A new item has been added to the Archive - a scan of a letter to the Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, dated 22nd September 1948, thanking the "Central Cave Rescue Organisation" and signed off by "8 Potholers (East Lancs.)." An incredible piece of detective work by John Gardner! We now know that the rescue itself occurred on 12th. September 1948 - identified from an an original press cutting (now in the Archive) and the CRO records.
We have, as yet, been unable to identify the club or group these cavers were with, but what is significant is that this group had the resources to construct a considerable amount of caving ladder. This is evident in the fact that there are pictures and references to the descent of Lost John's and also of ladder construction methods used by the group. To reach the bottom of Lost John's required around 460 feet of ladder (around 140 meters) so, as ladders were always made in 25 foot lengths at that time, this means at least 20 ladders and probably well over 500 feet of rope for life-lining. To fund this expenditure, make the ladders and store them, this has to have been an organised group - we just don't know who they were.
It does make one wonder if there was an East Lancs Scout Group operating at the time because the donor mentioned that her parents had, she thought, been caving with a group of Rovers and Rangers from Middleton in north Manchester. Or was there perhaps an East Lancs Caving or Potholing club?
It's a fascinating puzzle and important to the history of caving in Britain because of the interest in the resurgence of caving and potholing clubs in the years shortly after the end of the 2nd. World War.