Author Topic: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014  (Read 7798 times)

Offline dave_the_cave

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Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« on: August 24, 2014, 02:10:17 pm »
who: Dave G, Brian C, Steve H
where: Lower Balls Green Quarry near Nailsworth Gloucestershire
when: 26th July 2014
Link to photo album
Link to Facebook

A trip to the repaired tipper truck - Lower Balls Green Quarry

Steve, Brian and Dave ventured a little futher North than usual to visit a Gloucestershire Stone Quarry near Nailsworth.
This was our first visit to the quarry since the controversial damage to a tipper truck by some well meaning railway enthusiasts who
wanted some spare parts for their own railway. They have since made a big effort to repair the tipper truck and we were very impressed by their efforts, after their initial mistake they have done a good job.

After a brief talk with the farm we made our way into the quarry entrance. Here is the view looking out from just inside the quarry
entrance. A nice arch - there is also the remains of a blocked entrance nearby which seems to have been used just for people.


Here is a shot of Brian next to the raised embankment built to take a cartway or tramway


Brian points to the remains of a broken fishplate which would have been used to join the ends of two rails together.


In the upper part of the quarry near the entrance the side passages show the remains of what would have once been an extensive tramway network. The tramway was probably 2 foot(-ish) guage.


Here is a 90 degree junction


With a different view of the same junction showing the remains of its little turntable


Here is the remains of a siding


A little further in is an iron sleeper on which the rails would be placed.


Here is an example of a pillar with a sawn stone face


Steve admiring some unusual wedges with teeth. Wedges are usually used to split the stone.


A closeup of the wedges


The main passageway shows some evidence of being used both as a cartway and as a tramway.



Brian looking at the remains of a tipper truck crushed before the rock fall that trapped a line of three tipper trucks
and rails.


The crushed tipper truck


Our first view of the controversial tipper truck. It is just beyond the rock fall but immediately below some hanging death that will eventually claim the truck and crush it too.


Side view


Brian inspecting the bearings (we found some loose ones in the quarry earlier and wondered which truck they were from)


A view of the inside of the tipper truck - showing the repairs before they rust in and become less obvious


A first look at the main repair work


The gap at the ends


An indicator of the extensive backroom work done in the workshop before the fitting on the tipper truck in the quarry.
Here is the welded support for the ends.


The supporting bar.


Graffiti - 1904 - 1947


Calculations


Passageway sides sawn stone surface and stacked deads - much higher than wiltshire quarries






Stacked stones in the loading bay




The crab winch


The other side of the crab winch


Further on from the loading bay


Looking back from the loading bay


Enjoyable trip - logistics got the better of us and made sure there were only three of us. Nailsworth is pretty close for me, but not for th e others. Pleased to see the tipper truck has been repaired so well. They must have been the only group who could have done the repair - sad they had to be the ones to do the damage in the first place. But they did have good intentions. I was one who roared indignantly, but now I have seen the work put in to the repair I am inclined to forgive. Especially as it will eventually be crushed.







 

 



 

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 05:57:28 pm »
Glad to see you had a good trip but the photos don't seem to be appearing in this forum.

Malc
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Offline Brains

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 06:01:39 pm »
Ditto - had to visit the photo album.... is there a problem with the links?

Offline dave_the_cave

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 07:33:11 pm »
okay

I have changed access and tried it out with the tor browser and the photos are visible.

Can anyone / everyone see the photos now?

Sorry

Dave

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2014, 08:25:25 pm »
Yup showing OK now. Have you done the same for Adit Now?

Have you been in Upper Balls Green? There is some excellent graffiti in there including a diagram of what rock they need for a window.
Malc
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Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic:
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Offline dave_the_cave

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2014, 08:42:57 pm »
Yup showing OK now. Have you done the same for Adit Now?
Yes the same fix should work on Aditnow, although the photos look better on ukcaving. The people on aditnow
probably care more about the tipper.

Quote
Have you been in Upper Balls Green? There is some excellent graffiti in there including a diagram of what rock they need for a window.

Its been a while since we have been in upper balls green. We had a late start and spent too long in lower balls green, and I needed to
pick up my daughter from her summer job. So rather than doing a quick visit we saved it for another day.



Offline Jon_M

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 10:56:12 pm »
Dave

Sorry but I'll have to take exception to the ... "well meaning railway enthusiasts who wanted some spare parts for their own railway. They have since made a big effort to repair the tipper truck and we were very impressed by their efforts, after their initial mistake they have done a good job."

utter tosh  >:( .... nothing more than pure selfish vandalism ...if the will had been there they could have made copies of the parts in question without the destruction of what has been referred to as (at that time) the only tipper truck of this type left complete ... not any more of course!

This sets a very dangerous presidence for any mine relics anywhere in the country ..... I fancy building a replica of one of the cranes from Box mine in my back garden ... I think I'll just pop down to the Clift workings and cut a few bits off the best crane I can find ... after all one day the roof will crush it anyway!  >:(   

Online tamarmole

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2014, 09:07:31 am »
No two ways about it these guys f**ked up big time in the first instance, although this was down to ignorance rather than malice and, arguably, their intentions were good.  To their credit when the error of their ways was pointed out to them they did everything possible to remedy the situation.  They could have just stuck two fingers up an carried along on their merry way.

It would have been better if the incident hadn't happened, however it has been resolved as well as anyone could have hoped.

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2014, 10:59:07 am »
And of course now the metal has been cut it gives a new surface for the rust to work on accelerating the trucks demise.
Malc
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Offline dave_the_cave

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2014, 07:45:25 pm »
Dave
utter tosh  >:( .... nothing more than pure selfish vandalism ..

This incident was never pure selfish vandalism.

The wiltshire quarries are plagued by real vandals - there are people who see the quarries as a personal playground where they can do anything and take anything. They greatly outnumber the few who regard them as museums to be treasured.

Quite simply the railway enthusiasts are in this smaller second category not the first.



Offline crickleymal

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2014, 09:31:04 pm »
If they were definitely in the second category they wouldn't have cut the blasted thing up would they?
Malc
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Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic:
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Offline Ship-badger

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2014, 10:35:17 pm »
Nonetheless, it will eventually be lost. I would quite like to see it preserved, but in a way in which many can see it, not just a few private individuals. But perhaps I am in the minority here?
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Offline crickleymal

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2014, 11:59:34 pm »
Therein lies the problem. Do you keep it in situ as an archaeological artifact, remove it so it can be preserved or hack it up into bits so you can copy it? Admittedly the second option would be bloody difficult.
Malc
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Vintage and classic or just plain Jurassic:
all words to describe me.

Offline graham

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2014, 08:53:53 am »
There is an interesting problem, here, that is at the heart of much archaeological research.

Once a discovery has been made, the first question always to be asked is: "What will happen at the site now that the presence of this thing is known?"

The case for preserving material in situ is based on two things: a widely recognised phenomenon whereby visitors and researchers can understand something far better in context and the obvious fact that all excavation/removal brings with it an inevitable degree of damage.

The case for removal is also based on two things: the heightened probability that artefacts left in place will suffer from casual or planned vandalism and the possibility of increasing knowledge by study of an object in lab conditions.

I make no comment about this particular object, I am not a mining historian, but there are clear problems with leaving it in place: the high possibility of future vandalism and, or so we are told, the inevitability of its eventual destruction beneath a rockfall.

However, set against that must be the question as to how it would be curated if removed. Is there a museum with the facilities and the funding to curate a large piece of iron properly who is willing to accept it?

There is also, of course, the legal necessity to decide ownership and whether title can be transferred to an institution.

Each of these points can be the start of a whole conversation encompassing everything from open access to mines (some claim that CRoW rights apply to mines - if so how can any such object be kept safe in situ?) to long-term museum curation (I am currently trying to establish the exact provenance of a particular collection of material that the institution concerned does not have adequate documentation for. In this case I think the problem is soluble but I know of others & have spent many hours trying to track down material from given sites.)
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Offline Bartleby

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2014, 09:55:44 pm »
Said truck has been there for many years...yes?.  Why does it need to be preserved now?.  Why not leave it be?.  If people are that desperate to see it, why not go and have a look?. 

I'm with Jon_m on this.....

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2014, 10:25:20 pm »
As a mining historian with twenty years experience in the museum sector I would argue that two criteria should be met before the decision is made to remove artefacts:

(1) There is a clear and direct threat to the artefact's on going survival in situ - this was not the case at Balls Green; at some point in the future circumstances may change.

(2)  There is a secure home once the artefact has been removed.  In the case of Balls Green I would suggest that this was the case as, as I understand it, the guys were from the Mosely Railway Trust who have been preserving industrial railway equipment for around four decades.  The MRT collection is open to the public at Apedale and is second to none, particularly their collection of first world war locomotives and rolling stock (which the Balls Green skip represents).

Offline bograt

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2014, 11:09:09 pm »
Although it pains me to say it, I agree with a lot of the points Graham has made, it comes down to the value of the artifacts to the public, one could take, for example, the Mary Rose, or that hulk they towed back from the Falkands (SS Great Britain ??)

Seeing these items in the place of their final demise is better than moving them, but will not educate the populous.

To me this thing just looks like a bog standard 'Jubilee Tub' I can point people in the direction of a few more 'in situ' underground, it would have been more acceptable if they had removed it whole to display it to the non-underground public with an explanation of the kind of hassle they where to use (P.S. how many folks here have loaded and tipped one of these things for wages - as in 40 in an eight hour shift?)

As in most archaeology, measure, draw up, photograph, then put it in the museum to for folks to see.
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Offline graham

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2014, 11:17:07 pm »
Although it pains me to say it, I agree with a lot of the points Graham has made,

Play the ball, old son, not the man.  :tease:
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Offline bograt

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2014, 11:25:20 pm »
Although it pains me to say it, I agree with a lot of the points Graham has made,

Play the ball, old son, not the man.  :tease:

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:
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Offline graham

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2014, 11:33:43 pm »

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:

I don't have the experience to have an opinion. You say it looks like a bog-standard piece of kit, others have said it is rare. I don't know and so am not in a position to judge what may be the best way to proceed here.
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Offline bograt

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2014, 11:44:22 pm »

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:

I don't have the experience to have an opinion. You say it looks like a bog-standard piece of kit, others have said it is rare. I don't know and so am not in a position to judge what may be the best way to proceed here.

Fair enough, maybe some mine histerians (sic) can explain why this lump of metal should be left where it is, rather than showed to Joe Public?
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Offline Blakethwaite

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2014, 12:07:59 am »

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:

I don't have the experience to have an opinion. You say it looks like a bog-standard piece of kit, others have said it is rare. I don't know and so am not in a position to judge what may be the best way to proceed here.

Fair enough, maybe some mine histerians (sic) can explain why this lump of metal should be left where it is, rather than showed to Joe Public?
Maybe a caver could explain why this lump of metal shouldn't be used to transport a nice stal or other random lump of calcite to the surface to be shown to Joe Public rather than left in a position where it might retain some context.

The calcite may after all regenerate to some degree, unlike the tub.

The basic rules for caves and mines are really pretty much the same; keep your grubby hands off!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 12:20:43 am by Blakethwaite »

Offline Peter Burgess

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2014, 08:10:31 am »
There are NAMHO guidelines for the removal or otherwise of artefacts in mines. I suggest these are referred to for definitive answers to this. Cavers who don't appreciate mines and mining history should stay quiet.

Offline graham

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2014, 08:37:06 am »

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:

I don't have the experience to have an opinion. You say it looks like a bog-standard piece of kit, others have said it is rare. I don't know and so am not in a position to judge what may be the best way to proceed here.

Fair enough, maybe some mine histerians (sic) can explain why this lump of metal should be left where it is, rather than showed to Joe Public?
Maybe a caver could explain why this lump of metal shouldn't be used to transport a nice stal or other random lump of calcite to the surface to be shown to Joe Public rather than left in a position where it might retain some context.

The calcite may after all regenerate to some degree, unlike the tub.

The basic rules for caves and mines are really pretty much the same; keep your grubby hands off!

However, that basic rule is frequently flouted in both caves and mines, is it not. Thus it becomes necessary to consider what additional measures may be required to ensure the conservation of an interesting/important feature or artefact.
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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2014, 11:51:01 am »

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:

I don't have the experience to have an opinion. You say it looks like a bog-standard piece of kit, others have said it is rare. I don't know and so am not in a position to judge what may be the best way to proceed here.

It is rare - it is a WDLR (war Department Light Railways) skip - these are very, very thin on the ground, hence the MRT interest.  As an industrial railway nerd I got very excited when I saw it on a NAMHO trip a few years ago.  That said to the uninitiated it does look like a bog standard Hudson skip.

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2014, 11:54:53 am »

Sorry Graham, previous posts etc., what do you think of the rest of my submission?  :thumbsup:

I don't have the experience to have an opinion. You say it looks like a bog-standard piece of kit, others have said it is rare. I don't know and so am not in a position to judge what may be the best way to proceed here.

Fair enough, maybe some mine histerians (sic) can explain why this lump of metal should be left where it is, rather than showed to Joe Public?
Maybe a caver could explain why this lump of metal shouldn't be used to transport a nice stal or other random lump of calcite to the surface to be shown to Joe Public rather than left in a position where it might retain some context.

The calcite may after all regenerate to some degree, unlike the tub.

The basic rules for caves and mines are really pretty much the same; keep your grubby hands off!

What he said

Offline Bob Smith

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #26 on: September 04, 2014, 01:53:04 pm »
snip.  That said to the uninitiated it does look like a bog standard Hudson skip.
So it's a "k" class? What are the differences?

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #27 on: September 04, 2014, 02:14:18 pm »
It is mainly  trunnion pressings, trunnion supports and bearing design which differentiate the WDLR skip from (say) the classic 1930s Hudson "Rugga" skip.

Offline Bartleby

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2014, 06:11:20 pm »
Probably gonna get shot down in huge amounts of flames for this but........

Regardless of what has happened up to this point, a group who should have known better entered a mine that they do not own and cut a huge chunk out of a truck which they also do not own.

Truck should be left where it is. 

Offline Jon_M

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2014, 07:56:30 pm »
As well as cutting up the wagon they did not have the permission of the person who's land the mine entrance is accessed from, nor the mine owners.

Had they bothered to do any research I'd have been happy to contact the landowner for them and also help them take measurements/casts etc of the wagon itself without doing what they did.

Offline graham

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #30 on: September 04, 2014, 07:58:53 pm »
As well as cutting up the wagon they did not have the permission of the person who's land the mine entrance is accessed from, nor the mine owners.

But it's a well know fact that landowners have no right to stop cavers doing anything they want anytime they want on their land.

Ask anyone.  :coffee:
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Offline dave_the_cave

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2014, 11:40:33 am »
The tipper truck is relatively safe where it is. Access to the quarry is not guaranteed - we were lucky to talk with the farmer
and currently he was reasonably happy with small groups of cavers visiting. I would guess that there are not many visitors to the quarry. It took almost a year before the damage to tipper truck became known and that was from the railway enthusiasts blog.

The long term risks to the tipper are from a further collapse and it rusting away due to the water which gathers in it. Even metal eventually disappears when left underground due to the effect of the damp. Moving the tipper truck away so it avoids a further collapse might be an option. There is space above the collapse to bring it towards the entrance. Although the original quarrymen chose not to recover it this way. But taking the tipper truck further into the quarry would also be a way of avoiding a further collapse.

But it's a well know fact that landowners have no right to stop cavers doing anything they want anytime they want on their land.

I am rather glad that the ramblers association made their stand for access

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Lowers Balls Green Quarry - 26th July 2014
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2014, 12:51:17 pm »
I have only just picked up on this one. Firstly many thanks to DTC for uploading the photos. Why we get so little of this is beyond me. I do try to make amends -- :halo:

Of course its a problem rarely encountered in caving . Retrieve or leave ? Quite common in the world of diving though where there is due process regarding ownership ( The Receiver of Wreck ). Most long term deep divers have a few " artifacts " and most have been acquired legally. The future looks to be a problem though with anything over a 100 years old becoming " historic ". Most shipwrecks off the UK coast are WW1.
A while back we discovered a big steel emigrant wreck. She was Dutch and very important. So much so that she is now an historic monument. I recovered her builders plate and offered it to her home port museum in Rotterdam. Lord what a fuss they made of it. Was I a qualified archeologist ? Have I got photos of it in situ. Was the area set off as a grid. God I only just manage to survive at 70m let alone the rest. In the end it cost me £40 to post it to the museum. Its probably in a dusty store now.
Our artifacts are threatened by trawler damage, shifting sands, corrosion, illegal foreign salvaging or whatever. Sometimes its a job even to find them again. Therefore in my view they are best retrieved though as we have seen there is little encouragement for doing that. Add to that there are only less than 100 divers in the UK with the skills to dive that deep. Should more laws come in for "protection " stuff will have to stay where it is. In truth there is no money to police this protection which at sea is almost impossible.
Well I am a bit off course re the OP's thread but it leaves me to only two conclusions. Leave it in situ if its not threatened or remove it for proper conservation and the education of the public. That only applies if the latter options are undertaken. Most of all record it in photos as the OP has kindly done.
Back to mine artifacts. I know of an extensive mine mothballed about 1830. It dates back to the 1790's . The shafts were capped and a drainage adit secured. The adit has now collapsed where it was built as cut and cover. Dry stone walls and lintels. We were making good progress in clearing the adit but the tenant farmer wanted evidence of insurance cover. Still waiting on that Mr fellow forum member. Must be several years now. Best of all the mine entered large natural cave with good formations. ( I have the 1790's miners description ). So there it remains a mile or so of virgin intact and preserved mine and a big natural cavern. No dont ask where as someday we might get the trolly back on the rails.

C1800 blocked drainage adit to extensive 1790's intact mine. The broken lintels were being replaced by wood shuttering. All stalled now.



The largest artifact our team ever recovered. Ship's telemotor. My diving buddy. Sadly gone the way of so many mates. Died diving.