Mine explorers have found their favourite online communication channel out of action in recent days. The AditNow website was set up in 2005 by mine enthusiast Simon Lowe, as a place to share photos and information about the mines he and his friends were exploring. Since those early days, the website has grown into an internationally recognised place for enthusiasts and historians to share news, chat about their interests, and get involved by adding more photos and information. The indexed photo collection now exceeds 100,000 in number. The website was written using software that sadly is no longer supportable and it is in need of a complete rewrite, which is no simple task. Although it has been possible to keep the huge database of photographs and mine information live, it is now in a read-only state, and the associated forum is no longer available. Because of the immensity of the task ahead, it is unlikely that the forum, or any replacement for it, will be up and running any time soon, although planning the huge task is underway.
On 28th January 2021, a notice was published on Aditnow from Simon that reads:
I couldn’t bring myself to close the site completely. Too many people have put too much time into it. So I’ve stripped it back to a working read-only archive, and can now set about re-writing it all to a modern standard.
It’s going to be a long job, so please bear with me; and certain areas I’m not yet sure how to address, whether to write them from scratch or use an off the shelf solution. But the end result will be a modern, slimmed down site, that works on mobile devices.
Because of the current coronavirus lockdown and consequent ongoing restrictions on many spare-time activities, a series of online talks were in preparation for bored house-bound mine explorers, when the sudden closure of the Aditnow forum was announced. This has removed the channel by which these talks were planned and promoted, but DarknessBelow is pleased to promote the monthly talks in the pipeline and any further events and talks that are being organised.
The first of these talks is on Thursday 4th February starting at 8:30pm, and the details are in the DarknessBelow calendar. The Zoom log in details will be available in the event link from 3rd February.
Two further talks are in the pipeline, which will be added to our events calendar.
4th March – Peter Burgess – The Surrey Hearthstone Trade and the story of the Betchworth Workings.
1st April – Chris Jones – Furness Iron and B45 pit.
There is a Facebook group where Aditnow members continue to exchange news and views, and a new temporary section for mining interests has been created on the UKCaving website, which is being managed by Roy Fellows. We at DarknessBelow are also happy to play our part in keeping the Aditnow community informed about events, talks and news items of interest to mine explorers and historians. No single alternative can possibly replace the tremendous resource that AditNow has become, and everyone is eager for the return of the friendly and remarkably tolerant online community that AditNow has proven to be.