Bob Leakey Collection


Well-known member
When Bob Leakey died in 2013 his family generously donated some of Bob's caving material to the British Caving Library, a catalogue of which is available on request. The collection is particularly interesting in that it documents several important elements of UK caving history.

The Northern Speleological Group

After Bob Leakey was expelled from the British Speleological Association in 1953, ostensibly for not sharing information with their Hon. Recorder Eli Simpson, he formed the Northern Speleological Group. The collection contains all the material from the early years of the NSG.

The Cave Preservation Society

Bob Leakey was involved in many of the explorations in Lancaster Hole and Ease Gill Caverns, and became perturbed by the damage done to the floors and formations. As a consequence, in 1952 he established the Cave Preservation Society - a national organisation dedicated to looking after our caves. It was only active for four years, but in that time was involved with taping routes through caves, clearing rubbish from caves, advising on digs, producing a cave preservation code, writing articles in caving magazines, and lobbying planning departments. The collection contains what is probably a fully comprehensive set of material relating to the CPS.

The Neil Moss Incident

Bob Leakey attended the attempted rescue of Neil Moss in Peak Cavern in 1959, and formulated strong views about how it had been conducted and the decision to leave Neil Moss's body in situ. He gathered together a lot of newspaper clippings and the full Coroner's report, and entered into correspondence with all the people on the original trip, trying to elicit their version of the events. He then wrote a long article on the incident which was critical of the Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation - a critique which was vigorously rejected by Les Salmon and the DCRO. All this material is held in the collection.

Further details may be obtained from the BCL Librarian, and the material may be inspected by prior arrangement at the BCL premises in Glutton Bridge.

See for more details.