by Chris Grimmett

Easter  - water, water, everywhere .....

The cows mistake digging buckets for food

Rebuilding the fallen spoil heap wall section

Ladder 4 in situ with Ladder 5 on its right

Activity at the dig for 2005 recommenced over the Easter period.  Progress was limited by the unavailability of some of the usual diggers, a few setbacks and a lot of water.

Having fought their way past a herd of Welsh Blacks, the reduced team of three was forced to pump a very large volume of water which had accumulated in the base of the dig over winter. There were a number of stoppages to repair leaks in the pipework, but a new and improved hose increased the pumping rate to around 2.5 cubic metres per hour, not bad up a head of over 20 metres.

The pumping delay enabled the rebuilding of one corner of the main spoil heap where the outer wall had collapsed.

Digging finally got under way and by late on the Sunday, a reasonable quantity of rather wet spoil had been removed.  On the Monday, three more diggers turned up and simultaneously, the winch broke down.  The fault was traced to a badly carboned up spark plug and an hour was lost while a replacement was sourced from Penwyllt by runner.

During the delay, the 1st. fixed ladder in the dig was resited to give a more acceptable angle of climbing, i.e. not overhanging.  The temporary 4th. ladder was replaced by a fixed 4th. ladder of 8ft., releasing the 16ft. ladder as a temporary one down to the digging point.

Some more shoring was inserted at the digging point and more depth was achieved, increasing the previous depth of 20 metres by an amount unknown as the measuring tape had gone missing.

The loneliness of the long distance pumper

A wet and sticky digging session

Ladder 1 in its new situation