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Author Croesor - A Floor West
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 11:58:36
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Aha, Graham beat me to it, my being waylaid by a cup of coffee and pile of paper!

With regard to the condition of Croesor, the worst bit are the chambers immediately to the east of the up incline, which collapsed in 1936.

This was the result of a lot of pillar robbing. As an example, the following pic was taken from the window into chamber 1 East from the floor C (up) and shows SimonRL (he's the reflective 'thing'!) standing pretty much where the wall between 1 East and 2 East originally stood.



(click image to open full size image in new window)

I'd guess he's somewhere around the height of floor B: the absence of wall is probably a combination of it being worked away and the fact that the remainder has collapsed, leaving a massive chamber which is *very* unstable.

However, the condition of the mine further from the incline is actually very good, albeit the bridges are a bit knackered (which is to be expected).

I suspect this is down to some decent working practices (ie not robbing the pillars) and the fact that the mine is quite deep at that point.

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IP: 81.134.101.175
derrickman

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 12:47:46
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ok understood.

re; pillar robbing using experienced men, I would think that would be very important in such an exercise.

I see what you say about access etc. I don't know the area in enough detail for that to have occurred to me.

point (4), about the water supporting the mine, is purely conjectural. I know from experience that it does not effectively support loose or sliding blocks of the 'greasyback' type, only sufficiently strong bulk areas in evenly distributed loadings, so it may well be of no use at all, I suppose.
IP: 149.254.51.17
JohnnearCfon

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 12:48:19
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At Mean Offeren, some of the 1990s pillar robbing on Floor B was done using a wire saw. IP: 78.150.171.137
snap

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 13:29:07
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This thread is certainly making for some interesting reading. It's true that since most people are in for the through trip they skip through to the flooded sections and continue on to Rhosydd.

On my second trip through we had a little extra time as we stayed in there overnight, so took time to investigate a few of the A West chambers. The only disadvantage was that completely deflating the boat was too time consuming, so we had to carry the half-pumped vessel from there right through to the Chamber of Horrors. But we were certainly nowhere near as thorough as you guys appear to have been.

There must be lots more of interest in Croesor. This weekend (after seeing you guys on the way up) we had a look around at the back of A5E where the part-flooded tunnels disappear southwards. Not many photos as we were short of time, but there appears to be room for investigation there. Next time I'll take waders as breached boots aren't fun!

IP: 81.157.209.109
grahami

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 15:02:44
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Yes, yes, yes, more photos of the various chambers tunnels etc. needed, preferably with a caption that says where they were taken and what direction they were taken in! Humans for scale not essential(!) (Although useful) Only in this way can the map be verified! Sadly we'll never be able to check the underwater stuff, but what's above water level can be done and the map modified/annotated as appropriate.

Cheers!

Grahami

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The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
IP: 212.219.117.106
snap

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 15:53:32
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Myself and one of the guys I was with intend to go back and do things more thoroughly, so I'll be sure to note down where I take photos.

How about we mount an operation to blow a hole in the side of the mountain a bit lower down and drain it all out? Smile
IP: 81.157.209.109
Vanoord

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 16:01:11
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snap wrote:

Myself and one of the guys I was with intend to go back and do things more thoroughly, so I'll be sure to note down where I take photos.

How about we mount an operation to blow a hole in the side of the mountain a bit lower down and drain it all out? Smile


All you need is a *very* long drill bit!

There's a bit more surveying required in the first few chambers, possibly a justification for an attempt to get a bit higher up a bit further through the trip.

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grahami

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 16:12:09
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Photos showing the inside of the incline shaft (the upper one) up and down would be a good thing - and shots looking out into the west side. There were supposed to be the remains of rails and carrier stops somewhere on one of the floors.... probably been trudged over...

Grahami



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The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
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SimonRL

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 16:51:21
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Vanoord wrote:

snap wrote:

Myself and one of the guys I was with intend to go back and do things more thoroughly, so I'll be sure to note down where I take photos.

How about we mount an operation to blow a hole in the side of the mountain a bit lower down and drain it all out? Smile


All you need is a *very* long drill bit!

There's a bit more surveying required in the first few chambers, possibly a justification for an attempt to get a bit higher up a bit further through the trip.


I don't think you'd make any friends in Croesor village Shocked

--

“People who put trees and flowers before people, they're beyond reasoning with. You can never appeal to their humanity, because they don't believe in humanity, except as a form of moral pollution.
IP: 83.148.135.213
SimonRL

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 17:09:02
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snap wrote:

This thread is certainly making for some interesting reading. It's true that since most people are in for the through trip they skip through to the flooded sections and continue on to Rhosydd.


Entirely agreed! Everybody seems to hot foot it up the incline and onto the through trip.

For absolute certainty the area Vanoord, Merddin and I looked at on Sunday has been well trodden. Right at the end of the left fork I found our old friend the WKD blue bottle top (why is it always WKD?) but oddly it's very under-represented photographically, even the bridge over A2W which is of very unusual construction.

The same can be said of Rhosydd, the area Speedycaver got into last year had been left pretty much untouched (apart from a tealight!).

--

“People who put trees and flowers before people, they're beyond reasoning with. You can never appeal to their humanity, because they don't believe in humanity, except as a form of moral pollution.
IP: 83.148.135.213
Graigfawr

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 10/11/2009 19:18:21
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Owain wrote "a drainage adit was started, the incline to the left of the main Creosor one (viewed from Rhosydd incline) with no obvious reason i.e. neither end goes anywhere, was for a counterweight for extracting the drill, I think the contractor was 'American Diamond Boring Co.' or similar with a single head core drilling machine. This is from memory, I'll have to dig out the book again. The top of the incline and where the entrance is located is unfortunatly covered in waste though I haven't had a close look, you might get lucky and find it."

Very interesting to have the origins of this incline explained - many thanks Owain. Has this information been published and are there any details on how the counerweight system worked please? It was a civil engineering-intensive arrangement and not one I've previously heard of. Was it unique?

Have only examined Croesor at surface. Observed significant deterioration of Rhosydd workings in the interval between my first (1984) and second (2005) trips - recall notable subsidence and cracking of walls in vicinity of sheaves at head of 5/9 incline.
IP: 92.28.191.31
grahami

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 11/11/2009 16:47:39
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OK, realising few people on here having access to a copy of Adrian Barrell's "Croesor File" , here are a couple of extracts with regard to the abandoned shaft. It was not really a drainage shaft, but had it ever been completed and connected to a shaft sunk down the vein from the workings, then the present water level would be much lower! Indeed, by the application of a simple siphon pipe, it could have drained workings connected to it....

[web link]

Cheers

Grahami

Tweak: tags tweaked by Vanoord

--

The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
IP: 81.134.92.60 Edited: 11/11/2009 17:39:03 by (moderator)
Graigfawr

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 11/11/2009 18:27:43
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Thnak you Graham - interesting. Whetted my appetite - are there plans to publish by any chance?

'1114 yds in a month' is missing a dash ('11-14yds'?) or a decimal point (11.14yds'?).

How did the incline interact with the sinking?

Was this underlie shaft intended long term for pumping only, or for hoisting slate also?

Are there any other known underlie shafts in the slate producing regions? I'd not opreviously encountered one in slate, but readily admit to limited reading.

Many thanks!
IP: 92.25.150.223
grahami

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 12/11/2009 08:48:30
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Thought people had picked this up from a previous thread. The "Croesor File" was originally a paper based document produced and edited by Adrian Barrell in the 1980s and privately circulated, bringing together a lot of documents etc. on Croesor. He then transferred this to disk using an Amstrad word processor and it now circulates as a series of word documents etc. on CD. It is not meant for publication, which is why I've not posted it here!

Regarding the shaft, I understand that a carriage on the incline counterbalanced the drilling rig, which of course had to be removed before blasting. Having the balance incline saved using the engine which was used for hauling up the debris. A report by Richrad Owen of Owen & Sons Portmadoc suggested replacing various aspects with a water balance.

The extracts I posted I edited hastily, so there are bound to be some errors I missed. Thanks.

Grahami

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The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
IP: 212.219.117.106
Morlock

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 12/11/2009 08:53:24
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Interesting info Graham, thanks.

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It was the time of the preacher in the year of 01
IP: 82.28.0.97
Chwarelwr bach

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 12/11/2009 13:51:06
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derrickman wrote:



re: pillar robbing using experienced men ....


After the Blaenau slate mines repened after the war, some of the mines entered a period of underinvestment by the owners, mirrored by generally increasing costs. Mend and/or make do became commonplace. This eventually led to decline and then closure of mines from the 1960s onwards. Throughout this period the mine managers were under pressure to maximise profit and so a particular mindset developed. In Welsh this was succinctly described by the phrase "tra parith hi" or 'while she lasts'. Basically, a manager would take a short term view of things and would work the mine during his tenure with no thought for the future beyond his retirement date. So, the practice of pillar robbing, untopping chambers and tipping waste over areas of good slate became increasingly commonplace. I witnessed this first hand in the case of both Llechwedd and Maenofferen and know that it was prevalent elsewhere too.
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derrickman

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 12/11/2009 14:38:07
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I don't believe that was unique to slate by any means.

Post-war Britain was, to all intents and purposes, bankrupt and investment was desperately hard to come by. The national infrastructure - railways, coal mines, more or less everything - had been run into the ground by the Depression and the War, the currency was devalued, rationing was even more stringent than in wartime; it was the time of 'Export or Die'.

many things were making little if any profit and being run on the basis of 'making best use of existing resources' - the closure of the Corris Railway following undercutting of the trackbed by flooding, was fairly typical



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Graigfawr

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Croesor - A Floor West
Posted: 12/11/2009 19:14:11
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Thank you Graham for setting out the background to the Croesor File and for the information on the incline - much appreciated. IP: 92.28.136.134
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