Back at the T-junction, the way on appeared to be flooded, although a tantalising low arch could be seen just above the water. Kelvin decided to wade along towards the arch, however as he moved forward there didn’t seem to be a solid floor. Rails could be felt under the water and silt and it was necessary to shimmy along these. However after a few feet these started to ‘bounce’!
At this point it was realised that the level was effectively the top of a stope. The foot-wall continued on the hade of the vein under the rails and it was necessary to wedge a foot against this wall, while using a hand to brace against the opposite one. For safety Andy Harris lifelined Kelvin until he reached the arch - the tape measure was also tied to him, so if he sank into the stope we’d have some idea of the depth.
At the arch, it was just possible by resting your chin on the water surface to look along the level, which continued in a straight line for some distance. Bubbles of gas could be seen breaking the water surface, probably disturbed while moving through the water (not due to nerves on Kelvin’s part!).
The route to the shaft chamber is on the right.
Picture: Stuart Tyrer