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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Superstitions in mines
owd git

Joined: 07/02/2010

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 14/03/2012 23:57:46
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Hey. topic on uk caving,
bet Sougher could add to the thread
Poss' Iclock and a few others. Thumb Up Thumb Up
thanks Peeps Thumbs Up
Owd Git.
IP: 2.103.80.227
Wormster

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Joined: 15/08/2006
Location: Top of the Mendip Hills

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 01:07:45
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Saw that earlier...................


YAWN................................


Don't want to go upsetting the knockers now do we??


On a more serious note, WE know the reason why - coz extra noise might bring the roof down upon us!

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Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
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Gavin

Joined: 08/05/2011
Location: north yorkshire

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 07:05:40
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You should have left them a cornish pasty ?
That would keep them happy?

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GAVIN
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RJV

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Location: Cleveland

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 08:35:50
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It’s a German tradition isn’t it, meant to attract the knockers?
I’ve tried it but somewhat regrettably the only ones that have appeared have been in vintage copies of the News of the World left by mineral collectors… Sad

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'Planning is just bad adventure.'
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AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 08:41:44
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The burning heather in mines question that's been raised in the UKC thread (http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=13336.0) is an interesting one - has anyone come across anything like this in a mine before?

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I am currently out of the office on leave and travelling through time but will respond to your message when I return last week.
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sougher

Joined: 16/10/2008
Location: Hampshire

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 10:16:52
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Owd Git - superstitions in mines were discussed in an earlier topic on the forum i.e. "Ghosties" - started by Simonl on 12/07/2007 - read my entry for 04/12/2008 where I've gone into detail about some of the superstitions that I could find. Regarding the superstition of whistling down a mine, Nellie Kirkham told me that she thought it had it's roots in Cornwall, with the Cornish miners migrating at later dates to the Derbyshire lead field, bringing with them the expression of "captain of the mine" whom Derbyshire lead miners would have called "overseers", "captain" being a seafaring term, ships were very superstitious regarding whistling, also having women onboard. She also thought the use of measuring Derbyshire lead mine shafts in fathoms derived from this origin too, but when I put up this query on the "mining history" website I was told that the practice of measuring in fathoms derived from Derbyshire - the UK's most land locked county! Remember too that miners from all metal mining areas of the UK have at one time or another migrated around the country, hence the common mining glossary that exists between all fields and possibly superstitions. Many Derbyshire miners were sent by the King to work silver mines in Devon in the 1200/1300's - I've forgotten the exact date. However, I've never heard of burning heather in the Derbyshire lead mines as mentioned by AR, that has me puzzled.

I looked up in Jim Rieuwerts " Glossary of Derbyshire Mining Terms" page 178 under Superstitions which mentions "Brown Hen - fairies butter - ghurr - thurr - Burning Drake - divining rod - Banedog - chance being - knocker - Christmas Eve candle - fairy pipes - fairy rings - foot ale and Mine Folk."

Perhaps "History Trog" can add to the list.

Sorry for lack of contact but have been ill since New Year.
IP: 81.130.7.239 Edited: 15/03/2012 12:56:37 by (moderator)
AR

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 12:08:13
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Hi Sougher, hope you're on the mend! I'm hoping SamT can provide me with some locations where I can see this burnt heather for myself, but I have to confess to being thoroughly puzzled by it. If it was a Bradwell/Castleton superstition I would have expected it to have been picked up and recorded early last century, when other traditions like the Christmas Eve Candle were noted. If it was done for a practical reason, I would have thought it might have cropped up in Hooson or suchlike. I think I'll give Jim a ring this evening and see what he thinks or whether he's seen an odd snippet somewhere that might shed more light on this.

As for the origin of fathoms as a shaft measure in Derbyshire, that's got me thinking now. I know in my own notes I've copied the 1730s section of Gould Rake Engine drawn by George Heywood, but I can't remember offhand what the measurements were given in - I get a feeling they were fathoms though!

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AR

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 21:46:44
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OK, having looked at the notes I made from OD1151, the mine section has the legend "fathom foot 27 and 2 to the levill" next to the Gould Rake engine shaft, all other measurements are in yards. However, in the reckonings associated with the section, there's a mention of buying 22 fathoms of rope, this was in 1729. So, they were in use as a measure way back, though whether in general use for shaft depths at that time I'm not sure.

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I am currently out of the office on leave and travelling through time but will respond to your message when I return last week.
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owd git

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 15/03/2012 23:52:31
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Thank you 'M'
I hope you continue to re-gain good health.
I have myeye on him, Laugh
Ric'
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derrickman

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 16/03/2012 07:49:12
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I'd always understood a fathom to be an Old English term based upon the distance between the fingertips of a man's outstretched arms.

Like a foot is a Roman centurion's foot, an inch is the top joint of a man's thumb and a yard is the distance from the middle of your chest to one outstretched hand

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''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.
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derrickman

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 16/03/2012 07:49:12
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I'd always understood a fathom to be an Old English term based upon the distance between the fingertips of a man's outstretched arms.

Like a foot is a Roman centurion's foot, an inch is the top joint of a man's thumb and a yard is the distance from the middle of your chest to one outstretched hand

--

''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
royfellows

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 16/03/2012 09:46:46
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derrickman wrote:

I'd always understood a fathom to be an Old English term based upon the distance between the fingertips of a man's outstretched arms.



Absolutely correct, and surprisingly it varies very little between people of different stature, its still about 6 feet.


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Wormster

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Superstitions in mines
Posted: 16/03/2012 10:13:16
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fathom

On land

Until early in the 20th century, it was the unit used to measure the depth of mines (mineral extraction) in the United Kingdom. Miners also use it as a unit of area equal to 6 square feet (0.56 m2) in the plane of a vein. In Britain, it can mean the quantity of wood in a pile of any length measuring 6 feet (1.8 m) square in cross section.

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Better to regret something you have done - than to regret something you have not done.
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