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The Fan House

Julie Riddiough has kindly sent us a set of photographs that she took from the top end of Brotton just last month, in the afternoon of 27th August. This is a view over the golf course to the remains of the Huntcliffe mine, Guibal fan house, beside the railway at the top of the cliff. ”The Huntcliff Ironstone Mine, a drift mine, commenced operations in 1872 by which time ventilation techniques had become more sophisticated. Worked on the pillar and bord system, this mine was one of several to be ventilated by a Guibal fan, named after its Belgian inventor. A vertical shaft was driven down to the mining level at the top of which the fan house was erected. A huge 30 foot ( 9 m) diameter fan powered by a static steam engine drew the foul air up the shaft and then up a specially designed chimney to the open air. Once in operation fresh air would be drawn into the mine through the drift entrances and could be controlled and directed by a series of shutters or doors usually operated by young boys.”

Image courtesy of Julie Riddiough; additional information courtesy of ”Coast Alive”.

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