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 Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft

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miles
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Tue 27 Jan 2009, 2:14 pm

Lol, a good old GCC debate.

GCC have done a good job of keeping OG unconcreted and have done loads of applaudable maintainance and put a lot of fixed rigging in the system. Hats off to them.

On the down side, it's rather obvious access negotiations stopped at the point GCC got access to the complex with not enough thought in my opinion to the wider mine exploring community.

Under the rules for BCA Access Controlling Bodies, which GCC are one of, they are required under the contract to provide access to in the least other BCA members to any and all mines/caves for which they control access. But they are allowed to insist trips are led trips, and GCC do.

GCC have been providing 'guided tours' as required by their BCA affiliation, though arranging one is a very difficult and long winded affair as I can speak from experiance. I can understand it's probably a hassle to be giving tours all the time, but this is really the result of GCC taking it upon themselves to access control the largest mine system in the UK and then insisting on guided tours only with a ratio of 1 GCC leader to 6 visitors.

GCC have kept the Milwr complex very close to the chest for years, through strict access-control rules laid down either by GCC themselves or the landowners, we know not which. Even in the latter case, I can't help but notice how well the arrangement suits GCC and I wonder how much effort was made to try and negotiate the rules further for the wider community. I'd hazard a guess at none what so ever.

The mines under our feet are our history, it was our fathers and forfathers who created it. If GCC ever do regain access at OG, I hope they appoint some new officers with a fresh approch and more of an understanding that there are lots of people outside of GCC that don't want to cause trouble - they just want to be able to appriciate the mine in their own way and time. I would rather GCC try and negotiate an arrangement that is of benefit to everybody, not just themselves.

I also hope they will continue the excellent work they've been doing in there, and maybe with more people about, they could get some extra help?
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vanoord
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Tue 27 Jan 2009, 2:20 pm

Leahy Mike wrote:
so some of our members post videos on u tube there just having a laugh .

Fine, do it: I don't give a monkey's where you go to. I don't care if you sneak in to those places you really, really shouldn't be. I'm not hugely fussed if things have to moved and then made to look as if they were never there.

What really gets my goat is the fact that UCET are publicising sensitive sites and uploading stuff to YouTube that simply shouldn't be there. Rhiwbach has a very sensitive access situation and there is a video on YouTube with around 500 hits that shows people bypassing both entrances. It's just plain irresponsible and it's no different to the willy-waving that goes on in the Urban Exploration community.

If you really have to act like kids and shout about goblins on t'interweb, then do so. But for ****'s sake, please don't publicise any instances where you're basically breaking into sites. All it does is jeopardise existing access agreements and that'll lose access for all of us.
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Jo Mc-M
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Tue 27 Jan 2009, 5:05 pm

Leahy Mike wrote:
johns a pussy cat really
?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! affraid
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Wed 28 Jan 2009, 3:24 am

Vanoord,

Rhiw Bach
I was not aware access to Rhiw Bach was such a sensitive issue. Our trip to the mine was sanctioned and came about from a meeting I had with a lady within the Snowdonia Society (a meeting that was not caving related). After that meeting, we were chatting about things in general (in this case the societies activities) and she mentioned that they had an “underground walk”. That obviously caught my attention and we quickly began talking about the mine (as they have access as well as the outdoor leisure centre) and she invited me to come along. I asked if we (the club) could go on our own accord and she said we could go anytime we wanted.

As you have said the mine is sensitive I have now removed the videos from public viewing on youtube as I obviously do not wish to cause any difficulties for any mine explorer, club or group (not least the club I am a member of).

GCC
I think, also, that there is some confusion that GCC and UCET are the same club (I think you thought that “I Burrows” was one of us). I see that Mike has already posted that he isn’t a member of our club but just to clarify; UCET isn’t the Grosvenor Caving Club although some of the GCC members have posted on the forum here. However, when they do so, they are not representing UCET or UCET policies. The forum has quickly become a battleground (some might see this a good thing for airing grievances, some might see it as bad) but the battles have not been started by us.

The forum administrator has coloured the names of registered users to make the distinction (red = UCET member, white = other forum member).

For my part, I have much the same view as Miles & SimplyExploring who, in earlier posts, indicated that they want to enjoy exploring underground and would prefer to promote easier access for everyone regardless of whether a person is in a club or not. We certainly don’t want to cause any trouble or make life difficult for anyone.

I see you live in Halkyn; we meet in the Glan-yr-Afon pub on Thursday evenings after we have been underground (usually arriving quite late), we aren’t a bad bunch and a bit of bar time together might go a long way Very Happy

Regards,

Ian

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darkplaces
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Wed 28 Jan 2009, 8:30 am

Evil or Very Mad You UCET are all so dammed nice cant I gripe at you about 'something'!

The MOD thinks us darkplaces lot are "A bunch of bad boys" Its nice to be known Wink Then last year I **** off Jack Straw hehehe
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Wed 28 Jan 2009, 12:19 pm

Ian wrote:
Vanoord,

Rhiw Bach
I was not aware access to Rhiw Bach was such a sensitive issue. Our trip to the mine was sanctioned and came about from a meeting I had with a lady within the Snowdonia Society (a meeting that was not caving related). After that meeting, we were chatting about things in general (in this case the societies activities) and she mentioned that they had an “underground walk”. That obviously caught my attention and we quickly began talking about the mine (as they have access as well as the outdoor leisure centre) and she invited me to come along. I asked if we (the club) could go on our own accord and she said we could go anytime we wanted.

As you have said the mine is sensitive I have now removed the videos from public viewing on youtube as I obviously do not wish to cause any difficulties for any mine explorer, club or group (not least the club I am a member of).

GCC
I think, also, that there is some confusion that GCC and UCET are the same club (I think you thought that “I Burrows” was one of us). I see that Mike has already posted that he isn’t a member of our club but just to clarify; UCET isn’t the Grosvenor Caving Club although some of the GCC members have posted on the forum here. However, when they do so, they are not representing UCET or UCET policies. The forum has quickly become a battleground (some might see this a good thing for airing grievances, some might see it as bad) but the battles have not been started by us.

The forum administrator has coloured the names of registered users to make the distinction (red = UCET member, white = other forum member).

For my part, I have much the same view as Miles & SimplyExploring who, in earlier posts, indicated that they want to enjoy exploring underground and would prefer to promote easier access for everyone regardless of whether a person is in a club or not. We certainly don’t want to cause any trouble or make life difficult for anyone.

I see you live in Halkyn; we meet in the Glan-yr-Afon pub on Thursday evenings after we have been underground (usually arriving quite late), we aren’t a bad bunch and a bit of bar time together might go a long way Very Happy

Regards,

Ian

Cheers Ian Smile

The trouble with t'interweb is that things often get into the public arena without anyone realising there may be problems. That gets repeated over the net and things go downhill as landowners read reports, sometimes get the wrong end of the stick and realise what people are up to under their feet.

There are many things that are out of the public eye for a very good reason, but in many cases the reason for putting them out of the public eye is not something that can be broadcast. To borrow a phrase, the unknown unknowns are often better than the known unknowns.

There are a number of very tricky access situations in north Wales at the moment and in several of those cases the problems have their root in the internet. People have been known to travel hundreds of miles to some sites in order to steal equipment that they've seen in photographs innocently posted on the internet - sounds crazy, but it's actually happened (and I'm not further publicising the site by naming it).

I note your comments about promoting easier access (I'll let Miles and SimplyExploring speak for themselves) - but there's a massive difference between gaining and maintaining easier access and promoting access. Promoting access is rarely a good idea as it often leads to problems.

Sadly, publicising access (and trips like the Rhosydd one) has a brief spell where it encourages lots of people to visit a site, then it gets over-used, the land owners get edgy and access is lost. Pandora, incidentally, is a perfect example of a land owner wanting rid of people in 'his' mine due to worries about his liability.

In short - and as I said up there - go where you want, but keep it to yourselves if there is the slightest question about the access. If this means parking stuff in 'hidden' areas of forums, then so be it. If it means not putting some things anywhere near the internet, then so be it. Wink



Glan-yr-Afon eh? Used to go there occasionally in my youth but I work away from Halkyn these days, but if I'm around on a Thursday, I'll pop in Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Wed 28 Jan 2009, 1:02 pm

vanoord wrote:

Glan-yr-Afon eh? Used to go there occasionally in my youth but I work away from Halkyn these days, but if I'm around on a Thursday, I'll pop in Smile

Great, I hope you can make it and I'll see you there for a pint Very Happy

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PostSubject: GCC access agreement   Fri 30 Jan 2009, 7:49 am

Hi everybody

Just wanted to make a few comments to try and set the record a bit straighter with regards to the agreement that GCC had for access.

The GCC like many cavers in the area used to sneak into OG at various times. I believe in the past that older cavers even switched lights off and crept past the onsetters cabin at the bottom of the shaft to access the system whilst it was still being worked! In the 1990's GCC was approached by the water company and asked not to go down as they did not have permission to. However, access negotiations were instigated. Following these negotiations a legal access agreement was drawn up between the company and GCC. Under the terms of this agreement the GCC is not allowed to advertise trips down the system but they can take visiting groups in provided that they are led by a leader (but I am not too sure on the actual wording). I believe that the leader:visitor ratio is about 1:6 or 1:7, not sure how rigidly that must be adhered to though.

These leaders are made up of members of the GCC who know the system well enough so that they do not get lost and are sensible people. These leaders do not spend their life down OG and when they do go down then they do go down on their own exploration and pushing trips so they cannot always lead a group down. The GCC access officer is usually very, very efficient and deals with all trip requests promptly depending upon whether a leader(s) is available on the dates requested. Additionally he needs to be given an appropriate period of notification so that he can verify that all visitors are insured.

As a result I am sure that there have been delays in people aquiring permission to visit which may have led people to believe that the GCC is being awkward. We are not, it's just that leaders cannot always drop everything to give you a trip as they may have something else planned. Hopefully soon we will regain permission to get down the system and when we do then we will let people know and we will ensure that you have the correct contact details so that we can try and get trips planned.

I would just like to point out that the GCC does not purposefully stop everyone exploring a cave/mine/shaft/adit that they have dug into, but we do often have to adhere to the landowners requests. If they state that we must have a locked lid then that is what we must install so that we can get permission. I only know of one cave that the GCC refuses to let anybody down and that is Siamber Wen. The reason for this is that the entrance descends through a series of large boulders. On my last trip these had moved and posed a very serious and apparrently imminent risk of collapse, as a result I declared the cave off limits to everyone until further notice. That was in 2000 and I am hoping to revisit it this year to see what the access situation is, however, how open this cave will be to others will depend upon the landowner NOT GCC.

As for people trying to join, I do not know who you have tried to contact with regards to membership, and if you have been ignored then on behalf of GCC I apologise. The best way to meet the GCC is to turn up at the Colomendy Arms on a Wednesday evening from about 9 / 9:30 onwards and someone is usually in there. Bear in mind that they may be late as they may have just made that major breakthrough somewhere !!!!

Personally I see NO reason why ALL the cavers in this area cannot work together without ANY bitter comments or back-stabbing. After all, we all want the same thing.

Happy caving Very Happy
Karl.

P.S. I always use the term cavers as a generic term meaning someone who goes underground. If we wanted to be really anal and pedantic about the use of the term then it would mean that Grosvenor Caving Club and United Caves Exploration Team could ONLY explore caves, Bradford Pothole Club could ONLY explore potholes and Great Orme Mine Exploration Group and North East Wales Mines Exploration Group (as was) could only ever explore mines. We all explore the same type of underground sites ... does it matter what is in the name?
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PostSubject: Re: Milwr Tunnel System - OG - Olwyn Goch Shaft   Wed 04 Feb 2009, 8:39 am

cheers cheers cheers

Well said Karl! I think most of the issues that are bandied about come up as a result of poor communication, people jumping to conclusions, and people going off on a tnagent due to being either misinformed, ill informed or ignorant. At the end of the day we are all interested in the same thing and be it caves or mines, SRT or ladders they are all diffreent sides of the same coin Smile Very Happy
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