South Crofty Mine Underground 12: The South Crofty site has all but been demolished and cleared. The only remaining relic is the head frame standing tall over New Cooks Kitchen Shaft. A silent testament to those who worked there.
It sometimes amazes me that so much can be forgotten so quickly.
As with many of my trips underground, I would tend to go to the same locations, especially if I was down for a few days. John Usoro took me to this drive several times. Because I have some good images so rather than just put up one or two I have decided to dedicate this page to it. The location we believe is 420 Fathom, Roskear A Lode. The miners are the same pair in all the images: Steve Dadd and Taffy O’Brian.
There are two distinct sets of images you will notice the change when a shirt appears on Taffy O’Brian.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.1 – The first image in this gallery 12. From left to right, John Usoro Mine Geologist, South Crofty Underground Miners: Taffy O’Brian and Steve Dadd. In this image John is sampling the face. On this occasion the heat and humidity were oppressive, from the fogging in the images I would guess there was some moisture in the lens.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.2 – Taffy O’Brian drilling a low hole. Steve Dadd is standing by with a pick to clear any debris away and to stop the drill jamming.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.3 – Another image from behind, showing the compressed air supply to the SIG Rockdrill.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.4 – Taffy drilling a low hole in the face.This was the most difficult to drill, known as a lifter.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.5 – Taffy drilling high holes. This was when the extendable leg on the drill was most needed.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.6 – This is the first time I had seen a miner drilling at full stretch.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.7 – One of the oddest images on this page. This was taken when I was lying down in a puddle looking upwards to get a different angle. It almost worked but the drill is slightly out of focus, however I was very pleased with the overall effect.
The rest of the images on this page were taken on another trip to the same working drive. The two miners are the same.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.8 – In this image John and the miners are discussing the face of the drive and the structures within. This and the remaining images on this page were taken on a return visit.
South Crofty Mine Underground 12.9 – Taffy O’Brian relocating the drill to start another hole in the face. The structures in the face of the drive can be clearly seen.
South Crofty Mine 12.10 – Good atmosphere and detail in this image of Taffy O’Brian.
South Crofty Mine 12.11 – Steve Dadd drilling in the heat at the end of the drive.
South Crofty Mine 12.12 – The spray paint on the face indicates the layout of the drill holes for the next blast.
South Crofty Mine 12.13 – The lode structure can be seen in face behind Taffy O’Brian drilling another hole..
South Crofty Mine 12.14 – The noise from the drills in such a confined space was deafening.
South Crofty Mine 12.15 – Another closer image of Taffy O’Brian, the lode they are following can be seen in the face.
South Crofty Mine 12.16 – Even with the aid of the telescopic leg, controlling the drill was a constant strain on the body.
South Crofty Mine 12.17 – This view from directly behind the miners shows the drill pattern in the face very well. Each hole would have been planned and drilled to a standard pattern.
South Crofty Mine 12.18 – Ladders attached to the floor were used to anchor the rockdrill telescopic leg.
South Crofty Mine 12.19 – Steve Dadd drilling a low hole known as a lifter. This was always the hardest hole to drill because of the low angle.
South Crofty Mine 12.20 – A hell of a place to work. It was noisy, hot, humid and very dangerous.
South Crofty Mine 12.21 – Taffy O’Brian relocating the drill for Steve Dadd. The drilling of the holes was often a two handed job.
South Crofty Mine 12.22 – This is the last image this Underground Gallery, it was taken while I stood on a locomotive. The elevation makes it a much better image. The shadows are well defined and add to the photograph. Steve Dadd(L) and Taffy O’Brian(R).
South Crofty Mine Underground 13