17 May 2015 – Members working day report

Brewery Shaft

The light string was pulled from the shaft and the bulbs changed to led type.  Everything worked fine.  Power supply is now from a generator as the mains supply has been removed.

North Explosives Store

The temporary winter roof was removed, which took longer than expected. The walls are in good condition underneath.  After much cutting and discussing, the new outer door frame was installed and  the site tidied up.

Smelting Mill

Sorting of the stone pile continued, window blind installed in the Assay House, rubbish cleared from the mill area.


Report on Members Working Days 18th and 19th April 2015

Excellent weather today – bright sunshine and dry air. Those members who hanker after underground trips spent the afternoon in the smelting mill culverts attempting to trace water flows.  Some partial success and some interesting discoveries.  It appears that a branching network runs under most of the buildings and there are tantalising glimpses of daylight from unknown holes. We did not find the exit from the Barracks drain.  Can anyone bring some surveying gear which will give us precise heights of the leats?

Brewery shaft lighting was checked out. We no longer have a mains power connection to this building and so resorted to generator.  Unfortunately, the generator did not have sufficient capacity to properly power the system.  Further consultations with experts are planned.

The rock pile by the Pattinson House was part-sorted into rubbish and usable stones.  Potholes in the approach road were filled. Barracks ground floor tidy up continued – much progress made here – the last of the redundant display panels was removed and the work benches placed in  a more practical position.  The Barracks door sill was renewed.  Roof slates put back into position on the Workshop building.

The Smelting Mill fenced area had litter removed, assorted builders debris cleared, redundant timber removed.  The paths and gullies around the buildings were cleared of moss and mud.

Report on Members Working Day 29th March

Members Working Day 29th March was a great success. We fixed the damaged displays in the Workshop buildings, evicted redundant panels, cleaned up fungus growing on the panels, replaced some of the Barracks upstairs floor, swept and cleaned just about everywhere, installed a ladder rack in the Barracks, put up coat hooks, produced some site publicity posters,carried ladders into Smallcleugh for NAMHO – checked the fit – and carried them all out again, found ways of hanging a publicity banner, moved the car park mine wagon to a new site, and removed redundant panels from the mega sign at the main car park entrance.

In between the rain showers, it occasionally stopped raining. Missing from the pictures are Sheila Barker who left mid-afternoon and Gavin Brett who escaped the camera. Thanks to everyone!

Edited scans 13 03 15 4

Site Report 28 November

The walkway to the east of the woodyard has now been dismantled.  This image shows the view looking north from the south end of the yard. Volunteers have worked over four days to dismantle the timber frame and to build new safety fencing.  Thanks to Alec Langley, Martyn Langley, Graham Brooks, Nick Green, Allan Richardson, Christiane Michel and Joyce Jackson.

The east side of the Woodyard

The east side of the Woodyard

The Experimental plot on the Rampgill burn dumps does not appear to have any plants growing on the test strips.

The experimental regeneration plot on Rampgill Burn dumps

The experimental regeneration plot on Rampgill Burn dumps



Smelting Mill

The wall anchors have  been installed in the spine wall and walls have been rebuilt. Topsoil and  first turf layer are almost complete.

Native turf  has to be excavated and placed on top of the imported turf.  Drain holes are to be drilled in the base of the spine wall.

Fixed gate installed in the flue steps.

Smallcleugh Culvert

The arch at the north end has been rebuilt.  A section adjacent to the west mine shop has been excavated and the arch rebuilt.

Chimney and Flue

The chimney has been consolidated.  Sections of the flue have been excavated and the arching rebuilt with new stone before the flue is reburied.

Rampgill Burn culvert

Funded by the Environment Agency, wall tops are being relaid with new stone.

Stagg Wheelpit

New steel railing installed around the perimeter and wood fencing removed.

Explosives Store

See the separate postings.


Bolts and ropes around Nenthead

Some bolting and ropes have been replaced/improved in preparation for the NAMHO Conference in May 2015. In summary:

1 Middlecleugh Level to Baron’s Sump

Additional bolts and rope replaced at Middlecleugh Level; revised top for second pitch with deviation replacing the rebelay. Additional bolt, replaced rope and rope protector on final pitch.

2 Route to Brownley Hill High Level

Permanent traverse line on rails across corner.

3 Tatters String

A new SRT pitch from higher up on descent from Tatters String to Brownley Hill main level has been installed. The original route from a lower point in Tatters String has been left in place.

Explosives Store Update 29 October 2014

Work continued on the back inner wall and one of the side walls.  Sourcing the correct stones is becoming more difficult.  We have cut and dressed some stones to get a better fit in the wall. Mortar is now slower to dry but the weather continues to be relatively mild.

We are planning to complete the inner walls and install the main roof timber on Sunday 2nd November. The weather forecast is good and should enable us to complete the walls.

The timber for the door frame is on order, together with the roof timbers. Once delivered, we will be very dependent upon the weather. Completion may not be possible until early in 2015.

Colin Fowler, Alec Langley, Graham Brooks and Joyce Jackson were working on site today.

Explosives Store Update 26 October

A superb effort today by Alec Langley, Martyn Langley, Bob Vidler and Ian Eeles ( and Ruby Dog) suffering in occasional guests of wind and one or two short rain showers.  The outer walls are nearly up to maximum height – before we fix the roof.

Our empty wheelbarrow was blown off the Caplecleugh High level dump by one gust of wind. Alec was sent to retrieve the barrow from the river bed. The barrow had survived the fall – Alec had a long walk to get it out of the river bed and back up to site.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Alec, Martyn and Bob discussing stones....

Alec, Martyn and Bob discussing stones….


Alec working on the south side wall


Bob considering the safe way to get this stone up to the wall top.