We went down the mines recently, here are our pictures. If you’d like to get out more or meet new people get in touch!
We turned up at a dark car park in the woods by the Wizard pub, and were kitted out with helmets and lamps ready to head down into the dark. Heading through a manhole in the middle of a field down a ladder into the mine it was soon clear that this was nothing like a public cave; with no helpful barriers and few ropes to hold onto you really needed to keep your wits about you!
The views inside were spectacular, as we moved between cramped tunnels and large caves that stretched as further than our lamps could reach.
We went through a labyrinth of tunnels, almost impossible to remember where you’d been in them, though every so often you realised you recognised somewhere before. There were a couple of rock chimneys to climb up, rather disconcerting when you realise there’s people above and below you, and nothing to hold on by except your hands! There was another one, but we all spent ages watching the guides try (and fail) to get up and then decided to go the other way! So after three hours of wandering through the caves, up and down rusty iron ladders, rappelling down ropes, keeping close to the side above long drops, and generally having an amazing time, we finally made it back to the exit. A fantastic trip – I wonder when we’ll next go down there?
For me personally the reason I organised this trip is that having read Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen as a child I’ve always been fascinated by Alderley Edge, so leapt at the chance to go on a guided tour down the old copper mines there, that are immortalized in the book as Fundindelve. As as I was going I invited the rest of IVC and a dozen of them came even though I don’t think any of them had read the book. That is what our club is and how it works: If you’re going to see a gig or want to go out for a curry you let everyone else know and a few of them pitch up. And in return they tell you so with over 70 members on most nights there is something on from badminton and a pub night every week to most of the city’s beer festivals, walks, cinema trip and lot of good eating and the odd ball, dance and ceilidh or two 🙂 Maybe I’ll see you around…