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Eastwater Cavern - Digging Burnished Passage

Vince Simmonds


Burnished Passage is the most north-easterly inlet in Beechen Series.  This is a continuation of a dig started by Geoff Newton (WCC) et al.

During the period of digging a line survey into West End series was already underway.

These are extracts from my personal log book:

A bang had already been placed.


A trip to Beechen Cliff series to finish the job we were going to do Wednesday. A good trip down to the classic "13 pots" and then up the "Mud Escalator".  A rock, blocking progress, had been banged and was soon cleared and the spoil stacked precariously on one side of a steeply sloping passage.  Cleared some calcited rocks and mud, to turn a previously clean dig somewhat muddy, to reveal a draughting way on, however, not quite passable.  A bang was placed and fired, rocks self-clearing and a quick retreat to the pub because time was getting on.

5-7 -97

Cleared the previous bang at the top of Burnished Passage.  The way on was pretty hopeless.  So banged a constriction in an adjacent small "stal" blocked aven where a gap was visible about 6ft long.  Will have to wait and see what happens here.  Bang sounded virtually self clearing.


Back to Burnished Passage.  Cleared last bang (pretty effective) and had a good nose at what lay ahead. Good echo and draught and looks very good, maybe 2 more bangs to get there.  Even Jake is enthusiastic.  Might leave the survey Friday to come back for another go.

18-7 -97

Another clear and bang job.


After last weeks holiday (walking in Wales) back to Burnished Passage. Still awkward drilling, managed one shot hole before drill stopped working so did the best we could.


Another drill and bang in Burnished Passage.  Still a few more bangs, still looks good.


More drilling and banging.  A previous was not successful so drilled some more holes and tried again.  We were going to go back but were chased out by fumes. An early night in the boozer.


My birthday trip (put it in your diaries) Jake was too hung-over to bother.

Managed to squeeze through and push up tight solution tube about 25ft. Tony Jarratt went into a side passage and squeeze through into an old dig (from the wrong side) and a connection to another aven.

Not the discovery we had hoped for but never mind back to the survey.

The small round trip, to my knowledge, has not yet been completed.

Main Diggers

Vince Simmonds, Graham Johnson, Rob Taviner, Rich Blake, Tony Jarratt, Mike Willett

A brief summary of the line survey so far

A line survey into Eastwater was started on the 2-7-97 by Vince Simmonds, Graham Johnson and Rob Taviner. The main aim was to ascertain the true depth of the cave.  The survey at present (13-6-97) is at the top of" Gladmans Shaft."

However there are some oddities.  Warburton's survey is accurate, although the "Canyon" has some slight differences presumably due to the floods in 1968 washing infill from along the sides. Dolphin Pitch was obviously different because of the collapse of the original route down and subsequently the new route to "13 Pots" area.  The real surprise came when the "Ifold's" area was drawn up; there is a very significant error, which throws the whole of the survey beyond out by some degrees.  It was later discovered that this area has not, to our knowledge, ever been properly surveyed.  Our line survey will be continued into the start of "Southbank" where the aim will be to do a Grade 5 survey (weather permitting).  We then plan to go back and start re-surveying "Ifold' s".  There is a big task ahead so if people wish to assist they can contact Jake, Tav or myself. We are aiming to do the whole survey using the same set of instruments.  Tav has all the drawn up data so far, if anyone wishes to see it they should get in touch with him