group 1 – Nigel, Peter, Tom F, James, Sean–group 2- Larry, Robin, Dave W (DCC) Helen (DCC)
Popular trip with 7 Masson and 2 DCC members taking part.
Access arranged with Mr Wardman of Greenhills Farm (ed- and the Mining Museum). Meeting point was Artists Corner, with only 2 vehicles to be taken to the top.
The Shaft was easy to find and rig with a backup rope 20m to a nearby tree. Two groups, a 5 and a 4, prepared to descend the 81m shaft. The opportunity to go first was presented and proved beneficial for one of the more nervous team members not to be waiting ‘too long’. Great example of hand-picked shaft work and the walls a tad damp.
After about 80m descent, and a really hot descender, it leads to the Sough Level, this is a side passage to the Youd’s Level. A pit with various bits of iron work drops slightly further, one team managed the rope carefully so it didn’t tangle, while another team…
One end of the hand-picked passage leads south west to a flooded winze, the other joins Youd’s Level, the main sough. This was followed upstream to the first of the ‘budding’ dams, and the start of the pipe and workings. Progress was made upstream to a larger chamber with a cairn … From here the streamway appeared blocked with a hidden climbing shaft into workings and a way on up over rubble, which again appeared blocked.
Having made several Gentlewoman’s to Youd’s through trips in the past, and having been up to Jant’s Mine via Youd’s before … all seemed quite puzzling. A good excuse to return for another look.
Return was made by the patience testing Youd’s Level, some hands and knees, stooping walk and shoulders too wide. Exit near the toilets and a family who were really glad they hadn’t picnicked right on the shaft lid!