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Report - Loop Wyke jet workings, May 2015

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Mutagen, May 30, 2015.

  1. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
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    These workings lie between Kettleness and Sandsend on the North Yorkshire coast, one of many sets of jet workings resulting from the 'jet rush' in the 18th and 19th centuries on this part of the coastline. I'd tried to find these the week before, approaching through Kettleness Tunnel then down the cliff ropes at Seaveybog Hill followed by a long and annoying clamber over rocks on the foreshore before giving up, believing that the workings had been lost to coastal erosion.

    Got home, had another look and a trawl and realised that I hadn't gone far enough along the shoreline and that, frustratingly, Loop Wyke workings aren't actually in Loop Wyke at all. Doh!

    So, after the little one was tucked up in bed last night, I headed back off to take advantage of the low tide and sunset to find a way down from the Sandsend side that would be quicker and involve less clambering on rocks and less potential for a broken ankle ....

    History

    Who knows? There's almost nothing out there about Loop Wyke and it just appears to be one of those places that sprang up from nowhere during the high demand for Whitby jet as already mentioned. There are plenty more old workings in these cliffs (many of which you pass on the way from Sandsend and which have collapsed spectacularly) and there is a real air of mystery about them all. Sorry!

    Some context

    Loop Wyke consists of four adits into the cliff face, almost at shore level. Looking from the shore, you can see them on this shot here:

    IMG_9958.jpg

    For simplicity's sake, I've called them 1, 2, 3 and 4 (left to right, or east-west if you prefer). All are connected via a passageway about eight-ten metres into the cliff, although a waterfall from the top of the cliff guards the entrance to 3 and the passageway between 3 and 4 is almost entirely blocked now by rockfall. You can also see how the entrance to 3 has suffered from rockfall over time.

    A little warning from me

    These cliffs are notoriously unstable and suffer from rockfall VERY regularly. Whilst I was there last night, there were a number of small rockfalls and some larger ones. Also, the roof inside is in a pretty poor state with some VERY fresh falls evident and lots of cracking and groaning going on - I've been in plenty of underground places before, but this one really did make me a bit twitchy. Not as much as Mulgrave Tunnel, but at least there I never felt like the roof was in imminent danger of collapse!

    The photos

    Once you've scrambled up the loose shale into Entrance 1, you're met with a canny little working that goes back maybe a further ten metres with a passageway off to both left and right. You also get a nice little shot looking back out to the shore:

    IMG_9925_6_7_tonemapped.jpg

    The left hand working in here is blocked by rockfall about twenty metres in but this is looking back towards the entrance junction:

    IMG_9929.jpg

    Ignoring the side passageways takes you to a dual face:

    IMG_9932.jpg
    There's plenty of wash-in here, with all kinds of crap getting thrown in by the sea over time. The rockfall on the right here had a really peculiar smell to it, almost like woodsmoke - never experienced that before.

    Scrambling through the passageway between 1 and 2 gives you a lovely shot back out to sea:

    IMG_9940_1_2_tonemapped.jpg
    The rock here is VERY wet and incredibly slippery, evidenced by the fact that I went arse over tit on the foreground rocks and get my leg jammed in a gap between two sharp pieces of rock. Nice swelling this morning!

    Looking in from the outside, you can see the working extending into the cliff (behind me on the shot above!):

    IMG_9943_4_5_tonemapped.jpg

    The scramble through between 2 and 3 (where the waterfall is) gets you very wet and pissed off. DEspite my best efforts, I only managed a single shot looking out through the entrance to 3 and it's a pretty poor one.

    IMG_9959_60_61_tonemapped.jpg
    Back on the outside, here's a look at the entrances to 1, 2 and 3 (mainly):

    IMG_9947.jpg
    4 is possibly the most interesting area to explore as there are two reasonably large chambers after the initial twenty metres of entrance tunnel:

    IMG_9949.jpg

    There has been some VERY recent slabdrop from the roof in the left-hand chamber, as you can see here - wouldn't have liked been under THAT. This is also the room where you could hear the most creaking, groaning and general nastiness. Didn't stay long!

    IMG_9951.jpg
    Shot back out the entrance (didn't take bracketed exposures on this one so hugely overexposed the sea/sky ... bollox.

    IMG_9954.jpg

    For completeness, I headed back into 2 and got a shot from underneath the waterfall looking back at the entrances to 2 and 1 (on the left as you look at the photo) and their associated working tunnels (on the right):

    IMG_9962.jpg
    And that was me done - although the route back up the cliff at Deepgrove is fairly easy, the tide comes in quickly and I didn't fancy having to swim it, especially as I wasn't wearing waders or waterproofs. Saw some nice bits of shipwreck on the way back to the cliff ladder though:

    IMG_9963.jpg
    There's also a pair of what looks like ship's boilers just offshore so I'll have a poke about there later on when I can catch the lowest tides.

    Thanks for reading!
     

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  2. dave

    dave 28DL Regular User
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    Nice work had a wander around here myself many years ago but had to abort due to the tide, very foolish of me should have checked the tide times before hand.
     
  3. catbalou

    catbalou off the wall
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    love that 5th pic looking out to sea :-)
     
  4. Lancashire lad

    Lancashire lad chief taster for costa coffee
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    nice piks cheers for sharing pal
     
  5. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Good stuff, cheers :thumb
     
  6. DMacD

    DMacD 28DL Member
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    Great images, the woodsmoke smell is intriging.................don't think my bottle extends to creaking chambers!
     
  7. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    :thumb Nicely Bracketed mate ;)

    So you didn't get me any Jet then mate ?

    At least you didn't need your O2 meter on this trip .

    I was surprised how many parts of Wrecks are scattered about the Whitby area especially walking along from Black Nab area .
     
  8. WildBoyz

    WildBoyz Is this the future?
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  9. Bugsuperstar

    Bugsuperstar Irresponsible & Reckless
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    Home Page:
    I like it!
     
  10. Mutagen

    Mutagen 28DL Regular User
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    There's sod all jet left in there mate: the only place round here that I've seen jet left in-situ is in the Kettleness Tunnel adit.
     
  11. The Shepshed Diamondback

    The Shepshed Diamondback Slithering down a drain near you
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    beautiful shots there.
     
  12. Miss Mayhem

    Miss Mayhem 28DL Regular User
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    Cracking stuff, your shots are stunning especially the second one,
    Cheers for sharing :thumb
     
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