Author Topic: Dan yr Ogof 1966  (Read 9542 times)

PCW

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Dan yr Ogof 1966
« on: October 13, 2008, 11:27:41 pm »
Hi folks

For a whole £2 at the last Rescue auction I secured a copy of The Observer from July 1966.
 
Front cover - Cloud Chamber! 

It's several double pages of history, accounts  and photos of the wonders that they found beyond the Endless Crawl (as the Long Crawl was then known).
 
You will find a link from our home page:  www.swcc.org.uk
 
If anyone can name any of the folk in the photographs please let me know.
 
Flicking through the rest of the magazine I began to notice that in none of the adverts was there even so much as a telephone number to make contact, only addresses with a dotted line to cut along and post.  Yes dear reader, it was once so.  40 short years and we now can't move for emails and websites :-)

PCW

Offline Huge

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 09:32:13 am »
I have a copy of that particular edition too. That's Eileen Davies posing with her helmet in the black and white photo. I haven't looked at the paper in years but I'm prety sure that more people are named in the article (probably Bill Little and Eric Inson?) Eric lead me on my first trip into Danny btw.

PCW

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 10:15:49 am »
Thanks Huge, yes although various others are named - and Bill Little took me on my OFD1 Leader's trip - it's who is in ech photo that fascinates me.

Offline Glenn

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 10:38:35 am »
In the big picture with the dinghy, the smaller person in a wetsuit looks like Bruce Foster, I'm unsure of the person with the glasses (at first glance it could be me, but I'll have to check my log - but I don't remember this photo being taken) and it'll be Eileen Davies in the yellow top. In the smaller picture with someone in a dinghy, the person standing (in wetsuit) looks like Robert Radcliffe.

I was on a couple sherpa trips for Alan Coase in the mid '60's but I need to check my log for dates. If I can find anything else, I'll let you know.

Cheers,

Glenn

PCW

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 10:37:21 pm »
Hi Glenn

Thanks for the info!  Jem Rowland and Gary Jones have also helped to identify folk - Jem says that it's Colin Fairburn behind the dingy in the smaller shot - in the Green Canal. I'll double check with Bob though!

Let me know if you do manage to identify yourself - as it were! I have amended the page with names that I have so far!

Cheers

Peter

Offline Glenn

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 09:21:32 am »
Hi Glenn

Thanks for the info!  Jem Rowland and Gary Jones have also helped to identify folk - Jem says that it's Colin Fairburn behind the dingy in the smaller shot - in the Green Canal. I'll double check with Bob though!

Let me know if you do manage to identify yourself - as it were! I have amended the page with names that I have so far!

Cheers

Peter

Hi Peter,

Although the person with glasses has a very strong resemblence to me at that time, I do not have a DYO trip in my log for the first half of '66 so it's not me. (It was a bit weird to see the picture though...)

Jem Rowland (and David Ede) were founder members of the Gower Caving Society...

Cheers,

Glenn

Offline idriswilliams

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2008, 11:51:42 am »
I can't put my hand on my copy of the Observer Magazine at present. However I think the long thin guy with the glasses, in the picture with the dinghy. was D. Bryn Thomas.

Idris Williams

Offline mrodoc

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2008, 02:39:57 pm »
I must dig out the mouldering copy I got at the time and spot the cavers. It's part of my collection of caving memorabilia and I now know it's worth at least two quid!  I remember it being very inspirational as I had only just started caving. Ten years later I did my first trip in there - an amazing experience.

Offline Rhys

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2008, 08:55:52 pm »
I can't put my hand on my copy of the Observer Magazine at present.

I remember looking at that very magazine as a boy and being fascinated (no, I haven't got it now Dad). The diagram of the new passages was particularly inspiring.

One question; was it really known as the "Endless Crawl" before it went and became the "Long Crawl", or was that a bit of journalistic nonsense?

Rhys

garethd

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2008, 02:53:32 pm »
OK, I think I am old enough to supply a few names to the Observer pics. (I don't know how many you are missing)
On the front cover Bruce Foster is at left with ammo box, Chas Jay is somewhere in front.  Terry Moon is there somewhere too.
Noel Christopher is climbing the waterfall at the start of the canal.
Colin Fairbairn is the middle person climbing the Hangar choke
In the Monk Hall pic, Chas Jay is directly behind the monk stal.

Eric Inson should be able to name almost all of them....(I would suspect).




Offline graham

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2008, 04:09:19 pm »

One question; was it really known as the "Endless Crawl" before it went and became the "Long Crawl", or was that a bit of journalistic nonsense?

Rhys

Cannot be sure, but I seem to remember Alan Coase telling me that was true. Others will know for certain, though.
Caving is for Life not just for Christmas

PCW

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2008, 12:03:07 pm »
Hi Gareth

Thanks for the info!

PCW

Offline dudley bug

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2008, 08:08:43 pm »

One question; was it really known as the "Endless Crawl" before it went and became the "Long Crawl", or was that a bit of journalistic nonsense?

Rhys

Cannot be sure, but I seem to remember Alan Coase telling me that was true. Others will know for certain, though.

An extract from one of the first reports of the discovery of DYO 2 

"SWCC newsletter No 53 May 1966
SUCCESS! - DAN-YR-OGOF APRIL - MAY 1966
As surely every member will know by now Dan-Ogof really has "gone" and how! Possibly at this stage details of who did what and how, are irrelevant, but suffice it to say that Eileen Davies and Bruce Foster were first in, following some intensive pushing last Autumn and at the first opportunity, this Spring. Colin Graham, Neil Anderson and myself followed directly while Bill Little and Rod Stewart entered later the same day after hearing the news from Charles Jay and friend Susan who unluckily couldn't pass the constriction. We have also paid our respects to Gerard Platten who before the war was chiefly responsible for the work done in Dan-yr-Ogof and especially the "Long Crawl". The Passage we first entered has been named Gerard Platten Hall....."

Perhaps it was the "endless crawl" until it was passed by Eileen and Bruce?



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Offline dudley bug

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2008, 08:15:00 pm »
The January 1966 newsletter gives the answer...

From an article by Alan Coase discussing prospects in the cave

"One such tube which offers excellent prospects is that of the Long or Endless Crawl to which more attention has been paid in the recent dry October. Here the draught is far stronger than in any other -part of the cave and there is a strong legend of the "river" being heard here before the war. "
www.ogof.org.uk/ South Wales Cave Mapping

Offline Tony_B

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2008, 10:15:39 pm »
The naming of places in Dan-yr-Ogof was a contentious issue. As I understand it, the original explorers exercised their rights to give names to places they explored, but the surveyors subsequently changed many of these to more sober, less colourful names. Two examples that I recall being told to me (by the late Bruce Foster) were:

The Washing Machine, which was originally called The Hoovermatic (because it was a 'twin tub'; clearly a knowledge of 1960s domestic appliances helps here) and...

Rottenstone Aven, which was named The Minuteman Silo (knowledge of Cold War armaments helps here).

No doubt there are others. Of course, once the 'new' names were part of the nomenclature on the survey the original names fell out of use. Bruce in particular (being one of the original explorers) had a real bee in his bonnet about this and was on a mission to make sure as many people as possible knew the 'real' names. However, there are always two sides to any story and while Bruce was clearly in one camp others may have had another opinion on the matter.

I've always made a point of telling cavers I take into DYO about the 'old' and 'new' names, so that they can identify where they've been on the survey but at the same time appreciate what some think the names should be. And it has to be said that the 'original' names are rather more interesting! Others may have more to add here, and before anyone flames me please note my extended use of inverted commas in this post...

Offline Jopo

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2008, 02:04:29 am »
I can attest to Bruce's insistence to the aven being called Minuteman Silo but never heard him, or anyone else, call the Washing Machine anything other than that. My first trip into DYO in 1970 was to the Rising and back through the Lower Series and as a newbie had all of the passages and features named for me. I recall thinking that the Washing Machine was an apt name. Rottenstone Aven was called just that. However I think Bruce was in Africa at that time and perhaps an advantage was taken. I caved many times in DYO with Bruce and some of the original explorers but never heard the Washing Machine called anything else.
There are some old, (1966), sketch surveys at Penwyllt which mark the aven as Rottenstone Aven/Minuteman Silo, (might be the other way round), but the Washing Machine is not named, altough the passage is drawn. The first mention of the Washing Machine I can find is in SWCC News Letter No 60 within a article by A Coase but the club logbooks may reveal more. Bruce wrote a letter, after the publication of the Judson survey, castigating those who ignored original explorers prerogative to name passage but only mentioned Minuteman Silo and the Elephants Hutch.

Quote
As surely every member will know by now Dan-Ogof really has "gone" and how! Possibly at this stage details of who did what and how, are irrelevant, but suffice it to say that Eileen Davies and Bruce Foster were first in,

One story that was current in the early seventies was that when Bruce and Eileen reached the top of the pitch, (into what became Gerard Platten Hall), they found the initials P.O. One Peter Ogden who had apparently passed the constriction at the end of the Long Crawl - but did not have the tackle to descend the pitch. What a bummer - if true!
The somewhat contentious closing of the cave to 'scientific investigation only' very shortly after the breakthrough certainly helped in the reinforcing of the 'camps' that Tony mentioned and it rumbled on for years.

Jopo

Offline Tony_B

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2008, 01:44:19 pm »

One story that was current in the early seventies was that when Bruce and Eileen reached the top of the pitch, (into what became Gerard Platten Hall), they found the initials P.O. One Peter Ogden who had apparently passed the constriction at the end of the Long Crawl - but did not have the tackle to descend the pitch. What a bummer - if true!

I have heard this too, and can add some detail but should make it clear that I'm only reporting this third-hand! As I understand it Pete Ogden managed to pass the constriction at the end of the Long Crawl in the autumn of 1965. As Jopo suggests, he had no tackle with which to descend the pitch and had to retreat, no doubt intending to come back with equipment. It then transpired that bad weather effectively precluded access to DYO throughout the winter months, and the next opportunity to get into the cave was Easter 1966, when Bruce and Eileen made the breakthrough.

Of course the fact that Eileen, an attractive young woman, was 'the first in' made a good story and no doubt fuelled the interest of the media including The Observer Magazine. It is perhaps no surprise that, if the Pete Ogden story is true that his exploits were overlooked. One can imagine the same scenario unfolding today.

garethd

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2008, 01:04:01 am »
The Pete Ogden story is true, talked to him about it a few times when I got interested in some other passages off GP Hall, and its written in the 21st Anniversary publication (pages 67 - 68).  PO was not the sort of person to worry about such things though, it was all in a day's work for him.  I have just jogged me memory for another few names: Neil Anderson, Susan Bradshaw (later O' Reilly), Alan Murray, Colin Graham Bryn Thomas, John Bevan and a good few of Alan Coase's students also (will dig thru my records).  Also, Wessex Caving Club were around (Malcolm Bonner?) helping some.   
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 01:25:31 am by garethd »

Offline garethjdavies

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2016, 10:51:08 pm »
I went into Dan yr Ogof as early as late 1967 and the Washing Machine was named that, because it is a roughly circular pot and has a single water inlet that spills in (just like a washing machine my mother owned).  I have a sneaky suspicion that Bruce Foster started the "minuteman silo" name. Noel Christopher used Rottenstone Aven to me on my first trip.  Bruce named his house on Brecon Road "Golygfa Gwaith Nwy" which is "Gasworks View"  - pretty typical of the BF sense of humour. 

Offline garethjdavies

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2016, 11:20:50 pm »
Some other details following 1966...

Bruce Foster caved very little in Dan yr Ogof after 1966, into the 1970's - he and I used to go into OFD1 in the evenings and dig in the R-W Series (related to sediment releases from Hobbs Quarry). A whole gang of us got into much more climbing than caving...

After about 1970 - 1972 we all went separate ways, (some of these memories may be inaccurate) Bruce to Africa (Malawi), John Osborne to Africa (Kenya), Colin Fairbairn to Africa (Libya), Bob Saunders to the Merchant Navy, Eileen had stopped caving, Colin Graham (lived in Newcastle) Terry Moon I think married and had kids, Mike and Viv Coburn (New Zealand), I joined the RAF, Carlo Ryan became a policeman, Mick Day concentrated on Fault Aven, Dave Judson went to Iran and Italy etc. Alan Coase did his PhD and stopped caving (took up fly fishing). In the late 1970's John Bowden and Buxton SG and I did a few big stints, camping for a week in Monk Hall, from where we did a bit of pushing in the Far North and Bog Passage, and bits and pieces around GP Hall and the 1937 Series, and a dig in Red Chamber above the Cauldron. We also did a bit of surface digging, near WFF and the vicinity, a few small nasty holes and not much else, others had more success. I migrated to the US in 1980.

Offline mikem

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Re: Dan yr Ogof 1966
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2016, 07:55:13 am »
The Guardian may still have the photos in their archive:
http://guardian.calmview.eu/CalmView/Record.aspx?src=CalmView.Catalog&id=OBS%2f6%2f9%2f4&

Mike