Thursday, August 16, 2007

Good Morning,

Yesterday was a very chilly blustery day with a few scattered light showers. Today promises to be more of the same but with a bit more liquid sunshine thrown into the mixture.

Byron picked up Dave and Shanade about 10:00. Kerith and I left Burnbrae a little after nine and stopped in Stanhope to purchase some 'bitumen mastic (roof tar)' to seal a rent in the old container's roof that we noticed has developed of late. Then down to see Alistair Ward and make arrangements for some much needed lagging boards which we will get sometime today. Forward progress is at a standstill till we get them. Then we drove on down to the Black Bull in Frosterley to meet Brian George from Durham Constabulary and give him a brief tour of the mine. He is in charge of firearms and explosive permits in this county.

After he left, Dave and Byron got to dragging some of the timber up and Shanade was busy cleaning, by day's end she had finished off everything in the container and Kerith had binned the old stuff and we are on bin #57.

About 12:30 Lindsay and Trish showed up for a visit, he brought over the air-powered diamond chain saw and Byron had a set of Rogerley mine earrings for Trish. We swapped stories for a bit then back down to the Black Bull for lunch. Low and behold the couple next to us was Brian Young - retired from the Geological Survey - and his wife. In the area to collect plant seeds and do some bat research. He has his book on the minerals of northern England at the publishers now, been in progress for nearly 15 years or longer. Oddly enough the Royal Museum of Scotland is publishing the book on the Minerals of Northern England. He and Lindsay had a good chat. Things broke up and we all went our seperate ways.

Back at the mine, Byron was in the 'well' -- he has gone about as far as he can there without some specialized digging tools, which we will need to look for in the states. Dave loaded charges in the second East Crosscut -- one toward the old Black Sheep Pocket and a smaller one to the North, an area that has produced a few very nice bits but been very stingy. Also, another and last short round in the second escape tunnel. We will see the results later today.

Today's picture is of how the 'well' looks, you should be able to see plenty of mud covered fluorite crystals to about 1 1/2" on edge and tree roots hither and yon in there. There is a hole in the back about 16"+ in which is the limit of what any of us can reach and work at in such a confined area.

Cheers, Cal & Kerith and Byron

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