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 The History Bores 
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: The History Bores
Nice pics Zag.


Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:03 am
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: The History Bores
Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.


Sun Jul 21, 2013 4:45 pm
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: The History Bores
The weekend before the one just gone, a friend and I went to explore an abandoned railway tunnel.

The Mapperley Tunnel on the Great Northern Railway was opened in 1875. It ran for a grand total of 1,132 yards, and is eighty feet below ground for much of its length.

Despite a twelve-yard section of roof collapsing 1925 and blocking the line with a hundred and fifty tonnes of rubble, the tunnel remained in use for several decades. Subsidence led to speed restrictions through the tunnel being introduced in the fifties, and the tunnel was finally closed on 4th April 1960.

The western end of the tunnel is long buried, but the eastern end remains open. 550 yards of the tunnel’s original length remains easily accessible on foot, at which point it becomes blocked by a tower of rubbish which has been dumped down the second air shaft.

There is a void of maybe ten or fifteen yards beyond this, after which there is a large pile of soil reaching not quite to the roof. What in turn lies beyond that is a mystery we shall leave to someone braver and better-equipped than my friend and I.

Gedling Colliery, which was originally served by the railway, closed in 1991.


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One of the pools of water that dot the abandoned colliery we had to cross to reach the tunnel. If that large wooden cable drum did not end up there because some local kids had pushed it up to the top of one of the hills and then let it roll back down again, then they are failing at being children.


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Here is where we picked up the abandoned railway line. From 1875 to 1960, this was the Great Northern Railway Derbyshire and Staffordshire Extension, also known as the Derby Friargate Line.


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First glimpse of the eastern portal of the Mapperley Tunnel.


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The remains of a car. My friend questioned how it came to be here. Given that it is upside down, and the difficulty of getting a vehicle in the way we approached, I suspect that it was shoved over the lip of the cutting and allowed to tumble to the bottom.


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Bingo. Notice the fire damage to the tree on the right. There is anecdotal evidence of illegal raves being held here in the cutting.


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The tunnel mouth itself. As imposing as all good Victorian architecture. I do have a clearer version of this picture, but my friend’s head appears in it and thus I cannot post it here.


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Fallen timbers, with my size thirteen for scale.


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Even with the flash on and the light from both our torches, it was too dark to get any pictures inside the tunnel on my phone. As we advanced down the tunnel, I became increasingly convinced I could see daylight up ahead. We killed our lights, and I was right. That tiny disc of light just visible is the first ventilation shaft – around the 375 yard mark, if I recall correctly.


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The best view I could manage up the ventilation shaft. Despite it being a hot summer day outside, the tunnel was cool and damp enough for my breath to be fogging the lens.


At the point where the tunnel becomes blocked with debris – the 540 yard mark – I turned around and took a picture back towards the entrance:

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EDIT: Someone else's rather better photos of the tunnel, especially the inside, can be found here.

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Last edited by Shallowthing on Tue Aug 20, 2013 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:57 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
Awesome pics and description Shal. I shall have to up my game!

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Mon Aug 19, 2013 11:21 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
Thank you, Crom. There are a couple of miles of disused railway tunnels under Nottingham - that one is just the easiest to access. I wish I could have got some better pictures of the interior, but I just don't have the gear.


In other history news, this weekend a female jouster is competing at the Royal Armouries for the first time. In another pathetic claim-to-fame, she has jousted in Russia (with solid lances, the mentalist) against the fellow who taught me both halberd and the ringen.

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Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:38 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
I'm currently labelling all the little bags of mostly post-medieval pottery that I've acquired walking around recently. I'm that interesting.

Sadly I can't post pics of the museum collections of prehistoric pottery I've got due to copyright, but that might top your geeky interests! My collection of medieval church brickwork selections is pretty sad too. I'll put them on facebook at some point and post a few here, I have literally thousands!

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Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:46 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
Yesterday, after ten months of scrimping and saving to get the money together, I made my long awaited return to Historic Equitation just outside Peterborough.

I was paired with lovely Briar again – the same stocky and strong sixteen-hander I rode last time. According to his biography he is a “fierce jouster and a excellent destrier”, and once more he was great – the ideal horse to be paired with a rider as large and inexperienced as I am.

On Saturday morning, we tacked the horses, warmed up, practiced one-handed reining again, and then went on to riding in close formation – your knee is supposed to be touching the knee of the rider beside you, whatever manoeuvre your formation performs. Once everyone in the group was up to speed, we moved on to tent-pegging using British Army lances – in the heat and the dust of the large school, it was all very North West frontier 1902. We then switched to medieval-style lances and practiced tilting at a quintain.

After lunch, we rode in a melee using sticks to strike at one another – charging back and forth, wheeling around, pursuing one another around the school. I was the least experienced rider present, but I had a better grasp of mounted combat than the others. Briar was bigger and slower than the other horses present, but his ability to turn on the spot and the fact that we’ve worked together before meant that we were more than able to hold our own (and I refrained from indulging my urge to experiment with any of the mounted wrestling techniques I’ve seen in the 1467 Talhoffer manuscript and other fechtbucher).

Finally, to wind down, we took a long and very scenic hack out across the fens. This included my first experience of riding on a busy road, and it was fascinating to see how members of the general public reacted towards a group of riders moving in orderly formation. Our route took us over the Shanks Millennium Bridge, and it was wonderful to hear the whole thing resonating under the footfalls of the horses.

Our ride took us to Flag Fen, but unfortunately we weren’t able to stop and visit the museum. Sorry, Crom! Instead we rode back and finished the day by untacking the horses, grooming them, mucking out, sorting out their bedding and then feeding them. We then helped some of the stableyard staff collect a selection of foals and tiny ponies from the lower fields to be brought in for the night.

Afterwards, the owners made us a splendid dinner (home-made shepherd’s pie with all the trimmings) and plied us with ice cream and fascinating books on history. I settled down in front of a real fire with copy of Blood Red Roses: The Archaeology of a Mass Grave from the Battle of Towton AD 1461, and a small dog went to sleep on my left arm.

We stayed over in the spare room (decorated with a stag’s skull) and were awakened this morning by a confused bluetit tapping dementedly on the window with its beak. There was some amusement when it emerged that a member of our party had been declared a Missing Person overnight by a paranoid mother who mistook a rural area having a poor phone signal for her eldest daughter having bumped into Bas in a dark alley.

After a lovely breakfast (bacon, eggs, beans, toast, fresh orange juice and bran flakes with sultanas – which really Aren’t My Thing, but which I suddenly find myself unable to get enough of) we hung around for a few hours so the girls could watch the showjumping before saying our goodbyes and heading home.

Amazing weekend. I can’t wait to do it all again.

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Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:04 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
Boo to not going to the museum for me!!!

Sounds like a good trip though.

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turdy wrote:
Great tits and slow as fuck doom are Cromwell's Raison d'être.


Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:59 am
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Storm Trooper
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Post Re: The History Bores
I was told when we set off that we were "going to a museum", but I didn't think much about it until we turned off the road and I saw the sign for Flag Fen. I immediately got all excited that it was somewhere I had actually heard of, but then we turned aside onto a bridleway right outside the gate and I actually said aloud "Oh no, Crom's going to be disappointed!"

I doubt the knowledge that I thought of you makes up for the disappointing lack of images, but there it is...

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Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:15 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
It's still nice though, Shal.

I'll visit there at some point.

For my birthday I dragged the lass around all the museums in Cambridge, so I've had my fill of archaeology and fossils for the week!

I'll post those photos soon.

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turdy wrote:
Great tits and slow as fuck doom are Cromwell's Raison d'être.


Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:16 pm
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Space Ranger
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Post Re: The History Bores
This story was pretty interesting....

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/09/this- ... d-and-bow/

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Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:49 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
I went to the King's Quoit Cromlech(My photos) at Maenorbŷr in Wales. Very steep and slippery path down to it, right on the edge of the cliff. If you go on a wet and muddy day, go from the beach up, not from the church down. It's a lot fucking safer.
For more info:
The Megalithic Portal
The Modern Antiquarian

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Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:12 am
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: The History Bores
So... after years of agony my revised PHD thesis on the late roman army is getting published by the good people at Routledge. It's ridiculously expensive - academic publishing does that unfortunately - so only libraries will pick it up now. I'm hoping I'll get a paperback edition down the track....

https://www.routledge.com/The-Emperor-and-the-Army-in-the-Later-Roman-Empire-AD-235395/Hebblewhite/p/book/9781472457592


Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:06 am
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Darth Fucking Vader
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Post Re: The History Bores
Congratulations! How many fists did your professors give it?

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Wed Dec 21, 2016 7:44 am
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Post Re: The History Bores
robitusson wrote:
Congratulations! How many fists did your professors give it?


I'm waiting for the reviewers to give it Cold Lake status...... : :cry:


Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:35 am
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Super Trooper
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Post Re: The History Bores
FeedMeVibration wrote:
markhebb wrote:
So... after years of agony my revised PHD thesis on the late roman army is getting published by the good people at Routledge. It's ridiculously expensive - academic publishing does that unfortunately - so only libraries will pick it up now. I'm hoping I'll get a paperback edition down the track....

https://www.routledge.com/The-Emperor-and-the-Army-in-the-Later-Roman-Empire-AD-235395/Hebblewhite/p/book/9781472457592


Congratulations. Good to see hard work bearing fruit.


I thanked Slayer in the acknowledgements.....5 fists right there...


Wed Dec 21, 2016 9:36 am
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Climate Control
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Post Re: The History Bores
Nice one, well done.


Wed Dec 21, 2016 1:54 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
:geek: WOW!

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Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:55 pm
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Post Re: The History Bores
markhebb wrote:
So... after years of agony my revised PHD thesis on the late roman army is getting published by the good people at Routledge. It's ridiculously expensive - academic publishing does that unfortunately - so only libraries will pick it up now. I'm hoping I'll get a paperback edition down the track....

https://www.routledge.com/The-Emperor-and-the-Army-in-the-Later-Roman-Empire-AD-235395/Hebblewhite/p/book/9781472457592


What a fucking cool subject for a PhD! Um, doesn't living in Australia make studying the Roman Empire just a little tricky? I know it was big, but even I know it didn't extend to Oz!

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Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:51 am
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Post Re: The History Bores
Vim Fuego wrote:
markhebb wrote:
So... after years of agony my revised PHD thesis on the late roman army is getting published by the good people at Routledge. It's ridiculously expensive - academic publishing does that unfortunately - so only libraries will pick it up now. I'm hoping I'll get a paperback edition down the track....

https://www.routledge.com/The-Emperor-and-the-Army-in-the-Later-Roman-Empire-AD-235395/Hebblewhite/p/book/9781472457592


What a fucking cool subject for a PhD! Um, doesn't living in Australia make studying the Roman Empire just a little tricky? I know it was big, but even I know it didn't extend to Oz!


We suck at rugby but we kill it with Roman history....and war metal :D


Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:04 am
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