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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 29/02/2016 19:48:05
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i think that this ladder is going down to the sub level, below the main horse level, before the Durham Dales group installed fixed ladders in there.
The flow stone area, is also down there and was partially a restricted access.
I am not sure when the Durham Dales group'took over the mine' but I would have thought it was prior to John's visit.

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IP: 81.129.213.118
Jim MacPherson

Joined: 02/09/2015

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 01/03/2016 07:14:44
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Thanks John,

I'll amend accordingly, slightly confusingly John annotated all these slides as "Low Skears off Firestone Level" and the rest as "Low Skears" so some are a little ambiguous. Any others I upload welcome such useful scrutiny.

Jim
IP: 87.114.203.134
legendrider

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Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Darlington

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 01/03/2016 08:53:53
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Spot on, John, the ladder is at the foot of the now-collapsed manway from Horse Level horizon down to D2 Vein sublevel, previously only accessible via a narrow 30ft climbing-way through the stope, but now reached from the dug-out shaft with the wooden bridge.

John Harrison & Tony Fretwell dug out this shaft in 1986 and the flowstone formation (Blue Pools) still accessible this way.

The level was gated by DDMS in 1985 with landowner's consent.

I dug the blockage on Raine's Vein (oil drum) and put in the ladders up Raine's Vein late 1980's.

In 1993, following more digging and bridging on D2 Vein sublevel, Alex Fitzsimmons & I did the first through trip down to Skears - 250ft vertically and 1 mile horizontally. If you enjoy a hard trip with hanging death, deep water and lots of ropework, its definitely for you!!

Our last major project in 2005 was to dig through the terminal collapse on Horse Level at 2200ft, reaching ralph Raine's tubs and eventualy the forehead at 3500ft in bad shale and bad air.

we still visit occasionally to tidy up and remove redundant gear.

MARK

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festina lente IP: 86.152.224.100
John Lawson

Joined: 09/12/2010
Location: Castle Douglas Dumfries & Galloway

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 01/03/2016 19:24:21
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Legend rider Thanks for 'filling in' some of the gaps in my knowledge of this important Teesdale mine.
I noticed that your group measured the Temperature down there.
Are you able to say what you found out? How did it relate to the outside temperature?
There are two rasons for this strange request:
The first one is pretty obvious, it always feels warmer in this mine than others.
The second, is associated with the rate of deposition of calcitic material such as flow stone, stalactites etc which seems extremely rapid and I am suggesting that, in part this might be associated with a higher internal temperature in this mine.
IP: 81.129.213.118
Jim MacPherson

Joined: 02/09/2015

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 02/03/2016 12:19:41
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Just a point John,

DDMS was only formed in 1982, maybe some of them were doing things before but Bob, John and co from NCMRS were busy in Skears from the late 60's/early 70's. Richard is fairly clear that he, John and Bob went down from the Horse Level to the lower workings on a sunday and it was a "new " discovery as far as Bob was concerned, although I imagine the miners were well enough aware of it.

Re. temperature, as a purely speculative question, if calcite deposition can have an impact on temperature (or vise versa) is there any comparative information from caves eg Stump Cross with some heavily calcited sections (Reindeer Cavern - perhaps)?. I seem to recall there were some biologists in NCMRS in the 70's, the Dixon's I think, so they may have published some work then.
IP: 87.115.95.204 Edited: 02/03/2016 16:27:22 by Jim MacPherson
legendrider

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Location: Darlington

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 02/03/2016 12:31:12
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The temperature monitoring project was Tony Fretwell's baby, and although I no longer have access to that data, I think that the results showed very little variation throughout the year.

Friends of Killhope took all Tony's photos, plans, notes etc when he died a couple of years ago.

Firestone is a pleasingly warm mine to visit in the winter, as the breeze enters via Low Skears, and finds its way up D2 Vein to emerge at the bridge and LH junction, having wafted over a mile in contact with country rock at 50 degF. Beyond there, the airflow is relatively static, subject only to barometric and human traffic mixing.

Conversely, coming out of Low Skears in the winter is like Hitlers retreat from Stalingrad!

MARK

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festina lente IP: 86.152.224.100
ChrisB Underworld

Joined: 13/07/2014
Location: Carlisle

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Skears Firestone Level c1970/71 (photo)
Posted: 02/03/2016 13:43:08
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Certainly noticed the temperature difference last week when emerging, do you still want poles moving ? IP: 213.205.195.24
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