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Report - Grove Rake - Below and above - Jan 11

Morrisey

28DL Regular User
Regular User
#1
Driving along the still icy twisting roads of Weardale on a grey and miserable Sunday morning, the sight of the Grove Rake winding gear in the distance as you summit the crest of the hill never fails to disappoint. It may not be the tallest, but it probably is the finest setting anywhere for a headstock.

It’s been four years since my first visit to Grove Rake and sadly on each visit you can visibly see the deterioration of the site, the weather has taken its toll and no doubt much has been removed by the opportunistic passing pikey! I suppose if the site was remotely near to civilisation there would be very little if anything left on the surface to see.


Today’s visit was to have a look at what was left, if anything of the underground workings that ceased production in the late 1990’s, the demise of the UK manufacturing base and cheap imports, GR finally succumbed to the volatile fluctuations of the international fluorspar market.

Visited with Ed and several non forum members.


Fluorspar was mainly used as a flux in iron and steel making. It was also used to add fluorine to water and toothpaste.

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To reach the veins that were worked there involves a refreshing 300m walk through bollock deep water, but the rewards make the torture certainly worth it!

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Incline winder
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Haulage signals
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Top of the incline…
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And the collapsed roadway at the bottom of the incline.

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Having gone as far as we could on this heading and still wanting to have a look above ground before it went dark, we decided to head out….
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For a well-earned shower : )
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And finally a look at the headstock.

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Fin
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