Thursday, 28 July 2011

Holme Bank chert mine

Holme Bank chert mine was worked from c.1800 up to 1960. There are extensive workings, notable for the large packwalls used to support the roof after the chert beds had been removed. The last company to operate the mine (Smiths Runners) also manufactured davie blocks for building, and continued to do so on site up to about 1995. Much of the surface plant is still on site.

This one has been on the list for a while and it has been way too hot today so the best way to cool down is to head underground.
I didn't expect the entry to be so easy so I took a few pics of the surface structures first while waiting for someone to turn up, after a five minutes I headed in.

The first large chamber splits into 3 tunnels so with only having an hour before having to head home I chose the middle tunnel.

I'll be heading back soon when I have more time for a full explore :)

Dodgy lighting :(

Time to go

Monday, 25 July 2011

RAF Harpur hill July 2011

For the central depot the RAF was forced to create a store: in 1938 it bought a quarry at Harpur Hill in Derbyshire; it built concrete storage structures within the quarry and then backfilled the hole with waste stone. Difficulties with construction and the weather prevented Harpur Hill from opening until mid-1940.
Harpur Hill had been designated the central store for such devices in April 1940, receiving its first load in June of that year of mustard gas bombs evacuated from France. In June 1942 it was decided to move the bombs to a remote site at Bowes Moor in County Durham.

The main storage site is now used as cold storage, however there are tunnels that link into the site that for the most part have been sealed, I walked for about half a mile down this tunnel and didn't find the end.
sorry for the limited number of pictures but the tunnels were all the same.

The floor is wet due to the constant leaks from the roof.

One of the joining tunnels that is sealed

Friday, 15 July 2011

Buxton Culvert

First time going into a culvert but I had a few hours this morning and a new pair of wellys so I decided to go for it.

There wasn't really much to see and I was dive bombed by pigeons when coming out, the locals heading into the marks and spencers gave me a few funny looks :D

Following the river River Wye you reach Buxton Pavilion gardens and the river goes underground.

The river disappears underground soon after its source and re-emerges in Poole's Cavern to flow down into the town centre of Buxton via Pavilion Gardens, though their is liitle to see of the river, still only a stream in Buxton, as when the 5th Duke of Devonshire built The Crescent between 1780 and 1784 he culverted the river to pass beneath the building, and more recently it has been culverted again to pass beneath the Spring Gardens shopping centre

The new section below the shopping centre is what looks like poured cement prefab

Manhole cover from below

A nice handy ladder to get out with :)

Saturday, 2 July 2011

This is the result of weeks of research to find the lost Aviation fuel depot in Buxton that was the template for Much Wenlock

There is still a way in but it looked tight and I have pulled my shoulder so didn't fancy getting the ropes out

Located in a worked out limestone quarry the depot was one of two in the country which was designed and built artificially underground as protection from enemy air attack.

Horseshoe section tanks 100 feet long were assembled on the hard quarry floor and covered with concrete arches to support overburden of waste quarry stone.

The depot was built in two stages:

Stage 1 - D2 tanks total capacity 20,000 tons.

Stage 2 - Eight horizontal D2 tanks 30'-6" diameter by 179' long. Total capacity 20,000 tons.

A good rail connection ran nearby and there would have been a siding to enable transfer by rail tanker train.

The remains of pillbox at the entrance (filled in)

The fence remains

This entrance is buried under lime dust but could be dug out, sliding over the mound the top of the door was just visible

Friday, 1 July 2011

Type 23 Pillbox

In its standard form the FW3 Type 23 pillbox is rectangular in plan and essentially comprises two squares, one roofed the other open topped. The roofed section normally has three loopholes in its outer facing walls suitable for rifle or light machine guns. The open half of the pillbox was designed to hold a light anti-aircraft defence such as a Bren or Lewis gun on a post mounting. Usually this type of pillbox has no ground level entrance. To gain entrance one had to climb over the wall into the open section of the pillbox. Often steel rungs were cast into the outer wall to facilitate an easier entrance although some examples are known to have an open entrance in the left wall of the anti-aircraft position. Once in the interior of the pillbox access to the adjacent covered chamber was via a couple of steps down and then through a interconnecting doorway. The wall of this type of pillbox were built to a plan of 2.4 m wide by 4.8 m long and were of a 0.3 m thick bullet proof construction. The Type 23 pillbox was design to hold a compliment of up to four men.