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digwookeyhole

The trials and tribulations during the quest to extend the known cave passages of Wookey Hole Cave, Mendip, Somerset.

The main protagonists, in no particular order, have been: Vince Simmonds, Jonathon Riley, Robin 'Tav' Taviner, Nick Hawkes, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Mike Moxon, Paul 'Brockers' Brock, Duncan Price,  Connor Roe, and Roz Simmonds. Others have lent a hand too, including Callum Simmonds, Tom Chapman, Ray Deasy, Alex Gee, Pete 'Snablet' McNab, Pete Bolt, Claire Cohen, Pete Hall, Mandy Voysey, David Walker, Lee Hawkeswell, James Begley, Naomi Frazier, Estelle Sandford, Max Fisher, Adele Ward, Lee Smith, Chris Dubery, Will (Nick's nephew) and the Belgians (seven members of the Cascade Caving Club).

Above: the banner image, 'Mud cones in Land of Hope & Glory' was taken by Mark Burkey.

Derived or “unconformable” corals, exposed in Land of Hope and Glory.

2023 Posted on 6 May 2023 3:36 pm

Published in Caves & Karst Science: The Transactions of the British Cave Research Association, Vol.50, No.1, p.48



9th March

2023 Posted on 11 March 2023 3:58 pm

Report by Connor:

Connor and Nick

Continued work at diamond mine dig. Rotating between roles, good progress can be made through the mud floor, as holds it shape well and is eagerly cleared with a shovel. Progress increased by 1 & 1/2 feet from previous taking it down a minimum of 3 feet at highest point. 

Many buckets cleared, to the point were it was not possible to keep count. This resulted in agreed 100 buckets, between the team.



16th February

2023 Posted on 19 February 2023 6:06 pm

Report by Tav:

Nick, Dunc, Tav

The good news is that the air in the dig is finally clear and Nick dug a mini-mountain of mud which made its way back to Tav and Dunc for distribution elsewhere. Nick suggested that one more session might decide whether or not it was worth pursuing. Tav also replaced the broken conservation tape in the big rift that other parties seem to think is optional.”



29th November

2022 Posted on 1 December 2022 4:10 pm

Report by Tav:

Tav, Nick, Connor, Alex Randall and Duncan

Due to various ailments and commitments this was the first digging trip for a while. Connor and Alex busied themselves with the untouched dig at the end of the narrow rift reached from the climb up opposite Fuzzy Wuzzy, opening up a small hole that needs chemical persuasion to pursue. This will probably connect eventually with the hole in the roof of Gas End. Meanwhile Nick and Tav inspected various options in and around the big rift before collecting the tools stashed there for transport either out or to a more useful place. Duncan took a rope to the 24 connection and then the whole team gathered up various broken tubs, old skips and broken and redundant tools which were cleaned and then mostly removed from the cave, thus making the place quite a bit tidier. The remaining tools and tubs were left near the Diamond Mine dig in readiness for a fresh assault on the Gas End continuation but the air in here is still very poor so it will have to wait until the summer draughty season, assuming we’re still allowed in of course. Jake’s ladder was removed from Gas End and stashed on the slope leading down to the Diamond Mine dig to await his spanners. The evening finished with a beer in the ravine.” 



4th October

2022 Posted on 5 October 2022 4:32 pm

Vince, Connor, and Duncan

The three of us made our way to LoH&G, Connor lugging a sack full of stemples up to the top of ‘20’ to be used sometime later in ’24.’ Beyond Fuzzy Wuzzy, Duncan parted company and went off to do his own thing. Me and Connor continued through the ‘Hole in the Floor’ and beyond to the narrow rift at the end. The plan being to get Connor to squeeze through the constricted rift so an assessment might be made regarding its potential as a viable lead to follow. The upshot, he did it (I was impressed).

Connor’s description of what lies beyond the squeeze, “…after removing a few annoying items (helmet and belt), I made steady progress through the restriction. The passage continues along the narrow rift and follows the same direction for approximately 30-40m. A small opening in the floor leads to a drop down of about 3m, to a short ledge and down again, c.3m. The climbs were relatively spacious, c.1m wide. The floor below comprised of rocks and sand; it was saturated. A trickle of water was noted to the right when facing into the passage. Sadly however, there is nowhere to put spoil, and no significant other side passages were noted.”

The lack of spoil space and the massive effort to get there means this lead is not worth pursuing (at this time). But c.50m of passage gained is a positive result.



29th September

2022 Posted on 2 October 2022 9:39 am

Vince, Steve Sharp and Dan (Steve’s daughter’s boyfriend)

Steve and Dan went for a tour around LoH&G while I set about clearing the debris from the rapidly induced speleogenesis. It was a small charge so not too much to remove. There was a large rock-flake to shift, and I was glad that Dan turned up to assist. The result was rather inconclusive, a bit more digging might give a glimpse of whether this lead is worth pursuing any further.



22nd September

2022 Posted on 23 September 2022 9:55 am

Vince, Duncan, Nick, and Steve

Duncan, Nick, and Steve went to Edmonds Chamber to retreive a ‘boat.’ I went to ‘LoH&G’ to widen a constriction just beyond the ‘Hole in the Floor.’



15th September

2022 Posted on 16 September 2022 10:11 am

Vince, Duncan, Nick, and Steve Sharp

I had decided to get re-acquainted with the passages leading off the ‘hole in the floor’, the aim to think about resuming activities here. Steve accompanied me on the trip. Disappointingly, it isn’t any drier along and some sections and is especially muddy on the approach to the narrow rift at the current end of the low crawl. Duncan and Nick went along to the current dig to complete survey and remove the bags of spoil that had been left there. Later, we all met near Fuzzy Wuzzy where the contents of the bags were emptied out onto the pathway. An earlier exit than normal. Refreshments taken in the ravine.



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