• Hello From Descent

    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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Underground Golf!

AR

Well-known member
I start thinking of repurposing Middleton stone mine at this point... 🤣
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
Personally... don't think it's heritage lost. What's the alternative, companies like Zipworld not using the underground quarries, they are pumping and maintaining stuff. Consider Gloddfa Ganol back in the day, versus the state of Oakley middle levels now. at Llechwedd they even show the tourists a jwmpar, point out shot holes etc. Not saying it is super educational but someone might learn something once in a while. And it's not like they are blasting the quarries flat and smoothing with concrete to put in the crazy golf :)

I was chatting in Feb to someone who works for them, he told me that they were going to have a new underground attraction soon (but said nothing more) .. maybe he meant this? maybe there's something more?
He also said that during Covid there was no work for most staff and many of the staff moved away so when it re-opened they've had to retrain a load of new people and the last couple of years were very tough. This creates jobs (maybe disproportionately non local though?) and the tourists have a car park where they won't clog the roads, like near Pen y pass, Ogwen valley and a million more examples.

I think it's a good idea, although I'd hate to know what they'd charge for using it. Maybe if Robin is paying... ;)
 

tomferry

Active member
Off course it’s a man made space it’s a slate quarry , it was mined by traditional techniques so man left his mark by drill holes etc .

You come along smash a few hundred 5m roof bolts in their with washers on them the size of your dinner plate how is that not heritage lost ?🤔
 
Off course it’s a man made space it’s a slate quarry , it was mined by traditional techniques so man left his mark by drill holes etc .

You come along smash a few hundred 5m roof bolts in their with washers on them the size of your dinner plate how is that not heritage lost ?🤔
I just wonder at what point we start to (and I don’t want to upset anyone by this) “fetishise” heritage. Perhaps the wrong word, but make it into some sort of religious relic. For sure we should value the past and see what it can teach us (in the broadest terms), but if every bit of ‘heritage’ (ie old stuff) was preserved unaltered, we’d be living in hovels and eating off wooden plates. And presumably having our teeth drilled with one of those green string machines they had at the Mill Hill Clinic. It’s all a compromise.
 

tomferry

Active member
the thing is these spaces are not going to appear again , we are far go soft now days about everything we would rather buy coal from a country like India who sends children into the their mines with zero saftey equipment and they have zero chance of making anything from it , we would rather do that than make are own as you say “underground void “ so if you start changing these spaces into a disco hall and Lego land eventually you will have nothing left that’s acceptable to use . I am all up for re purpose and re use you might as well store cheese in their atleast then you are not covering a place in strobe lights
 

Roger W

Well-known member
I just wonder at what point we start to (and I don’t want to upset anyone by this) “fetishise” heritage. Perhaps the wrong word, but make it into some sort of religious relic. For sure we should value the past and see what it can teach us (in the broadest terms), but if every bit of ‘heritage’ (ie old stuff) was preserved unaltered, we’d be living in hovels and eating off wooden plates. And presumably having our teeth drilled with one of those green string machines they had at the Mill Hill Clinic. It’s all a compromise.
The Mill Hill Clinic? Do you mean the one in Derby? Completely off topic, but I still have dreadful memories of having teeth extracted there more than 60 years ago!
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
Disused quarries are just as much heritage sites so perhaps we should kick the divers out of all those flooded quarries.
 

tomferry

Active member
Why would you kick a diver out who is documenting it and enjoying it because how the miners left it ? This is about destroying the exact reason you dive their .
 

Cantclimbtom

Active member
I was reading about historic buildings, which seems to me the same problem.
In the Victorian age there was a fashion for Gothic, by which they meant their romanticised version of medieval. During medieval times interior walls generally weren't ceiled with plaster and there was a movement to scrape it off in "ancient" historic buildings to return them to their Gothic purity, where "purity" was based on the prevailing fashion. There was a big debate about what was authentic, how to preserve versus conserve and it became known as "scrape versus anti scrape". John Ruskin argued (and William Morris helped popularise the idea) that changes and usage were also part of the cultural heritage and he helped found https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Society_for_the_Protection_of_Ancient_Buildings as an anti scrape society. The scrape versus anti scrape debate is still not fully resolved above ground, seems unlikely we'll all agree on the underground equivalent.
 
The Mill Hill Clinic? Do you mean the one in Derby? Completely off topic, but I still have dreadful memories of having teeth extracted there more than 60 years ago!
That very one. A Mr Grossman was the dentist. Rubber apron beloved by abattoir workers, and I’ll leave the comparison there.
 

Outdoor Miner

New member
Repurposing of buildings and man-made spaces is nothing new. After the fall of the Roman empire, many buildings were pulled down and the stone reused for buildings elsewhere. The ones that survived were the ones that could be repurposed.

As much as I hate golf, I haven't got a problem with this. It's not as if there is a lack of other remnants of the slate mining industry to explore either. And areas like here that in the past that relied so heavily on a now defunct industry have to reinvent themselves to stimulate the local economy.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
This made me ponder on various churches which have been reporposed as climbibng centres. I used to use the one at Warrington when I lived a bit nearer - it's really good. The high vertical walls are ideal for long, reasonably steep routes and the arched roof above the walls is ideal fior really hard training. In some cases the churches were deteriorating and / or would have been pulled down and historic buildings lost for ever. Repurposing can actually be a powerfull ally for conservation.
 
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