1971

January 10th      Old Tor Mine


Rowter Mine


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 40 mins


James Cobbett, Gough Bros
Quick look around Winnats then James and Tony abseiled 240' Rowter Mine and immediately prussicked out in 20 mins knackered. Superb shaft.

 

Photo. Tony Jarratt arrives at surface Rowter Mine, John Gough looks on.

January 23rd Saturday      Drinking


The club went drinking in several public houses.

 


January 24th Sunday      Giants Hole


An abortive attempt to visit Giants Hole. Note:- The farmer often goes out for the day on a Sunday; taking his cave-key with him! Prior permission by letter or telephone would seem a good idea in the future.


P.8. (again) always a stand by


Those present:- James Cobbet, Vic Holland, D & J. Gough, I. Curphey, D. Tipping. Visitors J. Connellan, P. Wilson, M. Wilson.
James let down by Mr Bollocks tried to do a dive on his own (thwarted by circumstances, yet again) Several thousand people waiting to descend the wet pitch, an almost complete balls up of bodies. The lack of wet suits and the amount of hanging around destroyed incentive so in a word, we pissed off out.


Not one of the great trips of our time, but thats the way the mop slops.


I Curphey

 

 

January 31st Sunday      P8


Diving and digging. Those present:- Pye man, James, Wop, Dr. Bollocks (with teeth) + 3 income liabilities.


No report

 


February 6th Saturday      Various


Those present:- Paul Tombstone, Victorio Luigi Holland, Surface Bar & Newcastle Blue star Exhibition.


Morning - What morning. I mean A.M!!
Afternoon:- Exploration around Earles limestone quarry Castleton. Small solution tunnel cut across by old workings.

 

L.H. Boulder choked passage possible for 20 ft - passage continuous but is restricted for access. Heading towards new quarry. R.H. 20' in low bedding plane.


Ashford Marble Mine:- On R.H of top road from Ashford Village approx 150 yards back from A6.


Entrance a series of chokes some accessible, some unstable. Once inside a bicycle would prove useful. N hundred yards of monotonous stomping passage with solid sheet roof (bedding plane) Some calcite flow very black rocks. Interesting propping of roof. Well worth a visit on a rainy day. Outdoor group activities rounded off with a dinner pusher in the, youve guessed, the Stags.


Terry

 


March 21st Sunday      P8


Al Eaves & Curf.


P8 with a view to looking around for possibilities in the roof. Eventless trip really, apart from the pleasures of walking over the heads of dozens of kids from Whitehall.


Found one possible passage or at least what looked like a passage, couldn't get right up to it (needs a bolt).


On the way out with usual Pegasus dexterity in navigation we got lost and finished off above the second . Slid down a rope through a hole in the roof to avoid going back.


Washed two ladders and a rope.


Curf

 

 

March 28th      At the hut


A small party assembled to unload ten tons of kindling from a large articulated lorry. They stacked 100% and cut 25% plus three fingers and a widger (or tool to you ignorant bastards!)


Retired to the pub, Curf got pissed and on the floor, hosing Alan Eaves onto the floor proceeded to stand for some ten minutes like a naked greek god with paunch, minus figleaf.


BP

 


June 4th     P8 + Oxlow


Present:- Spud, Wop.


Quick thrust thro' P.8 then onto Oxlow with a view to doing Pilgrim's Way into Giants. Did so far but turned back because of time factor.  Ended up in...... you've guessed it THE STAGS.


Spud

 

 

June 5th      Bagshaw Cavern


J. Cobbett, M. Jeanmaire (both diving) A. Jarratt, S.T. Howell, Clive Westlake, L. Hurt, D. Revell, Wop, Spud.


The upstream sump was investigated by Cobbett & Jeanmaire. 300 ft of very low duck led to a small chamber where the roof was dropping into the sump proper. The sump went in along the strike for about 30 ft and then went up dip for about 20 ft to an air filled passage. The passage is about 30-40 ft wide with the stream flowing on the left and fallen blocks on the right - height C 2'

 

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book.  3hr 40m


Probably the first diving trip since the war to this site. D.Revell led us around the "show cave" to the streamway.

 

James and Fish took sets with them upstream and I followed without gear. For the first 150' there was about 4"-8" of airspace - a really grim duck - which led to a dome shaped chamber (probably the 1st airbell of the 1940's dive) James dived and Fish followed while I waited in the chamber.

 

They dived 2 x 50' sumps and found several hundred feet of horrid stream passage, to a third sump. James dived for C. 30' then returned and then we exited.

 

This must be one of the largest and most promising caves in Derbyshire.

 

The main passage is similar to LNRC (Little Neath River Cave?) tributary passage, but dry.

 

 

July 10th      Hazard Mine (Dirtlow Rake)


Descent by winch P. Thompson, S. Chester. Surface T & B Wright, B Parker, D & J Lucas, J (Shag) Smith (10mins)


The shaft is still in a very dangerous condition as it always has been and it is considered suicidal to try and gain access to any of the levels. Access was gained to a level at the bottom but only for about 70 ft where it was blocked by solid uncut rock. One part of the level the roof is on wooden stemples and looks very delicate.


The use of the PYE radios on the winch is very good when the cable is down the shaft, but when the cable is removed communications is impossible due to the cables acting as a wave guide.

 

Cheg

 

PS Why do they call it HAZARD.

 

 

July 11th Sunday      Watts Grove Mine, Eldon Hill


Descent by S. Chester, P. Thompson, D. Lucas. Surface T. Wright, B. Wright.


The shaft is in very good condition but blocked completely at the bottom. No levels lead of. At a point about 100 ft + where the shaft hades to one side there is an iron roller set into the wall to prevent the cable from chaffing.


It was considered at a later date, that it may be well worth removing the deads out of one side of the shaft, and seeing wether access can be found into the workings.


A small shaft about 300 ft west of the above was investigated but only a small amount of workings were left because of extensive collapse. Depth 60-70 ft


Descent by S. Chester, P. Thompson.

 


July 17th      Redhurst Swallett, Manifold Valley.  3½hrs


J. Cobbett, Cheg Chester, A. Jarratt
Surface team - Paul Thompson, Dave Lucas, Phillip Collett, Jennifer Lucas, Christine Taylor.


The surface team watched anxiously while the brave divers descended into the depths! F--k me cried the brave, hard divers - brave no longer.


The 1st sump was full of branches and grot - as was the rest of the cave. We groped on through two more sumps to the fourth sump that wasn't! A duck led to the labyrinthe passage of the terminal series.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book.


A bloody horrible place - but most extensive, promising and a collectors piece! A short sump 50' inside the entrance passage and full of branches and rubbish leads to a rubbish filled passage containing two more sumps. A 40' rift was descended with the help of a rope and the 4th sump reached. I dived in the tube at the bottom of the sump which became too tight after C.20'. The sump leading to the further series was only a duck and led to an aven followed by a labyrinth of sloping rifts and passages (which we did not fully explore) If a way into the further series could be found from the surface the cave should yield much more passage. The huge amounts of "clatch" and tight passage make this place, as stated - a real collectors piece.

 

A talk with Frank Salt at the Wessex Hut on the following weekend revealed that a further extension was made in 1959 which was not added to the survey. This was a low bedding plane, nearly filled with water leading off from the sump (bullhead sump) which was negotiated for some distance untill it finally sumped. But when A. Jarratt dived in the sump no way on could be found.
Further discussion revealed that in 1959 Wetton Mill Sink was opened up for approx 15 ft when the entrance ran in with help from the farmer.


Cheg

 

 

July 18th      Bagshaw Cavern


Dive by James Cobbett, Tony Jarratt, Phill Collett, Cheg Chester, Ken James.


The 300 ft long duck, sump I and sump II were passed with(out) incident and cobbett dived in sump III for a distance of approx 150 ft. Then he decided to turn back having only one set. On the return he had difficulty with the line being entangled on the reel and left it at a point about 60 ft in. Having difficulty on returning because line had moved and was in a very narrow muddy passage.


No one could be persuaded to retrieve the line reel so party returned to the surface.


Total length of sump III so far explored 150 ft depth 10 ft approx.


Tony Jarratt comments: The cave is extremely promising and it is unfortunate that access is so difficult. It seems Revell is thinking of trying to drain the sumps. It could be done.

 

 

July 20th and 21st      Fag House Pot


Day I


Sink oposite Stags. Dug to 4 ft depth without any passage. Wall followed for 8 ft small chamber was entered.

 

Day II


A depth of 8 ft was achieved to where the floor was a small rift about 5" wide and no further progress could be made. We then went forward in the direction of Litton and are now left with some 8ft of passage 2 ft wide and 3ft high with a solid roof. At the furthest point reached there looked to be only a very narrow way on but a very strong draught. Time will tell. The only thing that will stop this dig from going is the fact that it is too close to the Stags.


Digging Ken James
            S. Chester
            B. Wilkinson

 

 

July 24th Saturday      Swildons XII, Somerset


Present S. Chester, J. Cobbett, A. Jarratt (Diving) P. Thompson, V. Holland.


Paul Thompson and Vic Holland did the round trip through the Troubles to the other side of Sump I. Coming back through the sump - a first for Paul.


Cheg & James proceeded to Sump 11 - access into Swildons 12 not possible as somebody had just been banging. On return they met the other divers in Swildons 7 where a by-pass to this sump had just been opened up. This by-pass is considered worse than diving the sump. This trip was done by Cheg using a fire extinguisher bottle containing 145 ats, on return 70 ats. Very pleasant trip.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book
PC (Pat Cronin) and I dug and bailed the 6 by-pass.

 

 

August 1st Saturday      Mine Levels, Peters Dale Wardlow


V. Holland, S. Chester.


Small collapse into addit situated on right hand side of the dale going down - 20' before the first wall on this side - approx ¾ mile from the Stags. Passage for 90' fairly large with narrow rift to a height of 15' in places, at 30' from vertical. Ends in collapse with strong possibility of dig. Strong draught emerges. Very old. Small level on opposite side of the dale was investigated but not very interesting.


This trip was done during opening hours - Saturday night.

 

 

August 14th Saturday      Monsaldale Station, Viaduct - Tunnel trip

 

Paul found out that he could get his Land Rover onto the (ex) railway lines. Paul showed his famous Tombstone smile and said "Jump in" Cheg and Dave climbed on the roof, Jenny inside - and set off. Over the viaduct and slowly into the tunnel with full headlights on. After a few hundred yards the Land Rover screaches to a halt. Paul leaps out clutching bog paper in hot little mits - dropped his keks and amidst splurtings and splatterings - crapped. All well and good draught blowing through the tunnel our way. The insipid explorers then carried on to the other end of the tunnel. Really fantastic workmanship went into the building of this tunnel. Carried on for about another ¼ mile when we turned round and came back through the tunnel. Paul peering out of the window for something then pulled up with the pile slap bang in the beam. A little giggle from inside the Land Rover then the stench hit us.

 


August 14th Saturday      Monsaldale Station, Mine level


P. Thompson, S. Chester


Revisited mine level after some time. The level runs at right angles to the railway track. The first part of the level was packed up to support the railway lines. The level itself is about 600' long having been worked at two different periods. The miners of the latter time having left a water-pressure engine driving a pump in a reasonable condition. Beyond the pump the passage continues for 200' to a large mud slope that has been tipped down from the surface. The sump situated where the engine is, is a suitable suicidal dive for Cheg when he is fed up of living.

 

 

August 15th Sunday      Little Bull Pit, (Worm's Dig)


S. Chester, P. Thompson, D. Lucas, D. Gough E.P.C. and B.S.G.


Digging on the right hand side of the cross rift. Good prospects. Cheg had the great priviledge of sending the juice down the wires to the bang. Boom.

 


August 21st Saturday      Little Bull Pit (dig)


P. Thompson, S. Chester, D. Lucas.


Investigation of damage caused by previous weekends Boom. A considerable amount of floor was removed but the obstruction remained. However access was a little easier. The dig is now about 10' long and ends in a tube at right angle to the passage on the left hand side. This is approx 15" in diameter and considered, unless a nature accelorator is used impossible.


The party returned to the surface and consumed vast quantities of the homemade lemonade.


D.A. Lucas

 


August 21st Saturday      Mine shafts above Boggart Hall Lane


P. Thompson, S. Chester


Permission obtained from W Hadfield
Three shafts situated in a small triangular field on the summit of the hill. Numbered 1,2,3 - 1 being nearest to the hut and number 2 a coe shaft. Furthest descent of the shaft was 85' at this point the ladder hangs dangerously close to the packing and it is considered that some means should be employed to anchor the ladder to one side. A level at 44' with strong draught believed to connect with shaft 3 was not entered.

 

The depth of the shaft is not known but the bottom could not be seen from the 85' mark.


Cheg

 

 

August 22nd Sunday      Mine shafts revisited


P. Thompson, S. Chester, surface party D. Lucas.


Continued exploration of previous day. The other two shafts were descended.


Shaft 1 - 15' was the only depth to which we dare go - owing to very bad packing.

 

Shaft 3 - Total depth 85' only a small pocket at the bottom. First level at 25' - second level at 46'. First level was explored to a length of 100'.


All three shafts very old and very interesting and worth further investigation especially shaft 2.

 

Paul Thompson

 


August 28th      Shaft at Youlgreave connecting Crowshaw Vein


Ref L. Hurt
Present:- P. Thompson, S. Chester, Lawrence Hurt.


Entrance situated 6 ft back and 6 ft up from road under gritstone slab, belayed to hawthorn tree. A 50 ft shaft leads to quite an extensive pipe workings. Most of what was explored was the Crowshaw Vein. At the end of a series of large pockets there is a possible dig with draught issuing forth. The ginging is unsafe at one particular place due to a small collapse, OK if not touched.


Paul Thompson

 


August 29th 8.30p.m.      Golf Ball Resurgence, near Otter Hole, Buxton


Object:- Diving S.Chester
Present:- P. Thompson, J. Thompson, T. Wright, B. Wright, Monty "P", Worm and other members of BSG.


Access to sump via a constricted entrance to sump 5 ft in. Passage 4 ft wide and 1 ft 9 ins high continues for 40 ft to sharp left hand bend where small air space exists, not large enough for use. Passage narrows to about 1 ft by 1 ft 6 ins progress being stopped by flakes. Beyond this another air space exists which is large enough to use but could not be entered because of constriction. With the aid of hammer passage could easily enlarged and further progress made. B.S.G. to lower stream bed and return dive to be done.


Cheg

 

 

August 30th     Various mine shafts between Oxlow End and farm yard


Object:- To explore small mine shafts in field

S. Chester, P. Thompson, T. Wright.


Shafts numbered up hill from Peak Forest to trig point.
1. (lowest) about 10 ft loose top, blind.
2. 30 ft blind, re - cairned.
3. 10 ft blind, filled in flush with surface.
4. 31 ft 6 ins blind, re - cairned immaculately.
5. Through gateway towards Oxlow End about 35 ft. blocked, re - cairned not so immaculately.
All shafts could do with filling in and all cairns tested by walking over.


Terry

 

 

September 4th Saturday Night, Buxton.      Golf Ball Resurgence


Cheg redived after B.S.G. lowered the water level 6 ins . At a point 25 ft in, immediately after air space, passage height reduced to 1 ft with silt floor. B.S.G. to continue lowering the water level.

 

 

September 10th      Friday Knotlow Mine


Tony Jarratt, John Savage, Simon Hughes (North Cardiganshire Mining Club)


Dropped in en route to BSA Conference in Leeds. Did Knotlow Mine to end of both Crimbo Swallow (WOE, WOE, FEAR) and Chapeldale Level (MOAN,MOAN,TRUDGE). A goodly trip.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 2½hrs
Simon gave up at the coffin level due to lack of wet suit and Jon and I carried on to end of Crimbo Swallow. We then followed the Chapeldale Level to its end. A very fine trip and nicely damp.

 

ARJ

 

 

September 11th      Club Meet. Lost Johns, Leck Fell, Yorkshire


Present:- P. Thompson, T. Wright, S. Chester, D. Stokoe (Spud), Gough twins ensemble, V. Holland, A. Wicks (the city slicker)


The party were off to an early start and entered the cave at about 10.30 a.m. There was very little water on Battleaxe and the Wet Pitch were laddered straight together. Only half a Wick's tantrum. Otherwise a pleasant and uneventful trip.


15 ladders used, 5 ropes. The party came out at 5.30 p.m.


TW

 


September 18th      Saturday Hollentwine Mine


Those Present :- D. Lucas, T. Jarratt, P. Thompson, S. Chester. Surface party V (WOP) Holland, J. Lucas.


Descent by winch first time.


Concentrated on dig at bottom of shaft. Found considerable damage had been caused to platform due to lid being removed and debris thrown down.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 3½hrs
(Evening trip so only managed one late pint in the "Devs") Used the winch down to 220' level and then used the climbing shaft down to 360' level where we cleared up the digging site (much rubble had fallen onto it and slightly damaged the scaffolding) I dug several buckets of grot from the shaft bottom whilst the other hauled them up. The winch is superb and makes much more digging possible than could be done using ladders.

 

 

September 19th      Sunday Hollentwine Mine


D. Lucas surface plus T. Wright, B. Wright.


V. Holland plus above party descended for a second time in one week-end.
Digging at bottom of collapse on 225' Level. The way down was diverted slightly to allow rubble to be stacked. Floor lowered by about 5' but no sign of level leading off. Party then continued to bottom of shaft and dug for a period.


Party returned to surface dismantled winch and returned to Peak Forest.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 3½hrs
More digging, mainly at the dig along the 220' level. A lot of grot shifted and there is good hope of a continuation of the level beyond. Then down to the bottom of the main shaft where we removed a few more bucketfuls. Cheg installed a 'phone cable from the surface to the dig. An excellently planned and promising dig.

 


September 25th Saturday      Hollentwine Mine, Dirtlow Rake


Gobby Land Rover Gough, Gobby Yof Gough, Stuart Cheg Chester, Paul Pluto Tombstone Thompson Esq.


Surface the old man as usual.


After descending to 150' level by ladder Paul attempted 225' level dig and then. David and John on their first trip were taken a guided tour by Paul.


After tour it was decided to move some 'deads' on bottom level. A small stream which had been kept from flowing into the bottom level by the old man with the aid of a clay and stone dam was broke into and the water level was lowered by one foot. After the removal of silt access was gained to a rift about four feet high, after a further eight feet the way on was blocked except for a small hole were the water once flowed.


A very good echo from beyond was heard. Also the dripping of water and flowing of a stream could be heard.


David Gough

 

 

September 26th      Sunday Hollentwine Mine


Surface J. Gough. Descended by D. Gough, P. Thompson & S. Chester.


A further attack on the bottom level dig was made and about eighteen inches of silt removed.


This NEW dig is very promising.

 


October 2nd Saturday      Hollandtwine Mine


Present:- P. Thompson, Spud Stokoe, Cheg Chester, D. Lucas.


We dug the dig at the bottom (natural) with the aid of 1 gal (Imp) paint tins.


Quite good progress was made. For complete breakdown on this dig see Sundays.

 


3rd October Sunday      Hollandtwine Mine


Present:- P. Thompson, Spud again, Cheg Chester, Sulo Sulonen. Surface:- D. Lucas, T. Wright, B. Wright.


Much silt removed to reveal small chamber large enough to stand in. The roof of this was packed with silt and went up at an angle of 45º. After removing the silt in an upward direction fresh air space was found. The way on is to the left but at present blocked by two large boulders (one of them part of the roof) It is not known at present whether the boulders are supported on the silt. At this point the dripping water heard in the previous report can be heard at this point. Only time will tell.


Cheg

 

 

October 9th Saturday      Hollandtwine Mine


Present:- P. Thompson, Cheg Chester, T. Jarratt.


After six hours digging Tony Jarratt managed to squeeze through the boulders mentioned in the previous report. This was only possible when he removed his clothes and stripped to the waist. After a few feet he emerged in a fair sized passage (5 ft-high 18 ins wide) turning right and traversing over a narrow hole in the floor he came into a large aven 15 ft in diameter by 40 ft high with a small stream flowing down one wall. He then returned to the boulder where he continued downstream for about 70-100 feet where he turned back to report. The passage still continued large enough to walk in.

 

Next he had a look at the narrow slit in the floor and found out that just below him it opened up into a pitch about 6 ft x 4 ft of an unknown depth. After throwing down some rocks a guess was made at between 70-100 ft. Next it was decided that the only way to get the normal built people through would be to dig out the low passage where the water from the bottom level had flowed.

 

After a lot of shouting down the hole and shining lights it was established that this low crawl came out in the side of the pitch about 8 ft from the top. After Tony came back through the squeeze a couple of hours digging was done in the crawl but it was found very constricted and difficult. Party returned to surface exhausted after 8½ hours.

 

Cheg

 

 

October 10th Sunday      Hollandtwine Mine


Present:- P. Thompson, Cheg Chester, T. Jarratt, D. Lucas.


After one hour of digging it was established that we still had about 8 ft more to go and as progress was very slow we did not think that we would break through that day. So Tony again stripped off and went back through the squeeze with a sledge hammer to enlarge the top of the pitch. He then laddered it and went down to a small ledge where he could talk.

 

After a few minutes enough room was made to post a trenching tool through and Tony began to dig from the other side. After 1½ hours enough room was made to just get through with one pulling and one pushing. Next Paul came through and we climbed up to the top passage. Paul found it too tight and went back. Tony and myself then went to look at the downstream passage which is about 200 ft and with good formations ending in a boulder and mud fill in quite a large passage (12 ft wide 6 ft high)


This pitch was then laddered and Paul descended first. After 30 ft there is a ledge and then it fell for another 40 - 50 ft ending in a small pool about 1 ft deep (2 ft x 2 ft) No way on could be found. The party then returned to the bottom level very wet but happy, ate and went out exhausted. 6½ hours.


Cheg

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book
There is no doubt that this is one of the most exciting discoveries in Derbyshire for some years and hopes of extensions are high. The total horizontal length of new passage is C. 300' and vertical range is C. 135' (top of aven to sump) The pitch is C. 70' with a ledge halfway and the lower part may be in a rake vein. The small stream sinks easily into the sump. Total depth below moor level is around 425'.

 

 

October 10th Sunday      P.8.


Present:- P. Watkinson, Chris ? (Little Lad in Barbara's wetsuit) T. Wright, A. Eaves, V. Holland, John Scott, Sulo Sulonen.


Very Little water, sump low.

 

 

October 16th-17th Saturday/Sunday      Hollandtwine Mine


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 10hrs
Cheg, Paul, J.Rat, Spud, Vic, Gobby
Down at 2.45pm and out at 12.45pm. Cheg and Tony climbed the aven with the aid of "Cheg's Cheating Sticks - thin alloy rods joined together and used to hang a ladder on unatainable rock projections. We used this method for c.20' and then Tony free climbed the last bit. At the top c.35' was a large ledge with a tight rift passage leading off. This we followed for c.150' to a boulder chamber where the way on can be seen but has not been entered. Two minor side passages where looked at and there were many fine stals in this section. Paul and Spud photographed parts of the passage beyond the 70' pitch and Dave and Vic attacked the boulder squeeze. After a time Dave and Vic left the mine and Spud and Paul continued belting the squeeze - as yet to no avail. Cheg and Tony started digging the choke at the bottom of the 70' and this will need some hard work, and probably damming and bailing in the future. Also fitted a bolt to the top of the aven.


ARJ

 

 

October 23rd Saturday      Hollandtwine Mine


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 6hrs
Cheg, Paul, Spud, J.Rat, Ratarse
After more hammering at the boulder squeeze Cheg and Tony went to push the upstream limit of the cave. Tony went through an unstable boulder squeeze into a small boulder chamber with some nice stal. floor and cave pearls. The stream issued from a rift in the roof which Cheg climbed to find that it quickly forked and both passages became too tight. This had added c.60' of passage to the cave making the total length c.550'. Ratarse and I then returned to the level and followed this to the collapsing section heading towards Hazard Mine. Tony climbed up into the roof and entered a c.40' ginged winze, ore chute, which was blocked by two wedged boulders. A fairly big cavity could be seen beyond.

 

ARJ

 

 

October 24th Sunday      Hollandtwine Mine


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 2¼hrs
Cheg, Paul, Sulo, Rat Brothers, (Barrie Parker)
Detackling trip. Ratarse and Tony returned to ore chute found the previous day and Tony climbed up clutching a hefty crowbar. A few deft pokes and he was able to squeeze into c.25 of stoped passage blocked at both ends. There were several miner's initials on the wall and the remains of a wood and clay launder. No possibilities of entering Hazard from here though.


ARJ

 

 

November 20th-21st      Forest of Dean


Present. B. P_arker, S. Chester, P. Thompson and J. Thompson, S. Sulonen, Spud Stokoe, Wop Holland, Gobby Gough, B. Wright, T. Wright.


English Bicknor
Met at Gloucester Speleo Club cottage on Friday evening with genial host Sparky.


Saturday Old Ham and New Dun.
Entered mine and rambled around looking for routes to the bottom with the infallible Parker guidance system. Formation bashing was the order of the day. Arrived at bottom by following our noses as gallons of sump oil had been poured down the shaft.


Retired to the Butchers Arms in the evening for cheap ale and exquisite cuisine.


Sunday.
As the promised guide didn't turn up we went to look for the Roman iron mines again following the Parker guidance system tuned to magnetic lunar north but his computer correlated incorrectly and it turned out to be the same balls up as Saturday. After threshing about in the primeval jungle Tarzan never found Jane, so we returned to the boozer.

 

In the afternoon Paradise Lost Revisited (O.H. and N.D.) to collect specimens and Cheg checked the specimens he deposited on Saturday.

 

Sulo Sulonen.

 

 

November 27th Saturday      Hollandtwine


Melvin BATCHF O R D, Tony Jarratt, Cheg Chester.


Digging at the blockage in boulder chamber at the end of the old stream passage revealed very low muddy crawl under loose boulders. No further digging was done due to lack of implements.


Sulo Sulonen


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 6hrs 10min
Aim: To dam stream below aven and to bail and dig terminal pool. As there was too much water this was not attempted so we dug at the end of the dry passage instead. After digging down 4' in boulders we came across a small hole full of nests of minute cave pearls. The way on could be seen but not entered. We then tried digging over the top and got fed up and came out, investigating odd bits of mine en route.
ARJ

 

 

November 28th Sunday      Hollandtwine


Tony Jarratt, Cheg Chester, Paul Thompson, Sulo Sulonen, Dave Lucas.


Investigation of upper section of climbing shaft at 150 ft level? Jarratt and Sulo climbed the shaft offset chimneys and investigated each small level, none of them leading anywhere. We came to a 45º shute which was choked at the top with fallen boulders and mud. Jarratt had a look and removed a few boulders to see the way through. Sulo climbed over Jarratt to have a look and the whole lot slipped down only to be stopped by the Sulonen head chock.

 

Jarratt removed the rocks one by one and then they both shot off stopping at each level on the way. This was a wise move because an enormous boulder at least 18 ft dia. trundled down the shaft. We then went down to the bottom level and detackled the new series.

 

Cheg, Paul investigated the end of the 150ft level which is 220 ft from the hauling shaft. Also dug at blockage at 225 ft level revealing small chamber with roof packed on timbers.

 

Sulo Sulonen

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 3hrs 20min
Cheg, Paul and Dave dug out a small hand-picked lead to no avail.

 


December 4th-5th      Lancaster - Easegill, Yorkshire


Present:- Sulo Sulonen, Chester Cheg, Spud Stokoe, Dave Lucas, Alan Eaves, Pat Adlington, Barrie Parker, Alan Wicks and 4 lads from Chesterfield.


Into Lancaster Pot at 12.30 p.m. Hard times to keep up with Parker and Wicks who regarded the whole affair as a race.

 

Several interesting digs were found but could not be followed due to lack of time. Photographs were taken.


Out of County pot at 6 o'clock and then to the three Horse Shoes where a good time was had by all except the four from Chesterfield who were still ill on Sunday at 3 o'clock. On Sunday we went to Kingsdale and Dent for a look around.
NB Leeds University diving at Keld Head.


Sulo Sulonen

 


December 12th      Climbing shaft east of Hollandtwine


Present:- S. Chester, S. Sulonen and others surface.


Shaft 85 ft deep. Descent by Sulo to within 10 feet of bottom (75ft of ladder)


Shaft in dangerous condition at 15 ft depth, ginging supported on wooden stemples 4 ft wide. Several short levels at various depths. Possible way on at bottom to be investigated. A look at the spa workings at Hazard showed all surface workings bulldozed flat completely burying the climbing shaft to about 20 ft.


Sulo Sulonen

 

 

A week in the life of
THE PEGASUS CLUB
Christmas 1971 to the New Year
Expedition to Ireland
1971

 

Those present and correct.


Sulo Sulonen (His idea) - 1st reserve driver
Paul Thompson (Tried to follow the wagging tail through Ireland)
Judy Thompson (Wife of above)
Cheg Chester (drinker and caver)
Tony Jarratt (drinker caver, lover)
Vic Holland (drinker caver smoker)
Gren Blatherwick (piss head folk fan)
Dave Gough (leader driver (dangerous?) drinker
Alein (Friend of Sulo's did not witness all the bad habits)


On Reflection


This trip was decided upon so a Pegasus attack could be made on some of the caves of N.W. Clare but to one who reads the following manuscript it could be assumed that the only attack Pegasus members made was on the GUINESS of O'Connor in the village of Doolin.

 

December 24th      Christmas Eve


Expedition commenced from all corners of Nottingham (Finland & Wales)
Paul led the way by a few hours because he was going to make a call at The Three Stags en route after which he proceeded to the Hut where we all met before starting out for Liverpool.


A journey pusher was taken in the Devonshire Arms and thence through the wilds of Derbyshire, Cheshire and on to Liverpool. On arrival at Liverpool we had made the journey with time to spare so we made for the nearest pub to have our last drink in England in the year of 1971.


A quantity of liquor was aquired before going on board, ready for the journey. On board the bars were found to be crowded so we decided to take our own supply and sat out on deck complete with sleeping bags ready for an evenings kip. As we set sail and drinks began to flow and eyes began to close Victor was the only one to experience a Christmas Heave. A quick snack was taken in one of the buffets before we took to our sleeping bags, some slept in comfort in the buffet, others braved the force eight gale in their new 'Point Five' bags.

 

December 25th      Christmas Day


We arrived in Dublin at about eight in the morning somewhat worse for the journey. A tour of Dublin found us nowhere to have our Christmas Day breakfast, so we took to the road leaving Alein to her parents en route and taking breakfast in the cool air of the Wicklow Mountains.

 

On leaving the Wicklows Cheg pleaded with us to go to a small village called Holywood telling us of a self service bar that he had once visited. On arriving at the village the local bobby was consulted being close by at the time. He told us nowhere was open but if we knocked on a certain door the dear lady would probably allow us to have a drink. After about three pints and a short from the local bobby we decided it was time to continue our journey. On route we stopped at a museum of early steam vehicles and Sulo took a few photographs.

 

Towards dusk we stopped again this time for dinner. Cheg was showing sign of irritation because we kept passing pubs but never stopping.

 

PS Irish bars do not open on Christmas Day.

 

We made our way across Ireland to a small village by the name of Doolin. Tony knew of a pub here which had been passed onto him by friends. Here at O'Connors after much difficulty we enquired of a place to stop and were sent up the road to a Mrs Shannon who had a cottage. After a long discussion she decided to let us stay at the cottage and then invited us in for sandwiches tea and Xmas cake before taking us to the cottage. So after a drink of coffee at the cottage and a warm in front of the peat fire we decided it was time to retire to our beds and pass away until the next day.

 

Vic Holland, Tony Jarratt and Stuart Chester take Breakfast in the Wicklow Mountains December 25th 1971

 

Grenville Bendigo Blatherwick with the steam vehicles 25th Dec 1971

 

December 26th      St Stevens Day


Morning coffee was brought to us by the honourable Mr Jarratt and after a greasy breakfast we took a trip down to the sea to see the good surfing conditions of Doolin Bay. We soon decided not to take to the waves so after a short session of photo grapling we turned our backs on the waves and headed in the direction of what was to be found the best bar of the year O'Connors of Doolin.

 

After taking a thirst quencher plus other jugs we took leave of the beer house and made up our minds to try some underworld taktics.


First we laddered Fisher St Pot because this was to be our exit route, then we spent some time looking for St Catherine 1 entrance to Doolin Cave. After all the perfect planning we were underway towards the Fisher St exit. En route our photographic maniacs spent sometime doing justice to there art and Tony decided at one point to go fishing.


On our return to the mansion we came across Judly. She had decided to start for O'Connors because she had prepared dinner several hours previous and was getting tired of waiting for our return. Soon we had returned to our normal rags and were soon tooking into the dinner.

 

We returned to O'Connors for a mint drinking session and a listen to an excellent band. After closing time we returned back to the mansion for coffee inviting several people back from the pub whose aquaintanences we had made. A bright spot to this evening occured when Gren decided to take to his bed but unfortunately found it better to leave the bedroom in peace for a little longer and let a couple have their wicked way.

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 3½hrs

Vic, Cheg, Dave G, Paul, Sulo. In via St Catherine 1 swallet entrance. a low crawl in a stream gradually enlarges over several hundred feet to enter a much larger main passage. This in turn increases in size, becoming a superb Main Drain. The beautiful tunnel like passage is followed for another mile to the 40' Fisherstreet Pot (Polnagollum) near Shannon's Shop. Some fine stal in the cave.

Then back to Gussies for a really excellent evening. The traditional music here is fabulous (2 whistle players, fiddle, bodrhan and banjo player [Mick Maloney late of the Johnstons) Followed by coffee at Glasha with some Dublin folk (One of the couples was found naked in Paul's bed - which helped to liven the evening up! and Gren was in his usual excellent form)

 

December 27th


Early morning coffee was presented by Cheg and then everybody was up for the communal greasy breakfast.
Because no one was eager to rise breakfast was never consumed much before midday by which time everyone was ready for the best trip of the day down to Doolin.

 

After the quencher we were shown the Cliffs of Moher by some people from Dublin. Alas Sulo damaged his camera on the scramble down to the sea so decided to take care of Cheg's camera for the rest of the holiday.


Because of the hard work of climbing back to the top of the cliffs everyone decided to go for another gaze at the decorations of O'Connors bar. After several dark quenchers it was decided upon to go and take dinner before indulging in the evening gatherings.


After dinner a return trip for a topping up session and after closing time it was just home to bed.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book
Visited Gussies soon after breakfast then accompanied John & Kathy White, John & Friends (ISA) to the 700' Cliffs of Moher, tremendous shale ramparts dropping sheer to the Atlantic and usually overhanging some 30' or so. Looked at O'Briens tower then returned to the Bar where we found Gren (who had of course, been there all the time).

 

December 28th


After the usual communal breakfast a trip down to Lisdoonvana and Ennistymon to buy a few things for our vast supply of food.


Late breakfast then drove to Ennistymon (48 bars for 1100 people!) but soon returned to Gussies. Then went caving....


On returning back to Doolin we picked up Jim Shannon who's mum had loaned us the cottage. The idea of this was to take him with us on our underworld excursions because although he had heard a lot about the caves he had never been down any.


To-days trip was decided and after asking permission we found the entrance to Polnionion with out much delay. The trip consisted of mainly a crawl though it was possible to stand up at times. After several hundred yards the stream passage broke into a chamber and there hanging from the roof one of the Largest stals in the British Isles. The Thompson Sulo team went ahead taking photo's from all angles and also including various posses by Jim. After the photographic session nothing else was to be done except make our way out and go back to the mansion for another well earned meal.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 2hrs20min
Cheg, Paul, Dave, Vic, Sulo, Jim Shannon
Took Jim down the thrutchy 800' entrance passage to the chamber beyond. Here the huge stalactite dominating the chamber is an incredible site. Several photos were taken of it. Cheg, Jim & tony carried on a few yds to the terminal sump. A large rock in the chamber bears many clay insignias and sculptures.
Out and back to ..........Gussies (O'Connors Bar)

 

On arriving at O'Connors for the evening beverages we heard stories of how Gren after a day of beer swilling had taken to the toilet in quick retreat to empty himself from both end. On investigation of these premises all that was to be seen was a naked arse and then the words were uttered "So you recognised me then?" So we let him recover himself and take the beverage while time was still left to do so.

      Tony Jarratt watching the waves in Doolin Bay         26th Dec 1971

 

Vic, Tony, Cheg and Paul outside ' Glasha House '    near Doolin Dec 1971

 

December 29th


After breakfast and en route from a bar we picked up Jim again and set our minds on attempting the Pollnagollen cave system.


On arrival in the area a labourer when we gave him a lift showed us the Pollnagollen entrance but made a mistake when he showed us the Pulelva shaft, in fact it was the Polmicheal shaft, but a quick consultation with a farmer and soon we were laddering our exit route of Pulelva.


The entrance to the system was by Pollnagollen Pot which soon became a large stream passage and was easy going. The Thompson - Sulo team were not equipped with their equipment so no delay were made en route for photographing though talks of a return trip the day after never materialized.


To reach Pulelva from Pollnagollen it was necessary to pass through an unsurveyed maze, on encountering this we made a lucky find and soon we were waiting to ascend the 90' shaft of Pulelva.

 

From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 2½hrs

Cheg, Paul, Dave, Vic, Sulo, Jim Shannon.

After searching for Poulelva Pot (including a semi descent of Polna Micheal) it was eventually found and rigged with 100' of ladder. It is a fine pot, vaguely remminiscent of Alum Pot. We then drove to the much smaller Pollnagollom Pot and using a handline for the first few feet, climbed down to Gunman's Cave.

This was follwed to the MSP where I had a brief visit back upstream to the bottom of the shaft. We all then followed the beautiful meandering canyon passage downstream until eventually we were able to find our way into the Maze and the Craven Canyon - the connecting route to Poulelva. Out via Poulelva Pot. A very fine system inded, easy going and with beautiful passage showing tremendous effects of water action. At one point a geyser of water was formed bubbling up from a tiny passage under the stream bed.

 

Because we never got into a cave system before 4pm it was late by the time we returned to the cottage. Because the system was a fair drive from the cottage and en route we had picked up two girls in Lisdoonvarna who wanted a lift down to Doolin and so this gave us an excuse to take a drink before our soup and butties.

 

We soon returned to the bar because time was nearing last orders at least 1½ hours away and it was thought best to forfeit dinner for the time being so as to take a swilling of guiness. The dinner never materialized because after last orders we were invited to a party in the village so to be good natured decided to contribute some 'Ouch' which we had aquired a few days earlier.

 

The beverages flowed and I personally lost a few hours not knowing until I arrived back at the cottage and found Cheg making sandwiches and was told it be 5am. Apparently Paul Thompson had a good heave on return from the party but although the camera was prepared to witness the event there was no photo to prove the case.

 

On way back picked up two girls from Dublin who were hitching to Doolin - Peggy and Langers) ( After the evening drinking in Gussies we all went back to James's Cottage just up the road where a fabulous drinking and dancing session took place. Much potien was drank and a relationship with Peggy established!)

 

December 30th


With the early morning retirement to our bed no one had the energy to move until most of the morning had been passed in the land of nod least of all myself.


By the time I had decided to get up everyone was ready to go out, Cheg and Tony were going to do some more caving with Jim, but never did. Gren had turned his nose towards Doolin and the rest were going to head to Galway to retrieve Alein from the railway station. I decided to go to Galway still feeling the effects of the evening before and probably did not look the best of anything the first part of the journey. En route we took the coast road and Sulo took some pictures of the Arran Isles.


We arrived in Galway about 5pm and after looking around for a camera shop decided nothing of any good was to be found and returned to a bar. From the bar we made for a restaurant and thence onto another bar to pass the last half hour before the train arrived.


By the time we arrived back in Doolin O'Connor had stopped serving the brown beverage and the idea of going to another party was dismissed when it was found only to be a gambling due. The only thing to do was to make for the cottage where we sat drinking coffee, 'Ouch' and people started to relate stories and tell jokes. By 3pm everyone had had enough so they retired to their beds to experience another nightmare probably.


Cheg was dissappointed this night because Sulo had beat him to bed so had to take his nights sleep on the couch in another room.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book
Cheg, Jim & Tony
Festered around and looked at the 120' shaft of the old phosphate mine near the village. A semi - collapsed adit entrance was also found. Several buildings remain and a winch in situ. This will be worth looking at next time. Micheal Sherlock one of the locals worked in the mine for 3½ yrs and says there is cv.7½ miles of passage. At least two men were killed in the mine - one from an explosion and the other due to a cage collapse. Guess where we went in the evening. Then all (plus Langers and Peggy went back to Glasha for coffee.

 

  Stalactite in Polnionion photographed by   P Thompson

 

Sulo and others taking the path to the base of Cliffs of Moher

 

December 31st      New Years Heave


This mornings caving enthusiam of the evening previous gradually dwindled until only Cheg, Tony, Victor and Jim took a 1.30 start, early, on the Arran View Rubbish Tip entrance into Doolin River Cave.


The Thompson Sulo photographic team abandoned ideas of another trip to Pollnagollen just to take pictures and finished with a stroll to the beach with Gren in close pursuit.


I had promised to pick up the intrepid team from Fisher Street Pot , but on the way down came across the two girls who I had given a lift to two days earlier. I stopped to check for any signs but found the ladder removed so proceeded to O'Connors bar. No explorers but plenty of Guiness and after purchasing the first drink was soon encounted by the fellows in rubber suits crying for their beer.


From Tony Jarratt's Log Book 2½hrs
Cheg, Victor, Jim and Tony
New Year's Eve trip. Aran View entrance is full of clatch. The passage is long , thrutchy and dangerous in parts due to loose slabs. Towards the end it becomes larger and contains mainy pretties. Entry into the MSP is impressive and just downstream is Fisherstreet Pot - and a large ominous sump downstream. Great New Years Eve with Peggy.


After a quick dash back to let our intrepid explorers get changed and have a bite to eat some of us found ourselves facing the bar again and it still had not reached six pm. By the end of the evening we were still standing though eyes needed the gentle persuation of matchsticks to keep open.


Though a party to celebrate New Year was to take place in the village we decided the best was to go back to the cottage and take ample supply of guest and booze to continue the evenings entertainment. By the time all had left, the lounge of our mansion looked looked like the after birth of a broken bottling machine with beer and bottles in every concievable place.


The celebrations made for an early morning bedtime with everybodies mind geared to the task of clearing the cottage of a weeks debris.

 

The tale continues in 1972

 

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