Tuesday 4 April 2023


Alderley Edge Copper Mine Trip

Sunday 2nd April 2023


It must be getting on for 10 years since Dudley Caving Club last visited Alderley Edge Copper Mine, a leader led trip courtesy of Derbyshire Caving Club who look after the mine.

Sadly our numbers were depleted on the day by a variety of unforeseen circumstances but what we lacked in numbers was made up by enthusiasm from the seven of us.

We met Nigel our leader in the National Trust Car Park as arranged and after the formalities we set off heading for the West Mine. Nigel is a most affable fellow with a sense of humour akin to ours, could this be common throughout the caving community? His knowledge of the geography of the mine was amazing it seems that if you were to blindfold and stand him anywhere, remove the blindfold and he would know exactly where he was and the way on. Likewise his knowledge of the history of the mine and its workings and the appalling conditions that probably mostly men worked in brought the whole trip to life.

Our party of 7 contained with one exception, me, well-seasoned experienced cavers so in theory something of a walk about for them, but in reality, what the mine lacked in challenges it more than made up for with spectacular colouring and awe-inspiring human effort in excavation. Witnessed by the many Ooh’s and Ahars. Although easy walking compared to a normal cave the rest of the interior was very cave like in its shaping compared to many other mines. Oh and everyone had a go at ‘using’ the ‘Toilet Seat’ and if you want to know what that means, do the trip!

The West Mine is entered down a ladder via a hole in the middle of a field, in reality it is a lot more sophisticated than that but the ladder and hole are correct.

Nigel gave us a thorough tour which lasted considerably longer than expected, for several reasons, he made it so interesting that there were lots of questions at numerous points, plus being cavers as opposed to the Public tours, he gave us the full work out and of course we had a Photographer amongst us, well worth it when you see the pictures.

That full work out included the Engine House Mine a separate but shorter trip but with a big impact on everyone especially our photographer who could have played for hours. There was talk of a tasty through trip for another occasion. All in all a satisfying experience and exceptionally clean caving kit to come out with.

Our thanks to Nigel for leading us so well and to Derbyshire Caving Club for looking after the mine. As some actor once said “We’ll be back” well almost that and we won’t leave it so long next time.

Trip members. Mike & Lucy, Bartek & Paulina, Firas & Zeina and me.

Ian Millward



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