A brief summary of yesterday’s digging activities at Jacksons Mine.
Ant and I arrived at Jacksons at 10am to find the winch in place, the tripod erected and everything ready to go, most of the work courtesy of early-riser Steve. The weather was fantastic, no doubt greatly enjoyed by the winchman (Steve) and the banksman (Geoff), who were left alone to play with the winch and to attempt not to eat all of Shirley’s biscuits/cakes (a capital offence). Downstairs we had two teams in action, myself, Mart and Shirley on Golden Syrup Drive, and Andrew, Sean, Ant and new member, Gary Whitmore at the business end of Eastern Promise Level. The latter runs eastward along Gang Vein, which is heavily worked out above and below, and packed with dead’s, so care is needed. After around 250ft (75m), the road inclines downwards, before levelling off; at this point the shot marks come the other way, and it appears to have had some attempt made to backfill it, so it is very cramped. This strongly suggests that this is where Jacksons met the next mine eastwards along Gang Vein, ’Sally Gang Mine’. About 32ft (10m) further on from the incline, the level meets a cross-cut, and possibly a shaft; however, the roof is fairly dodgy here, with stemples and stacked dead’s having fallen down over the years, and with other dead’s balanced above. This clearly needs to be scaffolded (for protection) before we can make any further progress eastwards, a prerequisite for this being to create some headroom by digging down. Back in safer territory, Andrew, Ant, Sean and Gary completely cleared about 13ft (4m) of the level, right down to what Andrew described as an almost tarmac-smooth floor (see Sean’s photos on WhatsApp). The rocks and debris from this stretch were moved backwards to the bottom of the incline, a stretch of about 10ft (3m) accumulating there. At some point this all needs to be hauled back up the incline and deposited in the shaft/hole in the floor about 100ft (30m) back along the level westwards, as the space needs to be freed up. At the eastern end, the smooth floor extends to within about 9ft (2.7m) of the cross-cut. The debris/rocks in the floor are about 2ft (0.7m) deep at this point, and a scaffolding frame will be needed before any more can be removed.
Back on Golden Syrup Drive, Shirley and I started work on clearing all the rocks that have previously been pulled out of the back-filled level at its northern extremity, and which need to be moved before we can make any more progress. The rocks take up about 60ft (18m) of the 100ft (30m) long stretch of passage between False Hopes Rise (at the north) and the cross-cut back towards Eastern Promise Level. Fortunately, there is a small blind trial here, so Mart was able to do a great job stacking the rocks that Shirley and I were shifting. The good news is that we probably cleared about 50% of the rubble, the bad news is that it is the shallow half 🙁 Any further work will require some kind of railway, firstly to clear the accumulated rocks, then to cart away the material from the backfilled level itself. Apparently design work has been completed on the railway (its in Andrew’s head), and he is now trying to accommodate my request for an electric loco that I can sit on 😉
All in all a very good day, both downstairs and upstairs.
Paul’s surveys of the Eastern Promise Level and Golden Syrup Drive are attached for convenience.