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Author Ttxela Journal
ttxela

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Ttxela Journal
Posted: 03/11/2011 13:11:48
Bedlams 3/11/11

I was supposed to be taking guests but they dropped out due to illness Sad A trip down to the groutings then a return following Ross by the most awkward route possible Roll Eyes good fun though. A brief moment of distress on my part when I became firmly wedged by an unwisely placed water bottle. Soon sorted.



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IP: 91.143.75.2
ttxela

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Posted: 19/02/2012 15:48:05
South Wales 10-15/2/12

A bit of a low key no publicity trip a couple of weeks ago.

Then the first half of half term in the WCMS cottage at Penwyllt with the family, a little bit of gentle caving and a look in the Silica mines.





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ttxela

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Posted: 02/03/2012 21:23:56
22/2/12 El Chorro & the Camino Del Ray, Andalucia

In spain visiting the sister-in-law we visited the El Chorro gorge and took a look at the famous Camino Del Ray walkway. The walkway is closed and derelict and a section at each end has been deliberately destroyed to discourage access. It is however possible to traverse and there is a via ferrata style cable for much of it's length. A future possibility for our next visit!

We visited the downstram end first, there is a large power station and numerous flumes and pipe runs some of which pass through tunnels, this one is next to the path up to the gorge.



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A view of the downstream end of the gorge showing the end of the walkway, the railway bridge and tunnel. A few people can be seen climbing up to access the walkway, this seemed to be an organised group.



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It is possible (although prohibited - this is a fairly busy railway) to cross the bridge and pass through the first tunnel for a view of the walkway through the gorge. The tunnel is relatively safe as it's wide with the track to one side although you wouldn't really want to get caught on the bridge. The view is impressive and you can see how exposed the walkway is!



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From the end of the first tunnel there is a viduct across to a second tunnel or you can get a taster of what the walkway is like by taking a short corresponding section on the railway side of the gorge, there is then a second tunnel you can pass through for a view of the walkway at the upstream end of the gorge.



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There is a third tunnel however Mrs T was waiting so I returned and we went for lunch. In the afternoon we drove round the the upstream end of the gorge. The walk up starts from a restaurant with a short tunnel driven through a ridge to the gorge then a long walk through the woods.



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The upstream end of the walkway is harder to access it is necessary to climb up the side of the gorge and abseil down, there was a group doing this during our visit, the trip seems very popular with English climbers! We walked back on the power station access road through more tunnels, the whole scheme has required a lot of tunnelling for service roads etc.



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We found a pedestian tunnel back to the road, about 300 yards long this cuts out about 3/4 of a mile of track to get back to the same point! I suspect this may be the real start of the Camino Del Ray route.



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ttxela

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Posted: 06/03/2012 20:33:59
23/2/12 Montes de Malaga

Still in spain we visited the small range of hills just outside Malaga. By the roadside we found this small mining trial. Perhaps it was for iron?

It didn't go very far, perhaps 100 yards or so through a couple of S bends. The water at the end was knee deep.



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ttxela

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Posted: 10/03/2012 22:00:07
4/3/12 WCMS Box Trip

A trip in to Box with a large group, a pleasant day spent exploring at a leisurely pace Thumbs Up

I was joined by one of our ladies from work and her boyfriend + Mrs T's cousin!




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ttxela

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Posted: 06/04/2012 20:49:07
GMS 4/4/12

A trip into GMS to see the cleaned down plateways, very impressive! A large group and a pleasant evening, young T was able to come along due to the Easter holidays but was a but camera shy. Of course we had to have a flask of hot chocolate!



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ttxela

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Posted: 29/04/2012 20:15:48
13-15/4/12 WCMS Peak Weekend

A trip with AR (many thanks Thumb Up ) to see a couple of smaller sites since our planned Ecton trip fell through.

Limepits Mine


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Hollybush Bank


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Followed by a wander round Masson in the afternoon.


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Sadly I had to abandon Sundays trip due to a last minute distress call from home Sad however everyone else had a good trip Thumbs Up
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ttxela

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Posted: 15/05/2012 13:09:13
12/5/12

WCMS Reigate Open Day

The first of the season. Mrs T came along too. I spent most of the day in Barons helping to show visitors round.
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ttxela

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Posted: 10/06/2012 13:10:18
Maison Blanche, Neuville St Vaast 6/6/12

My work colleague Tony’s plans for his WW1 trench re-creation are getting close to coming to fruition and his trips to France and Belgium are becoming more frequent, watch out for this very soon! In the course of this he has made contact with the Durand Group - http://www.durandgroup.org.uk/ - a research group dedicated to opening up, exploring and researching WW1 battlefield tunnels. They are currently engaged in recording a site called Maison Blanche and invited him along to take a look. Knowing I would be interested he extended the invitation to me.

Tony and his business partner were staying for several days travelling to his site in Belgium for more planning meetings so I travelled separately taking the tunnel whilst they took the Ferry. I arrived on the site first to find it seemingly deserted although a generator was running and so I crossed the road to the Neuville St Vaast German cemetery. A very sombre but impressive sight, the gravestones are simple metal crosses that head off in all directions seemingly to infinity, this first impression really brings home the loss of life however I then realised that each cross has the name of two soldiers on the front, one on each horizontal arm, there are a further two on the back, meaning each cross marks 4 graves! I made my way to the entrance building and learnt that this cemetery alone contains the remains of over 44,000 soldiers.



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Returning to the car I found Tony had arrived, some Durand group members had also surfaced and we introduced ourselves, got our overalls and went over to their camp. Here Tony went over his plans for his site, the basic concept being that although there are preserved trench systems people can visit they are rather sterile places and he wants to build an accurate re-creation of the conditions at the time.

After discussing Tony’s plans for some time it was time to begin our tour of the site, various members of the Durand group were present and explained their understanding of the history of the site. Originally a quarry for building stone in the 17th/18th century it was then used as a transit depot in the First World War and would have been occupied briefly by men on their way to and from the fighting trenches and originally had a tunnel connecting to the trench systems which is now collapsed. Between the wars it was visited by tourists viewing the battlefields. Then in the Second World War it was used as a shelter once again. After the war it remained open and visited from time to time as evidenced by more modern graffiti. Unfortunately it also saw service as a dumping ground for farm waste.



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The entrance in the farmyard drops down through a brick lined curved staircase leading into the quarry workings, the quarry is not very extensive but does contain many carvings from WW1 some very well done, which the group are working on recording, they have lighting installed throughout and a variety of equipment all around the workings. Many of the carvings are regimental badges and the like but there are also a number of personal memorials. There are a few artifacts scattered around, ammunition, grenades, mess tins and what may have been a trench periscope. In one spot a “letter box” had been carved out of the quarry wall, perhaps for the distribution of mail? The main interest of the site was its graffiti, most of which was from the first war period but some obviously older (the oldest legible date being 1887) a fair bit from the 20’s and some from the second war and more modern.



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The group has also excavated some of the fighting tunnels that would have been used for the planting of mines under enemy lines and communication. Unfortunately these are on Canadian Ground and the authorities have withdrawn permission to access them.

Once out of the quarry Tony was keen to show me the Vimy ridge nearby. On the way we passed the British and French cemeteries, it was striking how colourful and pleasant the British site was in comparison the rather stark German site. A quick lunch at the Canadian memorial on the ridge then a look at the preserved trenches, these are preserved more as a memorial and are concrete lined with neatly mown grassy surroundings and contrasted with Tony’s plans for a very realistic historically accurate re-creation.



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ttxela

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Posted: 12/06/2012 20:44:09
Mouldridge Mine 11/6/12

A brief stop on my way back from working in Manchester to muck about a bit with the camera.



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ttxela

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Posted: 22/06/2012 13:02:03
WCMS Annual BBQ 15-17/6/12

A social weekend at the Stump, good summertime fun had by all! Thumb Up

Despite some last minute drop-outs we still finished all the beer Smile




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I had a bit of a play with my camera underground, albeit in a cave Shocked



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ttxela

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Posted: 06/07/2012 20:48:10
NAMHO 2012

This years NAMHO was at Quarry Bank Mill near Manchester, young T and I arrived on Friday evening and pitched our tent on the camping field after joing the others for a meal and slide show.



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Saturdays morning trip was to Apedale, we had a look round the museum first where the canary resuscitator took my eye.



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No photos were taken underground in Apedale as cameras are not allowed Sad however our guide Keith was very informative and we had a fascinating underground tour Thumb Up

In the afternoon we had a trip down Wood mine at Alderley Edge. I was pleased that some parts that had been flooded on my last visit had been drained!



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A very good meal on the Saturday night followed on Sunday morning by a look round the mill itself, the waterwheel is very impressive as is the old spinning machinery!



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Sadly the weather was not great and the tent had to come down wet before it was off to the final trip down Engine Vein.



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After that there was just time for tea and cake before heading for home - was back 5 miles away the next day working in Sharston Roll Eyes

Massive thanks to Nigel and Liz and everyone else involved in the organisation, a fantastic weekend all round Thumbs Up
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ttxela

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Posted: 06/08/2012 21:19:47
"Les Boves" Arras

23/7/12



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A holiday excursion to these quarries underneath Arras. The workings date from the 10th century up until the 1500's when laws were passed preventing further quarrying from undermining the city. They were used again in both WW1 & WWII Guided tours leave from the tourist information office. As we were the only English visitors a helpful German chap translated the tour guides words for us.
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ttxela

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Posted: 11/08/2012 22:33:54
Vimy Ridge Tunnels 24/7/12



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A return visit to the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge to see the preserved tunnels. They are reinforced quite a bit with concrete and the modern lighting and cables spoil it a bit but they retain enough of the feel to give you an idea.

Although used by the Canadians these tunnels had been dug previously by British tunnellers.
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ttxela

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Posted: 11/08/2012 22:53:43
3/8/12 Masson Mine

My sister's two were over visiting from Texas and requested an underground trip, we spent a few hours looking round underground them met Zomjon for a drink.



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ttxela

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Posted: 12/08/2012 21:45:19
11/8/12 WCMS Reigate Cave Day

Another excellent open day at the Reigate caves. As usual I spent the day at the Barons cave. If you have the chance to visit don't miss it - and bring the family!

Next open day Sat 8th September.
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Posted: 22/08/2012 19:30:08
19/8/12 Gaping Gill

Mrs T had seen Gaping Gill on the telly and decided she wanted to take a look! So we had a trip down on the CPC winch. Had a wander round the main chamber and went a little way towards Sand Cavern. OK it's natural cave but a very impressive one! Smile



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ttxela

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Posted: 09/09/2012 21:55:51
2/9/12 Masson Mine (again!)

A trip with some work colleagues and Mrs T's cousin to have another look round Masson Smile



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ttxela

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Posted: 26/11/2012 11:54:57
Not been underground since early September Sad

A whiz down to Surrey on Sunday though for the WCMS AGM.
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ttxela

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Posted: 30/01/2013 13:13:13
29/1/13

Far too long since my last trip I received an invitation which I was happily able to take up and spent the day in an underground quarry. Discretion was requested so no details. Suffice to say a good day was had. Big Grin



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