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10s MOTHERGATE - WINDY DRILLER STILL STUCK IN WHINSTONE DYKE - 36ft THICK 26-2-86

high pit wilma :- The AFC is on the left. ..it was normal to be working in this level of water.The flyght pump clogged up with silt continuously..NOTE the white plastic tubing on the left..OUR AIR SUPPLY CAME THROUGH THIS! THAT'S WHY MINERS SUFFERED WITH LUNG DISEASES..they used to lie in heaps on the pit surface,until needed ,then they came down the pit in filthy mine cars which carried coal and other materials,then when they were connected to the auxiliary fan,all the mouldy filth and odours were pumped into the workings,for us to breathe...but it was better than the reek from the shots when they were fired...!

BigLoada :- Is this the dyke you were driving through before you would have hit serious coal measures?

high pit wilma :- Yes,this Whinstone dyke was 36 feet thick,the thickest we'd ever encountered,in all our combined experience at different pits.
Beyond the dyke lies 60 million tons of virgin,[completely untouched,unworked,] 5 feet high clean coal.No other pits had even been near it,so this would have kept bates pit going for a hundred years,given the improvement in technology,to develop higher speed loco's underground,to take the men in and out quicker.
BUT MAGGIE THOUGHT DIFFERENTLY.....!!

high pit wilma :- Never mind,when the people who we depend upon for our oil,decide to hold us to ransom,or when their oil wells dry up,we will ,at least,be still sitting on our own goldmine...!! [ maybe wor Maggie had that intention in mind,when she shut all the pits...drain THEIR resources....
...then WE will have the monopoly...!!]
...Naa....she couldn't think that clivvor, could she....?

hoggy03 :- Hi Bill, what is the thing on the bottom of the pic, the thing with a little red hose on it, is it a pump?

high pit wilma :-THAT,....Hoggy,is what we called a "Dalek" pump,....for obvious reasons..!
We had them at the High pit,at Choppington,as far back as the mid- 1960's,never changed,
best emergency pump oot!
Submersible,high output,built like a tank.....if a roadway was flooded for some reason or other,maybe a sudden inrush of water,you'd throw one these into the deepest part you could reach,set her away,and you could see the level dropping by the minute.
Was also used where "nuisance water" used to make, in swalleys,fed by small runners,cos the Dalek would just "snore" away ,with very little water to keep it from burning out.
These two roads,10's Maingate,[above],and the Tailgate,[where i am seen in the Eimco],
were always full of water,on a 12-0midnight shift,on Sunday night[Monday shift].
We'd set the Daleks away,and the Crawley stageloaders,[armoured conveyor belts],and within half an hour,the level would come down to the point of equilibrium,i.e.,where the amount of water pumped out was about equal to that which was coming into the workings through the roof and floor breaks,plus what came off the windy driller...[and THAT was quite a lot..!
That's the red hose,[output]that you can see,it's ordinary canvas-lined with p.v.c. fire-hose.

oildrum1 :- Fantastic set of pics. Certainly bring back memories of my time underground, all those 'wonderful' conditions to endure. Oh what fun, but would you do it again given the chance!

high pit wilma :- On your own mate, I discovered green pastures with birds singing in the spring sunshine.........!!
Thanks for your kind comments Roy!

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Bates Pit by High Pit Wilma

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