List of words “used” in the Cornish tin mines


L Words

Ladder As per the usual meaning. Most ladders underground are heavier and more robust than those usually used in general life.
Ladder Cleat – A length of wood, used in pairs to join wooden ladders together, butt to butt.
Drill Ladder – Wide steel ladder with prongs at one end to fit over a bar. The claw of an air leg was then hooked into the appropriate rung to stop the leg slipping whilst drilling.
Ladder Hooks – Used in conjunction with wooden ladders, they are used in pairs to hook one ladder to another, when the full length is too much for the conditions, i.e. when used in a rearing or when a ladderway is being constructed.
Rearing Ladder – Ladder system following the rearing up to provide access to a shrink stope. Plats were put at 30’ intervals, but if the dip of the lode was appropriate the ladderway was often in one continuous length.
Shaft Ladder – The ladderway going either the length of the shaft or between working levels, with plats and stagings at least every 30’.
Ladder Side – Good timber prepared in pairs with holes augered through for stays to be inserted.
Ladder Sled – Carrying plate with end and sides, fitted with runners that fit between ladder sides and attached to small hoist. Used to transport materials and equipment into sub levels
Ladder Stay – The ‘step’ of a wooden ladder underground, made of ¾” round steel bar and hammered through the ready augered holes in the sides. (see also Collar Stay)
Ladder Way – The run of ladders joining levels together, whether at shafts or in raises, and access to stopes.
Lagging Planking placed to prevent loose dirt and rocks from falling or running into working places, shafts, etc.
Lagging Boards – the relatively thin lengths of timber placed between shaft sets to catch and retain loose rock falling from the shaft sides into the shaft compartments.
Lamp The portable light carried by a miner, whether carbide, oil or electric. It does not apply to a candle, except when enclosed behind glass.
Lamp Belt – The waist belt worn by a miner on which is provision for carrying the battery part of an electric cap lamp.
Cap Lamp – A lamp clipped to a miner’s helmet. Its beam is generally on whatever the miner is looking at, and, being carried on the head, leaves both hands free for other work.
Lamp Holder – The slotted attachment on the front of a miner’s helmet into which the cap lamp is clipped and held.
Lander The person in charge at a shaft collar, responsible for cage and skip operations within the shaft, and the only person nominally to contact the winder driver orally. This term became superseded by the more universal term of Banksman in the latter years of Cornish mining.
Lanyard A short (6’) rope fitted with a karabiner at either end. One end is attached to a safety belt or body harness worn by the miner, the other end to a Fall Arrest Block. It is used when working on open grizzlies, on open drops such as stope edges, and when working in shafts.
Lash Out Generally meaning is to hand muck a round of dirt from a heading.
Lashing General term for a ½ inch diameter rope used for 1001 purposes, the main one being to pull up or lower equipment and materials in raises, sub-development work and stopes.
Larky A small winding engine used for raising and lowering purposes in shafts, etc., tipping wagons and pulling heavy items into position. Can be powered by compressed air or electricity.
Larrups see Lirrups
Launder A gutter or drain confining and conducting water to where required. Launders in mines are generally made of lengths of 1 inch timber and fitted together in such a way as to reduce leakage.
Leader (lode) The richest part of a lode especially where the lode is divided or broken apart by intrusions and faulting.
Leat A waterway on the surface of a mine bringing water from a stream or river to where required for milling, ore dressing and other purposes.
Level The main horizontal development where transport and services are provided and routed to the lodes, stopes, etc. SC Levels are 20 and 25 fathoms apart vertically at the shaft stations.
Lifter The shot holes drilled at the floor level of a development round. The lifters are the last holes to be fired in a round and throw the previously broken rock up, hence ‘lifter’, and so loosening the pile. A miner could tell if a round had broken if the ‘lifters’ sounded muffled as they fired.
lines 2 surveyors lines from the roof directing left or right.
Lirrups Term generally meaning an area underground required urgent barring down or barricading off. “Place is in lirrups” meant it was a mess with loose rock hanging off ready to drop. (Larrups is another pronunciation)
Locomotive Generally shortened to loco, meaning any mechanical rail mounted vehicle used to tow or push wagons.
Battery Loco – Locomotive using rechargeable storage batteries for power. Two main sizes at SC, two types around 1½ tonne, others at 5 tonne.
Diesel Loco – Locomotives having diesel engines at around 5 tonne, fitted with water scrubbers on the exhaust to limit fumes.
Lode The intrusions into the sedimentary and igneous rock containing a variety of minerals some of which have valuable metal ores in mineable quantities.
Lode Drive – A horizontal heading following the lode
Longhole Generally refers to stoping where the shot holes exceed the length of the commonly available single drill steel, usually 12’.
Longhole Drilling – The method whereby shot holes are drilled using steels connected together with collars to the depth required, 80’ to 100’ being about the practical limit with the equipment available..
Longhole Machine – A heavy duty pneumatic rock drill mounted on a cradle and bar, whereby it can be moved and angled to drill where required. The operator controls the machine from a console separate from the assembly. Some long hole machines are mounted on self propelled vehicles.
Longhole Stope – A stope mined from levels and sublevels using a pattern of rings of shot holes, the rings of holes blasted in sequence so causing the stope face to retreat to the access points.
long tom a wheeled drilling platform, that held 2 rock drills.
Loose Term referring to ground that is unsound, liable to fall off.
L-peg Stout round steel peg approx. 2’ to 3’ long with one end, 3” long, turned at right angles. These pegs are placed in drill holes, and used for holding up boxhole staging, raise staging, cat walks, ladder plats and a host of other purposes.

Peter Hughes has supplied words of this colour
D.C.Williams at Exeter University, better known as Gus. has supplied words of this colour
The remainder are supplied by Michael Davis