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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 04/02/2013 18:35:32
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Whilst I've always quite enjoyed Time Team I have always wondered how much meaningful work results.

I am not at all surpised by the reports of extended lunch breaks etc - Having done some TV work it amazes me how much time is wasted on lunch breaks given how expensive the whole circus is.
IP: 86.184.197.213
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 09:43:22
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Ah, I know that one! I have a niece who is a qualified archaeologist and has one one occasion been involved. Her opinion is that no useful work is, or could be done under the conditions. of course, you have to allow for the professional cynicism of an academic watching someone else get the cherry off the top of the cake...

Having once been involved in getting a tv crew onto a drilling platform, I can well believe it. The basic agenda seemed to be "eat till you're tired, then sleep till you are hungry" while a few prima donnas posed for the cameras... I had a farcical interlude in the 1990s involving Anthea Turner in her Blue Peter days, visiting a construction site almost directly outside the Shepherd's Bush BBC Centre, but that one will cost you beer...



--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199 Edited: 05/02/2013 09:44:52 by derrickman
Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 10:25:30
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While not TV archaeology, my own experience of Great British Railway Journeys, and The Museum of Life, was that both were hard work, intensive busy sessions, and certainly not a stroll in the park. Everyone was there to work and work they did, no time to stop and it was all good fun.

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ChrisJC

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Joined: 13/10/2007
Location: Northants

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 10:31:27
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Indeed. The actual 'diggers' did work pretty hard, moving large amounts of stuff with a trowel. The 'supervisors' did less digging and much more supervising!

You can see where the budget goes.

Chris.
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Peter Burgess

Joined: 01/07/2008
Location: Merstham. Or is it Godstone ...... ?

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 10:45:03
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In my two quoted cases there were no hangers on except those from WCMS who wanted to admire their heros. Big Grin The TV crews in both cases were the minimum required. Considering the popularity of Portillo's UK series, the budget for it is probably not as high as you might think. Once filming was done on a Saturday morning they rushed off to the next venue without much ado.

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dolcoath1

Joined: 17/09/2012
Location: Derbyshire

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 10:51:45
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Time Team digital has a number of short videos on this episode of time team on You Tube, Francis Pryor talks about the "stamps mill" just outside Cobblers Level on one of the videos. He mentions the drive to the mill would be by a waterwheel, unfortunately he points out the tower for the old gang wheel launder and tells us that the waterwheel was for a much larger mill, a large mistake, as we all know it was for pumping and winding in Old Engine Shaft!
I am still convinced the cobbles are part of a cobbing floor, strong floors would be needed to break up ore with hammers and would still result in plenty of fines to get down below the cobbles. The cobbles would have to be laid on fine sand as a good base to stand all of the hammering!
I am also fairly certain that even an early stamps would have to have a large slab of stone not just cobbles to stand up to the constant pounding given by a set of stamps, no matter how basic they were.
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LeeW

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Joined: 28/07/2007
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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 11:07:13
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Just a little question regarding the stamps mill - they aren't my area of knowledge
They mentioned it 'had' metal feet - would it of had metal ones or could they have been wooden?

Surprised they didn't go and get some actual footage of one in action from Blue Hills!!!

--

'Ask no questions, get no lies' If it's not grown you need to know some geology
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ttxela

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Joined: 04/09/2007
Location: Cambs

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 12:15:16
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dolcoath1 wrote:


I am still convinced the cobbles are part of a cobbing floor, strong floors would be needed to break up ore with hammers and would still result in plenty of fines to get down below the cobbles. The cobbles would have to be laid on fine sand as a good base to stand all of the hammering!
I am also fairly certain that even an early stamps would have to have a large slab of stone not just cobbles to stand up to the constant pounding given by a set of stamps, no matter how basic they were.


I'm glad you said that, that was my thought too! Not that I claim any particular knowledge about such things, just that I felt thats how I'd want to build it if I was doing it!
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dolcoath1

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 13:11:12
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The stamps would mainly have been constructed of wood, the actual business part for crushing would have consisted of long poles clad at the end with an heavy iron shoe, this is the part which pounded the ore to the required size.
The poles would have been lifted by cams on a roller driven by a water wheel, the stamps would have fallen on to the ore crushed by their own weight, crushing the ore against almost certainly a substantial mortor stone or in later examples a against a caster iron mortor stone.
Later examples were made almost entirely of metal, allowing greater force to be used, The Blue Hills Stamps are of this later type, but would give a good idea of how a set of stamps works.
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dolcoath1

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 13:50:24
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Another name for the cobbled floor of the type seen on time team, especially in Cornwall is a spalling floor!
There are pictures of one very well preserved floor at South Caradon Mine on this site.
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derrickman

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 20:20:12
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I don't really see why Portillo's series would have much of a budget. Most of it consists of pieces to camera and the camera gear is clearly hand-portable and small enough to go on trains.I doubt that he pays any significant sum to most of his interviewees, either.

It's good fun, though and I like his sympathetic portrayals of the areas and people he visits.

--

''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
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droid

Joined: 31/10/2010
Location: Tamworth

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 20:58:01
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Worth watching Mark williams' Industrial revelations for a good description if ore concentration.

Filmed in Cornwall I believe.
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somersetminer

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Joined: 19/05/2012
Location: Bristol

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 21:13:14
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derrickman wrote:

I don't really see why Portillo's series would have much of a budget. Most of it consists of pieces to camera and the camera gear is clearly hand-portable and small enough to go on trains.I doubt that he pays any significant sum to most of his interviewees, either.

It's good fun, though and I like his sympathetic portrayals of the areas and people he visits.


agreed, was good publicity for Crofty when he visited. doubt they got paid anything
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derrickman

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 05/02/2013 23:43:21
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droid wrote:

Worth watching Mark williams' Industrial revelations for a good description if ore concentration.

Filmed in Cornwall I believe.


better than Rory McGrath, anyway

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''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change .... oh, I don't know, I've still got a lamp like that.
IP: 86.30.241.199 Edited: 05/02/2013 23:56:50 by derrickman
dolcoath1

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 06/02/2013 07:15:03
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Also a bit of filming of the Cornish Stamps at Blue Hills on Youtube is worth watching, listed under Pochwerk in Cornwall Stamp mill. Be careful though there are plenty of videos of Californian Stamps a quite different animal, the Cornish stamps are the nearest working animal to those which would have been used at Coniston.
Also, I have re-examined woodcuts in De Re Metallica, nearly all show a mortar stone under the stamp poles and some a mortar box in which the ore would have been wet stamped to give a finer output. Both types would have needed the feed ore broken to a reasonable size with hammers on a substantial floor (cobbled).
If the ore was rich, spalling and hand picking alone would produce the correct sized concentrate for the smelting process. Stamps were generally used when the ore was disseminated among the gangue material.
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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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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 06/02/2013 08:31:02
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Personally, I'd be out and about looking for the mortar stones if I was trying to find evidence of a stamp mill up there!

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I want you to kill Nicholas Parsons, and I want you to make it clean. But if you can't make it clean, make it messy. If you can't make it messy, make it noisy. And if you can't make it noisy, make it silly!
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LeeW

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 06/02/2013 09:32:22
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dolcoath1 wrote:

Also a bit of filming of the Cornish Stamps at Blue Hills on Youtube is worth watching......


Or you could try the video of the stamps and buddles at Blue Hills that I posted on flickr a while back. Sorry about the quality

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62173797@N06/7558406006/in/set-72157626452334073

You will have to copy and paste the link in to a web address


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'Ask no questions, get no lies' If it's not grown you need to know some geology
IP: 86.11.200.126 Edited: 06/02/2013 09:34:15 by LeeW
AndyC

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 07/02/2013 17:43:04
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Is this the program in question?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6l8ZEiYX6Fk

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mudbeast

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 09/02/2013 21:18:00
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The programme was repeated this evening and I was amazed that a large part of it was devoted to travelling and the locality. Not much of an investigation, certainly not in the mines! IP: 217.39.107.191
Tamarmole

Joined: 20/05/2009
Location: Tamar Valley

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Time Team Coniston Copper Mines
Posted: 10/02/2013 08:40:19
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AR wrote:

Personally, I'd be out and about looking for the mortar stones if I was trying to find evidence of a stamp mill up there!


Good point - What they called a stamps base appeared to be a very typical example of a cobbing floor - no mortar stones, no post holes.

I guess this is the problem of generalists pontificating on a specialist subject which they appear to know very little about. Elementary stuff.
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