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Arthur T Millet

asheshouse

New member
Very sad. Spent a lot of time under Llangattock with him in the 80’s, but normally struggled to keep up with him. In addition to caving he was also responsible for maintaining and upgrading most of the plumbing and heating systems in Whitewalls for about 20 years.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
I never knew Arthur, other than by reputation. But. although I don't cave in South Wales, I marvelled at the surveys he produced.
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
I used to meet Little Arthur at HE and always had a chat with me. I got the impression his health had declined in recent years. A sad loss to the caving community.
 

Jopo

Active member
Arthur played a very important part in the Gwent Cave Rescue Team. As the WBCRT and Gwent drew closer after some big rescues he played a important role. A very forthright guy some found him hard to get on with. I always found him a laugh
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Saw him at Hidden Earth not too long ago. He looked to be buying a new oversuit. He had put a bit of weight on. Never ever any point in trying to keep up with him down a cave. Just realised that he was younger than me !
 

Moonrat

New member
Tonight I am sad. Although he was sometimes a controversial figure I shall always remember the many, many long trips I enjoyed with him and others surveying & exploring Draenen. He was a truly great caver with a dedication and a sense of humour far greater than his stature. His twinkling eyes, his sense of humour no matter how hard it got underground after 15 hours, and that beard!! :D
Rest well Arthur, they don't make cavers like they used to !!
 

Graigwen

Active member
This is sad news. I had not seen Arthur for forty five years, but remember a mad trip around the upper levels of OFD2 followed by makeshift cricket outside Whitewalls.

For those interested in the saga of the Draenen Grade 5 survey, Arthur's blog is well worth reading for an alternative view. Ogof Draenen Grade 5
 

Duncan Price

Active member
This is a double blow. My mother passed away on Sunday and now "Uncle" Arthur is gone. :(

He was a strong man, both underground and in his opinions. You were either with him or against him. I publicly disagreed with him once - but such was the strength of our friendship that he respected me for it. He says as much in his blog (above) and I am humbled by it.

He was a man of habit - always arriving in the Bear Hotel at 10:15 pm for drinks, sitting at the same table etc. Back in 1994, when Rick Stanton and I were pushing the San Agustin way in Daren Cilau, Arthur helped carry our diving gear down in the morning and said that he would muster up a team to help us when we surfaced. The CSS drinkers were very surprised to find Arthur arrive an hour earlier than expected in the pub - the reason for which became apparent when Arthur instructed them to leave at 11 pm for the Clydach to help us: he wanted to have the same amount of drinking time as usual but would fulfil his promise to help us. We surfaced at midnight to find a group of porters (organised by Arthur) to help us after our trip. What a star!

He was as meticulous with his domestic life as he was with his cave surveying: I called in on him one evening to find him laying out a jumper on the clothes drier after doing his laundry. He used a tape measure to ensure that it was pulled out to the right length. I remember doing my first trip to the Time Machine in Daren Cilau. Arthur drew a "London Underground" style survey of the route on the series of beer mats for us where the scale of the survey was dictated by the complexity of the route finding. Awesome!

We cave with others because they share our passion, often they are just someone to go underground with and we are not close. Arthur was a true friend who you could rely on.

And that beard! It came in handy for Arthur when taking survey notes as he would tuck his pencil into it for safe keeping between his whiskers. :)

Rest in Pearce Arthur (though expect your arguing with St Peter over the Pearly Gates). #whitewallsgategate
 

Duncan

Member
Another unique character gone. I only met Arthur a few times. One was when he appeared at an otherwise deserted Whitewalls minutes after my group, which had been trapped for 17 hours at The Restaurant by flood waters, arrived back at the hut. Arthur had noted we were overdue, must have had a very good guess at the situation, and was bang on in his reckoning of when we might be expected to finally emerge. If we had not appeared, a party would have been sent into the cave to look for us. My other memory of Arthur is the marvel of engineering that was his packed lunch. Sandwiches, juice box, chocolate bars, and so forth all packed into a plastic box with not the slightest gap anywhere, like the stones in an Inca temple.
 

ptpeaty

Member
Another unique character gone. I only met Arthur a few times. One was when he appeared at an otherwise deserted Whitewalls minutes after my group, which had been trapped for 17 hours at The Restaurant by flood waters, arrived back at the hut. Arthur had noted we were overdue, must have had a very good guess at the situation, and was bang on in his reckoning of when we might be expected to finally emerge. If we had not appeared, a party would have been sent into the cave to look for us. My other memory of Arthur is the marvel of engineering that was his packed lunch. Sandwiches, juice box, chocolate bars, and so forth all packed into a plastic box with not the slightest gap anywhere, like the stones in an Inca temple.
You could have repaired Inca Temples with Arthur’s sandwiches, they were so thick and chunky! Sad that he has gone as we had many good trips to Co. Clare, and France way back, and then there were the Daren Cilau explorations of the 1980s. I remember coming out from the Frag Street dig down Bonsai Streamway with Arthur, and wondering why I was so knackered after the trip. He never hung around! RIP Arthur.
 
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Sad news indeed.
Takes me back to Nov 1987 and what was probably my first trip in Daren Cilau. I tagged on to a Chelsea trip (including Arthur and Duncan Price) to enlarge the Micron to allow dry cavers easy access to the recent extensions beyond the upstream St David’s sump. Eventually it was my turn with Arthur’s beloved drill. “Tap it and turn it, take it out regularly to clear the hole and don’t f***ing drop it!” Arthur retired to eat his pork pie while I set about the drill with a hammer. A couple of minutes later, the inevitable happened and the drill was irretrievably stuck in the boulder. Arthur was apoplectic and we had to exit the cave. I could hear his lilting tones up front somewhere cursing me all the way back to Whitewalls.
I was also privileged to join a couple of surveying trips with him and the G5 group in Draenen in Apr 1995 and got to see the master(s) in action before it all started to go so wrong.
 
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