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Report - The troglodytes of Accrington : August 2010 .

Discussion in 'UK Draining Forum' started by Andyj23UK, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Andyj23UK

    Andyj23UK 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

    Jul 18, 2010
    Likes Received:
    2AM this morning , while sorting some kit out that I had been putting of – my phone text alert buzzes – WTF ? how is texting me at 2 AM ??

    Turns out to be ojay – with news he has an impromptu day off – so plans are made and kit laid out for another crack at the underground treasures of Accrington

    First stop – the CSO that provides overflow capacity from the main foul water sewer drain Accrington

    Behind the vandalised remains of a palisade gate , a section of RCP led to the overflow chamber

    A fetid chamber – with a ceiling of bedrock , finished in spraycrete and a a 5m diameter shaft to the surface via multiple ladders


    The sever enters via a 2.5m RCP – at high speed over a short weir – and “ normal “ flow rates are funnelled down a small central trench


    With a disused penstock and now overflow dam for flood control


    However today – while waiting for ojay to get his pics – I decided to head for a mooch downstream – until it suddenly struck me – the trench was overflowing and levels rising fast

    Time to get out

    Ojays bag was rescued from the foot of the ladder in the nick of time .

    And we scrambled up to the platform to see the levels continue to rise – reaching 30cm depth of very fast flowing foul water in less than 5 minutes


    I stood guard while ojay finished his pics – then we legged it

    # 2

    A short jaunt up Hyndburn water , entering via the outfall and traversing upstream under the Leeds Liverpool canal and “ express gifts “ mill [ some catalogue firm ]

    Progress was halted after just 150M by an impassable waterfall

    Sadly no pics from me as I had previously done the section in 2 stages from the inflow and outflow ,

    #3 The downstream continuations of Hyndburn water

    Another waterfall at the inflow with a 6m drop into a turbulent plunge pool

    2 sound birch trees provided the anchor and back up , so with rope rigged – it fell to me to ` take the plunge ` and ab down with just enough kit to get back up [ if needed ] and a stick to probe the depth

    To recce the way on and see if the section could be done from top to bottom

    After 5 minutes probing and investigation balanced on slime-covered rocks and drenched with spray , I had to admit defeat and ascend the rope

    The pool was at over 4 feet deep and I could not feel the bottom and flow was too fast to just ` risk it ` - at least not without a drysuit and lifeline

    Ojay will provide pics of this interlude – as I had both hands full

    Not to be defeated we simply packed up and headed for the outfall – a magnificent brick arch – partially exposed .

    Heading upstream we encountered a stone section which broke the monotony

    The steam bed was fractured bedrock most of the way – providing interesting scrambling

    My attempts to recce the infall had alerted us that there were side passages , but nothing prepared us for the stepped drain that led up 8 rises to a pair of backfilled drainage pipes – most probably a drain from a former colliery site – there are 2 on the right bearing

    Calcite formation



    Bonus dead sheep was bonus – how the fook it got there is any ones guess – it could only have come out the culvert – up 5 stairs it came a long way to die



    We eventually made the infall – only 3m of neck deep turbulent plunge pool prevented the through trip – but it was worth seeing non the less


    #4 a tributary that floows from tinker brook , oswaldtwistle - under what was once the old rishton reservoir

    Started off a rather routine brick arch over an unimproved bedrock and stream bed floor , but after 100m the bricks suddenly ended with a rough rock passage


    A very strange development – very obviously not a natural stream passage , it had no erosion patterns , but equally no obvious signs of drill or pick


    Human intervention was quickly found – a pair of tracks for a sluice gate , and a void above now filled with concrete lintels


    After 50m more bedrock tunnel – daylight was sighted , and the brick arch of the inflow guided us back out into open air


    This was the last culvert of the day - , the next targets required too much walking – and it was 15:10 – enough for one day

    We had a look at another interesting lead on the way back to the car and some evidence of the network of collieries that dot the area

    And that was that overground Accrington is Shiite – underground Accrington = FTW

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