Author Topic: Alum ironmongery  (Read 842 times)

Offline MarkS

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Alum ironmongery
« on: March 02, 2017, 12:51:57 pm »
Does anyone know the origin of the big metal thing at the bottom of Alum? Is there anything more to it than simply some junk that was thrown several decades ago? I'm just curious really.

There's a photo of it here for those that don't know what I'm talking about.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2017, 01:26:30 pm »
In CPC circles there is a tale about the Austin brothers using it to place over their heads in an attempt to "dive" the main downstream sump. But that may have an anecdotal aspect to it.  ;)  Then again, having known them, I'd not put it past them to try!

Or is it a kibble that was used to lower and raise early cavers with a winch (possibly horse powered?)?

Offline adam

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2017, 01:53:07 pm »
Toby in a TUB.

Offline ah147

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2017, 02:32:44 pm »
Looks like an old water tank used in industrial buildings...

Offline ALEXW

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2017, 03:13:24 pm »
Many years ago (1970?)my physics teacher at school was Frank Addis, he and I were members of the North Manchester Caving Club. We did Alum on ladders and I was told at the time that the tub was used to give tourists trips over the top of the shaft. Apparently on one trip somebody fell out and it was decided that it was probably not a good idea to continue doing it. I believed it at the time and hadn’t really thought about it since. With hindsight I probably deserve the most gullible caver of the year award, but it did make a good story.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2017, 03:29:24 pm »
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story, eh?

ah147 might be nearest the mark . . . .

Offline ALEXW

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2017, 04:07:07 pm »
Near the top of the shaft where the stream goes through the wall there is, what appears to be, half of a lorry chassis. Could that and the tank both be parts of some sort of water bowser?

Offline shotlighter

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2017, 04:52:34 pm »
Looks suspiciously like an old domestic cold water tank to me.

Offline mch

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2017, 05:05:48 pm »
Yes, it's definitely a cold water cistern, but it looks a bit big for a domestic tank.

Offline Madness

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2017, 05:27:23 pm »
A lot of remote hill properties got there water from a nearby stream usually piped to some sort of tank to make the supply more consistent and reliable. I suspect it's the tank from such a supply. You still see this method of water supply to remote properties when out walking in the hills

Offline caving_fox

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 09:05:15 am »
Many years ago (1970?)my physics teacher at school was Frank Addis, he and I were members of the North Manchester Caving Club. We did Alum on ladders and I was told at the time that the tub was used to give tourists trips over the top of the shaft. Apparently on one trip somebody fell out and it was decided that it was probably not a good idea to continue doing it. I believed it at the time and hadn’t really thought about it since. With hindsight I probably deserve the most gullible caver of the year award, but it did make a good story.

That's always been my favourite explanation for it.
If the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Alum ironmongery
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 09:41:18 am »
Looks suspiciously like an old domestic cold water tank to me.


It looks exactly like my old cold water tank installed in 1938 when the house was built. Same method of construction and same, surprisingly large, size.

As it was old and very rusty I decided to replace it in the 1980s. As it was larger than the loft trapdoor I had to cut it into four pieces which took three angle grinder blades and revealed an implausible thickness of uncorroded steel beneath the rust, it would probably have lasted another fifty years.

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