South Crofty Mine Underground 16

South Crofty Mine Underground 16: This is the second page containing images of Rocker Shovels in use. Also images of underground locomotives along with the transportation of the broken ore.

Each level had an ore pass where the mined rock was dumped. These would have connected to the main crusher where the material was crushed to sub 150mm. Consequently more ore could be put into the skips for the journey to grass. Above all not a penny could be wasted for the cash strapped mine.

South Crofty Mine Underground 16

South Crofty Mine Underground 16.1 – The first image on this page. A miner filling up wagons using a Cavo Trackless Rocker Shovel.

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South Crofty Mine Underground 16.2 – John Usoro watching a wagon being loaded by a Rocker Shovel.

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South Crofty Mine Underground 16.3 – This image is of a Cavco Trackless Rocker Shovel filling a wagon.

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South Crofty Mine Underground 16.4 – A miner taking time for a chat with the loco driver.

Paul “Winja” Coppinger has written a few words about the locos at South Crofty:

When I started at South Crofty in 1985 they had several different types of underground locomotives. We operated some diesel 5 ton locos that where powerful but left an acrid smell in the air, as you could imagine. Not nice in a confined space.

There were also the smaller battery powered ones called Bev’s. These had a pan that you stood in and hoped you didn’t fall out. Many did. These where eventually replaced with 1 and half ton Clayton’s which where safer and had a pan that surrounded the driver up to the waist. They also had a dead man’s handle that would cut the power if you let go of the control.

South Crofty Mine Underground 16

South Crofty Mine Underground 16.5 – A miner happily riding his loco along the drive. The water splashing from the wheels added a nice touch.

These locos were used on all working levels unlike its bigger cousin, the 5 ton Clayton. These were too big to be used on the upper levels due to the narrowness of the drives so were consequently used primarily on 380 fathoms and below.

South Crofty Mine

South Crofty Mine 16.6 – Another miner with a full load of mined rock heading for the ore pass.

Another safety function of the big Clayton was its dynamic breaking. This would enable you to stop much more easily and quickly than the smaller versions. These could travel up to 20 miles an hour. Plenty fast enough given the type of conditions they had to work in.

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South Crofty Mine 16.7 – A pair of miners off to their working bay on a Clayton Locomotive. Probably not the best way to transport explosives on top of a big electric motor.

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South Crofty Mine 16.8 – A miner lining up his full wagons at the ore pass on the 445 Fathom level. From here the mined rock would head for the primary crusher before being hauled to the surface.

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South Crofty Mine 16.9 – Each production level had its own ore pass, in this image the winch suspended from the roof is being used to tip the wagon.

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South Crofty Mine 16.10 – A second image of the same pair of miners.

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South Crofty Mine 16.11 – This is the 360 Fathom Cooks Station ore pass. The miner is attaching the hook to tip the wagon of ore down the chute.

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South Crofty Mine 16.12 – All the wagons emptied and the miner heads back towards the locomotive.

Cornish Mining

South Crofty Mine 16.13 – A pair of miners emptying their load of ore at the ore pass and grizzley on the 445 Fathom level.

Cornish Mining

South Crofty Mine 16.14 – The miner closest to the camera is controlling the tipping of the wagon. In this example a 2 1/2 ton Granby.

Cornish Mining

South Crofty Mine 16.15 – Job complete and the miners prepare to get on their way.

Cornish Mining

South Crofty Mine 16.16 – On reaching the ore pass the wagons were emptied by using the hook attached to an electric hoist. The miner closest to the camera is Peter Barnes, in the background Dave Buzza. Not everything always goes to plan, on this occasion the wagon has separated from its wheels whilst being tipped.

Cornish Mining

South Crofty Mine 16.17 – Peter Barnes and another miner work out the best way to get the wagon back on track.

Cornish Mining

South Crofty Mine 16.18 – The final image on this page is riding the loco. This image was taken whilst I hung on for dear life on the back of a wagon. We were on the way to the ore pass where the rock would be emptied.

I like this image. This one was particularly difficult to get right in the darkroom, having spent over an hour on the one print I think it was worth it. The sides are not out of focus but as the wagon was moving quickly. Therefore, the movement can be seen clearly in the walls of the passage.

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