Two events in recent months – Storm Ciara and the Covid-19 pandemic – have had very significant effects upon the Society and its regular activities.
Storm Ciara in February led to extensive track-way erosion and serious flooding in the lower ground level of the Barracks building. Fortunately, pending a planned rebuild in the Barracks that was already getting started, a temporary relocation of the office and archive into the upper floor of the Assay House could be expedited at pace and there were no losses of equipment or papers as a consequence of the flooding.
Now in March, the Covid-19 pandemic has put a complete halt to regular works and remedial actions following the flooding event in February. We cancelled the regular on-site work programme and the planned Open Days for some months ahead. We may yet lose the whole summer season entirely if government actions to stem the epidemic in the UK are not quickly successful.
Volunteers have mothballed the site as best they could given the social distancing constraints in recent weeks before the nationwide lock down starting 24th March. We are concerned about the safety and security of the closed up buildings and their contents over the coming weeks and months. We have made arrangements with members in Nenthead village to provide a level of regular monitoring in the meantime.
The Society’s Annual General Meeting is postponed indefinitely for now.
Despite the potential losses of Open Day income over the spring and summer, the Society’s financial reserve is such that we can easily survive into 2021.
We hope that all members are able to keep safe and well and that we’ll be able to ‘get back to normal’ in due course. Please follow the official guidance and do your bit to minimise the duration and impact of the pandemic.
ALL EVENTS START AT THE ASSAY HOUSE AT THE SMELTING MILL– unless another location is given. For Information – 07702 538709. You must have a BCA membership card ( and bring it with you – if not a NMCS member).
SAFETY: NMCS provides gloves and safety helmets for outdoor work. You must provide your own safety footwear if you are planning to be involved in any work where your feet may be vulnerable to injury.
EVERY WEDNESDAY – members volunteer work day. Start time is 1000hrs at the Assay House. Phone the Volunteer Coordinator – Joyce Jackson – if you have any questions or suggestions. 07702 538709
NB: The project at Thompsons Level has been suspended over the winter months – we hope to have some published dates shortly for this project.
Antonia and Andy Freem have offered to produce a film about Nenthead Mines. They were filming from 16th to 18th February in Smallcleugh and Rampgill levels. You can see examples of their work on UTube, particularly about caves in South Wales.
During the early days of February, work has continued on site, despite the cold and wet weather. The Drying Room construction has continued and work has started on the Stamp Mill site.
First day of work on the Drying Room – the floor joists are laid on the damp proof course
Drainage pipe being installed in the Stamp Mill trench. This pipe is laid as a contingency, just in case the site floods in future. We have given the site a new name to reflect the fact that the Power of Water structure will be demolished this year.
Checking the alignment of the drainage pipe
Colin arranging the outflow end of the pipe. The pipe was later lengthened to bypass the pond, which will soon be filled with rubble.
Allan demonstrating the use of a tape measure. The Drying Room has wall panels of plywood, with an inner insulation layer.
Looking from the site of the lobby to the entrance door to the Drying Room