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So what can I tell you about me, I love caving and being underground, I am also the wrong side of 50 and I like beer, history and being in old or forgotten places, I am also a member of the Wirral Caving Group and the UCET caving club, I like to take photographs and video footage to document some of the places that I visit although my Nikon camera gear is as old as the hills now.

I like motorbikes and engines of all varieties but especially steam engines although anything mechanical will float my boat.


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Making A Stuart D10 steam engine from a castings kit

So I bought a casting kit for the Stuart D10 vertical steam engine to make during the summer evenings and expecting

it to take all summer long but that was before COVID-19 arrived on the scene and the nation was locked down, so the

project took all of a few weeks spending a few hours every day milling or on the lathe, it was a blessing really to have

a reason to bail into my shed.


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Below the arrow is a whole mish mash of links to videos, pictures and reports of other places that

I have visited but have not put in my blog for one reason

or another but generally just just click on the pictures or highlighted text.

This way

Below are the last 4 years Santa dash grotto trips, we love to dress as santa!

click on the pictures to see the videos

2017 Foel Grochan

2016 Ystrad Einion

2015 Mole Fferna

2014 Cwmorthin

Learn how to put up and take down a pop up tent in 1 minute flat.

Check out Scott aka Landsker of undergroundwales. with his first book about Welsh mines. The Lad is a Gem so click the picture to visit his great website.

so the kit arrived as a set of casts and I bought the book that gives all of the measurements in metric, only to

discover the the book gives the wrong conversion for the conrod length, you only discover this after trying to

assemble the pistons and cylinders and find that the pistons pop out of the bores by about 4.5mm

Rolling with the L.L.S better known as the "Leeds LOL Society" just a bit of video on board das boot.

We went in search of

the American

B52 superfortress

Crash site in Glossop that happened in 1948

but got beaten by the snow and boggy

ground of the Moors, click the picture

for some video

of snowyness or here

for the fascinating

story of the Event

I did not video any of the milling or machining but I did film the engine in its component state see below.

At the end of the day it was a nice little project that was not too challenging and will make a lovely paper weight

or door stop once I mount it on the nice piece of mahogany that was gifted to me by a mate.

The Image Hound, hounding out that image in the pump house in wallasey docks click the image for more pictures.

Check out Mike the maniacs homemade

H.I.D lamp in action,

click the picture

In a closed brewery we discovered mummified cats that had climbed

into the deep slate vats and couldnt get out,

very collectible apparently.

Mr Xan Asmodi all dredded up at

Denbigh hospital morgue

Making a model Horizontal Mill engine from scratch

I decided to try and make a mill engine model in my shed using some plans that I had snaffled from the internet,

well precision was never my big one but I gave it a go anyway and really enjoyed putting this model together even

though it took me about 3 months on and off it was worth the effort.

The video below shows it running on compressed air and some of the construction. The next engine that I make is going to

be about 4 times the size of this and not so fidly to make, however as a die hard sheddy I cannot rule anything out.


bungee jumping in a Goldmine, 250 ft of holy bejeezus would

I do it.. erm NO! but check this fantastic video.

Ojay's Blog spot "below and beyond" one of the most comprehensive blogs ever!

my daughter put it on the sideboard next to a model of the HMS Victory that Grandad made when he was 91 years old

and I kind of like it there but then wished that I had made it prettier or more ornate and worthy of display.

will it stay there? probably not because when my Missus next gets the Mr Sheen out it will most likely be back in my shed :)

Simon (SAt) underground nutter

in a Goldmine in

Wales, click for


One of the slate dressing beds at Dinorwic quarry, this place is so beautiful just click the image to see.

River Jordan Culvert Liverpool

Georgie had been talking about going for a bimble, so we arranged to go see what the score was, We went back with Lee, Captain of inflatable dingies and wellies with two right feet, but I can only say that despite being a laugh, these lads know their local history and it is always a pleasure to catch up with them because it is an education to learn about the little bits of local knowledge that makes all the difference.

Despite getting into the culvert it became apparent that 4 years worth of silt had made the entry difficult and the indian summer had not helped with so much foliage and remaining nettles,bushes and overgrowth, but despite all of this we tried to press on regardless so here is what happened.

some history

The River Jordan Culvert is situated in the Otterspool area of Liverpool and from Sefton Park the stream is culverted through Otterspool Park under the woodland before joining the Mersey.

There is a collapse in the middle of the tunnel meaning its now split into two sections but the watercourse eventually drops into the Mepas system.

What..Vodka can

make you lose your wallet,money and blockbuster card..NO WAY!

Keep up!...Hendre flourospar mine, click the image for more pictures

or here for video

Window Shopping in

a closed chemical plant in Wirral, click the picture for


or Click here for video

Chernobyl 2012, a

cool trip with lots of cool peeps click here to see the group report on 28

dayslater or click the image for my video.

We were in the Ukraine shooting the mighty Draganov and AK47 click to see the video

Dangerous Dave and Landsker et moi in an

un-named mine

because it is to see

the video.

Dinas mawddy, yet another slate mine that I visited and

was fun and

involved glowsticks, click below for the video

Penarth slate mine, achingly beautiful

and accompanied

by Xan Asmodi we

had a great time, check the video by clicking the image to see just how

gorgeous it was.

Got shit all over your camera bag...heres how to wash it in the machine and its as good as new, I have done it 4 times now and its just fine so dont listen to all the bollox about it not being machine washable.

A visit to a 1940's

coal mine...cramped and wet but fascinating, it was organised by

Morissey from NWEX forums. check the video

Mahoosive ship propellers at Stone Manganese Bronze..these are all now gone for scrap.

Not a big mine, Nickergrove Mine is an old lead mine that can be found on the daleside of Stoney Middleton. An interesting, if muddy, trip, it intersects some natural cave passage and formerly connected with parts of Streaks Pot and Merlin's Mine. The connection to these (via a sump in either direction!) is currently blocked by a collapse.

Because of its easy access and its connections with natural passage, it has been the subject of various digs over the years. The main level crosses several open shafts and after a descent takes you into a lower level emerging in a lower passage that leads to a couple of scrambles before emerging at the bottom of a shaft. A climb upwards and you emerge at what can only be described as a trapdoor and you are free.

Nato storage mine in Paris France and catas 2nd visit

In a tiny French town on the outskirts of Paris is a disused stone mine that was allegedly used to store old Nato Military vehicles, we were going to visit the Catacombs and so thought that we would have a shuftie, although it was sealed up we had heard that there was a way in via an unconventional route...there was and we were happy.

There was all manor of workshops in this place and it was clearly once a hive of activity and maintenance, who on earth decided that this would be good to hide in a small French was a good idea and we had a great time!

The main Entrance, it needed to be BIG to Get Andy in :)

one of the huge passageways with a personell carrier abandoned looked like a massive TONKA TOY

yup, this place was MASSIVE and we walked around for ages until we came across some old vehicles, I didnt get to see them all because I was looking too hard but they were dotted around all over the place.

we were well chuffed and also found old workshops, cars of all kinds and supply storage units, it really was worth the effort of a detour.

to the bogs, obviously an American influence

real life tonka toys all left to play on, Lawrence, me, Matt and captain Andy at the rear who is clearly the driver :)

Dont know what this one was but its tax and MOT were out.

The george doors revealed a heavy duty first aid set up inside

It was pretty surreal wandering around and stumbling upon such big Beasties

we headed out and ended up parking the Limo in a carpark so we could cook tea, there is nothing quite like carpark cuisine, but we also partook in some liquid refreshment before heading into Paris and the Catacombs amongst other places.

some video of the 2016 France road trip including the NATO Mine

Cwmystwyth lead mine in Mid Wales

A big thankyou to Mr Roy Fellows for all of his hard work at this lovely mine, making it accessible for mine explorers.

Cwmystwyth Mines probably constitute the most important mining site in central Wales, and just like many other sites have something of a chequered history making fortunes for some while bankrupting others.

The first recorded history starts in 1184, however stone hammer and mauls discovered on Copa Hill to the east have been attributed to the Romans.

The early mining was controlled by the Abbot of Strata Florida Abbey but it wasnt until the Elizabethan formation of the Society of Mines Royal that the first intensive mining started. Under the society there were several lease holders including the ubiquitous Sir Hugh Myddleton and Thomas Bushell.

In 1693 the Mines Royal Act ended the monopoly of the society and laid the way open to the Company of mine Adventurers under Mackworth and Waller.

In 1759 the mines passed into the hands of Chauncey Townsend who engaged the services of Thomas Bonsall from Derdyshire to manage the mines. Bonsall stayed on after the death of Townsend in 1770 working the mines for Townsends son who inherited the lease, later in 1785 he took on the lease himself. Bonsall did quite well out of the job regularly earning £2000 a year out of Cwmystwyth, Castell, and Rhiwrugos mines which he also owned.

A lot of the well known works are attributable to Bonsall, and towards the end of the 18th century his earnings had reached £2000 to £3000 a year from Kingside and Pughes mines alone. He was also responsible for Bonsalls level and Level Fawr.

Bonsall died in 1807 and the lease passed to his son, and then was taken over by the Alderson Brothers from Swaledale and James Raw who has local descendants.

Unfortunately the price of lead plunged in the 1830s and the Aldersons were declared bankrupt. The lease was then taken by Lewis Pugh of Aberystwyth who had the luck of the devil as metal prices started to soar immediately and he made a fortune from stocks of ore in hand when he took over the lease.

In 1848 John Taylor of Norwich took over the mines, another for his collection. The mine was being worked on the cost book system and in 1885 after a period of poor output the mines passed to a new company ˜The Cwmystwyth Company. Almost immediately the mine was split between two concerns, The New Cwmystwyth Company and The Kingside Mining Company who worked the mines until 1892 and 1893 respectively.

In 1900 the mines were taken over by The Cwmystwyth Mining Company Ltd under Henry Gammon who poured a fortune into development work and investment n new plant and machinery; however the new company struggled badly to make it pay. In 1905 the company was reformed as Kingside Zinc Blende Ltd but still struggled to turn a profit. By 1909 Gammon had blown all his money in the place but managed to attract Brunner Mond to invest in his existing company.

In 1912 the mine was again split into two sections, with part being taken over by The May Mining Company formed by one of the old mine captains John Howell Evans in partnership with a Charles Stocks. This company is notable in one of the few metal mining concerns that used Kell Drills developed by Moses Kellow of the Kelldrill Works at Croesor Slate Mine near Blaenau Ffestiniog.

Kellow was another Cornishman in Wales being born at Delabole in 1862. Besides being the owner of the Kelldrill Company he was manager of the quarry. These drills worked on hydraulic pressure using water, and are arguably the most powerful rock drills ever produced. High pressure water acted on a Pelton turbine, later a reaction turbine, which drove the shaft of the drill by elliptic gears. The drill developed 55h.p. and was twice as efficient as a modern rock drill.

History was to repeat itself however and these two companies went to the wall in 1915 and 1916 respectively.

In 1916 two gentlemen named Thomas and Stocks managed to form a new company Cwm Ystwyth Mines Ltd which struggled on until 1923 when the mines passed into the hands of the British Metal Corporation.

In 1925 the mines were being worked by a partnership of a Craig and Herbert and finally The Gallois Lead and Zinc Mines Ltd until 1950 when the mines were finally abandoned.

Eventually the ownership of the land and mines passed into the hands of the Crown Estate who in 2012 spent a great deal on money consolidating the remaining buildings, and then in 2013 whole site was acquired by Cambrian Mines Trust the present owners.

below is some video of Cwmystwyth that I took.

Tranmere WWII Air Raid shelter in Birkenhead Wirral

At long last I finally got to see this fantastic place after getting a much welcome heads up from a local explorer, I was there like a shot and was not disapointed but the visit was bitter sweet in so far that my long suffering sigma 10-20 finally met its demise here (update, I have taped it together and it still works but without the zoom)

Some history from this amazing place

Tranmere contains one of the largest and most expensive WWII air raid shelters in the country. It consists of a series of tunnels stretching to a total length of 6500ft and was designed to house up to 6000 people (many of them workers at the strategically important Cammell Laird Shipyard) - however by the time they were completed, they were no longer needed as the threat of invasion has diminished. The tunnels were later used by the Ministry of food for storage, and were considered as a nuclear fallout shelter during the cold war era. The tunnels were finally sealed off in 1989 amid growing H&S concerns. The tunnels still exist however and building work in 2008 uncovered a shaft - allowing temporary exploration of them, before being sealed off again.

Below is the shaft entrance that was unearthed in the late 2008 after a house buiding project

the same shaft today from beneath, probably under somebodys house now

Inside the Shelter, the roof is shockingly shonkey in parts

A WWII shit pot

The safe had been opened with a gas axe at some point

WWII mens and ladies toilet blocks

Bread was stale

The paving on the floor is pristine in parts, just like the galvanised corrugated roof...fresh as a daisy

My sigma 10-20 lost one of its nine lives in this shelter

Update, it lives but doesnt look so great and is stuck on 10mm focal length but I dont mind as I only use it on 10mm anyway.....happy :)

Below is a video of these wonderful shelters but Youtube removed the music due to Led Zeppelines sound track being used...doh

Crisp Delph sandstone mine in Lancashire UK

A Lovely little sandstone mine in Lancashire that has some of the most photogenic concrete supports that look like massive Jenga type structures, this place was in operation from about 1860 when it even had its own tramway and closed in the early part of the 19th Century.

What a place!

It is quite something when you realise that these supports are holding up the entire hillside outside

The roof in here was absolutely shocking in parts

Ratgoed Slatemine in Wales

Another great day underground with Lenston, the lad is a total gem and a great photographer too!

The name Ratgoed derives from “Yr Allt Goed”, which means the steep, wooded hillside. Ratgoed mine was also

sometimes known as “Alltgoed”. The Ratgoed slate workings lie at the head of what was originally called Cwm

Ceiswyr but became known as Cwm Ratgoed because of the quarry. It lies north of Aberllefenni and northwest of

Corris in,what is now, the Dyfi Forest.

the old incline is easy to miss if you are not paying attention

from the top all becomes clear

The slate that was quarried at Ratgoed was the Narrow Vein. This runs from south of Tywyn, on the coast, to Dinas Mawddwy about 18 miles inland and follows the line of the Bala Fault. The Narrow Vein was worked along its length

at places such as Bryneglwys near Abergynolwyn; Gaewern & Braich Goch at Corris, Foel Grochan at Aberllefenni

and Minllyn at Dinas Mawddwy. The slate at Ratgoed dips at 70° to the southeast, the same as Foel Grochan.

Ratgoed was a relatively small working, it was worked from around 1840 until its closure in 1946

we played off ground tick lol, this place was absolutely gorgeous and such a great place to visit

underground was also lovely

the stone changed greatly all over the mine and different levels

so photogenic

beautiful walk up and down

More images from Ratgoed on my flickre

My trip report from Ratgoed on 28 Days later

Santa dash 2017 foel Grochan

As usual Santa Dashed and this year it was at Foel Grochan, this place was totally EPIC on a grande scale

big thanks to Lenston, DangleAngle, Lavino, Ollie, Simon, Mr Bollock brains and Oort.

El Gruppo

Totally epic

Some video of the Dash, check out the Elf :)

Wild camping and visiting a WWII bombstore in Wales

So we went to North Wales to visit a World War two bomb store that now lays empty but we decided to camp overnight and have a campfire BBQ and beer, with some great company we camped at a beautiful spot that we have used before with a commanding view and far enough out of the way so we could make a bit of noise.

we just had to make sure that we didnt sleepwalk given the drop near the tents

couldnt be more comfy

motley Crew ..Stu, Matt and Andy Pop

We made the Bomb store that has long since seen any bombs in storage but there was some brilliant old graffiti that was done by the workers who were there during the war years, there was also some nice signage to see.

The Bomb store

some good WWII graff, done between stacking bombs and ammo

and some decent old signage altered by scrotes

around the store some other bits of good graff

We saw dogs driving a van......No we didnt :)

I took some video of the campsite and Bomb store, camping and drinking as it should be.

RYHD ALYN Lead mine in North Wales

It is a gorgeous little mine with some lovely features and more than its fair share of ladders, about 500 feet

of ladders straight down, which is easy enough going down but a bit of a bastard on the way back up. UCET or

united cavers exploration team have done much good work here and continue to dig, bolt, shore up and keep this place

and its lower connections open for their members and caving community in general.

The guage is probably one of the narrowest that i have ever seen.

A cart or tub

500ft going down

and down

and still down

Too many ladders but it is all fun and there is lots of other good stuff to see.

below is Some video that I shot in 2017 in Rhyd Alyn as an update for a Nitecore EF1 torch that i had been using

for some time underground, probably a bit boring if you dont like torches but the location is undeniably lovely.

Nitecore sent me this explosion proof torch to try out three years ago in 2015 and seriously I have not used anything

since as a hand torch, and can honestly say that if I lost it or it packed in then I would replace it without a doubt.

Rhiwbach slate mine wales

I have been here a fair bit so this is made up of different visits.

Rhiwbach Slate Quarry, along with Blaen y Cwm, differed from all other quarries in the slate industry in one important aspect. The exit incline from the quarry for the finished product led up and not down. The classic balanced incline, by which the outward loaded slate wagons brought up the empty wagons by gravity, was not possible.

The answer for the quarry was to build a substantial engine house to power the incline from the bottom, with the haulage wire passing around a sheave at the top. This engine house also powered the quarry machinery and the underground inclines. The remains of the engine house are a notable feature of the quarry with the tall chimney still an imposing sight.

The quarry was started at the beginning of the 19th century on a site to the South of the later main workings. This area developed into a deep pit working which has now flooded. This part of the quarry was worked out by the 1880's and work transferred to the present site. The pit working here, started in the 1860's, was later developed extensively underground to encompass eight levels. Drainage of the underground workings was through a tunnel which began 350 feet below the surface and emerged onto the side of Cwm Penmachno. The entrance to this drainage tunnel may still be seen today. When the quarry first opened, the slate was taken down on horseback into Cwm Penmachno and eventually to the quay at Trefriw on the Conwy. Later the finished product was taken out in the opposite direction, around the shoulder of Manod Mawr and down to the Afon Dwyryd below Maentwrog.

The Rhiwbach Tramway opened in 1863 and revolutionised the transport arrangements for the quarry. A wharf was opened in Porthmadog and from then on all slate went out along the tramway and down the Ffestiniog Railway. In 1908 the quarry started to use the exchange sidings at Minffordd to transfer their product to the national rail network.

This quarry was one of the most remote in the industry and it was frequently cut off for long periods in bad weather. Because of this, the living quarters almost reached village status. The quite extensive remains of which includes family accommodation, a shop and a school house as well as the barracks for the single men.

it has a bit of everything in this mine

Although the quarry occupies a large area, the annual output rarely exceeded 6000 tons and it was closed down several times for quite long periods. Electricity was introduced to the site in 1934 which somewhat relieved the hardships of life at this remote location. The last workers at the quarry still barracked on site and this is believed to be the last quarry where this practice took place. The quarry finally closed in 1951 and all the machinery was removed.

Below are a few videos that I have taken at Rhiwbach slatemine

The Paris Catacombs 1st visit

This was easily the highlight of my year, it was all in aid of Bigjobs's birthday and Hils had planned two surprise underground parties for him under the streets of Gay Paris, I travelled to France in a Limosine that used to belong to the mayor of conway, it had been modified by Bigjobs and now proudly

displayed an 8 inch dildo on the bonnet that was connected to the wash wiper bottle so the results of his handy work literally stopped the traffic

in Paris and caused a proper stir wherever we went. Thanks to Bigjobs contacts in France and Belgium We didnt do the tourist attraction

catacombs but rather the cataphile experience, I felt very lucky to have been invited along on this trip and had such a great is a link to some info about the catacombs HERE

At the Ferry

below is some video of the catas birthday trip, check out the Limo.

A visit to a closed Goldmine in Wales

I have visited here on numerous occasions and have got to say that it is one of my favourite locactions ever! it has lovely features and History and as you walk around you get a real sense of years past. The big secret of this mine is that unless you are aware of the entrance and exits you are going to get wet and that is a dead cert.

Picture below, Scott of negotiating a shonkey ladder

On our first visit we wandered around for hours trying to find this mine and almost gave up but our determination paid off and we had a fantastic time and since discovering a better way to get to the mine it has become a regular spot to explore.

Some of the drops here were 70 feet plus and some of the ladders were the shonkiest and wettest that I have climbed before but well worth the effort, we found some fools gold in this mine which added to the mystery of mooching about.

tools of the trade

Below are some videos from this goldmine, from separate visits, I have been here lots

there was actually gold in the pyrite in the image above, one of the videos here shows how I got it out.

Manod WWII Art Repsitory, Wales

I felt truly blessed to see this magnificent place

Now named Cwt y bugail, In the summer of 1940, the greater intensity of the bombings across Britain meant that the National Gallery Collection had to find a more secure home. The structures at Bangor, Aberystwyth, Caernarvon and Penrhyn were major landmarks, not far from the flight path of the increasing number of German bombers on their way to attack the Liverpool docks. In addition, some of these buildings were about to be requisitioned for military use, so they could no longer accommodate the paintings. The time had come to bury them 'in caves and cellars'.

Martin Davies and Ian Rawlins, the Gallery's scientific adviser, set about finding a safer home for the collection. In view of the widespread bombing raids, an underground location was considered the best option. Wales had an abundance of slate quarries and mines from which to choose. After much searching, the ideal location was found at Manod quarry, not far from Blaenau Ffestiniog, and so they started to move all of the art treasures from London to Wales.

some old photos of the treasures being moved into Manod in the specially designed carriages

Today the quarry is still in production but named CWT-Y-Bugail

topping off has now exposed the once closed off chambers that held the art treasures so we knew that it would be a good chance to pop and have a little bimble

back then, A lorry laden with art works at the entrance

And today the gate and passageway are alarmed but the brick repository structures still remain inside

It was relatively close to the railway - a great advantage for the transport of the paintings - but also remote, at 1,700ft above sea level, and the final stretch was accessible only via four miles of winding, mountainous road. And it was huge, with large underground chambers where the paintings were to be stored (one was named 'the Cathedral', so vast were its proportions).

King Kong type security bars adorn one of the air shafts

The quarry was found in mid-September 1940, and the considerable work needed to make it suitable for the collection began almost immediately. About 5,000 tons of rock had to be removed by blasting in order to make the entrance tunnel large enough for the biggest paintings.

To create controlled conditions and protect the collection from the slate dust, freestanding brick buildings were erected in the underground chambers of the quarry. Narrow-gauge railway tracks were laid to facilitate the transport of works from one location to another within the quarry, and special wagons, to protect the works from variations of temperature and humidity during their transport, were built to the gallery's designs by the London, Midland and Scottish Railway Company in Derby.

The paintings were hung on walls that were errected inside the mine, safe from the bombs

these brick structures were built to house all of the treasures, they still remain but are slowly falling down due to roof collapses

from the blasting in the quarry outside.

all of the art was hung on these walls in perfectly controlled conditions

one of the brick built structures, now a bit worse for wear

Below is one of the humidity machines recording data that is still inside Manod

as it was then 70 odd years ago recording humidity in Manod

As the war progressed on other fronts, the threat from bombs lessened and selected paintings were taken to London periodically to feature in small exhibitions. Kenneth Clark later observed that he always felt guilty about taking pictures back to London since they seemed so happy in Wales.

The roof in here is shocking and the blasting outside and natural ageing of strata is slowly destroying the units

I wouldnt like to be standing under this little lot when it let go.

WWII art Repository video that I took of the buildings

HMS Plymouth a derelict Frigate with great history Wirral


This poor old girl is sitting in a dock in Birkenhead Merseyside awaiting Deconstruction, I have made numerous visits to see this warship and shot a few videos on board her. Can you believe that despite her great heritage she is being sold for scrap. The Argentine surrender of the falklands was signed onboard the Plymouth in her Wardroom and although she is owned by Peel holdings there is a campaign to save her and move her back to Plymouth.

This Fantastic ship was supposed to have been Scrapped by a Turkish Scrap merchant late in 2012 but it seems that Peel are playing their cards close to thier chest despite being caught out by the save the plymouth trust telling porkies after they checked with all of the Turkish scapyards and the Coastguard who confimed that no permit to tow had even been asked for....the mystery deepens.

some history stolen from wikipedia latest on this ship is that it is due for deconsruction. Construction Plymouth was built at Devonport Dockyard, in her namesake city of Plymouth, and was launched by Viscountess Astor on 20 July 1959. Active service During her lifetime, Plymouth served in a variety of locations, including the Far East and Australia. She saw action in the Cod Wars between the United Kingdom and Iceland and also the Falklands War in 1982. Plymouth was one of the first Royal Navy ships to arrive in the South Atlantic following the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands and South Georgia. Plymouth alongside HMS Antrim, HMS Brilliant and HMS Endurance took part in the recapturing of South Georgia on 28 April during Operation Paraquet. Plymouth landed Royal Marines from her Westland Wasp helicopters and bombarded Argentine troop positions on the island. Later her Wasp helicopter took part in an attack on the ARA Santa Fe, which was badly damaged and later captured by Royal Marines. The ship was damaged but survived. Plymouth rejoined the task force and supported troops on the ground by bombarding Argentine troop positions with her 4.5-inch (114 mm) guns. On June 8, Plymouth was attacked by Dagger fighter bombers of FAA Grupo 6. Able seaman Phil Orr fired her Sea Cat missile system at them, claiming the destruction of two aircraft. Later it was determined that no Dagger was lost in action that day.[1] Plymouth was hit by four bombs and several cannon shells. One Bomb hit the flight deck, detonating a depth charge and starting a fire, one went straight through her funnel and two more destroyed her Limbo anti-submarine mortar. All of the bombs failed to explode. Five men were injured in the attack and repairs were effected by 1st Class MEM's John Fearon, Gary Borthwick, David Rance and LMEM's Robin Cunningham and Ray Potts. She returned to Rosyth Dockyard after the war for full repair and refit The following year, Plymouth served as the West Indies Guardship which included several days anchored off Belize. On the 11th March 1984 Plymouth was involved in a collision with the German Frigate FGS Braunschweig and in 1986 she suffered a boiler room fire, killing two sailors. Walking around this ship was one of the best explores that I have ever done, it was pretty much like the crew had just got up and walked away, yes it was a museum in the past and it was absolutely pristine below decks despite her appearance above decks. In order to get a license to move her the Environment agency had to inspect her and discovered that the Mortars that were left onboard were actually LIVE and just needed primers ( see image below). I was a bit sad to discover that since my first to Plymouth her Seacat missiles had been taken, yes they were training missiles but they still had Nato numbers etc (see mage below)

morters all racked up, the primers were all sat in a bucket on the floor

Bunk ups


Armada way, the main corridor on HMS Plymouth

Engine room

The Naafi

The Ward room in which the Argentines surrendered

below are a few videos from HMS Plymouth that I took

Gaewern Quarry in Mid Wales

Gaewern Slate Mine, near Corris, mid-west Wales, which had closed in 1970. These now classic cars form a pile of twisted, rusting metal, wires, number plates and chassis that extends from the base to near the top of the mine shaft and sits in a deep pool of water.

we knew about the old cars so set off with a dinghy and a camera to see what all the fuss was about.

we spotted plenty of old mini vans, Vivas, Austins and the odd Jag

Gotta say that the cars were not the best bit here, there was so much more to see

Just look at this

But we did bring a dinghy and a camera/torch to get some footage..two chinese crees and an aee magicam

Again, the cars really are not the stars here...just look at this

If you can stand the techno beat and want to see the video it is here...skip to 3 minutes to avoid the bollocks and the beat :)

Henfwlch Mixed Mine Nantymoch

I visited this with Landsker and Dave, we camped over in a lovely secluded spot by a derelict outward bounds centre and took in a few mines that weekend. Henfwlch mixed mine is a small mine near the shore of Nantymoch worked off and on until the turn of the century.

The origins of this mine are unknown but very likely first worked by the Company of Adventurers in the 18th century. Later, it was often worked along with the Havan mine but the two never actually connected.

we wild camped in a gorgeous secluded spot

Tallow candles not bats :)

I believe that this is a very VERY old wheel barrow

The mine was worked for lead, zinc, and copper. A big thankyou to Mr Roy Fellows for all of his hard work in opening this lovely little mine up.

some video

Garreg Boeth Lead mine in Wales

A Lovely little Lead mine in North Wales that dates back to the 1800's, it has some of the best formations that I have seen. It is a bit of a trip for the thinner caver and is also pretty muddy, actually it is very muddy and the mud is of the shit to a blanket variety and a bugger to get off your gear afterwards, it is also pretty wet in parts but the sights make it all worth while.

below.. Dave crawling carefully

Underwater volcanoes

We had a lovely time in this old mine and still made it out in time to go to the pub, all in all a fantastic place.

Below is some video from this mine Garreg Boeth that I filmed on my Samsung S5

Limestone Mine in the Midlands

This fantastic place has over 34km of underground passages to explore with some lovely stuff to see like mammoth sized doors and fans and huge HUGE chambers, I visited here with three other lads one of whom had modified a lamp to use a special H.I.D bulb, see the sidebar for a bit of video of just how bright his homebrewed lamp was

There are talks regarding mining starting again here and certainly walking around it you could imagine that it is entirely pheasible.

Check out the homemade lamp in action on our visit

Some video below

Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire during demolition

I really wanted to see Kellingley after it closed down but sadly left it way too long because by the time I did get around to visiting it it was almost

gone, I really wanted to see the lamp room and the bath house etc but only made it as far as the coal preparation plant before being sniffed out

a dog unit, a disappointing end to my visit but at least I did get to see some of the place. thanks to Acid Reflux for the company and info.

A little History

The colliery began production in April 1965 and Employed about 2,000 men. Many of the miners relocated from Scotland to work at the colliery, having lost their jobs at Scottish pits that closed in the 1960s. In March 2004, the pit received £7.2 million from the Coal Investment Aid Scheme.Kellingley’s two main shafts were each almost 870 yards (800 m) deep. One was used to move men and

materials, and the second to move coal from the Beeston seam, at a rate of up to 900 tonnes an hour. Kellingley primarily supplied

local power stations. It also produced some housecoal-quality coal: larger-sized coals of higher calorific value.

The Beeston seam was accessed after a £55 million investment programme undertaken by UK Coal. It was expected to extend the

life of the colliery until at least 2015. Coal reserves accessible in the Silkstone seam were anticipated to extend its life to 2019.

Miners took part in the 1984 miner’s strike, although there was a higher number opposed to the strike at Kellingley than in most other

pits in Yorkshire. A miner from Kellingley, Joe Green, was killed after being hit by a lorry on 15 June 1984. From January 1985 onwards,

some miners returned to work, and the strike formally ended on 3 March 1985.

From March to June 2004, workers took sporadic strike action. Kellingley Colliery closed on 18 December 2015

below the Coal Preparation and wash plant is almost gone

a feed for a now non existant conveyor

all that remains

in the wash plant accomodation the production calendar stopped being marked on Dec 20 2016 despite closing on the 15th

this was a washer/grader of some kind

sadly our visit was cut short after we ran into this very decent security guard who was also very knowlegable about Kellingley, his dog

however was an absolute bastard, he was a rejected Police dog and the lad had only had him for 3 weeks, he showed us his arm were he had been bitten by his own dog....handsome dog though.

Parc Leadmine in Wales

Parc Mine was the last working mine in the Gwydyr Forest and its extensive connections with older mines make it an important resource from the point of view of both history and industrial archaeology. The mine started life as part of Gwydyr Park Consols in 1883 and passed through various hands over the years. While both lead and zinc concentrates were sold, this generally didn’t cover working costs of the mines so that many of these enterprises ran at a loss.

picture below shows me ol mate Lenny Lenston checking out a stope

Eventually the long suffering mine shareholders forced liquidation of the companies and the mine setts were sold on to restart the cycle. After the Second World War prospects improved and more modern equipment and better separation plant increased yields and the mine ran at a profit. Sadly the yields of ore at depth proved to be poor and by the late 50’s a combination of low content and poor metal prices meant the enterprise was finished. By that time the principal lode had been driven to connect with the older Llanrwst and Cyffty mines, but neither offered any substantial reserves of ore.

During the early 60’s the mine was used for experiments with new ore separation techniques and a considerable amount of material was processed. While the experiment showed the new techniques where worthwhile it also demonstrated that the overall yields from the feedstock were commercially unviable and this marked the end of mining in the Gwydyr Forest. In 1968 the mine was used as the location of an experiment to try and measure the deformation of the coastal region due to the tides. An area on level 2 was prepared and sensitive pendulums and ancillary equipment was installed. The results were not conclusive as problems associated with the deformation of the rock cavity housing the equipment marred the measurements. The

equipment was removed from the mine and the portals sealed.

some of the false floors here were shocking and the drops were a bit on the high side

this place was really about the stopes

I was gifted a Nitecore search and rescue torch and asked to try it out

Well I had nothing to search or rescue, So I decided that it would be a good idea to dunk it in some freezing cold water in a slate mine for best

part of an hour to try it out for video lighting, truth be told, I would not have done it if I had paid for it and luckily it survived, but it was really an

impressive bit of kit with over 1km check the video.

The Forth Railway Bridge visit in Bonnie Scotland

Simon Had been here before and told me that I should visit with him but it was over 500 miles from me however the temptation was too great and I set off to meet him, he drove most of the way and I was crapping it as usual because I hate heights but the fact that simon had brought along some climbing gear made me feel a bit better so I could attach myself to the structure when climbing onto the platform because there was a bit of a drop if you fall off. Anyway thankyou to simon for the safety gear. Just to add that my highlight of 2013 so far was peeing on seagulls as they circled below, Turns out that I am a

pretty good shot.

Simon always tries to trick me into doing stuff that isnt very high, honestly its a piece of piss, you'll be okay!

The View was worth it, breathtaking actually and it was fun pissing on the seagulls soaring below, I am a good shot.

The views were amazing

Just got to make it over to the scaffold platform now

I could hardly watch as Simon did press ups on a bar with a 300ft odd drop, he is not normal..obviously,,crazy fooooo

click for some dark grainy video of the Forth railway Bridge, it is actually really dark and crap but we dare not start flashing lights up there

Maenofferen Slate mine and quarry

I pretty much walked around this place dragging my jaw around in total awe of the workshops and all of the fantastic stuff to see, needles to say I have made numerous trips here and been dumbstruck everytime.

History Maenofferen was first worked for slate by men from the nearby Diphwys quarry shortly after 1800. By 1848 slate was being shipped via the Ffestiniog Railway, but traffic on the railway ceased in 1850. In 1857 traffic resumed briefly and apart from a gap in 1865, a steady flow of slate was dispatched via the railway. The initial quarry on the site was known as the David Jones quarry which was the highest and most easterly of what

became the extensive Maenofferen complex. In 1861 the Maenofferen Slate Quarry Co. Ltd. was incorporated, producing around 400 tons of slate

that year. The company leased a wharf at Porthmadog in 1862 and shipped 181 tons of finished slate over the Ffestiniog Railway the following

year. During the nineteenth century the quarry flourished and expanded, extending its workings underground and further downhill towards Blaenau Ffestiniog. By 1897 it employed 429 people with almost half of those working underground. The Ffestiniog Railway remained the quarry's major

transport outlet for its products, but there was no direct connection from it to the Ffestiniog's terminus at Duffws. Instead slate was sent via the

Rhiwbach Tramway which ran through the quarry. This incurred extra shipping costs that rival quarries did not have to bear. In 1908 the company

leased wharf space at Minffordd, installing turntables and siding to allow finished slates to be transshipped to the standard gauge railway there.

In 1920 the company solved its high shipping costs by building a new incline connecting its mill to the Votty & Bowydd quarry and reaching

agreement to ship its products via that company's incline connection to the Ffestiniog Railway at Duffws. In 1928 Maeofferen purchased the

Rhiwbach quarry, continuing to work it and use its associated Tramway until 1953. When the Ffestiniog Railway ceased operation in 1946,

Maeofferen leased a short length of the railway's tracks between Duffws station and the interchange with the LMS railway, west of Blaenau

Ffestiniog. Slate trains continued

below ..almost human, an electric truck

to run over this section until 1962, Maenofferen then becoming the last slate quarry to use any part of the Ffestiniog Railway's route. From 1962

slate was shipped from the quarry by road, although the internal quarry tramways including stretches of the Rhiwbach tramway continued in

use until at least the 1980s. The quarry was purchased by the nearby Llechwedd quarry in 1975 together with Bowydd, which also incorporated

the old Votty workings: these are owned by the Maenofferen Company.

Underground production at Maenofferen ceased during November 1999 and with it the end of large-scale underground working for slate in north

Wales. Production of slate recommenced on the combined Maenofferen site, consisting of "untopping" underground workings to recover slate from

the supporting pillars of the chambers. Material recovered from the quarry tips will also be recovered for crushing and subsequent use.

click here to see my video maenofferen videos click here to see more of my images from Maenofferen

I swapped the the front element on a sigma 10-20mm

I had managed to scratch the front glass on my sigma 10-20mm so badly that it was giving flare in my images, so I bought a scrapper off Ebay for £105

YES..£105, anyway I couldnt find any videos or info about stripping a 10-20 down so I made a short video for reference and in the hope that it may

just help someone out who need a bit of info. Anyway it all went spiffingly and I am now using my transformed lens to take the same old crap pictures.

Lucy Tongue level (Greenside lead mine) Cumbria

A BRILIANT weekend with Stu, Andy Pop, Kev and smithy.

Greenside Mine (sometimes referred to as Greenside Lead Mine) was a successful lead mine in the Lake District of England. Between 1825 and 1961 the mine produced 156,000 long tons (159,000 tonnes) of lead and 1,600,000 ounces (45 tonnes) of silver, from around 2 million tons of ore. During the 1940s it was the largest producer of lead ore in the UK. Unusually for a 19th-century metalliferous mine in Britain there are very full records of its activities, dating back to 1825.

we bunked the night before visiting Lucy Tongue and it was a laugh..proper laugh and I cant remember when I was last so drunk.

but next morning we turned out and Greenside mine was gorgeous but formidable

The mine probably opened during the second half of the 1700s but had closed by 1819. In 1825 the Greenside Mining Company was formed and reopened the mine. They made good profits until 1880, when the price of lead fell. Many other lead mines closed at that time, but the company reduced its costs and continued to work Greenside until 1935. Electricity was introduced to the mine in the 1890s, and it became the first metalliferous mine in Britain to use electric winding engines and an electric locomotive. In 1936 the Basinghall Mining Syndicate Ltd. acquired the mine and turned it into a high volume lead producer.

Check this out, these CATMHS lads really put the effort in.

The mine closed in 1962 after lead reserves had been exhausted. Just before it closed the mine was used by the Atomic weapons research establishment (AWRE) to conduct an experiment in detecting seismic signals from underground explosions. Fifteen years after the mine closed mine explorers began to visit the upper levels. They cleared the entrances and several roof falls, and today they are able to pass through the mine using an old escape route.

All the ore produced by the mine came from the Greenside Vein, a mineral vein which filled a geological fault running in a north-south direction through the east ridge of Greenside, a mountain in the Helyellyn range. Mining activities traced this fault for a length of 3,900 feet (1,200 m) and to a depth of 2,900 feet (880 m). Four areas of the vein, known as Ore shoots, contained galeena, an ore of lead which also contained small amounts of silver. At first the ore was mined simply by driving adits into the mountain-side.

Phew...amazing work!

To access ore at greater depths, two longer levels were driven from lower down but further away, and then a series of shafts were sunk within the mine. The lowest point in the mine was roughly 100 m below sea level, where the surrounding andesite rock rested upon underlying shales in which the fault had not been mineralised.

Below is some video that I took

Glossop B29 Crash site code name OVEREXPOSED

On November 3rd 1948 the American superfortress "overexposed" Crashed at Higher Shelf Stones whilst on a twenty five minute flight from Scampton in Lincolnshire to Burtonwood USAF base near Warrington. After filing a flight plan, and being advised of broken cloud at 2,000 to 4,000 feet, the pilot took off at around 10.15 am. Around twenty minutes in to the flight the pilot nosed the aircraft down through the overcast sky to establish position. The Hillside that she crashed into rises over 2,000 feet, it is unlikely that any of the crew saw the ground before they hit it. Apart from the crew of thirteen the aircraft was carrying sacks of mail homeward bound to the USA, and a payroll of £7,000 for the staff at Burtonwood.

Having failed to find this once already and getting snowbound I was thrilled to finally make it up to the crash site High up on a hillside near Bleaklow.

The crash site is quite some walk off the Pennine way and accessed by crossing boggy moorland but its remote position has enabled the site to remain still looking like a crash site after all these years.

The Mach Loop in Wales

Located in Wales. the Mach Loop is formed by valleys which run between Dolgellau (pronounced 'Dol-geth-lie') in the north, Tal-y-Llyn in the west, Machylleth (pronounced 'Mah-hunth-leth') in the south and Dinas Mawddwy in the East. The Mach Loop is regularly used by the RAF, USAF and occassionally other foreign airforces for low level training. This is one of the best places in the UK to get images of Low flying aircraft and the pilots know this and always turn side on in order to get thier photo taken.

I have visited the LOOP on three occasions and it can be hit and miss but when you hear the cry "incoming" you know its going to be exciting

below are Shots that I took at the Mach Loop

I was well pleased with these shots and plan a return

You can machine wash your Lowepro MiniTrekker AW with no ill effects

I Sometimes see discussion threads on Photography forums in which people say that you cannot machine wash your Lowpro camera rucksack and that you will damage it by chucking it in the washing machine, well I have done it so many times over the years ( at least 10 times) and I have had NO problems at all with it.

All I do is to remove the separators from inside and leave the bag open, select a cool wash and add small amount of powder with a SHORT SLOW spin and leave it to dry on a flat surface, and Bob is definately your uncle :) it works for me but do it at your own risk.