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Digging and Diving News.

Eastwater Cavern.

Before his return to Tasmania, Phil Rowsell and Alison Moody visited the far reaches of the West End to push the end of Southbank for a few more metres to another gravel-filled sump.  They plan a return in the spring (weather-permitting) if you fancy joining them.

Hazlenut Swallet.

Graham Johnson, Nick Mitchell and John Walsh have recently made a return to this interesting site in the Biddlecombe Valley to find the terminal sump has silted up. A drilling operation looks necessary, but will be made more difficult by the fact that the sump lies at the base of a small pot down which a small stream cascades onto the digger below.  A previous attempt was aborted last year when the drill did not take kindly to being held beneath the falling water and darns failed due to a lack of mud.  An umbrella has been posited as one solution!  If this seemingly short sump can be passed progress could be made at this small but hydrologically significant site somewhere ahead must lie the water both from the other sinks in the valley and possibly also those heading for St. Andrews Well from the Thrupe catchment area.

Hillgrove Swallet.

Following the discovery in September that this old dig was blocked with inwashed silt, branches etc. - to the point where the entrance was not initially visible let alone accessible, Sean Howe, Pete Hellier and Paul Brock dug out the entrance in October. According to Pete some 10 metres of dug passage at the end has also been infilled.  Whether this is the start of a new attempt to gain access to what must be extensive passages beyond and that have for nearly a century repelled all corners, from Martel onwards, remains to be seen.

Hunters' Lodge Inn Sink.

This remarkable dig got even more unlikely around Christmas when a sump was encountered.  Rich Dolby dived it over Christmas to find it blocked - it seems to be a seasonal affair so possibly come the summer sunshine (?) it may be possible to dig it out after it dries up.  For a description of the attempts to pass it see the article on page FIVE.

Working Weekends @ The Belfry 2003

The idea of working weekends is to maintain and clean the Belfry.  This year we would also like to combine the hut maintenance with some conservation and cleaning work in St. Cuthberts Swallet, numbers permitting. Remember 2003 is the 50th anniversary of the breakthrough into this fine system. Everybody is welcome!


The dates for this coming year are May 3rd - 4th, July 5th - 6th and Sept 6th - 7th.

Club News

The Working Weekend of the 1st-2nd March saw the front room cleaned and repainted - further weekends are planned for the spring and summer - see page 7 for dates.

Sett would like to extend the invitation to join the 'Old Codgers' on Exmoor at the Pinkery Centre, for six nights from Tuesday 22nd April including a trip down a local lead mine.  If you are interested contact him on 01823 xxxxxx.