Sunday, 26 August 2012

Cwmorthin Slate Quarry Mine

Visited in august  2012 with Obscurity and SpaceInvader..not a huge amount of pics as we didnt have that much time down there and concentrated on the areas we wandered round to take photos from..

some history

Cwmorthin Slate Quarry is a substantial disused slate mine found on the shores of Llyn Cwmorthin above the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog, North Wales. It is one of a number of slate mines that circle the town, most of which were enormous enterprises in their day. It has a long and complex history beginning in the early 1800's, with heavy underground development starting around 1860*.
It was run by several different companies as a venture in its own right during the 1800's. The earlier underground workings started at "Lake Level", so called due to the entrance being just above the surface of the nearby Llyn Cwmorthin, and ascended upwards in the mountain ultimately for 8 floors in both the Old and Back Vein. Poor working practices and reckless engineering decisions ultimately led to a substantial collapse and the end of that company.
A new company took the mine on afterwards and reused Lake Level but sealed off the shattered and dangerous upper floors. Instead, they developed new workings below, going down into the mountain. Ultimately this company sunk five floors on both veins, before itself being being forcibly closed in 1901 due to a legal dispute.
The now abandoned lower floors flooded up to Lake Level, containing an immense amount of water hundreds of feet deep, which remained until the early 1930's. The neighbouring mine (Oakeley Quarries) were at this time driving underneath the old Cwmorthin workings and were uneasy about having such a huge volume of water above them, so decided to drain it out. Special diamond-drilled bore holes were driven through into the deepest parts of Cwmorthin from Oakeley and the water drained out under controlled conditions.
When the water level reached the bottom, the mines were connected in several places by full-size tunnels and Oakeley (who'd taken over the ownership of Cwmorthin) actually re-opened some of Cwmorthin and put men to work in it. The Back Vein Incline was re-equipped and even a new incline was driven down another 90 vertical feet to open some more chambers.
Cwmorthin then operated essentially as just another part of Oakeley right up until 1970 when Oakeley itself closed. This marked the end of the mine's working life as a major concern, however, throughout the 1980's and early 1990's the mine was working on a limited scale by a small team of local men. Extraction occurred in a few chambers on Lake Level and Level 1, with the underground transport being provided by a Series 2 Land Rover 88".
The final twitch occurred in the late 1990's when deep bore-holes were sunk from the surface to near the long abandoned upper floors, filled with explosive and fired, in an attempt to break open the rock to make it suitable for untopping. Little was achieved in this venture however, other than creating massive damage to the already fractured early upper workings.
Today, almost all of the earlier upper workings in both the Back Vein and Old Vein are inaccessible and damaged. It is likely that large tracts of these workings deep in the hill remain in reasonable condition, but are cut off from our reach.
Most of the workings in the lower five floors of both the Back Vein and Old Vein can be accessed today. The Back Vein workings are in excellent shape in structurally good rock, almost all of it is still available to explore. The Old Vein workings however are in a much poorer condition due to the weaker, more fractured rock in which they were driven. Most of it can still be gotten into one way or another, but there have been many wall and roof failures and numerous chambers have collapsed entirely.
What's left to us to see today still comprises of many miles of tunnel and hundreds of enormous chambers. Within these workings can be found artefacts ranging from powder horns to timber stairways, from winches to wagons, and from cranes to bridges. Many days can be spent enjoying this exciting and awe-inspiring environment that will always remain a significant monument to the world famous Welsh Slate industry

the few pics we did take

And a few taken with my android phone on way in as im afraid on way back it was raining and i wasnt getting my dslr wet

Not a huge amount of pics but we shall return !

Cwm Coke works , Beddau Augsut 2012

This was the last port of call on our 2 day trip to Wales.After a less than sound nights sleep in the car which in my opinion was worse than sleeping at Pool Park the night before we headed in not long after the sun had started coming up ,which would explain some of the shots!Really liked this place and even tho we missed a fewrooms with pipes and gauges as tbh 2 nights sod all sleep and clambering around the walkways in hot sunshine we had had enough and packed up.

Relaxed explore in a great location if you like flaky paint ,rust and big hunks of machinery left around.

visited with SpaceInvader and Obscurity while St0rm caught up on some sleep back at the car..

Borrowed history

Cwm Coke's origins lie with the Great Western Railway and it's insatiable hunger for coal. The GWR sunk pits at the Cwm site in 1909 as well as in other areas of the Rhondda, but Cwm didn't become known for it's coke until 1958 when the coking ovens and associated plant for producing coke and refining the by-products of the coking process were installed. During this time the existing colliery site saw a £9 million investment, by the 1970's the two pits 'Margaret' and 'Mildred' and the coking plant were the workplace of 1,500 men this combined effort produced 515,000 tons of coke per annum. The colliery continued production of coal right up until privatisation of the National Coal Board in 1986.

The coking plant remained in use until 2002 producing the low sulfur coke that the foundries of Port Talbot required

On with some pics...

 Thanks for looking

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Whittingham Asylum October 2011

Explored with Maniac,SpaceInvader and Obscurity

Brief history borrowed from wiki.....More Here

Whittingham Hospital, whose grounds adjoin the village of Goosnargh, was founded in 1869 and grew to be the largest mental hospital in the country. The hospital pioneered the use of electroencephalograms (EEGs) and during its time it had its own church, farms, railway, telephone exchange, post office, reservoirs, gas works, brewery, orchestra, brass band, ballroom and butchers.[5]
During the 1970s and 1980s, new drugs and therapies were introduced. Long-stay patients were returned to the community or dispersed to smaller units around Preston. The hospital eventually closed in 1995. [6]. The hospital campus is now mostly derelict awaiting redevelopment, but a small psychiatric unit known as Guild Lodge still operates on part of the site.

On with some pics..only a short visit did not cover much due to failing light and heavy rain

Shame i never got to see more of the old girl but what we did see was epic !