South Crofty Mine Underground 2: One of my great regrets was not taking enough photographs on my many underground visits. On the average trip I would perhaps take 2 or 3 films. Out of these I would be lucky to get 5 or 6 printable images due to the nature of the photography and the harsh conditions. Also, changing a film in the camera was so very difficult. Also, keeping the mud and grit out of the cameras was almost impossible.
If I had known how little time the mine had left, I would have done ten times that amount of films. This page look at “Places and Things”, usually taken in a hurry as I went around the mine.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.1 – Nick Le Boutillier walking down a heavily braced drive. This went through a huge fault in the mine known as the Great Crosscourse. Because this was a such an unstable area the drive was lined with rings and reinforcement.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.2 – Nick Le Boutillier approaching a ventilation door. These were in place to help control the air flow around the workings, they had to be kept closed so the air would circulate. Without careful planning and monitoring there would have been a build up of Radon and fumes from the blasting.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.3 – Heading back to the shaft station down a lit passage. Only drives leading to shaft stations were usually lit, in other areas the only light came from the cap lamps. Once again Nick Le Boutillier leads the way.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.4 – It was often mentioned by Nick that he would have liked some more pictures of his front. Sadly because time was always short, he moved so quick and I had to try to keep up with him.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.5 – Nick Le Boutillier walking past a Cousin Jack Ore Chute along the 260 Fathom level Wet Lode of East Pool Mine. Along the wall were the old services pipes for water and compressed air. Click here to see the “Old Workings Galleries”.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.6 – Another view of the abandoned drive, this time I used a second flashgun.
All around the workings were little side passages. Many of these contained old wagons and equipment. It was amazing how much was just lying around. All good photographic subjects.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.7 – Dumped 2 ton Hudson Wagons in a side passage in an abandoned section of the mine.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.8 – A pair of old tipper wagons tucked away in out of sight.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.9 – Dumped wagons seemed to be everywhere. All these were good photo opportunities, this is a 2 1/2 ton Granby.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.10 – So many of these wagon were scattered around the workings.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.11 – A wagon abandoned on the points in a disused section of the mine.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.12 – An unusual pillar arrangement and an old wagon in one of the abandoned drives. Possibly No:2 Lode 340 Fathom Level.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.13 – Another unusual pillar, the roof here was very unstable. Rock bolts had been put up but there was a good chance the whole lot was ready to come down.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.14 – The rails led nowhere, also two more wagons lay rusting away in a forgotten passage.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.15 – A closeup of the tipper wagon at the end. It has a large hole ripped in one side, I can’t help but wonder what happened to it.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.16 – The shapes and textures show up well in black and white, more rusting wagons.
We were always on the move, after all time was money and I was a guest. I tried to grab as many images as possible as I was taken round. So many areas looked abandoned but were in fact still being used.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.17 – An ore pass on one of the main haulage drives. The grizzly on the left covering the chute can be clearly seen. This was in place to stop large boulders from entering and damaging the crusher.
South Crofty Mine Underground: 2.18 – The end of a drive. This led to a sublevel, due to the ladder at the end.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.19 – Mine Geologist John Usoro descending a ladder from a sublevel.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.20 – Another image of John Usoro, this time we are approaching a Bazooka Diamond Drilling rig.
The remaining images on this page are of some of the equipment that I saw underground. Also there are pictures of some of the many workshops and loco charging bays that were scattered around.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.21 – A closeup of a LM56 Rocker Shovel at a draw point along a lode drive. This was known fondly as an “Over the Shoulder Boulder Thrower”. These were the workhorses of the mine.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.22 – A very old and tired Rocker Shovel. These were powered by compressed air, the shovel was designed to rise up over the chassis to dump rock in a wagon behind.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.23 – Parked in front of a big hole, another Rocker Shovel in one of the working sub levels of the mine. I always wondered how they managed to get them down the ladders, much have been an interesting Jigsaw puzzle.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.24 – An Atlas Copco Cavo trackless Rocker Shovel in a working sub-level. These models did not need to be mounted on rails.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.25 – A loco charging bay, the stands for the batteries are lined up against the far wall.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.26 – Another loco charging bay, this was probably on one of the main working levels.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.27 – A pair of Clayton Underground Locomotives hooked up in one of the many charging bays in the mine.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.28 – A second closer look at the pair of locomotives.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.29 – One of the fitter bays underground at the mine. All the machinery was maintained by the mine in an effort to save money. On the right is a Rocker Shovel in for maintenance.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.30 – A closeup of the Rocker Shovel, these were designed to take punishment but they often broke down.
Many parts of the mine had fallen into disrepair, the main working levels were the deeper ones 360 fathom and downwards. There were pockets of Tin ore remaining in the upper levels but these were considered uneconomic to mine.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.31 – A disused workshop at one of the shaft stations. Like a lot of places it looked a bit thrown together due to lack of money.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.32 – This is the entrance to an abandoned workshop and fitters bay. Situated on 380 Fathom Level Robinson’s Section.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.33 – Looking into the fitters workshop, this was the bottom level of Robinson’s Shaft. These workshops were abandoned when the shaft was closed and Roskear took over as the secondary egress.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.34 – A close image of the workbench along the wall.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.35 – Empty and forgotten Oil Barrels.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.36 – A final image of the workshop. Slightly better lit because I had set up a slave flash to add to the lighting.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.37 – One of the many underground passages that made up the workings. Compressed air and water pipes disappear into the darkness.
Cornish Mine Images Underground: 2.38 – The final image on this page was taken with the camera on a tripod and me walking down the passage in the dark. This was a huge long passage on the 260 fathom level following Pryce’s Lode.
South Crofty Mine Underground 3