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REPORT

Magpie: Northcliffe Sough and Newburgh Level

2-4 June 2017 - Nigel Dibben - SK 237 738

A very successful weekend was spent at Magpie Mine, thanks to the hospitality of the Peak District Mines Historical Society and the hard work by Anton in preparation.

Some of the nearly 20 who came met on the Friday night for a session in the Cock and Pullet that continued into the early hours back at the hut.

On Saturday, Olly led us over to Calver and into Northcliffe Sough. The group of seven (Olly, Sophie, Pete, Nigel, Anton, Rob and Matt) went first into Dog Rake, the rake furthest from the entrance where we looked north and south at the workings on the adit level. Continuations could be seen in the narrow vein above the level. Then we went back to Cat or Catsall Rake, nearer the entrance. We followed this down the incline, at some times in the tramway and at other times in the vein which runs parallel. Here there is some extensive timbering to be seen. At one point, Rob dropped down in the vein and then got back onto the incline at a lower level. A hole in the floor blocks the incline so we abseiled down into a sub-level that re-joins it after a while. From there, it was not far to the bottom where water is found. It doesn’t look as if the incline continues. The lowest point was measured as about 40 metres below the entrance. On the way out, we had a closer look at the sub-level which leads into more vein workings. Anton explained that the vein takes a Z shape and is called a Z-cline (is that right Anton?). Back at adit level, we looked north on Cat Rake before heading to the surface and sunlight.

We then went further down the valley to a shaft on Calver Sough where water had in the past been pumped up to a British Fluoride works. Then it was time to look for Red Rake. After a search, Olly found the entrance about 100 metres from where we started! A very smelly wet section containing some sort of animal remains nearly put us off but in the end four of us went in. The first section of what is called the Newburgh Level is nicely arched in stone as it passes through the shale. Beyond that, there is a recently dug crawling section that leads into the open rake. We climbed up and down a few times using fixed handlines until we reached a distinct drop where we turned back. Olly later told us that we had missed the best bit by doing so! On the way in and out, great care was taken passing some sections where massive roof blocks had fallen. However, in the end, we decided that where the blocks had fallen was probably safer than where the floor appears to be intact as who knows what you’re walking on.

After that trip, it was back to the hut by mid-afternoon via Bakewell for a bit of food shopping. In the evening, we had a BBQ where we joined by others. Yvonne introduced to a contortion game which she inevitably won while Nigel brought out the DCC song book which was used for a raucous sing-song (choir practices to be arranged later).
On Sunday, some people (notably the Chairman) had sore heads and others just wanted to make the best of the good weather (for Derbyshire). So a small group (excluding the Chairman) headed back to Monyash and walked from there down Lathkill Dale looking at mines and caves on the way. At Mandale Mine we turned back and apart from a very light shower, we got back safe and dry to Monyash and the Bull’s Head.

Altogether a good weekend with a mixture of social and mining activity.
 

Below 1: It really was that good weather   Below 2: Silly games in the evening   Below 3: James - say no more   Below 4: In the Bull's Head after the walk on Sunday   

Picture 1: It really was that good weather Picture 2: Silly games in the evening Picture 3: James - say no more Picture 4: In the Bull's Head after the walk on Sunday

Northcliffe Sough and mine 

Below 1: Stempling in the vein   Below 2: Crossing a flooded section in the adit   Below 3: The 20th century cross-cut from Cat Rake to Dog Rake   Below 4: Another view down the vein to the south   

Picture 1: Stempling in the vein Picture 2: Crossing a flooded section in the adit Picture 3: The 20th century cross-cut from Cat Rake to Dog Rake Picture 4: Another view down the vein to the south

Northcliffe Sough and Calver Sough 

Below 1: Showing the very shallow hade of part of the vein   Below 2: At the bottom of the incline   Below 3: Coming out looking at calcite formations in the adit   Below 4: The pumping station on the Calver Sough   

Picture 1: Showing the very shallow hade of part of the vein Picture 2: At the bottom of the incline Picture 3: Coming out looking at calcite formations in the adit Picture 4: The pumping station on the Calver Sough

Newburgh Level and Red Rake 

Below 1: Entrance to the level   Below 2: The stone arched section   Below 3: In the Rake showing some of the 'loose' boulders   Below 4: Looking up the Rake   

Picture 1: Entrance to the level Picture 2: The stone arched section Picture 3: In the Rake showing some of the 'loose' boulders Picture 4: Looking up the Rake

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