Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1

Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1: I first saw the Geevor Tin Mine during 1992. The pumps had been turned off for about a year also the scrapmen had moved in to strip the buildings of anything of value. Thankfully the community persuaded the local council to buy the site and preserve it. I was so lucky being allowed to roam the site before the museum fully opened to take many photographs. This was during 1993/4, my thanks go to Tony Brooks who was involved at the time.

The information on these and the images to follow have been supplied by My Bob Orchard. He was the Chief Engineer and became Mine Manager on closure. Much of his time after the mine closed was spent campaigning to save the site and also keep vandals and souvenir hunters at bay.

Geevor Tin Mine is now a museum dedicated to the history of the mine and Cornish Hard Rock Mining. It is certainly  worth a visit, a link to their website is below.

Geevor Mine Website

The images on this first page cover Victory Shaft and the area around it.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.1 – The impressive headframe of Victory Shaft, vertical to 460m deep this is the centre piece of the site. Sinking here commenced during 1919. The design and layout of Victory shaft is a miniature copy of the Allen’s shaft of Botallack Mine.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.2 – The steel headframe was installed in 1954. This was built around the earlier timber structure so the mine could operate normally whilst the transition was happening. The building on right is the old electricians shop, which used to be sited on large bank where pic No 8 is taken. Known as the “Sea Grove hut” Its where I first started work at Geevor as a student. (Bob Orchard)
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.3 – The Thomson Houston electric winder for the shaft was installed during 1954. It is housed in the building to the right of the headframe. To right of camera is a log bay for the storage of logs for the saw mill.
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Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.4 – This picture makes me (Bob Orchard) feel sad. Left to right foreground: a device for changing wire rope on the Skip Shaft & Treweeks winders & spooling wire rope onto the old Victory shaft steam winder. We used this to control the tension on the rope when we changed the Victory shaft winder.
To do this one of the sheave wheels (lying on their side in foreground) was placed just inside of the shaft gates and the rope reeved off the wood drum. It went up to the top and over the sheaves of the Victory headframe onto the drum of the steam winder. Then the process set up again off the steam winder, under the temp sheave  up over the top of the headframe then down onto the electric British Thomas Houston winder.

It was always a big day. On the right is a solitary Stokes type YR sand pump. Just as a matter of interest, the reason that these sheave wheels are still at Geevor is because I buried them in the gravel pile at a point that I had coordinates for and could retrieve them at a latter date. Otherwise they would have been sold off as a “cash in the pocket” job by the scrapie’s men.

Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.5 – The symmetrical patterns to the buildings around the shaft make the photographs very pleasing to the eye.

The building on right is the old stables. This later to become the mine store until the store moved into the building that is now the shop. In those days the head storeman was Jim Vincent.
Building on left was a lean-to the carpenters shop & housed a machine for making wooden spacers for blasting underground. It produced a rough, round dowel rod about one inch Diameter. Also a source of broom hilts on the mine. The machine was made by Clifford Trezise.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.6 – A closer image of the buildings around the shaft.
The steps lead up to the “Square pool” the reservoir for the mill. Leaning up against wall is a “Wilfly” shaking table deck. Just as a matter of interest (so I have been informed) the scrap man were living on site in a mobile home. One evening a couple of local characters picked up the portable generator for the mobile home and threw it into the Square pool. Remains of which were found a few years ago when the pool was drained.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.7 – Blacksmith’s shop and sawdust storage hopper. Sawdust was blown with a fan from the saw mill, local farmers, butchers etc came to collect from here. The rest was burnt in custom made saw dust burning stoves in the mill.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.8 – Looking up at the headframe from the rear of the site, in the foreground is machinery that was removed from the mill.  Left to right…..New table plant, bottom fitting shop, new blacksmiths shop / fabrication shop. Also far right is the saw dust hopper (from the saw mill). In the foreground are Holman shaking table decks. Note how the scrapie’s have removed the blacksmith shop doors, just ripped off the track & thrown over the bank.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.9 – The gated entrance to the cages suspended over the shaft.

Cages sitting on “keps” (some call them “chairs”) on the change-over gantry. Note the “King Hooks” (Reliance Barker Davis detaching hooks) attaching the cages to the winding ropes (1 & 1/8″ Dia left hand Laings lay wire ropes). The detaching gear engaged with the detaching “ring” high up in the headframe in the event of an over-wind. A copper pin would shear, the hook wings open & latch onto the detaching ring while at the same time releasing the winding rope.
The detaching hooks were changed ever three months (the spare set fitted & the ones just taken out of service sent for crack testing & re-certification). Every six months six feet of wire rope would be cut off & sent for test. The end the the rope re-caped with molten white metal. Every three years the complete wire rope would be replaced with new. Eimco Muckers & loco’s were hoisted in the cages, while heavier and larger items were slung below the cage. The sloping canopy over each cage could fold back & a false floor fitted to the top of the cage for the shaft master (Eric Gale & his assistant Norman Barnecote) to ride on top of the cage to inspect the shaft, shaft setts & runners.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.10 – On one of my visits the cages had been removed from the shaft. The area behind where the ore chutes were located was being cleared in preparation for renovation. The next series of images show this area during the renovation works.

The structure here was known as the “Gantry”. It was designed by Bennett Wall the then chief engineer, when the new BTH winder was installed. During normal operation the cages ran through the gantry with two rock skips to the rear sitting on “keps”. When changing from cages to skips the cages (one compartment at a time) were lowered onto keps (stops), the gantry pushed forward to bring the skip over the open shaft. The winding rope removed from the skip & attached to the skip. The skip lifted slightly to enable the kep to be folded back into the runner. Then repeated for the other shaft compartment.
When the mine closed I had the cages both put onto the keps effectively blocking the shaft. At the time considered a temporary measure as there were possible rescue plans for the mine. However, as time went on it was apparent that this was not going to happen.
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.11 – Coarse Rock Bin with “Fines” bin to the left.
The series of round hole in the coarse rock bin were for a crow bar if there was a jam up of rock in the mouth of the chute. Under the fines bin was a very short variable speed feeder conveyor. This discharged the fines down a chute to provide a protective layer on the conveyor that ran to the “washing plant” .

This short feeder conveyor was particularly difficult to “track”. The bottom of the slot in the floor running left to right was quite deep, dark and wet. Also it housed the tail drum of the conveyor to the washing plant. We had to go down here to renew chute liners, tension and adjust the conveyor to the washing plant. It was known as “black hole chute” or “Annies room”

Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.12 – Another image of the Coarse Rock Bin.
The slot in the floor to the left sat under the crusher, it had a chute that fed the crushed rock down onto a conveyor belt that conveyed the ore to the “Wild” rotary washer. The other slot extending away from the camera picked up the “Fines” that did not require crushing. These were deposited onto the conveyor to the washer. This layer of fines was important, as it protected the conveyor belt surface from the larger pieces of crushed rock sliding down the chute from the jaw crusher.

The steel chute above is the bottom of the “Course rock bin”. Here  there was a variable speed vibrating tray feeder that fed the rock into the mouth of the jaw crusher. Just as a matter of interest, the Kueken crusher was the very first piece of equipment removed from the mine. So, I actually assisted Arthur Roby (the scrap man) to slide this heavy item off from it’s RSJ supports and got it to the door.

Then it was loaded into a tipper truck of some contractors from Ireland. It was not secured in any way and the truck set off for the ferry. Later I heard that the truck had gone around a roundabout too fast, the crusher slid sideways tipping the truck over on its side. Ho Ho!
Cornish MIne Images
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.13 – This building housed the primary jaw crusher (Biglow’s patent crusher) & later a Kueken jaw crusher. This crusher came from East Pool. A work crew headed by Jan Rowe went up to removed it and bring it back to Geevor.
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Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.14 – I so was lucky to see this work in progress, photographing areas like this was a privilege and very enjoyable. Looking across the top of Victory shaft where the cage / skip change-over gantry once stood. Also note top few rungs of the shaft ladderway.
Cornish MIne Images
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.15 – The “Round tank”. Water from 10 level SPP (Sigmund Pulsometer Pumps), 3rd level Harland Duo-Glide pump, Thomases tank supernatent or over flow water from the large round slimes settling tank at rear of the “Slimes plant” & finally return water from the Cliff pumps were all pumped to this round tank.
The Round tank gravity fed the more critical items of plant in the mill. To the left of the tank can be seen a rectangular steel box with a 4″ pipe coming out of it, these boxes were strainers. When there was surplus water being pumped to the round tank it overflowed to the “Square pool” on the opposite side of the road. The round tank also supplied water back down Victory shaft for the rock drills. There being pressure regulators at intervals down the shaft to prevent excessive pressure.
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Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.16 – The explosives store at the top of Victory Shaft.
Daily requirement of explosives were transferred from the mine explosives magazine to the transit store. Then the “cage man” would distribute to the various shaft stations for the mining crews to use.
Cornish MIne Images
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.17 – A discharge valve at the base of the headframe. The large valve was “teed” of the rising main from the 10 level pumps to the round tank (picture 15). Also used for testing the flow rate in gallons per minute delivered by the 10 level pumps to the round tank.
Cornish MIne Images
Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 1.18 – A final view of Victory Shaft taken from the access road, I like this image the cloud is very effective. Note the “Braithwait” tank over the top of building (center foreground). This tank fed water under constant head to a multi-spigot (R O Stokes) Hydrosizer in the new table plant.

Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 2  

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