the head of what was originally called Cwm Ceiswyr but became known as Cwm Ratgoed because of the quarry. It lies north of Aberllefenni and northwest of Corris in, what is now, the Dyfi Forest. The slate that was quarried at Ratgoed was the Narrow Vein. This runs from south of Tywyn, on the coast, to Dinas Mawddwy about 18 miles inland and follows the line of the Bala Fault. The Narrow Vein was worked along its length at places such as Bryneglwys near Abergynolwyn; Gaewern & Braich Goch at Corris, Foel Grochan at Aberllefenni and Minllyn at Dinas Mawddwy. The slate at Ratgoed dips at 70° to the southeast, the same as Foel Grochan. Ratgoed was a relatively small working, it was worked from around 1840 until its closure in 1946. Pics [ [ Le Kwan Thanks for looking
  3. cgeff

    France Rusty Mine

    Hi All, Some pictures of a mine. A spot quite dangerous but a great place ! Hope you will like these pictures
  4. One from back In Jan As the weekend approached, as did another explore for myself @eoa and @monk. Seems we are a good trio of bell ends and something usually goes wrong somewhere down the line and Moel Fferna wasn’t going to let us (or shall I say me) down. Anyway, Myself and @EOA started the day with our customary maccies breakfast (minus the spiced cookie latte this time) we then met @Monk nearer to the mine. We’d heard the walk was a bit of a pig upto the mine so we opted to utilise the jeep which took us as close as we could manage, but still a bit of a walk away. Ah well it saved our legs A LOT. The weather was, well, yeah…. you can see from the pictures! So after a bit of a trek through the snow we found the air shaft and @EOA worked his ropey magic and rigged up 2 lines for us noobz (me and @Monk) to covert absolute pro umbex urbseil down the shaft to have amooch around the mine! Top day, the mine is bloody huge, unfortunately we didn’t find the bridge of death as we only had wellies and it was a tad too deep for us to carry on that way. So a return trip isin order. As I said earlier, Moel Fferna wasn’t to let me down. As I was trying to ascend out of the chamber I put all of my weight on my right leg pushed up and POP my knee let go. I managed to get myself out and hobble back to the car. Turns out I have partially tore a ligament off my bone and damaged my meniscus. YAY. All in all another fucking epic mooch with two top blokes in some mint weather conditions playing with ropes, beers, mines and cameras. AWESOME Update. So I have been to the fracture clinic I'm awaiting a scan but the consultant is very confident i have torn my cartilage and will need keyhole surgery. Great History Early workings tended to be in surface pits, but as the work progressed downwards, it became necessary to work underground. This was often accompanied by the driving of one or more adits to gain direct access to a Level. In some rare instances, such as here (Moel Fferna), there is no trace of surface workings and the workings were entiely underground. Moel Frerna has chambers which follow the slate vein, connected via a series of horizontal Floors (or 'Levels'). The chambers vary in size and are divided by 'pillars' or walls which support the roof. The floors are connected by 'Inclines' which used wedge-shaped trolleys to move trucks between levels. At Moel Fferna a team could produce up to 35 tons of finished slate a week. In 1877 they received about 7 shillings a ton for this. After paying wages for the manager, clerks and 'trammers' the company could make a clear profit of twice this amount. This system was not finally abolished until after the Second World War. Pics Here we are at the top of the airshaft whilst @EOA rigs it up. (don’t we look like pros?) @monk abseiling in. we did have an electron ladder there too but its bloody awkward so it was easier to just abseil in past it. @EOA urbseiling in The first few sections of the mine are very damp and a pain to photograph due to the amount f moisture in the air. This was the flooded section. It was just above wellies but we couldn’t be arsed getting wet feet. @EOA did though because he is a balloon. @Monk snapping away It’s hard to gauge the size of these chambers even with myself in the shot you don’t get a true feel for the sheer scale of them Pikied carriages RIP ladder Some of the Graff 33ri3 wheelbarrow pushed around by the headless mine man. On the 12th hour of everyday you can hear the squeak of the pikied wheel. There was plenty of cool little walkways between the chambers. A winch still in situ up at the top too. The most photogenic rusty old pump in existence. Last but not least another groupshot underneath the cog support. Oh and if anyone is interested a quick video chucked together. <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dc_8V5x3KDo" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  5. This was a place we had wanted to visit for a long time so when it got mentioned in memory of DHL that a group of people would be getting together up here i jumped at the chance.. So myself UrbanGinger SpaceInvader met up with PaulPowers and headed in ,then met way too many people to name if i could remember who everyone was.. Nice to meet up with old and new faces..RIP dave Sorry i didnt get round to the abseil pitch that was set up my head was way to spinny for that.Great evening was had ,Thanks to all involved
  6. Thought I had little excuse but to have a look around this one, it's practically in my back garden. Had the dog with me so couldn't venture past heras etc. Will stick a proper report up when I have a full look. Main Colliery Headstock And rolling stock This is actually from the main railway in coalville, which was transported to the mine when it closed to preserve it. A barge, not sure why that's there! Will try and get back soon and see what else I can get. ?
  7. This was my first ever trip down a mine. So a massive thanks to @EOA for making it happen and another massive thanks to @monk and his daughter for being excellent guides. It was bloody awesome, I could've spent all day poking around the sheds at the top tbh. Underground however was just amazing. It's bloody big this place so a return visit over a couple of days with many more mine beers is a must. History copied from the ever faithful Wikipedia. Obviously. Maenofferen was first worked for slate by men from the nearby Diphwys quarry shortly after 1800. By 1848 slate was being shipped via the Ffestiniog Railway, but traffic on the railway ceased in 1850. In 1857 traffic resumed briefly and apart from a gap in 1865, a steady flow of slate was dispatched via the railway. The initial quarry on the site was known as the David Jones quarry which was the highest and most easterly of what became the extensive Maenofferen complex. In 1861 the Maenofferen Slate Quarry Co. Ltd. was incorporated, producing around 400 tons of slate that year. The company leased a wharf at Porthmadog in 1862 and shipped 181 tons of finished slate over the Ffestiniog Railway the following year. During the nineteenth century the quarry flourished and expanded, extending its workings underground and further downhill towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. By 1897 it employed 429 people with almost half of those working underground. The Ffestiniog Railway remained the quarry's major transport outlet for its products, but there was no direct connection from it to the Ffestiniog's terminus at Duffws. Instead slate was sent via the Rhiwbach Tramway which ran through the quarry. This incurred extra shipping costs that rival quarries did not have to bear. In 1908 the company leased wharf space at Minffordd, installing turntables and siding to allow finished slates to be transshipped to the standard gauge railway there. In 1920 the company solved its high shipping costs by building a new incline connecting its mill to the Votty & Bowydd quarry and reaching agreement to ship its products via that company's incline connection to the Ffestiniog Railway at Duffws. Modern untopping operations at Maenofferen. The uncovered chambers of the Bowydd workings are clearly visible In 1928 Maenofferen purchased the Rhiwbach quarry, continuing to work it and use its associated Tramway until 1953. When the Ffestiniog Railway ceased operation in 1946, Maenofferen leased a short length of the railway's tracks between Duffws station and the interchange with the LMS railway, west of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Slate trains continued to run over this section until 1962, Maenofferen then becoming the last slate quarry to use any part of the Ffestiniog Railway's route. From 1962 slate was shipped from the quarry by road, although the internal quarry tramways including stretches of the Rhiwbach tramway continued in use until at least the 1980s. The quarry was purchased by the nearby Llechwedd quarry in 1975 together with Bowydd, which also incorporated the old Votty workings: these are owned by the Maenofferen Company. Underground production at Maenofferen ceased during November 1999 and with it the end of large-scale underground working for slate in north Wales. Production of slate recommenced on the combined Maenofferen site, consisting of "untopping" underground workings to recover slate from the supporting pillars of the chambers. Material recovered from the quarry tips will also be recovered for crushing and subsequent use. Anyway onto my poto’s My first ever photo down a mine.
  8. Afternoon, Thought i had lost these pictures forever, but alas numerous devices raided for pictures and i managed to rescue enough to warrant a report. Had my eye on this place from the moment it closed, situated in a village with most of my family in it. Infact often looking out across the fields from the garden of their home wondering when it would actually close eager to have a look around somewhere that had not on shaped the surrounding landscape, but employed relatives over the years.. then it did... time for a look. History; Thoresby Colliery was a coal mine in north Nottinghamshire. The mine opened in 1925, and closed in 2015, then Nottinghamshire's last coal mine. The first two shafts in 1925 were sunk to 690 metres (2,260 ft). The shafts were deepended by 109 metres (358 ft) in the 1950s. After privatization of the National Coal Board in the 1990s the mine was taken over by RJB Mining (later UK Coal as UK Coal Thoresby Ltd). In April 2014 it was announced that the pit would close July 2015. The colliery's 600 employees had been reduced to 360 by the time of the closure in July 2015. The wander; Visited this place with non member xcon2icon/Frankie Jaeger - not sure what he wants to be referred to as. We had spent the last few nights camping in the Peak District, climbing and venturing into mines, so knowing i could count on the family to put us up and have a much needed shower we headed here. A few beers and roll ups later we decided that the big sprawling colliery we had been staring at for the last few hours while drinking needed to be done. Gaining access to the site was so very simple, however we soon saw a few vehicles on site and heard the beautiful sound of ravages barking in the distance. Not easily put off, we pressed further into the huge site. Looking round the corner of the explosives store building, a white 4x4 was parked up with a man slumped behind the wheel and a dog in there too. Thinking that was it we retreated back round the corner listening to the possessed dog go full retard, barking away. Thankfully the bloke was having a nap until his dog woke him up, we hid up watching mr security wake up and go for a drive as if he was doing his job properly. Leaving us to venture deeper onto the site. Enough waffle, on with the pictures... hours spent in here ducking and diving from at least 3 security vehicles, and hounds, cracking fun. Unfortunately didnt have time to collect the crew hoodies we had ordered for the group shot so none of them this time. Cheers for looking..
  9. This was an old Mine and Mill in Scotland I visited that has been around since the 1820s it was rebuilt after WWII when German Bombers dropped inceduries onto it. The lift and mine shaft to the mine is still pretty much intact so I think it may be possible to maybe descend with a rope into the mine it's self. There was a CCTV camera on one of the windows of the buildings but I'm sure this was a fake one and just there as a deterent to looters. It is the first explore I have done where vandals and looters havent yet ransacked the area so I decided to keep the name of the area private but if anyone wants to visit then shoot me a pm.
  10. Hi all, In our continuing adventures of exploring abandoned mines, we revisit Smallcleugh Lead Mine in Nenthead, Uk, which dates back to the 1700s. In the 3.5 hour adventure, we visit the classic Ballroom, where a huge body of ore was removed, and then onto what we have named the " Second Ballroom ", which is the largest stope I have ever seen. A little history (Thanks mineexplorer.org) Smallcleugh Mine was started in about 1770, looking for the continuation of Hanginshaw's West of Nent Vein, but this was soon abandoned. In 1787 the work was restarted by an agent for the London Lead Company along the Smallcleugh Cross Vein which produced an immense quantity of ore. There where also many other rich veins worked from Smallcleugh - Middlecleugh (and 1st and 2nd Sun Veins), Longcleugh, and Great Cross. The mine over the years was also worked by the Nenthead and Tynedale Lead and Zinc Company and Vieille Montagne Zinc Company. Most of the operations in Smallcleugh had come to an end around the 1900's. In 1963 the mine was briefly reopened in pursuit of new ore reserves, but little large scale mining took place. A famous occurrence at the mine was the dinner party held down it. On September 2nd 1901, 28 members of the local Masonic branch held a dinner down the mine in a large stope know today as the Ballroom Flat.It is often assumed that Smallcleugh Mine extends all the way to Bogg Shaft and beyond, as these are reached via the Smallcleugh portal, however Smallcleugh originally only went as far as the Longcleugh Vein past the Ballroom, and the beginnings of the Middlecleugh Vein and Middlecleugh Second Sun Vein. The area past this which covers Carr's Cross Vein, Cow Hill Cross Vein, Barron's Sump Chamber and beyond are is in fact a separate mine called Longcleugh Mine, which was originally worked by shafts.Smallcleugh Mine is the one that everyone knows and goes down. We have been going down this mine on and off since 1988. It is very impressive and extensive with multiple flats, circular routes and connections to Middlecleugh, Rampgill, Carr's and Caplecleugh Mines. Enjoy, please like if you do and leave any relevant comments
  11. Hi all, My latest lead mine adventure video is up! This time, we have descended the 600 ft, 45 degree, Brandy Bottle Incline in the Old Gang valley
  12. Hi all, New video up, and it's another Ancient Lead Mine Explore! This time, it's the rather fun, smaller mine, called Tyne Bottom, in Nenthead, UK. This is my first experience of deep water in a mine The following history details are curtsy of mineexplorer.org.uk: Tynebottom Mine was first worked by the Earl of Carlisle and Company from 1771 to 1798, and then by the London Lead Company from 1798 to 1873. There are two adits into the mine, and both intersect the North Vein. The two levels are known as Wisen's Level or more commonly as Tynebottom A, which is the level from the footpath and the Sun Vein Level or known more commonly as Tynebottom B that emerges near the river. Only a small part of the mine is accessible now, but it is very extensive and has a number of surface shafts along its principle veins - Windshaw Bridge Vein and the North Vein. The workings on the Windshaw Bridge Vein extend over 1000m and on the North Vein they reach 600m. Towards the forehead on the North Vein there are shaft connections into Whitesike Level via Bunkershill and the Clay Levels. The mine is used by outdoor centres for commercial trips, the trip being in through one of the adits, across the North Vein Flats and then out via the other adit. NOTE: access to the adits is from the Pennine Way footpath, this however crosses private land and there is a little known agreement where explorers should leave a payment of £1.00 / per head in an envelope at Bridgeview cottage (opposite the green) in Garrigill. If approached by the land owner please be respectful and bite your tongue if you feel the need for arguments. The situation is fragile and that last thing needed is a sealed entrance.
  13. We recently did a trip down Brownley Lead mine in Nenthead, Uk. I have the video up on my Youtube channel. Link is below. If you want info before watching, the following is from mineexplorer.org. Brownley Hill mine was first worked for lead with silver being extracted as well, the earliest workings being via surface shafts on the Brownley Hill Vein. Records dated 1735 from the Greenwich Hospital indicate that the mine was of no real economic value at this time. In the middle of the 1700's the London Lead Company took out a lease for just under 20 years. They worked the Brownley Hill Vein in the Little Limestone and in the hazles above it, obtaining a considerable amount of ore, but they were prevented from mining deeper by water. To overcome the problem they drove the Brownley Hill High Level in the sills above the Great Limestone in an attempt to reach the Little Limestone gaining access to the bottom of old workings, however only a fraction of the expected ore was found. The company also tried the Brownley Hill Moss Cross Vein and Jug Vein, but due to poor ventilation they abandoned their undertakings in this area. In all, they gave up their lease before it was expired as the total current outlay on development brought forth very little in results.At the end of 1765 a new lease was taken out by two man team who obtained a very large amount of ore from the cross Veins as well as the Brownley Hill Vein. The ore raised was sold to the London Lead Company. In 1795 the lease passed to the newly formed Brownley Hill Lead Company. This was a particular lucrative time as the price of lead increased dramatically due to the wars with France. When the price declined again the lease was sold on to another group in 1816, which continued to work the mine under the same name of the Brownley Hill Lead Company. The mine now was being worked for zinc as well lead. It is during this period that the mine started to really develop. The Bloomsberry Horse Level was driven and the previously worked veins were now being worked from below. The horse level extended out on Guddamgill Cross Vein, Wellgill Cross Vein, Brownley Hill North Vein, Brownley Hill Vein eventually reaching the Brownley Hill Moss Cross and Brownley Hill High Cross Veins as well as Jug Vein. The lead ore in the lower levels were much poorer than that obtained in the higher horizons, however the grade of zinc ore was very good and this contributed to the operations profitability. Production was maintained until the middle of the 1850's.In 1869 the mine was operating under a different concern again, the Brownley Hill Lead Mining Company during this period the mine was closed for a while and then reopened again with the same workforce. In 1890 the company sold up the complete mining operation to the Nenthead and Tynedale Lead and Zinc Company who held the lease until 1894. At this time high grade lead ore was depleted and the Vieille Montagne Zinc Company took over the lease in 1914 shifting operations to the extraction of zinc ore. The mine operated until 1936. The last working of the mine was between 1964 and 1966; when the trial Slate Sill level was driven in the Slate Sills southeast of the Brownley Hill Moss Cross Vein. Enjoy Steve
  14. Christmas day, get me out of here! So off i went to take the dog for a walk, that was my excuse! Meaning to check this area for a while, i grabbed the dog, wellies, waterproofs, a bit of kit and off i went into the rainy, windy Lincolnshire wolds. The landscape of the Lincolnshire Wolds has been shaped a great deal from industry. The obvious is farming but the not so obvious is ironstone mining. It is hard to believe when looking out over the tranquil landscape of Nettleton and Claxby that it was once a very different scene, a noisy and bleak setting where up to 150 people worked to mine the ironstone of the land. Underground ironstone mining was part of the life of Claxby Parish from 1868 to 1885. This was followed by the first cut of the Nettleton mines in 1928 which remained open up until 1968. Mining provided employment for the people who lived in the area, along with financial support and social opportunities for miners and their families. Many houses you see in the area are linked to the mining industry. All entrances were well filled/sealed, accept one. I was lucky to find entry into one tunnel and walked for about five minutes heading deep down into the hillside, till i came to a solid wall of ready ready-mix concrete. Looks like tons of the stuff had been poured down from above, luckily one man and his big chisel had smashed a tiny hole through. Got through that, the tunnel was looking endless again! Unprepared, torch batteries dimming, no-one knowing where i was and with the rain lashing down outside that may cause flooding and collapse, i made my way back out. Ive never seen photos from within the mine, would i have made it in if i kept going? I dont scare easily, but i wanted out! Not a great vid, but explains a few things in the report, There is a lot more external stuff to see round this area, if this type of stuff interest you its worth popping by, nice for a long walk in the wolds if nothing else
  15. New video up, and we've been exploring the ancient Rampgill Lead Mine, in Nenthead, UK Water upto my testicles in this one Let me know what you think
  16. Visited with Conrad + a non member. Well it's the morning after an alcohol-fueled Saturday night...We've just had about 6 hours sleep after hitting Bristol's shittest club, where Conrad lost his marbles and kept buying us jugs of green cocktail and we all ended up super pickled! After leaving the guesthouse, settling my malfunctioning gizzard (god bless Morrisons' toilets - curse Fosters, VK and weird cocktails) and getting a fry up, we finally get to the derp albeit feeling a bit fragile... History wise the quarry dates back to the early 1800s and was the last of it's kind to use ponies. You can still see their tracks in places. It's a remarkable site in that it's very much public and well trodden, yet very well preserved, with little to no vandalism. How all places should be really, in a perfect world. We'd heard different things from different people regarding size, stability, etc. It does have a dodgy feel to it - melon sized slithers of rock hang from the ceiling by a thread in places and you can see where there's been significant falls in the past. The place is actually really quite big, I think we spent over 4 hours inside before Conrad had to catch his train back t'up North. In photos, the place looks much the same, so I don't have many of them. Another entrance. Being us, we took a much more complex route in through a small vertical slit! With splore buddy Mr.Pb. Conrad was fiddling with his tripod out of view. Beauty of an old crane, still standing. Video footage (shows way more than my pictures do): Decent bit of underground exploring on the whole! Was nice to get out of the wind and crap West Country weather! Excellent hangover cure too! Thanks for looking!
  17. Hi mates! I wasn't there for a long time. The beginniing of 2016 was really rich with explorations. And one of the places was a working magnesite mine in Chelyabinsk region. I was there two times but this time we managed to reach the lowest horizont on minus 320 meters. I had no tripod and my camera became misted so pics are not very good. Transport descent. Tubs without any railmotor car. Abandoned part is full of water. On the right you can see a tube from which a lot of splashes release. So that's all thanks for looking and have great time!
  18. just a quick one, not going to write an esssay on this one as it's been done a hundered times and i really need to go do some christmas shopping! visited with 3 non memmbers before heading to certain social event around the corner. was a banging day, wanted to see box for ages and from what i gather took in the majority of the cool bits and bobs down there, the robots, some cranes, the door and of course cathedral. Was nice going down with someone experiences as he knew a lot about the workings of the mine and would point out cool things that might have gone unnoticed, crane anchor points and erosion in certain places caused by the ropes hauling the stone around corners. History courtesy of http://www.subterraneanhistory.co.uk/ This mine has been worked over centuries (probably back to Roman times) and extends many miles. It is located in the village of Box, near Bath. It was used to extract limestone which was used to build many of the buildings in the local area and had military uses during WW2. Box is now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, on account of the number of bat species which reside in the mine. There are many famous sites to see within Box Mine including the Cathedral (an open shaft to the surface) and the robots (a large number of bricks which people have taken to making into robots and other things). have a great christmas kids
  19. A fairly large mine in belgium with some blue water in it , I did a lot of walking and exploring and i actually don't have much pics from here .. But a revisit will surely be planned as this is really cool to explore , been doing more and more underground explores lately and I like it But I'm very inexperienced in underground explores so sometimes I think i'm going to get lost and stuff ... This was also the case in this one, at first I was big mouthing my friends this isn't big , but several hours later hahahaah Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr Blue Lagoon by Vancolen Kevin, on Flickr
  20. History Mining for chert in Bakewell has taken place since 1772, when a potter named Josiah Wedgwood recognised that the fine-grained flinty silica in that area was of an extraordinarily high quality. The chert here was often described as being of a ‘throstle-breast appearance [which] is characteristic of the best quality; this being a silicious rock, with more or less closely-placed brown spots’. In the past the actual material itself was worked into tools originally, and in later years, as the human race advanced to some extent, it was used as a whitening agent in earthenware manufacture. Holme Bank Mine, initially Bakewell Chert mine, which yielded around half of the mined chert from Derbyshire, was the second of two chert mines in the county; the other being the Pretoria Mine. Both were located in Bakewell. It is reported that the chert bed lies on a 1 in 3.7 gradient, therefore parts of the mines are, as you might expect, fairly steep in places. George Tissington of Rowland discovered this for himself on 22nd November 1838 when he stumbled into the ‘Chert Delph, near Holme Hall’ and died as he was returning home in an intoxicated state after shopping in Bakewell. Quite expectedly, because of the gradient, the mine was also subject to flooding during severe winters. Regardless, by the mid-1800s the original quarry, which was created before any underground excavation occurred, became a prominent commercial mining area. For instance, in 1859 over 540 tons of chert was obtained and by 1860 1,080 tons was extracted. A royalty of four shillings a ton was paid for the material. Mining in a quarry, though, was not without its dangers: ‘A serious accident happened on Friday to two men named George Alsopp and William Wildgoose, at a chert quarry, at Bakewell. The men were, it appears, ramming in a charge of powder for a blast, when by some means ignition and consequent instant explosion took place, injuring both very severely; Alsopp was much injured on one side and one arm, but more seriously on the face, and so much so that his eyesight was at first despared [sic] of. Wildgoose was also much hurt about the face, and one hand so much mutilated, that it was feared amputation must be resorted to. Mr. Winson, of Bakewell, who rents the quarry of Mr. Gisborne, humanely conveyed the latter named person by the first available train to our infirmary’. Mining underground began in the very late 1800s/early 1900s, when it was leased to Joseph Smith, and before long the workings consisted of an extensive system of passages with eight different entrances. Original access for the mine was via adits in a quarry at Bank Top and from there the mine stretched out through the hillside and down beneath the road. By 1907 the production at Holme Bank Mine totalled over 2,700 tons of chert. In a detailed report on the progress of the mine, a mining engineer named Arthur G. Taylor of Bakewell described the following: ‘The working face is now about 250 yards in from the entrance to the mine and is upwards of 145 yards in length being across the western half of the area leased. It is advancing steadily towards the northern limit of the area leased. At the extreme west end of the face the workings have reached the limit and at the East end of the workings they are about 50 yards from the limit. There is an area further to the east of this face 142 yards x 70 yards in extent which as I know is still untouched – it lies to the dip of the strata and no doubt fully one third of this area will be found to be below water… The chert bed maintains on the whole its good quality varying from 4’ 6†to 4’ 10†in thickness – that is to say – its useful thickness – though there is probably a foot more of good cherty rock’. The mine continued to prosper through the early 1900s and a high rate of production was still maintained through the First World War. By 1925, 41 men were employed to work underground. Even the disruption to coal supplies during the Great Strike did not see production falter at Holme Bank. Instead, a new diesel engine was installed so that electric lights could be used for lighting. While green tallow candles were first used, by 1931 a Holam compressor/generator lit the entire underground network. Mining continued at a remarkable rate, but, as with all mines, many of the dangers of mining could not be removed entirely. Several more accidents were reported around this time; though safety measures had improved considerably in contrast to the mining conducted during the late 1800s/early 1900s. By the 1940s, during the Second World War, the number of men employed in the mine had fallen to fewer than 20, and only half of those worked underground. At some stage in this period the mine broke out onto the surface though, and from there it was found that the chert was able to be quarried once again. This process was not only cheaper, but also more straightforward. After the war, however, other mines had managed to developed cheaper and more efficient mining techniques and Holme Bank was unable to compete. The mine finally closed in 1959, although it was still used as a block-making plant, using some of the existing supplies of chert, for a number of years after closure. Our Version of Events Typically, as it always does when we plan to go underground, it was a nice sunny day as we set off into the Peak District. And, once we’d arrived, it was even more pleasant. However, choosing to ignore all that we set off in the direction of an abandoned mine and, in our bid to cause some chaos in the country, we made sure to park in ‘residential only’ parking, because Raz said it was OK. As we’d guessed, it wasn’t and ACID received a firm telling off for his crime. At first, access seemed near impossible for those of us who are burdened with huge muscular physiques; those without managed it easy enough. Thankfully, we found a way past this mere hindrance and it wasn’t long before we were deep inside Bakewell’s underworld. The explore itself is incredibly interesting, but a little precarious in certain areas where support beams, walls and ceilings have collapsed; Raz even managed to push his finger through one of the large wooden beams still in situ. So, the thrill that there was a risk of being crushed to death was certainly present while we were down there. All in all the place is a good wander, and you can easily spend hours down there trying to navigate your way through all of the old passages and chambers. Unfortunately, for us though, above ground there was a thunderstorm underway, and a heavy downpour ensued shortly afterwards. Consequently, the old passages we were wandering through all of a sudden became incredibly damp and misty, and thereafter it was impossible to take photographs since the lenses kept fogging up. A little disappointed, we retreated back via some unknown route towards what we thought was an exit. Luckily for us it was, and we were able to clamber back out where we were welcomed into bright sunshine and blue skies. Explored with ACID-REFLUX, Raz and Hydro3xploric. (Good to meet you both! Hopefully we’ll get some more exploring done sometime soon). 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23:
  21. Explored with Raz, FatPanda & Jord - Pic Heavy A Brief History of Bakewell Chert Mine Holme Bank was the last of two operational chert mines in Derbyshire the other being the Pretoria Mine, both at Bakewell. 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. Chert is a form of fine-grained, flinty silica most commonly found in veins in the uppermost beds of a limestone sequence. Chert was worked into tools in prehistoric times, easily shaped by chipping off flakes to produce sharp edges.The most useful role for chert was recognised about two centuries ago for the grinding of calcined flint, used as a whitening agent in earthenware manufacture. In 1772 the potter Josiah Wedgwood recommended Derbyshire chert as a major improvement over granite millstones, which left annoying black specks in the pure white flint. 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. Early 19th-century extraction at Holme Bank was from quarries but commercial mining was in place by 1867, when the site was known as Bakewell Chert Mine. Later it was also referred to as Smith's Mine, after the owner. The workings consisted of an extensive system of passages with eight entrances. In 1925, 41 men were employed but 20 years later only 21 were at work. Approximately half worked underground. Between the two World Wars, mining broke out on the surface, enabling the chert to be quarried alongside limestone. In its later years Holme Bank met a considerable demand for poultry grit. The mine closed between 1959 and 1961 but a block-making plant, trading as Smith’s Runners, remained in operation, using existing supplies of chert. 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 been implemented. Heres a Video link to some guys diving in the mine; The Explore; So after an early start and a long trip to Birmingham of which i remember only about 15 mins due to being in the land of nod, we had already explored Birmingham Central Library and tried 2 other places, so on our way home Mr i love mines & cranes Raz suggested a mine! With low batteries and low energy we were rather unprepared but still we ventured on, arriving at the entrance (which you can't miss due to the tempreture drop of freezing air flowing up from the pit bottom) and doing a little sqeezing and we were in! We quickly realised that the roof was in a dire state and in some places it was actually being held up by rotten wood and stones stacked on top of each other. This made me very very uneasy and we came to the decision not to go too far in without any disagreement. Heres a few more of our adventures underground; Thanks for looking
  22. Explored with –Raz- We had put this explore off for months for some reason, however on the way home from checking out how much of Hanson Brick Works was left (NOTHING) we nipped in for a look. History; Meet Bucyrus Erie, the whopping 1200 tonne open cast mine walking dragline. Known as “Oddball†the industrial giant could walk, yes walk, at 0.2mph which doesn’t sound fast but when it’s the size of 60 double decker busses and that heavy i'd say that was pretty impressive. It was originally built and based in Virginia USA where it served for 4 years before being packed up and shipped over to South Wales in 1952. Since then it has been taken apart and rebuilt plenty of times and has made appearances all across the UK until it came to rest in Swillington (St. Aidens mine). It took a few years out of service after an accident in 1988 when the miners dug too close to the river, effectively turning the mine into a giant pond. £20,000,000 later the mine had been drained and the work there was subsequently completed. In 1999 a group called the “Friends of St. Aidens†restored the dragline with the help of the national lottery and it made its final slug to its current resting place where it now sits as a museum piece and a monument to the great industrial prowess and power of the National Coal Board. If you got this far, thanks for reading More on my page @ www.facebook.com/seldomseenworldue
  23. Zeche M/Heinz is a huge abandoned Bergwerk or coal mine in Germany. The underground pits extend great distances, and above ground the industrial site for processing the hard coal is certainly large-scale. The site has developed over the years so the complex of buildings and machinery are a combination of modern technology alongside older techniques. A huge 55 meter tall tower houses two electric motors and winding gear for hoisting the miners and equipment into and out of the mineshaft. Each has its own control room to add to the epic look! There are several rooms for the baskets in which the miners stored their clothing and personal belongings while they were mining. Each basket can the drawn up to the ceiling, out of reach, and locked in place to ensure the security of the items they contain. The coal processing plant is extensive and contains a network of conveyors for transporting the coal around the site. Some of the machines are clearly older than others and some appear to have been out of commission for a lot longer than the the site has been closed. 1. Our Visit This turned out to be quite an epic trip! In the company of Spider Monkey, we got the overnight ferry to Rotterdam, having lots of fun on the crossing, roof-topping the ship and trying to get to the engine rooms! We made the journey to Germany for an early start at the mine, and spent the whole day exploring the massive place. We didn’t venture into the mine itself, above-ground there was so much to see, each area being completely different – it was like several explores in one! The baskets were amazing, and there were so many of them – bringing home just how many people used to work there. The highlight, however, was the green electric motors for hoisting things up and down the mineshaft. This was certainly one of my favourite industrial explores. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
  24. Currently being demolished , not much time is left to explore this decayed mine Glad I finally explored this location, very nice decay and an "ok" control room I hope you enjoy my pictures : Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr Abandoned Mine 2 by Vancolen Photography, on Flickr
  25. Early morning start to visit this lovely wee mine, for once access was very easy, parked a short distance away, no steep climbs to get into it, perfect for a Sunday! Very little information on this mine has been found so far, but it was working before 1868 and was still in production in 1877, but seems to have shut down shortly after this date. The entrance was very handly by a nice ladder, easy peasy After a few scrambles up some collapses soon arriving at the workings. There was plenty of timber supports and bracings in-situ, most had seen better days though! Remains of one of the main drives. Plenty of pillars to take pics of! Probably one of my fav pics from the trip Quite a few bits and bobs had been left behind, but no rails or hutches sadly. Last pic of another drive. Not a bad way to spend a fine Sunday morning, thanks for looking.