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Author Cambrian Mines Trust
royfellows

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

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Posted: 27/05/2013 21:31:10
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The reopening of the mines

First I would like the thank everyone who managed to attend, being bank holiday and at such short notice. Especially D Tyson without whose petrol driven angle grinder the work would have been tenfold.

The first call was at Level Fawr where the existing grill was cut down to waist height and the removed upper section laid over the pipe one crawls through to gain access.
I hunted down a length of timber which was wedged upright in the portal and fixed one of my warning notices, “Disused Mine Workings. Danger of death. No Public admittance”
The Trust regards properly equipped explorers as not being members of the general public, that is our meaning here.

Next we walked up Nant yr Onnnen and removed the grill that covers Taylors Level. The intention is to clear this and fit a gate inside, eventually. Next we reopened Aldersons Level. Here the top and left hand fixings where cut allowing the grill to swing on the right hand fixings in the way of a gate, a pile of rocks keeps it secure. Herberts Level was treated in similar fashion. On the other side of the stream a couple of bars were removed from the grill over Kings Adit which were refitted using fencing wire to re secure the entrance. The lower Queens has no grill, it is just fenced.

There are other levels which will need to be reopened, Evans and Rosa notably, but this can be left to another day.

Will people visiting the mines please ensure that the entrances are left secure, use rocks or whatever to prevent casual entry.

I have also explored each of the levels re opened, and her are my comments.

1/ Level Fawr. I explored all of the level and also climbed up through the stopes using the fixed ladders at the back, they are quite spectacular with powerful lighting.
The second tube is a bit awkward, the knack is to roll over onto your hip and pull yourself through by grasping the cut in the tube. All appears OK, the ladders I ascended are still sound but a heavy timber above the incline is in a noticeably worse condition than it was years ago. This is seen by climbing the short ladder and following the ‘patch’ that curves up into the stope. I spend some time pondering on this and cannot see a solution except concreting the rear part in with a heavy support coming in off the cheek of the hanging. This could be heavy timber, say part of a telegraph pole, or an RSJ. I don’t know, if anyone has any ideas, let’s hear them. The picture is as was years ago, its worse now.


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

I think that this work should be done along with putting a road through the collapse so that the second tube becomes an emergency exit.

2/Taylors Level. I explored this in a full wet suit as it looked like upper chest deep water, its not, its just over the belt. I have lowered it a bit more. I have put a warning notice by the right hand branch with the bad air, “Deadly Gas in right hand branch”, quite explicit.
Further in there are quite a few artefacts and a galvanised air ducting, I noticed that an Ammonal tin that was there years ago has grown legs.

There is a left branch that goes through a lightly stoped area to a pitch down to the inner reaches of level Fawr below, inbye of the falls. This has three stainless bolts that look 10mm, no nuts or hangers through.

3/ Aldersons Level this is easy explored in boots. I remembered heavy roof timbers and thought that there was a timber roof which formed a false floor of Herberts above, I was wrong. The heavy timbers support the cheeks of the stope. The level is in very good condition and appears quite stable as well as being very interesting.

4/ Herberts Level is cross cut to the lode where it becomes very spectacular, particularly where it cuts Herbets Stope where daylight floods in. There is false floor there to the left as you enter the vein but it appears quite sound, there is a flooded understope below which obviously cannot connect with Aldersons else it would drain.

Near the daylight end the water disappears down a hole in the floor, looking down one can see the heavy timbers in Aldersons below, where the water makes a spectacular waterfall. The floor here is quite solid.



An interesting weekend. On Saturday evening there were a lot of people and cars below the road in the mill area. One group had managed to drive down to the river where they were having a barbecue and had lit a fire. Although nice people I will have to have this access blocked as it’s an SSSI due to the occurrence of a rare moss which only grows there in the whole of the British Isles.
Because of the SSSI I cannot allow camping, fires, or driving onto the land, everything will be attended to in good time.

Also, if anyone wants to gain entry to levels that are still sealed with grills, please don’t do anything without contacting me first. There are a lot of levels that end in falls after short distance and may as well be left as they are.

Pughes Adit, sorry it highly polluted water so no entry here at all. Someone explored it years ago and reported that it ends in a collapse anyway.

Day Level below the run in Jackilas Adit is not grilled but is fenced.

Bonsalls Level. This needs to be located and the entrance cleared and secured. I was in there years ago, getting in was quite dodgy due to stuff coming down hillside from above.

Finally, I hope to stat seeing underground photos on here soon.


--

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

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Posted: 27/05/2013 23:02:06
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royfellows wrote:

Herberts Level is cross cut to the lode where it becomes very spectacular, particularly where it cuts Herbets Stope where daylight floods in. There is false floor there to the left as you enter the vein but it appears quite sound, there is a flooded understope below which obviously cannot connect with Aldersons else it would drain.

Near the daylight end the water disappears down a hole in the floor, looking down one can see the heavy timbers in Aldersons below, where the water makes a spectacular waterfall. The floor here is quite solid.

Pughes Adit, sorry it highly polluted water so no entry here at all. Someone explored it years ago and reported that it ends in a collapse anyway.


Herbert's Level: the pitch down to Alderson's Level is 72ft from the floor of Herbert's Level to the floor of Alderson's Level; the pitch is clean but usually is wet. The flooded underhand stope in Herbert's west drivage was plumbed as 28ft deep. Beware - the extent of the false floor is not readily apparent and is rather more extensive than first impressios may indicate - the false floor starts 38ft west of the centre-line of the cross cut and extends for a further 15ft westwards.

A recent paper by Richard Bird in the Welsh Mines Society Newsletter showed that the level usually known as Herbert's Level is actually Alderson's Level, and that Herbert's Level lies between this altitude and the top of Herbert's Stope (during surveying high in the stope I found portions of the level but most of it has been stoped-away). This indicates that the level usually known as Alderson's Level is an unnamed level driven in the 1870s by John Taylor & Co (see BM 17, p.61).

Pugh's Adit: this extends 295ft from the portal to a fall that completely blocks Pugh's Shaft, through which water flows upwards from the below-adit workings. There are no features of interest - it is a simple straight cross-cut. Pugh's Adit never extended beyond the shaft - it was driven solely to enable the discharge of pump-water from the pumps in the shaft. The level is very ocherous; entry would stir up the metal-rich sediment, increasing pollution into the River Ystwyth.
IP: 78.145.133.54 Edited: 27/05/2013 23:06:22 by Graigfawr
Mark - Aberystwyth Caving Club

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Joined: 28/05/2013
Location: Aberystwyth

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 28/05/2013 11:34:32
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Thats fantastic news. I have put the word out with Aberystwyth C.C. and we will hope to have a trip down there in the next week or so. i will take on board your review from the weekend and hope to explore further, and take some photographs for the page.

Just as a reminder of the dangers of "bad air" at Cwmystwyth!

http://users.aber.ac.uk/club06/publications/thrutch/015/history-descent-79.png

IP: 144.124.83.2 Edited: 28/05/2013 11:40:55 by Mark - Aberystwyth Caving Club
Manicminer

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Cambrian Mines Trust
Posted: 28/05/2013 11:46:16
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Can the admin add an album for the Cambrian Mines Trust to Cwmystwyth so that photos etc from workdays can be placed in that?

--

Gold is where you find it
IP: 95.147.254.194 Edited: 28/05/2013 11:47:10 by Manicminer
SimonRL

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Posted: 28/05/2013 12:12:33
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Good idea Manic. I've set one up now:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/album/Cambrian-Mines-Trust-Work-Days/
IP: 95.148.16.26
royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
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Posted: 28/05/2013 12:18:15
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Everybody loves me
Big Grin

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136
Mark - Aberystwyth Caving Club

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Posted: 28/05/2013 12:27:03
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royfellows wrote:

The reopening of the mines

There is a left branch that goes through a lightly stoped area to a pitch down to the inner reaches of level Fawr below, inbye of the falls. This has three stainless bolts that look 10mm, no nuts or hangers through.



I was looking through Aberystwyth C.C. archives and apparently in 1986 there was a dig site with the aims of connecting taylors and level fawr. it is written that at the base of the ore slide as you described, there is a short passage leading to a collapse which is approx. 350' from potentially the other end of level fawr. whether this is still there or passed now i dont know. but i will take an SRT kit and have a look at the base of the ore chute in taylors.

royfellows wrote:

The reopening of the mines

Bonsalls Level. This needs to be located and the entrance cleared and secured. I was in there years ago, getting in was quite dodgy due to stuff coming down hillside from above.



Also written in the same journal, Bonsalls level is not worth exploring because ACC reached the end of the level and described it as trial level extending very little into the hill side. there is a curtain of water pouring down a shaft from abrahams level however. whether this again has changed or not im not sure bearing in mind this was written in 1986!

IP: 144.124.83.2 Edited: 28/05/2013 12:28:30 by Mark - Aberystwyth Caving Club
royfellows

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Posted: 28/05/2013 13:37:48
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Thanks to Robert and Mark for these useful inputs. Keep it coming people.

--

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

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Posted: 28/05/2013 13:50:47
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Can people who post pics to the 'work days' please add the date. This is going to be ongoing isn't it.

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136 Edited: 28/05/2013 14:04:06 by royfellows
Manicminer

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Posted: 28/05/2013 14:11:23
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SimonRL wrote:

Good idea Manic. I've set one up now:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/album/Cambrian-Mines-Trust-Work-Days/


Thanks Simon Thumbs Up

Can people who post pics to the 'work days' please add the date

Done Thumb Up

--

Gold is where you find it
IP: 95.147.254.194
rufenig

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Posted: 28/05/2013 14:36:38
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SimonRL wrote:

Good idea Manic. I've set one up now:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/album/Cambrian-Mines-Trust-Work-Days/


Devil OOO I'm posting this on U.K. Caving to show gate busting mine explorers!!!!! Guns



(I'm Not really Innocent )
IP: 46.208.119.174 Edited: 28/05/2013 14:51:34 by rufenig
royfellows

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Posted: 28/05/2013 15:32:49
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rufenig wrote:

SimonRL wrote:

Good idea Manic. I've set one up now:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/album/Cambrian-Mines-Trust-Work-Days/


Devil OOO I'm posting this on U.K. Caving to show gate busting mine explorers!!!!! Guns



(I'm Not really Innocent )


"Land owner stands by in despair as renegade cavers cut off grills"
Laugh

--

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
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Posted: 28/05/2013 17:43:55
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Cheers for the album Simon, was going to pm you last night about that but was slightly tired after an afternoon in Cwmorthin....and then driving straight home!.

Shall add me pics shortly.

DP
IP: 46.208.143.208
Morlock

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Posted: 28/05/2013 17:53:04
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Very interesting (and unusual) images. Big Grin

IP: 82.26.90.248
Dark Prince

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Posted: 28/05/2013 20:47:05
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Just put a few more pics up. I'll go through the rest of what i took and put them up over the next few days. Wish i had taken my DSLR and tripod!!. But not bad pics for handheld using a Retro 2 as light source.

DP
IP: 46.208.143.208
Graigfawr

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Posted: 28/05/2013 21:02:06
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Mark - Aberystwyth Caving Club wrote:

royfellows wrote:

The reopening of the mines

There is a left branch that goes through a lightly stoped area to a pitch down to the inner reaches of level Fawr below, inbye of the falls. This has three stainless bolts that look 10mm, no nuts or hangers through.



I was looking through Aberystwyth C.C. archives and apparently in 1986 there was a dig site with the aims of connecting taylors and level fawr. it is written that at the base of the ore slide as you described, there is a short passage leading to a collapse which is approx. 350' from potentially the other end of level fawr. whether this is still there or passed now i dont know. but i will take an SRT kit and have a look at the base of the ore chute in taylors.

royfellows wrote:

The reopening of the mines

Bonsalls Level. This needs to be located and the entrance cleared and secured. I was in there years ago, getting in was quite dodgy due to stuff coming down hillside from above.



Also written in the same journal, Bonsalls level is not worth exploring because ACC reached the end of the level and described it as trial level extending very little into the hill side. there is a curtain of water pouring down a shaft from abrahams level however. whether this again has changed or not im not sure bearing in mind this was written in 1986!



The ore slide and site of ladderway from Taylor's West Drivage down to Lefel Fawr is a 75 ft pitch. At the base of the pitch is a few hundred yards of Lefel Fawr. Eastwards it ends blind in less than a hundred feet. Westwards it terminates a major collapse after a few hundred feet. Climbing the stopes immediately prior to the collapse showed no way westwards. ACC contemplated but never attempted a dig at this location. However ACC did attempt a dig from the Lefel Fawr end, based on explorations undertaken in 1983 when this route was still partly open and lead to a couple of hundred feet of passageway eastwards. This dig was prosecuted intermittently and in the 1990s broke through to the first chamber only to find that the roof had collapsed. Discouraged, the dig was backfilled. The length of Lefel Fawr below Taylors includes a couple of hundred yards driven on a north branch (seemingly a barren length of the Kingside Lode). Although blind, towards its end is a commodious rise, at least 50 ft high. As this leads into a 'blank' area it is probably blind. Freeman's 26fm level crosscut seemed to be alligned on it so in the 1980s the entrance to this level was reopened but it turned out to be only a few hundred feet long and blind - exactly as shown on the 1852 plan of the mine - and not to connect to the commodious rise as hoped. It thus seems very likely that the commodious rise from the north branch of Lefel Fawr below Taylor's is blind. At one point in Lefel Fawr below Taylor's there is a hole in the floor of the level down which water descends. This drops into a large stope on the Kingside Level, in which the standing water level was a little above the roof of the drivage when it was descended and surveyed. However when Simon Hughes and members of NCMC descended ito this point in the 1970s they found the water level to be a little lower, enabling them to swim a way along the Kingside Level until it turned into a 'nose in a crack in the roof' situation. With the exception of the NCMC swim, all these workings have been surveyed.

Bonsall's Level comprises a few undred feet of drivage with trivial stoping. A third of the way along is a wet rise, at the base of which are the fragementary remains of an electron ladder placed there when NCMC climbed the rise timbers in the 1970s. ACC reclimbed the rise in the 1980s to gain about two hundred feet of drivage on a level that Simon Hughes identified as Abraham's Level. From the top of the rise, a short distance westwards this level was blocked by falls at a point that appeared to be near to the site of its portal. Eastwards from the top of the rise much of this level was lined with drystone walls and rotten props supporting a roof composed of unstable looking deads, ending in falls. All these workings have been surveyed.
IP: 92.26.145.195 Edited: 28/05/2013 21:04:03 by Graigfawr
Roy Morton

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Posted: 29/05/2013 04:48:50
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royfellows wrote:

rufenig wrote:

SimonRL wrote:

Good idea Manic. I've set one up now:

http://www.aditnow.co.uk/album/Cambrian-Mines-Trust-Work-Days/


Devil OOO I'm posting this on U.K. Caving to show gate busting mine explorers!!!!! Guns



(I'm Not really Innocent )


"Land owner stands by in despair as renegade cavers cut off grills"
Laugh


Just don't mention 28DL Shocked

Good to see ideas in action, I just wish it was all a litle closer to where we are or you would have been inundated with pick swinging pasty wieding ME's....
Success to CMT...... Thumbs Up

--

'Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear'
IP: 86.152.100.69 Edited: 29/05/2013 04:50:01 by Roy Morton
royfellows

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Posted: 30/05/2013 12:02:56
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British Caving Association
The Trust is now an Access Controlling Body member of BCA with insurance remit for all Cwmystwyth Mines and Goginan as described below.

Goginan Mine
The Trust by arrangement with the landowner is now ACB for this mine. This has been precipitated by the need to keep the upper adit secure due to an ongoing digging project, we are not out to build empires by gaining control of mines which have previously been free access. The land recently moved into private ownership.
Taylores Incline is open, upper adit locked, but the intention is to replace the lock with a combination lock, the combination of which will be given upon request.

We shall probably move into a system of listed permit holders who will need to agree to abide by the simple rules described in a previous posting, but there is a lot of work on the table.



--

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

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Posted: 30/05/2013 20:19:06
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royfellows wrote:

British Caving Association
Goginan Mine
The Trust by arrangement with the landowner is now ACB for this mine.


Roy - will pm you.
IP: 92.26.155.103
royfellows

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Posted: 02/06/2013 23:00:51
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Having just received an offer of work I have a task right at hand, I am going to be buisy for the next few weeks checking stuff out for NAMHO, Talybont wants yet more timber renewals.

Anyway, Queens level is blocked by rock which has spalled off from the right, there is a winze down into it from Kings above but we really need the entrance clear.

Just so that everyone is clear below is a picture. You will need a pick to break up the ground. It up Nant yr Onnen on the right, I think next up from Taylors.



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

EDIT
Sorry, dont try thinking to borrow heavy plant off motorway contruction somewhere, its not as big a job as the photo suggests, the way in is centre high, there is actually a 'rabbit type hole' open into the mine.

--

Whatever you find difficult do more not less, then it become easy.
IP: 92.19.57.136 Edited: 02/06/2013 23:04:21 by royfellows
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