Author Topic: Knotlow climbing shaft gate  (Read 967 times)

Offline Gritstone

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Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« on: June 10, 2021, 07:44:02 pm »
Went into Knotlow yesterday morning and found that the nut holding the climbing shaft door down was missing. I think it's an M12, if anyone intends going in the near future and has access to an new nut could you replace it just incase the unthinkable occurs. I'll pack one in my bag as I vist quite often but I won't be back in the next few weeks.

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2021, 08:08:32 pm »
I think DCA are already aware of this, but since I'm within walking distance I'll have a dig through my oddments and take a few over to try.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Pete K

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2021, 10:44:43 pm »
The nut was replaced by DCA as soon as it was reported a couple of weeks back. If it is gone now then it has happened again. M16 needed I think. I'm in Wales right now so can't sort this at the mo.
Nuts do get lost from time to time, but if you do, please tell DCA or post here so it can be sorted quickly We'll end up with padlocks if NT get wind of the lids being left unlocked up there.

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2021, 12:17:42 pm »
I'll try and get over this evening  - if I don't have an M16 nut in my oddments, I can try and get one later this afternoon as I need to go to Torne Valley in Bakewell.

If nuts are repeatedly going missing, maybe we need to look at a fixed securing mechanism.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline pwhole

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2021, 12:50:08 pm »
Perhaps DCA could set up a Training Workshop for using spanners? Jeez   >:(

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2021, 02:05:12 pm »
Perhaps DCA could set up a Training Workshop for using spanners? Jeez   >:(

I think it's more  "how to avoid dropping a nut down a shaft" training is needed...
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2021, 02:25:29 pm »
I'm not sure if you can get them as big as M16, but a combi nut would be idea as you can weld a chain onto the washer and still turn the nut.

eg: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/171942808926 (but M16)

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2021, 05:15:50 pm »
I've drilled a hole in a wingnut and tied a bit of cord through it to stop it disappearing, but never for a but as big as that.

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2021, 09:09:04 pm »
I've not had chance to get over this evening and I'm too knackered, but will have a wander over tomorrow morning with a few nuts and a lunatic dog.

I'd much prefer to go over to a system where the lids can be closed from the inside, so that they're secure while there are people underground. There is always the possibility with any lid that's nut secured that the commonly spotted knobhead may come across it while it the open condition and either put the nut back on so the lid can't be opened from within ( likely causing a rescue callout), or drop themselves down the shaft (likely causing a claim against the BCA insurance).
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Chocolate fireguard

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2021, 08:44:41 am »

I'd much prefer to go over to a system where the lids can be closed from the inside, so that they're secure while there are people underground. There is always the possibility with any lid that's nut secured that the commonly spotted knobhead may come across it while it the open condition and either put the nut back on so the lid can't be opened from within ( likely causing a rescue callout), or drop themselves down the shaft (likely causing a claim against the BCA insurance).
That would be a great idea, but would be a major undertaking for all the shaft lids in Derbyshire.
If I remember I take the nut down with me. I keep it in my oversuit pocket if it's small, and thread it onto the bottom of the rope if it's big enough.
With 9mm or even 8mm rope being so popular now I imagine most nuts are big enough.
Perhaps some of the "lost" nuts are still at the bottom of the shafts where they were placed for safe keeping?

Offline PeteHall

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2021, 08:52:39 am »
I'd much prefer to go over to a system where the lids can be closed from the inside, so that they're secure while there are people underground. There is always the possibility with any lid that's nut secured that the commonly spotted knobhead may come across it while it the open condition and either put the nut back on so the lid can't be opened from within ( likely causing a rescue callout), or drop themselves down the shaft (likely causing a claim against the BCA insurance).

Sounds like you need a simple latch mechanism that can be opened or closed from inside, but requiring a universal tool (available to cavers but not knob-heads) to open from the outside.

I think I've heard of an access system like this in Mendip... https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=28149.0

It seems no system is perfect.

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2021, 02:33:54 pm »
I've been over this morning and re-nutted the shaft lid, please can people _try_ not to lose the nut, best way is to put it back on the bolt straight away. I also had a look at the Hillocks climber and that's a concern too, I think the thread on the bolt  is starting to go and I found I couldn't get the nut to stay tight. Both could  be easily converted to a bolt-head latch system (along the lines of Wardlow Sough and other sites) with a plate bolted over the securing end of the lid, and the bolts with the latch plates through it, then slots cutting into the box section of the frame. I'll take the tape measure next time I'm over and get some dimensions.

Chocolate Fireguard - I'm not proposing doing every lidded shaft in the Peak, where they're not on access land or close to a footpath nut closure isn't much an issue. It's just ones easily accessible by the public that I'd prefer to be securable while we're underground  - Hillocks is the one I'm most concerned about, given how close it is to a well-used footpath and with an obvious access point into the copse, and now it seems a securing mechanism that's past its best...
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Lampwick

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2021, 10:50:58 pm »
I've always liked the Derbyshire Key system but having watched a couple of videos on YouTube perhaps it's time to have a re-think.  Darwin Award candidates...  Quote from one video: "Caving supplies was closed so we got some rope from B&Q"  Vid stills (c) YouTube.

Are we nearly there yet?

Offline pwhole

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2021, 12:31:51 am »
Unstable all right. Is it Haircut 100 on vacation?

I checked the padlock at our lid a couple of weeks ago to find someone had attempted to smash it off with a rock - though they thankfully failed, and it still works, so thumbs-up for Masterlock. And congratulations to Raumer too on their P-bolts - no stress crack on that weld. But we really are in ape territory here. A couple of hours later, I was near Speedwell Cavern, watching five 'youths' slide on their asses down the side of Winnats Pass, near where Longcliffe Vein heads over the edge. They were barely in control, clearly now shitting themselves, and the chubby one of the team nearly went into a forward roll, which would have been the end of him, right onto the road.

I was surprised to find how dispassionately I watched the scene unfold, but I'd just bought some new kit from Tony and didn't want to miss the bus  :halo:

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2021, 06:49:53 am »
They do not like the octopus formation, not one bit!

I've always liked the Derbyshire Key system but having watched a couple of videos on YouTube perhaps it's time to have a re-think.  Darwin Award candidates...  Quote from one video: "Caving supplies was closed so we got some rope from B&Q"  Vid stills (c) YouTube.



Offline Boy Engineer

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2021, 08:56:36 am »
I've always liked the Derbyshire Key system but having watched a couple of videos on YouTube perhaps it's time to have a re-think.  Darwin Award candidates...  Quote from one video: "Caving supplies was closed so we got some rope from B&Q"  Vid stills (c) YouTube.

I would comment but unfortunately the “open mouth” emoji isn’t open-mouthed enough. Torn between wanting to engage and educate, incredulity and genuine uncertainty as to the appropriate response.

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2021, 11:44:27 am »
Much as I think these morons need to earn themselves a Darwin award, I can but hope they don't do it in a cave or a mine with all the resultant bad publicity and calls to block everything. I also hope they didn't name the sites on their clickbait "ooh, look at us, aren't we dead 'ard" crap because I can imagine the NT's reaction if they find out (, likewise the last thing we want is other knobheads trying to emulate this.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2021, 02:30:41 pm »
It was suggested some time ago that the loose nut which could be taken right off the bolt was not a good idea and DCA were gradually going to convert the fittings to something similar to AR's description as the existing bolt/nuts failed or got lost.

One suggested answer was a swivelling bar/plate on a bolt just clear of the lid with a nut above the bar and the top of the bolt fettled to prevent the nut from being taken right off.  That way you can loosen the nut to swivel the bar out of the way of the lid but can't lose it or drop it down the shaft.  You could also swing the bar back under the lid and tighten the nut down to prevent anyone "locking you in".

It wouldn't, of course, prevent the idiots from fiddling but, provided the nut was always tightened with a Derbyshire key so that it needed one to loosen it and couldn't be undone by just fingers, it's as good as anything else and is cheaper than having to replace smashed locks.

The problem with the lids which have locks which require a key from outside but can be unlocked from the inside is that they tend to be quite heavy and in Derbyshire it's the mine-shafts near footpaths which are the problem and you don't want to be lifting a heavy lid from below when you're on a rope.

If the Darwin Award types are really determined to kill themselves, they'll do it whatever you do to prevent it, so your best hope is to have a system which keeps the general public as safe as possible.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2021, 02:53:01 pm »
The problem with the lids which have locks which require a key from outside but can be unlocked from the inside is that they tend to be quite heavy and in Derbyshire it's the mine-shafts near footpaths which are the problem and you don't want to be lifting a heavy lid from below when you're on a rope.

We solved that particular problem by installing a hydraulic lifting-arm, and now it just needs gentle push to open from below As long as you can open the latch first of course, as it's bloody stiff - though it's meant to be. There's just a bolt-head on the outside, and a latch under the lid frame to lock/unlock it from below. I'm not posting photos of that lot though as it'll be more trouble than it's worth.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2021, 03:14:44 pm »
The problem with the lids which have locks which require a key from outside but can be unlocked from the inside is that they tend to be quite heavy and in Derbyshire it's the mine-shafts near footpaths which are the problem and you don't want to be lifting a heavy lid from below when you're on a rope.

We solved that particular problem by installing a hydraulic lifting-arm, and now it just needs gentle push to open from below As long as you can open the latch first of course, as it's bloody stiff - though it's meant to be. There's just a bolt-head on the outside, and a latch under the lid frame to lock/unlock it from below. I'm not posting photos of that lot though as it'll be more trouble than it's worth.

Problem is likely to be cost - I can't recall how many shaft lids DCA is responsible for but it's quite a lot!

Offline pwhole

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2021, 03:31:24 pm »
I know, it was a bit luxurious, but in that case it was the only option as it's so heavy. Fixing a short length of fixed ladder would have been another option to at least gain a firm stance to push from, but some of our smaller members would still have struggled - it's somewhat of a behemoth, but given where it is it really needs to be. But I agree, if the business end were always a bolt head rather than a nut, the problem would go away, but I suspect there would be a lot of locks to modify.

Offline AR

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2021, 04:23:22 pm »

The problem with the lids which have locks which require a key from outside but can be unlocked from the inside is that they tend to be quite heavy and in Derbyshire it's the mine-shafts near footpaths which are the problem and you don't want to be lifting a heavy lid from below when you're on a rope.


The plan I have in mind shouldn't significantly increase the weight of the lids, should be fairly easily fabricated, and fitted with a minimum of hassle.
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Knotlow climbing shaft gate
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2021, 05:13:51 pm »
Don't forget that DCA uses shaft top lids which are actually weld mesh so they are not only lighter but also allow air circulation - something which has turned out to be quite important in some cases.  DCA has invested in quite a lot of sheets of this mesh as there have regularly been reports of high CO2 levels in some of the mines in the Peak and good ventilation is a must, so there are ready-cut sizes to fit various shafts to install as and when needed.

A solution which is a reasonable modification to the fixings on existing lids would be good - if that's possible.

 

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