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NAMHO 2023 will be hosted by the Cumbria Amenity Trust Mining History Society in Grasmere, Lake District from Friday 7th to Monday 10th July 2023.

A two-day lecture programme with the theme "5000 Years of Mining and Quarrying in The Lake District" will take place at Grasmere Village Hall, Grasmere on Saturday and Sunday. The village hall will also be the venue for social events on Friday and Saturday evenings.

A programme of surface and underground visits is planned on Saturday and Sunday, additional surface walks are planned for Friday and Monday for those wishing to extend their stay and see more of the area.

More details, from which this summary has been extracted, will be available on this site in due course. The details will cover accommodation options; potential conference delegates are recommended to read the details so that can book early for this event taking place in a popular holiday area.

Booking for the conference will be available through this website in due course.

Any potential speakers or exhibitors who may wish to attend the Conference should contact Chris Cowdery directly:

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NAMHO Conference 2022

Apr 07, 2022, 18:06

NAMHO 2022 was hosted by the Cleveland Mining Heritage Society in Grosmont, North Yorkshire from Friday 17th to Monday 20th June 2022 with support from the North Yorkshire Caving Club and others.

The two-day lecture programme with the theme “Industrial Minerals” took place at St Matthew's Church, Grosmont on Saturday and Sunday. The church was also the venue for social events on Friday and Saturday evenings with bar and meals; pity the beer ran out early Saturday evening but full marks for the organisers for fetching beer from the local pub.

A programme of surface and underground visits was held to local Ironstone, Jet and Alum mining sites on Saturday and Sunday, with additional surface walks on Friday and Monday. These included coastal walks in the alum and ironstone areas as well as opportunities to visit the Engine Sheds of the North York Moors Railway and the (currently being redeveloped) Cleveland Ironstone Mine.

Congratulations must go to the organising committee and all their helpers and trip leaders who, along with excellent weather, made this a very successful weekend.

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NAMHO Conference 2022

Jun 21, 2022, 14:05

NAMHO 2022 will be hosted by the Cleveland Mining Heritage Society in Grosmont, North Yorkshire (YO22 5QE) from Friday 17th to Monday 20th June 2022.

A two-day lecture programme with the theme “Industrial Minerals” will take place at St Matthew's Church, Grosmont on Saturday and Sunday. The church will also be the venue for social events on Friday and Saturday evenings, although at this time it is impossible to know if any covid restrictions will be in place at the time of the conference.

A programme of surface and underground visits is planned to local Ironstone, Jet, Alum and Whinstone mining sites on Saturday and Sunday, additional surface walks are planned for Friday and Monday for those wishing to extend their stay and see more of the area, including the opportunity to visit the Engine Sheds of the North York Moors Railway.

More details, from which this summary has been extracted, are available on this site. The details cover accommodation options; potential conference delegates are recommended to read the details so that can book early for this event taking place in a popular holiday area.

Booking for the conference is now well underway through this website. Don't delay in booking for what looks to be an excellent programme of talks and trips.

Any potential speakers or exhibitors who may wish to attend the Conference should contact Chris Twigg directly:

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This item relates to mine access in Wales negotiated by Cave Access Limited (Roy Fellows and others) but excluding access to Cwmystwyth in mid-Wales and Upper Dinas in South Wales.

Roy reported in late November that the directors of Cave Access Ltd (CAL) were told on 24/11/21, without any notice, in a Zoom meeting with Natural Resources Wales (NRW) that NRW has unilaterally terminated CAL's mine access agreement with immediate effect.

CAL's scheme had been operating successfully for about 6 years without any concerns being voiced. But they are now told that NRW requires strong proof of compliance with statutory requirements across its estate. NRW said its main concern is ensuring that bats are not disturbed which seemed to revolve around the SSSI status of land. Essentially CAL were told that if the land is not an SSSI then bats are not an issue. This demonstrates a failure by NRW staff to understand that bat protection is on a national basis and the SSSI status of particular pieces of land neither adds to nor subtracts from that national-level bat protection which applies no matter where the bats are located. CAL say that there needs to be more clarity here.

Despite this massive quango being created to integrate environmental management, NRW has divided itself into six operational areas and so no longer has a holistic view of Wales. So sadly the all-Wales access agreement enjoyed until now will need replacing with up to six separate agreements that cover mines of interest split up by NRW operational areas. CAL has agreed with NRW to work on a solution to their North West Wales area first and once that is deemed a success then to try to replicate it in other areas, but this requires cooperation from five other Land Management Team Leaders; this is clearly not a given and CAL may end up with many different access agreements tailored to these employees.

NRW asked CAL to pay for mine surveys done by professional bat ecologists at various times of the year, to be repeated in future years as necessary. This is infeasible for a voluntary non-funded group like CAL to embrace. So they told NRW that if they held to this idea then CAL would not attempt to renew the access scheme, leaving NRW at a dead end.

CAL suggested to NRW that installing electronic footfall counters (to count all groups using the mines and not just CAL visitors) and electronic bat activity monitors running all year around provided on a voluntary basis would provide a clearer, wider picture and be more accountable than infrequent visits by paid-for consultants writing snapshot style reports.

CAL is not the only organisation affected by this change. Outdoor Pursuits Centres will also be affected along with underground adventure companies. Unfortunately NRW is requiring each group to commission its own professional bat surveys even if the surveys done by other groups exist and are in NRW's possession. So, for example, if several local authorities want to use a mine then all will need to purchase independent bat surveys which concern the very same mine and the cost of this would fall on each local authority. NRW would then have multiple bat surveys for the same site. For NRW's purposes, CAL cannot utilise bat surveys commissioned by others and simply reference them as prior art.

Unfortunately there will be no access through CAL for explorers anywhere on NRW's estate whilst CAL endeavours to work with NRW to find a workable solution for their North West Area first. CAL thinks this may take a year if NRW is cooperative and flexible. If not, then CAL may wind up and NRW would then be left with no obvious lines of communication with mine explorers in the caving community.

Conversely mine explorers in the caving world would have no practical way to obtain permissive access from NRW resulting in a return to the status quo ante which was unregulated, unaccounted for and unconsented activity.

[The above written for and on behalf of the CAL directors by Dave Tyson and forwarded to NAMHO in November 2021 by Roy Fellows, CAL Director.]

Following the situation described above, CAL wrote a firm letter to the NRW staffer involved in the mines matter copied to their Chief Executive and provided NAMHO in December 2021 with the update below.

NRW has now accepted that "[the landowners have] continued to act [since 2015] as if both licences remain in place and so their terms should continue to be followed including the requirement to give 6 weeks' notice [in writing] if any party wishes for the licences to end. I hope that allays your concerns regarding the status of both licence agreements and will respond in the New Year on the outstanding points in your letter."

Roy thinks this is code for the CAL mine access agreements still being operative and that NRW will come back to CAL with some proposals in 2022 which it is hoped will be practical, constructive and mutually beneficial.

For information, there are two identical agreements in place, one is with Welsh Ministers and covers land owned by Welsh Government (ex-Forestry) which is managed by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and the other separate agreement covers Temple Mine in Ceredigion which is owned by NRW (ex-Countryside Council for Wales).

It appears that the date on the original, 2015, was the source of some confusion.

CAL wish to emphasise that the NRW agreements are absolutely unrelated to Cwmystwyth which is owned by Roy Fellows' trust, or Upper Dinas Silica Mine in south Wales which is owned by Roy Fellows' company.

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The National Stone Centre, formerly a member of NAMHO, has announced a major development of the museum and information centre in Derbyshire related to quarrying. Ian Thomas, one-time Chairman of NAMHO, has sent us the following announcement which is reproduced in full below:


"Greatest NSC development since 1990

"I am now writing to people who have supported us in the past, often through very difficult times, to tell you about by far the greatest development here since the National Stone Centre opened in 1990.

"I am extremely pleased to be able to report that the NSC has come to an agreement with the Institute of Quarrying (IQ), the leading professional membership body for individuals working in the quarrying and mineral products sector, to create a world class visitor destination, reference point and centre of excellence for the quarrying industry.

"The role of IQ is to promote the positive impact of the industry, the career opportunities available and support professionals working within it. IQ has been inspiring people through skills, knowledge and education for over 100 years, now with an international membership.

"This joint initiative will bring together the story of stone with the history, science and practice of quarrying, to create a truly outstanding facility at the NSC. It will significantly enhance awareness of the industry's vital role and provide a deeper understanding to the general public.

"As a significant part of the initiative, IQ will move its HQ offices from their current location in Chilwell, Nottingham to the NSC. In relocating to the NSC site, there will be an opportunity to drive forward the vision of the NSC to secure lasting benefits for the site, creating memorable experiences and growing revenue for an area, where quarrying dominated the local economy.

"By way of context, the last reorganisation of the NSC Discovery Centre was a temporary fix; it acknowledged that for example the resultant Story of Stone exhibition was far too cramped. In response, planning permission was gained recently to double the size of that building, but funding hadn't been resolved. The scheme now put forward, enables us to think afresh. Speaking personally, I hope to be able to engage particularly with planning the new exhibition. The brief, reflecting NSC’s long term aspirations remains - ie to present the Story of Stone - its origins from the birth of the Solar System, through geology, the operation of the oldest human industry and its incredible diversity now, from World class sculptors working alone to the half dozen or so UK quarries producing +5 million tonnes annually, its output second only to water in tonnage terms, our dependence upon its products a hundred times a day and not forgetting its contribution to recycling, pollution control and creation of wildlife habitats. I also wish to maintain links with the library and archive - for both, these proposals herald previously unimagined opportunities.

"There is no planned date yet as to when IQ will move, but it will be this year and we will keep you updated throughout the process via newsletters and blogs. Over the coming weeks and months we will be undertaking extensive consultation with all interested parties to help formulate future plans at the NSC. If you have ideas to contribute or want to get involved in the project, please email or go to Under the proposed system, those currently involved with the NSC, will be encouraged to continue.

"In summary, I consider this as having the potential to develop into a ‘perfect partnership’, bringing together professionals, the public and educators across a multi-disciplinary platform.

"The NSC Trustees welcome the Institute of Quarrying to the NSC and look forward to building a sustainable future together with them.

"Ian Thomas"

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The Shropshire Caving and Mining Club hosted the Conference in South Shropshire (2nd to 5th July 2021) with an excellent programme of talks and mine trips. All of this was achieved despite Covid by taking particular care with seating in the lecture hall, use of on-line lecturing and attendance and (sadly) loss of social gathering events. The Conference website is still open but booking has closed so the site will only help you by showing what you have missed if you did not come to Shropshire.


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The Northern Mine Research Society has been pleased to announce the release of a database of international mining information compiled by the late Alasdair Neill (Ali). The original 6,000 pages plus of text were converted into a database format to give over 76,000 fully searchable entries.

The database can be accessed at

The NMRS is also updating its on-line mapping of mines in the British Isles and has added a new map showing the distribution of many accidents in coal and miscellaneous mines.

Information provided to the Mining History web list by Mike Gill.

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Oct 22, 2016, 19:34

NAMHO is now on Facebook where you can read news and leave comments. The link to Facebook is on the home page and forum page. If you are reading this on our news page, you can click HERE.

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Oct 21, 2016, 14:47

The Environment Agency have updated the documents about mine water treatment schemes and proposals specifically for Nentsberry Haggs Mine. Two public meetings are planned.Link here

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NAMHO handbook on-line

Mar 09, 2016, 14:41

The facility has been available for some time to print a copy of the handbook from the website. As this appears to be little used, I have uploaded a PDF copy of the handbook to the library (available under the research tab). This version can be read or downloaded and will be updated periodically.

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Nellie Kirkham archive

Dec 31, 2015, 10:36

In the last 3 months PDMHS has taken in the mining history archives (courtesy of Jenny Potts and Mary Wilde at the British Caving Library) belonging to Doug Nash of Op. Mole and Eyam.

Doug was the literary executor of Nellie Kirkham and came into possession of some 60 boxes of Nellie's field notes and other archive material. It was immediately obvious that this material was unique and needed to be lodged in the County Record Office at Matlock to ensure its survival in a proper environment.

Accordingly, David Williams has, over the last few weeks, been transferring this material to Matlock, and the last part of the collection was delivered just before Christmas. This has been celebrated in a blog from Mark Smith at the Record Office -

As mentioned in the blog a catalogue can be found at -*

Some of the material had previously been scanned and this can be seen at -

As Mark says in the blog this material is roughly sorted but needs a great deal of work to make it more understandable. It has to be said that Nellie's handwriting does not make this easy. David is hoping to make this a project for Winter 2016/17!

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DMM Product Recall Notice 14th September 2015

Sep 28, 2015, 22:10

Certain DMM carabiners have been found to be faulty and DMM have issued a recall notice. In their words:

"In a small percentage of carabiners the interaction between the internal coil spring (which gives the gate its closing action) and the gate pusher (the component that holds the spring against the carabiner body) may cause the gate pusher to displace, potentially preventing the gate from closing or the mechanism from locking completely."

This notice has been circulated by regional caving and cave rescue organisations. If you want a copy of the full details, please contact the webmaster.

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Tributes paid to Clearwell Caves Founder

Sep 28, 2015, 21:30

Tributes have been paid to Ray Wright who passed away in August 2015 aged 85. The visitor attraction near to Coleford in the Forest of Dean was reopened as a working museum in 1968 after being closed as a working mine in 1945. A report on the BBC news can be read here (available when accessed: 28/9/2015).

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NAMHO and the CRoW review

Aug 19, 2014, 17:56

NAMHO Officers are reviewing the situation with regard to CRoW (The Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000) following a meeting of the British Caving Association Conservation & Access Committee. The meeting discussed at length the impact of CRoW on cave and mine exploration. The draft minutes can be read on the BCA website by following {this link}. Member organisations are welcome to send comments to the NAMHO Secretary by 30 September 2014.

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Mar 18, 2014, 12:59

The AGM was held on 15th March. Additional time was allowed for useful discussion of future conferences and other topics. The only change in the committee is that Peter Jackson has taken over the role of Secretary from Nigel Dibben.

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New Bulk Minerals research assessment

Aug 28, 2013, 15:44

A new version of the 81-page assessment is now available on the {Research page} on this website.

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Nenthead Bunk House reopened

Aug 13, 2013, 16:16

In order to raise funds for conservation work Nenthead Mines Conservation Society has reopened the Assay House Bunkhouse on the Nenthead mine site to BCA members and their guests. The bunk house sleeps 12 people in 2 rooms, it has central heating and all usual amenities.
Cost £5 per person per night (plus a group donation towards central heating cost in winter). Bring your own sleeping bag, pillows provided.

To book contact: Sheila Barker or 01434 381903

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Historical Metallurgy Society - Research in Progress Meeting

Jul 27, 2013, 15:26

Thursday the 10th October, 2013 :: Department of Archaeology, University of Exeter.
This meeting is aimed at a wide variety of contributors, from historical and archaeological metallurgists to excavators, historians and economists. If you are working, or have just finished working, on a project related to archaeological or historical metallurgy, we would like to hear from you. We are particularly interested in bringing together contract and public sector archaeologists with academic researchers, and in fostering links between the different disciplines studying metallurgy and related activities. Whether you are a student, a researcher, an interested non-specialist, or a professional excavator, we invite you to meet others working in this field and present your research to an interested community.
Proposals for 10-15 minute oral papers are welcomed from anyone undertaking work in any area of ancient, historical, or industrial metallurgy, and from other researchers whose focus is of relevance to this subject.
The Historical Metallurgy Society offers a prize for the best student research presented at this meeting, all students or recent graduate within 12 months of graduation are eligible.
General enquiries and abstracts can be directed to

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23000 Coal Mines on Google Maps

Jul 17, 2013, 10:20

Mike Gill has recently informed us that:

"The Northern Mine Research Society is pleased to announce this major advance in the research tools available on its website. Mike Gill has prepared extensive databases giving the locations and historical details of coal and metalliferous mines in the British Isles.Starting with coal, these are now being made available on the website by superimposing the data on Google Earth mapping. Some 23,000 mines will be covered, and basic information such as the opening and closing dates, the mineral worked, and the ownership history (all where known) is given.

"To find the 'Collieries of the British Isles' go to the 'Mining in the British Isles' section of the main website ({}) click on 'Information' (penultimate entry on the option bar) and select 'Mines Information'. Click on Coal, and at the foot of the map choose the 'Online Mapping' option."

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Forgotten State of Industry - Irish Industrial Landscapes in a Global Context
18/19 October 2013

Jun 14, 2013, 17:41

Featuring a presentation keynote speech by leading industrial archaeologist, Professor Marilyn Palmer, this exciting two day international conference brings together an exceptional group of speakers from across Ireland, Europe and beyond, providing an opportunity to share experiences of conserving, managing and presenting our historical industrial landscapes, many of which in Ireland are poorly understood and vulnerable. Largely funded with the support of the InterReg 4A (Ireland-Wales) Metal Links: Forging Communities Together project, with additional support from the Heritage Council, Wicklow County Council and the Gathering Fund, the conference is being organised by community group, Glens of Lead, a partner in the Metal Links project.

This conference represents exceptional value for money. There is no fee for attending, only a charge to cover refreshments, lunches and dinner. Places are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment! All bookings via

The venue is the Glendalough Hotel in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, Ireland, one hour south of Dublin.

The conference runs from Friday 18th October through Saturday 19th October 2013. {Further details of the programme are available here}.

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International Mining History Conference, Queensland, 2014

Jun 03, 2013, 14:33

The web-site for the International Mining History Congress 2014 in Charters Towers, Australia, is NOW up and running. As yet it is fairly basic but keep checking for updates. The link is: {}

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NAMHO Bibliography now on-line

Apr 19, 2013, 15:35

A bibliography of mining-related articles, books and theses has now been made available from the Research page on this site. The bibliography contains nearly 8000 items and can be sorted or searched by various criteria. Further search options can be added on request. To use the bibliography, go to the Research page and select NAMHO bibliogrpahy from the menu line or click {here}.

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Nov 25, 2011, 17:52

See our Guidelines page for NAMHO's recommendations for 'best practice' in mine exploration, mineral collecting, and archival research

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