Our final trip on the Manc-fester trip, we had a quick scurry to our entrance and decided it was worth a look so we kitted up, bought a few rations from a local store and headed on down. Now which way to go?, we had two options, one leading east in a small channeled brick pipe and another downstream into a concrete box. For some reason we chose concrete over brick and headed on in. 5 meters in the floor lowered via a slide and the pipe split into two brick pipes, both seeming to connect to a chamber at the end.
Sure enough we emerged in a large stone chamber, with small brick pillars holding the roof up and also 8! pipes running off from it!, 3 concrete to the north and 3 brick to the south, down some stone stairs. As we shone the torches around we noticed how the three tunnel to the south were all connected by old stone arches as far as the eye could see which must have been a good half a mile. We headed down the stairs and along the central southern pipe.
After a good walk the central and left pipe converge into one with the most amazing ceiling while the right pipe grows to match, both opening out into a small open section with a tiny weir controlling the flow of water back down into the drain.
We carefully made our way across the weir on the deadliest stones ever and headed down into yet three more high arched red brick pipes. By this point we were thinking this was too good to be true and continued on. The stone arches now changed to a squashed oval shape and continued on before dipping down a little as the water level slightly rose.
As we were walking along Dsankt commented "Wouldn't it be sweet if these three pipes merged into one big ass one". We all agreed and after another 10 minutes of walking. it happened!!!!.
Wow this is so far probably the biggest chamber I have seen so far. it was a mad collection of several different heights, some brick some stone, some new some old. And it was bloody fantastic. in the distance we could see another opening and the pipe coming aboveground before heading back down into two more pipes but due to the pipes converging the water level had risen more then our waders could take. One for next time I guess.
Oh well camera time!. We slowly headed back past each feature photographing it and each walking down a different pipe just in case there was any pipe coming off them. There was, but they all had massive outfall flaps preventing our entrance.
We spent over two hours before we eventually made out way back to the 8 way chamber and felt we should just take a quick look to the north. So we headed up the pipes and 400 meters they all connected in a concrete square box before splitting into two brick pipes and finally converging into one giant pipe at the end which housed a massive "jetty" style screen and a sloping infall. We found yet another outfall flapped drain and decided it was time to head on home.
Something Crunchy Tour
In the end our camp out underneath the glowing 'thing' failed. After playing around with disposable bbq's, bits of chicken, ribs and a lot of alcohol it started to rain, no great shock there then, oh well back to the car. Another uncomfortable nights sleep later and I awoke once more with my face stuck to the bloody window. Me eyes barely able to focus as I watched a bright yellow blur approach the car. Knock knock. Oh hello mr policeman.
We received the usual 'suspicious car' routine and had to explain our reasons and intentions yadda yadda yadda, same old same old. Were students, what are you doing here?, enjoying your beautiful countryside, Oh really?. Ya rly!, damn I wish I said that but alas early morning brain was not quick enough.
After being felt up by a husky northerner and watching the female officer struggle to converse with the swede we all checked out and were allowed to leave. And a very good morning to you too, Mcdonalds anyone?.
A lack of sleep over the recent days had taken away all our enthusiasm to go draining. Debris ridden ass invaders were not something we wished to partake in, so in the end we decided to had a brief look at the Cavern. Long story short, it was fairly small, the main channel was awash with fast flowing turd and of course it smelt of pure ass
so we headed for the exit post haste, one for another time.
More rain fell, the last of my dry clothes were engaged
and we decided to call it a day for the north. i've said it before but Accrington is a weird place, and considering how it handled the ridiculous amount of rain its a place to visit rain or shine. Next stop, sheffield and Megatron.
During the middle of 2007 Sheffield was witness to a large flood with all the rivers blowing their load onto the streets above after the culverts failed to cope, and these are BIG culverts were talking about. On a normal day the Porters Brook is usually shallow trickle, today however we were greeted by 2ft of flowing fast murk. Luckily for us the River Sheaf flows through three tunnels so if one gets too fast or deep you can simply switch to another, we just had to get to it without being taken out.
In the end things turned out to be fairly easy. Although the water level in the Sheaf was pretty deep it was always flowing slowly in at least one of the other tunnels, so getting downstream to the main chamber was a doodle. Admittedly a debris ridden, otter dance of doom doodle.
The main chamber proved to be a bit of a problem, the extra rain had added another 1-2ft to the depth, if it wasn't for the islands of debris we would have had to turn back. We took a few pictures and I finally got one I was happy with before we made our exit up a nearby drainpipe.
So there you have it, mystery solved and case closed. All the missing rain and river content from Accrington was here, in Sheffield!. Who would have thought it?.
But wasn't over yet, oh crumbs no.