NAMHO 2001- IRELAND
The NAMHO 2001 event will be held from Saturday 22nd September to Monday
24th September 2001. It will be based at Avondale
House, Co. Wicklow (near to Avoca/Ballykissangel). The house was owned by Charles Stewart Parnell who, as well as being a
prominent Parliamentarian, was also involved in mining. The meeting will be in the converted chapel (now a lecture room), with
adjacent converted stables being used for displays and stands. There are 17 single bedrooms on the site, plus facilities for camping
and caravans. We are also block booking rooms in a new hostel about 3 miles away. There are also lots of local B&B's.
The format will be one day of talks on the Saturday, with parallel field
and underground trips. There will be field and underground
trips on Sunday. On the Monday, there will be trips further afield including a visit to the working lead/zinc mine at Tara (the largest
lead/zinc mine in Europe). There will be two trips to this site with visits to the mill and underground. A conference dinner will be held at the 'Meeting of the Waters' on Saturday evening.
We are also arranging days at other mines in the following week, eg
Allihies, for those staying over. Further information will be
Martin Critchley, MHSI, c/o GSI, Beggars Bush, Haddington Road, DUBLIN
4, IRELAND or the web site www.mhti.com
MINING HISTORY BIBLIOGRAPHY
The bibliography that Paul Sowan maintains is continuing to grow. Full details are available from:
Paul Sowan, 254 Pampisford Road, SOUTH CROYDON, Surrey, CR2 6DD. Tel:
020 8681 6293
THE APPLICATION OF WATER POWER IN MINING
A mining history conference to be held at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth
This conference will be the central theme of the UK based National Association
of Mining History Organisations
(NAMHO) meeting for 2002, hosted by the Welsh Mines Society, with a full programme of related field trips and underground visits.
Preliminary notice and 1st call for papers.
Water has proved a hindrance to mining since its inception but it has
also been used to the benefit of operations from antiquity until
the present day. The positive use of water power was initially limited to the hydraulic working of alluvial and soft rock deposits. By
the late medieval period it had been applied as the motive power for pumping and other processes ancillary to mining. Its heyday
came during the 19th century when waterwheels and turbines provided the power for a range of applications on mine sites across the world.
In Wales, the metal mines of the Cambrian mountains provided ideal locations
for the application of water power to pumping,
winding and, later, for generating electricity. A high average rainfall and locations remote from the major coalfields meant water
generally found favour over the use of steam power. Examples of the use of water power, and the infrastructure developed to
support it, from the period of Roman occupation through to the 20th century can be found within easy reach of the conference
venue at Aberystwyth.
Papers are invited on the subject of the application of water power
in all aspects of mining from across the world. In addition to
examples of its application, based on archival and archaeological research, papers are particularly requested on technological
innovation and the economics of water power. Outlines of papers for submission should be sent to the conference co-ordinator :-
Peter Claughton, Blaenpant Morfil, Rosebush, Clynderwen, Pembrokeshire,
Wales SA66 7RE, UK - e-mail
Further information will be posted to the Internet on the UK based e-mail discussion list:-
which, from 27 November 2000, will be known as email@example.com
plus the North American based list - MiningHistory@egroups.com - and on the Web at the following URL -
Information will also be circulated to the various mining interest groups
in the UK and, if requested, overseas.
SOUTH CROFTY, CORNWALL
Baseresult Ltd, the new owners of South Crofty Tin Mine at Camborne,
plan to resume mining within two years. They also propose
to fill other mine shafts with fly ash from power stations thus provoking fears that the area will become little more than a landfill site.
Paul Sowan - Daily Telegraph 19/9/00
THE 5th INTERNATIONAL MINING HISTORY CONFERENCE, MILOS, GREECE
The Conference was held at Milos, Greece, on the 12-15 September 2000.
Members may remember that at the 4th Conference that was held in Mexico
in 1998, a bid was made by the British Contingent to get the title "5th"
Conference attached to the Special NAMHO Conference planned for July 2000
at Truro Cornwall. This bid was
opposed by the Americans who supported an offer of sponsorship by the American Company, Royal Gold Inc. At the time Royal
Gold were trying to persuade the Greek Authorities to give them planning permission to open a gold mine on the island of Milos.
With promise of financial support from this company behind them, and no special offers from UK, the Americans obviously won
So it was that in September 2000 about 130 delegates, plus some 80 "locals",
met on Milos Island. The island is 90 miles from
Athens and is reached by a 4 1/2 hr "high speed" ferry trip from Athens. The meeting also marked the opening of a rather fine
Conference Centre which was a conversion of a former derelict industrial building. It was converted at the expense of local mining
companies and offered as "planning gain" to assist the island’s tourist industry. Unfortunately, the buildings lie about 1 mile from the
delegates accommodation and this was found to be something of an inconvenience in the hot sun!
The delegates were mainly Greek, American, Australian and Canadian with
about 8 Japanese, 7 British and smaller numbers of other
nationalities. There were some surprising absentees - no Germans for example. All the 7 papers on the first day were about Greek
Mining or Greek rites. There were some 24 papers on the second day and about 28 papers on the third - on these two days parallel
sessions were operated. Subjects covered varied wildly from "Ancient Celtic Mining in America" to "Japanese Metal Mining
Activities and the future". Of the 59 speakers, 12 were Greek, including 4 from the sponsoring company, but many gave their papers
in English! Unusually, this year there were several papers given on "modern" mining practices including recent attempts at land
reclamation in Milos, maintaining access to underground workings for recreation, new uses for old industrial buildings and
compatible conservation and restoration of a sulphur mine treatment plant.
A visit was made to the Milos Museum of Mining, recently refurbished
by the sponsoring company, and covering the mined
deposits of Milos, namely obsidian, sulphur, kaolin, pearlite, alum, barytes, bentonite, building stones and, of course, the hoped for
"gold". Another evening visit was to the sponsoring company’s extensive bentonite open pits and dressing plants There was also a
full day geological field trip by boat around the island. Some delegates discovered some disused underground gypsum workings
near the Conference Centre and about half the delegates completed the meeting with a post conference tour of the Laurian silver-lead
mines near Athens. These workings are in amazingly complete order though they range in date from about the 5th Century BC to the
1980’s. Surely the Laurian area deserves to be a World Heritage Site.
It was an interesting and educational conference but was quite expensive
(and no "sponsorship" of delegates was evident despite
promises). It was well organised but failed to keep to times because of weak Chairpersons and failure of some speakers to turn up.
A "business" meeting was held to discuss these points and of course to decide the venues for further conferences. Offers were
made, and accepted, for the 6th Conference to be in Japan in 2003 and the 7th in Canada in 2006.
Dr I J Brown
CAN YOU HELP?
I was looking at the exhibits at a village nostalgia display at the
recent Great Dorset Steam Fair and I came across an optical device
for the production a 3D image from two adjacently mounted photographs. There were a number of the mounted black and white
photographs which were obviously very old, probably pre-20th Century.
Besides recording domestic scenes there were a number of photographs
of coal mines. There were pictures of surface features,
(headgears, screening plant, pit top etc), together with a number of underground scenes showing miners at work and "snap time".
Some of the photographs showed the mine officials wearing their scull caps and carrying their sticks.
For me, the outstanding photograph was that of a miner stoking an underground
ventilation fire. There were no captions on the
photographs but there was a reference number. In the case of ventilation fire, this number was 1775. There was the name "Uxbridge,
Langley & West Drayton" printed on the cardboard mount on which the photographs were mounted.
Does anyone know anything about these old photographs of the coal mines
and the location of the mines used in the photographs?
Please advise if you can help.
1. The pilot and seven miners returning to the Sons of Gwalia Mine,
Australia, after a period of leave all died when their aircraft
crashed. It is believed that the aircraft depressurised and continued to fly on autopilot until it ran out of fuel. (US golfer Payne
Stewart and five others died in the USA in a similar incident a few months earlier)
Mining Journal Sept 00
2. The Department of Mining in Western Australia has produced a CD-Rom giving details of 15,000 mine sites in the area. It includes 11,140 historic mines, 2,111 post 1985 mines and 2266 known mineral deposits. The cost is $A 55.
Mining Journal Sept 00
NAMHO AND TEMPUS PUBLISHING
It is now well known that Tempus Publishing are producing a series of
128 page picture books on historic mining areas and that
NAMHO agreed to help find authors for the series. Tempus had previously contacted well known museums and individuals but this
approach had not been very successful. NAMHO agreed to assist in locating appropriate authors but to protect it’s image it was
agreed that when an author was "found" and a manuscript produced, the manuscript would be "scanned" by a knowledgeable
referee and, if acceptable, the NAMHO logo could be put on the book. NAMHO would then get a small "finders" fee for its part in
finding a suitable author. The need for authors has previously been publicised in the NAMHO Newsletter.
The books on mining areas are now being published by Tempus and they
are all produced to a good standard. The authors have
been found by various means but there has been no "scanning" by NAMHO referees and, consequently, there has not been any use
of the logo, other than in the Peak District and East Shropshire books. Authors are dealing directly with the publishers, a fact that
has not concerned the NAMHO Council at recent meetings. This view should continue so long as the standard of the books is
It is known that several potential authors are busy preparing their texts but there are two points to note:
1. Whatever is being written should always be put past someone knowledgeable
on the subject - everyone sometime makes a slip
and this procedure helps to reduce errors.
2. If authors do not keep close control, publishers move captions and
illustrations around. They even leave large blank areas in the
book. These actions give the wrong impression when the book is "flicked" through. The authors have not run out of ideas,
information or pictures and would have loved the opportunity to add something more. Authors should insist that they have the
opportunity to make additions and eliminate blank spaces in the book.
The mining series of 128 pages has obviously been very successful. Tempus
are now publishing mining books of greater thickness
with much more text and less illustrations. Two books of 160 pages have recently been produced. They are "The Early British Tin
Industry" and "Flint Mines in Neolithic Britain" and it is known that others are on the way. The future looks bright for potential
authors. If you have "a book in you", have a go. If you need help, then have a word with the NAMHO Secretary.
NOTES FROM THE NEWSLETTERS
Freeminer Tradition in Jeopardy
One of the oldest and best-known traditions in mining communities in
Britain appears to be in danger of being overturned by
For as long as people in the Forest of Dean can remember, a person born
within the "hundreds of St Briavels" who was over 21 and
had worked for a year and a day in a mine, could register as a Freeminer and be granted the right to mine for coal within the Forest.
But now Helen Liddel, Minister for State and Energy, has sided with the Coal Authority which wants to control freeminers activities
and to issue licences.
Glebe Mines equipment for sale
Glebe Mines Ltd, who recently took over the fluorspar extraction and
preparation activities in Derbyshire from Laporte Industries, is
selling a quantity of mining equipment. The equipment was advertised in the Mining Magazine, April 2000.
The equipment is now surplus due to reorganisation and operating one of their mines on a care and maintenance basis.
Carrs Level, Nenthead, opened to the public
Carrs Level is an authentic Lead Mine dating back to at least the 17th
Century, worked extensively during the 18th and 19th Centuries
and finally closed at the end of the First World War. Like most mines on the Nenthead Mines Heritage Centre property, Carrs Level
interlinks with other mines, forming an extensive complex of tunnels and workings.
The underground trip lasts at least 45 minutes and includes a climb up an inclined rise via a ladderway.
North Pennine Heritage Trust Newsletter
Oilers for the Haig Pit Steam Winding Engine
The winding engine had been built by Bevers and the original oilers
were stolen from the engine whilst the pit lay derelict. Anthony
Bever, Custodian Trustee of the Trust, is the grandson of Augustus Bever, who built the engine.
Anthony spent many hours making replacement oilers for the winder. There
is now one of Anthony’s oilers on each tail rod and two
on the eccentrics on each side of the engine. These finishing touches not only make the engine really look the part, but we can also
brag that they are Bever originals. It also provides a nice link between grandson and grandfather.
Haig Pit Restoration Group Newsletter.
Forest of Wyre Coalfield
A History Trail is being prepared at the Seven Valley Country Park with
interpretation panels depicting the mining
history of the sites at Alveley and Highley. Leaflets to accompany the trail are available at Highley and Alveley.
Shropshire Mines Trust
Williamson’s Tunnels, Liverpool, Web Site
The Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels have launched their new web site
at www.williamsontunnels.com. This site tells the story of
the tunnels and offer a new "virtual tour" where the user can zoom-in via a map of the site to see photos and explanations of the
tunnels in that area. Other features include brief video sequences, research articles and a summary of the tunnels news over recent
One section of the tunnels has been opened by the group and they have installed a rigid stairway into the tunnels beneath Paddington
Grosvenor Caving Club Newsletter
CHANGE OF SERVER FOR THE MINING-HISTORY E-MAIL DISCUSSION LIST
The mining-history e-mail discussion list that is devoted to the history,
and archaeology, of mining is part of the JISC funded
communications within UK higher education. As a result of competitive tendering, the provision of support for discussion lists
within JISC is being transferred from ‘mailbase’ at the University of Newcastle to CLRC at the Rutherford Appleton, Didcot. The
transition is due to take place on 27 November 2000, after which date the mining-history list will be known as
firstname.lastname@example.org Further information on the transition is available at the following URL - http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk
Transfer to jiscmail will not immediately affect existing users of the
list and the ‘mailbase’ address will remain effective for at least 6
months with all messages being forwarded to the new address.
Peter Claughton <P.F.Claughton@exeter.ac.uk> co-owner mining-history
BOOK REVIEWS - by Ivor Brown
1. "The Early British Tin Industry" by Sandy Gerrard. Published by Tempus,
2000, ISBN 0 7524 14526, soft back. 160pp, 74 illus,
29 colour plates. Cost £14.99.
The chapter headings in this book include Tinworking from prehistoric
timesuntil 1066, The Medieval and Early Modern Period,
Tinworks and Tinbounds, Streamworks, Mining, Stamping, Crushing and Dressing, Smelting and Sites to visit. It also includes a
Glossary, a list for further reading and an Index. What more can anyone ask. A book worth having.
2. "Flint Mines in Neolithic Britain" by Miles Russell. Published by Tempus, 2000, ISBN 0 7524 1481X, hard back. 160pp, 97 illus, 30 colour plates. Cost £19.99.
The first two chapters of this book take up nearly one third of its
pages. These deal with early attempts at identifying the early
working sites, the mis-identification and the potential and likely hoaxes that have occurred. It is really interesting stuff and an area that has not been dealt with elsewhere in mining books. The remaining chapters are self explanatory, Flint Mines: date and distribution,
The Morphology of Flint Mines, Working Underground and Working on the Surface. Other sections include "the meaning of mines" which considers whether mining might also have been a ritual activity, flint mining from Neolithic to modern times, sites worth
visiting and a list of items for further reading.
A comprehensive and well researched book but note that the captions
for the colour plates No 17 and No 19 are obviously
3. "Mining in Cornwall, Volume 3. Pewith and South Kerrier" by L J Bullen.
Published by Tempus (Images of England Series) 2000,
ISBN 0 7524 17592, soft back. 128pp, over 200 plates. Cost £9.99.
The age of the photographs range from some of the earliest known Cornish
Mine photographs (c1860’s) to some recent
photographs of Rosevale Mine in the 1980’s. The volume is similar in style to the two earlier volumes on the Central Cornwall
Mining District but its introduction is short and the captions tend to be brief. It consists of just three sections; "St Ives to Penzance", "St Ives Area" and "From Marazion to Hayle". The compiler, however, promises a further volume from this very important
collection of photographs. This collection covers every aspect of mining from novel technology in the 19C to, surprisingly,
exploration drilling in the 1960’s.
4. "The West Yorkshire Coalfield" by John Goodchild. Published by Tempus
(Images of England Series) 2000, ISBN 0 7524
17452, soft back. 128pp, over 200 illustrations. Cost £9.99.
This book contains slightly less photographs than other books in the
series but there are more impressions, prints of posters and
notices. All of these illustrations tell a story and throw more light on this important coalfield. There is a useful introduction and five
chapters following. These chapters are "The Pre-Waterway Age", "West Yorkshire Collieries", "Transporting the Coal", "The
Workers" and "Using the Coal". There are sections from old deeds (1322), rent rolls (1530), and old leases (1596) referring to
mining features. There are ph tos of "bell pit" remains, an opencast site in 1926 and a "modern" pit, probably as it appeared in the
1860’s. The latter photograph is the oldest photograph in the book and probably one of the oldest photographs of coalmining.
A most comprehensive range of illustrations. Thank you John for sharing some of your vast collection with us.
Other books in the Tempus Images of England Series are "The Peak District
Mines and Quarries" ISBN 0 7524 1710X, "The East
Shropshire Coalfields" ISBN 0 7524 17058 and "The Wigan Coalfield" ISBN 0 7524 1724X.
US BID FOR RJB MINING
Renco, the private US conglomerate, was expected to launch an agreed
bid of about £130 million in October for RJB Mining,
Britain's biggest coal producer. BUT in mid October RJB Mining lost more than a quarter of its stock market value after announcing
the collapse of bid talks with Renco.
NAMHO WEB SITE
NAMHO is currently registering the domain names "NAMHO.org" and "Mining
History.org. Watch this space
PUBLICATIONS RECEIVED BY NAMHO SECRETARY UP TO 11 OCTOBER 2000
(Articles of one page or more in length are listed)
Carn Brea Mining Society
Editor: Lawrence Holmes
Tel: 01872 278234
1. Newsletter No 44, July 2000
Bath Stone Quarry
Underground in Cumbria
Harz Mountain trip
Cheltenham Mineral and Geological Society
Editor: Keith Aston
Tel: 01594 542875
1. Quartz No 5, Summer 2000
Secretary’s Volcanic Eruption
2. Quartz No 6, Autumn 2000
Field Trip reports
3. Junior Quartz No 2, Autumn 2000
Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society
Editor: Ian Matheson
Tel: 01539 432957
1. Newsletter No 61 September 2000
CATMH’s Twenty First Birthday
AGM - 1999
NAMHO Newsletter - Spring 2000
East Cornwall Mining History Association
Secretary: Caroline Vulliamy
Tel: 01579 370411
1. Newsletter - Summer 2000
Exmoor Mines Research Group
Secretary: Mike Jones
Tel: 01823 275308
1. Newsletter No 17, July 2000
Brancarres copper mine - Portugal
Insole v Ebbw Vale Steel Iron & Coal Company Ltd
Friends of St Aidan’s BE1150 Dragline
Secretary: Dr Ivor Brown
Tel: 01924 257137
1. Newsletter No 18 August 2000
"Oddball’s" Opening Day - 8/7/00
Reports of the Friends visit to Scotland - May 2000
2. Newsletter No 18 October 2000
Grosvenor Caving Club
Editor: Cris Ebbs
Tel: 01824 780748
1. Newsletter No 105 July/August 2000
Early years of Mines Rescue Teams
Local News Page
2. Newsletter No 106 Sept/ Oct 2000
Milwr Tunnel water Level Monitoring Project 2000
New Nercwys Book
Those Curious "Iron Oysters"
Haig Pit Restoration Group
Editor: John Greasley
Tel: 01946 591311
1. Newsletter No 15 June 2000
Kent Underground Research Group
Editor: Mike Clinch
Tel: 01322 526425
1. Newsletter No 64 March 2000
Pounceford Limestone Mines
Brede Water Supply Works
2. Newsletter No 65 June 2000
Landseer Av, Gravesend - chalk working
3. Newsletter No 66 September 2000
Visit to Channel Tunnel Rail Link
Underground workings at St Mary’s Platt
National Caving Association
Editor: Jenny Potts
Tel: 01335 370629
1. Speleoscene No 42, Sept 2000
BCRC Incident Report 1999
2. Training Bulletin No 2000/3, June-Sept
Sink or Swim
North Pennine Heritage Trust
Tel: 01434 382037
1. Newsletter No 42, Summer 2000
North Staffordshire Group - Geologist’s Association
Bulletin Secretary: Don Steward
Tel: 01782 232323
1. Bulletin No 54, July 2000
Peak District Mines Historical Society
Editor: Wes Taylor
Tel: 01283 713315
1. Newsletter No 95, July 2000
2. Newsletter No 96, October 2000
Shropshire Mines Trust
Secretary: Adrian Pearce
Tel: 01952 405369
1. Newsletter No 18, July 2000
ROC Posts in Shropshire
Welsh Mines Presrvation Trust
Editor: R Vernon
1. Newsletter July 2000
Beam Engines and Conservation
Going..., Going..., Gone!
Hon Secretary & Editor
Wes Taylor, 18 Station Lane,
Walton on Trent, Swadlincote, Derbys, DE12 8NA.
Tel:- 01283 713315
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MINING HISTORY ORGANISATIONS
Registered Charity No 297301
Registered Office, c/o Peak District Mining Museum, The Pavilion, South Parade, Matlock Bath, Matlock, Derbyshire,
Tel:- Matlock (01629) 583834.
Web Site: www.namho.org
The contents of this publication are in the public domain. There is
no restriction on the publication of articles from this
Newsletter provided acknowledgement of the source is made in any subsequent publication. Opinions expressed in this
publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the National Association of Mining
History Organisations. Copy submitted for publication is not checked by the Editor for accuracy
Last revised: 20 October 2000