Another from our recent trip to the Ruhr to see and climb some of their Collieries.
Being brought up in Middlesbrough in the 1980â€™s (twinned with nearby Oberhausen) and having a politically active father meant that Industry, coal and steel were always at the forefront of conversation and the decrepit ruins of large Steel and chemical plants on Teesside were our playgrounds.
Since first visiting the Ruhr in 2003 and seeing how similar it was to where I was raised, there grew an affinity and love for the area. Since 2011 Iâ€™ve been visiting and exploring the mines and industry and even making a number of very close friends who live here, one of the reasons for the visit.
Anyhow, after many beers and catching up we ventured out to visit this mine which weâ€™ve given the name 87+ due to the Head stock / FÃ¶rderturm and Winding machine / FÃ¶rdermaschine being 87m above the shaft invert level. One of the Ruhr's most recently abandoned Coal mines.
Here there are two FÃ¶rderturm and this mine was primarily used for raising and servicing machinery. It was also an extension to a nearby larger mine and an access point for miners, hence there being a fairly extensive Kaue (the changing rooms with the cages) The mine was to be the site of an experimental coal washer unit attached to / cantilevered from the FÃ¶rderturm, which was never completed and looks fucking mental.
This mine is untouched by copper thieves, graffiti artists and explorers. Some parts were extremely hard to access. There is a service shaft at the rear of the maschineraum which has an open drop right to the bottom of the tower, probably about 95m in total something I didnâ€™t realise until faced with the gaping hole... nice.
I think Iâ€™ve waffled enough, have some photographs: Starting, like any miner would, in the Kaue.
RAG Universal Skin Cleanser. (Universal hautrenigungsmittel) - smelled quite nice.
Moving on to the canteen, where a hungry miner could buy his wursts and other teutonic foodstuffs. (No children or Women allowed in the Kaue by the way)
Moving through the offices above and then over to one of the Headstocks.
Cut staircases, 'locked' doors and many other obstacles meant it took over an hour to ascend this tower. At the top we were rewarded by this pristine mascineraum, coated in a delightful grimy film. The whole upper floors still smelled strongly of clutch from the burning of the brake pads on the winding machine.
Thanks for looking as always.