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Sheffield sinkhole caused by old mine workings

Members of the public look on as work is carried out on a sinkhole more than 20ft deep in Sheffield.
Members of the public look on as work is carried out on a sinkhole more than 20ft deep in Sheffield.

A sinkhole that opened up in a busy Sheffield road was caused by old mine workings, according to local people.

A large hole more than 20ft deep appeared on Hutcliffe Wood Road, which links the city suburbs of Woodseats and Millhouses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4Mtw6Y26us

The road was closed, causing headaches for many motorists on the Monday morning drive into the city centre.

Contractors later moved in to begin the task of filling the gaping hole with concrete.

Pensioner Phil Lovell, 87, said he was sure the hole was caused by the collapse of one of the old drift mines that were driven into the steep wooded hillside.

He said that, as a child, he played in one mine further up the slope but he thought another ran right under where the hole appeared.

“As soon as I saw it on TV I knew what it was,” Mr Lovell said.

“I’m 87 so I’ve lived round here a long time.

“I used to live down the road and there were two drift mines.

“We used to come on our bikes and we used to go down the one opposite here.”

Mr Lovell said the drifts were dug to mine ganister, a stone used to line furnaces in the steel industry. Old ganister mines litter many areas of Sheffield.

He said there was a local legend that the mines went right under the Woodseats area of the city.

But he dismissed other rumours that the tunnel at the bottom of the hole had a more romantic link to the nearby Beauchief Abbey.

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