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LOOKING OVER THE EDGE OF THE PIT SHAFT - THE CAGE ROPE DISAPEARS OUT OF SIGHT

high pit wilma :- This was a very difficult shot to get,for obvious reasons! The flaring at the bottom ,was caused by the flashgun reflecting.Note the cage guides and water pipes at the left side.

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Bates Pit by High Pit Wilma

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Logan_5 :- Such a brilliant pic, for me. How deep was the shaft, Wilma?

high pit wilma :- Hi,Logan! The shaft was about 1000 feet deep,to the sump.
I recently spoke to an old fella,a total stranger,in Aldi supermarket,at Blyth,[cos i'm sociable,like that],and we got on great talking about pitwork,as old miners do....he told me was a shaft sinker,and he was in the team that sunk this shaft...! I think it was about 1954 when this one was put down,relativeley new, by comparison to older pits.
He told me about an explosion,in the shaft,that killed two of he's marra's,and it would have been him as well,but he had changed his shift,so was able to tell the tale.
Some of the shots hadn't gone off,and when the men went back down,they went off in front of them,killing them,sadly.
This often happened in the old days,even in the early sixties,at Choppington high pit,where i worked,a shotfirer shot himself,accidentally,of course,when the shots went off in front of him,on a longwall handfilling face.Didn't kill him,but badly injured him.
Just one of the dangers of coal mining.

mattr68w :- Cool picture. Seems everyone who works or plays underground always loves looking down the shaft!

high pit wilma :- Thanks Matt! When i was a young kid about 10 yrs old,a few of our "playgrounds" were old shafts..our area was riddled with pits!Some of the shafts weren't covered over or filled in,and a kid fell from the old buildings while trying to reach a pidgeon's nest,and went straight down the old shaft.[ fatally injured as you would expect]. That was in the mid-fifties,and my friends and i used to climb over the low flimsy wall that was built around the shaft and throw stones and logs etc down the shaft and listen to the booming noises they made as they bounced off the shaft walls.[we literally stood a foot from the edge of the shaft wall with no fear whatsoever....!] Another old shaft had railway lines concreted in over the shaft,about a foot apart,and we used to shimmy over to the middle of the shaft,sitting astride one of these rails,again,to throw stones down.....savage amusement.....!!!!!! For all i started down the mines at 15 years old,straight from my school desk,i have had terrible nightmares that i am falling down the shaft...but never hit the bottom of the shaft ....and always wake up in a cold sweat.[even though i am now a retired old git!]

high pit wilma :- .........er............!............no playstations them days!!!!![ we kids had to make our own entertainment......down the woods.....playing over at the opencast mine among all the dragline excavators and bulldozers etc,on a weekend when no work was going on...........no security guards!!!!......no health and safety....no do-gooders telling us we might hurt ourselves if we fell from a tree...we bloody well did hurt ourselves,and learn't NOT to fall from trees!!!]....oh!.....and no claims solicitors getting fat from us either!!!

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