Respect the Authority

While mooching around Engine Lane last week, I noticed that the capped mine shaft that was formerly accessible in the scrub copse near the old level crossing has been fenced off by The Coal Authority. These are the folks responsible for the identification, cataloguing, management and remediation of historic (and in some cases, ongoing) mine workings in the UK.

Brick lined, capped with old sleepers at a bout six feet down, terminates a good eight feet above surrounding ground level by means of a built mound. Too narrow to be a coal shft – perhaps an air/ventillation bore. This image was taken in May, 2011, before the fencing was erected.

The enclosure consists of a low, 4 foot post and wire fence with warning notices. it’s more for warning and liability transfer than safety, I’d tenure.

The shaft in question – discussed extensively here before – is mostly considered to be a ventilator for old workings below, which seem short lived in the early part of last century. It’s interesting that this has suddenly been spotted, and I wonder if wither the Riding Stables or a blog reader has alerted them.

Note that although the poster talks of works, there are none at the moment, and any occurring will probably only result in capping, not infilling. Despite the somewhat misguided impressions of one local councillor, the infilling of local mine shafts would be hugely costly, of dubious benefit and possibly very environmentally damaging. Such work is never undertaken speculatively or without solid geotechnical justification.

It’s nice to see the officials are on the case, though. Oh, for a look through their paperwork…

Can’t imagine it’s inconveniencing anyone except flytippers, and we all wish they’d fall down a hole. 3:55pm, Sunday, 14th October 2012.

Never trust the ground beneath your feet, it hides it’s surprises very well. 3:55pm, Sunday, 14th October 2012.

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3 Responses to Respect the Authority

  1. jim says:

    The field adjacent to this site which the riding stables use was covered in sheets of water the other day as it often is during the winter I believe flooding is why the mine was originally abandoned.

    I have to wonder if it was the best place to set up the stables I believe this kind of sodden pasture can cause hoof problems like flaring and other deformities along with fungal infections etc.

  2. Clive says:

    When I worked at Carvers in Engine Lane around the 1970s, I can remember a tree slowly sinking into the ground over a number of weeks. when it had gone down about four feet it settled. if you go for a walk over that area I would recomend you strap a plank of wood across your back..hi

  3. Pingback: If the cap fits… | BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog

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