April 13th Nettle Pot
Dave Walker, Larry Blanchard (Victim) & Rachel ?
A party of three experienced cavers descended at about 14.45 and went to Derbyshire Hall beyond the Far Flats. On the way back two descended the pitch into Firbeck Hall on a ladder they had taken in themselves. The last party member derigged the ladder and climbed down unlined on an old electron ladder that had been left rigged on the pitch for a considerable time. When he was about halfway down, the ladder snapped and he fell ten to fifteen feet braking his left upper arm, sustaining a fracture to his pelvis (a minor one it later turned out) and suffering severe bruising. One of the party returned to the surface to raise the alarm and DCRO was alerted at 19.05. Members of Central and North Staffs teams were called and Derbyshire's longest rescue for many years was under way. At 20.15 the first team member went underground and he was followed in due course by a total of 25 others. The cave was rerigged by some team members whilst others made their way to Firbeck Hall to attend to the casualty and his companions. The casualty's companion was escorted back to the entrance (emerging at 00.45) The casualty was examined, given pain killing drugs, splinted , put into a stretcher and moved to the foot of the entrance pitch. Here he was taken out of the stretcher (it would not have fitted in the narrow shaft), put into a lifting harness and hauled to the surface where he arrived at 04.50. All in all some 65 DCRO members were involved.
Following this incident, the victim was not satisfied about the trouble some 65 personnel had gone to to execute the rescue, and kept harping on about all the tackle he had lost or had not been returned by DCRO. Eventually, in the Vat & Fiddle one Thursday night, enough was enough and he was told to go and sling his hook. Surprisingly he did.
Previous to the above incident this member slipped into oblivion in the Vat & Fiddle one Thursday night having had some hallucinogenic tea early that evening. The landlord phoned for an ambulance but when the paramedics arrived a trip to hospital was refused.
Although the above was a memorable occasion there were numerous other trips in 1997 but sadly, for some unknown reason no records exists. It was rumoured that the the club was too mean to buy a new Biro to go with the log book or the pencil had to be put on the hut stove to try and keep warm. A photographic record could exist, can you help fill in the missing trips?