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Middle Level, Greenlaws Mine (04/10/09).

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Having just been to see and photograph the work going on at the Firestone Level, the opportunity present to have a good look at the rest of the Greenlaws workings was too good to miss, so we headed down the valley stopping at the various areas of interest. Having had a good look around the Greenlaws Mill site, we eventually came upon the Middle Level, with its air compressor outside. On closer inspection, it is not just a straight forward compressor - it is actually made from a tractor and a motor bike with an air receiver strapped to it - good old British ingenuity. The Middle level adit at first did not look too promising as there was a depression a short distance from the adit, however Pete had a look in and informed us that as far as he could see it was a goer - only one thing for it.

Whilst entering the adit we had to tread carefully, as we did not want to the disturb the bloated dead rabbit, it already smelled bad enough, once past this we reach the fall that coincided with the depression, however it was no real obstacle. Past this we saw a piece of machinery that must have been from compressor. Looking up the level it looked clear, and we all smiled as it was nice to be somewhere new, without having to trek for hours underground. Spotting the level we could see something ahead, at first we thought it was an engine of sorts, but upon arriving to it, it turned out to be winch drum, along with a resident frog in one of its holes. Around the winch drum a number of artifacts could be seen, oil and grease cans, a grease gun and a number of spanners. Here the level spilt, straight on it terminated in what looked like a sealed off level, to the left the level went on, and we could see an air receiver. Pete went up the level to look and came back with the news that it was a decline, things were getting interesting, however we all started to think that it would be flooded. Making our way down there was no sign of water, the only things were the rails and the airpipe. About a third of the way down we came to a level driven horizontal from the decline, we passed this and carried on down. Shortly we reached the bottom and into a working - no flooded workings as expected, however looking at the floor, it would seem that this had not always been the case - tell tail signs of silt and water line marks.

At the bottom of the decline, the level beared left. Just past this there was a junction. The right fork after a short while reached a fall, however the interesting part was that there seemed to be a filled in shaft going down, with a broken airpipe in it, and you could hear water flowing down - did the water drain down here some how? Carrying on past the right junction, the level beared left again and we came to the end of the currently accessible workings. We had a good look around and then retraced our route up the decline to have a look at the level driven from it. Climbing up into it, the level was pretty much horizontal with an airpipe running alo ng it. It carried on for some 10m, were a fall was encountered. Returning back to the decline we made our way up, realising that it was very steep and back out to daylight. A short but very interesting trip.

It was good to see Carrock mine, and another trip at some point is needed to explore it further and to do the through trip via the stopes of course. The COMRU practice part was an eye opener, my participation was minimal, more concerned with handing out bits of gear and carrying it around, however what I saw going on and how the equipment was used was the really interesting part . The basic SRT kit along with a few other bits can be used for remarkable and effective rescue techinques. I can see that there is a lot to learn.