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Author Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
royfellows

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 27/07/2020 15:04:04
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I was at this site on Sunday and found it quite depressing.

The restoration of the site years ago created a little gem and also a fantastic educational resource. However, subsequent neglect, and possibly an original poor choice of timber or inadequate treatment has now lead to a health and safety hazard.

Although the engine house and other buildings remain good the timberwork has now reached a dangerous state with the outer bob platform visibly sagging. The inside of the two timbers has rotted to the point where a cavity has formed, and it wont be long before it comes crashing down.


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

The headframe outer sheers are sliding down off their stools and also quite rotten at this area. Some steel plates were fitted some time ago, on top, and have achieved nothing.


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

The metal sheer wheel is badly corroded and a piece of the rim has broken off and is now embedded in rotten timber at the top.


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

The balance bob is fortunately in sound condition, no visible rot of the main beam or king or queen pots. However the two timbers that carry the pivot bearing are rotten to the degree that the bearing caps have sunk into the rotten timber leaving the holding down bolts standing proud. One side is worse than the other which has caused a sideways tilt.


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

The platforms are beyond saving and would best be removed for safety reasons. The sheer wheel would need to be sounded and the detached section removed. The headframe itself could be saved by adding some vertical support to the outer sheers at their bases, possibly by poured concrete. The balance bob could be jacked up and the bearing timber replaced.

There is a dark shadow over future of this site, especially bearing in mind the current state of local authority funds due to the virus pandemic. A long term solution could be to sell the site to the National Trust for a peppercorn, if they would be prepared to take it over.


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'' as rare as a Cwmystwyth padlock''
IP: 88.105.101.13 Edited: 27/07/2020 17:39:46 by royfellows
robnorthwales

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 27/07/2020 18:08:42
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Regrettably, Roy, the site has been deteriorating for a number of years. First, Wrexham closed the visitor facility on site - probably 10 years or so ago (though I will admit that being a personal estimate). Then, maintenance was reduced, and finally pretty much stopped.
The same has happened a few miles down the road at Bersham Ironworks. The buildings were open to the public, but 2-3 years ago the site was closed and made 'Guided tours on request' only, with a minimum group size of 12.
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NewStuff

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 27/07/2020 18:13:05
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As said above - The current council have zero interest in maintaining or making use of any heritage site, as it doesn't fit with the current "Green" ideals being pushed forward. Chances are the sitre will be shuttered wholesale should any safety issues, and associated big bills to remedy, be raised with them.

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John Mason

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 03:59:51
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NewStuff wrote:

As said above - The current council have zero interest in maintaining or making use of any heritage site, as it doesn't fit with the current "Green" ideals being pushed forward. Chances are the sitre will be shuttered wholesale should any safety issues, and associated big bills to remedy, be raised with them.


It's more likely due to the imposed starvation of funds inflicted on local authorities in general by Westminster, which have filtered down into devolved administrations too. One can only spread butter so thinly before it effectively ceases to exist. If you are going to point the finger, point it at those responsible, not made-up bogeymen.
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sinker

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 07:06:39
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John Mason wrote:

NewStuff wrote:



The current council have zero interest in maintaining or making use of any heritage site...


It's more likely due to the imposed starvation of funds inflicted on local authorities in general by Westminster, which have filtered down into devolved administrations too. One can only spread butter so thinly before it effectively ceases to exist. If you are going to point the finger, point it at those responsible, not made-up bogeymen.


Sorry but if the LAs didn't waste half of the "butter" then there would be more to spread on your toast. That's not "finger pointing", that is just how it is.
I agree it's not the whole picture but look at the wastage and inefficiencies at local and national (Welsh) level before complaining that central government is turning the tap off.



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Jim MacPherson

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 07:17:50
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John Mason wrote:

NewStuff wrote:

As said above - The current council have zero interest in maintaining or making use of any heritage site, as it doesn't fit with the current "Green" ideals being pushed forward. Chances are the sitre will be shuttered wholesale should any safety issues, and associated big bills to remedy, be raised with them.


It's more likely due to the imposed starvation of funds inflicted on local authorities in general by Westminster, which have filtered down into devolved administrations too. One can only spread butter so thinly before it effectively ceases to exist. If you are going to point the finger, point it at those responsible, not made-up bogeymen.


I wouldn't be too quick in looking at local authorities or even central government specifically. It's primarily a systemic fault in the role of capital funding which has been evident for at least 40 years. The process has never, or very rarely taken account of revenue funding to maintain a project, That problem should be considered by the source of capital and ideally not granted until project promoters have drawn up a viable revenue scheme to cover a reasonable chunk of time ( I use the word viable as Haig Pit's wasn't from even a cursory look).

I've attempted to bore people with this analysis, both education and Ind Arch for some years and clearly got nowhere BoredBoredBoredFlowers

Jim
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John Mason

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 12:43:41
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Jim MacPherson wrote:

John Mason wrote:

NewStuff wrote:

As said above - The current council have zero interest in maintaining or making use of any heritage site, as it doesn't fit with the current "Green" ideals being pushed forward. Chances are the sitre will be shuttered wholesale should any safety issues, and associated big bills to remedy, be raised with them.


It's more likely due to the imposed starvation of funds inflicted on local authorities in general by Westminster, which have filtered down into devolved administrations too. One can only spread butter so thinly before it effectively ceases to exist. If you are going to point the finger, point it at those responsible, not made-up bogeymen.


I wouldn't be too quick in looking at local authorities or even central government specifically. It's primarily a systemic fault in the role of capital funding which has been evident for at least 40 years. The process has never, or very rarely taken account of revenue funding to maintain a project, That problem should be considered by the source of capital and ideally not granted until project promoters have drawn up a viable revenue scheme to cover a reasonable chunk of time ( I use the word viable as Haig Pit's wasn't from even a cursory look).

I've attempted to bore people with this analysis, both education and Ind Arch for some years and clearly got nowhere BoredBoredBoredFlowers

Jim


I entirely agree with that. In fact the Green way to look at a project would be to ask how it is to be kept in safe working order for the foreseeable future. To point the finger at the Greens as the cause of such issues, as the above poster did, is misguided. Short-termism is the diagnosis here. Greens are all about sustainability and resilience.
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Jim MacPherson

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 13:06:43
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Being mischievous I might also add "shiny new toy syndrome" to short-termism.

The promoters of a scheme are often as culpable as the holders of the purse strings but as the heritage industry often plays up the concept of saving a "priceless artefact" for future generations to marvel at. Perhaps they should be prepared to be more honest and accept that there is a limit to what can or even should be preserved. If the pet scheme end up as a rotting hulk after a few years that's not good PR for scheme or the industry. IMHO Innocent

Jim
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Tamarmole

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 13:31:28
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It is an inherent problem with publicly funded heritage projects. Here in the Tamar Valley a fortune was spent on the "Tamar Valley Minining Heritage Project" in the 2000s. Some significant capital projects were undertaken. The problem is that there was no provision made for ongoing maintenance so a lot of material like trail markers and fencing (for example) is coming to the end of its life. The officials who drove the projects are now long gone and the political will does not seem to exist to carry things forward. (Funnily enough I predicted this at the time). IP: 81.153.12.84
Jim MacPherson

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 14:01:44
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Both Frank Atkinson and Neil Cossons were somewhat vilified for their rather dirigiste approach at Beamish and Ironbridge but perhaps there were some pluses to the centralisation of important bits. The move to keeping things in situ has resulted in a very atomistic IA/heritage voice and access to funding, which may partially explain the decay/financial failure at some sites.

I blame the parson's egg

Discuss Smartass

Jim
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royfellows

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 14:15:56
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Nobody yet mentioned how the cost of a project gets inflated out of all proportion by the 'passengers' it has to carry. The £14K interpretation boards and all that.

I was told by Arthur Edwards (Frongoch) that he took some people from the local authority up to the manway entry I put in for about a couple hundred quid, the comments about how much it would have cost if the authority had done it.

There is this aspect to it.

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sinker

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 15:44:13
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royfellows wrote:



Nobody yet mentioned how the cost of a project gets inflated out of all proportion by the 'passengers' it has to carry.



That's the issue with the LAs. Too many people messing about doing 7.5 hours a day of useless paper shuffling and going off on long term sick at the first hint of a bit of stress....and not enough people getting stuck in and doing a bit of graft.

Anyway, don't get me started on that!


Apologies if I have become all political and veered Off Topic




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NewStuff

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 15:45:02
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John Mason wrote:

To point the finger at the Greens as the cause of such issues, as the above poster did, is misguided. Short-termism is the diagnosis here. Greens are all about sustainability and resilience.


It's not me pointing the finger. That's the opinion of the chap at the council at the time I brought up some other issues related to Industrial heritage. I suggest you take your political agenda out of the equation here. I live in the area, I'm just relating "on the ground" conditions as it were. The likely outcome, especially in light of current and recent events, is to shutter the site entirely should maintenance issues arise. Unless I hallucinated that, and several other meetings and phone calls, then there are no made-up bogeymen. I present no political agenda on this topic, so I suggest you do the same.

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Moorebooks

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 28/07/2020 15:56:03
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sinker wrote:

John Mason wrote:

NewStuff wrote:



The current council have zero interest in maintaining or making use of any heritage site...


It's more likely due to the imposed starvation of funds inflicted on local authorities in general by Westminster, which have filtered down into devolved administrations too. One can only spread butter so thinly before it effectively ceases to exist. If you are going to point the finger, point it at those responsible, not made-up bogeymen.


Sorry but if the LAs didn't waste half of the "butter" then there would be more to spread on your toast. That's not "finger pointing", that is just how it is.
I agree it's not the whole picture but look at the wastage and inefficiencies at local and national (Welsh) level before complaining that central government is turning the tap off.



The problem dates back to Welsh Local Government reorganisation , the Heritage Sites were managed by Clwyd County Council which was much bigger and had deeper pockets rather than a small borough Council like Wrexham with its inherent social with the closure of major industries . As I recall Bill Slater who masterminded it all was sent off to look after a specialist sheep flock? The priorities now are the statuary services, such as Housing , Elderly and childrens services . Austerity is to blame with local Authorities being starved of cash there has been no icing on the cake since 2011

At one stage Wrexham were desperate to hand it over to a Trust and invited the Shropshire Mines Trust - such was the apathy around out the time . We volunteer cleaning up work at Bersham Colliery The English had very bad press when the point of Ayr sheave wheels were transported by one of our members to Bersham. At the time we couldn't generate any sustained interest in Wrexham Local Heritage at that time and we were not in a position to run it .

Bersham Colliery has been kept open by the North Wales Miners Association trust their interest is in Coal not metal mining

Mike
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John Mason

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 29/07/2020 07:51:33
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NewStuff wrote:

John Mason wrote:

To point the finger at the Greens as the cause of such issues, as the above poster did, is misguided. Short-termism is the diagnosis here. Greens are all about sustainability and resilience.


It's not me pointing the finger. That's the opinion of the chap at the council at the time I brought up some other issues related to Industrial heritage. I suggest you take your political agenda out of the equation here. I live in the area, I'm just relating "on the ground" conditions as it were. The likely outcome, especially in light of current and recent events, is to shutter the site entirely should maintenance issues arise. Unless I hallucinated that, and several other meetings and phone calls, then there are no made-up bogeymen. I present no political agenda on this topic, so I suggest you do the same.


Has it not ever occurred to you that such things are commonly offered as vague excuses for the lack of attention to ongoing issues? It depends on who one is dealing with. When Simon and I sorted out No. 9 at Cwmrheidol in 1993 we had a great NRA team behind us and the full cooperation of the folk in charge of the Nant-y-moch hydro system (you need a spate? We'll give you a spate). It could have been left as it was but would likely have ruptured in due course. The extremely green thing to do was to physically prevent that.
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ttxela

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 29/07/2020 10:33:55
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This sort of game where great things are done but then not maintained is a pretty common one. A decade or so ago I worked for a consultant that had a contract to 'manage' council properties.

I worked on the schools team. At the time there were several sources of money for building work on schools. One pot could be used for maintenance however this was the same pot that general expenses such as books and pencils come out of and so that being teachers main interest tended to get used for that instead.

Another pot was for improvements and the requirement was that the work had to result in the school ending up with some facility or capability it didn't have before.

One could get round this with some creative thinking, for instance if an existing playground needed resurfacing you apply to paint a hopscotch grid in the playground but point out the surface is too poor for the paint to be applied......

We did unfortunately though spend a lot of time building lovely new things on school sites where the existing buildings had doors and windows dropping out through rot and rainwater coming in through the roof Crying
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Jim MacPherson

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 29/07/2020 10:45:39
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Thanks for adding the 2006 site photos Roy, clearly there were good intentions in the scheme but equally (using the fundamental skill of hindsight) maintenance costs would be quite high. On the current picture of the split on one of the sheerlegs it does look a bit like a stress fracture is it a windy site?

Jim
IP: 81.154.10.157 Edited: 29/07/2020 10:46:07 by Jim MacPherson
royfellows

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 29/07/2020 10:47:11
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Interesting discussion.

There are a lot of photos of this site but without any disrespect intended, many come across to me as bit 'arty'.
Browsing my system I have a lot of photos I took in June 2006 when the site was possibly at its best. On some numbers can be seen affixed to correspond with named features on the interpretation trail.

I certainly do not regard myself as the ace photographer, far from it, but have taken the liberty of uploading them all as a permanent record of what was.

As for the future, I think NewStuff hits the nail on the head in that it will in all probability be security fenced and then left to fall down. Of course, the stone and mortar will outlast this and hopefully at some time in the future some kind of new start could be made. Take consolation that that stuff that will fall is all reconstruction and not original, so can always be done again.

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NewStuff

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 29/07/2020 16:06:32
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John Mason wrote:

Has it not ever occurred to you that such things are commonly offered as vague excuses for the lack of attention to ongoing issues?


Has it not ever occurred to you that I physically spoke with the man several times and my very well tuned (decades in sales) bullshit detector didn't even flicker?

You think what you will, but even if there were not financial concerns at the moment, there's a big push on sustainability, recycling, green etc at the moment, and the thinking is that this simply flies in the face of that. While most of us on here know that you can have both coexist, we are not the ones making the decisions.



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royfellows

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Minera, deterioration at Meadow Shaft
Posted: 29/07/2020 17:44:55
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NewStuff wrote:

...... there's a big push on sustainability, recycling, green etc at the moment, and the thinking is that this simply flies in the face of that. While most of us on here know that you can have both coexist, we are not the ones making the decisions.



I tend to agree with this, two words occur, "current thinking", which indeed can change with different times.
However, all of these arguments are academic at the moment, with some local authorities facing bankruptcy I see amenity funding set at zero.

However, with further deterioration of the site, the authority will have to act in the interests of Health and Safety. The cost of remediation as I suggested in my first posting could be no more than the cost of total enclosure with security fencing.

I have not mentioned it, but on Sunday afternoon the place was swarming with people. I spent some time explaining everything to a gentleman who was genuinely interested.

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