Minitron, Sheffield

“Minitron” is an offshoot of the River Don in the Kelham Island area of the city – no doubt in the past it would have fed many water wheels to supply power to the many metalworking factories in this area, but is now largely culverted.

Some lovely stone work…

…eventually leads to some spraycreted sections…

…before there’s a brief open section…

…then a stretch of RCP before it joins back up with the Don

James doing his thang

Gave a couple of blokes walking home from the pub a bit of a shock when we emerged fully-wadered and asked ’em “Is this the way to Rotherham?” 😀

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Underneath Halifax

The steep valleys and streams of this West Yorkshire town have, over the years, been built over and utilised by the local woollen industry for water, power and maybe even transport resulting in an underground world that is only seen a few.

Wet and dark for sure, but also strangely beautiful.

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Victorian stone walls give way to more modern round metal pipes.

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36DD, Sheffield – May 2011

36DD, Sheffield – May 2011


When a message from WB dropped in to my inbox titled “36DD” it didn’t take much to convince me although it turned out we were to be exploring a smelly tunnel and not….

Advance raiding party: Muttley & Ludo

Bringing up the rear: Ojay & WB

This culvert system is huge, running under most of the Tata/Corus steelworks in Stocksbridge, joining Underbank reservoir and eventually flowing into the River Don.

We started at the downstream end and quickly ran into difficulties as the water hit waist height immediately but a quick switch to some shallower water on the opposite bank, pausing to grab a handy depth gauge and we were soon underway.

The going was heavy at times – rocks, holes, weeds, strong currents slowing progress down- but then you hit a bit with a flat concrete bottom allowing you to get some pace up.

Occasionally you break cover with steelworks all around, train tracks running above your head and the occasional intriguing ladder up…

Not a full set of pics from me as we had to pack the cameras away to make quicker progress on the way back so that I could get some much-needed beauty sleep. A return visit may be in order.

But we did manage to make it to the very end, unlike the other bunch of lightweights

The Breach, Oughtibridge, Sheffield

Once more unto the breach, dear friends…

Flicking through a friend’s pics on Facebook of her family day out in the countryside, I spies an interesting looking hole. A few messages later and I’ve got a grid reference, map checked and its in WB’s neck of the woods, so he’s despatched to have a recce.

Report comes back that it looked do-able so we wellied up and prepared to get wet and dirty.

Visited with WB, apologies received from AEM who was stuck at work – hope the missus enjoys that overtime!

Believe this is the first time this has been reported, so naming rights claimed – “The Breach”, in honour of Ms Shakespeare and for reasons that will become apparent (in fact more apparent in WB’s report HERE.

Apologies for the poor pics, managed to leave my torch in the car after previous night shenanigans, so had to make do with 4 quid headtorch, 800ISO and 30 second exposure.

Nice contrast in here with the yellow/orange ochre colours (hinting there might be some mine workings not too far away) and old stone walls.

The water has worn a thick channel through the stone floor and in many places has worn right through creating a few leg sized holes just waiting for a careless footstep.

Copyright Ojay

At this point the floor had worn completely away and created a deep hole aka The Breach, scientific depth analysis tests conducted using a big stick and WB’s leg concluded that it was WTFDM (Way Too Fucking Deep Man) so this was the end of the journey, need to return for another look from the other end.

The Breach (Focus fail )

The outfall (can you spot WB?)

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Decepticon

Somewhere near Sheffield is a mile and a half of concrete pipe conveniently placed underground so that idiots can go for an underground walk.

Access to this place is an absolute killer – 150 metres of 4 foot high pipe, great work-out for the thighs!

The pipe seems to follow the course of an old brook and has a constant flow of clean(ish) water.

At some points there are yellowish deposits caused by the minerals in the surrounding rock.

Conisbrough / Edlington Water Tunnel

Agents: Muttley, Woodburner, aem

 

Mission: Get underground and get diiiiiirtay

 

This tunnel runs from Edlington near Doncaster towards Conisbrough and carries a now disused water pipe, presumably to transport water from one village to the other.

 

In total it runs for about 1200 metres underground before breaking cover and running through a man-made gulley towards Conisbrough.

 

Not sure of its exact age, but its shown on a 1892 map of the area but not on the 1854 version so presumably some time between the two dates.

 

Access is a bit of a squeeze to say the least, not one for those who’ve had a bit too much turkey over Xmas.

 

There are 4 air shafts along the length of the tunnel, I assume for construction purposes only, and these provide a good supply of fresh air.

 

The tunnel is 3-4 feet wide and varies between 4 and 7 feet tall.

 

Construction is variously natural rock and brick, in some sections the roof has metal plating.

 

The pipe itself is metal and around 30cm in diameter, each section of pipe was about 3 metres long.

 

At each end and at the bottom of each air shaft there is a build-up of rubble (possibly deliberate) which means a bit of a scramble and a squeeze to get to the next section.

 

I-spy points were awarded today for : 1 bat, 1 toad and a Rozzer on a quad bike who didn’t bat an eyelid at 3 blokes covered in mud

Woodburner selects Space Hopper as his chosen mode of transport for the day

 

Brick section at the Edlington end

 

At each joint in the pipe were two arched alcoves in the wall

 

Airshaft

 

Rock section

 

Shotgun cartridges at the bottom of an airshaft – hopefully they’d been dropped down, rather than somebody had been down there with a shooter

 

Muttley having a well earned rest after much stoopiness.

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Megatron, Sheffield

Next time you step off a train at Sheffield station, have a think about what’s under your feet…

Those train tracks must be built on fairly solid stuff, right?

Think again…two of Sheffield’s waterways, the Porter Brook and the River Sheaf, come together under the station and then flow together until they join the River Don.

There’s a mix of boring concrete pipe, brick tunnels, stone walls and fantastic arches, the constant sound of running water and the occasional deafening rattle and roar of a train overhead.

 

 

 

 

There’s some work going on in one section and they’d kindly left the lights on for us…
 

 

Obligatory silhouette

God bless Lidl waders!