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Maypole Retrieval, Smallcleugh Mine (18/09/10)

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The only reason I have bothered to write about this is to moan at Karli. I've not been underground for 3 months, and I have been looking forward to meeting up with everyone and having a good old interesting weekend with new things to do. Ha, no chance with Karli piping on about getting the scaffold poles out of Smallcleugh for a project he has in mind. I agreed, my fault. Unlike sensible people we stashed the poles in two places, meaning we had to go as far as the bottom of the incline to get them. An absence of any underground activities soon had me looking rather red and sweating a lot as we made our way along, it just shows what a great work out it is for the body, coming out of George Hetherington's crosscut soon highlighted aching sensations in various odd muscles.

We ended up leaving our gear and the first set of poles in Wheel Flats and then headed for the incline, it is nice not having anything to carry with you when you are steaming through a mine, so much more pleasant. As we started on the Second Sun Vein, first thing that I noticed was that the three normally flooded sumps were dry and most of the water in the level had also gone, has something moved or was the dry summer the cause? There was a report by somebody at Heritage Centre that there had been a bad collapse and deep water in Smallcleugh over a month ago, but no such sign on the main drags through, Karli had been to Barron's Sump about 3 weeks ago and that was all clear, still wondering what that was all about, and no one has reported finding this since? Maybe they meant Caplecleugh - that fits its normal description.

Finally we got the second set of poles and headed back to Wheel Flats to have lunch. It was probably the most civilized lunch yet in terms of seating. Across the deads we made a comfortable scaffold pole bench - got to make the most of things. Then back out, to meet up with Pete and to see some levels at Greenlaws.