Sheffield has been a little quiet recently and with actually having a job (how rare), finding the time to do “proper” trips has been a tad tricky.  This will no doubt change when everyone is back in a week or so- hurray.

So, during these quiet few weeks I’ve been finding some other ways to amuse myself- namely

having a look at some of the underground locations around Sheffield city.  This started quite a few months ago when Rosie, Ellie, Sam and I went on a recon trip down to see Megatron- the underground section of the River Sheaf that passes beneath the train staition and along past Ponds Forge.  Entering near the station, we never actually made it to the famed ‘Megatron’ as we arrived at an open air section where the water looked a bit deep, and we weren’t really prepared for getting wet.  We made a swift exit and headed back up to Crookes, stopping en route to have a look at the Charlton Tunnel connecting Ponderosa Park and Crookes Valley Park.  Not a very long tunnel, but fairly interesting none the less.  Unfortunately we didn’t have much in the way of cameras with us at the time so I vowed to return.

And return I did! A month or so ago Rob Eavis and Katie & Beth Dent joined me in a trip to re-visit Megatron.  This time we were a bit more prepared for getting wet- and also had some camera gear with us.  We entered in the same place, had a quick look upstream and then made our way down stream following the river.  The passage changes several times as you wander down it.

You get slightly boring concrete twin tunnels running along-side eachother and the more interesting triple-arched-brick-tunnels.  These really were special- 3 brick tunnels running in parallel, separated by brick arches.  Very different from your usual underground passages.

Arriving at the turn around point from last time we soon realised that the water was in fact not as deep as we thought and if you kept to the middle where the vegetation was then you could stay dry!  Whoops.  It was very slippery however..  though luckily none of us fell in.  Back under cover on the other side the passage continues much the same with the brick architecture, until out of nowhere they suddenly merge together to form one gigantic passage.. the Megatron.

[imagebrowser id=1]

As you can see, it’s quite something!  Maybe bigger than any other passage in the Peaks too.  So, we had a bit of a play and then headed back to dry land.  Much to the amusement of the commuters by the bus stop at the entry point..

A few weeks later I went to Giants with a guy from work to do the round trip.  It was fun as ever and we also had a look along Poached Egg Passage (I dont know what it is about that bit of cave, but I find it really eerie..) and I had a poke down the Chamber of Horrors (Oxlow connection).  The passage from the Giants end starts fairly snug but soon opens out (a bit..) to a wet crawl.  It wasn’t as wet as I thought it would be and I had vague hopes of the ducks being dry (well.. not dry, but low) and after a few minutes of scrotty crawling my hopes were somewhat shattered.  Still sumped.  Oh well.  I briefly considered giving it a go but then decieded that I really couldn’t be bothered and I’d come back another time.  It is on my list of things to do, probably mid october to november time if anyone is interested?

Then last week I was itching to get underground again so decided to return to Charlton Tunnel to get a photo.  I called Tweb and a few hours later we met up and headed in.  The climb down the entrance “chute” was interesting with a bag on my back (definitely not advised).  We had a run along the tunnels (only about 70m in length really) and then had a play with the cameras.

It’s quite an interesting shape and no one is really sure what it was used for other than that it had “something to do with the old reservoirs”.  The echo in there is really quite amazing.  I resorted to whispering (much to Tim’s amusement) because I was finding it quite strange.

More photos can be found at

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ali_mortazavi

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cave_troll

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_eavis

And that is it really.  A little bit of a quiet summer after the Crete Expedition, but I have managed to get a few interesting trips in.

Ali