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Trips from the Caving Log

Edited by Phil Coles.

Caving is finally finding its feet again as the F & M restrictions are lifted.  First trip of the New Year was on 20th January – a photographic trip in Hunters Hole, coupled with a look at digs.  Dears’ Ideal would appear to be most promising, a boulder floor rising to a few inches of the roof at the constricted point.  A few weekends work, and maybe a bit of bang, is all (ALL? Ed.) that seemed to be needed.

St. Cuthbert’s was officially reopened on the 21st January with a successful practice rescue in the Wire Rift (see B.B. Feb. 1968).  Subsequent trips have been two water sampling trips by Roger Stenner on 26/1 and 10/2, return to Sump Dig on 4/2 by Phil Kingston and Barry and sherpas.  Phil was pleased to find that despite a prolonged absence from the sump, it hadn’t silted up.  Thoughts have also turned to digs again after a prospecting trip on 3/2 by Dave Irwin, Alan Thomas and others to the end of Gour Rift.  The Dining Room Dig has been dug on one occasion – 28/2.  On the 4/2 a party comprising Keith Franklin, Dave Irwin, Howard Kenny and Oliver Lloyd inspected the possibilities of carrying out a practice rescue from Coral Chamber.  They did not state their conclusions (the rescue will take place as planned on the 21st April.  A simple route was found – Ed).  They say that the average age of the party was 40!  (Heavens only knows what it would have been if ‘Old Man’ Meaden and Alan Thomas had been on the trip.  (38 – Ed). There have been twelve other trips into Cuthbert’s including a photographic.  One such trip in Long Chamber Tim Hodgson slipped and dislocated his knee.  Fortunately it righted itself before Tim came to rest.  After a ‘ciggy’ he was able to get out under his own steam.

Hunters was visited for the 2nd time on the 28/1 but no digging.  On the 3/2 ‘Fred’ Atwell explored Cuckoo Cleeves and found the cave very loose!  On the 7/2 bods had a look around Redcliffe Caves. Other caves visited have been New Balch & G.B. (photographic) Burrington and Nine Barrows, all one each.

The main event so far has been the opening of the mineshaft in Rookham Wood by Bob Sell & Co. Little need be said here as Bob is writing an article on it.  (see letters - Ed).


On Monday 18th March it was announced that Mendip was now regarded as an area of outstanding natural beauty.  (From B.E.C. and Press reports).

Buckfastleigh Area – Devon.

On the 11-3-68 the Guardian reported that over the previous weekend that 200,000 (yes 2 hundred thousand) feet of new passage had been discovered!  Minor checking found the Express and Telegraph with the correct length – a mere 2,000ft.  Apparently the cave concerned is Bakers Pit.  The extensions have deepened the cave quite considerably.  Finally, the Shepton got hold of the news and published it in their Newssheet before it appeared in the D.D.D. Journal – weren’t they mad!



The cave was re-opened to cavers on Thursday 14th March.  At first it was only to cavers known to Mr. Maine but by Sunday it was business as usual! 35 cars were counted on the Green outside the farm.