Forthcoming Members Volunteering Events

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.

Updated 10th May 2019.

GEO GUIDE TRAINING

Here is an offer of Geo guide training. Geo guides can meet the post training requirements by providing events at Nenthead Mines. If you are interested, please apply direct to Naomi.

From the North Pennines Geopark team

The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a UNESCO Global Geopark, recognising its unique geology and landscapes, and the impact they have on the life and history of the area. For us at the AONB Partnership, a very important part of having a Geopark designation is to share this amazing story with local people and visitors. Can you help us?

We are looking for people who would like to find out more about the geology of the North Pennines and help us use it to inspire the public, by becoming volunteer Geoguides. This involves a few training sessions spread around the North Pennines and a commitment to help run events that allow people to explore local geology.

What’s in it for you?

Free expert training in a world-class environment.

Training and opportunities to improve your public speaking and presentation skills.

The chance to explore a unique landscape more deeply and inspire others.

A set of publications and information about the area.

Transport costs will be paid for.

What are we asking for?

The programme starts with a weekend of training, 10am to 4pm on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th March 2019 at Bowlees Visitor Centre in Teesdale. This will feature an introduction to geology from Dr Stuart Jones, a, Associate Professor at Durham University, and training in presentation and facilitation skills with experienced staff from the North Pennines AONB Partnership.

Subsequent sessions will be on a more bespoke basis, out and about in the North Pennines getting to know some of the key geological features and how to engage people with them. All Geoguides will need to attend the introductory sessions and at least 2 subsequent sessions. We would then ask that trainees take part in at least 5 events, walks or workshops, representing the AONB Partnership, from 2019 to 2020. These may be events for adults, families or local schools, with options in term time, school holidays, weekdays or weekends.

This programme is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The INTERREG Atlantic Area programme of the European Regional Development Fund.

If you are interested in getting involved or for more information, please contact Naomi Foster – naomi@northpenninesaonb.org.uk, or call the office on 01388 528801.

 

Site Work report 10 February 2019

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

 

Book review – The Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England

The Archaeology of Underground Mines and Quarries in England

Author: John Barnatt.  Photographs by Paul Deakin and others.

Historic England, Swindon. 2019.  ISBN 978-1-84802-381-9.

136 pages. 222mm x 275mm page size. Text, maps and many colour images.

Price £30.00

Members of NMCS can receive a 20% discount and free p&p by entering discount code AUMQ19 on the basket page of the Historic England bookshop https://retail.historicenglandservices.org.uk/index.html

This book presents a detailed introduction to the underground mining and quarrying heritage in England. It reviews the many types of mineral and stone taken from the ground and looks at the archaeological remains that survive today and are accessible to those who go underground.

It is designed to illustrate the wonders to be found underground and give the reader ways forward should they wish to follow up their interest.

John Barnatt is an archaeologist with a long record of work on mining, particularly in Derbyshire. Part one of the book is an introduction to Mining and Quarrying and is followed by chapters on the products of mining and quarrying and the regional variations.   Part two describes the common themes and the local diversity.

John states that one primary aim of producing the book was “to inform people wanting to do their own archaeological investigations underground” and to provide a starting point for the inexperienced.

Almost every page has coloured photographs and maps of underground features and the book is a visual pleasure for the reader. The photographs are very well chosen and provide an excellent visual summary of mines in England.  There is a short section covering access and  organisations that operate within England. 

Inevitably there are minor statements and captions that the reader might consider worthy of revision, but to fulfil the primary aim of informing people this book fulfils that aim.  The book does not aim to be a gazetteer, nor is it an access guide, and it cannot cover all the details of history and technology that underpin the mining and underground quarrying industries.

Apart from the sheer personal pleasure of browsing the pictures, I can see that this book will be an excellent tool to show  a mine owning landowner, a local government planning department and to encourage experienced explorers to start recording the features that they walk past every weekend. It will also be a brilliant tool to encourage new people to getting involved in mining archaeology. 

Peter Jackson