Welcome to the Rudloe and environs website.
Here you will find news, articles and photos of an area that straddles the Cotswold Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in north-west Wiltshire.
Contributions in the form of articles or photos are welcome. Even those with completely contrary views to mine!
Thanks to the website builder 1&1 and Rob Brown for the original idea.
Rudloescene now, in January 2014, has a sister, academic rather than anarchic, website about Box history here: http://www.boxpeopleandplaces.co.uk/
It contains thoroughly professional, well-researched articles about Box and its people.
Contact rudloescene through the 'Contact' page.
Drilling at the 'new' opencast quarry at Boxfields c1961 (maps and photographs courtesy of Richard Pinker)
I suppose that the title of this article/webpage should really be 'New quarry and associated things' as, apart from the photographs of the preparations for quarry working in 1961, there are some other anecdotes from Richard Pinker about quarries at Boxfields. Also included is a c1970 YouTube home movie of a football match at Boxfields between Kivel and the Red Lion of Trowbridge which shows two enormous piles of quarry rubble in the background of some of the footage.
I regret that whilst I walked by this quarry a number of times in the late 70s and early 80s, I didn't once take a photo. I recall sitting looking into the 'hole' with our dog, Bess, alongside me - so I still have the mental image. The location of the quarry is shown on the following map.
The following photographs taken in 1961 (Richard believes) show the preparations going on at the site for drilling and working. A mechanical excavator can be seen in the 'hole' in the second and third photos. All the photographs show Colerne and its surroundings on the north-western horizon.
The following home movie (with credits within the footage) shows many local lads playing for Kivel FC which was the football team of the Bath & Portland Stone Firms whose local offices were at Moor Green opposite the entrance to Jaggards Lane. As the credits say, the movie was edited and uploaded to YouTube by Josh Outen, the grandson of Tony White, the club secretary with whom I had many football 'dealings' in the 70s.
The video names all the players but significantly the club captain, who we see taking part in the coin toss at the start of the match, is John Welch who was one of the thirty-eight tourists murdered on the beach at Sousse, Tunisia on 26th June 2015.
The significance of this footage for the subject at hand is, as mentioned earlier, it shows two enormous piles of quarry rubble from our subject quarry at certain points in the footage.
And below is the quarry site today (first photo taken by yours truly in April 2016). The quarry was filled with rubble etc in the early 80s by Roy Francis (I believe) under licence. The second photo shows a view of the former quarry from White Ennox Lane on 21st January 2024.
Here is another map of the area, annotated by Richard Pinker, showing various sites. The significance (to this article) of the 'Round quarry filled with tyres set on fire in the 60s' is that Richard took a photo of the fire. Richard's memories of the fire and the goings-on in the mines at that time are given below the photograph.
As far as I recall, somebody dumped tyres in the round quarry on my diagram in the early 60s and they "caught" fire - burnt like a furnace since it was fed with air from the caves. Probably a Friday as I was home and took the attached photo. It was only in the mid 60s that the quarries were filled in properly - much to the protestations of my father on the RDC who said part of them should be preserved. The trouble at the time was youths coming from far and wide to explore and getting lost - as far as I can remember none of my generation got lost having grown up playing in them. I now shudder at what we used to do - playing hide and seek in the pitch dark in collapsing caves with burning perspex for illumination.