Author Topic: Clatterway Level  (Read 1767 times)

Offline History Trog

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2020, 09:42:17 am »
From my own archives, I have a copy of these early Crewe bulletins. Below is the extract from the Crewe journal. It is only a superficial report of a cave tourist visit. They went in at the rift above Burton Place cottage but their remarks about its backfill presumably being the work of Masson types is laughable. It was there in the early 1970s and was obviously the work of the old miners. The air draught in makes it particularly interesting.

Clatterway Levels, Matlock. Sunday, 5th November 2000
   Paul Nixon finally persuaded me that it was time to go caving again after a long lay-off, but I didn’t fancy his suggested quick trip down P8, especially after the heavy rain all week, so I picked Clatterway Level as an alternative. Neither of us had done it before (in fact neither of us has done very much at all in the Matlock area) and I’d never heard of anyone else doing it, so with a bit of luck we wouldn’t be able to find it and could spend the afternoon messing about instead.
   At the bottom of the Via Gellia road we turned left up towards Bonsall village, and parked on the village lorry park next to the recycling bins ! After changing, we walked about a hundred metres back down the hill to a cluster of cottages on the left, round a small spring, then followed the public footpath up a narrow entry between the cottages. The path climbed alongside Burton Place Cottage, then entered the woodland beyond. We were looking for a way up to the left, but everything was well overgrown, except a little mowed terrace overlooking the cottage garden. Further up the footpath we found a faint trail which eventually led to an outcrop of rock with a black cleft at one end. Paul was ready first and crawled in, with me close behind, then we crawled out again feeling stupid, as it was the wrong hole and finished after about four metres !
   A search back downslope, towards the cottage, revealed another outcrop and another black cleft, just above the end of the mowed terrace, and very close to the cottage garden. This looked more hopeful, and Paul wriggled in headfirst, which I thought was very bold considering that the entrance was tight and sloped steeply downwards. Anyway, his feet soon disappeared and he called back that he was in. After passing the bags in, I followed rather more cautiously, having stripped off bits of dangling SRT kit first. It was actually quite easy, certainly bigger than the squeeze at the top of Lathkill Head Top Entrance. Inside, the passage is a dry, walking size rift, which stretches away almost straight, and which is quite pleasant, despite the enormous spiders which festoon the walls and roof ! I followed Paul along the passage for about twenty metres, to the lip of an open shaft which was the full width of the passage floor, about one metre at this point. Beyond, we could see the passage continued for a short distance to a blockage of loose deads, possibly backfilling from the Masson Club’s activities when they worked in the system during the late eighties.
   Paul rigged the drop from a line of three spits, which were better placed for ladder and lifeline than for SRT, but by jamming a pebble in a crack in the opposite wall of the shaft he was able to rig a sling for a deviation which effectively removed the rub point at the pitch head. Paul descended and found the continuation passage going off at about six metres down. While he took photos I descended to the boulder choked bottom of the shaft at about thirteen metres down. The shaft clearly continues, but may link back to another level already accessible from further on. I climbed back up to Paul’s level and we followed the passage to another shaft, where the bottom was clearly visible about four metres down. Before descending we traversed over the hole to explore the short stretch of workings beyond. The whole area is heavily mineralised, and there are numerous shot holes and areas of curving pick marks, as well as some intriguing picked-out ‘marks’ on the walls.
   The second pitch is supposed to be a free climb, but we managed to find a belay of sorts and rigged a short rope, which I certainly found useful on the way out. Below, the character of the mine had changed and we were in a maze of interconnecting pipe workings with gritty floors and low arches encrusted with large calcite crystals. After checking out various side passages we picked up a substantial draft, and this led us through a wider section, with large breakdown debris, to a straight rift-type passage with a flat roof, similar to the entrance passage. This main route headed off, essentially straight, with a few ups and downs, and the odd low section for a considerable distance. Workings to either side were ignored, once we checked that we were still heading into the draft, and then, just as we reached a deep depression in the passage floor we began to notice spiders again, and an occasional moth or mosquito on the walls. The bottom of the depression was cluttered with odd bits of broken timber and a building plot notice, but it was spanned by a single metal rail which made crossing it easy. Ahead, daylight streamed in through a low rabbit-hole entrance, and with a bit of wriggling we popped out onto the hillside, a couple of hundred metres down valley from where we had entered the mine ! I thought we would be miles away.
   Going back through was straightforward, and we emerged without difficulty after a total trip time of about three and a half hours. No doubt it can be done much more quickly, but we spent time taking photographs and looking at the mineral remains. Ideally the two pitches need proper belays installing, then this would make an ideal through trip for novice cavers. No-where is it tight, the pitches were spacious, there were no obvious problems with loose deads or areas of unstable roof, and best of all, it was dry.
                               Steve Knox.  7-11-2000


Offline braveduck

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2020, 05:50:46 pm »
Last time I was near Balleye Quarry there was a drilling rig working in the Quarry . I understand they hit the thermal waters .
There was talk of a Spar a Bottling  plant and a Swimming Pool . Later at the bottom of the road up to Balleye there was a
small circular wall with a tap inside to sample the "waters" ! Does anybody know the story of this failed scheme ?

Offline AR

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #27 on: February 28, 2020, 09:35:36 pm »
This was something the quarry owner, Albert Rockarch, was wanting to do (as far as I know). He had Terry Worthington put the dam into Fountrabbey Sough as part of this in the expectation that it would create a great head of water, but it never did what it was supposed to and plans never came to anything. The only result is that now, if you want to see the sough you need to know how to find the winze in upper Ball Eye that drops down to sough level!
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline History Trog

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #28 on: February 29, 2020, 09:50:46 am »
In 1990, the Deepwood Mining Company, drilling for fluorspar at Ball Eye Quarry at 180 feet depth, cut thermal springs that allegedly ‘sent a gush of water 150 feet into the air’ – see P.D.M.H.S. Newsletter No 57 Jan 1991 p11 and newspaper reports.

As AR states, the plans to bottle the water failed. Perhaps someone can add more details.

Offline AR

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #29 on: February 29, 2020, 10:06:27 pm »
I'll ask Terry when I next see him....
Dirty old mines need love too....

Offline braveduck

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #30 on: February 29, 2020, 10:52:38 pm »
Apparently there were three boreholes put down and not very deep .But the pumping tests were unsatisfactory and inconclusive.
Information gleaned from the BGS Borehole Map.

Offline pwhole

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #31 on: March 03, 2020, 11:19:42 pm »
Isn't this roughly the area where Puttrell and friends did some exploration, via Cobbler Mine, looking for the source of the thermal waters?

Offline History Trog

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2020, 10:18:12 am »
Yes, Puttrell and Co. did descend Cobbler Shaft but deemed it too dangerous to explore. It was about 100 feet deep. The shaft continued in existence until destroyed by quarrying perhaps c.1960. Nellie Kirkham looked at the shaft collar. Op Mole looked at it but apparently never made any exploration - a great pity because they were good enough to deal with very tough conditions. Lawrence Hurt, also a marvellous explorer, was just a bit too late. Cyril Maddocks was there in the 1950s but he was not up to that sort of thing. He took Orpheus around the Hermitage several times c1954 but apparently they made no attempt to do Cobbler. I have been unable to find anyone who did explore it -  it must have been one of the most interesting mines in the whole ore field.

Online yrammy

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Re: Clatterway Level
« Reply #33 on: March 04, 2020, 11:19:20 am »
Just happened to be looking through an old Masson Caving Group Journal and found this from 1988  . Have attached a file.

 

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