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Report - Odd-Ball Dragline (St. Aidens Mine) - May 15

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by Hydro, Aug 13, 2015.

  1. Hydro

    Hydro 28DL Regular User
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    Explored with –Raz-

    We had put this explore off for months for some reason, however on the way home from checking out how much of Hanson Brick Works was left (NOTHING) we nipped in for a look.

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    History;

    Meet Bucyrus Erie, the whopping 1200 tonne open cast mine walking dragline. Known as “Oddball” the industrial giant could walk, yes walk, at 0.2mph which doesn’t sound fast but when it’s the size of 60 double decker busses and that heavy i'd say that was pretty impressive.

    It was originally built and based in Virginia USA where it served for 4 years before being packed up and shipped over to South Wales in 1952. Since then it has been taken apart and rebuilt plenty of times and has made appearances all across the UK until it came to rest in Swillington (St. Aidens mine). It took a few years out of service after an accident in 1988 when the miners dug too close to the river, effectively turning the mine into a giant pond. £20,000,000 later the mine had been drained and the work there was subsequently completed.

    In 1999 a group called the “Friends of St. Aidens” restored the dragline with the help of the national lottery and it made its final slug to its current resting place where it now sits as a museum piece and a monument to the great industrial prowess and power of the National Coal Board.

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    If you got this far, thanks for reading :thumb

    More on my page @ www.facebook.com/seldomseenworldue
     
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  2. ACID- REFLUX

    ACID- REFLUX 28DL Regular User
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    That was no accident it was all pre planned. Most of the contractors Plant had been taken off hire at least a week previously. And the slowest, biggest and most expensive piece of plant had already been walked out of the opencast.....funny that and all at 0.2 MPH; )

    The retaining piles holding the thin strip of land ie now a riverbank was undercut so obviously with nothing to support the piles it collapsed.

    The River actuary flowed uphill due to the amount of water pouring into the void uprooting trees along the way and dumping them into the workings .

    At one stage it was feared the Canal alongside would also breach and follow the river into the workings.

    They even hired a small Tug from us for inspection purposes once it had levelled .......and then sank it as strong winds blew water over the side of it and flooded it lol

    There's lots of pictures available of the breach , hopefully some by the Lock keeper at the time who documented it while he was sitting himself ;)

    BTW the metal fairies raped the electric motors out of the Dragline and I was told it would cost £70K to repair ? So its not going to be working soon ......ever .

    FYI Birds of Prey nest @the Drag line which could cause legal problems shall we say if someone was perceived wrongly as being a egg or chick thief running about the place. Obviously not you lads but it does add a possible twist to Trespass ;)
     
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  3. Hydro

    Hydro 28DL Regular User
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    Just to confirm we aren't egg thieves lol!

    Thanks for that, certainly adds another side to the story and what you say does make a lot of sense. I wonder if the mine was in some kind of financial difficulty and needed a big insurance claim. I will have to dig some more into this - Thanks for sharing that mate :thumb
     
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