Historical Image Gallery
Here you can view a number of pictures from the closing days of mining in Fell and surroundings.
As the vocabulary in the texts may be unfamiliar, we?ve created a glossary of terms:
The mined blocks, which can weigh up to a couple of tonnes, are processed into a transportable size. Slate still moist from the mine is approximately three times as heavy as water.
Once a deposit has been opened up, the blocks are won by kirving (scoring of grooves around the block) and wedging or by blasting. After mining a horizontal chamber, the working continues into the overhand stope.
Driving to an assumed or established deposit with pilot drifts (advancing approximately 30 to 40cm a day in a two man shift). Many drifts never lead to a mineable deposit.
Using a trimming hammer and slater’s anvil or slate cutters the raw slat is trimmed to the correct dimensions while still within the mine, resulting in a finished roofing slate. Although some formats (for the problem areas on the roof) have to be trimmed on site by the roofer.
Using a wooden hammer and frog (broad, flat chisel) the slate blocks are split into tiles of approximately 4-6mm thickness. Recently pneumatic frogs were also used to split the slate.