Bob's Mellor Mill Diary
Bob (Robert Humphrey-Taylor) is leading the excavations at Mellor Mill.
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We had a great day on Saturday with the 1st Woodford Scout Troop coming down for a 'taster' session at being archaeologists. We had 17 leaders and scouts who really got themselves into the mood for a dig. Lots of really good questions and plenty of concerted effort to reveal more of our cobbled frontage to Mellor Mill. Well done 1st Woodford you are a credit to your leaders and to the Scouting Movement.
We had an excellent turnout from the general public on Sunday 19th July, when many came down to see what we had on offer for the Festival of Archaeology. What with a sandpit to forage in for the very young, taster opportunities for budding archaeologists, printing onto sandbags and informed tours by our expert guides there was something for everybody. However the real highlight for regular diggers was the emptying of the water from the Engine House which has stopped progress in that area of the dig for many months. We knew there had to be a drain but where was it? Believing for months that the drain must cross the site and head straight for the River Goyt we had tried and tried to find it without success. We now know that it actually runs in the opposite direction towards the high ground before turning south and following the line of the drive-shaft back to the Wellington Wheel Pit. Once we realised this John Glithero and I started to use drain rods to clear the drain from the wheel pit end. After about 5 metres of pulling out very matted and fine roots the water began to flow. Slowly at first and then finally a torrent as hundreds of gallons emptied from the Engine House into the Wellington Wheel Pit. Very exciting indeed. The day flowed well in every sense and we can now get to complete the excavations in the Boiler House and Engine House without fear of getting our wellies full of water!
The Pit, the cameraman, and John Glithero. Filming by 'ThatsManchester' tv company.
A number of us attended Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2015 at Salford University on 28th November. It was an excellent day with an interesting variety of presentations. I gave a presentation about the significant milestones during 2015 at Mellor Mill. One of my slides was the wonderful Reconstruction Drawing, courtesy of Malcolm Melia, of the Boiler and Engine Rooms. It is so good I just want to share it with everyone. Malcolm is a volunteer artist to the Mellor Mill project.
See 'All Steamed Up at Mellor Mill'...Bob's Mill Diary - Sunday September 29th 2013, for information on the engines and an early photo of the Engine House excavation. And the Goodfellows of Hydes entry, on the excellent Graces Guide website.
(Click or tap the image above for a larger version)
Finally we have the Boiler and Engine House completed and the remains revealed in all their glory. It was a great point of discussion during a recent visit by the Newcomen Society. Celebrated Engineers were amongst the visitors - posing searching questions to our guides. Everyone had an enjoyable and fruitful visit.
Whilst Mellor Archaeological Trust were clearing out the Waterloo Wheel Pit at Mellor Mill we released the water which had been backing up in the tunnels leading from the Corn Mill tail Race and the Wellington Wheel tail Race. This torrent continued for about 30 minutes. Probably the last time you will see this amount of water racing into the Waterloo Wheel Pit. It must have looked something like this in its prime some 150 years ago.
Editors Note: The "Waterloo Wheel" supplied additional power to the main mill via an underground shaft, whilst a second shaft provided power to series of riverside workshops. The exit level from the bottom of this wheelpit was below that of the Goyt at its nearest point and in order to overcome that problem a significant feat of engineering was required. An exit tunnel was driven under the bed of the river and then carried the water 600 yards downstream until the level had fallen sufficiently to allow it to be discharged.
Waterloo Flows Again!!