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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Remains of the G Archway (photo)
dwarrowdelf

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Joined: 09/02/2011
Location: Lost in Cwmorthin...and Oakeley too !!

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Remains of the G Archway (photo)
Posted: 06/05/2011 11:49:02
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I was aware that some untopping work had occurred in the past at both Oakeley and Cwmorthin Quarries, but until I saw the archive photos of Oakeley, I was not aware of the scale of this operation. It looks as if many interesting features have been quarried away. How much of the underground workings at Oakeley have actually been lost in this manner? I have been underground at Cwmorthin but did'nt manage to get through to Oakeley to see how extensive or otherwise it is.

On the topic of archive material, I would very much like to see old photos of the rockmen at work. It would also be very interesting to see old accounts of their folk traditions and stories many of which I imagine would be both vibrant and even spooky, working as they did in the underground environment. This especially interests me as I have a background in anthropology, with a more recent interest in industrial archaeology, with a focus on the Welsh slate industry in particular.
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(click image to open full size image in new window)

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'The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak friend and enter!'
IP: 93.97.118.21 Edited: 06/05/2011 18:24:20 by dwarrowdelf
royfellows

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

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Remains of the G Archway (photo)
Posted: 06/05/2011 14:20:36
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"On the topic of archive material, I would very much like to see old photos of the rockmen at work."
Have you seen this?
Link kindly originally posted by Peter Burgess

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXNkIvZRakQ&

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''the stopes soared beyond the range of our caplamps' - David Bick...... How times change
IP: 78.151.45.62 Edited: 06/05/2011 14:22:15 by royfellows
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Remains of the G Archway (photo)
Posted: 06/05/2011 14:43:22
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fascinating stuff, did you see the diving videos next to it.. Shocked Blink Crying

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He knew the magic monotony of existence between sky and water: the criticism of men, the exactions of the sea, the prosaic severity of the daily task, because there is nothing more enticing, disenchanting, and enslaving than the life at sea.
IP: 86.30.241.199
grahami

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Joined: 29/01/2007
Location: Telford, Shropshire

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Remains of the G Archway (photo)
Posted: 06/05/2011 17:11:47
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I've edited this slightly before commenting:

dwarrowdelf wrote:

I was aware that some untopping work had occurred in the past at both Oakeley and Cwmorthin Quarries, but until I saw the archive photos of Oakeley, I was not aware of the scale of this operation. It looks as if many interesting features have been quarried away. How much of the underground workings at Oakeley have actually been lost in this manner? I have been underground at Cwmorthin but did'nt manage to get through to Oakeley to see how extensive or otherwise it is.

On the topic of archive material, I would very much like to see old photos of the rockmen at work. It would also be very interesting to see old accounts of their folk traditions and stories many of which I imagine would be both vibrant and even spooky, working as they did in the underground environment.
quote]
There are a good number of photos in "Slate From Blaenau Ffestiniog" which I think you can still find on sale from time to time (he said modestly) many of which originally come from the old Oakeley & Votty Quarries magazine "Caban" - pm me if you want more info.

Regarding what has been lost - underground everything below Floor G (H has occasionally surfaced when they were pumping) is flooded down to the bottom floor R. In the open a great deal has vanished - the Upper Mills and barracks in particular, the Old and New Bonc Siafft Mills as well as the vertical water balance shaft itself have all been quarried away. In the sinc everything almost from H upwards to DE has been either quarried away or buried - including the old HIK engine/drum house on DE and the archway in the picture. I'll not go on.

Cheers

Grahami

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

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Joined: 09/02/2011
Location: Lost in Cwmorthin...and Oakeley too !!

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Remains of the G Archway (photo)
Posted: 06/05/2011 17:56:07
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Many thanks for the comments, the video link was informative.
I will also look out for the book! (thank you Graham).

Certainly seems like a lot has been lost in Oakeley. Is there any risk that this practice might continue in future at other slate quarries in the area, especially if the demand for Welsh slate products increases again? I suspect removing the slate in this way is cheaper than extraction exclusively from underground workings, and is a comparatively easy way to remove high quality slate from what was once the walls of underground chambers.

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'The Doors of Durin, Lord of Moria. Speak friend and enter!'
IP: 93.97.118.21 Edited: 06/05/2011 19:16:43 by dwarrowdelf
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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Remains of the G Archway (photo)
Posted: 06/05/2011 21:29:35
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This is what has been happening recently at Maen Offeren in the area of the old 2½ (David Jones) Quarry.

I think Browsers Bookshop in Porthmadog still have copies of Graham's book.
IP: 92.26.190.237
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