• Ghar Parau dinner invitation

    Have you or your club benefitted from Ghar Parau funding for an expedition?

    To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its creation, a meal is to be held at the Anchor Inn in Tideswell, Derbyshire on Saturday 11th February, 2023. As well as a meal there will be speakers on behalf of the original Ghar Parau explorers and the current GPF committee.

    Details here

Coal, geologically mostly all about the same age

RobinGriffiths

Well-known member
There's an interesting section in David Bick's The Old Metal Mines of Mid-Wales Part 6 - A Micellany on misguided attempt at finding coal in the Silurian shales of Mid Wales. Bick states it was a combination of black shales and blind faith that drove the search. About half a dozen such ventures are documented. Even more bizarre were attempts to find coal in the late Pre Cambrian deposits on the Lleyn Penisnula near Rhoshirwaun.

 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
RobinGriffiths said:
There's an interesting section in David Bick's The Old Metal Mines of Mid-Wales Part 6 - A Micellany on misguided attempt at finding coal in the Silurian shales of Mid Wales. Bick states it was a combination of black shales and blind faith that drove the search. About half a dozen such ventures are documented. Even more bizarre were attempts to find coal in the late Pre Cambrian deposits on the Lleyn Penisnula near Rhoshirwaun.
The cynic in me would ask how many of those explorations were at the enthusiasm and personal expense of the locals and how many were undertaken at the expense of wealthy (for not much longer..) gullible English investors?
 

Brains

Well-known member
Cantclimbtom said:
RobinGriffiths said:
There's an interesting section in David Bick's The Old Metal Mines of Mid-Wales Part 6 - A Micellany on misguided attempt at finding coal in the Silurian shales of Mid Wales. Bick states it was a combination of black shales and blind faith that drove the search. About half a dozen such ventures are documented. Even more bizarre were attempts to find coal in the late Pre Cambrian deposits on the Lleyn Penisnula near Rhoshirwaun.
The cynic in me would ask how many of those explorations were at the enthusiasm and personal expense of the locals and how many were undertaken at the expense of wealthy (for not much longer..) gullible English investors?
Before the welfare state (and again in the near future?) it was not unheard of for some wealthy people to employ the peasants to do essentially meaningless projects in exchange for a wage. Typically this could be a wall round the estate, a road to a high standard, or a pointless mining venture... Some were known as Famine Roads. On the whole the rich would hang onto their dosh and let the poor starve (The Irish potato famine).
 

pwhole

Well-known member
I understand Pindale Mine near Castleton was run by Robert How Ashton pretty much on that basis at the end of the 19th century, as he'd wound up Hazard, Odin, etc., and wanted to keep the local miners working as long as he could. I doubt he made much profit on it, but left a fantastic engine-house.
 

AR

Well-known member
pwhole said:
I understand Pindale Mine near Castleton was run by Robert How Ashton pretty much on that basis at the end of the 19th century, as he'd wound up Hazard, Odin, etc., and wanted to keep the local miners working as long as he could. I doubt he made much profit on it, but left a fantastic engine-house.

William Wyatt had some of his miners working on mines/trials that were highly unlikely to turn a profit even if the price of lead picked up in the mid 1830s during a slump. There was a reason for taking this loss; by that time, most of the commons had been enclosed and if the poorer miners  ended up out of work, they tended to migrate to the collieries whereas in pre-enclosure times they might have been able to at least survive in their villages until things got better. Given skilled miners weren't as thick on the ground as they had been in the previous century, it made sense to put men on make-work during bad times, also to pay gratuities to injured miners to prevent them falling into debt and likewise end up moving to the coalfields for guaranteed work.
 
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