TSG Xmas Trip - Aderley Edge - Alan Brentnall
Alderley Edge Mines
Wood Mine & Engine Vein
Thirteen turned up at the National Trust Car Park next to the Wizard at Alderley Edge. It was a cold day, but dry, and, after waiting a bit to see if there were any late-comers, we made our way to the museum, where Olly showed us the shaft into Cobalt Mine, beneath the stowe, and described where our trip would go on the survey on the wall. The original plan was to enter Engine Vein and explore that before sailing through the Hough Level to Wood Mine, but, as the boats were at the Brynlow end of the wet bit, the trip would be reversed. So, after Edd took a quick gander in the car park to see if any more had turned up, we decided that all who were coming were here already, and set off through the woods to Wood Mine.
After Olly had done the monkey-puzzle lock trick and opened up the manhole, Edd descended the shaft and went to the end of the adit to open the gate and we all got into the mine either via the ladders, or through the adit, and assembled at the main junction by the old tub. From here we were taken on a circuit of Wood Mine, visiting various places of interest around the mine, and, to be honest, I'm still having difficulty relating what I saw with the complex survey in the guide book. Eventually, we descended to the Hough Level, and followed this through to the point where the boats were moored, just beyond the Brynlow ladders. The boat journey took a while as the canoe and both tubs needed to be used, and the canoe had to be taken back to pick up those who were unable to fit in on the first voyage - while those already through explored the fantastically layered red Ring Shaft Passage.
Once re-united, the group climbed the ladders up the spectacular Blue Shaft and explored Engine Vein, before exiting into the woodland by the old, now sealed, "open-cast" entrance. A very interesting trip - many thanks to Olly and the others from DCC for their time and experience; it was much appreciated.