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Rampgill Mine, Rampgill Vein and Boundary Stope Tour - (10/08/08)

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Taking the time to show other people around a mine has a few benefits. You get to impart some of your own knowledge, see people enjoying themselves and that you get to see some of the finer details, even when you think you have seen it all before. We made our way along the drive in, stopping to look at the Brewery Shaft, and then passing the Scaleburn and Whiskey Bottle junctions. Then it was a nicely paced beeline for the final fall on Rampgill Vein, stopping to look at the key features along the way. With other people with you who are looking at things for the first time things do take on a slower pace, but this allows you to see many of the finer details that may have been missed in mad dashes to get somewhere. I was amazed by things that I picked up on, having missed before - mineralsation, artefacts such at det tins, bits of fuse squirreled away in cracks and so on.

On our way back from the final fall I noticed a hopper with a bit of rail ladder in it, just pass the boundary gate. Pete climbed up to check suitability and the rest of us followed. At the top you had to pass a bit of dodgey looking arching with timbers scattered and acting as loose supports, but past this the stope opened out into an interesting area - perfect for lunch. Right in the middle of where we had lunch Pete walking in front of me and stood on some wood, that sounded very hollow, quickly he got off it. First thoughts, covered ore chute? Bit of an odd place really if it was as it was smack bang in the middle of a junction in the stope, anyway a bit of digging revealed just two planes of wood on the floor, but the sound they made! After lunch we had a look around in the stope and found two more routes up, but these where not taken and we stayed on the first level. Looking around we found some interesting artefacts, tallow candles on walls, old matches, newspapers and explosive wrappers. Climbing back down we made our way out to day light.