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Main stand:Under threat
Main stand:Under threat

APRIL FOOL - BP Going Undergound

By: Phil Friatters
Date: 01/04/2010

FOLLOWING extensive examination of the Harrington Street/Neville street area of Cleethorpes it has been discovered a vast underground cavern caused by water erosion has left two thirds of Blundell Park stood on nothing more that a crust of earth which in some areas is less than 5ft in depth.

The startling results where discovered after investigations began due to repeated reports of subsidence to homes in the aforementioned streets. Initial results show the underground cavern is situated below all the Main Stand and ¾ of the Osmond stand extending under the pitch for 60% of it's area. The Pontoon at the moment is thought to be unaffected while the relatively new foundations of the Findus stand are thought to be totally intact.

The initial cause of the erosion is thought to be the underground fresh water stream called Black Mica on early Victorian maps that feeds Chapman's Pond. The path of this stream was plotted during research for the construction of the Findus stand and initial soundings carried out by German company Borrgim which specialise in the investigation on underground subsidence have indicated the "Black Mica "is on a slightly different course as previously plotted . Ian Bruzlt a spokesman for Borrgim, who is over from Dusseldorf leading the enquiry, stated when questioned:

"At the moment we cannot make any official statement and the ultra sound 3D images taken have to be studied extensively but initial thoughts are the underground water source has recently (over the last 20 years) altered its course from being through an area dominated mainly by compressed chalk to an area of boulder clay and chalk boulders. The movement is only slight but as the boulder clay and chalk start to separate into different layers you get a combined area that is commonly called a "Bad Chalk Dock". This is solid ground held together by the clay, like mortar holds bricks, and as soon as water starts flowing through the area the clay is quickly eroded and the chalk boulders swept away". Confirmation of the water erosion as the cause rather than subsidence was confirmed when tests confirmed the presence of Cavity Salt V, which is the form of salt similar that found on damp brick work which is formed when water erodes boulder clay .

He went on to explain an underground water source can be moved off its centuries-held course by a number of slight alterations in the common demographical and one such instance considered locally was the sudden and ferocious flooding of the Blundell Park Pitch back in December '96 when the Grimsby-Sunderland game was abandoned after 6 minutes; it was then that the flooding was caused by water coming up through the pitch rather than flowing /falling on to it.

Ian went on to state the initial cause of the course alteration can never be proved 100% due to the time delay in discovery, it could be argued it was also shaken from its course by the earthquake suffered in the area just over 2 years ago (Feb 08).

At the moment further exploration is centred on what can be done to save the housing in the area and Borrgim will work closely with the council, and the individual home insurers to provide an environmentally and financially achievable safe solution .

It is thought in similar cases in eastern Europe the German company teamed up with a Norwegian company Brivcap to perform a procedure that entails pumping in a solution called Berets Pigmy that will in its original liquid form allow water to form an easy path through itself forming culverts while it slowly solidifies to the extent that a further compound which is a form of Mineralised Speram is pumped in to form a solid extremely hardwearing rock like structure that is impervious to water erosion .

It is thought that the cost of the operation to underpin the homes will run close to 3.5 million and that is just doing the areas underneath residential housing which would be covered by the insurance companies under the label "flood rot", the cost of pumping the full cavern so securing Blundell Park is expected to run into multi millions so making in uneconomically viable.

Harrington Street resident Mr Wayne Ribraw explained that during the investigation to the extent of the cavern he was kept awake after a night shift by the constant noise of a team of men drilling in and around his back passage. He went on to explain he went out to the men to complain and was just in time to see their tool which was called a "Virgin Anal Hammer" suddenly disappear with force into in cavern of his back passage and it was obvious straight away that there was amble room for a much bigger drill fitting.

Ironically the course of the underground water source has been traced upstream back to the Great Coates area which of cause is the favoured area for the new stadium to be constructed .

The course of the Black Mica is thought to make it the exclusive water source which supplied Airmen Rain, a small local Brewery, which according to local historian Tom Meldors was situated on the site now housing the old United Biscuits factory which brewed a local pale ale which it supplied to the work force building the docks , railways and the many local airfields in the area from the turn of the century up until the 1930's when the brewery closed and the factory built.

Grimsby are presently desperately trying to secure a venue to complete their season with Scunthorpe's Glandford Park becoming a distinct possibility. This could mean the unattractive proposition of league football being lost to the Town of Grimsby even if the Mariners do stay up this season.

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