16th June 2002 - Malcolm Bailey
Sunday 16th June saw the Alderley "Diggers" like flies round a jampot at the wood mine entrance. A few days earlier the entrance lid had sustained some damage from vandalism. The new lid was in the surgery, awaiting fitting. A date had been set in August for the operation. The plan was to cut off the old concrete and fit the new lid into the vacant space with some fresh concrete. Due to the vandalism though the operation was brought forward. Doug came to rescue by obtaining all the sand, stone and cement well before hand. There was an excellent turnout on the day, Steve Mills, Nigel, Billy, Paul and Geoff Morrison, Chris Wright, Paul Stubbs, Mike, Phill and Elaine, Shaun, Dave, Me and even Doug turned up on his way home from a wedding in Peterborough. The cutting off of the old concrete was a difficult task. Hats off to the guys who put it in, it took us nearly 6 hours to remove it and that was with a Stihl saw and sledge hammers. In all approximately 1.5 tons of concrete were mixed in Steve's trusty mixer (that is trusty not rusty) (bless its little rubber wheels). The lid is fixed and cannot be removed except for maintenance. To open, remove lock, then push the locking bar away from the hole. This will release two large steel pins from the rim of the frame pull the lid up and it will pivot back into a resting position, there should be no danger of the lid falling back down on you as you enter. The plan is to fit a second ladder immediately behind the new one which has been turned anti clockwise by 90 degrees. This is to provide protection - should someone slip off the ladder they will not fall down the hole. The bottom of the second ladder will be movable for Open Weekends. - Malcolm Bailey
11/06/02 Wood Mine entrance was broken into and Sand Cavern was vandalised. Repair work will be carried out on the entrance on 16 June.
Below 1: Old entrance during an Open Weekend Below 2: New entrance lid two months after replacement