Following is a recent email from Don Fell regarding event controlling, and the topic is a good one to consider for all of us who enter old gold mining terrain to pursue our sport. Don reports that the recent record rainfalls over summer have caused some old mineshaft cappings at Glenluce to collapse, and have no doubt weakened and eroded other mine workings that might still appear intact on the surface. Out in the bush, be very wary of climbing down into larger depressions and earthworks, especially those with steep sides and/or significant piles of earth next to them. These may have been deep mineshafts in the past, that have been “capped”, probably with a wooden or metal mesh cover, that is then covered over with earth. Over time, the cap either rots away or falls down into the shaft, and the compacted earth over the top of the shaft remains. This is easily weakened by significant rainfall. So respect any workings that look like they might hide old mineshafts – we don’t need any nasty accidents at our events…!
From: Don Fell [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, 2 March 2011 4:24 PM
To: Blair Trewin; ‘kathy liley’
Subject: Re: controlling matters [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
I was talking to Matt King last night about the Glenluce SS3 event scheduled for May. He said his last site inspection of some proposed control sites showed there were a number of sites where there had been considerable subsidence/collapse and some of the mounds and depressions were now significant pits – the caps had collapsed with the recent heavy rains. Something to consider when we are checking courses.
I remember discussing one particular control site with Keith O’Brien some years ago, his point being that that depression was almost certainly a capped shaft and should not be entered. Probably worth a reminder to the Adviser group and a par in the Bulletin warning orienteers of the risk of additional shafts. I’ll send the note
to the eBulletin if you like, but organisers should be highlighting the point at affected events if it is likely to be a problem.