A digger of the Pennine Clan
and yet a cave, the fool I am,
above that wooded crested hill
sits Thackthwaite, boulder bestrewn, amidst adits Greensward Mining mounds.
Caverns forced - Pick and hand beyond
that hidden and underset band, still the
Cave hidden end, Beldon Beck will give no trend.

Formations tortuous shape,
forbidden to the tourist gape.
Way up out of range, squat upon
the Pennine range, water surges
thick and wick, but comes amid
blocks, limestone thick.
Way on there's no say - no clues
to give the game away.
Weary Winter torn and worn
Sheep shaven lambs born.

Squirming, crawling muddy wet,
Enough if were to pay a debt,
Peaty water dully gleams
Darkness, streams of light cap lamp beams.
Stuck there between boulder choke
Daresn't speak, boulder spoke.

Way there valley below.
Wet grooves trembles at tourist touch.
There ridden, car laden trapped.
Crystal walls, beauty hacked,
Spoilers, Vandals, heavy intent
Gazing friends. Home shown gawping wonderment.

Historic interest there's no cry,
Old mans work, dry walled roofs.
A past - present - what works the art of time aloof
Sir Francis Level well watered way,
A mile horizontal the mountain deep.
These slaves of the earths infusion
Working for wages, an illusion.
Eight by Eight, one shilling a day,
Groovers cough, thirty Winters dead mans pay.

One mile deep the miners forge
Benches, tools, glass lamps
Cages, and the pumps.
But those pumps perpetual chatter
Died to a whispered clatter.
All work ended in the waters rush.
Fifty years a gentle hush,
Fifty years of an age gone by.
Left alone so that you may see and wonder why,
and now vandals have splashed their way.
Sir Francis has nothing to say.

by... R.E.J.Wilkinson

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