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Mine Exploration Forum

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Author Cambrian Mines Trust
TheBogieman

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Joined: 12/02/2013
Location: Mold, NE Wales

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 22/05/2013 09:59:13
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Amazing feat Roy. Well done. I've only read about Cwmystwyth's history, now I hopefully will be able to pay it a visit in the future and see just what those 'old men' did.

It's thanks to you and your like that these amazing industrial archaeological sites are being preserved for future generations to marvel at. Again, well done that man!

Best regards

Clive
IP: 217.79.99.163
Cat_Bones

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Joined: 07/06/2007
Location: Shropshire

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Posted: 22/05/2013 17:02:07
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Excellent news, well done Roy! Was one of the first mines I ever went in, and would be great to re-visit Smile IP: 77.98.82.210
royfellows

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

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 22/05/2013 17:10:46
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Cat_Bones wrote:

Excellent news, well done Roy! Was one of the first mines I ever went in, and would be great to re-visit Smile


This weekend with some tools?
Big Grin

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136
Dark Prince

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Joined: 15/12/2007
Location: Around and about

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 22/05/2013 20:06:32
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Top marks Roy. Remember driving past these mines many manys years ago wondering whats inside.

I'm in that bit of Wales over the weekend but not sure where/when exactly yet. I'll let you know if i can make it.

DP
IP: 31.185.217.172
Cat_Bones

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Location: Shropshire

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 23/05/2013 12:18:33
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royfellows wrote:

Cat_Bones wrote:

Excellent news, well done Roy! Was one of the first mines I ever went in, and would be great to re-visit Smile


This weekend with some tools?
Big Grin


I suspect this weekend is too short notice I'm afraid! Am happy to put my name down for subsequent days though.
IP: 77.98.82.210
Cat_Bones

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Joined: 07/06/2007
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Posted: 23/05/2013 12:32:38
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Cat_Bones wrote:

royfellows wrote:

Cat_Bones wrote:

Excellent news, well done Roy! Was one of the first mines I ever went in, and would be great to re-visit Smile


This weekend with some tools?
Big Grin


I suspect this weekend is too short notice I'm afraid! Am happy to put my name down for subsequent days though.


Scrub that. Managed to secure a pass for Saturday so can help out then?
Not sure what I can rustle up in terms of tools though!
IP: 77.98.82.210
Manicminer

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Joined: 29/04/2007
Location: North Wales

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 23/05/2013 12:59:16
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Well done for hanging in there Thumbs Up

I might be able to volunteer a shovel and some tools one day over the weekend. How close can you drive to the holes in question with the mesh that needs cutting? I have a grinder, extension lead and an inverter that I normally use (no generator)

--

Gold is where you find it
IP: 95.147.254.217
royfellows

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

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Posted: 23/05/2013 16:04:24
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The nearest is about 80 metres from the road, the one that will need some careful grinding is a bit of a stiff uphill walk up Nant yr Onnen.
Having said this anyone who has a good hacksaw and and pair of pliers etc can help.
The object is to cut out as neat as possible a man size hole or 'hatch' and then refix it with fencing wire as a temporary expedient. If you have a steel rule please bring this as well and note down the name of the level or a description of its location and the exact measurements of the gate that will be needed.

I can then collate all this information together as part of the gating project.
I have yet to design a suitable gate, one with a spanner type latch is preferable to a nut and bolt job that will seize. If anyone has pocket camera please bring that as well. A pic as well as measurements would be great.
We have got to do the best we can with the existing grills which will not be symmetrical.
It appears that more people are coming than expected which bodes for optimism.
I have also prepared some suitable warning notices to put inside the entrances. "Warning disused mine workings, Danger of death, no public entry"
We have a duty of care to the general public to deter or prevent as much as possible 'casual entry'.

The only other thing I feel I aught to remind people of is to bring your underground gear, you will not want to miss this opportunity.

I suppose that I aught to have invited 28DL for the benefit of their experience of this type of work.
Laugh

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136 Edited: 23/05/2013 16:06:34 by royfellows
exspelio

Joined: 02/05/2012
Location: peak district

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 23/05/2013 16:42:14
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Don't know what size mesh you are dealing with but a good sized bolt cropper will deal with most meshes up to about Quarter inch diameter, lighter, quicker, and more accurate in the right hands! Smile
Sorry I can't be with you on this momentous project, well done Roy for sorting it !!

P.S. you would'nt be interested in a quarry with mine features in Derbyshire would you? Confused

--

Always remember, nature is in charge, get it wrong and it is you who suffers!.
IP: 81.153.183.154
Manicminer

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Posted: 23/05/2013 17:06:15
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I do have a set of bolt cutters somewhere too ....

--

Gold is where you find it
IP: 95.147.254.217
royfellows

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 23/05/2013 17:06:52
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The grills are welded steel bars about 40mm by 5mm thick. Not terribly strong and have been the object of unofficial cutting in the past, particularly Level Fawr.

It was like a sort of yo yo until word got around about my initiative and then the grill cutting miraculously stopped.
Level Fawr was a fortnightly reoccuring thing, Taylors was done once only, this is to the best of my knowledge.

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136
Dark Prince

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Posted: 23/05/2013 18:26:52
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What time we meeting Roy?. Sorted out a few things and will be there. Will bring a cordless grinder plus as i'll be in the van so will have crowbars, hacksaws that sort of thing.

DP
IP: 31.185.217.172
rufenig

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Joined: 18/03/2008
Location: Shropshire Hills

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 23/05/2013 18:38:40
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Roy
It might be a good idea to remind people how long some of the fixed ropes & aids have been in there!
Some of the ropes could be 20yrs old and not rigged to modern standards!
Some of the western workings in Pughs mine come to mind.
Also the "bad air" sign in the right hand branch of Taylors level is there for good reason!!!

Well done and best wishes for the work that you have done.
IP: 87.112.227.129
royfellows

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Posted: 23/05/2013 21:39:02
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OK.
I will try to be there for 10.30 hrs up by Level Fawr which is first target. My plan if possible is to remove the upper part of the grill leaving a fence height in place, and lay a plastc 'top' made from a section of plastic spout and secured with cable ties. The cut section can be placed over the pipe and suitable notices fixed there.

If the angle grinder man can get up to Taylors we know the score there, I have a "Warning Deadly Gas" for the right hand branch there. I would like the entrance mucking out and I can get someone with a monitor to test the side level when its vented.

And Colin, good thinking, any in situ ropes will need replacing. I think the thing to do is rip them out. I have a DeWalt and 3 batteries so any iffy split anchors can have a proper replacement. Don’t forget underground gear all.

Keep ideas and suggestions coming.
It exciting isn’t it?


--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136
John Mason

Joined: 22/09/2008

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Posted: 23/05/2013 21:46:44
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Good work, Roy. Snowed up with work right now with Snowdonia National Park and now the FUW, otherwise I'd come and lend a hand. Meirion - you'd find the place fascinating underground and very different to the workings we've visited around Dolgellau - enjoy! IP: 86.165.101.75
royfellows

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Posted: 23/05/2013 22:05:14
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More thoughts.
I think old in situ ropes are just part of the equation. Considering how long the place has been sealed up a safety assesment needs doing on every mine reopened, and this has to be done before NAMHO.

South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue have a practice scheduled there in the near future, give them a chance to familiarise themselves with the place. I mean its been sealed up for so long I bet some on the team have never been in.


--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136
Graigfawr

Joined: 04/11/2009

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Posted: 24/05/2013 00:18:51
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Congratulations and sincere thanks Roy! I've been waiting over a decade for restoration of access.

When access was banned I had almost completed a full detailed survey (plans, longitudinal sections and transverse sections) that I had begun in 1986 and which includes South Cwmystwyth, Pugh's Mine, all workings off the Graig Fawr Opencast, etc. At last I can progress it to completion and then publication...

Please has anyone got access to a total station to assist with accurate location of entrances and surface survey control points?

As the site is a scheduled ancient monument I believe you may have to check with Cadw before completely removing any grilles.

This especially applies to the grille fixed to the external masonry of Taylors Level. However Cadw will hopefully welcome the careful removal off this grille as they complained to the contractors when that grille was put in place. This resulted in other grilles being placed inside entrances.

You should definately consult with Cadw before digging out entrances, to save inadvertently commiting an offence.

Maintaining water levels in entrances at significantly above 'welly depth' may help considerably in detering casual visitors and people inexperienced in mine exploration. Just a thought!

The visible dry-stone wall cutting at the entrance to Taylor's Level was built as part of a dig to partly drain the then sumped entrance in the early 1980s. The dig was never completed but it was desumped to just above waist height. The visible walled cutting entered the level from the nearest location in the stream bank. The original cutting walls extended more-or-less south on the same allignment as the crosscut. A fragment of the original cutting wall can be seen on the left hand side of the portal. If you do carry out work here, you'll be completing the early 1980s project rather than 'repairing' it!

It was the mid 1980s dig to desump the eastern drivage inside Taylor's Level that encountered 'bad air' (see Descent 79, 1987/88 for a full account). It appeared to be O2 deficiency without a build-up of CO2 in the drivage beyond the sump. I placed the existing 'bad air' sign (kindly made by Simon Hughes). Over the years following the dig was periodically revisted to check that it continued to drain and that the drivage did not re-sump. In the early 1990s the quality of the air beyond the dig was checked when surveying and nothing abnormal was found. This drivage is blocked by a fall from a stope that is holding back water, about 150m east of the dig. The impression is gained that the running water after desumping assisted air circulation and that the O2 deficiency dissapated due to influx of 'normal' mine air in the period after the dig desumped the passage. However after the entrance was grilled it was no longer able to periodically check that the dig was still draining okay - it may have slumped and re-sumped the drivage sometime in the last decade or more since the grilles were fixed in place.

Hope these notes are useful.
IP: 2.100.60.213
Roy Morton

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Joined: 09/10/2007
Location: Redruth Cornwall

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 24/05/2013 02:14:47
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Hats off to Roy Fellows (echoes of Led Zeppelin Wink )
My heartiest congratulations and may the trust go from strength to strength.
Finally there is an organisation in charge of large tract of mining history, managed by people who understand the value of the underground environment, both for pleasure and for archaeological / historical research.
Expansion into Cornwall next?

Once again well done Roy Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up

--

'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear'
IP: 217.42.169.206
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
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Posted: 24/05/2013 09:32:18
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Thanks for the valuable input Robert. Believe it or not I was completely unaware that the drystone walling on Taylors entrance was that modern!


--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136
Graigfawr

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Posted: 24/05/2013 13:25:53
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royfellows wrote:

Believe it or not I was completely unaware that the drystone walling on Taylors entrance was that modern!


I'm not surpriosed - the wall has weathered-in over 25 years. The clue is in the narrow base of the cutting - far narrower than the level itself, and too narrow for trams.

I'll be delighted to help in any way I can - please don't hesitate to pm me. For example thirty years of intensive exploration, surveying and photography underground at the site may prove useful to provide a base-line for the sort of monitoring of ongoing changes that Cadw may be keen for the Cambriaqn Mines trust to participate in.

It would also be useful for the Trust to make contract with Paul Edwards of the Environment Agency as he has overview of projects to alievfate pollution inputs from non-ferrous mine sites. Currently the EA is only undertaking monitoring at this site but it is high up the list of the EA's 'top 50' Welsh metal mine sites for treatment. Around 2005 the EA commissioned Parsons Brinckerhoff to examine the site (I contributed a paper on underground flows to the EA and to PB); amongst the more basic recommendations PB made was to emplace gabions along lengths of streams that were eroding laterally into tips (e.g. in the vicinity of the 1900 mill as you mentioned concerned you upthread), especially tips of fine grained mill waste, and to reopen the culverts beneath the road (ditto; Ceredigion County Council would undoubtedly like to reduce frost damage to the road due to the blocked culverts). It is possible that the Trust might be able to work in conjunction with the EA on low-tech small-scale projects of these sorts that would have immediate and definable impacts and benefit both the envionment and the historic landscape. Just a thought.


Roy Morton wrote:

Finally there is an organisation in charge of large tract of mining history, managed by people who understand the value of the underground environment, both for pleasure and for archaeological / historical research.


Cambrian Mines Trust needs a sign along these lines:



Its the '...on behalf of the people' bit that is so striking!
IP: 194.83.72.6 Edited: 24/05/2013 13:44:13 by Graigfawr
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