West Mine, Alderley Edge - Alan Brentnall

Tuesday, 15 March, 2016

This week's venue was West Mine at Alderley Edge, organised for us by Kieran (DCC and DCRO) and ably led by Pete (DCC). The last time we visited West Mine was in November 2014, when Olly (DCC) led us on a fantastic trip around this large, dry maze of a copper mine. Tonight's trip was just as good, and different in several respects.

Eleven of us met at the NT Car Park next door to the Wizard, and decided on West Mine. The weather was quite mild (a pleasant change from some of the recent trips) and we had an easy walk through the forest to the West Mine entrance shaft. Soon everybody was down, and we made our way down to the old entrance, now bricked up, and then down several great passageways to Sphinx Chamber. From here, we climbed a ladder and chain to an incline up to a bridge over Plank Shaft.

Eventually, we found and climbed up the Laundry Chute before seeking out what I think is known as the Hourglass, and, after that, we were taken through to the very end of the mine, before using the ventilation tunnel as a route back via Doctor's Shaft to Chain shaft and finally re-climbing the haulage level back up to the surface shaft.

As if this weren't enough, we were then treated to an amazing lightening tour of Wood Mine, before returning to our cars near the Wizard. Terrific trip, and a big thank you to our hosts in DCC.