Saturday, 10 September 2011

Dabbling in Diffwys Again

Another look at Diffwys, this time the lowest levels, where it descends into the combined Diffwys/Bowydd pit above Blaenau Ffestiniog. This area is more or less unchanged since the seventies, apart from a steady deterioration in the remaining buildings...unlike the Votty pit nearby, where the process of destruction continues, as it has done since the 1850's. Only now, it's more painful to see things go, even if it does mean jobs for local folk.

Here's the view from the tips of the floor 0 mill. The once mighty Maenofferen tip is in the background. It is dwindling by the day as Llechwedd use the material for hard core, usefully recycling what was once brought up from under the ground at considerable human cost. As we walked past, the slate was running constantly down the sides where it had been disturbed by the diggers.

Closer to the mill, it is apparent that ongoing development in the C20th has confused the scene. A new incline, built by Maenofferen in the 1920's from floor 3, strides over the top of an earlier one from floor 2. On the left can be seen the bed of the old transporter incline from floor 1 to floor 0. Amazingly, there are three more floors above the skyline to the newest Diffwys mill on floor 6, then the quarry continues up the hill again!

Here's the confused scene at the floor 0.5 tunnel. The tunnel was built because of space constraints as a tramway route to the pit on the other side, but Diffwys hadn't time to build the mill floor up to the tramway level, so the tunnel becomes level "half". The various abandoned inclines make a pleasing surround to the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel there's a classic look about the place; it was a transport tunnel rather than an exploration one and it shows. Very business-like.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the hill, a digger picks over the sad remains of what was once the Votty's Tuxford incline. Plus ça change...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Liking the top shot of the brooding drum house

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