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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 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, Connor Roe 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.

2nd September

digging 2021 Posted on 4 September 2021 7:18 pm

Vince, Jake, Tav, and Duncan.

Not a big enough team for digging (5 is the critical number) so some fettling and consolidation of walkways in the LoH&G and drainage works along the approach passage. All jobs that needed doing.

26th August

digging 2021 Posted on 27 August 2021 11:01 am

Vince, Jake, Jon, Tav, and Nick.

After missing the last couple of digging session’s, there was no stopping Nick he shot off up through the cave so he could be digging. Jon assisted clearing away the buckets (and filling a few too) to Tav, who passed them onto Jake. I was digging last session so to the back of the line and spoil disposal for me this evening. The filled buckets arrived at a good steady rate, were emptied, cleaned, and returned. Progress was made.

19th August

Vince, Roz, Duncan, Tav, and Jake.

My turn to dig, the filled buckets were cleared away by Duncan, to Roz, Tav and finally, Jake who emptied the contents, cleaned the bucket, and sent it back up the line to be filled again, ad infinitum!

Digging was a tad awkward in the barely shoulder-width passage, just about enough room to sit-up and swing the mattock. There is a small space to follow and, there seems to be some air movement. As always, it look’s good ahead. A steady session.

12th August

digging 2021 Posted on 13 August 2021 8:24 am

Vince, Roz, Jake, Nick, Tav, Jon, and Duncan.

It was surprisingly wet throughout the cave following recent rain, there was a flow of water down the cascade and Fuzzy Wuzzy had a puddle.

Jake and Nick upfront, I was shuttling buckets along the rift with Duncan, the rest of the team on spoil management. There was some air movement and, in spite, of arriving at the dig in a sweaty mess it did not take too long to cool down. More steady progress and there is a hole to follow, and it is draughting. It looks encouraging, hopefully, we will get a better look after the next digging session.

Jon (forefront) and Tav on spoil management. Photo by Roz
Duncan waits for the next bucket. Photo by Roz
Jake emerges from the rift after digging. Photo by Roz

5th August 2021

Vince, Nick, Jake, Jon, Tav, Duncan, and Mike.

Tav digging assisted by Jake, me and Nick along the rift, Duncan, Jon, and Mike on spoil disposal. A steady session and progress made. There is a lump of calcite that will need to be dealt with sometime in the future.

29th July

digging 2021 Posted on 1 August 2021 8:09 am

Vince, Duncan, Nick, Tav, Jake, and Jon.

Jon was upfront digging aided by Tav, Jake and Nick were shuttling the buckets backwards and forwards along the rift, me and Duncan were responsible for spoil disposal. I collected the full buckets from Nick, handing over an empty one, the filled bucket carried over to Duncan who proceeded to empty the contents onto the spoil heap, filling all available nooks and crannies. The sediment a mix of silt and sand with some lumps of calcite now and then. The buckets came and went at a good steady rate, a productive session.

22nd July

digging 2021 Posted on 25 July 2021 10:25 am

Vince, Callum, Jon, Jake, Tav, Nick, Duncan, and Mike.

A strong team this evening. I was upfront digging with Jon and Callum the other side of the low point shuttling the filled buckets back to whoever, I don’t know who did what beyond Callum. All I can say is that the buckets kept coming back empty and we kept filling them.

15th July

digging 2021 Posted on 19 July 2021 9:34 am

Vince, Jake, Jon, Nick, Tav, Duncan and Mike.

The full regular team turned out this evening so an easier spoil moving session ahead. Less people = more effort!

8th July

digging 2021 Posted on 10 July 2021 9:47 pm

Vince, Jon, Nick, Tav, and Mike.

A small team this evening so it was going to be harder work for someone. It was!

But, we coped and another productive evening was the result.

1st July

digging 2021 Posted on 2 July 2021 6:30 am

Vince, Nick, Tav, Jake, Duncan, Mike

Nick digging, I was filling the buckets with the loose sediment being produced, the filled buckets passed through the low section to Tav and Jake, who were shuttling to and fro along the narrow rift. Duncan and Mike were dealing with spoil disposal. Much of tonight’s effort was focused on the removal of some harder obstructions. Nick worked hard with the big bar and sledgehammer to reduce the obstructing material to manageable debris. One lump was rolled back to Tav and Jake providing them with a problem solving exercise – will the lump fit through the narrow rift? It did, eventually.

A productive and positive session.

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