And so it came to pass that God gave Winch and me a day off, so we climbed aboard the trusty ExplorMobile and headed out into the countryside of middle England to look for Morlocks in the Time Machine…
We never did see a Morlock in the drain but we did find Mountain Bikes, Monster energy cans, big fish (including a laid back Pike who was over 2 feet long), fanny plasters, Golden Nuggets (of the turd variety) and some nice brick porn.In the 1850’s they drained the local Holme Fen which dropped the water levels locally and in 1852 they started work on the culverts to divert Bury Brook under the town, finally finishing in 1854. At the outfall Bury Brook joins High Lode which forms part of the Middle Level Navigation which eventually joins the OldRiverNene after a mile.The main reason for the trip was the actual junction of the tunnels and the remaining underground workings of the water powered town clock. The clock is still there but in 1920 was converted to run on electricity.The main tunnel carries Bury Brook (clean-ish) water and the side tunnels are stinky CSO’s. For anyone who says otherwise then don’t believe them!
If you are planning on doing the whole culvert and reaching the outfall (approx 700m) then be a smart boy like Winch was and wear Chest Waders, lazy boy here wore Thigh Waders and suffered wad0r breach halfway through, never a good thing when you are surrounded by floaters and are over 1000 meters from dry land. I poured several gallons of shitty/pissy water out each wader when we got back to the car, much to the amusement of the bemused locals who were probably wondering why two blokes were walking down the high street in 26 degree heat dressed in black rubber ;-p
I’d like to go back when there’s a LOT more water going through, the shots would be better and all the turds will have been flushed out…
Props to Dsankt, Otter & Loops for finding this place back in 2008
The ‘Money Shot’, in fact there’s two angles here cos I can’t decide which one I like the most, the first one is neat because of the water and the second one neat because of the arches.
Reached for the4Gas the other day as we were due to snort round a CSO and it’s always a useful thing to have clipped to your shoulder strap but found it had suffered life threatening damage on the last mine trip and embarrassingly I hadn’t noticed :-/Funnily enough though it starts up and does its job properly, you just cannot see anything on the display as it’s shattered….Meh
Methinks it might be an expensive repair job though so time to get a repair estimate 🙁
Someone once said patience is a virtue and maybe they were right, there were some wise words written in The Battle for the Soul of Man…anyway, we have been waiting for over a year to go through the Stargate and many failed attempts have cost dearly in equipment, not to mention getting sick because of the atmosphere.
I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that we would never get close to it, even after some tantalising glimpses but karma was on our side and we even managed to recover some equipment lost months ago (more on that in a future post). The Stargate was reached….and we went through…to new worlds…
This one has been on the To-Do list for ages, so long in fact that someone else beat us too it, c’est la vie!, you win some, lose some…
The truth is we were elsewhere frying bigger fish and were beaten by worthy opponents I know only thru the Interweb. Sloppy Seconds is never ideal but it had to be done as it was still a neat trip to make. The 4Gas had a spazz before we had broken a sweat and had to be shut down as it was blatantly lying about the 02 content and making a hell of a racket. This was far from ideal as there was a bunch of noxious primordial ooze right down there amongst that “Just for me and my dog” orange gloop and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was enough to get the h2s sensor squawking.
The trip involved walking through just over a mile of heavily flooded galleries and crosscuts, gingerly picking our way through a couple of truly unstable & massive roof collapses before we got to the payoff. Water was on average four feet deep with submerged roof collapses, random lumps of twisted, underwater, narrow gauge rail to negotiate and hidden sumps in the mine floor. Two of us had hilarious over wader moments, one resulting in blood loss and my waders sprang a leak within seconds of leaving the dry part of the mine. Other random weirdness was an anemic looking lizard 150ft from the surface amongst corn growing underground and being able to send SMS messages from the base of the shaft.
“Venimus, Vidimus, Vicimus”
Usual rules apply…No names, no locations, just pictures of somewhere very orange. Please don’t ask for locations as refusal often offends 🙂
The Black Pig was not available for deep water duty so Plan B or Plan C was in order. After some discussion we opted for Plan C.
Not been here for a while but there were a few things that required checking such as Chav/Moron impact and I’m sad to say that the Writers have been quite a way in which is sad. Someone who didn’t get quite as far used a ball of string to find their way before running out of string, graffing the nearest wall and leaving. If you are that dumb to employ tactics like this while exploring a mine then death must truly be stalking you. If you are reading this and want your ‘navigation device’ back its in my wheelie bin at home until Thursday (along with an entire carrier bag of crisp packets, beer cans & sweet wrappers…).
I wanted to get some shots from the farthest southerly points so all of the below are from this quite unusual looking area. Whilst shooting some of these shots we could all smell rotten eggs but nobody owned up to farting and my H2S alarm stayed silent (it’s only just back from calibration)…..curious!! Usual rules apply…No names, no locations, just pictures of somewhere. Please don’t ask for locations as refusal often offends 🙂 Photo’s are a bit rough I’m afraid, many taken hastily and should have been re-shot.
More underground fun this week….apologies to Cold War fans (there will be something nice for you next week, watch this space….).
We avoided the water for a change and instead had to contend with knackering 02 levels, panting like a marathon runner for four hours gets a bit tedious and if that wasn’t annoying enough, false floors too!!
The false floor I would have in fact have fallen through had it not been for the discovery of something interesting just a few feet away which delayed my progress. They aren’t that rare in mines but they certainly are in this type of mine, this one was about 20ft long x 16ft wide by 10ft deep and half full of water so crashing through would have been ‘interesting’ to say the least. Other notable items included some of the most bodged ceiling supports I have seen for a long while, a case of ‘use whatever is laying around’, one of the strangest was a Cog made from what looked like snapped concrete fence posts!!
It was nice to get out to 02 rich air to be honest, but we’ll be back…
Usual rules apply…No names, no locations, just pictures of somewhere. Please don’t ask for locations as refusal often offends 🙂
More water filled fun this week which ended up in a near ‘over (chest) wader’ moment in which my tripod disappeared and I nearly played submarines with my Canon. From here its likely to be Inflatable Tenders all the way on another trip to this area to get any deeper though…
(Once the tripod was drained though it seemed happy enough so its passed the test in my book.)