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Loftus miners, Skinningrove

This photograph shows workers in the Loftus mine in Skinningrove. Mining was damp, dirty and dangerous work. A team of two workers extracted the ironstone from the mine by drilling a hole using a ratchet drill, packing it with gunpowder, and then lighting a ‘squib’ (fuse) causing the rock to explode, freeing the ironstone in large chunks. These would be broken into smaller pieces with a hammer and loaded into tubs. The tubs were pulled back to the mineshaft by horses (later steam engines) and hauled to the surface to be transported to the ironworks.

Loftus miners, Skinningrove

Image courtesy of Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum

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