August 9, 2000
Today, we had typical Northern England weather, rain, and then more rain, all day. By now I'm used to the rain and the cool weather and will probably suffer when I return to sunny, hot California.
On our way into the mine Byron and I stopped and talked to Alistair, at the saw mill, about the timber we need in the New Drift. Larch is what they usually use here in Northern England but he didn't have any in the size we wanted and it would take until next week to get it delivered from another mill. As we were talking about Larch I told him what we use in the US was Douglas Fir and he said he had that in stock. So now he is cutting and treating 6x6 timbers of Douglas Fir and we'll have them by Friday morning as well as the lagging and cribbing we need. It will be good to have a safe tunnel again.
Not long after we arrived at the mine visitors began to appear. First were the editors for the Killhope News Letter who are going to write a short note on our mining along with some pictures. Then a group of ladies who are guides from Killhope and 2 gentlemen also from Killhope came to collect the galena I've been collecting for them and storing along the tunnel walls. They took the whole lot and it was good to clear all that stuff out and make room for another batch. They really enjoyed the tour of a working mine and I found out most had never been in a real mine before. Another couple who own 2 small rock and gift shops came for a tour also. They had given us the tour of the Bishop's residence at Auckland Castle in Bishop Auckland. Great historians full of information.
Everyone had left by lunch time and we able to get to work. Dave and I did some more scaling in Mick and Lindsay's tunnel and were even able to do some actual mining with the mucker. That shows you just how bad the formation is if you can dig it out with the mucker. Tomorrow I will prepare Mick and Lindsay's tunnel for another steel arch, which it needs very badly. This will take some re-timbering along the tunnel towards the entrance since we are taking the arches from other places in the mine where we had placed wooden timbers. The arches weren't doing any good where the roof was, in places, 4 feet above the top of the arches.
Tomorrow will be another day and I hope the weather changes for the better.
Till then, Cheers, Jim