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The Mine Shafts Project. Hydrology.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
The Friday Nighters down the shaft again yesterday. This twice a week thing is doing me in. A difficult drive up. Traffic awful as a van had hit a deer and turned over. The deer was either dead or unconcious. Luckily I got past before any services turned up. 20mm of rain on site during the day. Thats 52mm over the last three weeks. The the shaft water level looked the same as on Tuesday but there could be a lag. I estimated the deepest point in the dig to be a metre above the current level so we need to reach the lode before winter. Lets hope for a good team on Tuesday. Lots of rocks to clear.
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The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Mr O'Doc has been playing with that Chat thing again. Bloody brilliant if I may say and so true.

Oh, Nick, thou art a man of peculiar charm,
Whose tales of bottles and postcards disarm.
But what of thy soul, wrapped in OCD's grip,
A mind consumed, never at rest, never to slip.

In mines deep, where darkness reigns supreme,
Thy spirit wanders, lost in a dream.
Amongst the tunnels and corridors you roam,
Seeking solace, finding comfort far from home
With photographs and memories, your heart is filled,
NEDFROB, the name that time hasn't stilled.
Digging through the depths, unearthing the past,
Unyielding determination, a legacy that will last.

In caves, where stalactites hang like crystal tears,
Thy soul finds respite from life's incessant jeers.
Diving into history, exploring the depths,
Rescue the forgotten, give them new breaths.

Yet, amidst the thrill, danger lurks, my friend,
Injury's cold touch, an unwelcome trend.
But fear not, dear Nick, for valor lies within,
A spirit unyielding, a strength that will win.

So let us raise a toast to this explorer bold,
Whose adventures, untold, our hearts do enfold.
In the style of McGonagall, let us proclaim,
Nick's tales of wonder, forever shall fame.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
With PG x 2 and Brian.

Rain in the guage 8mm since Friday. Total in three weeks 60mm. Surprisingly the shaft water level was at 5m.30 mm. Down from 5m.25mm last week. Digging and clearing went on all day apart from the usual lunch break. So much came out we stopped keeping count. We ended up a bit late as Brian and Peter bashed a final big rock from the wall. Some specks of malachite came from a section of the lode wall. The mud choke continues down at 30 degrees. We decided that further digging would stop until The Friday Nighters had a go. Hopefully next Tuesday night. All the gear hauled up the shaft. PG x 2 went out and I was in the entrance tube. There came a horrendous crash. Another giant tree came down 50m from us. Close to where PG x 1 has a sh*te. Luckily it fell away from us. Chad and Jenny turned up alerted by the noise. More firewood. Again the centre of the tree was soft. Thats three now in two years.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
What a rotten shame our 200 year old trees are falling. The local farmer says its honey fungus. They are all soft inside. Ruddy world is falling apart. Mind you if PG x1 was having his usual dump when it came down he would have done it in his pants. Another row when I got home. I have used Ayesha's hollow mop handle for the metre drill bit case. Works ever so well. Another tip. Spray the drill with bumper shine. Makes it easier to clean.

A reverse portrait entitled " Old Pals ".

Ayesha's mop handle drill bit case in the wall above Brian.

Mr O'Doc with the flexy bucket near the dig face.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member

The Friday Nighters at the cave that looks like a mine rather than the mine that looks like a cave. Mr Goldie deputising for Mr Wise who is off visiting the second biggest cave chamber in the UK ( by the all important floor area rather then airy spaces high out of view. ) Thirty two bag loads removed plus eight tubs of rock. "The Stairway To Heaven " rises yet more.

Mr Wise from an earlier visit.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
I gave the Tuesday diggers a day off this week but made a night visit for " a special operation " . There should be lots to do next Tuesday .Today I sneaked a look at " Glanvill's Distraction " as he is there next week instead of with us though not indeed far away. It seems that in our dotage we are doomed to bash our way along three inch cracks in search of caverns that may exist only in our fevered imagination. We have three sites like that now.
Anyway a few photos to keep you going.

Todays visit. All our digs are hidden in the woods. Never see a soul and have permission on all. Entrance 1 far left out of sight and 2 behind the rucksack.

Yup. The usual 3 inch crack at the end but what lies beyond?

Dogged persistance is the only answer.

Oh well carry on up the hill to see the ponies.

I thought that I had a wonderful video for your entertainment but pressed the wrong button. It poured with rain. A Spitfire thundered overhead but I forgot to take a photo.

I wonder what next week will will bring ?

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
" Next Week " Came and went. A long hard day. You wonder if its all worth it sometimes. Particularly coming on here and yapping on about it every time. Trouble is what else is there to do ? I love digging and splodging photos. Maybe any perceived end result is best not thought about too much.

July at the site.

91mm of rain for the month.
Shaft water level dropped by 250mm though now 1.5m above the level the same time last year. Therefore a considerable variation much to do with climatic conditions on site. Essentially the vegetation growth in Summer takes up a lot of that. Winter is a differant matter with levels far more responsive to rainfall.

We moved over 25 bags of rubble and more rocks from the end. We also had a lovely picnic away from the hurley burley of life ( And SWMBO ).

Here you see " The Rest Room " which actually was an open mini cavern when we dug into it. All the foreground has been excavated . Note a few slabs of byrite lode left which came from The Rest Room wall. Easy image to capture. TG 6 on programme with onboard flash. Remote Skyray torch off right in the background.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Using bags has proved the easiest way to get spoil back to the shaft. Ultimately we dispensed with the drag tray using a slip noose to haul them up the conveyor belt.

You can get polypropaline empty sand bags on Amazon.

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Its all hypogenic stuff in the natural areas of the mine. I note that Andy Farrant will be discussing this at Hidden Earth in Sept. Wont miss that one. Our own Mr O 'Doc has some input as well in his own lecture on minor Somerset caves. A whole hour on that. Hope both lectures dont run at the same time. ( NB Organisers ).

Whilst our roomy tunnel onward from The Rest Room was entirely filled with hypogenic " stuff " the end has turned down dip to run towards where the lode should be. The final development is only 8 inches high and filled with stratified sediment. More less subtle means of excavation will have to be pursued.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Pretty much all of our current digs look this inviting. One could say that most Somerset cave digs are following very minimal airspace like Cutlers and Halloween Rift. Nothing like South Wales but you take what you get.

In the furthest point we are still finding the hypogenically derived slabs. Usual flat, angular and well etched. These tow came out at end of play on Tuesday.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
I am having a week off caving next week. Without my whip hand the rump of the team may well revisit the other shaft which gets flooded over winter. My last visit there was in December to complete the shoring for further work.

A huge job building two platrforms and laddering the shaft to the dig. Below there somewhere is the main adit but as you see December is not the best time for a visit.

Gets rather wet down there over winter.

Shaft base from the mid way platform.


The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
We still have an unexplored flooded adit running back towards where the fabled caverns should be. Our friendly cave diver was not too keen to push it past a bit of propping but it was wide open beyond. I wonder if anyone is using a tethered drone system in the UK ? I see there is a related lecture on that at HE. Of course a fearless mine diver would do.