He panicked and ran off ! He was in a
really bad state and you could see the fear in him.
I am always dubious taking people down unless I know them.
It is a big responsibility if anything happens although I enjoy taking people down and showing them about.
My wife has been down several times and is fascinated by the whole experience of it. She has yet to see the face in action however. A trip for the (near) future.
My nephew (8 years old) enjoyed it, especially the ride out on the belts. My brother and brother in law don't know how anybody can work in the conditions but walking about is a good deal different to working in it.
This is the experience you get down places like Beamish, the lead mines of Killhope and Nenthead. You only get half of the experience of what went on underground.
A local man went down not so long ago, a big strapping lad.
We made him strip most of his gear off such as coat and jumpers before he went down.
We took him down towards the face and he was snapping away with his camera and enjoying the whole thing.
By the time we got half way into the face he was starting to sweat a lot and was getting red in the face. Never mind we thought we would have a minute when we got in.
We got in and sat for a while and had a bit talk with the lads. By this time he was starting to breathe heavy but said he would be OK.
After a few photographs we started to head up the face. By this time the goaf started to knock, a freighting experience for anybody, but it was not too bad so we assured him everything was going to be OK and to keep heading up the face towards the tailgate.
About 5 chocks from the tailgate the knocking became worse and it was obvious the goaf was going to come down.
He panicked and ran off !
He was in a really bad state and you could see the fear in him. We sat him down further outbye and calmed him down. The sweat was pouring out of him and he was breathing very heavy. Once we got him composed we made our way out.
We were nearly at the board end when the goaf fell so we were safely out of the way although you still get a feel of it.
First you lose your hearing, and then the pressure hits you, whipping all the dust up.
Then the draught goes back over your back into the face. A strange feeling and unnerving even in a safe place.
The force of air is caused by the roof coming down and pushing the air down the gates, however a vacuum is caused above the fallen stone so the air rushes back in to fill the void.
He will certainly not forget the experience !
This big strapping lad who was laughing and joking at the start was in sheer panic at the end.
You never totally get used to it and I have been scared by it several times.
This is one of the reasons why I don't like taking people down, you don't know how they are going to react.