1970

January 3rd Saturday      Hillocks Mine


Diving
S Chester diving, Paul Thompson, A Wicks, J Smith (Shag), V Holland (?)

 

Alan Wicks and Shag left for Monyash to meet Paul and Cheg outside the ‘Bulls Head’ before opening time (evening). Calling at Thirston Goodwin to obtain permission, he said “ Yes, but its not on my land”

 

After changing and sorting out photographic and diving gear the party set off. On arriving at the first coffin level, Alan Wicks announced “It doesn’t go”, so standing on his feet persuaded him that it did. All the gear was lowered down the 25 ft pitch. Paul descended the second pitch and great difficulty was experienced in lowering the bottles and tempers were fraying. On arrival at the top sump, Cheg kitted up and Paul emptied the water out of his camera lens (condensation).

 

Cheg dived but the passage was only about 12 ft long and ended in a blocked shaft in the floor. Diver returned and swopping sets on the way for practice. Paul took photos of diving. Next the Eldon dig was investigated between Hillocks and Knotlow (not complete at this time). After some difficulty locating this Cheg went to have a look.

 

At the end of the coffin level a drop of 6 ft into a large pool with a small crawl leading off. The pool was investigated without gear but no way on could be located. The Eldon had thought that this might be the beginning of Warfe Sough. On the way out Wicks threw a tantrum because of light trouble, so swinging the accumulator by the flex, he smashed it into the wall whereupon the light came on. Exit Al Wicks and Shag to Devs, Cheg and Paul to Stags.

 

Cheg

 

 

January 4th Sunday      Slitherstones Mine


Purpose - Diving S Chester (diver), P Thompson (support), T Wright, B Wright, D Lucas (surface party).

 

Being assured by Paul that the shaft was about 70 ft a hundred feet of ladder was lowered to ensure reaching the water. After diving gear had been assembled and packed, S Chester descended in wetsuit. Having descended 100 ft and hanging from the last rung of the ladder he could just see water. Whilst Cheg at full stretch bridged in the shaft, a further ladder was lowered on the spare line. Having reached the bottom and decided the sump had no real possibilities as a dive, Cheg called Paul to join him. Parting the rubbish floating on the water, Cheg entered the sump. The sump was about 6ft deep and when the bottom was disturbed volumes of noxious gases were released.

 

Contents of sump ‘n’ thousand broken bottles, railway lines, rotting timber, large lorry tyre, assorted carrion. Diving was considered inadvisable in view of the above. Cheg and Paul exit to surface. As the gear was being packed a sports car was observed on Slitherstones Lane having just crossed a large frozen pool by the weighbridge. On the way back, Dave and Paul played sliding on the ice. Thompson proceeded until the ice was well shattered, then smiling from the Rover window, announced “ do you think the sports car will get back?”

 

T Wright

 

 

January 10th Saturday      Ox Close Mine


Purpose:- Photographic P Thompson, T Wright, K Moore, Simon ‘RN’, H Titley.

 

The party met in the Railway at Matlock. Settling the dust set off for Operation Mole’s Cottage. Changed in the barn by the cottage, descended by the escape route and after an interminable wet knee shattering crawl downhill arrived in the mine proper.


25 ft of ladder was carried at Paul’s suggestion to investigate a short shaft in the middle of the crawl, which proved to be about 70 ft deep. S after admiring the stow bearings and hand hacked operators seat we abandoned the investigation. In one part of the mine was a multicoloured flow formation, which was photographed. Proceeding to the lake, further photographs were taken. The coffin level was investigated but the distance examined was limited due to the amount of water in it. Exit to Smith’s chip shop.

 

T.Wright

 

PS The results of the photographs was reasonable. Karl’s first trip with the club.

 

 

January 17th Saturday      Hollandtwine Mine


(digging) S Chester, P Thompson, T Wright, K Moore, Phill Pasmore, Frank Williams.


Meanwhile back in the ‘Dev’ the rescue team were getting well soaked!


Due to the activity of moonscapers it was impossible to get the Land Rover close to the entrance for belay purposes, and Thompson had to walk 15 ft.


Paul entered the mine first followed by Terry and Karl, assembling on the 150ft level. Whilst Phill was descending Terry and Karl went to the bottom to prepare digging tackle. After Phill’s descent two scaffold boards and digging gear was lowered to the 150ft level. Frank was the penultimate man descending but decided that laddering was a little slow and made a bid for the world’s fastest descent; only being prevented in this aim by Cheg coming into contact with the concrete lid. Quote ”Tank heavens the ground broke his fall” (S.Milligan).


Frank regaining the ladder for a few seconds allowed Cheg to regain his feet. After a few feet on the ladder, still intent on the second phase of his speed record took another dive to the bottom. Cheg’s face once more in contact with the concrete lid! Frank was now directly opposite the party on the 150 ft level, swinging elegantly on the lifeline. As he took his second fall his helmet and lamp fell off but having both hands free he was able to catch and replace them quite easily.


Meanwhile back in the ’Dev’ Ernest pumps ale whilst Cheg pumps blood!


Frank thwarted in his second attempt was dragged onto 150 ft level. A scream of “Paul! Come up I can’t see” resulted in Cheg lifelining the knot in the end of the rope. Realising Paul not attached, more shouts, he lowered it down then Paul tied on and came out. On arrival at the surface, Cheg detected a slight grin on Paul’s face. Paul then shouted to Phill that he would leave a double lifeline and take Cheg to the hut returning later. Intuition saw Paul and Cheg to the ‘Dev’


Cheg and Dave to Buxton Hospital.

Barrie and Paul to the mine.

Three women wondering who?
Christine instant waterworks.


T. and K. returned to 150 ft level leaving lower pitches tackled. The whole party proceeded towards the bottom to retrieve the gear. On the way back to the 150 ft level for the second time they bumped into the indefatigable ‘Pluto’ (Paul). To ensure a large hauling party for frank we decided that he should exit next to last, the least fit member of the party, terry, being left at the 150 ft level. Frank got out without trouble and after scaffold boards were lowered the last man came out.

Accident due to bad provisioning of belay at the surface, only available belay being barely a foot from the shaft.

 

“Saturday dinner at Hollandtwine top

Butty bags full of Younger’s pop

Cheg was bent when heavy Frank

Fell off ladder whilst trying to wank”

 

 

January 18th Sunday      Peak Cavern


Ink Sump
J Cobbett, K Pearce, P Thompson, K Moore, S Howes, H Titley, B Parker, A Eaves, D Sinclair.


We changed in the show cave and set off at a good pace for Ink Sump. We followed round Mucky Ducks area to emerge at Surprise Pitch down into the Master Cave. We then went upstream and after some yards turned left into Lake Passage. This led after a few hundred feet to Lake sump. Meanwhile, Ken Pearce had been having much amusement telling people to keep to the left or right and seeing them flounder in the deep water.


Lake sump is in fact a duck with negligible airspace and is taken as an 8 ft dive. All but Paul and Karl went through the sump and arrived after a further 100 ft at Ink Sump. Here people left to explore the cave leaving Messrs Cobbett, Pearce, Titley and Sinclair. Divers then kitted up, Pearce diving with two bottles tied together at his side with string and no helmet. The divers then set off into the sump with Pearce leading. After 300 ft of mainly fair sized sump a much larger (12 ft square) cross passage was met. This soon closes down to the right. The passage was followed to the right and after about 50 ft the end of the old line was reached. Here JC crabbed on the end of his line and the divers went on to explore the hitherto unknown passage laying a line as they went. The passage continues gently downwards till after 200 ft of line had been run out. As Ken Pearce had by this time used an eighth of his air he decided that he would go out. This point was about 50 ft deep and the divers disagreed as to whether the passage was rising or falling. As no belay could be found for the line, the line reel was left in the sump. Visibility on the way in was excellent and only a little worse on the way out. By the time the divers had returned and de-kitted, the others had returned and we all set off for the main cave. The divers and their two ‘men’ decided to explore the Master Cave while they were passing.

 

They looked at both the upstream passages and the up and downstream sumps and met Tom Brown who had been diving. On the way out we were told Brown was diving Treasury Sump. When we arrived at the treasury full of curiosity, Tom had been gone for about 10 minutes. After a further 5 minutes he came back and said he had got through to Speedwell. Annoyed, as this was to have been our next project we went out leaving Brown and his men to carry their own gear out. After changing we arranged to dive in Peak again a fortnight later.


James Cobbett

 

 

January 25th Sunday      Knotlow Mine, Monyash

 

Diving Cheg Chester (Diver) Paul Thompson, Karl Moore, Vic Holland. Surface Terry Wright, Dave Lucas.


Waterfall Chamber Shaft, 210 ft, was laddered to avoid a long carry of diving gear and photographic equipment. The party assembled in Waterfall Chamber. After changing into diving gear, Cheg investigated the pump shaft directly below the pitch to a depth of 20 ft. At this point debris was jammed across the shaft supporting rubble and large boulders. To one side a coffin level 3 ft by 2 ft 6” with 18 inches of silt on the floor continued for approximately 30 ft to a blank wall. Reversing out in nil visibility I then returned to the surface.


I then investigated a sump down the level to the left of the shaft. After diving for approximately 12 ft the roof came down leaving a small hole through which I could see a rift 6 ft by 15 ft, extending 30 ft. On proceeding to enlarge the hole, there was a f……. great rumble which I heard underwater. Visibility was then nil. I then returned to the surface.
After waiting 2 or 3 minutes I returned but visibility was still bad so I decided to return at a later date.


Thompson ascended the shaft with his knickers round his ankles, his glasses spattered with mud, and sweating blood to the amusement and delight of the surface party. The rest of the party using Eldon ladder came out via the climbing shaft whilst the gear was hauled up the 210 ft shaft.


On the way out we had the mis-fortune to meet John Fell Junior with two relatives, one of these being a large female.


Comment on the ladder provided by the West Midlands Caving Group;- ridiculous.


Cheg

 

 

February 2nd      Peak Cavern / Speedwell


Diving Cheg Chester, Ken Pearce, James Cobbett, Tom Brown, Chris Coles, Peter Webb NUMS Paul Thompson (watching!) Pearce’s henchmen.


The party eventually entered the cave at about 11.30 am after various prospective members were turned away due to bad organisation by K Pearce. Having changed we proceeded to The Treasury. Here the four divers set up their inordinate amount of equipment, JC excepted and on through the 120 ft sump into Speedwell Main Passage. The sump was roomy except for the first few feet and was never more than 3 ft deep. We took off our kit in Speedwell and belayed it to the line except for four bottles, an immense ammunition can, a cardboard reel and line, a pair of fins, a diver’s torch and another ammunition can.


The river in the passage was very swift and this combined with the very uneven floor of the passage made it very difficult to keep ones feet. The passage was followed with difficulty for about a quarter of a mile to a place where the way divided. Here Ken Pearce briefly examined the right hand branch and thinking it was the wrong way, he and JC set off to explore the left hand branch. This was followed for about 200 yds to a bedding plane sump. A bypass was found about 100 ft back on the right. This crawl was followed for about 300ft to where it rejoined the main stream. This main passage was followed for about 300 ft to a large aven on the left. Beyond here the passage continued for a further 200 ft to where it terminated abruptly and the whole stream came vertically down from a hole in the roof. This was the Bung Hole and the water concealed a steel ladder, which was climbed for a neck crushing 15 ft to give access to the main Speedwell level. This was followed to the left upstream and led to the stream passage. This passage in the order of 20 ft square was followed for about one third of a mile to where the river emerged from a very deep sump. Top sump or Main Rising. Then the intrepid duo looked at Cliff Cavern (?). where they climbed the wet aven for about 100 ft. It still goes but proper climbing techniques will be needed for further progress. Having returned to the main passage the examined first a side passage leading to a deep static pool and then a mine level ending in a dead end. They then returned via the Bung Hole etc to a waiting Cheg and Tom Brown after about three hours away.

 

All then went back to the sump through to Peak and out finally leaving the cave at about 6.30 pm


James Cobbett


With reference to the 3 ft deep, in my opinion it was varying between 1 and 10 ft.


Cheg

 

 

February 15th      Perryfoot Cave


Dave Lucas, Terence Wright, "Wop" Holland, Paul Thompson and Cheg Chester.


Object - to locate sump - with view to future diving.


To quote the ‘Bosun’ describing the entire population of the Goddam Isles “f______s___”

 

T Wright


As far as is known, the final sump was back bailed by BSA. Only Les Salmon and one other were small enough to pass the sump

 

 

February 21st Saturday      Collier’s Peril, (Coombes Dale)

 

P Thompson, Cheg Chester, T Wright, V Holland. Object:- climbing!


The previous time the club visited this cave the entrance crawl was bespatted with faecal matter (badger sh__ or fox sh__) Due to this fact Victor was selected to be first man down. Cheg entered reluctantly but found it clear of sh__ but found it very muddy.


The entrance crawl approx 30 ft led to a rift approx 3 ft wide. The rift was descended for 30 ft. (NB ladder advisable) A drop of 15 ft round a boulder led to the bottom of the rift. This was followed for about100 ft to an obvious crawl branching off on the right (Collier’s Peril) This crawl was followed to the end 500 ft tight and muddy. The crawl terminated in the aven we were hoping to climb. As the aven was barely 5 ft high the object of the trip was abandoned.


NB at the end of the crawl some one is or has been digging.


T Wright

 

 

February 22nd      P8


James Cobbett, Cheg Chester, Paul Thompson, Barrie Parker, Dave Lucas, Karl Moore, Vic Holland, Hugh Titley, Pete Watkinson, Tony Jarrett, Tip Tipping, P Webb, D Parker, Martin Bulmer, Dave Gough.


Object:- Diving to reline the sumps.


Even though it had been raining continuously for 48 hours a party of 15 cavers (2 divers and 13 men) set off for P8 in light drizzle. The cave was overall very wet and when the sump was reached it was deemed inadvisable to dive due to:-


1) The dangerously large flow of water in the sump.
2) The water’s having deposited approx 1 ft 6” of silt which would have probably made the sumps impassable.
3) The possibility of flooding whilst the divers were away. (Foam 12 ft up the walls)


Then after a fair amount of sport in the water chutes and rapids the party set off out, emerging from the cave at about 2.40 pm.


James Cobbett


James Cobbett, diver supreme, suddenly discovered (on the way out) that his facemask was cosily tucked up in the back of his van.


No improvement on Barry’s gear from last weekend’s trip.

 

 

February 28th Saturday      Knotlow, Monyash

 

S Chester (diver) T Wright, B Wright, V Holland, P Thompson (photographs) P Nicholson, L Standbridge.


Object:- Return visit after January 25th. to dive and photograph.


The diving gear was lowered down the 210 ft shaft. The party descended via the climbing shaft and assembled at the top of the waterfall pitch. Cheg, Terry and Vic laddered into Waterfall Chamber and left the rest to go to the top coffin levels for photographs.

 

The diving gear being pulled up out of the flooded shaft Cheg kitted up and to test his equipment retrieved Eldon’s copper crow bar from the bottom of the shaft. On diving in the level to the left, the hole which he thought he had enlarged in January was still not large enough for a kitted diver to enter. Altogether he spent about 10 minutes digging in nil visibility until it was impossible to work in these conditions. After de-kitting the three members proceeded down Crimbo Pipe to Fourways Shaft and then to Crimbo Swallet. Owing to a large amount of water it was impossible to reach the bottom sump. After a good look around at Fourways Shaft the party returned to the bottom of the 15 ft pitch to meet the rest of the party.

 

Paul took two photographs at the bottom of the second pitch and was going to take some at the Coffin Level. He was unable to because of having a film of high speed (too fast).

 

NB Left at Fourways shaft along a wide water filled level a waterfall enters down a shaft showing no light. Worth investigating with a possibility to climb.

 

T Wright

 

 

March 1st      Hollandtwine Mine

 

H Titley, P Thompson, S Chester, V Holland, C Coles.


Object:- Digging


The party assembled about 11.30 am in the hut and arrived at Hollandtwine to find inclement weather, there being a high wind coupled with drizzle. Everyone descended the shaft with good haste, it being warmer within. Batten were lowered at the same time from the 150 ft level to 210 ft level (these being left at the 150 ft level on the previous occasion) and from thence to the bottom. In the meantime Vic was missing and was found wandering around in one of the unstable places. The battens were positioned and digging started whilst Paul spent two hours sawing through one railway line, with which the existing line was extended by about 3 ft thus facilitating the packing. The dig was abandoned for the day at 4.30 pm, depth of dig 18 inches. Upon which the party proceeded to the surface and repaired to the hut, well ……… half the party and 1 hour and 1 quarter later……

 

H Titley

 

 

March 8th      Hollandtwine Mine

 

Digging. P Thompson, S Chester, C Coles, M Cast, "Wop" Holland, A Wicks (surface).


About mid-day the party skied to Hollandtwine in Paul’s Land Rover, which suffered a heavy list to port at one precarious passage. Mr Wicks lowered the underground party attaching the line to the Land Rover for an exit signal later. Descent to the dig was straightforward this time (The Wop didn’t get lost) and amongst the baggage was a thermos of hot soup to sustain the excavators. Mr Chester dug first removing vast quantities of rubble, exposing more of the hard jammed chassis frame which still didn’t move; Mr Thompson dug 2nd removing even more rubble, exposing even more of the iron framework which still didn’t move; in order to raise the energies of the party to the levels needed to lift the sub frame, soup was called for. Appetites rose, mouths visibly watered, the first soup was supped. Mr Chester’s face fell. Everyone tried. It was hot, but it possessed an indescribable inimitable flavour, maybe the nearest description was potato and cabbage water with two teaspoonsful of mixed tea and soup powder. The lid was replaced and discussion reverted to the narrow escape experienced by Mr Chester when a large rock was dislodged onto him by Mr Coles ( I WANNA REBATE CHEG )

 

Mr Coles, Mr Cast and Mr Vic then returned to the digging site in that order, removing enormous quantities of rubble and rubbish, exposing the incredible proportions of the iron sub frame, which still didn’t move. There were also small amounts of water. Exit was started at 4.15 pm and complete by 5.00 pm, no difficulty being encounted. Mr Wicks was most useful. The return to the hut was easy since there had been very little snow.

 

C Coles

 

 

March 15th Sunday      Oxlow


D R Tipping, T D Wright, B Wright.


Initial intention to go along to the new series but owing to one crisp (and not the ale) of the previous evening’s jollity, Terry decided to forgo the pleasure of the Pilgrim’s Way for a peep down the last pitch.


We were the first party in but later it became rather like Paddington Station in the rush hour, with B.U.G. (Birmingham), Eldon including a well-proportioned female in wet suit and members in wellies and some members of D.C.C. The Birmingham group were attempting to siphon out the narrow tube in East Chamber. Eldon were climbing in the Aven Series.


NB March 14th Cobbett and his men were playing at prussiking in Oxlow.
Bar

 

 

March 15th Sunday      Peak Cavern

 

Vic Holland, Pete Nicholson.

 

At 10.30 am we met BSA at Castleton re trip into Peak Cavern. At 11.30 am we descended the cave. We first went along to the BSA dig for possible connection with Speedwell Cavern. We were then taken on a conducted tour by Brian Pickering and Shag.


We came out at about 5.30 pm having completed a round tour of the cavern, including an excursion into the resurgence sump and a detour into the Speedwell connecting sump which Cheg and co. dived previously. Everyone concerned had a very enjoyable trip; quite a pleasant cave.


Pete Nicholson

 

 

March 22nd Sunday      Hollandtwine Mine

 

Paul Thompson, Cheg Chester, Mick Cast, Pete Nicholson, Wop Holland and the ‘old miner’


Object:- digging The party descended at 12 o’clock approx. Total depth removed is now about 5 ft and the sub frame is still rigid. Paul found a centipede with 39 legs and we saved 3 frogs from the bottom of the shaft and released them on the 300 ft level as this gave them a better chance of getting out. It is believed that the last of the plastic has now been brought out.

 

The diggers were considering it was about time the soup arrived when it did. On tasting the contents of the flask it was declared that it tasted a little better than when Wog Coles made it but it makes your cigarettes taste sweet.
The party came out, last man to the surface at 5.20 pm looking as though they had been on the nest all night.
The old miner assisted in all operations.


M J Cast

 

 

March 28th-29th      Easter Weekend, Lake District


T Wright, B Wright.


Social trip to visit friends - civilised weekend in a 'house' and skiing on Raise, off Patterdale. NB Very extensive lead workings but some levels dynamited by Atomic Energy Commission approximately five years ago doing tests on detection of underground explosions.

 

Further note a trip to Coniston Old Man earlier in the year proved interesting as there are extensive copper mine workings on the slopes. Behind the youth hostel is a horizontal level leading to the base of a shaft and quite extensive workings in the main solid cut. According to the White Rose club some of the shafts higher up the mountain are extremely dangerous.


B Wright


Pete Nicholson, Lin Standbridge camping at Buttermere, a Rock and Heather meet. Very wet, windy, a walking trip mainly.

 

 

April 4th      Grange Rigg (Allotment Area, Yorkshire)


S Chester, P Thompson, V Holland and A Wicks.


Object - new trip to the club but an old classic.


The party left Crummock Farm with all the caving gear with the intention of changing at the entrance. After a gruelling walk over the moors in brilliant hot sunshine the party arrived at the entrance completely exhausted before any caving was done.


The description in 'Potholing Beneath the Northern Pennine' by D. Heaps is reasonably accurate. (Paul says this is the lazy way of making a description!)


There was a fair amount of water entering the system making it reasonably sporty. After the traverse Mr Wicks was feeling most ill and nearly puked several times, so was abandoned whilst the rest of the party proceeded to the bottom. Paul moaned about how constricted the passages were but he soon changed his mind when he saw the well decorated passages. Just before the Drain Pipe there is a constricted squeeze into a rift where we abandoned Paul. On arrival at the Drain Pipe which was taking rather a lot of water it was found once inside the water backed up and flowed over one's shoulders so a quick retreat was made thinking this must be the end.
The party proceeded out collecting the abandoned personage. On finding Mr Wicks with a very slight glimmer on his carbide lamp he informed us we had been gone one and a half hours. The cave was detackled and on reaching the surface a typical Yorkshire day was there to greet us, rain.


Another gruelling walk back to Crummock.


Cheg

 

 

April 5th      Hollandtwine Mine


S Chester, P Thompson, , T Wright, V Holland, B(Wacker) Woodall (Eldon) P Nicholson (surface)


Object - digging


The progress was as usual, very slow, very tiring. The huge sub frame getting longer still remains solid.


Wacker was taken on a conducted tour and was very impressed. He worked very hard. It is hoped that he will come again to work very hard again.


The first two men were lifelined out by Pete in typical Derbyshire weather, rain.


NB Paul, doubting Thompson thinks this will end in a solid floor. Time will tell.


T Wright

 

 

April 17th      Knotlow


Terry Wright, Paul Thompson (Blind Pugh), Stuart Chester, Vic Holland, Pete Nicholson and L Standbridge.


The party descended to the start of Crimbo Pipe. Cheg's underwater dig was examined and appeared to be blocked underwater. The party continued along Crimbo Pipe and to the base of Fourways shaft. All the levels off the shaft were explored. The Chapeldale Level was followed to its blind end in water all the way. A large level with excellent dry stone arching in places. Pete and Lin only went as far as the Crimbo Swallow, Lin being soaked through, Pete brought her out.


The party returned to surface without incident.


T Wright

 

 

April 18th      Hollandtwine


Paul Thompson, Cheg Chester, Tony Jarrat (Shrewsbury) Pete Nicholson.


Object. Some digging and a general look around.


P Thompson

 

From Tony Jarrat's Log Book 2½ hrs
Laddered main shaft (360) to 150' level and down climbing shaft to bottom level where we dug at shaft bottom dig. Looked at various other passages. Superb stone stemples, cave pearls mine wagon etc. Also looked at Hazard Mine and its climbing shaft.

 

 

25th April      Odin Mine


L Standbridge, P Nicholson, Tip Tipping, Thompson, Henry in sandles, Cheg Chester.


The party got two thirds of the way down and could not get any further due to another caving (?) party who were undecided as to which way to go, when to go or why to go. So the whole trip was aborted and the party returned to surface, complaining bitterly and vowing never to enter the place again.


D Tipping

 

 

May 1st - 3rd      Club Meet, Somerset


P Thompson, A Wicks, T Wright, B Wright, A Eaves, B Parker, J Chadwick, P Adlington, V Holland, D Gough, P Nicholson.


We met at the Wessex Palace Friday evening.

 


April 2nd Saturday      August Longwood (Charterhouse)


Somerset leader and translator A Wicks
P Thompson, T Wright, B Wright, A Eaves, B Parker, V Holland, D Gough, P Nicholson.


Arrived at cave via devious route through the woods, this saving the phenomenal amount of 1silver shilling of the realm per head. Entrance pitch found to be blocked by one schoolteacher with gown, mortar board and candles and eight rather large school children. Their equipment - 20 feet of farmers hairy string with interwoven fencing stake called ladder that had to be unrolled to pass through the entrance hole.


The situation was soon sorted out when a Pegasus member took the lead. The entire retiniu soon conducted through tight areas to point of cave division.


Pegasus party split, A Eaves, V Holland, D Gough and P Nicholson went via Murder Rift to ladder 25 ft pitch into main stream passage. The rest of the party led by A Wicks followed the school party into Longwood main chamber and overtook the school party on the Main Chamber traverse. the party joined the others after passing through Christmas Passage. We all proceeded downstream to the terminal sump via a series of crawls, rifts and waterfalls. A scenic route with many formations and rude symbols.

 

Tracks were retraced to the top of the top of the 25 ft ladder pitch, where the party split again. Party 1 came out via Longwood except Dave who became the leader of party 2 out of Murder Rift and August. Murder Rift appeared to bring out the best of the returning party. Terence was heard to comment...................... and henceforth shall be known as Bloody Murder Rift. There was a short intermission as the Longwood Party assisted to squeeze eight plump children through a small hole.

 

The Pegasus party proceeded out en bloc via a relatively tight entrance series.

At this point Vic was on phase 1 of working up a very good Somerset Thirst for later activities. The language used by the more polite of the Pegasus members proved educational to the school children.

After a short drive along a country lane the bulk of the August - Longwood party attempted GB.

 

P Nicholson, A Wicks, V Holland (The Italian Diplomatic Services), D Gough, A Eaves, P Thompson, B Parker
Descent through the Main Chamber where a recent roof fall has blocked the Ooze Passageway into the Main Chamber. Fixed ladder to Devils Elbow was missing and way forward was silted up. Only route into Main Chamber via left hand passage of small dimensions. This proved to be too arduous for certain members who had difficulty in passing through fixed ladder to advance party. A wicks and A Eaves attempt to bottom GB was aborted and the party returned worse for wear.


NB Phase 2 of Vic's Somerset Thirst.


Everyone returned to the Palace but the New Inn at Priddy Green caused a diversion.
Phase 3 Vic's starter for 7½ pints.

 

Part Three Where The Real Story Begins.


Steady walk to local hostelry after meal where a bet was laid with Victor to drink 8 pints of cider. He rose to the occasion and accepted the offer and an entertaining evening got underway. Events proved too tedious after numerous excursions to the baking oven and the bog. The landlord eventually thwarted Victor's gallant or gallon attempt by shutting off his supply at 7½ pints.

 

Part Four Back at the Wessex Palace.

 

Victor after many meanderings arrived to provide our host with an evening entertainment. And it is said on dark still nights that the sound of his liquid laugh can be heard on Priddy Green.

 

Part Five. The Morning After The Night Before.


An arduous trip was scheduled for Sunday commencing with a journey to Wells Cathedral, followed by the most epic trip of the weekend Wookie Hole.

 

 

May 8th      Cheg's Farewell


Act 3 Part II Jug and bottle party. Training meet at Stags.


Booze up extraordinaire - wine, women and s--

 

 

May 9th      P8


Paul 'Runaway' Smith, Pippin Holland, Tony Scarborough, Al Eaves, Terry Wright, Bar Wright, Tip.


Condition of cave - low water.


First party into cave ladder negotiated without much difficulty, novices all enjoying themselves immediately, all except for one. The fixed ladder was found to be removed and was tackled with electron. Party split-


1) Terry, Bar, Al, Tony
2) Vic, Paul, Tip


1) Proceeded to Down Stream Sump to find it heavily silted and evidence of high water. Visited Upstream Sump and returned to second ladder pitch via lower level crawl and stream way.


2) Proceeded to Down Stream Sump glooped around in the water and then carried on following stream passage to Upstream Sump via devious openings. Poggled about in various little tubes and also found also found line in Upstream Sump was broken. Then came back to foot of second ladder pitch.


Party combined and proceeded to waterfall pitch and encountered a second party coming in.
We believed that all the party enjoyed their trip.

 

NB Tip and Terry had a swift swim in Litton Mills mill pond. Fishing strictly private.


Then Runaway Smith ran away. Evidence enclosed

 

 
 

 

 

May 25th Sat      Lamb Rescue


Lamb rescue in 30 ft mine shaft on Tidewell Moor. Ivor Robinson's land.

 


May 26th Sunday      Kingsdale Yorkshire


Dave Gough, Paul Thompson walked from Kingsdale to Whernside, from there to Ingleborough to Horton in Ribblesdale.

 

 

May 26th      Alum Pot via Long Churn Series.


Barrie Parker, Vic Holland, Al Eaves.


A quick trip and the leaders ability was in some doubt. A pleasant trip. Then after changing the party went to meet the above party in Horton.


Alan E

 


May 26th      Kinder


Pete Nicholson, Lin Standbridge, Tip Tipping, Terry Wright, Barb Wright.


Walk onto Kinder Scout across to Seal Stones and back to Edale. Weather glorious.


Epic! B

 

 

May 27th Monday      P8


Pete Nicholson, Tip Tipping, Terry Wright, Barbara Wright
The party set off about 2 o'clock, down to the Downstream sump, then to the Upstream Sump and out. Very little water.

 

Bar

 


May 27th      Walk


Pat, Wop, Alan walked from Kingsdale over the tops to Chapel-le-Dale and via entrance to Mere Gill, Ingleborough. Walked back down to Gaping Gill to view winch assembly and on to Selside via Juniper Gulf to meet Dave Pyeman. Whilst in the Alum Pot area Vic found a recent sink and we decided to investigate this at a later date. (see 5th June entry) From Selside went back to Kingsdale via Dent stopping off for a few photographs.

 


May 28th


Vic and Dave returned to Derbyshire via the Hill Inn. Pat and Al back to Selside to take compass bearing on sink.


Alan E

 


June 5th-7th      Yorkshire


AlEaves, Vic Holland, Pat Adlington
Arrived early hours of Saturday morning at farm at Selside. Pitched tent in a lane. (1/- per night) Saturday morning repitched tent in farm then up onto Fell Close area to view sink. (see 27th May) The sink had broken into a water worn passage running North - South towards Alum Pot area. This on investigation turned out to be part of the Fell Close complex. Passages were investigated and were open at both ends after considerable crawling.


On Sunday returned to same area and investigated the stream sink in the adjacent field. Vic pushed it to a hundred feet in a tapering bedding plane. The top series of Long Churn was investigated, lack of water making this ideal. Termination of this series was a small hole leading back up to the moor. Interesting side passage in right of cave entrance - wet. Lights were in some doubt and so was not investigated for any distance.


Alan E

 

 

June 6th - 7th      Moking Hurth (Teesdale)


June 6th Saturday afternoon (PART I)
Survey party consisting of Ma and Pa Lane, Terry Wright, Babara Wright, Tip Tipping set out to discover the whereabouts of this unusual cave. After examining several sinks and shake holes the search for Moking Hurth was abandoned and the party retired to Langdon Beck public bar for refreshment.


Whilst partaking of a pint or two of 'Nimmo's' excellent beer a local gentleman informed us that the cave was situated in a quarry behind Langdon Beck Youth Hostel. After this information the party retired to the 'Little Brown Jug' an excellent hostelery for a drop of bevvy and then home to Spennymoor.


June 7th (PART II) Moking
After a rather lazy start to the day i.e. sunbathing and scoffing a most excellent lunch, Terry and Tip set off for Teesdale to do Moking Hurth. The cave was found in the quarry as described by the 'Old Gentleman In Pub'.


A pleasant (?) two hours were spent exploring the right angled tunnels which were very well decorated with stalactites and helictites. The whole trip consisted of a series of traverses in a none too roomy fissure split up by crawls in a small stream passage. The whole trip was very sporty and well worth the trouble taken to find it.

 


June 13th      Giants Hole


J Cobbett, A Finch, K Pearce, P Thompson, D Gough, T Wright, V Holland, S Howes and University students
The party took bottles (mainly Adrian) to East Canal intending to dive the sump. However the water had backed up and was impossible. Then the party came out.


Adrian Finch

 

 

June 14th      Mock Rescue, Carlswark, Stoney Middleton


Those present:- P Thompson, T Wright, V Holland, A Eaves, B Parker, P Nicholson, P Watkinson, D Lucas, D Tipping and D Gough as victim
Appointed time to begin 10 o'clock! After much messing about the rescuers eventually managed to congregate at the entrance at 11.30 a.m.

 

Barrie sent Pete (N) Dave (G) Dave (L) and Paul to tackle the rift and put victim in Oyster Chamber. After some struggling the rest of the party arrived at the bottom of the rift. Barrie went up the rift followed by Vic, Terry and Tip leaving Pete (W) and Dave (L) to tackle rift for victim. Those of the party not mentioned were already getting the victim in drag sheet. Terry and Paul laced in the drag sheet.


Started the 300 ft carry to top of rift to find spectators from N.U.G.G.E.T. fascinated. Upon reaching the tube which leads to the rift Parker was then told that the lower team ( P Watkinson, D Lucas) were not ready for victim. Cobbett was sent down to try on his diving gear. As Cobbett was going down the rift he dislodged some stones which landed on Dave Lucas head (NB no helmet had fallen off.) Cobbett brought Dave bleeding to the surface quite shaken but slightly cut head. James immediately returned leaving Dave with two Barbaras.


Vic was positioned in the tube followed by Terry in front of the victim. The victim was lowered down the pitch by Pete (N) and Alan, assisted by Paul to ease over odd bumps. When victim reached top of rift Paul had to climb over victim to position himself in the rift.


Dave (G) was lowered down the rift by means of three ropes; one from above and two from below via pulleys. At the bottom the ropes were removed and the rope tidied up. Then a face mask was fitted to the victim for the purpose of use in sump rescue. The was then taken out into the middle of the pool and sank. The test proved satisfactory although the victim was a little worried at the time. After the test the victim was demasked and debagged and allowed to go out.

The End. Part of DCRO training system.

 

 

June 21st      Fairy Hole


Eastgate-in-Weardale
Those present Tip, Terry
It was such a big trip through the quarry and the cement works was very extensive.


Anyone intending to do this trip should go equipped with their own cement mixer, as the factory on the site was rather anti.
pp The Team


D Tipping

 

 

July 4th      Club Meet, Yorkshire


Present:- T Wright, B Wright, I Curphey, M Curphey, J Cobbett, P Watkinson, P Thompson
Saturday Notts Pot
(NB male members only in the cave)
Party assembled in transport cafe in Ingleton on Saturday morning and proceeded to Whoop Hall to meet members of Orpheus. After waiting half an hour during which the Orpheus did not appear we repaired to Ireby Fell.


Whilst changing the Orpheus arrived. The Pegasus members set off to find the hole. After looking in the wrong field for half an hour and finding Ireby Cavern the entrance was found.


Joined by Orpheus we entered cave. The intention was to do the shorter series, however we finished off doing the left hand longer series. Despite some clever frigging with the ladder and rope the bottom was not reached due to insufficiency of both. On the way out right by the entrance the advance exit party, Pegasus located two coils of Orpheus ladder. This would have sufficed to bottom the cave.


An excellent trip.


T Wright

 


July 5th      Kingsdale Master Cave


Present:- I Curphey, T Wright
A fast trip to the sumps and out. This was our first trip in this cave and most excellent, both agreed.


T Wright

 


August 29th      Dive in Stanley Moor 20ft


Present:- B Parker, J Chadwick, I Curphey, M Curphey, P Nicholson, L Standbridge, P Adlington, A Eaves
Dive in murky conditions too many obsticles of unpredictable nature to attempt any air sharing.


A Eave

 

 

August 30th      Knotlow


Present:- B Parker, I Curphey, P Nicholson, A Eaves.
First man down I Curphey reports injured man from another party at bottom of entrance pitch. Victim had fallen on waterfall pitch and had no life line, Instigated rescue:- Injured man brought to surface (arm in need of repair) Second member of party brought to surface and dispatched with victim to Buxton Hospital. Other members of team retrieved and tackle sorted before start of Pegasus trip. Not much water in coffin level, might suggest a canoe race to the far reaches.


A Eaves

 


September 12th      Bag Mine


Back of Ecton
Present:- Paul Thompson, Terry Wright, Barbara Wright (surface)
Initial objective - Ecton Copper mines.
In Buxton we met Orpheus who told us of access difficulties and suggested Bag Mine. Orpheus club lent ladder and rope to augment what we had and provided a map to show location of mine. Despite the 6" to mile map we had the usual difficulty in locating the correct mine shaft among many! Paul descended 50 ft shaft a whole field away from the correct shaft to find it blocked and full of 'Essence of Long Dead Sheep'.


Located correct hole;- About 5 ft square with a ledge at about 3 feet and a wooden box platform at about 10 feet. Shaft depth about 35 ft belayed to barbed wire fence. Below shaft a 45º degree slope for approximately 60 feet into level and large chambers. Steep slope descent to level with flooded shaft in floor. Second pitch 20 feet, wide flow covered shaft , old wooden beam belay.


Shaft is access to lower long straight level with blind passages and ramps off. Excellent display of cave pearls (Do not touch pearls, experiment in progress) The level continues over a flooded shaft on planks, water deepens exploration ceased.


A good little trip.
Tackle required 75 ft ladder, long header for surface two ropes, hand line essential on steep slope.


T Wright

 

 

September 19th      Water Icicle


(mine-cave) Arbor Low
Underground exploration team comprised of Blind Pugh Tombstone (P Thompson), Terd (T Wright), B Wright, Wop (Vic) Holland and three members of the Orpheus as guides.


The shaft reposes under a concrete lid kindly supplied by P.D.M.H.Society. The shaft is 104 feet deep with 4 ft ginging and rest solid cut (approx 4x2). The shaft drops into a chamber with three cave racing passages, London Underground standard radiating from it. It was once well decorated hence the name but the Old Man mined the stalls to compensate for the lack of lead.


Two digs in evidence and one of these in progress. Good potential. Mainly dry natural cave and a very pleasant trip. Large boulders and complete walls of fluorspar - pretty.


Barbara

 


September 26th      Pen-y-ghent Yorkshire


Members present:- P Thompson, P Watkinson, P Nicholson, V Holland, D Jacks (Orpheus) H Titley, I Curphey.
Descended at 11.30 a.m. complete with 5 ft of 4"x2" for the belay on the third pitch. We found that the cave was very dry compared with normal conditions. we reckoned on having 22 ladders and in fact 6 were not used. Five out of the party of seven reached the terminal siphon. No epics and trip went well and the trip was completed in 8 hours and was followed by good ale in 'The Crown' at Horton.

 


September 26th      Kingsdale Master Cave Yorkshire


Present:- Helen Sargent, Terry Wright, Barbara Wright
Descended through dustbin entrance at 5.30 p.m. and took 1 hour and 10 minutes.


A quick trip to Rowten Sump. Water level fairly low. Followed by a quick trip to 'The Crown' (see above)


Barbara

 


October 3rd      Keld Head


James S Cobbett, Simon Howes and Pete Webb were called from Three Stag's Head at 10.00 pm on cave rescue at Keld Head Yorkshire, therefore not being able to dive in P8 on the following day. James and Ken Pearce dived in search of diver, lost, but the search was called off after existing air spaces had been searched.

 

Pete Webb

 

 

October 4th      P8

 

Present:- Vic Holland, Tim (1st trip) Alan Eaves

Entered cave 11.00 am, large amount of water. First pitch quite sporting, Tim not quite so keen. 2nd pitch (dry route) and on to terminal sump. A quick look at upstream sump followed by crawl in lower passages to foot of 2nd pitch.

 

Upper passages above 2nd pitch revealed a possible dig although this may only prove to be another entrance to the system. 1st pitch was climbed by the Tarzan technique and team finally emerged at 15 30.

 

Departure from the cave was hampered by "4 Leaf Clover Club" who insisted on trying to climb every ladder in sight whether belayed or not, without using a lifeline. RIP

 

Alan E

 

 

October 10th      Northern Dale

 

Present:- Dave Gough, Vic Holland, Terry Wright, Paul Thompson

Old Ash Mine

Lads and Ladies10 ft shaft

Three small caves

The party arrived after closing time at the Devonshire Arms, Three Stags and Red Lion at Wensley and explored all caves in Northern Dale.

 

 

October 11th      P8


James Cobbett, Alan Eaves, Tip, Tombstone, Pete Webb, Shag, Barrie Parker, Pyeman, Victor Wop

 

Sump I 105'
Sump II 100'
Sump III 75'


The cave was descended full of persons but fairly dry and a quick trip was made to the sump.
Three thick new lines were layed in the downstream sump by messrs Cobbett and Webb and the old line and a lot of other gash line removed.
The water level in sump IV was low and we viewed the fourth sump from above but didn't stay to paddle.
Back in I we posed for photographs and left the cave very quickly less than 30 mins from sump - out passing about 50 peoples on the way. A good trip.


James S Cobbett

 

 

October 25th      P8

James Cobbett, Dave Pyeman, Victor Wop, Dick Pike, Geoff Mathews, Ken Hart, Kev Gibson, Lawrence Hurt, Dave Epton, Reg??
--Fiasco--
SumpIV - muddy small still going at 200'


J.S.Cobbett

 

 

October 25th      Peak Cavern


Alan E, Pete the Foul, Shag & other BSA members
Object: attempt to clear boulder choke at far end of Pickerings Passage, Large Aven at far end of passage with large boulder slope. Could possibly prove another entrance into the system. Dig in the floor of the boulders appears to lead in the general direction of the Moss entombment tube.
Time in 11.15
Time out 16.15


Alan E

 


October 31st      Hill Carr Sough, Rowsley


Those present:- P Thompson, T Wright, V Holland, I Curphey and taken by L Hurt , D Epton
The party went up the sough at about 12 o'clock being very suspicious and not understanding why mssrs Hurt and Epton had five air bottles and weight belts. But we were soon to find out as we hit foul air at 200 yards in. After 1¼ miles three came out whilst Lawrence, Dave and Vic carried on. We went onto the second blockage having a job to keep eyes open. Afterwards he learnt he was just about to faint and had to have some air from the valve. Immediately they all turned round and came out.


The sough was driven in shale and arched in stone all the way through except in one or two places where it had all fallen out. The water was very cold and had a lot of sediment reputed to contain sewage and was fast flowing.

 

The object of the trip was for Dave and Lawrence to dig in the second blockage to lower the water.


The whole party felt the effects of bad air - frequent rests and stops for air were necessary.


P Thompson

 

 

October 31st      Fred's Hole, Eyam Quarries


Party as for Hill Carr - intrepid explorers V Holland (Il Duce) and I Curphey

 

 

November 1st      Oxlow - Giants through trip


Those present:- T Jarratt leader, Vic Holland, Ala Eaves
Arrived Oxlow entrance 10-15am having passed departing party of cavers at roadside.
Cave in very wet conditions, in particular 3rd pitch. All ladder (fixed) now out, except Rat Hole and climb up to Pilgrims way, which is now in good condition [no 4ft step half way up).


Route through:- Turn left at end of Pilgrims way, soon to encounter quite a tight squeeze in water which is also at a bend in the passage. Helpful to scoop gravel from passage floor and stack at side. Enough room to sit and eat at other side of constriction (or do what you may!!)


Way on continues along gravel passage, bare right at stream T junction and follow obvious route via three well watered sections into upper series of Giants.


This trip is not recommended for anyone suffering from Beat Knees.


Passed through upper series of Giants encountering en route a number of students in various positions of being educated.
Re entered Oxlow and retrieved gear from all pitches. Arrived hut 3-45 pm.


Pitches Gear
1     2x25 ft
2     2x25 ft
3     2x25 ft Belay through both positions
4     2x25 ft


Quite an enjoyable trip (after the tight bit)


Alan E


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book. 5hrs
Through trip via the connection. As the others had not done the trip I led and found the route fairly straight forward. Some scooping was done at the squeeze to enable all to get through. Out of Giants via the New Upper Series (above Crabwalk) where we met Ratarse, Helen and Admiral. Found Ken Hart near the entrance. Then back to detackle Oxlow. Never again without a wetsuit! Incredible wind blowing across the moor. A good trip.

 

 

November 1st      Broad Meadow Mine


Present:- P Thompson, T Wright
Guides L Hurt, D Epton
Access severely restricted at present - entrance via 90 ft climbing shaft sunk in shale. Ginging of dressed gritstone resting on arches 30 ft from bottom.


Mine in shale limestone boundary. Exhibits many types of working and a large flat by the entrance shaft. Mine worked on many levels to well below the Hill Carr Sough. Pumped by hydraulic engine fed with surface water via an adit. Engine shaft filled completely. Only entrance at present via climbing shaft.


A very pleasant trip along the upper series. One very well decorated and coloured section. Extensively back filled.


T Wright

 


November 7th      Lancaster - Easegill, Casterton Fell, Westmorland


Present:- P Thompson, T Wright, I Curphey, V Holland, A Eaves, B Parker, P Watkinson (Steve, Martin, Paul, John - beginners) D Gough, A Wicks


Two separate trips


Lancaster - Easegill through trip, party of eight. A hectic dash along the main passages. Curphey and his brother-in law Paul explored the main drain whilst the rest of the party dossed in the dark for about an hour. Whilst we never got lost we were decidedly puzzled in places. Stake pot and the connection with Easegill were found to be equipped with new rope and new electron respectively. About 40 minutes were spent finding the connection for the way. This is as follows:- down the boulder pile to the stream, then either follow the stream down in the boulders or by-pass the heap with a crawl (small bedding plane) on left which leads back into stream. Downstream to cairn, left up sandy crawl, then right and out. Time approximately five hours.


T Wright


Easegill Photographic trip:- P Thompson and five others. Photographs in Easter Grotto. Exited after through party.

 

 

November 15th      Peak Dale Cave


Sunday 12.00 am. J Cobbett + P Webb inspected Peak Dale Cave, Peak Dale with a view to diving it on that trip. Some difficulty was experienced in finding the cave, which turned out to be under an old stone bridge near the road. About 200 ft of passage with fine formations encrusted with lime led to 15 ft pot, circular with a beam across the top and a clear green sump pool at the bottom. Such a high concentration of lime was present in the water that pure lime lay at the surface. Care had to be taken in going through low duck, in case of contact with eyes. Not having a ladder we returned to the hut talked Victor into joining us and returned to dive. After James had had some trouble with his gear, he dived into the blue water. He returned shortly confirming O C L previous report that large wide passage , narrows into a calcited slot. He then took a hammer but cold forced his return and we decided to leave it for that day. This small cave is not very well known but is well worth a photographic trip for crystal formations and other pretties.

 

Pete Webb (Rat Arse)

 

PS Cave now completely buried by 'landscaping' 2011

 

 

November 21st      P8

 

A gaggle of students from York House T.T.C. were shown the way through the vast netherworld. Vic the Wop, Submarine Sam (DAKIN) and Wickes of Iceland led the party. All surfaced after a fast trip of 5½ hours.

 

I Curphey

 

 

November 22nd      Hollendtwine Hollengrottes

 

Paul Thompson conned Curf, Vic and Dave Epton to throw aside great dreams of Nettle Pot (shit hole) to accompany him down Hollengrottes (another shit hole)

 

Eventless trip, the rigours of ladder climbing being the main interest. Thompson obviously loves the place (probably reminds him of home!) the rest pampered to his ego, saying "Intit nice" "what a great mine" (what a shit hole)

 

Several of the lesser known "grottos" were visited and the party returned to the surface, tired but very happy!

 

I Curphey

 

 

November 29th      Shining Sough, Alport


Dave Epton, Vic Holland, Paul Thompson, Terry Wright, Tony Jarratt, Dave and John Gough, Jim Smart, Pete Webb
The trip was made on Saturday night. The sough is inactive since Hillcarr Sough was driven. We went as far as the first blockage which is approx ½ - ¾ mile. The entrance to the sough is about ½ mile from Alport near Youlgrave.


P Thompson


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 2½hrs
Clandestine evening trip (during Sat night opening hours!!) to this interesting but strenuous sough. Some fine picked sections and many grim loose bits ending in an NMRG dig hoping to connect with Broadmeadow Mine. Interesting area.

 


November 30th      P8, Jackpot


James Cobbett, Ken Pearce, Admiral Howes, Dave Epton + Pete Webb
A quick diving trip, hampered by weejies at the pitches, in fairly wet conditions. Cobbett + Pearce dived to P8-4 with the intention of surveying the sumps + new passage. The terminal sump was some "35 feet" higher than before + more of a stream running in the rift passage. Mud blocked the rift and K. Pearce observed a possible entrance to further regions higher up. It was noted that a dig with mud put straight into the stream might be an interesting project for the future.

 

Visibility low on the return, so the intermediate readings were not able to be taken.


Pete Webb

 


December 5th      Club Meet, Lost John's, Yorkshire


Those present:- Paul Thompson, Ian Curphey, Wop Holland, Dave + John Gough, Pete Watkinson, Martin, Tony Jarratt, Bob Cross, Dave Epton, Adrian Finch + Pete Webb


Underground by midday, the party of twelve proceeded by the new roof traverse down to the master - cave in fairly wet conditions. These conditions were judged not to be so bad as to use the stemples out from the top of Battleaxe pitch and laddering the 'wet - pitch' the dry way. So the team laddered Battleaxe down to the ledge at the top of the wet - pitch and then separately the latter. The stream proved interesting and as many of the party later said, the wettest pitch they'd had ever experienced. Once at the bottom, one 15' pitch and into the 'tube tunnel'. This is huge and well worth the previous problems ending in several ducks and a final sump, the whole end of this passage , 200 yds being very susceptible to flash flooding. The return trip was uneventful barring haulage techniques on the life - lining of the wet pitch, useful but to the annoyance of Wop, who later for his ungratefulness became lost with Pete Watkinson near the entrance.

 

Tackle used (for New Roof Traverse)

 

1 ladder awkward 15' pitch

1 x 25' down to ledge on cathedral pitch

2 x 25' for Cathedral (About 40')

4 x (1x25) for small pitches to top of Battleaxe

2 x 25' Battleaxe (rift) *

3 x 25' for Wet - Pitch (60') *

1 x 25' for 20' into Master Cave

If very wet instead of * pitches, handline for stemple traverse. 1 x 30' to ledge from end stemple + rawbolt then 75 ft down to bottom of Wet Pitch, the dry way.

 

Pete Webb

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 6hrs

Drove up to Horton on new m/cycle on Fri, evening. Did " New Roof Traverse" route via Cathedral, Dome and Battleaxe pitches. Much sport on the Wet Pitch. Then a walk along the fine master cave to the terminal sump. A very fine system and a bloody good trip.

 

 

December 12th Saturday      Rowter Mine


Paul Thompson, Vic Holland, Barbara & Terry, surface
Paul and Vic went to investigate the possibilities of a dig. After descending two 25' pitches one arrives at a back filled passage with a few inches of water.


It was considered to be a time consuming job to dig the passage. There were signs that other people had made attempts to dig and that quite an amount of work had been done since the club had last been down.


There is also another place in the system for attempts to dig. This is a mined passage that continues for only 12' before coming to an end. The floor is tightly packed with boulders which appear to be false having fallen in one foot from its original level. The floor is submerged in about three feet of water.


Paul and Vic decided that the two possible digs were a false water table.


The tackle needed on the next trip down Rowter Mine is either a peg or a four foot stemple. This is because the belay point used on the 25' pitch was found to be unstable being an old rotten stemple.


V.L.P. Holland

 


December 13th Sunday      Oxlow Giants Connection Ha...Ha


Entered Oxlow Returned by Oxlow
Having been induced by Victorio Luigi to attempt the death defying traverse between the old caverns of Oxlow and the leviathan depths of Giants Hole! Curf and Dave Gough decided to accompany the above. Victor knew the way, Victor got us lost. But Victor who knew the ways of Giants insisted that we had been "cave exploring". It didn't seem to matter to Victor that O_BESE Curf had great difficulty in the tortuous passages coming out of the cave BACKWARDS gave good sport and Dave Gough remarked that it was a good job that the passage was narrow otherwise he might have wrung Victor's neck! Having shattered the myth the party surfaced - shattered four hour trip.


Victor's comments after:- He thought he was taking a pair of intrepid explorers knowing that one of them was used to several expeditions of great severity. He thought he would add a bit of adventure to the expedition in an attempt to satisfy the needs of one intrepid explorer. He took them on a slight detour in order to investigate a passage of unknown severity. After said investigation we found we had to turn round and go back. He attempted to continue the expedition to explore the vast chasms of Giants, only the minor detail was too much for the intrepid explorers. After attempting bribery with draught Guinness he was back with them. He would have gone through into the Giants connection on his own.

 

Dave and Curf's comments Get f----d Victor!

 

One day when Victor knows the way we may try again. Vic got lost because Alan E was not available to act as guide.

 

Curf, V.L.P. Holland

 

See May 4th 1980 for a repeat of above

 

 

December 13th Sunday      Water Icicle

 

Terry Wright, Paul Thompson, John Gough

Aim:- Terry to photograph with his new camera and flash equipment.

 

Equipment needed 125 feet of ladder for 106' shaft

 

T Wright

 

 

December 19th      Peakdale

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book. Terry Wright, Paul Thompson

In quarry opposite Peak Hotel a well decorated tunnel, (straws and cave pearls in profusion)presumably once used as an air raid tunnel. Brick walls and a helmet in situ. Then we went for a walk along the Tunstead quarry area.

 

 

December 27th      Oxlow


Present:- D Tippin, V Holland, J Rozentals, R Martin (Virgin)
The assault on Oxlow was led by that intrepid explorer - Wop. The afternoon found the party somewhat intoxicated as a result of a brief pause in the Dev - led again by that intrepid alcoholic - Wop!


On leaving the charrabang the full strength of the four foot dwarf was directed at the snowdrifts to cries of " I wish I had brought my tennis rackets".


The first pitch was descended quite uneventfully, apart from some apprehension on the part of the frozen unknown quantity. At the bottom he was advised -"Don't stand there" "No not that way" "Keep still" "Sit down" "Shut up" He obliged the instructions by the letter and sat down to chip the icicles from his numbed fingers, thinking to himself "My God what have I let myself in for?" and "It's about time someone gave me a light".

 

The rest of the trip descent was uneventful apart from the last pitch where the idea of having to climb or fall the last 8'-0 left the stranger spiralling from the ladder with cries of "F___ me!". This misgiving proved unfounded when he found a foothold in Wop's lower dentures.

 

There were no further world shattering events until the ascent.

 

On attacking the first pitch, Juris discovered that on changing sides on a ladder one should ensure one pirroettes against the twist of the ladder to ensure that the life-line does not lassoo the ladder. Therefore avoiding an outstanding acrobatic feat to correct the life-line.

 

Whilst the other three members of the party worked towards the next pitch, Vic posted himself in recovering the gear from the last pitch. Whist Tip prepared himself for the next pitch a crash of tempered steel echoed through the cave closely followed by an exhuberant cheer of "Hurrah" "Goodee" "Victor has fallen" etc. Verbal investigation proved much to the dissapointment of the rest of the party that Vic had merely been carrying out his lifelong ambition of being the first man (?) to do a spot of campanology in a cave (He had released the chain)

 

And so we pressed on to what evolved to be an extremely eventful pitch.

 

Here Tip managed to add 40' to the World Laddering Endurance record by getting half way up and then descending, using a pitiful excuse "I'm kn_____ed". After many rests and the use of a safety clip secured to his chest he finally made it.

 

Juris was next to attempt an all-comers record - i.e. The Retractable Ladder System. His Theory was simple but effective:- By hooking your feet through the ladder, one could quite easily bring the ladder up behind one, in a large loop.

 

During these activities Victor pointed out to Richard that on big pitches, the life-line often passes through the ladder on its return journey. Half way up the ladder, Richard realised (from a strange hugging sensation) that this was indeed true. (This was in fact just another attempt on the World Ladder Endurance Record.)

 

Finally before the last pitch the party was fortified by copious drafts of Tip new 48 hour survival pack (Tea, liberally seasoned with Johnny Walker). Which it was found, was indeed necessary for the extremely cold ascent to the surface. (And indeed for further hazards Richard was to face!)

 

Staggering through the blizzard (With no light and 'n' ladders) Richard attempted to follow Wenceslass' (Juris) footsteps, but alas went off course, and experienced great difficulty in extracting himself from a chest-high snow drift that he had quite absent-mindedly wandered into!

 

And so ended a very pleasurable trip (?)


J Rozentals

 

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