South Crofty Mine Underground 12

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 particular drive several times. Because I have some good images 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.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.1 – On our arrival to the end of the drive the two miners Steve Dadd(R) and Taffy O’Brian(L) pause the drilling to have a catch up with John Usoro.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.2 – Because of the extreme heat at the end the camera soon steamed up again.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.3 – The two miners start to get ready to resume the drilling.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.4 – A final word between Steve Dadd and John Usoro.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.5 – Miner Steve Dadd looking up at the face of the drive.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.6 – Taffy O’Brian drilling a low hole called a lifter. The heat and noise cannot be seen in a photograph, but it was unbearable.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.7 – An image of Taffy O’Brian taken from the side while he is still crouching in the water.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.8 – Taffy O’Brian still drilling, Steve Dadd is standing by with a pick to prevent the drill binding in the hole.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.9 – Without the use of the telescopic leg the drilling of high holes would have been impossible.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.10 – Another image of Taffy O’Brian drilling the high hole.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.11

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.11 – 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.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.12 – This is the first time I had seen a miner drilling at full stretch.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

South Crofty Mine Underground 12.13 – Taffy was certainly a highly skilled miner, he made it look very easy.

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

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.14 – 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

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.15 – The spray paint on the face indicates the layout of the drill holes for the next blast.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.16  – 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 Underground 12

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.17 – Taking pictures in these conditions was difficult because of the heat and the vapour in the air.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.18 – Good atmosphere and detail in this image of Taffy O’Brian.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.19 – This image clearly shows how important the ladder on the floor was. Without this in place the extending leg on the drill would constantly slip on the wet floor.

South Crofty Mine Underground 12

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.20 – Because of the extreme vibration the present day use of these drill are time restricted.

The next few images are of Miner Steve Dadd, the drive was very enclosed and it was difficult to keep out of the way of everyone. However I did have the chance to set up a slave flashgun with has created some good lighting.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.21 – Steve Dadd drilling in the heat at the end of the drive.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.22 – This image clearly shows how the telescopic leg attached itself to the ladder.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.23 – Steve Dadd drilling a low hole known as a lifter. This was always the hardest hole to drill because of the low angle.

The remaining images on the page are of both the miners. They show how important it was to have a good working “mate”. So often the men had to help each other out, because of the noise they often used their cap lamps to communicate.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.24 – At the end of the drive there was not a huge amount of room.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.25  – 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.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.26 – I was very glad I was issued earplugs before every trip.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.27 – The lode structure the miners are following can be seen in the face of the drive.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.28 – A hell of a place to work. It was noisy, hot, humid and very dangerous.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.29 – Taffy O’Brian relocating the drill for Steve Dadd. The drilling of the holes was often a two handed job.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.30  – Another image of Taffy O’Brian relocating the drill for Steve Dadd.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 12.31 – This is the last image on 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

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