Another ring makes 9 and a half metres

Mark R, Chris H
7th July 2013

After a semi decent nights sleep on the couch I awoke to the sound of rustling cereal packets and a kettle boiling. Despite the relatively early hour it was already roasting outside. We said farewell to Sarah and Adam who sadly wouldn't be joining us in the dig (something to do with spending the day in the sunlight, strange people). Fueled up on cereal, toast and ibuprofen we jumped in the car and set off for Rowter Farm.

The campsite was still rammed with campers so we changed swiftly in the sweltering heat and made a dash for the cool of the shaft and the underworld below.
We cracked on with the dig, Mark filling and hauling below with me at the top hauling and emptying. Fortunately there was some stacking space at the top of the dig shaft to empty them. A third person is a must to operate the tension line to the upper level stacks.

After about 19 buckets we stopped to hammer down the boards. Mark promptly hit his hand rather than the board. It was a scene of reminiscent of yesterday, with a loud howl of pain and swearing. After a few sips of water and some quiet contemplation the feeling of nausea passed and the double hard ba$tard continued to wallop things with the hammer, take that tanalised board!. During the digging a large boulder had presented itself in the floor. After 6 caps it was left in sizable chunks ready for some more hauling.

We climbed out of the dig, bashing my knee on a scaff clip bolt on the way and stopped for tea and a bite to eat, except we had no milk or mugs so we skipped the tea and just ate pork products, cheese and chocolate.

Mark's hand was aching quite a lot so I took over the shovelling and hauling. After removing all the loose chunks of capped rock from the floor, the boulder from which they'd been hewn still seemed pretty sizeable and didn't want to budge. At this point we'd dug down another 70-80cm from the previous ring which meant there should be room for another. We measured up and got one final ring in just before home time. Today's bucket count was about 35 or maybe 36.

The dig is now a full 9.5m from the top lip to the bottom and still following the line of stemple holes. The draught isn't quite as strong though this may be owing to the muddier nature of the material we're having to remove now.

Some pictures for those who missed out....