Present: Jon, Ruth & Duncan
Jon arranged a last minute trip with Duncan S from the forum, and invited the club along to attend. I was the only one hard enough to cave twice in one week (not hard at all, just happened to have a babysitter for both nights, and a desire to get the hell out of Bristol for the evening!)
This is going to bit of a photo report I'm afraid. We all had fun getting up the slippery, muddy, leafy bank, only managing to locate the hand line halfway up the slope, and it failing for Jon when he tried to use it. (he fixed it back up on the way back down)
The mine is fantastically decorated in fungi which has grown on the much decayed pit props, the earlier ones barely discernible, presumably dating back to the opening of the mine in 1910, the more recent ones put into the mine in 2007 (?) starting to bow out and degrade. Not sure what the type of fungus is, reminded me of Southern Bracket fungus, but hard to tell as it had turned such a black colour.
Some info from the English Heritage Page:
Compton Martin Ochre Mine is of national significance and provides the best example of ochre mineralisation in the Mendip area, one of the most important mineralogical provinces in Britain. Apart from the intrinsic mineralogical importance of the site and its relevance to future research and study, it also provides detailed evidence of the environmental conditions prevailing in the Mendip area during late Triassic times which enables geologists to develop a better understanding of the geological evolution of southern Britain.
Having only ever visited 2 mines I was a little on edge with the stacked deads all over the place, and rotting props, you really did need to move very carefully in the cave, one false hand or foot placing and things could fall on you.
Duncan spent a significant amount of time helping me set up shots, and light photos. I took away quite a bit of info which I didn't know before, and was really grateful for his help.
Jon thankfully knew the mine well so I didn't have the embarrassment of getting us lost & Jon spent time locating the one shot hole in the mine which he'd wanted to show us, he also took time to point out the yellow Ochre deposits.
We left the mine with Duncan vowing to return & a very slippery return descent, most of which was done on my bum. Rounded off the evening at the Ring O Bell's pub for some non pheasant tasting crisps and drinks.