South Crofty Mine Underground 15: This is the first page containing images of Rocker Shovels in use, along with underground locomotives and the transportation of the broken ore. The Rocker Shovels were powered by compressed air and were the work horses of the mine. However, the noise they made when cleaning out a draw point was quite extraordinary.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.1 – This is a 2 1/2 ton Granby wagon being filled by a Cavo Trackless Rocker Shovel.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.2 – The wagon continues to be filled with the broken ore.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.3 – In this image the locomotive driver can be seen. As the wagon is filled he will move the loco so an empty wagon is in line with the draw hole.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.4 – A final image of the wagon being filled. The self locking mechanism on the wagon can be clearly seen. At the ore pass the wagon is tipped, so as it moves the chain tightens. Consequently the side of the wagon would lift up, dumping the contents.
The next set of images were taken on one of my many trips with John Usoro. We went to see two miners Mike Tregonning and Patrick Hudd who had just completed washing and barring down after the previous nights blasting. They were preparing to muck out the drawhole and transport the blasted rock to the orepass.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.5 – The first image of the set, Underground Miner Mike Tregonning (R) Pat Hudd (L), preparing the tools of the trade for the days work.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.6 – Mike Tregonning connecting the air feed to the Cavo Rocker Shovel. Pat Hudd is watching on in the background.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.7 – Another image of Mike Tregonning, Patt Hudd has moved behind him.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.8 – The final tightening of the air feed. In the background is a Clayton Locomotive attached to several Granby Wagons ready for filling with the broken rock.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.9 – The feed is all connected up and the valve is opened.
The next few images are of the Cavo Rocker Shovel in use. Patt Hudd is the driver of this beast. During use the noise the Rocker Shovel made was like a caged Tiger in a confined space, it really was something to experience.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.10 – With the Cavo Rocker Shovel connected up and running, Pat Hudd attacks the pile of broken rock. The 2″ air pipe powering the vehicle can clearly be seen.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.11 – Mike Tregonning on the loco seat watching the wagons being loaded with the broken ore.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.12 – A second image of the same view, this is taken a few seconds after as the bucket is almost empty. John Usoro is watching on the right of the image.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.13 – A final image of the wagons being filled.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.14 – With the loading complete the wagons are transported to the nearest ore pass. This is on the 445 Fathom Level Pat Hudd and Mike Tregonning are lining up the wagons to dump the broken rock.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.15 – The 2 1/2 ton Granby wagon is now being emptied by Mike Tregonning.
South Crofty Mine Underground 15.16 – This is a much clearer view of the emptying procedure. The wagon is being lifted by a winch attached to the overhead structure. As the wagon tilts the side is designed to raise up and empty the load.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.17 – When emptied the locomotive driver will move along the track enabling the next wagon to be dumped.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.18 – The last image of this set. The wagons empty the miners prepare to get back to the drawpoint.
The following set of images on this page are of Underground Miner Andrew Harvey using an LM56 Rocker Shovel. These were taken during the development of the 445 Fathom loco battery charging bay. Also, the dimensions of the chamber were impressive.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.19 – The first image of this set shows Andrew Harvey operating the Eimco LM56 Rocker Shovel.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.20 – This image clearly shows the method of operation of the rocker shovel. During operation the driver stands on the metal plate beside the machine. Powered entirely by compressed air there were two controls. One for the wheels and the other controlled the movement of the bucket.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.21 – Once the bucket was full the operator raises it to the horizontal. Then with the other control the rocker shovel moves backwards on the rails.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.22 – Once the rocker shovel reaches the wagon the bucket is flipped backwards and the load is tipped. During use the action of the shovel was designed to mimic the action of a man with a shovel.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.23 – The front shovel would also swing from side to side. This enabled the operator to load a much wider span of rubble.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.24 – Mainly due to the size of the chamber, the roof had been securely rock bolted. Thick wire mesh had also been put up this would protect the miners underneath from any falling rocks.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.25 – This image is a good view from the rear. Andrew Harvey has backed up the rocker shovel to the wagon. On activating the bucket drive motor a chain is tensioned and the bucket rises up.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.26 – As the bucket rises up gravity takes over and the load, as can be seen here is propelled into the wagon behind. Consequently these rocker shovels were build to withstand a hammering.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.27 – This is the final image of this group, it shows the whole of the chamber being mined out. The size was very impressive.
The remaining images on this page show several more sites where I had a chance to grab some photographs during my visits.. Sadly I have no locations or miners names.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.28 – Another draw point in another part of the mine. Mine Geologist John Usoro is watching a Granby wagon being loaded by a Cavo Rocker Shovel.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.29 – Another image of the same, the rocker shovel is completing the overhead swing to dump the broken rock into the waiting wagon.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.30 – A miner filling up Granby wagons using a Cavo Trackless Rocker Shovel, the Clayton loco is closest to the camera.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.31 – Walking up a drive approaching a long line of Granby wagons.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.32 – At the end of the line of wagons, another Cavo Trackless Rocker Shovel at work. Sadly I do not have the name of the driver.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.33- Two South Crofty Miners loading up wagons with ore using a Rocker Shovel. The compressed air lines are mounted onto the wall of the drive. This is one of my favorite images in the South Crofty collection.
Cornish Mine Images Underground 15.34 – The final image on this page, a closer image of the same pair of miners. It has been suggested the driver of the Rocker Shovel maybe Kevin Mutton.
South Crofty Mine Underground 16