Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Greetings from Weardale.

Monday was a pleasant day of sunshine and showers and happily the showers were few and short lived though one was quite sharp. BBC says the same for today. The worst of the weather on Monday flitted north of us along the Tyne River and gave Newcastle some flash flooding.

Monday was a busy day for Joe and Dave. Joe started cleaning out the new east cross-cut -- ironstone mixed with galena that was blown to smithereens and now exists as brown dirt and silvery glitter and lots of mud. Dave made room in the main cross-cut to set up the drill and put a blast in to the south. While we still have mud and fluorite showing going north access is difficult and we will run another cross-cut up to try and intersect our current workings in that area. The blast went off without a hitch around 5:00 p.m.

Jesse and I had a number of errands to run and I had to make a dash to our store to pick up supplies for the afternoon's shot. Jesse and Ian numbered, weighed and packed the van with another 16 blue bins, which finally freed up space in the container. Jesse and I drove the van over to Ward Timber and shrink-wrapped another pallet giving us a total of three now. Back to the mine for bait. There was little to really do later in the afternoon so Jesse went back to work on the web page and Ian and I worked at packing another 6 blue bins and bringing down whatever was still up in the mine for a soak.

Tuesday dawns bright and sunny but we are promised serious rain by midday... lets hope we get lucky like we did on Monday. As it turns out, Tuesday was a wonderful day with sunshine and clouds and temperatures near 20C/71F and enough breeze that the midges were no bother.

Tuesday was very busy with an early morning run to Heights for me to accept explosives while Jesse and Ian made a run to Bishop Auckland to rent a saw to give a rough finish to the big plate. Today's picture shows Jesse beginning the process, which took him and Ian perhaps three hours. I was underground in the cross-cut which Joe and Andrew had spent the morning mucking out from the Monday's blast. Dave and Joe worked on mucking out the new east cross-cut. After bait, I went back up to the cross-cut and continued to move a lot of large rock and was rewarded with a small clay seam which began to widen about the time that Jesse and Ian showed up. It seems that Ian can smell when a fluorite plate is starting. Well, two plus hours later we had another large fluorite plate covered in crystals but we were all too tired to get it out of the mine and wash it up. That will have to wait till tomorrow. But the specimen has promise and some very large twins on it. Just hope they look as good tomorrow. Its late ow, I am tired and sore and ready for bed. Ian and Jesse along with Ian's friend Emanuel have gone over to the pub for a nightcap. Tomorrow will be a busy day with volunteers from Killhope Mining Museum by to gather up lead and fluorite bits for the museum.


Cal, Kerith, Jesse & Ian

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