Couldn’t be fucked doing ewt proper today so while I was at me mums I did some digging in that there Stoney Middleton
i wanted a gander in the phreatic in Hanging Flat mine because it seems to point towards the Layby Shelter dig.
I set off from Eyam and met some cave rescue blokes who were pleasant. I felt sorry for them because they accidentally asked me what I was doing in Stoney Middleton. One of them left mid sentence so I can only assume they were utterly disinterested in my efforts towards the STONEY MASTER SYSTEM BITCHEZZZZZZ. They lasted longer than most. They might have assumed I wasn’t sober because of the way I was talking but rest assured, this would never be the case.
So the phreatic is on the left wall of the left fork not far from the entrance. It is actually rather large which is surprising because it is in Stoney Middleton, and given its altitude I assume it would be part of the first remnant complex – although I dunno if this is on a dip because I haven’t read Johns thesis in at least a few months. It could be fucking anything.
I had a nice time digging here. It is nice and cool because the mine is big, and you are stood up. The layers within this phreatic tube start with a conglomerate of Yordale series shales and soft sandstone debris at the bottom (some of which is black). This is followed by a malleable but quite sticky layered clay series approx 10cm thick, topped with a load of calcited boldery bits. I managed to dig out a lot with a spade, but a more productive strategy would be to use a crowbar and a mallet to chisel large lumps of clay and debris out. I think this would work quite quickly.
I’ll probably leave this for freshers to have a crack at maybe – it is very easy to dig and to access.
Please note that Hanging Flat mine is kind of fucked. Do be aware that the blasting probably left rock fracturing around the entrance to this phreatic so be careful, especially if you need to cap it – once you’re a few metres into the natural it’ll be fine. The place is full of debris, litter and basically piles of shit. Don’t touch it. The ends of the mine, should you want to explore, consist of several run in passages. These are probably best considered extremely dangerous. There’s no digging prospect. Don’t fuck with them. Don’t fuck with the false floors. Don’t fuck with the wooden beams.
In terms of prospects, I think this likely links to the same system that would have formed Layby Shelter, which means if the two join into one passage it could be rather large (relatively for Stoney). It is very unlikely to link into Layby Pot. The survey suggests they would miss each other by some distance, meaning Layby Shelter and the Hanging Flat phreatic point into nothing. Dun dun dun!
If anyone decides they want a crack give me a shout I don’t mind showing you what craic is.