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Author Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Vanoord

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 18:03:42
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Seeing as this hasn't been posted here by anyone from FoC, herewith statement regarding Cwmorthin:

As many of you know, the “Friends of Cwmorthin” group came into existence rather rapidly several years ago after the main adit suffered a significant collapse. A small group of individuals passionate about the mine set about raising funds, sourcing materials and ultimately restored the adit with new timber and steel. The landowner gave permission for this works on the condition that the adit became gated and access controlled in a sensible way.

After the adit was brought back into service, the FOC remained in existence to oversee further projects, maintain the gate, administer access and so forth. It was registered as a BCA Access Controlling Body and insured as such.

Shortly after, the FOC sanctioned a few other repair projects within the mine, that for reasons not worth discussing now in detail, were seen unfavourably by the land owner and the FOC were requested to cease any further works of any kind. The land owner ultimately expressed great concern with individuals continuing exploring the mine, due to his perceived liability for accidents in there, although stopped short of disallowing access for the time being.

Thus has followed a period of undeniably low-morale in regards the FOC, being in existence to just maintain the access situation and BCA insurance and hoping nothing would “rock the boat” and cause access to the mine to be lost to all for good.

The FOC saw it prudent to not be seen to be sanctioning or organising any sort of work project in the mine and we appreciate the frustration this has caused amongst the many individuals keen to roll their sleeves up and get involved.

The situation became a little bleaker still when the FOC learnt early this year that the land owner was in discussion with a company keen to lease the mine for exploratory drilling and quarrying. Had this have gone ahead, it is probable that access to the mine would have been lost to all for good.

After a great deal of discussion with the land owner, the FOC has now negotiated a long term lease on the mine which includes permission to carry out maintenance projects. This provides an income for the land owner, and also provides long term security for explorers and the FOC. The landowner is satisfied with this arrangement and understandably pleased to not have the weight of liability on his shoulders.

The cost of the lease is being paid for privately rather than through FOC donations (which in any case, wouldn’t come close to covering the cost). For the sake of transparency, it is intended to try to recoup this cost by offering periodic adventure trips though the mine to visiting tourists. This will not affect the mine or access to it, just provide a revenue stream to keep the lease paid.

In light of these new developments, the FOC have decided to re-launch the website with a type of basic discussion forum to allow interested people to become “FOC Members”. As a member, you would have the ability to make suggestions for works projects, arrange assistance, discuss important issues and just generally be involved. The FOC hope to organise periodic work days and weekends now that the permission is there to do so.

The FOC hope that in time that the mine and it’s dedicated enthusiasts become a model to other areas to show just how well it can work without needless bureaucracy and red tape around our central philosophy – Unhindered Access to Everyone!

We trust that you will consider the recent developments a positive step forward for all concerned.
With regards
Friends of Cwmorthin



FoC's website seems to be non-functional, but no doubt will be resurrected at some point in the near future.


This appears to be an improvement on the recent situation, although the statement does seem a bit short of details on some issues that might perhaps have been better dealt with at this stage.

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IP: 81.130.4.74 Edited: 28/09/2011 18:04:10 by Vanoord
lab rat

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 18:36:55
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Bo!!ocks and yep, I agree with Vanoord. Things need MORE clarity and need to be above board a LOT more than they are at the moment!!!!!!

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jagman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 18:39:11
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Vanoord wrote:

FoC's website seems to be non-functional, but no doubt will be resurrected at some point in the near future.


This appears to be an improvement on the recent situation, although the statement does seem a bit short of details on some issues that might perhaps have been better dealt with at this stage.


The FOC website is being re-vamped to reflect the changes.

Any details you want or issues you want to raise, feel free to ask old boy! Via PM if you prefer.
However the important points have been addressed which is primarily that access for all is now secured for the long term. Most peoples interest doesn't extend beyond that, as long as they can continue to get the gate combination they're happy.
The basic principle of FOC is to ensure free and easy access for all comers, that has been achieved and secured for years to come.
The statement would have been cross posted here if you hadn't, just a bit slow off the mark is all. It was posted late last night on ME and mid morning today on DP. Seeing as we all work varying hours this kind of thing gets done as and when.
IP: 94.1.174.151 Edited: 28/09/2011 18:46:38 by jagman
jagman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 18:40:17
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lab rat wrote:

Bo!!ocks and yep, I agree with Vanoord. Things need MORE clarity and need to be above board a LOT more than they are at the moment!!!!!!


Like what?

A lease has been secured very recently and that information has been released to everyone. Whats the problem with that?
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Vanoord

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 19:07:58
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I fear that recent months have given some people the idea that FoC is a rather secretive organisation, something that this statement mostly explains.

There are concerns that there may be a conflict of interests between paying trips and free access, however that may manifest itself. I'm relatively happy in my own mind that these can be resolved and having had a couple of conversations, I've been reassured that this isn't going to be the case.

For the two to co-exist relatively happily, there needs to be a bit more democracy as regards the public access - something that the creation of a discussion forum goes a way towards resolving.

Similarly, there may be some difficulties in reconciling how the free-to-all unhindered access and what is effectively a commercial operation can sit side-by-side when it comes to work weekends and the like. Perhaps clear definition of the two is one solution.

My opinions for the way forwards may be slightly different to the chosen path, but I don't wish to upset any apple carts.

What I will say is that I'm happy to contribute time or whatever else in order to ensure that access for all remains at Cwmorthin. I and many others from AN and other fora have contributed a lot over the past and no doubt many will do so again.

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jagman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 19:25:39
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Secretive? Possibly. A low profile has been necessary for quite some time and it is explained in the statement.

Conflict of interests? No, you have my personal assurance on that. Free access remains the core principle and that will not change. Its more secure now than it ever has been.

Democracy, I get your point but FOC is engineered to ensure it cannot ever operate on club principles. Access for all, no forms to fill in, no conditions to be met. All you have to do is ask for the combination.
Commercial trips will be operated along the principle of guided trips, nobody is paying an entry fee. Hence no conflict.
Besides, we have to pay for the lease somehow.

Despite considerable obstacles that have had to have be surmounted access remains free and easy for all.
I thought that was a pretty reasonable achievement.
Instead it's simply another excuse for criticism from some quarters.
What more does everyone want?
IP: 94.1.174.151 Edited: 28/09/2011 19:39:31 by jagman
Vanoord

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 19:42:21
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Aye, as I said, the recent secrecy is understandable.

This is certainly a step in the right direction and I don't quite see where I said it wasn't?! As I've said, I'm happy to do things to ensure that Cwmorthin remains free for all to access and as long as FoC remains in place, I'm sure it will do.



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IP: 81.130.4.74
jagman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 19:46:19
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Vanoord wrote:

Aye, as I said, the recent secrecy is understandable.

This is certainly a step in the right direction and I don't quite see where I said it wasn't?! As I've said, I'm happy to do things to ensure that Cwmorthin remains free for all to access and as long as FoC remains in place, I'm sure it will do.



Sorry, mixing my replies.
I was refering to Lab Rats post that implies there is something underhand going on.

FOC will remain in place for the long term and its core principle of free access will always remain the same
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Morlock

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 20:32:38
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As a matter of interest, how long is the lease? IP: 86.27.37.40
steve turbo

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Cwmorthin - statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 20:54:21
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from what i have heard ,secrecy was neeeded due to locals wanting cwmorthin sealed off due to the deaths in there ? now hopefully we can all work together to keep cwm open ,BUT there is idiots who will make life difficult for cwm to remain open .and there are people watching these sites to see what is happening up there .. Sad IP: 92.41.10.199
Vanoord

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 21:36:44
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I don't think anyone is acting in a way that might prejudice the access: we're trying to ensure that access is maintained for all in perpetuity.



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derrickman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 22:32:42
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It has to be borne on mind that Cwmorthin was and remains, a mine and not a cave. If the landowner wishes to lease it for exploratory drilling, he would be quite justified in doing so; it was originally excavated for that reason, after all. It might be quite reasonably claimed that exploration and possible production was its proper function.

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Manicminer

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 28/09/2011 22:39:08
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Shortly after, the FOC sanctioned a few other repair projects within the mine, that for reasons not worth discussing now in detail, were seen unfavourably by the land owner and the FOC were requested to cease any further works of any kind.
I thought that this little matter 'not worth discussing' nearly got the entrance bulldozed over by the landowner. FOC's biggest achievment to date is nearly having the place closed forever.
What is FOC's mission statement this time around, and will it stick to it?

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jagman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 01:42:04
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Manicminer wrote:

Shortly after, the FOC sanctioned a few other repair projects within the mine, that for reasons not worth discussing now in detail, were seen unfavourably by the land owner and the FOC were requested to cease any further works of any kind.
I thought that this little matter 'not worth discussing' nearly got the entrance bulldozed over by the landowner. FOC's biggest achievment to date is nearly having the place closed forever.
What is FOC's mission statement this time around, and will it stick to it?


No it didn't get anywhere near that. It was of course an option for the land owner and when the adit ran in years ago he did say he would be just as happy if it sealed itself.

FOC's aim remains the same, to maintain access for all.
IP: 94.1.174.151 Edited: 29/09/2011 02:06:18 by jagman
Going Under

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 09:15:57
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steve turbo wrote:

from what i have heard ,secrecy was neeeded due to locals wanting cwmorthin sealed off due to the deaths in there ? now hopefully we can all work together to keep cwm open ,BUT there is idiots who will make life difficult for cwm to remain open .and there are people watching these sites to see what is happening up there .. Sad


What deaths?
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SimonRL

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 09:25:23
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Going Under wrote:

steve turbo wrote:

from what i have heard ,secrecy was neeeded due to locals wanting cwmorthin sealed off due to the deaths in there ? now hopefully we can all work together to keep cwm open ,BUT there is idiots who will make life difficult for cwm to remain open .and there are people watching these sites to see what is happening up there .. Sad


What deaths?


I guess he meant the deaths in the 19th and early 20th centuries when the mine was active, giving it the name 'the slaughterhouse'

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Going Under

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 09:32:19
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Thank you for the clarification Simon Wink IP: 86.26.207.21
sinker

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 11:15:41
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Vanoord wrote:

Aye, as I said, the recent secrecy is understandable.

This is certainly a step in the right direction and I don't quite see where I said it wasn't?! As I've said, I'm happy to do things to ensure that Cwmorthin remains free for all to access and as long as FoC remains in place, I'm sure it will do.



Seems like the best solution at the moment?
I worry that the land-owners (not just Cwm but all "free-access, explorable" mines) will get scared into sealing up adits etc, as the "H&S / claim culture" is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. It's only a matter of time before "someone stupid" does "something stupid", gets hurt and tries to sue a land owner for not stopping him going there in the first place! The resulting knee-jerk reaction would see mines being sealed up all over the country Cursing
In view of recent events, some people's view is that even current working mines, under the control of Mine Inspectors and the HSE, are still killing people! Therefore an abandoned, un-inspected, free-access mine where I can theoretically take my kids in shorts and flip-flops if I see fit must, by definition, be a death-trap! It's a good job some of us still retain common sense.....
A little bit of control has to be better than no access ever again?

FoC= Friends of Cwmorthin Thumb Up

FoC= Free of Charge?? Thumb Up



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IP: 82.132.211.160 Edited: 29/09/2011 13:06:33 by sinker
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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 11:49:40
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Should such a body be even contemplating doing projects within the mine ? Will this not lead to the FOC having an agenda, however benevolent?

Robin
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jagman

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Cwmorthin - FoC statement 28/09/11
Posted: 29/09/2011 12:10:29
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BertyBasset wrote:

Should such a body be even contemplating doing projects within the mine ? Will this not lead to the FOC having an agenda, however benevolent?

Robin


Sorry Robin, I'm not with you. Which body?
IP: 94.1.174.151
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