Potty Page

September 16, 2007

Deep down inside

On Saturday I went down Boulby MIne, Europe's deepest mine for a general nosey around! There's only one real way to describe it - amazing!

We arrived at the pit head and got all kitted out in overalls, boots, helmets, lamps and self-rescuer (thing that allows you to breath in an atmosphere where lots of carbon monoxide is about). After a breif wait for some other people who were meant to be coming (but ended up late and missed it) we headed off down the 1.1km to the bottom in the lift - it was really quite smooth you didn't really notice that it was dropping at 26 foot per second (18 mph)!

We got in a land rover and drove to the WIMP laboratory down there - you might know it as dark matter. It's all the way down their to get protection for all the false readings it might get on the surface from cosmic rays and the like. Going into the lab required us to get changed again in to a white paper coverall thing, and antistatic trainers instead of the boots. It also involve us looking silly having an air shower... something which I'm quite sure wouldn't have made us that much cleaner! Maybe it's the thought that counts.

It was hard to beleive that you were deep underground as the place is all plaster boarded up - and despite it being a bit wonky in places, look just like any other lab!

After been shown around the lab by one of the RAs who works down there we headed back off to the landrover...

Our guide (John's cousin once removed's husband) asked us how much of a rush we were in... I can take you to the close face, or one a bit further away... we decided we weren't in a rush... and after about 20 minutes driving (at pretty fast speeds) we arrived at the face... about three miles out at sea!

As we got nearer to the face the temperature began to increase shed loads - it was beginning to get a bit uncomfortable! Mainly with the sweat pouring inside my helmet!

Every seemed to be broken... like the mining machine etc... but eventually after a bit of driving we got to see one that was working! There was also a big moving converyor belt, which they were excited about... however I didn't really managed to work out what was giong on with it and how it worked! An impressive machine none the less!

That's about that really. All in all, very interesting!

Posted by Ed at September 16, 2007 3:28 PM | Trips |