Author Topic: My First Cave  (Read 1490 times)

Offline martinb

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2017, 07:21:30 pm »
My first proper trip was in the late 1980's/very early 1990's - I was about late 20's at the time, and did a 'Management Adventure Day' with my then work from Brow Gill to Calf Holes. It was a great trip - a letterbox in the middle and a bunch of us sitting in the dark (we turned our lights off) singing 'Always look on the bright side of life.....' Then a damp climb up a ladder on the way out - I seem to remember we were late for dinner as one bloke with a dodgy leg had trouble with the ladder and we had to haul him out.

I seem to remember impressing a young lady with our exploits that evening.... ;)

Then kids got in the way and I found myself struggling to put my socks on due to the 'pouch' I had developed from too much nosh in about 2006/7.

At the time I had changed employment and occaisionally accompanied school trips down Carlswark/Bagshaw/Giants in the Peak District. Some blond leader upstart called Leon (you know who you are Mr. Z!) suggested I take it up as a hobby as I had 'done' geology at college including a field trip to Windy Knoll above Castleton in 1979/1980 - although we only prodded around the entrance.

I joined a club, but two of us hit it off (Markc of this parish) and Stoney Middleton became our playground, visiting virtually every hole - still a few to do!, later moving onto the Castleton area.

I'm now 55, still fit and caving, have a few cave discoveries under my belt, got rid of the pouch, built leg and shoulder muscles up, AND the wife still loves me!

Offline Laurie

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2017, 02:28:33 am »
I come from the wilds of darkest Surrey: a place with no holes and no hills as far as I knew
Godstone and Merstham firestone mines,,,,,?
2015 - Green insurance card swapped for a red one :(

Offline adrian paniwnyk

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2017, 07:24:25 am »
Remember as a school boy riding on my bike the few miles from where I lived trying to find the entrances at Godstone. Unfortunately or fortunately didn't manage to find them.

Offline Laurie

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2017, 10:55:32 am »
Oops! I should have said 'Hearthstone' mines.

Adrian, good thing you didn't find the entrance. (Was hidden behind a bush or in the middle of the main road outside Godstone bus garage) Once in, you need a guide (the late lamented Martin Beales was mine) as the layout is like a crossword puzzle with all the passages pretty nigh identical.
2015 - Green insurance card swapped for a red one :(

Offline Jenny P

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2017, 11:40:44 am »
I come from the wilds of darkest Surrey: a place with no holes and no hills as far as I knew
Godstone and Merstham firestone mines,,,,,?

Ah, but I'm talking about the 1950's and nothing was known about the various mines then - or it may have been but the knowledge wasn't available to the general public.  You'd have had to be involved in a caving/mining group to know about them and, pre-internet, there was no way for a teenage schoolgirl to find out about them.

Online Graigwen

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2017, 11:54:05 am »


Ah, but I'm talking about the 1950's and nothing was known about the various mines then - or it may have been but the knowledge wasn't available to the general public.  You'd have had to be involved in a caving/mining group to know about them and, pre-internet, there was no way for a teenage schoolgirl to find out about them.

Indeed, or even a teenage boy in the mid 1960s. I found out that the fount of all knowledge about Kent and Surrey mines, Harry Pearman of Chelsea SS, lived about half a mile from me. I used to go round and drink his tea, taking down notes as he talked. It is difficult now to recall what a difference the Internet has made. We used to waste so much time as a result of communication difficulties.

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Online royfellows

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #31 on: October 12, 2017, 01:09:51 pm »

Ah, but I'm talking about the 1950's and nothing was known about the various mines then - or it may have been but the knowledge wasn't available to the general public.  You'd have had to be involved in a caving/mining group to know about them and, pre-internet, there was no way for a teenage schoolgirl to find out about them.

Reading this if only.......
If only I had known, if only I had got into photography early, but then I would be pining about whats been lost
Thank God Samsung don't make caving lamps.

Offline adrian paniwnyk

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2017, 07:23:10 pm »
Concerning my attempts to find the entrances to the Godstone Mines, I didn't  have access to Harry Pearman's Chelsea publications but I had seen James Geary Gardeners " Secrets of Caterham and Godstone  Caves" published in 1963 which was better than nothing.

Offline moletta

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Re: My First Cave
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2017, 04:28:01 pm »
I'd been in caves on outdoor activity type visits, I'd even been to Sump 1 in Swildon's, but it was Lancaster Hole to Wretched Rabbit that really got me! So thanks Bruce and the other members of Bravo Charlie Charlie.