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The Last Word

Compiled by J’Rat and Wig

The Mendip Cave Bibliography and Newspaper Catalogue. [DJI] Publication of the 2nd edition, by the Mendip Cave Registry, of this compilation by your temporary Editor [Dave Irwin] will be at Hidden Earth to be held this year at Churchill. The whole work is in two volumes, 517pp and 1.1 million words and includes all articles, books, papers, manuscripts known to me from 883 AD to 2005 – which approaches some 25,000 references to caves in the Mendip region.  It is divided into three main sections. The first covers Cave Sites; the second Cave Topics [archaeology, hydrology etc.] and the third being the writers’ catalogue of newspaper reports since 1797.  Available at about £25 in hard copy only.

Anyone wanting details of published information relating any particular cave site are advised look in this work first. For example there are nearly 1,300 references to Swildon’s Hole; 232 items for Goatchurch Cavern, 429 for Eastwater Cavern and 540 for St. Cuthbert’s Swallet.

It is eventually hoped to publish the bibliography together with the cave registers on a web page and in CD format.

10 Years in the Making ! [DJI] Another Hollywood spectacle ?  ‘fraid not.  It’s the latest edition of the Council of Southern Caving Clubs Handbook and Access Guide, February 2005. The first for ten years.  Still, it serves a very useful purpose for it not only details the multitude of access arrangements in the area but it contains notes on the organisations and accommodation on Mendip as well as a host of other useful snippets. The 36pp booklet, edited by Dave Cooke, is widely available for £2.  Those not regularly in the Mendip area can obtain a copy through ‘Cookie’, 3 Starrs Close, Axbridge, Somerset. BS26 2BZ or Bat Products for £2 + 50p p&p.

Wookey Hole. [DJI]  CDG divers have recently dived the terminal Sump 25.  A serious undertaking at any time but the extension found a little above the bottom of the flooded passage at -70m has been pushed and Rick Stanton and John Volanthen have reached a phenomenal depth of -90m.  Work at this level makes the dive a really serious undertaking.  Best of luck to them and their ‘sherpas’ on their next trip which is planned in the near future.

Two old stalwarts [DJI] have returned to the fold and are enthusiastically resurveying Ludwell Cave with Fiona Crozier.  They claim boulder movement in the submerged chamber has occurred during the past thirty years.  Pete Eckford and Ken James have found a ‘second wind’ as well as other names from the past, John Noble and Phil Coles.  Welcome to all.

Hunters’ Lodge Inn Sink. [ARJ]  Alex Livingston, on a solo visit, noted that all water levels are still too high for work to recommence and that the boulder blocking Slop 1 definitely needs banging.

Gibbet’s Brow Shaft. [ARJ]  ‘Butch’ and his Shepton team are still digging this mineshaft in the hope of entering Lamb Leer Cavern.  The main shaft has reached a solid bottom at around -17m but they are following a natural side passage with the chemical assistance of MadPhil.

White Pit.  [DJI] Tony Jarratt reports that the air in the cave has a dangerously high level of CO2.

Templeton Pot. [ARJ]  The latest from Tuska’s team is that they are now down about 35m and still going in the hope of beating the divers to the glory which must await below!