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Council of Southern Caving Clubs

At the recent CSCC AGM Martin Grass was defeated in the election for Secretary.  With over 120 clubs the voting was 3 for Martin and 4 for Alan Butcher.  So Butch is now the new Secretary.

So Near but Yet So Far


During an enforced clear-out of my loft recently I found my old Belfry Bulletins dating back to the year I joined the Club (1955).  One particular journal stood out because of its bright yellow cover, a BB Digest dated 1959.  In it were many articles dating as far back as 1951 and one article in particular, by John Ifold, caught my attention.  His article, dated 1951, described the discovery of the Ifold Series in Eastwater and his thoughts on the future possibilities.

Now read on.

A New System in Eastwater Cavern

J.W. Ifold

If Harris's passage is followed up-stream, the canyon formation merges into a steeply inclined bedding plane, which is sectioned off by loose and dangerous boulder chokes. During Easter l95l, the author removed a small boulder choke and penetrated into further extensions. Whether these extensions are of the same bedding plane or not can only be settled by a survey.  At present the system appears to penetrate for about four hundred feet, and there are possibilities that it may be further extended. An interesting observation is the presence of two streams which seem to disappear in a North Westerly direction.  Another feature unusual to Eastwater is the presence of large eroded stalagmite sheeting. This is eroded not only on its upper surface, but at many points is completely hollowed out from beneath. Its markings include scalloping and several concentric circles, which are possibly the remains of completely eroded stalagmites. This discovery led to a discussion of the complete absence of stalagmitic formations in Eastwater as compared with the abundance in nearby Swildons.  An interesting point is the phreatic sponge-work, smaller than that in Ffynnon Ddu, but otherwise very similar.

One member of the party advanced the theory that at one time Eastwater had taken a very much larger proportion of the North Hill drainage than it now does, while near-by Swildons was left comparatively dry. This heavy flow might have caused very rapid and complete erosion, thus explaining the almost complete absence of formations in Eastwater, and these strangely eroded sheets.

The direction of the system leads to the belief that it is under the boulder maze, but it is possible that the two small streams at the end of the series may come from the 380 foot way.  This system may yield to further exploration.