Author Topic: Memorials - research enquiry.  (Read 7491 times)

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2018, 03:39:53 am »
Well before caving clubs, Plumley's hole in Burrington Combe...

Mike

I know the story of Plumley's Hole, but what about nearby Aveline's?

.

Offline Duncan

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2018, 03:50:52 am »
To add yet another example to this dolorous topic, a memorial stone for Mélissa Lagrède was placed at the entrance of the cave in which she died, in Banqiao, Hubei, China, in 2009 (Source: http://www.grottes-et-karsts-de-chine.org/npds/gkc_rcexd.php?exp_id=148&exp_nom=Au+pays+de+l%E2%80%99homme+sauvage)

Offline mikem

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2018, 05:07:49 am »
I know the story of Plumley's Hole, but what about nearby Aveline's?
.
He was still very much alive at the time:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Talbot_Aveline

Originally I wasn't sure if plumleys was an urban myth, but one time I met some of his relatives there looking for the entrance...

Mike

Offline Liv Preston

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2018, 11:18:09 am »
Hey guys I thought I should introduce myself finally, I would firstly like to thank you for your contributions so far i’m quite overwhelmed by the amount of information in such a short time! And of course in particular to Mary who has been fantastic in aiding me so far!

 Apologies for the long post but I thought it best to give you guys some information about the project.

I am Liv Preston an artist currently based at the Royal Academy of Arts in the second year. I was born in Keighley, West Yorkshire. I produce a variety of contemporary sculptural works and I have a particular interest in memorials and the traditions surrounding them.

For example i’m currently working on a paper and body of work surrounding various memorial sites notably Heysham Head, a 10th century burial site. I’ve attached a link where you can see some images of the site and process below, in short i’ve produced a direct 3D modelled replica built from photographs that will then be 3D printed at 1:1 scale, approximately 6x4m (very big haha!) and installed as a relief.

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1dsshW9R7wX-nJdQkBSpg1HLD7IQSNLFX?usp=sharing

As for my interest in caving I came across a paper during my research about the burial of cavers in situ and since i’ve become increasingly interested in the memorial practices surrounding this. Whether this be sculptural (plaques etc) or more esoteric. At the moment the aim is to gather as much information as possible, so anything at all is helpful but the post Mary previously provided contained some themes I noticed had been reoccurring in peoples contributions. Even if it is just a description of a memorial you've come across i'd love to hear about it.

I would also like to let you know that nothing will be used without your permission and you will be appropriately referenced if any of the information is included in the paper, I will contact you but you if you have any questions at all please feel free to let me know. My email is:
liv.preston@raschools.org.uk

Due to the nature of the research I obviously want to respect people's memories and adhere to what is appropriate in the community.

Also if any of you are ever in London please feel free to come visit! The RA is very central (i can also get you into any of the shows there for free!)

Thank you all again, I'm very excited about including this research in the paper and on it's eventual completion it will be publicly available for free.

Best,

Liv


Offline Badlad

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2018, 01:05:16 pm »
You ask about the Boxhead Pot story - here it is.

Alan Box was a club mate and close friend to many of us.  He was a fun, affable character with a strong passion for caving (although we wouldn't have used the word passion at the time).  We did a ton of caving in the Dales together and several trips abroad - Mexico and Austria spring to mind.  The one thing about Alan was that he was always skint.  Coming from the north east work was hard to come by and poorly paid.  Never the less he always managed to come caving often on a shoe string - literally.  He made very good use of bailer twine which seemed to hold much of his kit together.  His nick name was Boxhead and I can see his smiling face now - 25 years since his last fatal caving trip.

In a way his death was ironic.  We'd recently introduced him to rope access and he was set to make some decent money for the first time in his life.  The year before I'd been to Matienzo with Mark Wright and we attempted to scale the Astra Dome, a 100m+ high massive circular aven in Cueva Hoyuca, Four valleys System.  We got close to the top but were thwarted by thick bands of poor rock with the top in sight.

The following year, 1994, I couldn't make the Matienzo trip and Mark recruited Boxhead for the job.  It was technical rigging, using lightweight maypoling to get over the poor rock and eventually they succeeded in reaching the top.  Tired and with poor lights they decided to descend and leave the exploration for another day.  In the conditions Boxhead made the fatal error of getting on a short tail of rope and abseiled off the end falling 100m to the floor below.  Boxhead was dead but spare a thought for Mark who had to exit the cave alone and raise the alarm.  I have no hesitation writing this piece because I know Mark thinks about this day, everyday anyway.

We were all greatly saddened by the loss of our good friend.  We wrote the usual obituaries in the caving magazines of the time. There were so many tales to recount of fun and daring do.  Unfortunately Boxhead was not a big name caver and magazines edited the pieces down to just a short 'vale'.

Boxhead died on 17th August 1994 and a few months later a big wake was planned at the Punch Bowl inn at Low Row.  Shortly before this event a new entrance had opened up on Leck Fell where glacial debris covering a shaft had collapsed.  Mick Nunwick had previously climbed these avens from below but had been unable to connect them to the surface.  On the day of the wake the two of us made the first descent of the new shaft.  It wasn't stable like it is now and there was still heaps of debris perched on the edge.  We measured the depth of the new shaft at 101m.  As we walked back across the fell to head up to Low Row, Mick turned to me and said, "well, I suppose that's Boxhead Pot then" and it was.

Most cavers today will not know Alan Box but many will know of Boxhead Pot.  There's no plaque to Alan, little in his obituary, few hits on google search, but the cave named after him will endure.  Boxhead Pot is a lasting and low key tribute to our friend... and now a few more people will have heard of him.  Cheers Al  ;D

Offline yrammy

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2018, 01:07:33 pm »
Thanks again everyone. Liv Preston has now joined UK caving direct to folllow up this brilliant information.
Mary

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2018, 01:42:52 pm »
Maggin's Rift in Giants Hole was named after Frank Maggin, who was the 2nd. person through the sump, following immediately after Ken Pearce when he made the breakthrough in May 1954.  (This dig lasted 3 years and they built the two backwash Dams in the passage beyond the old Pillar Crawl in order to bale the semi-static sump which blocked the way on.)  Frank had been digging with Ken since the age of 14, when he left school in Manchester in 1951, and was a keen caver. 

As well as caving in Giants, Frank was also one of the diggers in Peak Cavern and he is present in a group photo in a local paper after a diving trip in Peak in which he was one of the Sherpas.  Frank drowned in a canoeing accident at a weir on the River Irwell at the age of 17, only a few months after the Giants Hole breakthrough, and Maggin's Rift is named after him.  The details are written up in the BSA Members Newsletters of the time and the first full account, with surveys, of Giants Hole in the BSA Journal is dedicated to Frank Maggin.

Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2018, 01:58:34 pm »
The discussion so far has largely been about cavers of fairly recent times. However, Liv has introduced the 11th Century Heysham Graves, which takes us back towards the oldest memorials in caves (and what lured  some of earliest modern cavers, such as Williams Pengelly and Dawkins, to caves) which are archaeological. From the Denisovans found in Siberia to the Hobbits of Flores to the Neanderthals and the young male 'Red Lady' of Gower we have cave interments. Perhaps we also have an accidental death in the skeleton found in OFD [ https://www.swcc.org.uk/aboutswcc/history/members/piwh_1/discovering_ofd.php ]. Perhaps some cave art attested to their achievements? Most enigmatic memorials of all, perhaps, are the handprints stencilled in ochre on cave walls [ http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/prehistoric/hand-stencils-rock-art.htm ]

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2018, 02:35:33 pm »
Perhaps we also have an accidental death in the skeleton found in OFD [ https://www.swcc.org.uk/aboutswcc/history/members/piwh_1/discovering_ofd.php ].

To say nothing of the mysterious skeleton found in the Main Chamber of GG!

Offline Liv Preston

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #59 on: September 27, 2018, 03:04:57 pm »
Perhaps we also have an accidental death in the skeleton found in OFD [ https://www.swcc.org.uk/aboutswcc/history/members/piwh_1/discovering_ofd.php ].

To say nothing of the mysterious skeleton found in the Main Chamber of GG!

Tales about mysterious skeletons are most certainly welcomed!

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #60 on: September 27, 2018, 03:18:35 pm »
Afraid I can't recall the details of the GG skeleton I read about, other than that I believe it wasn't long after the end of the 2nd. World War and there was a suggestion that the person could have been a wartime spy who was thrown down the pothole after his identity was discovered.  I think the police were involved in the investigation but the body was never identified and certainly wasn't "ancient".

Perhaps someone else can come up with the appropriate references for this tale because I've come across it in several histories of Gaping Gill but can't now remember where I read it.

I'd always been given to understand the skeleton in OFD was that of a travelling pedlar who had either fallen or been pushed into the open pothole which then existed, near the road and further down the hill from the current Top Entrance.  The surface opening is now closed and, even if alive, the person would not have been able to climb out so would have died miserably.  The "pedlar" theory was supposed to have come about because among the remains were found the small metal tags which seal the ends of laces, which would have been part of a pedlar's stock in trade.  Again, this may be an apocryphal tale but I'm sure one of the SWCC historians can come up with the truth (or otherwise), of this one.

Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #61 on: September 27, 2018, 03:26:14 pm »
Restriction of access, usually involving gating,  is often the contemporary practice in response to discovery of remains deemed historic or archaeological (not to mention 'dangerous'). Nig Rogers (https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=23849.0) would have been familiar with the Gwyn Nicholls Memorial Gates to Cardiff Rugby Club but was determined there should never be a memorial gate to any cave (and certainly not in his memory, although such was the joke amongst his friends). A weakening of resolve did result in the concrete portal now left at Drws Cefn (Rogers' Folly?), but he dedicated much of the last decade to ensuring it remained free of its short-lived gate, or any other obstruction.

However, Nig is immortalised directly in the naming by Oxford UCC of the Rogered Senseless  area of Draenen, and indirectly in the Last Sandwich (sandwich boxes were prominent on his exploration trips, filled with comestibles or otherwise). His taste in music is also commemorated in his own naming of two passages he discovered: Hearts of Olden Glory in Draenen and Precious Years in Carno Adit - both songs by Runrig, the latter being played at the Committal during his funeral, a month ago today.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 03:46:21 pm by Martin Laverty »

Offline Bob Mehew

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #62 on: September 27, 2018, 04:19:22 pm »
Afraid I can't recall the details of the GG skeleton I read about, other than that I believe it wasn't long after the end of the 2nd. World War and there was a suggestion that the person could have been a wartime spy who was thrown down the pothole after his identity was discovered.  I think the police were involved in the investigation but the body was never identified and certainly wasn't "ancient".

Perhaps someone else can come up with the appropriate references for this tale because I've come across it in several histories of Gaping Gill but can't now remember where I read it.

As I recall (from reading - not witnessing), it was found during a post war Craven winch meet.  https://www.cravenpotholeclub.org/index.php/about-gaping-gill/gaping-gill-further-reading provides a bibilography.  Try the Librarian at https://www.cravenpotholeclub.org/index.php/contact-us who will almost certainly have other detail.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #63 on: September 27, 2018, 04:53:56 pm »
The Gaping Gill skeleton was found in 1947 on the first post war CPC winch meet. There will be an article about this, including contemporary newspaper references, in the October edition of the CPC Record (due out soon).

For general information about skeletal material found in caves in the Dales, look for Phil Murphy's gazetteer on the subject.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #64 on: September 27, 2018, 04:57:54 pm »
There is also the skeleton found in Body Pot: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trow_Ghyll_skeleton

Offline martinr

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #65 on: September 27, 2018, 05:59:07 pm »
For the origin of cave and passage names on Mendip pre 2008, Liv could just get herself a copy of "Who was Aveline Anyway" (subtitle "Mendip's Cave Names Explained) by Richard Witcome (published by Wessex Cave Club)


« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 06:11:30 pm by martinr »

Offline andybrooks

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2018, 11:32:01 am »
One of the better known skeletons would be "Cheddar Man" in Gough's Cave.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2018, 11:47:35 am »
There is also the skeleton found in Body Pot: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trow_Ghyll_skeleton

There is also a trial for copper ore in Cwm Bychan near Aberglaslyn known as Gwaith Body because a body had once been discovered in there. (An interesting combination of English and Welsh.)

.

Offline Joel Corrigan

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #68 on: September 28, 2018, 01:50:45 pm »
Burnie's Pot (-600m) in the Dachstein was named in honour of Ian Burnell who died in a climbing accident jut before we discovered it. 

Offline Giorgiogents

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Re: Memorials - research enquiry.
« Reply #69 on: August 04, 2020, 11:35:16 am »
Late to this thread but i recently caved Oxlow cavern and was interested in the sad story of Stephen Nunwick.
Only just created an account to add the little information i found available online!

Edit
Sources:

https://pcjclark.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/memorial/
http://everything.explained.today/List_of_UK_caving_fatalities/#Ref-82
Student dies in pothole . Birmingham Daily Post. 23 February 1976.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 11:54:29 am by Giorgiogents »

 

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