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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
John Lawson

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

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 06/01/2012 22:09:58
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The worst place I have ever been in was in a Cross Cut off the East Greenlaws Vein called Joseph Ritsons.
We had been digging in the main vein to try and acess new ground when we heard some rumbling towards the entrance which was at right angles to the main vein.
Steve and Robert went out of the drift into the vein leaving me behind to pack up. All the time I was doing this rumbles were occurring from the direction of the entrance.
After a few minutes the both shouted to me get the he'll out of there. I felt they were over reacting-how foolish can you be?
When I got to the entrance of the drift all I could see were blocks the size of minis raining down in front of me!
I agree with Roy no brown stuff just a split second feeling of how stupid I had been not listen to my mates! And the realisation that this time I might not make it!
Never to draw my O.A.P. and worse probably getting mine-explorers a bad name.
In the same split second a knew what to do!
Run through the debris and hope for the best! Yes I came out the other side O.K. but I know what the troops felt like in the Wars when subjected to an artillery barrage!
We returned to the entrance site the following week to find the stope completely filled to the roof no way on here.
Moral of the story listen to your mates and never take anything for granted underground!
IP: 86.186.140.148
Roy Morton

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Joined: 09/10/2007
Location: Redruth Cornwall

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 07/01/2012 03:48:55
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Not so much a worrying place, more a worrying position.......
There's a small shaft on a mine in West Cornwall that's quite cosy and then opens out into a huge bell chamber about fifty feet from the bottom.
Anyway, prussicking out I got to the top of the bell chamber and into the shaft proper where I thought I would take a rest.
I was looking around, as you do, when I glanced down at my harness and noticed that my 'D' maillon was wide open; quick change of heartrate and obligatory clenching of buttocks.
OK...Calm...just need to screw it back up again, easy!....well it would have been if it wasn't for the loop of my harness sitting right on top of the threads Shocked
Needless to say it all worked out right in the end.

--

'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear'
IP: 86.150.102.234 Edited: 07/01/2012 03:49:26 by Roy Morton
sinker

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Joined: 13/12/2010
Location: North Wales.

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 07/01/2012 09:18:58
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Roy Morton wrote:

Not so much a worrying place, more a worrying position.......
...........I was looking around, as you do, when I glanced down at my harness and noticed that my 'D' maillon was wide open; quote]

Shocked Yes that was my "brown trousers moment" too! Same situation but I was being winched up a shaft at the time.....
Ever since then I always sub-consciously check the Maillon....usually about 100 times a day Laugh

--

O'r graig, egni.
IP: 86.150.233.139
royfellows

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

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 07/01/2012 09:34:41
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John Lawson wrote:

The worst place I have ever been in was in a Cross Cut off the East Greenlaws Vein called Joseph Ritsons.
We had been digging in the main vein to try and acess new ground when we heard some rumbling towards the entrance which was at right angles to the main vein.
Steve and Robert went out of the drift into the vein leaving me behind to pack up. All the time I was doing this rumbles were occurring from the direction of the entrance.
After a few minutes the both shouted to me get the he'll out of there. I felt they were over reacting-how foolish can you be?
When I got to the entrance of the drift all I could see were blocks the size of minis raining down in front of me!
I agree with Roy no brown stuff just a split second feeling of how stupid I had been not listen to my mates! And the realisation that this time I might not make it!
Never to draw my O.A.P. and worse probably getting mine-explorers a bad name.
In the same split second a knew what to do!
Run through the debris and hope for the best! Yes I came out the other side O.K. but I know what the troops felt like in the Wars when subjected to an artillery barrage!
We returned to the entrance site the following week to find the stope completely filled to the roof no way on here.
Moral of the story listen to your mates and never take anything for granted underground!


Indiana Lawson and the mine of death

I remember you telling me about this

--

'anything can happen at any moment' Patrick Moore 1957
IP: 92.25.125.198
derrickman

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Joined: 18/02/2009

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 07/01/2012 10:20:35
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I can't, or won't comment on dodgy situations in old mines, although those who know me will be aware of my approach to the matter.

I'm not sure that working mines are more dangerous objectively but they certainly contain hazards not present in abandoned ones.

My worst moment underground was definitely being several hundred metres into a tbm drive in the 1980s, and the transformer taking fire and setting fire in turn to the belt. Not tremendously amusing, the miners pressed on for "just the one more ring" until the burning belt parted and stopped work, and we unhitched one empty muck tub from the train, all piled aboard and chased out asap.

the headcount before setting off was a very tense affair


--

''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
fjällvandring

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Joined: 05/03/2012
Location: Carlisle, Cumbria

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 15/11/2012 21:11:37
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I'm always very wary of slate mine roofs now. I don't like to stand in chambers before I've shone my torch over the roof checking for obvious cracks or weak areas.
Chances of getting crushed are very slim, but the thing is it can happen, and that's what scares me. I'm half considering re-visiting Rhosydd for instance but it's a bit on the dogey side :p

Most worrying places I've been since my last post:

.A chamber of a Welsh slate mine, a ceiling slab came down followed by a few others turning the calm waters into what seemed like a rough ocean.

.Thrang Crag Slate Mine... more of a darkly ironic story. Tried to access a haulage shaft (in very bad condition) through a partially arched tunnel, very small as presumably intended for compressed air pipes and not for explorers. Then found an old ladder which lead into the roof of a large arched level leading to the shaft. I climbed 10ft into the level down an old ladder made from rope, many years ago, explored it with my friend waiting in the small tunnel. After scaring myself to death with just how unstable the shaft was, I tried to re-ascend the ladder only to find it snapped off. So I had a great time climbing up to the roof holding onto the tunnel's arching hoping it wouldn't come down.

Cawdale Slate Mine: a few brief moments of fear and confusion trying to find the end of the adit, quickly navigating arched tunneling which was looked about 1/2 as low as it should have been due to slowly collapsing, and it was like a waterfall in there.

In the case of Thrang Crag I could have asked my friend to chuck down a rope but it would have been virtually impossible to attach it to anything or safely to himself, fun times!


--

Lífið er svo yndislegt
IP: 95.148.9.168
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
Location: Sir Caernarfon

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 15/11/2012 21:42:46
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fjällvandring wrote:

.A chamber of a Welsh slate mine, a ceiling slab came down followed by a few others turning the calm waters into what seemed like a rough ocean.



I heard about that - apparantly your face was a picture!!!
IP: 78.144.92.246
Vanoord

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Joined: 28/11/2005
Location: North Wales

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 15/11/2012 22:05:09
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One of the chambers about 11 into a certain slate mine.

Clambered up from the bottom to get to the back of the chamber, where the pile of rocks met the roof. Crashed about a bit looking for a way on and up. Glanced sideways...

Twigged that the whole mass of fallen rock across the back of the chamber was being held in place by one boulder, perhaps 15' x 6' x 6'.

That boulder was being held in place because it had pinned a wooden block to the roof, a wooden block on the end of a very rusty length of chain that was possibly still attached to the roof. A wooden block and a chain that had no right whatsoever to be holding back the boulder and the chamber-blocking fall that was behind in.

In particular, the chamber-blocking fall that I was stood directly underneath.

The journey downwards was *very* slow, *very* careful and *very* gentle...







--

Filling space until a new signature comes along...
IP: 86.133.59.175
fjällvandring

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Joined: 05/03/2012
Location: Carlisle, Cumbria

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 15/11/2012 22:08:07
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JohnnearCfon wrote:

fjällvandring wrote:

.A chamber of a Welsh slate mine, a ceiling slab came down followed by a few others turning the calm waters into what seemed like a rough ocean.



I heard about that - apparantly your face was a picture!!!


It probably was, I should have photographed my face at the time but wasn't thinking straight. I think a couple of the guys down there mentioned it being their first fall

--

Lífið er svo yndislegt
IP: 95.148.9.168
tomh

Joined: 16/07/2009
Location: st austell

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 18/11/2012 21:23:43
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Although its a well visited mine Cligga made me think hard about what I am stood on after looking at all the false floors in there! IP: 86.185.159.99
pringledude

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Joined: 28/10/2010
Location: Richmond, Up North

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 19/11/2012 00:42:08
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Maybe not necessarily worrying ('cept for lowering oxygen level) but being behind people after they've had curry the day before can make for an interesting experience. I know I'm to blame for this! Blush

--

I go mine exploring as it's easier than doing housework...
IP: 81.132.184.236 Edited: 19/11/2012 00:43:09 by pringledude
inbye

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Joined: 06/07/2008
Location: Huddersfield

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 01/12/2012 17:09:45
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This was a placed I wasn't sorry to be out of. An unnamed coal working about a third of the way up Thurstoneland Bank, between the villages of Brockholes & Stocksmoor, south of Huddersfield. About 35 yrs ago.




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

The entrance was only a few feet from a small stream, which local kids had first dammed & then turned down the drift.



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

It was fairly clear we were crawling over fallen roof, rather than floor.



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

Last pic shows the state of the working, note the blades of grass at the right of the explorer, that the flood washed in.
The water really hadn't done the shale much good & we were both ready to turn the lamp from gas detector, to pit prop.

I was glad to get out...

--

Regards, John... 'Folk from Huddersfield think Sex is what coal gets delivered in...'
IP: 86.29.167.157
lozz

Joined: 03/08/2012
Location: Cornwall

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 01/12/2012 17:57:30
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When I was a young lad I worked down a gold mine in Canada working in a cut and fill stope, somebody had dumped a bigun (rock) down the mill hole I took up the ladder road hatch to climb down and find the blockage, matey said it's no use the ladder road is blocked at this end and I would have to get the cage down to the next level and climb up, this I did and armed with a bar to prise some of the lining timbers apart I found the blockage, it was not going to move without a pop, I was about 200 ft up, climbs down and chatted up the trammer for a blasting staff, half a stick of stuff and fuse det. Climbed back up, set everything up and lit the fuse, climbed down a bit to fast and forgot that some of the wooden rungs on the ladder were well shot, fell and blacked out, came round, I was on a sollar, first thoughts...I'm still alive and my ears don't hurt, second thought...the fuse must still be burning, I didn't have a third thought. Got down to the bottom and about 3 yards away from the chute before it fired, the chute had a hydrolyic gob which took a bit of a battering, would never want to go through that again.

Lozz.
IP: 109.152.79.200 Edited: 01/12/2012 17:58:12 by lozz
Roger L

Joined: 01/06/2010
Location: Huddersfield

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 01/12/2012 22:39:20
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The mine at Thurstonland that Inbye had been in is still there but the ground just back from the entrance has now collapsed. The owner of the land is a cummer in and does not like peole on his land.

--

RL
IP: 86.27.68.246
Roy Morton

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Joined: 09/10/2007
Location: Redruth Cornwall

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 02/12/2012 01:30:56
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We had gone to explore a mine in the Baldhu area and had spent several hours down there taking pictures and stuff.
Everything done, we returned to the shaft only to be greeted by a torrent of water falling down from the surface 150ft up.
A really heavy downpour had turned the shaft into a waterfall mixed with fist sized rocks and our rope in the shaft was taking a clobbering at the bottom.
One of our group managed to pull the rope tight to one side of the shaft in an effort to minimise any damage, and risking being hit by a rock directly or from a ricochet.
30 minutes later conditions improved and we started prussiking up the shaft one at a time. I took one shot on the helmet and another rock the size of an egg on the shoulder when I was halfway up the shaft.

Another experience was in an inclined shaft. A friend had gone up the shaft ahead of me and had reached the deviation point where he transferred to another rope.
He called down that the rope was free and I started climbing up the shaft. 30 seconds later I heard that terrifying call 'BELOW!' Shocked. and heard something heavy bouncing down the shaft toward me and gathering pace rapidly.
This shaft was maybe 8 feet wide but footwall to hanging wall was only 3 feet max steeply inclined and slippery as hell.
No time to think, I kicked off with my left foot and managed to get to the edge of the shaft just in time to see a 2 foot by 10 inch diameter soaking wet stemple go wizzing by my shoulder.
Curiously enough I was strangely calm, which was more than could be said for my mate who was franticly shouting down to see if I was still alive.
I shouted back that he would need to try harder next time. Laugh
I've had closer ones in the workplace but that would be off topic.

--

'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear'
IP: 86.152.8.158 Edited: 02/12/2012 01:37:24 by Roy Morton
toppo_69

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Location: Nottingham

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 02/12/2012 14:02:50
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Reading this, I think its every mine you guys have been in Big Grin IP: 90.218.161.133
stuey

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 02/12/2012 16:34:47
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Roy, that reminds me of No 5 shaft of Wheal Beauchamp

Rich and I had gone down, specifically to go under the waterfall footway shaft and down a sort of slopey thing into some big stoping. We rigged the rope off a stemple and backed it up to a boulder about 40ft behind. I went first. I got to the bottom, soaked to the bone, de-rigged and heard a big shouty noise coming from Rich in slow motion. "Fuuuuuuuuuuccckkkkkinggggggroooooooccccccckkkkstuuuuuuuuu" and there in front of me was a big council-telly sized rock bouncing and sparking it's way towards me in polystyrene pinewood studios style. It was like something out of a cartoon!

I was right in it's path and it was in very slow motion, I seemingly had all the time in the world to analyse all the available options, I noticed there was a crevice which was about me sized and stepped into it. There was a railway sleeper sized stemple across the floor and it smashed this upon impact. It would have killed me outright.

I imagine it was me with the squid sized eyes that day.

Rich had a squid eyes moment in Creegbrawse trying to look down a shaft. There were some lovely new looking timbers which formed a shaft station. With one hand on the ceiling and a gingerly placed foot on one of these lovely new timbers sent the whole lot down the shaft in a cacophony of sound. You should have seen the look on his face! Shocked
IP: 87.114.55.199
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
Location: Caernarfon, North Wales

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 02/12/2012 20:37:51
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Bottom of Benallt shaft at Rhiw. The floor was covered in maggot casts, and felt rather hollow as if the whole thing was a big pile of empty fertiliser bags chucked in together with whatever the flys' dinner was. IP: 217.43.72.235
chrisataditnow

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Joined: 24/11/2007
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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 02/12/2012 21:32:22
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Photographing Cooks level while it was collapsing beneath my feet. Then going back in a couple of days later to find that the 'safe' chamber where swmbo and dog had waited for me that day totally run in.
Sent shivers down my spine.

Closely matched by a climb through a collapse in Cwm with SpeedyCaver that led to the most shocking stacked house of cards chamber I have ever seen.
We had climbed up about 30 feet through the collapse and entered the chamber through a man sized hole onto what had once been hte roof. One look around revealed that the slightest movement of any sizeable rock would result in our access hole being blocked and us being entombed. Nobody would ever have found us in there.
More shivery spine and very careful retreating followed.
I won't be going back there again.

--

If it's raining, put a mountain on your head
IP: 82.71.10.191
JR

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Joined: 07/03/2008
Location: Lurking near Hereford

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Most worrying place you've ever been in a mine...
Posted: 03/12/2012 00:03:41
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Many years ago, more than I care to think about I was eager to explore some mines in the Forest of Dean. I was inexperienced in those days but a friend worked in an outward bound centre and borrowed hard hats and caplamps. We set off down Old Ham and had been exploring for about an hour or so when my mates caplamp died. He said something about not having checked that his battery had been charged before borrowing it. It was at that point that I asked the obvious question about the state of the battery on my belt. It felt like the longest half hour I have ever experienced getting back to surface expecting my light to fail any minute.
Still it did teach me to check and double check.

--

The voices tell to write this stuff
IP: 95.147.193.214
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