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April 20th      Watts Grove Rake

Eldon Hill
Peak Forest
Name: Not Known
Grid Ref. SK18SW. SK122807
Permission: H.Young. Slack Farm
Descent :-Paul Thompson, Stuart Chester

The dimensions of the shaft at the surface measure 6' x 4'. It is situated in the centre of a coe foundation, 70 feet West of a large open sink which is fenced off by barbed wire. The top is covered by three pieces of angle iron and several limestone slabs. The angle iron is not suitable to use as a belay.

It is a very impressive shaft which shows a good cross section of the rake in certain places. There is a ginging for the first 15 feet and then it is packed with deads resting on solid bridges both sides of the rake. The West side of the shaft is unsafe from the top to the bottom, caused by a surface collapse which can be seen throughout the descent.

At several stages after 100 feet the shaft breaks out into large open pockets. On the East side at 125 feet there is a coffin level which cannot be reached as it is situated some 12 to 15 feet away from the ladder which lies next to a 3 feet square rock bridge. It is impossible to swing across to the level which seems to have been driven at least 30 feet.

Comments Access may be possible to the 125 feet level by means of a pole placed between the level and the rock bridge.


December 14th      Blue John Mine


Paul Thompson, Cheg Chester (diver), Bill Whitehouse, Clive Westlake, Dave Gill, George Cooper, “Knobhead” Pete Smith (uninvited) Object:- To dive bottom sump and Pump Sump.

The bottom sump is situated at the end of a narrow meander rift. Using a single hand held kit with base fed line, the diver proceeded for 8 ft in nil visibility where the passage was just large enough to push a slim40 into it. No further progress possible.


At times of heavy water further progress may be possible, due to silt being washed away.


Next pump sump was investigated. This is situated halfway down the tourist section near an old radium store. After descending an 18 ft pitch, a hands and knees crawl leads to the sump pool. Using a base fed line the diver proceeded for 50 ft to a depth of 10 ft to a mined chamber 15 ft diameter. No way on could be located, diver returned to base.


The whole of this sump is mine workings and in the first section there are the old wooden pipes used for pumping the water out during mining operations.




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