September 2, 2000

It rained and rained all day and it was a cold storm, with weather like this it will be nice to be back in beautiful, sunny, WARM California. I think the rain came because the Wolsingham Fair started today, just like it rained on the day St. John's Chapel's Fair opened.

We worked in the morning weighing and inventorying the large plastic bins and all that is left, here at the house, is the few remaining pieces to be wrapped after they dry from water gunning. That leaves the large plastic bins at the mine to weigh and inventory along with the Frosterley Marble and we will be pretty much ready for loading and shipping.

Late in the morning we all went to Killhope Mining Center for their annual mineral show. About 95% of the specimens were from local mines and although it was a small show, there were some incredible pieces, especially from the Boltsburn Mine. There were different categories of minerals and fossils that were judged by Brian Young from the British Geological Survey. Jesse put in a few Rogerley pieces in the fluorite section and Lindsay Greenbank had a small case of rough and cut fluorite of different colors from different mines. There was a display of fluorite from the Boltsburn mine with pieces that were optically clear and a sherry topaz in color, beautiful and bright.

I took Sharon on their underground tour of the mine. I've been on the tour many times this summer and never tire of it. They have a working water wheel pump underground, just as most mines did in the 19th century. It's a unique opportunity that everyone should experience. In reciprocation, most of the staff have come to the Rogerley Mine for a tour of a real working underground mine, one of the last in England and THE last in Weardale. We supply Killhope with galena for their demonstration on ore dressing that the kids participate in. Something that young boys did in the 1800s for 2p per week. The people at Killhope have done a great job in rebuilding a replica of the mining operation from that period.

We never did make it the Wolsingham Fair, well, there is always next year.

Dave will be back from the Isle of Man some time today and tomorrow we will bring down the oxyacetylene bottles and the bucket from the mucker from the mine so he can come during the week and pick them up. At the same time we will weigh and inventory the specimens at the mine and collect all the Frosterley Marble also. Then start loading the truck. We are scheduled to load the shipping container tomorrow. When that's done we can all breathe easier.

I'll keep everyone informed until I'm cut off from the umbilical cord to the telephone.

Cheers, Jim

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