Three Day Industrial Geographing
The weather was good and I had a few days off so a few targets were investigated. The first was a new one on the to do list, the Goodluck Mine in Derbyshire. Not very well known but after an email or two I arranged for me and a fellow geology student to visit on the Sunday. As it was a Sunday the trains didn't run until the afternoon so we caught the 24/7 skylink bus early in the morning. This runs from Leicester to Derby via East Midlands airport. What is a 22 minute run on the train took around 1.5 hours but it was the only option. At Derby breakfast was sought before boarding the 9.58am train to Cromford. Having lived in Nottinghamshire for 2005/6 and some 7 I knew the Cromford area but my friend didn't. I pointed out all the mills and interesting features along route. Upon arrival at Cromford we had a quick look at the station before starting the 2.5 mile walk to the mine. First passing the old canal wharf and Cromford mill, much improved since my last visit here in 2006. We also stopped at the old waterwheel to take a few photos.
Beyond Cromford it was new for me, plenty of industrial interest up Via Gellia. Lots of mills and ex mill ponds. I noticed a rather nice house, next to it an info board. I went down to investigate, it turned out the house was an ex lead processing mill, a nice surprise. Continuing up the road I geographed the larger Via Gellia mill along with a couple of ex lime kilns. We also spotted an old lead adit.
Eventually the mines lay-by was reached, over the footbridge we now had to find it. I took the wrong direction, heading straight up on a difficult climb up the valley, got some nice views though. We turned left hoping to stumble across it but with no luck. There was a white house on the valley side, turned out DH Laurence lived here once.
Luckily we asked a passer by who was actually walking to the mine. After negotiating a difficult path we reached it. We greeted the guides before being giving a tour of the external workings. Mostly reconstructed since the 1970s. Eventually we were ready to go into the adit. A tight squeeze but it soon got to head height. The first few metres were just limestone but soon a dripping hole in the roof meant we had hit a vein. The limestone is dry, protected by the Matlock lava bed above, but when the miners punched through this at several points it gets a little wetter!
Soon after we saw workings of the Silver eye vein as well as the main attraction, the 5% goodluck vein. Following the workings for 1/4 miles into the limestone. Also of interest was the little Gaulph fault.
An interesting tour, well worth the effort.
Monday, I set my alarm for 10am with no plan for the day. Waking up anyway at 9 I had to think about what I wanted to do. Croft quarry looked good but then I remembered a key road was closed. So I went for Foxton locks. Packed up my pump, camera, puncture kit and lunch before setting off. Following the road through Wigston before joining the canal near Newton Harcourt. First problem I had was getting onto the canal, I missed the small unofficial entrance. A footpath nearby was a good start it didnít allow access, I had to climb over a fence then transfer my bike onto the other side of the canal, carefully wheeling it over a lock. Riding 100m or so until a thorn hit the tire a hissing noise started. Fixed that and carried on with caution. The journey there took 4 hours as it was a mix of walking, cycling and photography. Near Saddington tunnel I got another puncture so had to fix that as well. A good ride though, hardly saw a soul until the locks were reached. Spent 30 minutes or so at Foxton locks, got a sausage roll then turned back. Again the ride back was cautious due to hawthorns. I got one more puncture, again just before Saddington tunnel. This was my last patch so I walked the rest of the way back until I reached the road. This took some time so I didnít get back until near dark.
Tuesday was all sun, I could go anywhere I wanted. I would have loved Castleton or Dudley but I had to go to Clipstone in the end. When I did my Pleasley trip I realised the headstocks at Clipstone were still extant, originally thinking they had been demolished. After some research I knew that I had to geograph them or in the future I would kick myself for not doing so (they are at risk). An early start getting the train to Mansfield where I walked the 5 miles or so to Clipstone. First exploring the spoil heap then some of the old railways. I found near the colliery a pile of fissile shale, got a few samples for my collection. Venturing around in a loop, photographing the colliery close up before heading back, over the spoil heap and back to the station.
- Wed, 9 Mar 2011 at 22:03
- Chosen Photo
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