Clay Winder

Clay Winder: As I have mentioned the China Clay District is new to me, imagine my surprise when exploring I came across this building containing an abandoned Winder.

The sun was out on a typical Cornish summers day, and I was having fun wandering around with the cameras.

Clay Winder
Clay Winder 1 – This is the first view I had of the ruined building hidden in the trees.
Clay Winder
Clay Winder 2 – I am naturally nosy, so I thought I would have a closer look, it was a lovely day and because ruined buildings are always good for photography.
Clay Winder
Clay Winder 3 – But by now my interest was starting to grow, there was something in the building.
Clay Winder
Clay Winder 4 – By this time I was thinking wow, and all the cameras were out ready !
Clay Winder
Clay Winder 5 – A closer look trough the remains of the window showed a long abandoned clay winder.
The winder is a small twin drum electric winding engine. This would haul loaded skips of waste out of the pit to be dumped on ever growing tips. Each drum was individually geared so both could work simultaneously or independently. The emptied skips would run back into the pit under gravity.
Clay Winder
Cornish Mine Images 6 – The first view of the clay winder through the remains of the doorway. The twin drums and depth indicators are at the rear of the building.
Clay Winder
Cornish Mine Images 7 – My entry into the building, the winder was in wonderful condition and is the sort of thing a photographer dreams of finding. The circular dials, known as ‘miniatures’, would indicate the skip positions within the pit, one coming up and one going down.
Clay Winder
Cornish Mine Images 8 –  This image is looking at the top of the winder, the winding drums can be clearly seen with their braking arms still attached.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 9 – Looking back across the winder towards the entrance to the building. Sadly the roof is long gone but the timber trusses remain in place, supported by girders and old rail line, its amazing that this has survived in such a complete state.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 10 – A final closer image of the winder. This shows the drive motors and the drive shaft with the operating handles.
Cornish Mine Images
Cornish Mine Images 11 –  Finally, old Electrical switch gear and fuses on the wall.

Who knows what other historical gems are waiting in the Clay District, because in the coming years I hope to find more.

That is the end of the China Clay pages, for the time being I hope. It has taken me a considerable time in the darkroom but it was worth every second.
I hope the visitor has enjoyed these pages as much as I did putting them together.

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