July 21, 2001

Hi All,

We awoke to a cool and partly overcast Saturday morning. By the time Simon Harrison and we got moving it was after 10:00 a.m. and we took off for Killhope Lead Museum to see the Spar Box Exhibition before very many people were crowded around the cabinets. In the light of day it is amazing to see how much work the Victorian miners went to fitting together pieces of fluorite, calcite, barite, quartz and hematite into intricate patterns. The best of the boxes, the Eggleston spar box, is a nearly 7' high intricate gingerbread wood cabinet with mirrors and a street scene which has been souped up with wonderful gem twins of purple and green fluorites, calcite twins and clusters from the mines in the north - if not familiar you have to see one to believe the effort required.

Afterwards, Simon left for Yorkshire and his folks, I dropped Kerith off to finish dinner prepartions and I took off , first for Stanhope. I dropped into the local hardware store equivalent and bought them out of plastic bins to put wrapped specimens into. I think I totally amazed the sales lady who wonderded aloud if I was off for a long camping expedition.

Then to the Rogerley mine to give Byron the empty tubs and see what was new. I found Byron sitting on a ledge of rock he had excavated with a northward trending water course which you could see back about 8' with much of the top portion of the water course covered in fluorites of as yet to be determined quality. I packed about five tubs ( all my rental car will carry in the trunk) then the ardous trips, sans hands for support, carrying tubs up and down the 30' of stairs and carrying mine timbers on the return trip. I wheelbarrowed out the five tubs from the Birthday Pocket to the car, loaded up and headed for Little Allercleugh where Jonina was busy water gunning the previous days haul from the Birthday Pocket. Quite a few nice pieces and several superb cabinet specimens dotted with gem glassy twins to over 1". There were also about 10 outstanding gem twin singles that are either great thumbnails or a tad larger.

Jonina and I spent about 4 hours cleaning specimens then I trundled down the hill and got home in time to take a shower and greet our friends the Greenbanks in from Kendal and help a bit with dinner prepartions and await Byron and Jonina's arrival which would signal the opening round of food, wine and mining discussions.

Overall and excellent day, I am quite tired and the rest have repaired to bed. That is all there is from this place way north of Lake Woebegone.


Dave and Lofty dumping another load of rubble.

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