After debating and questioning which mine we have been descending for the past month we finally have an answer thanks to Phil Wolstenholme (TSG). We have been descending a mine called Near Cross Mine or Hall's Old Grove Mine. What we (cavers) know as Kitty Cross engine shaft is on the opposite side of the road to our mine and called Upper Cross for the record, Nether Cross (Kitty Cross) lies on the south side of the road but further west to Halls' Old Grove.

Rob Eavis and I met at the usual layby and descended the mine at 7:15pm. Armed with more rope, drill and surveying gear I continued to descend the mine from the point we had left from last week rigging/bolting en route whilst Rob surveyed from the rear. Dan and co. had already descended the shaft and some nice looking bolts were already placed at the shaft top so it was just a case of rigging for the moment. I descended the shaft which wasn't very deep to a boulder floor where east soon ended after a couple of metres. The floor dropped away to the right to a large mined out vein with a few bits of bar in the floor. Noting that the draught was present at the bottom of the shaft.

At the end of the level I came to a squeeze under a very dodgy looking boulder which I assumed was the one Dan mentioned in his previous report. Underneath this the mine continued for a few metres which a climber in the roof but the level ahead soon finished in deads. What was interesting here was the large haulage/rope mark at the base of the climber which went right to floor which means the mine possibly went deeper at this point.

Once Rob had caught up with the survey, we traversed the level from where the floor was at its highest to reach a large stacked platform with some large sketchy boulders chocked in the level, once of which was vital in using as a stepping stone to continue beyond. On the platform a body sized, voidy drystone wall could be climbed only to realise once standing on the top that the otherside dropped into the climber as seen from below. Rob had to survey back blind from this stance which led to both of us cramping up!

The level did continue approx. 5m giher up but would need bolting to reach. We agreed to try higher up as it would be easier to descend to. We headed back out to the top of the shaft from our starting point from this evening where Rob traversed across to where Dan and co. had left their exploration, only to shout back that he could see the top of the level and it looked to be continuing but would need a 10m bolting exercise to gain access, a much easier option than bolting up!

We decided to call it a trip and departed to the Red Lion.



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