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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Bonsall Moor cranes
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 06/12/2020 19:35:32
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Looking at Bonsall Moor I noticed Dickie Birds 1970 pictures of the two cranes, well I was there today Sunday and they are still there. With so much stuff disappearing I find this very heartening.

I have a mass of pictures to upload, but trying to get information together first. Does anyone have a date for the working?

They were manufactured by RH NEAL & Co Ltd and the "Rapid Crane" appears to be made in 1937. This is the one with the jib in upright position. The other is a different model, they probably kept making various changes and improvements as long they were produced.

YouTube has a video of one in working condition running at a farm, it looks a Health and Safety nightmare, but interesting all the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svnfqXf2X-w

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AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 06/12/2020 21:09:01
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They're at Whitelow Mine, and were used by Albert Rockarch (Deepwood Mining, IIRC) when sparring the hillocks. Jim Rieuwerts told me that he offered to sell them to PDMHS when work finished there but wanted a price far above what the society thought they were worth, hence they're still there.

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royfellows

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 07/12/2020 09:57:22
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Thanks for this. That mine is on the database but only a Dickie Bird archive picture in the album.

I am thinking its best to leave as is, as anyone searching would look under "Bonsall Moor".

Personally, I am also glad the cranes left where they are, I bet they are a local landmark.

Do we have any dates for this working?

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Coggy

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 10/12/2020 23:11:38
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I first went on Bonsall Moor in 1973. I don't remember seeng the cranes. Next was in 1985, a cold and foggy day, I saw the cranes. Next was a geological explore from Nottingham University in 1992, using ground penetrating radar and we found a new vien !

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historytrog

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 11/12/2020 16:04:31
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I have seen the cranes many times but could not remember the dates of working.

A posting in 2009 by Sougher (the late Margaret Howard) on this website gives some details:

https://www.aditnow.co.uk/community/viewtopic.aspx?t=2500

I have spoken to my old spar mining friend whom I have known since 1956, many times about Tearsall. He comes from Elton is now 76 and has been sparring since he was 17, his two uncles were spar miners and one had a processing plant at Portaway mine. He's worked at many sites including Bonsall Moor, Tearsall, Jugholes, Low Mine, Masson Hill, and Moss Rake etc. etc.. He has always said that there is hardly any fluorspar, if any, at Tearsall, the main mineral found there is calcite. He always contends that the Peak Park was duped into believing that fluorspar was found at this site, in order for the owners to work the limestone and turn it into a limestone quarry (perhaps planning wouldn't then have been granted in the first instance) - much of the limestone quarried was transported eastwards to the sugar beet factories in Lincolnshire. He says that fluorspar was found at Ashover, Crich, Masson Hill but gave way to calcite the futher west one moved away from Masson Hill. When it was first opencasted we used to visit the site and found very large specimans of dogtooth calcite at Tearsall, we found very little evidence of fluorspar, the dark blue variety was found more in the centre of the Moor. My friend worked on Bonsall Moor (he was responsible for buying the two little dinosaur cranes which have been abandoned on the Moor)and with two partners he excavated the open rake that can be found on Bonsall Lees. White Low (where workings can be seen) further to the west on the Moor, is called White Low because of the high calcite content of the vein. If my friend is proved right and hardly any fluorspar deposits are found, will the Peak Park then stop the workings? It would be very interesting to know. IP: 79.67.154.189
royfellows

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 11/12/2020 17:13:10
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Many thanks for this.
I had done some searching and hit the thread, but somehow missed this bit!

My best guess then, based on dates and persons age given, would be mid 1950s for the working.

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Outdoor Miner

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 13/12/2020 19:38:04
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Fantastic set of pix Roy. Going to have a shufty at them myself soon. IP: 92.232.204.105
royfellows

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 13/12/2020 22:29:12
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The scraper shovel is in the same area but further from the road in line with the cranes, well roughly. Makes me wonder if the one lying flat was actually a small dragline.
Workings also interesting.

The "iron dinosaur's" look fantastic from the road and must be a driving distraction to the stranger.

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hcd563

Joined: 29/10/2007
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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 28/12/2020 17:59:06
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Just been looking at the pictures again, I don't think the one lying down could have been rigged as a drag line. It would need a split or a second winch drum to work the two ropes required for a drag bocket. Also the controls are as required for a crane, hoist clutch and brake and the trird lever for the slew.

Martin
IP: 79.74.165.54
royfellows

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 28/12/2020 18:54:33
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Makes sense, will modify the descriptions.
What do you make of the nearby bucket?

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hcd563

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Bonsall Moor cranes
Posted: 28/12/2020 19:12:07
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Looks like the bucket and dipper from a cable excavator, Ruston bucyrus type of thing. Perhaps they used an excavator to move overburden or similar about.

Martin
IP: 79.74.165.129
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