VIDEO: Lost Blue John vein found in Peaks cavern

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Rare Blue John stone has been discovered in a Peak District cave after a near 70-year search.

VIDEO: Press the play button to watch our special video report.

John Turner of the Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton Peak District with a piece of Blue John Stone ready for visitor to polish. Photo: Chris Lawton.

John Turner of the Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton Peak District with a piece of Blue John Stone ready for visitor to polish. Photo: Chris Lawton.

Miner John Royse was first to discover the deposit of semi-precious Blue John stone in Treak Cliff, near Castleton, in 1945.

He promised to show a young pal, Peter Harrison, the exact location of his find the next day, but took ill and died before he could.

Generations of the family spent decades looking for the lost vein in the heart of the Hope Valley.

It had been fruitless until Peter’s grandson John Turner, aged 21, uncovered the lost treasure.

He looked for tell-tale crystal structures in the rock to find the hidden vein, but it was an unusual spotting on the floor which led John to the stone. John, whose family manage Treak Cliff Cavern, said: “After an hour of digging through muddy deposits I was amazed to come across an old piece of carpet supported by some wooden batons.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes when we pulled away the old carpet and there was this most amazing deposit of Blue John stone.

“It was right under the ladder that my grandfather put in decades ago.”

His mother Vicky Turner said: “I grew up with stories of John Royse’s lost deposit.

“To be honest I thought it might have been a bit of an old miner’s tale. If my father hadn’t found it after all these years maybe it didn’t exist.

“It is a fantastic discovery.

“John is learning the trade and has a great eye for it – it must be in his blood.”

Peter, 87, said: “I was just a young lad of 19 when my family took over the running of Treak Cliff Cavern. Over the years I have spent countless hours searching for that deposit.

“When my grandson phoned to tell me he had found it I couldn’t believe it.

“After all these years it was right under my feet!

“I retired years ago, but when I heard the news I had to put on my old mining overalls and see it for myself.”

* Treak Cliff Cavern is open daily throughout the year, and visitors are given guided tours of the site.

The cavern, which is located near Mam Tor and just off the main road which runs through Castleton, opens at 10am and the last tour is at 4.15pm during the summer season.