Coppermine Capers


 

I had a short break in the Coppermines valley the other week. Day one and the sun shone beautifully, but the rest of the week was overcast. Not to be too down-hearted, I managed to hobble for four miles and even climbed up The Pudding Stone, a lump of rock that needs no explanation.

 

The reason for being there was two-fold: a little route planning for the Freedom Wizard charity was needed http://www.freedomwizard.co.uk/home  (I’m a prime candidate still having a dodgy foot) and the other was to investigate some mine shafts as I wanted to get the feel of the place for a novel I’m working on. I’ve been there before but wanted to think about it in a different vein (terrible pun, I know). Perhaps my friend and I have an over-active imagination but one adit (entrance) had a very spooky feel to it and shamefully, we raced out after calling ‘hellooo’. We felt the backs of our necks prickling and it was too uncomfortable to hang around. Later, when looking at the pics we imagined an ‘orb’ but I’m sure the real photographers out there can explain away the strange blob of light. (I’m a creative writer, I’m allowed to be silly!)

 

I found an interesting article that tells how men, women and children worked in the area, sometimes going well-below sea-level – down to 600’. Hard times for many. You can find the paper here:

 https://www.aditnow.co.uk/documents/Coniston-Copper-Mine/CMR-Part-1.pdf

It was good to be back in the fells, if a little frustrating at times. Still, there was always compensation with a G & T in the hot-tub and star-gazing with no light pollution is idyllic! I can’t help but think, we must never moan at how hard life can be, I find it truly ironic that I could sit in a hot tub in the Coniston fells yet the area was an arena for toil and hardship once-upon-a-time. Moving swiftly on…

I didn’t get up The Old Man (if you’ll pardon the phrase. My British humour always to the fore) or even up as far as Levers Water but all in all it was a wonderful trip and new ideas and friendships were forged. It’s an area I must return to…oh yes, the local beer is pretty good too! Cheers.