Success to Bolde Myners
Tony Jarrett (J. Rat)
From:- Belfry Bulletin No 357, January 1978
Following the initial report (B.B. No.356) the Company are
pleased announce the success of their project. To continue the
Tale from where we left off in September .....
At around 35ft. the initially loose ends of the rift begun to
stabilise into a relatively solid vein of assorted iron ores and
calcite. Various odd bits of steel ladder were begged, borrowed
or stolen and welded together into one 30ft. length - creating
some problems when transported to the site on the roof of Mr
N's car (lucky there were no coppers about!) and installed in
Banging continued, courtesy of Alan Thomas, and in early
November, a rift was opened at the western side of the shaft.
Though only 6" wide it appeared to be reasonably deep and
draughting strongly with varying weather conditions. The vein
material at the side of the rift was chemically removed to make
On the 9th November, the dry clad diggers were to have mixed
feelings when it was found that a small stream had begun to pour
down the entrance shaft and disappear into the rift. Dubious
surface work by persons unknown enlarged this trickle to a much
more impressive size - much to the disgust of Steve, Pru and
Jerry who were instantly 'drowned-ratted'!
Co-incidentally, McAnus had joined the team.
Spurred on by the instant swallowing of the stream and its
distant rumbling, the rift was dug for some 10ft., with Tom
Temple and George Dixon(?) representing the R.N. contingent.
During this time, much of the unstable back wall was faced with
stone and cement 'ginging' as permanent shoring with an
aesthetic touch. The late November/early December period saw a
lull in excavations - partly due to the need for manpower on the
Tyning' s Reopening Dig (YOU ARE ALL WELCOME TO ASSIST) and
it was not until 11th December that further serious work
commenced. Bob X and Stuart Lindsey spent a day at the site, and
the latter opened a small hole in the rift into which he poked
his head - promptly receiving a nice piece of roof on the back of
his neck. He hesitated!
The following day he returned, accompanied by Jane Kirby (MCG)
and J. Rat. An hours clearing of boulders revealed a view into a
sizable chamber. Stuart studied the roof, walls, floor and his
beer-gut and hesitated again pausing only to poke in J. Rat with
a forked vermin stick, in order to clear the loose stuff from the
far side. A low crawl over sandy stream debris and underneath
extremely loose vein material was passed into a roomy chamber.
The roof of the crawl was gently tickled with a crowbar producing
fine sound effects when some 1/2 ton of it fell in. After
clearing this, the others came through and exploration continued.
The chamber proved to be some 15ft. long by 4 - 8ft high and
-12ft. at its widest. It is formed in a junction of the vein with
various cross rifts and has a most unhealthy appearance of loose
cherty blocks liberally stained with red ochre. There are several
small, choked inlets. A small hole in the floor was gardened and
Stu. descended a relatively solid rift some 12ft deep to a
blockage of large boulders. Photographs were duly taken and the
diggers exited for a celebratory pint. Snab and Anita joined them
the folloing morning for a quiet trip and 'ginging'
session and in the evening Backbone, Clare, Ross and Andy Sparrow
arrived on a "Wednesday Night Sortie". More cementing
was undertaken while the Bath contingent played with the boulders
at the bottom of the 12ft. rift. Feverish cries from the depths
soon revealed the success of their effort and all work stopped as
Andy led the way through a nasty, loose eyehole into a 10ft water
worn pot leading to a 15ft tight crawl. Still no limestone!
Length: c. 100ft; depth: c.65ft.