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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Mine Bells
Cornish Pixie

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Joined: 02/01/2009
Location: Wicklow, Ireland

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 10:39:19
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I'm currently doing some research into mine bells which documentary research has revealed were common on mines throughout Cornwall and west Devon in the C19th. They were used to regiment all salaried mineworkers by signalling the start and ends of shifts and mealtimes. Usually cast in bronze, these bells are distinct from the knocker bells installed on shafts as signals and were also used extensively on mines in here in Ireland that were Cornish-run, and there is a preserved bell at the Burra mine in S. Australia, that was also Cornish managed.

Does anyone know if such surface bells were used on mines elsewhere?

Thanks in advance.

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Den heb davaz a gollaz i dir
IP: 194.46.201.186
ChrisJC

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 10:40:09
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There is one in Aberllefenni.

Chris.
IP: 90.152.39.96
Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 10:49:21
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Chris, is that at a metal mine or a colliery and when does it date from? I suspect steam hooters and whistles gradually displaced these old mine bells.

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simonrail

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Joined: 23/07/2008
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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 12:24:45
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Normanby ironstone mine was a drift mine in the Cleveland district of Yorkshire N.R. and closed in 1898 but there are two pictures in existence showing a bell hanging in a simple frame at the site. I also came across a reference to the manager at the adjoining Eston Mine in the 1880s ringing the bell to let the men finish early on a Good Friday (an early example of P.O.E.T.S. Day?).

IP: 81.107.48.60
Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 12:31:03
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Excellent information, Simonrail, thanks! I'd like to see a copy of that picture of the bell at Normanby if you have it Wink

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ChrisJC

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 12:37:19
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Aberllefenni is an underground slate quarry. I would think there are pictures of the bell on the mine shop on the album.

Chris.
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skimble

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Location: Gwynedd

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 12:44:20
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ChrisJC wrote:

Aberllefenni is an underground slate quarry. I would think there are pictures of the bell on the mine shop on the album.



(click image to open full size image in new window)
Here's a photo (taken by McCormack PJ, not me) showing the Aberllefenni bell.

IP: 212.228.223.207 Edited: 24/10/2011 23:01:22 by skimble
Tezarchaeon

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 12:50:51
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You can clearly see the housing for a bell on the roof of the old sampling house in front of the count house at Levant mine on page 39 of the new H.G. Ordish book. IP: 81.159.55.197
Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 12:54:15
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Chris and Skimble, thanks so much for this! Thumbs Up It's great to see that mine bell still in situ at Aberllefenni. I have just received the new Ordish book and on p. 39 (as pointed out to me a few days ago my Spitfire) I can see a bell-type tower on a building at Levant. It must surely have held a bell. Would it be possible to use the Aberllefenni image (fully credited of course) in an article I am writing?

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Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:15:05
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Tezarchaeon, our messages must have crossed each other! Yes, you're right, that is defo a small bell frame. I wonder what happened to all the bells that were once on the Cornish mines? They appear in the itemised list of mine sales from time to time. One quoted had a dimension of 14 inches, which looks about right for the size of the Levant bell housing, and is about the same size as the bell I saw at Burra in Australia; it also looks about the right size for the one at Aberllefenni. Smile

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scooptram

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:34:36
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theres a bal bell down at poldark in the headframe (i know because i put it there) not sure witch mine it came from but i think it has a date on it 1880 something!

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mind that rock OUCH
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Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:44:12
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Interesting, I don't recall seeing it down there Scooptram, but Richard has a lot of interesting stuff on site. Wonder if anyone lives near enough to have a gander? Wendron's a fair old way from Wicklow Wink

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grahami

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Joined: 29/01/2007
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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:49:30
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There was a big bell in a frame at Penrhyn Slate Quarry which was I think used to signal for blasting. There's a shot of it being rung on one of the Pathe slate quarry films a link to which was posted last week (?) It was sited about half way up the quarry on the north side.

(The Oakeley Quarry used the steam whistle on the Middle Quarry Inclen Fawr winder.)

Cheers

Grahami

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scooptram

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:55:32
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will see if i can pop down there its only 5 miles from me


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mind that rock OUCH
IP: 86.139.217.146
Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:56:48
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When you say 'big' how big do you reckon, Graham? The reason I ask, is because I was recently shown a bell said to have been used on a mine over here in Ireland, which is much bigger - 24 inches in diameter at the lip.

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Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 13:59:57
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Scooptram, you're a gem! A piccie would be great if it's possible to get up close enough. Tongue

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4737carlin

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 14:27:45
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I think the one at Aberllefenni is covered over now, i drove past in the summer with a mental note to see it, unless i looked at the wrong building Blush IP: 94.192.172.154
ChrisJC

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 14:37:18
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Cornish Pixie wrote:

Chris and Skimble, thanks so much for this! Thumbs Up It's great to see that mine bell still in situ at Aberllefenni. I have just received the new Ordish book and on p. 39 (as pointed out to me a few days ago my Spitfire) I can see a bell-type tower on a building at Levant. It must surely have held a bell. Would it be possible to use the Aberllefenni image (fully credited of course) in an article I am writing?


I recommend you PM JonK as he is a fount of knowledge regarding Aberllefenni, and I am sure he can source you photos of the bell from other decades.

KingArthur is also well connected in a similar way, it is just that the King is too busy running his kingdom to be on here as much as JonK is.

Chris.
IP: 90.152.39.96
Cornish Pixie

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 14:39:12
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Cheers, Chris. Will do. Smile

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grahami

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Mine Bells
Posted: 24/10/2011 15:29:32
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The Penrhyn bell was a fair size:


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

CHeers

Grahami

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The map is the territory - especially in chain scale.
IP: 212.219.117.102
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