Last week I took a few days out to visit some favourite old haunts up in Weardale.
I have always loved the place and the mining and mineral heritage have created an enduring strange feeling of home from home when ever I visit.
The central purpose of my trip was a visit to the Boltsburn Mine. Since it became news that access to the "Holy Grail" of all Weardale mines had been rediscovered I have been following the story with great interest.
It was a fantastic trip and I was given a full 8 hour guided tour of the workings and all the interesting things that lurk within.
One my personal highlights was being taken to the Forehead of the mine, ie the point of maximum penetration into the hills above.
The photo above shows the blind end of the tunnel, still presenting a mineral vein rich in galena and fluorspar and even some unfired drill holes.
This point was reached on 17th February 1941, and is some 2.3miles in from the mine portal, and yes I got my feet very wet!
It really was a privilege to see this, not many have, and just 2 years ago this would have been an "impossible dream".