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Report - Storm Relief Mine, North Kent - Nov 2014

Discussion in 'Mines and Quarries' started by obscurity, Nov 22, 2014.

  1. obscurity

    obscurity Flaxenation of the G!!!
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    Storm Relief Mine – Kent – Visited with two non-members



    So it has been quite a while since I last posted a report up, in fact this may be the first one this year but this is not through lack of trying just that a list has formed over time and sometimes things take time, effort and hard work for reward. The want and need to see the unknown is what drives us to push on and take risk of failure rather than follow a tourist trail of posted locations.

    So that brings us on to this location, and to really do the report justice then I want to try to try to set the scene and explain the events which are all factors of an explore that you really don’t feel from a collection of photos and a computer.

    Anyone who speaks to me or the group I circulate with will know that earlier this year I sustained a bad injury and was told I may be permanently disabled and unable to walk. After 7ish years of exploring and visiting these places I finally got a very much really wake-up-call that there is danger and risk in what we do and you can really pay a price if not careful.

    I was asked if this would cause me to stop exploring but I don’t think it is really a hobby, to me it is a lifestyle and an inbuilt instinct to want to see what is hidden and forbidden!!
    By the point of my injury between my local crew we had pretty much ticked all our little projects and possibilities off of the list, but that is not to say that there is not more to be unearthed, it just means that you need to start digging deeper.

    For the past months while recovering then time was spent researching and checking on possibilities in anticipation that if recovered, I could enjoy the reward, along with those I explore with. That’s not to say that I didn’t continue to get out and can only thank friends from the scene for making this possible, Pushing me and my wheelchair around disused hospitals, Getting me and my crutches down deep shelters for parties!!

    This is all really just the background of events leading on to the night of the explore. I had begun looking at a few leads which had been circulating on local locations and found reference to this place. I had never heard mention of the location before and to the best of my knowledge then the last documented and likely visitors were workers who exposed the capped mine in the late ‘80’s.

    After discussing this new possible location with a non-member then trips were made across Kent in search of trace of the site and to verify the information and my workings of exactly where and how it could be accessed.

    Without trying to give away access information, entry involved a large shaft in a very lively location meaning there was little chance of being able to just sneak in….
    We had managed to locate our entrance exactly where we believed it to be and managed to gain entry down the shaft to check we could access the mine but were unable to explore it at this time and knew a better plan would need to be devised if we wanted to have a good run of the place.

    Fast forward a couple of weeks and here we are again, visible to all but trying hard to blend in as we prepared to enter the mine. One by one we quickly gained entry to the shaft and began the descent down the ladders and platforms approximately 80ft into darkness.

    We were unsure of whether we had drawn the wrong attention or whether we would be able to get out again without being busted but now it was too late, we were in, we were committed and so game on!!





    As for a bit of history about the location:-



    Towards the end of the 19th century, a large number of brickfield’s were in operation around the suburbs of London and kent to supply growing demand for building materials as towns and cities expanded rapidly. The brickfield’s were popping up everywhere and anywhere that a suitable clay could be found to produce yellow brick. During the manufacture process of the yellow brick then a percentage of chalk would be added to prevent the brick from cracking during the heating process and to achieve the correct colour of brick. The brickfields wanted a supply of chalk as close as possible to their site, usually from a local quarry but this was not always possible. This meant that it became mush more common for shafts to be sunk into the floor through layers of chalk thus providing a starting point for mining activities. Mines were dug in various areas to provide the brickfield’s.

    The mine ceased operation around 1915 but was not sealed off. Workmen rediscovered the mine some 5 years later when they drove a small tunnel through the well shaft within the mine to be used as a drain for surface water and storm water which flows into the well shaft and thus converted the shaft and mine into a large storm overflow tank. You can see in the photos the water mark on the walls showing how much the place has filled at times. The shafts had been capped off shortly after and the land had been used as a tip for road sweepings.

    By the 1980s the land had been sold for development but for this to happen then they needed to gain access to the sealed mine workings to check the accuracy of their information and plans.
    The mine had remained in a very good condition and the tunnels had been dug using pillar and stall mining. The roof height of the passages ranges between about 7 – 10 m high throughout the mine. There is in total approximately 400m of underground passages all of which are still accessible.



    Coming down the shaft we could feel the density of the air increase and the temperature rising as we climbed down into the darkness. Water pouring from above was ice cold and rumbled down the shaft like thunder. Finally at the base we stopped for breath…


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    Moving across the remains of a metal gantry the shaft continued below us but full of water, we crouched through the small access tunnel to what I can only really describe as breath taking. The scale and size of the place really was amazing and I don’t think it can be done justice in photos but here is my humble offering, Enjoy…



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    Thanks for looking :thumb
     
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  2. Wevsky

    Wevsky A Predisposed Tourist
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Spot on mate,all paid off nicely :thumb
     
  3. Adders

    Adders living in a cold world
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Nice one mate, looks good that! And it's incredible that you've recovered and are straight back on it. Look forward to catching up soon!
     
  4. paulpowers

    paulpowers Massive Member
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Cracking stuff :D
     
  5. Gabe

    Gabe 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Really nice work and as im sure everyone else will reiterate its really good to see you back and out and about again.
     
  6. Lenston

    Lenston Bajo Tierra
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Lovely stuff mate :thumb
     
  7. wellingtonian

    wellingtonian Subterráneo
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Top stuff and great to see you're back on it :)
     
  8. the126

    the126 Reckless & irresponsible
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Looks really great:thumb
     
  9. 1nk4

    1nk4 28DL Regular User
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    absolutely brilliant
     
  10. Altair

    Altair Poking holes since '84
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Absolutely mint that chap. Quality write up and excellent set of pics. Always good to see something new :thumb
     
  11. green godess

    green godess 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Thank you for posting a description and photos of this little known place and thanks for sharing your account with us all, it's appreciated.

    Certainly very different to many other mines.

    G.G.
     
  12. Nickindroy

    Nickindroy A Porky Prime Cut
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Fantastic!
     
  13. fb

    fb big in japan
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Sick! That tunnel is massive. Glad to hear you're up and running again!
     
  14. wormster

    wormster 28DL Full Member
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    ...........

    Wipes

    ..........

    Jaw

    ..........

    Off

    ..........

    FLOOR

    ............
     
  15. obscurity

    obscurity Flaxenation of the G!!!
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    Re: Storm Relief Mine - North Kent - Nov 2014

    Thanks for the comments guys, The scale of the place was impressive and better than I had expected. It's good to be able to start getting out again, had far too much time on my hands this year haha :thumb
     
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