Author Topic: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale  (Read 2758 times)

Offline Pete K

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Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« on: March 15, 2019, 09:43:58 pm »
Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale

There have been repeated recent incidences of the gates to the Mandale Mine system being left unsecure, and the Reserve staff are not going to permit this much longer. The combination padlock on the Aqueduct Adit, which anyone could get the code for, has been bashed off many times in the last year. DCA have managed to convince the Reserve team to allow us to go back to a Derbyshire Key (spanner) system for a trial period. Cavers are being put on notice that they will be inspecting the mine gates regularly over the next 6 months and, if the gates are not left secure again, the mines are likely to be permanently sealed and access will be lost to all. We believe the sustained damage to the gates is down to a particular group or individual. Please share this message far and wide, to explorers and urbexers, the mine will be lost if not left secure. You can go in the mine, but don't break in for no reason. Take a spanner, not an angle grinder. Locals and passers by are asked to keep an eye on the gates when then are in the Dale and report issues immediately via the DCA website if anything is not secure, or even better, take a spanner with you and sort it then and there!
To help potential visitors understand that it is a public safety issue that keeps them secured, not elitism, signs are being installed at all our troublesome locations. These point people to the DCA website for access info and to report damage.

Details for Mandale will be updated soon on the website to reflect the new access method: https://peakdistrictcaving.info/home/the-caves/lathkill-dale-monyash
Pete Knight - DCA Projects.

Mandale Aqueduct Gate (2) by Pete Knight, on Flickr
Mandale Aqueduct Gate (3) by Pete Knight, on Flickr
Mandale Adit Gate (1) by Pete Knight, on Flickr

Offline Pete K

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2019, 01:38:16 pm »
What a lovely day to be out on a DCA job! Today myself, Ian Web and Pete Monkhouse repaired the damaged grill on the upper entrance to Mandale Mine in Lathkill Dale. All 3 entrances to this mine are now secure from accidental public access but, as usual, explorers need only take a Derbyshire Key to go in. Thanks for the help in sorting this out today guys!

Remember that we must keep these access points secure, or the mines will have to be permanently sealed. That is the condition of access from Natural England. Please keep an eye on the gates if you're passing. You'll find plenty of spare nuts on each gate in case one has gone missing.

Report any access problems for this or any other site via the DCA website:
https://thedca.org.uk/conservation-access/issue-reporting



Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2019, 01:49:44 pm »
Good work.  :thumbsup:
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Offline Madness

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2019, 07:18:34 pm »
Glad to see the Spaniel lending a hand!

Offline Pipster

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2019, 07:28:41 pm »
Great work all involved!  :thumbsup:
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Offline Pete K

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2020, 02:05:45 pm »
Hi all. Unfortunately I need to make a plea for some assistance at Mandale Mine again.
Cavers reported finding the Incline Level gate unbolted today and they were not able to get the bolts back in. On the face of it they said that it just looks like the threads are getting corroded and it all needs a bit of greasing and re-tapping.
I don't have access to any thread taps so I am hoping some lovely person on here might have a set and be willing to pop down and see if they can get it locking again. I know the bolts are big, but not exactly what size. A set of taps between m14 and m20 should cover it. I'm 99% sure it was all made in the era of metric.

Anyone able to assist an already very busy Projects Officer with this?

Also, if you ever visit a mine and find the Derbyshire Key not working, tell DCA! We can get it fixed and prevent these mines possibly being sealed. We are already on 'probation' for these sites in Lathkill Dale and they have got to stay secure from public entry.

Pete Knight
DCA Projects Officer

Offline al

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2020, 02:39:39 pm »
Anyone able to assist an already very busy Projects Officer with this?
I could take a look on Monday, Pete, unless you get a better offer. I think my T&Ds only go up to M12, but it would be useful to sort out some bigger ones (e.g. Jugholes bottom entrance uses an M16 thread) so I'll try Dilworth & Morris before I go.
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Offline Pete K

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2020, 03:09:36 pm »
That would be great if you can. I suppose you could try to find a nice set of taps that DCA can reimburse you for and then we'll have some for the future.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2020, 03:19:06 pm »
I found this outfit on Atterlicffe in Sheffield a couple of years ago, and they were very nice and very helpful - they gave me a die for free as it was slightly chipped. I think they're somehow related to the legendary Riley's of Brightside - who do second-hand lathes, etc. Just in case for the future:

https://sheffieldtooling.co.uk/product-category/threading/taps/

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2020, 08:47:28 pm »
Gawd, that website is tool p0rn... :-[

If I can I'll pop down tomorrow morning and see what the state of things is. I do have tap & die sets in the garage but I don't think mine go bigger than M12.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline pwhole

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2020, 09:39:07 pm »
Last time I walked past they had the biggest tapping die I've ever seen in the window - it was like some sort of religious relic. It must have been 120mm diameter bar at least that it was designed for cutting. Definitely a 3 Weetabix job ;)

Offline Boy Engineer

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2020, 09:10:19 am »
Just a “teaching to suck eggs” comment on the Sheffield Tooling site, in that they don’t seems to list the ‘normal’ Metric Coarse taps etc, which are more likely to have been used. 2mm pitch for M16 and 2,5mm pitch for M20. So worth checking before splashing cash.

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2020, 11:06:53 am »
Just got back from walking the dog in the dale, and I've got the gate shut again. The right-hand bolt no longer secures into the frame and so I've removed it; the gate is secured by the left-hand bolt only but to fasten or loosen it, you have to put a lot of weight onto the bottom left corner of the gate. The gate appears to be distorted, I'm guessing from an attempt to force it while the left bolt was secured.

The head of the right hand bolt was also badly worn, as far as I can tell it's a 60mm M14. It needs replacing with a 70-80mm one and if I get chance tomorrow I'll pop down to Torne Valley in Bakewell and get a replacement.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline nickwilliams

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2020, 12:46:01 am »
I have taps and some dies in most common (and some very uncommon) sizes up to about M40 if you ever need to borrow them, Pete.
"Economics is simply the branch of sociology that deals with people trading items and the fact that they use more numbers does not make it anymore of a science."

Offline Pete K

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2020, 08:26:03 am »
Thanks Nick and thanks AR.

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2020, 08:47:37 pm »
It looks like the bolts may be Whitworth not ISO - I took the one I removed down to Torne Valley but found it slightly too big for M16 but definitely too small for M18. I'll try and work out what it actually is then source some replacements.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline iwebb

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2020, 09:30:30 pm »
I had a trip down Mandale mine today (Wednesday)
We had difficulty with the gate as expected
After the trip I measured the original nut thread with thread gauges and the diameter of the original bolt from the left hand side
I have now screwed an M16 setscrew into the Right hand side
The gate still needs twisting back into shape with a big bar (4ft)
The gate is now locked both sides

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2020, 09:50:23 pm »
Glad you managed to get a new bolt in but I'm a little surprised it took an M16 -  as per the above I tried the one I removed with M16 nuts and it wouldn't go, which made me think it was a 5/8" Whitworth. Maybe the wear on the end was the problem.

I'll take my quarryman's gavelock down at some point to deal with the twist....

Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Pete K

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2021, 09:04:39 am »
I just came back to update this thread and shocked myself how long ago it was. Ah, the covid timewarp.
Anyway. With a report received from a member of the public about the Mandale gate being open, AR shot over for a look. The bolt on the left of the gate was replaced with a new M16. The bolt on the right is only just holding. To get the left hand bolt engaged in the hole, a very stiff push is needed because the gate is twisted in the frame. No joy twisting the gate straight again, so a plan is being hatched to address the problem.
In the meantime, please make sure the gate remains secure if you visit, but you will need to give it a really good push/pull to get the bolt in. Don't just use the right hand bolt as that is not secure.
https://peakdistrictcaving.info/home/the-caves/lathkill-dale/mandale-mine

This is a good time to remind cavers that they need to tell DCA if they find any of the gates on the levels in Lathkill Dale unlocked or damaged. Natural England are fine with caver visits so long as the sites remain secured against public entry.

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2021, 08:56:07 pm »
Just to add to the above, I'd suggest anyone visiting Mandale in the near future may be better entering and exiting by way of Aqueduct level if they don't want to fight with the Incline level gate. As Pete says, I've got plan B in development...
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline mch

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2021, 10:06:27 am »
Just to add to the above, I'd suggest anyone visiting Mandale in the near future may be better entering and exiting by way of Aqueduct level if they don't want to fight with the Incline level gate.
Good plan AR!

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2021, 09:26:58 pm »
Heads up on Mandale - I was in the dale again this morning to try and measure up for the alterations and I found that a) the right-hand bolt wouldn't move at all and b) the left-hand bolt doesn't want to go back in, I've sort-of got it there but even with a lot of force it was difficult. Given this, until I've got the alterations sorted out can I ask that people use Aqueduct Level only - the gates need to be left secure and at the moment, if you did get the Incline Level gate open there's a good chance you wouldn't be able to get it shut again.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Pete K

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2021, 09:57:25 pm »
I'll update the the listing on PDCi to ask cavers to leave the Incline Level gate alone for now.
https://peakdistrictcaving.info/home/the-caves/lathkill-dale/mandale-mine

EDIT...this has now gone out on the DCA social:

"Mandale Mine - There is a problem with the Incline Level gate that prevents it being shut. For now it is secure but please avoid using this gate until it is fixed. Access to the mine can also be gained through the Aqueduct Level gate. A fix is being prepared. More details on the PDCi site: https://peakdistrictcaving.info/home/the-caves/lathkill-dale/mandale-mine"
« Last Edit: April 16, 2021, 10:05:53 pm by Pete K »

Offline AR

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Re: Mandale Mine - Lathkill Dale
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2021, 10:33:21 pm »
Thanks Pete!
Dirty old mines need love too....

 

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