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Mendip Digging News

Congratulations to Pete Hann and his Wessex digging team on the breakthrough earlier this year at their long term dig in Charterhouse Cave. Some 330m of streamway were initially entered with the G.B. Cave stream coming in on the right – a dye test took 35 minutes. A mud blockage was then dug to yield a further 40m of passage ending in a diveable downstream sump and with a tight crawl to a roomy inlet passage (a parallel streamway), later pushed for 70m to another sump, later found to be undiveable. It is believed that at c180m this is now Mendip’s deepest swallet cave, having surpassed Longwood Swallet’s 175m. The potential here is tremendous and since the discovery of the Upper Flood Swallet extensions much attention has been focussed on the Cheddar catchment. Pete and Aubrey Newport are supposedly digging in White Spot Cave, Pete Glanvill, Tony Boycott, Martin Grass and Chris Binding are working at a particularly squalid site nearby, Graham Price intends to dig Hangover Hole (above Timber Hole) and the Bracknell / M.C.G. diggers are beavering away in Stainsby’s Shaft / Blackmoor Swallet – where a tempting void was opened up on the 6th April leading, in May, to very promising but extremely unstable “Old Mens’” workings. Another M.C.G. team recently explored some 60m of maze passages off East Passage in Upper Flood. This still leaves Old Farts’ Dig, Manor Farm Swallet, Timber Hole, Tyning’s Barrows Swallet, Rhino Rift and Longwood Swallet up for grabs. Any takers?

By Tony Jarratt