Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1: I first saw the Geevor Tin Mine in 1992. The pumps had been turned off for about a year and the scrapmen had moved in to strip the buildings of anything of value. Thankfully the community persuaded the local council to buy the site and preserve it. I was lucky being allowed freely around the site before the museum fully opened to take many photographs, this was around 1993/4, my thanks go to Tony Brooks who was involved with the the site at the time. Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
The captions on these and the images to follow have been supplied by My Bob Orchard, he was the Chief Engineer of Geevor Tin Mine and became Mine Manager on closure. He spent much of his time in the days after the mine closed campaigning to save the site and keep vandals & souvenir hunters at bay. I have used his own words on the captions wherever possible. Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine is now a museum dedicated to the history of the mine and Cornish Hard Rock Mining, well worth a visit, a link to their website is below.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1 Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Mine Website
The images on this page cover Victory Shaft and the area around it.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1:
The impressive headframe of Victory Shaft, vertical to 460m deep this is the centre piece of the site, sinking here commenced in 1919.
Victory shaft layout/design and construction is a miniature copy of the Allen’s shaft of Botallack Mine.
The steel headframe was installed in 1954, it was built around the earlier timber structure so the mine could operate normally whilst the transition was happening.
The building on right is the old electricians shop, which used to be sited on large bank where pic No 8 is taken. Known as the “Sea Grove hut” Its where I first started work at Geevor as a student. (Bob Orchard)
The Thomson Houston electric winder for the shaft was installed 1954, it is housed in the building to the right of the headframe. To right of camera is a log bay for the storage of logs for the saw mill.
This picture makes me (Bob Orchard) feel sad. Left to right foreground: a device for changing wire rope on the Skip Shaft & Treweeks winders & spooling wire rope onto the old Victory shaft steam winder, which we used to control the tension on the rope when we changed the Victory shaft winder. To do this on of the sheave wheels (lying on their side in foreground) was placed just inside of the shaft gates & the rope reeved off the wood drum, up to the top & over the sheaves of the Victory headframe & onto the drum of the steam winder. Then the process set up again off the steam winder, under the temp sheave & up & over the top of the headframe & down onto the electric British Thomas Houston (BTH) winder……..It was always a big day. On the right is a solitary Stokes type YR sand pump. Just as a matter of interest, the reason that these sheave wheels are still at Geevor is because I buried them in the gravel pile at a point that I had coordinates for and could retrieve them at a latter date. Otherwise they would have been sold off as a “cash in the pocket” job by the scrapie’s men. (A lot of that went on)
The symmetrical patterns to the buildings around the shaft make the photographs very pleasing to the eye.
The building on right is the old stables, later to become the mine store until the store moved into the building that is now the shop (which was originally an electrical sub station. (In those days the head storeman was Jim Vincent). Building on left was a lean-to the carpenters shop & housed a machine for making wooden spacers for blasting underground. It produced a rough, round dowel rod about one inch Diameter. (Also a source of broom hilts on the mine). The machine was made by Clifford Trezise.
A closer image of the buildings around the shaft.
The steps lead up to the “Square pool” the reservoir for the mill. Leaning up against wall is (I think) a “Wilfly” shaking table deck. Just as a matter of interest (so I have been informed) the scrap man was living on site in a mobile home, & one evening a couple of local characters picked up the portable generator for the mobile home & threw it into the Square pool. (Remains of which were found a few years ago when the pool was drained)
Blacksmith’s shop (with two chimneys) & saw dust storage hopper. Saw dust was blown with a fan from the saw mill, local farmers, butchers etc came to collect saw dust from here. The rest was burnt in custom made saw dust burning stoves in the mill.
Looking up at the headframe from the rear of the site, in the foreground is machinery that was removed from the mill. Left to right…..New table plant, bottom fitting shop, new blacksmiths shop / fabrication shop, far right is the saw dust hopper (from the saw mill). In the foreground are Holman shaking table decks. Note how the scrapie’s have removed the blacksmith shop doors, just ripped off the track & thrown over the bank.
The gated entrance to the cages suspended over the shaft.
Cages sitting on “keps” (some call them “chairs”) on the change-over gantry. Note the “King Hooks” (Reliance Barker Davis detaching hooks) attaching the cages to the winding ropes (1 & 1/8″ Dia left hand Laings lay wire ropes). The detaching gear engaged with the detaching “ring” high up in the headframe in the event of an over-wind. A copper pin would shear, the hook wings open & latch onto the detaching ring while at the same time releasing the winding rope…….The detaching hooks were changed ever three months (the spare set fitted & the ones just taken out of service sent for crack testing & re-certification). Every six months six feet of wire rope would be cut off & sent for test. The end the the rope re-caped with molten white metal. Every three years the complete wire rope would be replaced with new. Eimco Muckers & loco’s were hoisted in the cages, while heavier / larger items were slung below the cage. The sloping canopy over each cage could fold back & a false floor fitted to the top of the cage for the shaft master (Eric Gale & his assistant Norman Barnecote) to ride on top of the cage to inspect the shaft, shaft setts & runners.
On one of my visits the cages had been removed from the shaft. The area behind where the ore chutes were located was being cleared in preparation for renovation. The next series of images show this area during the renovation works.
The structure here was known as the “Gantry”. It was designed by Bennett Wall the then chief engineer (when the new BTH winder was installed). In normal operation the cages ran through the gantry with two rock skips to the rear sitting on “keps”. When changing from cages to skips the cages (one compartment at a time) were lowered onto keps (stops), the gantry pushed forward to bring the skip over the open shaft. The winding rope removed from the skip & attached to the skip. The skip lifted slightly to enable the kep to be folded back into the runner. Then repeated for the other shaft compartment. When the mine closed I had the cages both put onto the keps effectively blocking the shaft, at the time considered a temporary measure as there were “rescue” plans afoot for the mine………….but as time went on it was apparent that this was not going to happen.
Coarse rock bin with “Fines” bin to the left. The series of round hole in the coarse rock bin were for the purpose of inserting a crow bar if there was a jam up of rock in the mouth of the chute. Under the fines bin was a very short variable speed feeder conveyor that discharged the fines down a chute to provide a protective layer on the conveyor that ran to the “washing plant” . This short feeder conveyor was particularly difficult to “track”. The bottom of the slot in the floor (running left to right) was quite deep, dark & wet & housed the tail drum of the conveyor to the washing plant. We had to go down here to renew chute liners, tension / adjust the conveyor to the washing plant. It was known as “black hole chute” or “Annies room”
The slot in the floor to the left sat under the crusher & had a chute that fed the crushed rock down onto a conveyor belt that conveyed the ore to the “Wild” rotary washer. The slot in the floor extending away from the camera picked up the “Fines” that did not require crushing & deposited them onto the conveyor to the washer. This layer of fines was important, as it protected the conveyor belt surface from the larger pieces of crushed rock sliding down the chute from the jaw crusher. The steel chute above is the bottom of the “Course rock bin” & there was a variable speed vibrating tray feeder that fed the rock from the course rock bin into the mouth of the jaw crusher. Just as a matter of interest, the Kueken crusher was the very first piece of equipment removed from the mine. I actually assisted Arthur Roby (the scrap man) to slide this heavy item off from it’s RSJ supports over the slot in floor & get it to the door. It was loader into a tipper truck of some contractors from Ireland. (It was not secured in any way) & the truck set off for the ferry, latter I heard that the truck had gone around a roundabout too fast, the crusher slid sideways & the truck turned over on its side. Ho Ho.
This building housed the primary jaw crusher (Biglow’s patent crusher) & later a Kueken jaw crusher. This crusher came from E.Pool , a crew from Geevor headed by Jan Rowe went up & removed it & brought it back to Geevor.
I was lucky to see this work in progress, photographing areas like this was a privilege and very enjoyable. Looking across the top of Victory shaft where the cage / skip change-over gantry once stood. Note top few rungs of the shaft ladderway.
The “Round tank”. Water from 10 level SPP (Sigmund Pulsometer Pumps), 3rd level Harland Duo-Glide pump, Thomases tank (supernatent or over flow water from the large round slimes settling tank at rear of the “Slimes plant” (Known as “Wembley”) & finally return water from the Cliff pumps were all pumped to this round tank. The Round tank gravity fed the more critical items of plant in the mill. To the left of the tank can be seen a rectangular steel box with a 4″ pipe coming out of it, these boxes were strainers. When there was surplus water being pumped to the round tank it overflowed to the “Square pool” on the opposite side of the road. The round tank also supplied water back down Victory shaft for the rock drills. (There being pressure regulators at intervals down the shaft to prevent excessive pressure)
The explosives store at the top of Victory Shaft.
Daily requirement of explosives were transferred from the mine explosives magazine to the transit store for the “cage man” to take to the various shaft level stations for the mining crews to use.
A discharge valve at the base of the headframe. The large valve was “teed” of the rising main from the 10 level pumps to the round tank (picture 15). It was used for testing the flow rate in gallons per minute delivered by the 10 level pumps to the round tank. (Using tanks of known volume & a stop watch)
A final view of Victory Shaft taken from the access road, I like this image the cloud is very effective.
Note the “Braithwait” tank over the top of building (center foreground). This tank fed water under constant head to a multi-spigot (R O Stokes) Hydrosizer in the new table plant.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 2 Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1