Chapter Six Snakes and Ladders

There was a choice of two ways to get to the work face, the ladders or the lift. Both were dangerous. The ladders sapped the men’s energy and from the owners’ point of view were time wasting, so a blind eye was turned to the practice of riding the shaft. This was no safer and its small wonder that men crossed themselves before being lowered into the abyss.

The safety cage was a long time coming to the Almagrera and it was foreigners who installed them, putting an end to the perils of holding on to a rope or, riding in esparto baskets, and in leather or wooden kibbles.

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Note: Whilst the author has tried to identify and attribute copyright holders to illustrations and photographs, she would be grateful for information about those where this has not been possible and would be glad to rectify any such omissions in future editions. She may be contacted on her site.

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