Members Working Day Sunday 5th October

We will continue to work on  the Explosives Store rebuild.  Start at 1000hrs or later.  Park at the Smelting Mill and walk up to the Explosives Store.  Phone Peter Jackson on 07718385646 if you need information.

We are rebuilding stone walls with lime mortar. Jobs include dressing stones, laying stones, mixing mortar in our mixer, supervising, and providing advice.  Can you be there?

Conservation Update 29 September

On Sunday 28th September, work continued on the Explosives Store rebuild. Work will continue on Sunday 5th October.  Can you be there?

This is the site on the afternoon of the 28th. Click on the image for a large view.  Martin Langley is emptying the mortar bucket, with Ian Eeles peering over the wall. Helen Wilkinson is dressing the stones and Joyce Jackson is watching the camera. Compare the wall heights with our earlier postings.

Explosives Store 28 09 14

News about the AONB Archaeology project

22.09.14 to 05.10.14 inclusive

This project at Nenthead consists of up to 15 separate small-scale excavations to examine particular features that were recorded as being worthy of further attention during a survey of the Nenthead watercourses earlier in the summer. It will enable participants to undertake all aspects of these excavations from initial locating and marking out of trenches through to recording (and yes, in some case, backfilling!). The plan envisages people working in small groups of perhaps half a dozen, with several trenches perhaps being worked on simultaneously. Obviously, finalising exact details must await confirmation of the numbers of participating volunteers.

Much more information is contained within the Project Design. A copy of the project design document is available on the Society website, Members Section. If you think you would like to take part in this project, whether for a single day or any number of days, please reply to Danielle Lowes via email to , or phone 01388 528801, and let her know which days you would like to attend .

Paul Frodsham, the AONB Historic Environment Officer and Project leader, will then contact you to confirm detailed arrangements.

If you have any questions about the proposed work, please contact Paul via email at You can also phone Peter Jackson on 07718385646.

Progress report Wednesday 24 September

Three days work completed.  Volunteers have so far

1  Dug down into a collapsed leat in the area north-east of the track up the valley

2 Excavated a settling tank near the flues.

3 Found an assortment of  leats and sluices east of the Stagg Condenser wheelpit.

4 Uncovered an inspection pit on a leat tunnel under the dumps

5 Started the search for a blockage on the roadside leat near Smallcleugh junction

Any one can volunteer to join the team.

Explosives Store Working Day 28 09 14

Hope to see you at this working day.  We are continuing to rebuild the walls on the store. Work includes mortar mixing ( with our powered mixer), laying stones with lime mortar, dressing stones, and generally supporting everyone else!

Start after 1000hrs and finish around 1600hrs.  If you are interested, please phone or email Pete Jackson on 07718385646 or

Conservation Work Update 16 September 2014

The contractors have completed work on rebuilding the culvert at Smallcleugh Level entrance. They have also inserted some supporting wall under the remains of the Smelting Mill flue chimney stack.

Current work is on rebuilding portions of the Smelting Mill flue where the arching is collapsing.  Some of these sections have had new stone installed to replace decaying arching.

The retaining wall at Smallcleugh dressing floors is also being repaired and new top stones have been added.  A wood leat was excavated from the site and is currently stored in the entrance to Smallcleugh Level.

Scaffolding on the north side of the Smelting Mill spine wall has been completed and work should start shortly on the repair and strengthening of the wall.

Meanwhile…..Society members are working on the North explosives Store – see our separate News items in the Members Section.

Explosives Store 15 September 2014

Great progress over the last weekend.  We started work rebuilding the walls on Friday 12th and were filmed by BBC North East News. More rebuilding on Monday 15th.  Steady progress being made.

We could do with more help on Thursday 18th and Sunday 21st September.

The task is rebuilding stone walls with lime mortar. With a little care, you can pick-up the basic skill very quickly. Why not come and join us?

if you are intending to come on any of these days, please phone Peter Jackson on 07718385646.

There are kitchen facilities in the Assay House Bunkhouse, and you can also stay overnight in the Bunkhouse for £5.00.

The BBC news video is on our Facebook page.