Geevor Tin Mine Gallery 8: This page has images of many underground locos that were salvaged from the workings after closure.
When I saw them they were packed into one of the large sheds on the site. The second part of the page is looking at the mine winders that served Victory Shaft. Once again Bob Orchard has supplied much of the information.
Two BEV loco’s. Note the fold-up tray for the driver. Geevor were quite progressive with new technology, some BEV loco’s being fitted with “Thyristor” controllers during the mid 60’s.
In fact my first job at the mine was filing up loco controller contacts & rebuilding controllers together with topping up batteries with distilled water and putting them on charge. In those days the batteries were brought to surface for charging. The “battery house” was sited where the electricians workshop and parts store is now.
The remaining images on this page are of the two surviving Winders at Geevor. These machines fascinate me, so sad that now they stand idle.
Victory shaft winder, a suspended post brake double drum winder. Built by the British Thomas Houston company. It was installed during 1954 by Bill Casley (with assistance of others) the chief engineer at the time being Bennett Wall.
In the front is one of two Lilly controllers. The driver will say that he drives the winder, but in reality the Lilly controls / monitors what the winder driver is doing. If events move outside the parameters set by the Lilly, it will firstly alarm. Then shut down the winder in a safe mode.
The basement below the winder is the most interesting. This houses the electrical control cubical, braking systems mechanical & the electrical dynamic braking. Wednesday evenings used to be maintenance night for the winder during the early 1970’s.
Clifford Tresize, Roy Angove & myself (Bob Orchard) for mechanical, Don Lockwood also Brian Stephens for electrical.
The main shaft runs in oil ring lubricated white metal bearings note the oil level indicators. This drives a double helical pinion that drives the large main gear in the large casing behind the makers name plate. The main gear is in two halves they are bolted together as well as having a “shrink-ring” (applied hot) to grip a machined seating on either side of the main gear Centre boss. The main gear is also “keyed” to the shaft with two pairs of “Tangential” keys. Proper engineering.
Just as a matter of interest, there was a spare main double helical gear for the victory winder that had stood up against the rear wall of the winder house right up until the late 1980’s. When after the Markham disaster all mine winders required up-grading. On examination it was found that over the years gravity had caused the gear wheel to distort so it was no longer round and could not be used as a spare
During the day men and equipment used the shaft. Then overnight the cages were changed for the skips to bring the mined ore out the ground. This was due to cheaper electricity during the night hours.
Note the “score-board” the little white board with holes drilled in it, with a match stick in one of the holes. This indicates the number of skips hoisted. For accurate positioning of the cage relative to the tracks on the various underground shaft stations and at surface, the drivers had chalk marks on the rim of the drums that lined up with a pointer.
The panel with lots of indicator lights keeps count of the bell signals also giving the driver a visual indication of what sequence of bell signals have been rung. Some cage men could ring the bells so fast that the electro mechanical relays that counted the bell rings could not keep up. But even though the winder driver would know what had been rung.
This steam winder came second hand from Great Wheal Vor, & was reputed to wind faster than the new electric winder. I have heard rumours that on occasion it was not unknown for the boiler safety valve to be weighted down.
This winder was used for installing pipes & cables in the services compartment of Victory shaft as well as for changing wire ropes on the modern day electric winder. This was a statutory requirement every three years, irrespective of how much or little they have been used.
Compressed air was piped directly into the cylinders to set the winder in motion. This was a slide valve engine exhausting straight to atmosphere. It was unusual in that it had an extended piston rod that passed through the both front & back cylinder covers. This held the piston central within the cylinder & prevents excess wear on the bottom of the cylinder due to the weight of the piston.