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July 7th     Merlins

P.Nuttall, Fish, + P.Whatley
Just so that it looks as though we do some caving in this club I thought I might as well enter a trip.
We went down to look at the upstream sump of Merlins and found it dry for 50' out of its 60 feet length.
As we were feeling energetic we decided to build a dam and bail it. ½ n hour and much sore arms and cold bollocks later we had enough airspace to duck into dry passage on the far side. We were obviously the first down in this dry spell as the vast amounts of mud were undisturbed. After about 100 ft the passage sumps again. Luckely no serious attempts were made at diving it as it is (we now know) 80' long.

Some nice helictites in the roof of Merlins 2.


Ireland Summer Holiday

Mick Durdy, Stuart and Aileen Chester

July 17th Saturday-July 31st Saturday

Arrived Dublin 7.30am Saturday morning and went to Aileen’s for breakfast. Collected Aileen’s brother called Barry and a friend called Dave who is on the dole. Stopped at the Welcome Inn O’Donnelly’s in Newmarket in Furgess and then at Nagles the undertakers in Ennistymon. Left there and fell into Doolin about 6.00pm. Checked we had somewhere to camp and then went to Gussie O’Connors to refuel. The only change there is booze is now 37p a pint and there are too many French and Germans.

We met some of the Croydon CC (horrible lot) who said that the previous week Fisherstreet Pot had been sumped (Someone give Bill a drink). We later found out that it had hardly stopped raining for the last two weeks and the river was even flowing outside O’Connors which is very unusual for summer time. Over the two weeks we were there this gradually corrected itself and we finished up having to walk up the river bed to find water. We had rain on the first Sunday and a few showers during the night but on the whole the weather was good. It didn’t rain the night Mick never made it to the tent and slept in the grass or the night he slept on all fours or even the two nights he knocked down the inner of the tent.

For the second week we found three Wessex members (also horrible) looking for somewhere to camp so they stayed with us till the Saturday and then moved I know not where. Don’t care either. They still haven’t sent my water container back. Typical. On the first Saturday morning we had a visit from two Dutch lads who had done some caving in Belgium. They had no gear with them but we said if one of them was interested we could find enough gear (mostly Mick’s) for him. We arranged to meet him in the afternoon after a few heart starters at O’Connors. Shmitwicks as the Germans call it. The numbers in brackets i.e. (2) are the recommended number of heart starters for that particular trip.


July 18th Sunday     Warm up trip     D5-D1

O’Connors – St Catherines – Fisherstreet – O’Connors

Mick, Cheg + 1 Dutchman (2)
Nothing new, just a good trip.


July 19th Monday     B1f-B3

O’Connors – Polldubh (pronounced “Dove”) O’Connors

Mick, Cheg + 1 Dutchman (2)
This is the trip we spent one day looking for at Christmas, found the next day but Andrew fell down the entrance, cut his hand and had to have two stitches. Quote “ What’s all that white stuff in the cut?” “That’s muscle” “Oh” looking pale.
Pleasant through trip with no surprises.
It was after this trip that the Dutchman started grovelling around in the grass and eventually found some insect eating plants which only grow on the Burren. Mick and myself spent the rest of the holidays looking for one but couldn’t see any (f**king foreigners)


July 20th Tuesday     C1

O’Connors – Cullaun I – O’Connors

Mick and Cheg (3)
Spent a long time looking for this entrance. Like all of them they are easy to find if you have been there before. Long walking type stream passage, ending in low knee wrecking crawl with three small pitches. The whole cave floods to the roof (Give Bill another) but well worth doing.


July 21st Wednesday     (D1-D2)

O’Connors – Fisherstreet Pot – Arran View – O’Connors

Mick, Cheg + Barry (first caving trip) (3)
Before doing the trip it is wise to check that you can get out of Arran View because the guest house there uses it as a dustbin. An interesting trip with good formations (Give Bill yet another)


July 22nd Thursday     A2

O’Connors – Faunarooska – O’Connors

Mick, Cheg + Jim Shannon (1/2)
A great cave with fantastic formations, which someone should get photographed at Christmas. (finger out Tomo) Very sporting if the water is high and not known to flood. Ladder required for a safe descent of both the wet and dry pitches. Don’t confuse the entrance with ‘Hawthorn Swallet’ like the Wessex “ah ah ah”.


July 23rd Friday     B1a

O’Connors – Pollballiny – O’Connors

Mick, Cheg + Barry (until he turned back) (Hic)
This is a very interesting cave if nothing else. To quote Mick Durdy about halfway down the cave. “Its about time this f**king place ended”. Nice formations at the end.


July 24th Saturday

Collected Aileen from Limerick station and took Barry and Dave back. Mick went walking on the cliffs (and of course O’Connors).


July 25th Sunday     Cliffs of Moher


July 26th Monday     The Burren


July 27th Tuesday     B9

O’Connors – Coolagh River Cave – O’Connors

Mick, Cheg + God (?)
A superb trip if you can forget the froth 25ft up the walls. We did mud series which at one time was a through trip but has since collapsed.


July 28th Wednesday     Arran Isles

Best to meet John Butterfield in O’Connors or you may be left standing at the pier all day. A very large carry-out is recommended for this trip (it may get foggy). Well worth a trip but the ferry only operates during the summer because of the weather.


July 29th Thurday     B9

O’Connors – Coolagh River Cave  – O’Connors

Cheg, Jim Shannon, Sean O’Connor (?)
A repeat trip for Jim and Sean


July 30th Friday

O’Connors – Fisherstreet Pot – Arran inlet O’Connors

Cheg, Gerry Shannon (King of the whales) (2)
Novice trip.


July 31st Saturday

A free farewell drink with the O’Connors and back to Dublin for the 22.15 boat for Liverpool. We were sorry to leave Ireland but soon went back because of a bomb scare on the boat. Nothing was found so we again sailed for Liverpool arriving around 9.30am.
A fantastic holiday.


August 7th-8th     Swildon’s Hole

Al Harrison, Mac, A.J.Rat, J Cobbett, Julian Walford, Martin Bishop, Phil the miner and lots more Mendip men.
A quick trip down Swildon’s to watch Al Harrison attempt a free dive through sump II with Julian Walford. Alan apparently got to the knot in the line and saw airspace above him; unfortunately it was ‘little bell’ and left the line. Luckily, Julian realising what had happened dived back through to ‘little bell’ with the line and hence to the entrance and the pub. Note! Do not leave the line at the knot but carry on until you reach the rawlbolt.

14th August     Merlin’s Cave


Al Harrison, Fish Jeanmaire, Mac, Nigel Widdowson

Due to the very dry summer, the sumps in Merlin’s have drained so it is now possible to dry dive the cave to the end of the present exploration, sump 5. The only sump that is damp is sump 1 which is low and muddy, all the rest are dry and sandy. It is a strong possibility that sump 5 will go with bailing. The cave after sump 1 is basically chambers connected by sumps. A very good trip whilst drought conditions prevail.


August 21st     Easgill

Top Sink
Mick Durdy, Bill McGuiness, Stuart Chester
A very good trip, Cheg very brave.

County Pot
A Harrison, S. McMannus, V. Holland, A.Steans, Hank?
No report.

August 28th    Ogof Hesp Alyn


A. Harrison, S.Chester, A.Sutton, W. McGuiness, S.McMannus, Mick Durdy, P.Ford, P.Thompson
No report.



August 30th Monday     Mason Mine

A.Harrison, S.Chester, S.McMannus, W.McGuiness, A.Sutton, Als mate.
No report.



September 4th     Jug Holes (Oxclose Mine)


A.Harrison, W.McGuiness, McMannus, Mick Durdy, T.Widdowson, N.Widdowson, S.Chester

No report.


September 5th Sunday     Lathkill

Fish, D.Gill. Surveyed downstream Lathkill 500’, maximum height 1ft. Desperate, terminates in a choke, to be banged.



September 11th     Harry Becca Mine

(Longstone Edge) P.Thompson, T.Widdowson, S.Chester

No report.



September 18th     Masson Cavern

A.Harrison, S.Chester, N.Widdowson, C.Gooday, S.Tansley

No report.


September 26th (Sunday)     Otter Hole

M.Durdy, Fish, Mrs Fish, Vic Holland, D.Gough Met on Saturday evening at St.Arvans. Free camping on Chepstow racecourse for early start on Sunday. We needed to be inside the cave before high tide to enable us to pass the tidal entrance sump. Luckily we never located the entrance because the sump did not clear for several weeks.

(No report in log, above added from memory. D.Gough)


October 2nd     Alston


Mick Durdy, Torchy

No report.


October 3rd (Sunday)     Broad Meadow Mine (Alport)


P.Thompson, S.Chester, L.Hurt

No report.


October 9th     Magpie Sough

A.Harrison, S.Chester, C.Gooday

No report.



October 9th     P8


A.Sutton, Mick Durdy, P.Webb, S.McMannus

No report

October 16th – 18th     Alston

Mick Durdy, Torchy, T.Wright, B.Wright, A.Harrison, S.Harrison, S.Chester, P.Thompson, A.Sutton, S.McManus, M.McManus
No report.

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