Ken and Lynda Dinneen are Lapidary Artists and Rock Hounds Ken is a Lapidary, Lynda has taught Jewellery Design, Silversmithing, and Lapidary Art, as well leading many mining and

Rock Hounding tours in and around the western United States. Ken and Lynda work from their studio on the east flank of the Central Oregon Cascade Mountains in Sisters, Oregon.

“He who has the gold makes the rules!... Second hand gold is as good as new!...Gold does not rust on the ground and rocks don’t get soaked in the rain!... Hunger for gold is made greater as more gold is acquired!... There is gold every-where, but most people are not trained to see it!... Good as Gold!”... and thousands of other pithy sayings about gold.

‘Gold Fever’ a miner from head-to-toe. One tale told about The Diltz, is that near the entrance to one of the tunnels would be piles of minerals and beautiful crystals, some as large as your arm, themselves worth a fortune but to ‘A.G.’ it was flotsam, gravel, worthless in his feverish pursuit of this king of metals. Of course, to a rock hound, the thought of those lost crystals almost makes me weep! Some of the most beautiful

gold specimens in the world are from the Diltz. Diltz Ore

GOLD, at one time a worldwide monetary standard is still collected and hoarded by thousands the world over. Gold stands for a real or implied standard of purity, integrity, value and wealth. It is the ‘King of Metals’

Personally, I have two favorite gold mines, one discovered in about 1860, The Diltz Mine and owned later (1924-1954) by a sort of uncle of mine, Allen Grant. He was a Scotsman, who was partner in several gold mines in the Sierra-Nevada mountain range in California back before (and even after) the war. This was a man possessed of

The other favorite of ‘mine’, is a long-running gold mine, The Homestake Mine in South Dakota, USA. The gold found here is interesting, it formed in perfect tabs of gold, often on schist or greenschist. (see picture) Interesting stuff that! That mine produced over 39 million troy ounces of gold before it closed for good in 2002.

Homestake Specimen

Diltz Mine

Gold has been the object of children’s fairytales, grown men’s dreams and the cause of joy and despair. Well, actually it was not

the fault of the gold, rather it was the lust for that metal that caused so much trouble through the years.

Mineral collectors today Diltz Ore

try to obtain a specimen of gold from as many mines as

possible and while some concentrate on, for example, North America, or Asia, most simply can’t reject any worthy specimen of this most malleable of metals, no matter where it is from.

Diltz Ore

Mined all over the world, the top five producers today of gold, (symbol Au) are China, Australia, Russia, United States and Peru. Just over 3,100 metric tonnes were produced worldwide in 2016. WoW!

Here’s to your Golden Hoard Daydreams and Hedge Fund Safety Net!

Happy Hounding!

w Lynda Dinneen

THE INDUSTRIAL PAST OF COCKERMOUTH - PART3 In our last article, we arrived at

the Confluence of the River

Cocker with the Derwent and we shall now continue our journey along the River Derwent. On the south side of the river in Waterloo Street, there is Wharton’s Linen Mill, built in the 1820s. It was powered by a waterwheel located in a millrace, partially culverted, which ran along the bank of the Derwent. The mill was converted into housing in the 1980s.

At the far end of Waterloo Street, built circa 1820 was Graves’s Woolen Mill. Again, the same as Wharton’s, this mill was powered by a waterwheel. The mill was demolished and replaced by a modern housing development in the 1970s.

Derwent Mills is located on the north side of the River Derwent. The first phase of the mill was in 1834, with extensions made in 1847 and again in 1855.The Harris family who had begun linen manufacture at Low Gote Mills in the early 19th century erected the mill. Harris embroidery thread, was produced in over 200 shades. They had showrooms in Old Bond Street, London, King Street in Manchester and Corporation Street


Birmingham. The company at times employed 800 workers and the mill also wove linen. The depression of the early 1930s saw the firm close. In 1934, a new company was formed to manufacture linen in part of the mill with the thread business sold off to a Belfast firm. The new company did not last and ceased a little later.

At the start of WWII, the premises were brought back into use. Millers (Gt Yarmouth) Ltd brought their footwear machinery and around 200 key


operatives from the Norfolk coast. The company remained in the town after the end of the War manufacturing sandals, boots, ladies and children’s shoes. There were up to 1100 workers employed at the factory at one time with branches at Workington, Frizington and Egremont.

Production continued until the early 1900s. The mill has now been converted into housing.

When the Harris Mill opened in 1834, the workers had to travel via Derwent Bridge, until the Harris Mill built a bridge for their workers in 1875. The Weavers Arms on Main Street was demolished in 1873 and Bridge Street was constructed with a bridge for the workers which was opened in 1875. When first opened, the bridge was for use by the Harris Mill workers only to go to and from work.

We now move to the Gote area and its mills.

Low Gote Mills comprised an upper mill and a lower mill and a map of 1832 shows two flax mills here. One mill belonged to Thomas Mawson and the other belonged to Jonathan Harris who occupied the site until 1847 when he moved to his new mill. As with many other mill sites, over the years they served different functions. There is evidence that there was a corn mill on the site in 1609, being rebuilt for textiles in 1779 and reverting back to corn grinding in 1858. The upper mill was converted to a house in 1978 and the lower mill was demolished.

Fitz Mill stood on the opposite bank of the river to Low Gote Mills. A map of 1774 shows a mill symbol at the site, suggesting its life began around the

Graves’s Mill before demolition and replaced by block of flats

middle of the 18th century. It appears that Fitz Mill was used as a flax mill, manufacturing textiles, woollen goods, spinning carpet and other yarns. The three-storey mill was also steam powered and in 1980, it is shown on maps as disused. The mill has since been demolished.

High Gote Mill dates from around the early 1800s, although there is a mill shown on a map of 1727 at this location. The mill generally operated as a corn mill but at times was also a textile mill. The mill was often referred to as Harkness Mill after the Harkness family who were millers of flour and grain, roasters of barley for brewing and suppliers of feeds for livestock and poultry. They worked the mill until 1969.

The building is now occupied by Lawson Haulage. Eric Cass

Telephone: 01900 823966


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