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Hard Times

By Minty805
This was taken in the Clearwell Caves, in the Forest of Dean, which have been mined for ochre and iron ore for thousands of years. The site is now a working mining museum, where visitors can see some of the caverns and passages where miners of all ages, from young children upwards, spent as much as ten hours a day, six days a week, laboriously hacking out the minerals.
The whole experience is fascinating, with boards describing conditions endured by so many, yet which few today would recognise. One story tells how children as young as seven had to carry the ore in wooden 'backpacks' from the mine face to the nearest rail wagon, to be taken to the surface. The loads were so heavy, the children often could not lift them and they were placed on their bent backs by adults. If the adults didn't think the children were moving fast enough, they would put sharp chippings under the wooden containers, so the pain would make the young workers go faster.
Perhaps today's youngsters, who complain they haven't got the latest bit of tech or football strip, should pay a visit to see how their predecessors lived.
More adventurous visitors can go "off piste" with a guide into deeper sections of the mine, where the regular visitors can't go, and experience some basic caving in the process. Sadly, we didn't have time to do this, but just an hour in the main section is highly rewarding.
Thanks for looking.

Tags: Underground General Forest of dean Historical Mining

Voters: KDC, Toobi_Won, kojack and 47 more

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KDC 7 12 6 United Kingdom
5 Sep 2018 9:51PM
That is scary.

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Toobi_Won 8 77 7 England
5 Sep 2018 9:59PM
Hard times indeed Allan.
A well illustrated poignant write up.
Stick today's youngsters down there?
If it hasn't got WiFi, no chance!
gill_f Plus
15 122 England
5 Sep 2018 10:04PM
So nice to read such an interesting account to go with your picture.
5 Sep 2018 10:50PM
Nice light and shadows.
5 Sep 2018 11:12PM
a fine set and write-up
14 Sep 2018 4:42AM
Superb !!!!!!

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