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    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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Joe Shevelan's photos

My long delayed book on the mines in the Matlock Bath area is at last in preparation for publication by the PDMHS – it was intended to be my PhD thesis, and it has had over 50 years’ research.

During the early 1950s, Joe Shevelan of Kearsley (locally nicknamed ‘the Bolton Lad’) was a member of the Moorlands Rambling Club. He was a very intelligent underground explorer who was particularly active around the mines at Matlock Bath where he took many photographs, both above and below ground. If they have survived, they would be of great interest and most useful for my book as very few from that era are available. Joe Shevelan was a prominent member of the North Craven Heritage Trust and of the Dales National Park almost until his death in 1996.
Does anyone know if these photographs have survived?

The members of the online forums have a vast range of knowledge and experience. If anyone has anything unique about the Matlock mines, there is still time to incorporate it.
I use the local library for Internet access, which would cause my replies to be rather delayed.
With many thanks to everyone who has assisted so far,


Well-known member
Is it possible that any of his material has found its way to the BCA caving library? Probably worth emailing the librarian.
Thanks for your comments. Have emailed BCA librarian.
Finding the photos was always going to be a long shot but the Mining Museum repeatedly told me that they wanted a definitive account, which is way beyond a normal publication standard and, with so much material becoming available on the Internet, it is not possible to check everything out. It was a long time since I added up the number of source notes but it was about 4,500 then. Such a depth of research is necessary on so complicated a subject as the Matlock mines. Just going to have to pull the plug on it though and go for publication.
If you need any help processing photos for print, let me know.
Thanks for that Phil. Certainly will need help doing the diagrams. This year have been helping John Gunn who is doing an article on the hydrogeology of Masson. This has made me up my game quite a bit and I re-examined all the data on that and was laying out the mine titles on the Masson survey, also using LiDAR scans to pick up some large areas of workings that have never been entered since 18thC. It is going to be awkward to modify the survey and show all the relevant details. Don't suppose we shall be doing a fold-out survey as we did back in 1980.

Some of Joe Shevelan's photos are among Nellie Kirkham's papers as on the PDMHS website but he also did others of the Hopping area, Ball Eye etc. I have some poor quality Xerox copies of these that came to me when I inherited Cyril Maddocks' papers, no good to use.