Last month Scott and I spent a few weekends down in Surrey, so we decided to make the best of a bad situation and try and get underground whilst we were there.
With this aim in mind we got in touch with the Wealden Cave & Mine Society and asked them what there was do. Within minutes we had several offers of trips down the local mines.
The first trip we did was down Godstone Mine, with a fellow called Ross and a couple of Scouts. It was very dry, dusty walking passage with plenty of comedy graffiti and really old mine artefacts. Quite different from caving in Derbyshire! Also, there definitely wasn’t a dig in this mine and this dig definitely didn’t come complete with a kitchen and assorted rubber ducks….
The following weekend we returned to The South for Round 2 of the Surrey mining experience. This time we went to Merstham with what seemed like the entire WCMS. We went to the Far East section of the cave, the route there was a bit of a maze and we had to literally run to keep up with the trip leader who was ‘getting the boring bits over with quickly.’ Once we’d got past the boring bits, the leader was a mine (!) of information about the system – lots of history to do with the workings of the old mine and early usages of the modern numbering system, as well as some more recent anecdotes about gypsies and ghosthunters. And there’s a skeleton.
Many thanks to the WCMS for taking us on these trips, they were very friendly and helpful and if anyone else finds themselves down their way I would recommend getting in touch and having an explore!