January 12th Smallcleugh, Alston 7½hrs
Dave Muir, Durdey, Torchy
Yet another trip in this vast and complex mine. Turned right in main flats and down two 25ft shafts into sub level. Tight crawl over back fill to look at a rise but too manky. Found way into upper working up a 15ft free climbable ore shoot into big working that had been backfilled and floor boarded over at some time. Found 2 clay pipes for Mick, camera cable shutter release for Dave and 2 ugly lead cubes for Torchy. Out for 7pm and headed for Mecca of Nenthead, the Crown.
After a couple of pints at dinner walked up Blackburn and Carlburn looking for more potential mines. Torchy found 2 good possibilities with a little digging.
January 20th Carlswark
Dave Gill, Steve Plummer
Introduction to Derbyshire and Pegasus caving for potential new member. Seemed to enjoy it. Probably because the place was over running with boy and girl scouts. Managed to retrain myself but so excited that I couldn’t find Beck’s breakthrough.
January 26th Broad Meadow Mine Alport
Cheg, Dave Epton, Laurence Hurt
Digging in Cowshaw Pipe, 35ft of backfill removed. Passage continues with strong draft.
January 26th Smallcleugh, Alston 6hrs
Torchy, Durdey , Dave Muir
Too much snow so we had to walk to the mine. Torchy went via the right hand fork to look at some flats and return to Wheel Flats. Dave and Mick took the left hand fork, not wanting to get their feet wet in spite of Torchy’s claims you could get through dry (Clever f**ker). Explored the upper workings above Wheel Flats then rested for a beer. Torchy must have heard the can being opened for he suddenly appeared and supped the lot. A quick look at the Spiral on the way out. Again headed for Mecca.
Sunday a wasted day really, stopped in Crown until 4.30. Came home to an excellent pint of Pedigree at Chinley.
January 27th Simpson Swinsto exchange
Vic, Martin, Dave Gough, Russell, Dave Brooks, Jeanie, Allistair
Vic, Martin and Dave Gough did exchange trip Swinsto into Simpsons.
Russell, Dave Brooks, Alistair, Jeanie did through Simpson trip laddering for exchange party. Great delight had by ‘B’ team at Slit Pot after Russell set a very poor example of how to negotiate it and still remain right way up. After that all went smoothly.
February 8th Pippikin – Link
Martin, Vic, Dickie (EPC)
Went up to Yorkshire to tag onto Newcastle University (of LS fame) trip in Link Pot. Did through trip Pippikin to Link. Route finding is only a problem at Dusty Junction where a sharp muddy crawl (2nd on the right?) has to be found. The link crawl is long, muddy and tedious. Takes all the fun out of Pippikin not having to go back out the same way.
February 9th Smallcleugh, Alston 7½hrs
Dave Miur, Torchy, Durdy, Andy + Jane Broadbent
An early start for once up the left hand fork and up into the Spiral haulage flat. A quick look around with Paul doing his impersonation of an ostrich, burying his head into a pocket. Mick after crawling into a very large pocket at floor level emerged cursing and swearing because he couldn’t get any minerals. Lifted a wander up to wheel Flats and on to George Hethrington’s Flats. Was George Heatherington a dwarf or a man with a warped mind? Then out again calling on Mecca for some snap and a few pints.
Sunday Paul wandered down the railway track at Alston to check a story that a manhole led into Manor House level. Several pints in the Crown.
February 10th P8
Dave Gill, S Plummer, P Bouland, L Boulhand.
An introduction to the underworld for at least two of the three. Bad introduction really considering the amount of water going down the place. The French Canadian wanderer Boulhand had to be taken out and the other two weren’t happy. Still the swarm of youths, scouts, punks etc. near the entrance weren’t happy either.
After the usual lunch time session, Masson Hill was investigated because most of the hill seemingly having disappeared, all the mines have.
February 10th Alderley Edge Copper Mines
Al Steans, Mike Farmer, Dave Brooks, Dave Epton, Dave Gough, Jeannie, Alister, John Addison, Trev Roberts.
In the morning we were given an interesting conducted tour (Mike Farmer) of Wood Mine. General wander about. 50p each for access to DCC. Broke the key in the lock so we did get value for money (2hrs)
After a lunch time drink visited West Mine with two guides from DCC. A standard trip with a boring fart of a guide, who took 3hrs too long and treated us like imbeciles. Insisted in showing us such weird and wonderful diversities as the growth of fungi on his stilton cheese. Extraordinary rip off price of a quid for a years licence. (4hrs)
Pretty expensive and forgettable experience but did drink some good beer at dinnertime.
February 14th Pol an Ionian. Cave of the Wild Horses, Kilcorney, Ireland 2 x 1½ hr trips
Al Steans, Trev Roberts
1,000 mile round trip to do two mid week trips, interspersed by a session in O’Connors. A pre budget visit, Guinness still 50p per pint. An abortive trip down Fisher Street Pot due to high water levels, like 99% of the other caves in Clare at the time.
February 21st-23rd Long Churn, Swinsto, Heron Pot
Martin, Alistair, Stuart, Dave Epton, John Addison
Went up to Yorkshire for a weekend to introduce newer members to getting wet.
Saturday, Martin, Alistair and Stuart went down Long Churn to Alum sumps, getting down early to miss the crowds. A smooth trip.
All did Swinsto through trip in 2 groups. High speed trip, 1¾hrs, as the pub was open. Bolts on pitches have been removed except main pitch but adequate belays remain for abseiling.
Sunday, wanted to get back in reasonable time so did through trip of Heron Pot, Kingsdale. Uneventful trip, OK for Sunday.
March 1st Washfold Pot, Yorkshire
Russell, Martin, Dickie (EPC)
SRT practice trip (Eldon rope). Start delayed due to inclement weather, which actually got worse after the pubs had opened, snow. When the sun started to shine we ventured out to go caving. 1½ hrs later a hiker loaned us a map to help find the blasted hole. Hard cave, the only easy bit was the main pitch and even that was awkward at the top.
Sunday evening in the Craven Heifer was asked to hang about because of overdue diver and possibility of a rescue. They released us at 10pm and we came home the pretty way via Huddersfield.
March 7th Bar Pot
Martin, John Addison
Went to do Bar Pot pushing credibility and sanity carrying all that gear but went as well as could be expected. Main chamber was incredibly dry and not full of other cavers. It was possible to look up the main shaft from directly underneath. The short way, 100ft, of doing Bar Pot main pitch now has a good alloy bolt for belaying, care CPC, and the climb down can be done by straddling the hole.
March 8th St Cuthberts, September Series
Dave Gill, Durdy, Dave Muir, T Large (BEC Leader)
Descended the hole around 10.15hrs, very wet down dreaded entrance rift. We ought to have known better BEC man was carrying a wetsuit hood. After many and various wanderings we ended eventually in the exceedingly well decorated September Series and Victory Passage. Returned to wire rift by another route and then escaped the entrance rift. Not too bad if you are a cross between a monkey and a dolphin. Out at 14.00 hrs, just in time for last drinks in the Hunters.
By way of a change 2 of us went to Wookey Hole museum in the afternoon, and the other (guess who?) went to listen to the choirboys at Wells Cathedral ceremony.
March 9th Manor Farm Swallet
Dave Muir, Durdey, Dave Gill
After Saturdays super severe evening mixing drinks in the Hunters the morning had to be spent crawling off the hangover. An enjoyable trip apart from getting past the Mendip type practicing SRT on the 40ft entrance pitch. Had a good look around the BEC digs. Out by 12.30 for a session on lemonade and shandy.
March 16th Oxlow Caverns
Went to do Oxlow Caverns but the first trip was abortive as Stuart didn’t bring a light or helmet and had to go back to the hut to borrow one. Finally got down at 1.30pm and at the second pitch met a family consisting of man, woman and kid who was acting as their mule, poor little sod, didn’t look as though he was interested. At the bottom they went up to New Oxlow and we went to look at last pitch and then decided to get out before the family appeared. Got out about 4.00pm. A good trip.
March 23rd P8
Mick Durdey, Noel Walsh, PS O’Dwyer, Sean O’Conner.
Mick took his Irish friends down P8, a busy cave with water as cold as a witch’s tit in a brass bra.
So Yail Mile Maith Ağaib.
April 4th Old Ham Mine, Forest of Dean. 4½hrs approx
Torchy, Durdey, Dave Muir
A quick trip round Old Ham and into New Dunn. Left Torchy altering the landscape of the mine and went off to try and find way into New Dunn. Managed to find Diesel Shaft. Found our way out again by the trail of shredded paper left by Mick.
April 5th-7th South Wales
A lot of people including Torchy, Durdy, Dave Muir (mining team), Dave Gill, school of Fish, Mr & Mrs Big Al, Diccan, Al Steans, Trevor, Alistair, Jeanie, Bishop, Russell and a lot more.
Saturday 5th Aggie.
Dave Gill, Alistair, Trevor, Al Steans, Stewart (BEC), Ian, Martin, John (BEC) & a few more.
Westlake & Co were left to go and have a look at the recently collapsed 4th boulder choke from the wrong side via the duck in Beza. This meant that the proposed figure 8 trip was aborted. The trip was basically Outer Circle + Inner Circle. A great trip until Trevor and Alistair got separated from the party at the start of Coal Cellar. Alistair had lost his training shoe in a bit of mud in Twin Avens Chamber. Unfortunate that their absence was not noticed until we were at the end of Coal Cellar in Midsummer Passage after the dreaded squeeze. After sitting around for about an hour, Martin and Ian, the two thinnest, volunteered to go back down and look for the unfortunates and give them the kiss of life if necessary. The rest of us had a grand time getting lost around Inner Circle, eventually meeting the rescuing heroes at the end of Coal Cellar. Out around 18.00hrs.
Sunday 6th Dan yr Ogof.
Everyone went down here except Trevor who had misplaced his gear. At least he had half a trip on Saturday
The personnel were roughly, Dave Gill, Graham Crisp (SUCC) joint leaders, Mick (SUCC) Big Al, Jeanie, Russell, Alistair, Martin, Al Steans, MacAnus, Stuart, Fish etc.
Descended the Gouff at 10.15 after checking in at Penwyllt. Big Al very much the worse for drink produced a spectacular amount of vomit, which he deposited next to the caged tree. Al left his car at Penwyllt and the Trevor party went straight to DYO, unfortunately Trev’s gear was in Al’s car.
A very good trip taking in all of DYOII upper and lower series. Big Al lost interest at the end of Long Crawl, honked again in Gerrard Platten Hall and slept it all off on a sandbank. Out at around 14.30 after negotiating and posing for parties of tourists. Had a quick look at the Water Entrance series. Fish outraged a café in Brecon by using words meaning sexual intercourse.
April 6th Garth Quarry
Torchy, Durdey, Dave Muir
Rock bashing trip to Garth Quarry, Taff Wells, reasonably successful.
Monday 7th Drum & Monkey, Cliffs of Dover in Aggy
Aggy meet was cunningly to revive Mrs Fish’s jaded appetite for caving. She was conducted to the Cliffs of Dover by her husband + John and Elizabeth Daka (BEC).
April 19th Alston
Torchy, Durdey, Dave Muir, Paul Thompson, John Cooper, George from Hexham
Walked over to Swithergill Head looking for the mine which we found. Had been quite a big mine in its day with a water wheel working a winding gear into a now flooded shaft. No adits open. Walked down Blackburn and Mick went down 3 open adits, all blocked.
April 20th Tynebottom 2½hrs
After a nice little session in the Crown, decided to look down Tynebottom with Torchy collecting bits of rock with what can only be described as ‘pink snot’ but Torchy said was cobalt.
April 27th Water Bicycle Mine
D.I. Gill, Malc Whitehead (Shropshire M W Club), Jim Pantinson (Valley C.C.) + Durdy, + Torchy (support team)
15.00hrs. Jim & Malcolm's conscience trip to justify Saturday's revelry. Nothing spectacular to report apart from incredible amount of smoke at bottom of shaft. Not from surface but from N.W. Gas Board.
Had a good look round and came out at 16.30.
April 27th Perryfoot Cave
Allister and Jo Yates 10.15 - 1.00
Attended this aboortive trip, it consisted of a horrible shitty grovel which took us down to Iron Maiden squeeze which was as far as we got. Then we turned back and went out, then went to the Bull.
April 27th IrebyFell Cave
Al Steans, Trevor, Vic, Russell, John Barry, Stuart + 1
Verry, very dry trip - all pitches rigged. Able to crawl into sump approx 20' due to low water.
" We don't serve strangers on Sundays" said landlady in Otley pub at 7.01 pm. Pub next door did "Oh you didn't get served next door then??" she said laughing.
May 4th Oxlow Giants Oxlow
Vic, Trev, Dave Hepton, Russell, John Addison
Connection trip not quite complete. Fixed ladder in Oxlow meant we had 50' extra so we optimistically took it through for Geology Pot.
Vic decided to take us into five eighths inlet and so John & Russell accompanied him to the bitter end (complete with ladder. Vic was convinced that it was familiar but at the end realised he was lost last time too.
Back to Chamber of Horrors. Shit out at the ducks. Out at 2.30 pm so no connection, no pint, no bother.
See December 13th 1970 for previous visit.
May 3rd 4th Swildons
Martin Bishop, Lugger (NCC) Bas Davis (NCC), LS
Feeling guilty about not writing anything.
Went through sump one (very silted) & Blue Pencil. Met Big Al near sump 3 diving through.
May ? Otter Hole
Large party of Eldon, DCC, NCC, Me (LS)
Had to get up at 4.00 am for tide. Entrance series not as desperate as threatened. No problem with sump although water heavily polluted with Diesel.
Mud is everywhere and route finding could be difficult through some of boulder chokes.
A trip worth doing but not too often.
June 7th-20th County Clare, Ireland
Martin (LS), Al Steans, Vic, Trev, John A, Dave Epton & the Steans kids?
Did many trips most of which were done before & drank a lot of Guinness & Baileys.
Of interest are the following trips.
Slieve Elva Pot
(or whatever the Chelsea called it) The entrance is difficult to find and detailed instructions are almost essential. Approach along green road past Faunerooska to the second gate. Walk up the wall on the right to a sharp kink. Then walk left from the wall parallel to the road for 50 yds. Entrance can only be seen facing uphill but is obvious as there is a wall round it.
The cave itself is extremely sharp and all the pitches are wet. At the end of the Glasgow survey the continuation is a tight rift to an s-bend. it is currently too tight but digging the shingle out of the bottom (in dry weather) could provide a way through. Definitely a trip worth doing whilst in the area.
1st week Upper Pollnagree
Al Steans, Martin, Trev, John Addison
Approached green road after filling up at O'Conners. Found a small inlet at a shakehole on knockhouse. Entrance small and crawly leading to a 10' free climb into a small conical chamber, 30' pitch arkward take off to larger chamber. Arkward rift "S" shaped to 100 ft Pitch into Pollnagree.
Martin & Trev descended last Pitch, but Al with aid of hammer, had to enlarge rift to gain access.
Arkward cave - defined in Caves of Clare as impassable - Another first for Pegasus?
June 24th or thereabouts OFD I to Top Entrance
D.I.Gill, L S, J.Anderson, M.J.Durdey, Trevor, D.Muir, D.Epton. Vic, D.Gough, Alistair, etc
Should have been DYO but White Walls is a long way from a 10 'clock start and even further from rousing ex - Ireland dossers at Penwillt, so OFD. A very good trip to top waterfall and a lot of wandering about in top series. Not a lot of serious loss of direction or dud light. Excellent evening in the new watering hole 'The Ancient Britten' and subsequent camping behind it also the torrential rain. The landlord is willing to allow camping at ant time. (eg 7 am on Friday morning after boozing on way down)
Most ex - Ireland people shot off home on Saturday night but D.Muir, D.Gill, M.Durdey, D.Gough, Alice and girl remained.
Eventually D.Gill and D.Gough went down DYO on Sunday after torrential rain negated the potential Little Neath trip. However they did everything between the entrance and the Rising and were back in the Britten by 1.30 pm.
DO NOT TRY TO STOP AT PENWYLLT, THE GOULETER IS STILL ACTIVE AND OFFENSIVE
July 13th Giants Hole
Al Steans, Richard Gough, Stuart, Alistair
Crabwalk - Geology - Spout Hall.
July 20th Oxlow Maskill
Martin, John A, Dave Epton
Laddered Oxlow and then absieled through Maskill to deladder. A lot of strenuous ladder climbing & hauling with no real problems. Slings for sliding through Maskill are good if normal precautions against snagging are taken.
July 27th Eldon Hole
Put a rope down Eldon Hole to relieve an otherwise boring Sunday. The 200 ft freehang is the West side (not the East side like it says in the book) & is pleasant till you hit the snow. There is 25 ft of snow but it is possible to grovell round it (wet & nasty) & get into the chamber. Rope protection no problem & can be re-belayed 20 ft down if worried
July 26th Otter Hole
Icarus, Al S, Stuart, Gobmike
Definately a schedule not befitting confirmed boozers. In at 2.20 out at 12.10 (Midnight) Nearly missed the pub. Watched sump opening (boring and very cold sitting about) Standard trip to normal end of cave (Tunnel left), Stuart decided to make the trip more difficult by choosing a light that went out in the entrance series before we even got to the tidal sump.
July ?? Giants, P8
Russell + Cast of Thousands
Trip with multitudinous novices, girl friends and pub mates.
Tuesday night - Awsworth Viaduct SRT practice going well - good turnout and many comical moments.
July ?? Swinsto - Valley Entrance + Tatem Wife
John (Addison) and friend. Day trip
Left Mansfield at 4 am - Arrived Ingleton 7.15 - Into Swinsto 7.45 - Bernies for last breakfast, - tatem Wife back to Mansfield 7.00 pm ready for evening session. Yorkshire very dry - little rain for Past 3-4 weeks. A good day trip ideal for us hen Pecked Married ones.
August 2nd Coolagh River
M Durdey + 7 Wessex
Time spent underground very little
September 28th 1980 Cow Pot
CRO No 670
Dave Brooks slipped and fell whilst negotiating the top part of the entrance pitch. The pitch is in the open, luckily an accumulation of debris softened the fall, but he did bounce according to the man waiting to climb ( John Addison). Removed to Lancaster Hospital. retired from caving shortly afterwards.
October 4th Birks Fell Cave
D.I.Gill, M.J.Durdey, 'Hell's Teeth' Westlake and 2 chums
Instead of doing the pinacul trip in Penyghent, we decided to do Birks Fell in the morning and leave Penyghent until later in the day when the main Pegasus team were out.
Unfortunately this desperate desire on both our parts was not to be realised for Westlake was late! This incredible event necessitated a quick retreat to the Buck Inn where we awaited him. Instead of the promised 10.30 he did not turn up until 11.45. so attempting to hide our disappointment at no longer being able to aspire to two jolly sporting trips in one day we descended the dreaded gouffre shortly after the Westlake team.
All was not well, for a short distance inside the entrance we came across the three lethargically messing about with a camera not speaking to themselves or anyone else. After a fair trip which restored Durdey's faith in his latent caving prowess we surfaced at around 18.00 hrs. There was no sign of the Westlake team. Durdey thought that they might have come out early to get to the boozer for opening time, strangely they weren't even in there.
After an evening touring the pubs of Wharfedale and looking for TSG and the rest of the Pegasus we slept in the luxurious surroundings of Buckden car park with hot water laid on in the public bogs. Since TSG did not turn up on the Sunday to do their Birks Fell trip we couldn't do that so we plunged down.
October 5th Sleets Gill Cave
Excellent trip but entrance higher than expected. Out at 11.30 hrs. Lunch in the Buck Inn and a boozer in Threshfield which serves a superb pint of Taylor's.
October 4th Penyghent Pot
Stuart, Martin, Trev, Dave E, Vic + 2 from Rotherham
Wet conditions - 2 managed to get to sump.
October19th Carlswark Cavern
November 22nd Streak Cave ? Stoney Middleton
Al Steans + Chris
Descended mysterious hole via 30 ft open pitch and re-emerged some 2 hours later by other entrance, neither entrance is any where near various rumours got from te be. Grovelly muddy cave reminscent of Carlwark. Not worth the effort.
November 23rd Duce Hole
Dave Gough, Dave Epton, Cheg
Too much water in cave for us to do much apart from take photographs & do a simple survey. Water was flowing to pool at end of dig but we managed to get water to sink in floor of the 2nd cavern.
December ish Alum
John Addison, Martin B, D Gough, Rus, Alan, D Epton & Chris
A wet trip. Direct descent by Martin probably was the best way of tackling it. The rest of us poor sods went via Long Churn.
Water increased considerably while at the bottom which made the last pitch "sporting" Due to the heroics of "let me die" Steans & Rus in moving the Position of the ladder made it more easy for the rest of us.
Visual connection with Dican was good and there was certainly more water than I have seen.
A good trip. Al Steans so grateful he bought us a pint!