Author Topic: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure  (Read 481 times)

Offline CSCC

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Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« on: January 11, 2022, 03:31:02 pm »
We are disappointed to report that Waterwheel Swallet has recently been broken into and the gate vandalised.

The gate has been removed for repair/replacement.

Those familiar with the area will appreciate that it is not possible to leave the entrance unsecured due to the caves high profile location on a popular nature reserve, therefore the entrance has been secured with a non-removable grill.

Repairs to the gate will be carried out as soon as possible. However, until the gate is replaced the cave is unfortunately not available for trips.

If anyone has any information on the persons responsible or would like further information, please contact the conservation and access officer:

Graham Price
Conservation & Access Officer
Council of Southern Caving Clubs
canda@cscc.org.uk

Offline aricooperdavis

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2022, 10:16:39 pm »
Thanks for the heads up! Waterwheel is a great cave, do you have an ETA for when we can expect access to be restored? And is it a CSCC key?

Offline CSCC

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2022, 10:46:06 pm »
The gate is currently with the fabricators for repair, so hopefully it won't be long, but no firm ETA yet unfortunately. I'll post an update here once it's been sorted.

And yes, it's on a CSCC key (available from any Mendip club).

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2022, 10:05:41 am »
Morons again. The gate was cut off Draenen when we went there recently. I could add two other well known Mendip cave gates to the list as well. The few will spoil it for the many as landowners will just concrete over the entrances. I know I would.

Offline Cantclimbtom

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2022, 11:32:40 am »
Just a random comment, but outside of caving people sometimes choose to use an external padlock that really isn't fantastic. That way it's far easier for idiots to break/cut/remove the padlock than it is to damage a gate, after all if they have tools (like wrecking bar and cordless grinder gas axe etc) they will be getting in anyway, also it signals that there's probably nothing worth stealing inside. Example   https://www.fireprotectionshop.co.uk/p/fire-brigade-padlock-fb14.html are fine to be left out in the elements. Copies of FB14 key can be bought cheaply as needed  (low security as anyone can buy them online) but idiots probably won't damage your gate plus emergency services can get access.
Expert in incompetent tomfoolery

Offline Roger W

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2022, 01:53:25 pm »
Good point, Tom.

Safety wise, a simple padlock should prevent children and the idly curious from getting in and either coming to harm themselves or doing any4.

Of course, if the damage is being done by some of those dedicated folk who believe that gates of any kind on a cave, however easy to open, are absolute anathema and to be removed under all circumstances..?
"That, of course, is the dangerous part about caves:  you don't know how far they go back, sometimes... or what is waiting for you inside."   JRR Tolkein: "The Hobbit"

Offline wellyjen

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2022, 02:42:53 pm »
Obligatory raising of the Derbyshire Key system.  :)
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Offline Shapatti

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Re: Waterwheel Swallet - Temporary closure
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2022, 02:48:28 pm »
From memory, the gate and padlock on Waterwheel Swallet followed the line of thought suggested by Tom, in that it was a simple padlock located externally on the gate.
Which then allowed a flap to be lifted and the bolt pulled back on the gate, so that the gate can be shut and opened from the inside without it being left unsecured from the surface.
The idea being that the padlock is the weakest part of the system so anyone attempting to gain access through damage would find it easier to attack the relatively cheap padlock instead of the more expensive and harder to replace/repair gate.

I agree that this design and way of thinking is a good plan, just a shame that some people feel the need to go for the gate itself anyway...
It is sad to see that this sort of damage is being carried out at all, but people will be people...

 

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