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Balloon Shaft after removing the old timber capping

Gallery: Exploration

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Title: Balloon Shaft after removing the old timber capping

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Brynlow MineClearing the leaf-filled gulley leading from the adit entranceAn improvised winch for working in the narrow sloping vein clearing in-fill
Timber shuttering to hold back material that had been tipped into the mineA small diameter shothole found and photographed at the end of the aditThe Cobalt Mine
Tom's Shaft conveniently located inside the DCC museumLooking up the temporary ladder in Tom's ShaftOne of the smaller sections in the Cobalt Mine
Shuttering in the Cobalt Mine where sand has slipped down from abandoned workingsDoc MineBricking up the connection between the upper and lower parts to prevent inexperienced visitors getting into danger. The wall is now completely hidden by sediment.
Building a new entrance on the old concrete slab over one of the shaftsStarting to survey Doc Mine in 1973. Note the antiquated compass on a tripod.A record photograph showing the current state of the mine. Photographs are taken regularly showing how the mines change
Engine Vein - Blue Shaft PassageLaying track below the bridge (which was not there at the time) to carry the infill to a dumpFilling tubs at the blockage near Bear Pit
Checking the stopping put in to prevent Bear Pit from spilling into the passage. This has since been removed as Bear Pit has now been cleared from top to bottom.A view of the stopping after clearing the main passage. The pipe took surface water away from the working area.The teleferique at the top of Blue Shaft - an abortive attempt to clear the shaft which was eventually cleared from below
Using Malcolm's tub and railway to work below Balloon ShaftTipping down Bear Pit (compare with the picture above when the stopping was still in place)The rebuilt ore chute at the bottom of Bear Pit
Square ShaftSquare Shaft was the key to exploring the Hough Level. It had to be cleared from top to bottom. However, at the bottom, the passage was found to be clear both ways.Putting the headframe in place. This dig preceded Bear Pit and a simple three-legged scaffolding frame was used.
Setting the rings in placeLooking up Square Shaft from below. One of the unexpected finds were some of the 19th century track still in situ below the shaft. These have now been placed vertically in the shaft.The Hough Level
Filling tubs at the face in the Hough Level. Clearing the Hough Level was seen as essential to clearing Blue ShaftTrack in the Hough Level near the entranceFinds included the remains of one of the boats used in the 1930s to carry visitors from Engine Vein to Brynlow.
Graffiti near the boat. Modern graffiti is deplored but this gives the names of some of the visitors on the 1920s and 30s.A tub coming out of the entrance to the Hough LevelThe entrance seen from the main tip. The timber bridge meant that side-tipping tubs could be emptied easily.
The tip. The mound to the left is the 19th century tip which was not disturbed by our work.For a short time, a diesel loco was used to pull out the trucks. It turned out to be too heavy and was removed.Bear Pit
Starting the dig on the Bear Pit using a pneumatic drill to break through the concrete. A historic picture.One works, the rest watch.Laying the concrete around the new lid.
General view of the Bear Pit dig in progress.Keith operating the petrol-driven winchDerek supervising at the shaft top. The buckets were raised to the next level for emptying
Todge on the dumper waiting for a loadOn the headframeRing Shaft
The early stages of digging Ring Shaft. It's presence was known from undergroundBringing in the rings that gave the shaft its nameRings in situ
Descending Ring Shaft on an abseiling rope. The second rope is the guidewire for the buckets being raisedBalloon ShaftBalloon Shaft after removing the old timber capping
The new lid in place surrounded by shuttering and concrete being pouredMoving the headframe from Ring Shaft to Balloon ShaftDigging Balloon Shaft using the same technique as at Bear Pit
Field ShaftImprovised winch at Field Shaft where the field had collapsed into an old shaft that had probably been lined with timberDebating the best way to line the shaft. A traditional brick well system was used
More up to date mechanisation using a capstan winchSteve shows that not all the visitors to the mines have two legsSand Shaft and Stump Shaft
Digging Sand Shaft where an old shaft had run into the Stump Shaft excavationLooking down into the heavily timbered Sand Shaft. This was eventually concreted at the rock headStump Shaft in the later days when it had nearly been levelled back up to the field
The last resting place of the headframe before it was dismantled.Temple ShaftThe 'Temple' in Wood Mine that gave the name to Temple Shaft
Temple Shaft was probably the most elaborate project of its kind with the excavated shaft 12 ft square and 15 ft deepAt the bottom of Temple Shaft where the sand finished and the rock started. A concrete plug was installedOne of the digging team
Wood MineThe reopening of Wood Mine. This was the first project carried out by the ClubJock and Todge clearing the adit in Wood Mine in 1970
Rebuilding the adit at Wood Mine. It had been blasted in in the 60sExploring Blue Lake by dinghyDigging in Canal Turn, a backfilled passage
The improvised winch and railway in Canal TurnThe dig at Roadworks Shaft which drops below the passage for about 20 ft. The name came from the road sign visible in the pictureInstalling fencing around Roadworks Shaft
West MinePouring concrete around the entrance lid in 1975A plaque recognising the work by members in reopening West Mine
A rare photograph of a person coming through the recently opened way into West Mine in 1975. A steel ladder replaced the electron ladderOn early trips, there was no bridge at Plank Shaft so we climbed around the shaft using a fixed ropeExcavation of the entrance to West Mine in 18 Acre Field
The completed entranceInstallation of a frame over Plank Shaft to facilitate access down the 60 ft shaftThe passage at the bottom of Plank Shaft awaiting exploration
Finlow MineWinter digging!The shaft top
Exploring one of the narrow passages in Finlow MineOn the vein in Finlow MineOther mines
The level near Beacon Lodge. This passage is now concealed by the pathThe Canyon Opencast while being surveyedRock Shaft near Stormy Point. Dug from top to near bottom
Reeking Mine during surface surveying in the area

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