until 1968 very little was known about the mining remains on the
Isle of Man when a Manx Mines Research Group was formed as a spin
off from the antiquarian society… as far as understood.
group, a small body of locals from the mining village of Laxey had
their first meeting and formed plans for the exploration of the Great
Laxey Mine along with other sites around the Island. The system of
exploration was basic but the results were remarkable and the recovery
of six ore trucks from one of the many shafts by way of winch lead
to further discoveries and considerable documentation over the
following years. By 1980, the original team had dissolved and had
been completely replaced with new members. The only access into the
mine at this time was by using single
rope technique (see picture right) via the welsh shaft.
Theses techniques are frequently practiced.
- In 1982,
the group joined the National Association
of Mining History Orgaisations N.A.M.H.O.
under the title of the Manx Mines Research Group and in 1985 started
working as volunteers for the Isle of Man Government on the
redevelopment of the Laxey site as a tourist attraction. This
prompted the need for change and so in 1987 a second body known as
Group was formed and
the title of Manx was dissolved over the following five years. It was
decided to scrap subscriptions for membership and we don’t refer
to ourselves as a club. We have no officers such as secretaries or
treasurers and an EGM is held only when necessary. The group was now
undertaking large tasks and played a major role in the creation of
the site from constructing paths to building bridges as well as the underground
made it necessary to comply with health and safety although our
practices and standards were good and so the crew of twenty five
were donned with orange boiler suits and white helmets to meet the
requirements which in turn led to greater opportunities for the
group. We work semi professionally for various government
departments, planning and executing civil
engineering projects on many of the mine sites as well as our
own projects and digs.
of the major shafts have now been fitted out with platforms
and ladder ways and the adit levels cleared. Almost all
of the open shafts have now been capped
with access points. The
group has earned such a high reputation with all authoritative
bodies on the Island that our work is widely accepted and
unchallenged. Almost all of the equipment used is owned by the
group including Holmans rock
drills and larger machinery such as compressors or diggers
are usually borrowed or hired.