Chris A, Adam P, Mark R
It was little surprise to hear that Chris and Adam were running an hour or so late as I prised myself out of bed but it was OK that I had more time to get all of the tools and materials ready that we would be needing.
We eventually met at the farm some time around 11 ish I think and I divided the kit into 3 piles for us each to take across to the entrance. We had just negotiated a herd of cows when Chris realised he had actually left his stuff by the car and had to go back and get it. We all met up again at the shaft top and rigged the top pitch whilst trying not to get blown away. I was down first and had the new in-situ brew kit out of the drum and was just rinsing out the tea pot when adam arrived.... "oh shit... oh bollocks" What's up Adam? I asked. "I've forgotton teh tackle bag"!
Adam had left the bag at the surface but it was OK because Chris really loves prussicking and because he was still in the shaft he went back up the rope to get the bag with all our tools in!
When we were eventually all at the bottom and had had a cup of tea (dark brown with 2 sugars each because today we were builders/ plumbers) we set to work. The aim was to divert the annoying trickle of water that flows down the walls and into the dig away from the now underwater dig to give it a chance to dry out. We screwed a length of split pipe to the wall like a strip of guttering and then a large funnel below that with a pipe attached to carry the water away. We sealed the gap between the wall and the guttering with putty and voila! the job was done.
Because Chris had prior arrangements we packede up and headed out, but not before i'd had a quick look at a couple of other areas i'd been thinking about recetly- Along the large driven level, just before you reach the abyss, there is an old dig in the floor against the left hand wall. It's a haphazard arrangement of scaffold poles dropping down 5 or 6 metres through the boulder filled floor. The wall it follows shows evidence of scalloping and the dig follows a line of vertical stemple holes positioned just the right distance apart to make a handy ladder, there was definitely a draft at the bottom of the scaffold but the dig itself will require a considerable degree of effort, ingenuity and hilti-capping to progress.... intriguing!
The second location of interest is the small chamber where all the water is now piped. The scalloped roof meets the sandy floor at the bottom of the chamber and all the water forms a pool which at the moment is about 18" deep but looking at the walls has recently been 2-3m deep. All the water disapperars into the floor- this is somewhere i want to go and spend a day scooping out, we just need to find somewhere suitable for the spoil but I have a few ideas for that too!
All in all, an inspiring and productive day!