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Cave identity


Active member
Not sure if this is a time waster or actually identifiable from this very vague descriptio, probably applies to a heap of caves but maybe can any of you older peak cavers could tell me if any of this garbled description matches anything

Cave in the Peak District, commutable from Stockport (assume Western side of peak) that was explored or significant extension of a neglected cave in early 1960s, possibly 1964 by brothers Colin and Keith Kingham (maybe not attributed officially?) The entrance was a water tank with the bottom knocked out (stop sheep falling in). The main features (not necessarily in correct order) include crossing back and footing above roaring water maybe 30 foot below (out of sight), a vertical slot squeeze which could be passed by breathing out and running/jumping sideways through it. A down climb on a ladder while getting soaked by a waterfall and at half way having to swing the ladder to the side jump to a ledge
Apologies this is vague, not very specific and only partially coherent, but does this mean anything to anyone from that era?


Active member
Mark said:
P8, discovered in 1964
Is that based only on date, or on anything else in the vague and semi coherent description?
Edit: trying to pin down date, it might have been Winter '64/Spring 65 or it could have been maybe later Winter  1965 spring 66 at very latest


Active member
For whatever reason... having been vaguely interested in caves many years ago and not knowing anyone who caved I ended up more walking, scrambling, inept climbing, tiny bit of easy alpine mountaineering and then in more recent years a bit of an interest in mines. Aditnow resting meant a relocation to ukcaving and reading about some caving exploits the disease must have spread as I decided I wanted to try taking a look down a cave myself. So GG dihedral was picked of no particular reason other than it was a high result on Google searches and it looked not constricted etc so good for a novice first cave. I browbeat an old friend to come too, but he doesn't like the underground so he reluctantly followed me down but intends it to be a one-off experience. Turn out it was a cracking route! (Thanks to people's patience at the time with my daft questions, in Particular Ian P)

Anyway, I mentioned to my elderly Dad that I'd been taking a look at a cave and he spun me fragments of a story as a warning never to go into caves and told me part of a story of the one time he went caving (Derbyshire), how it was never-again and how he recommended I don't try anything similar, not to forget I have kids/family, etc etc. To be honest the story sounded like "type 2 fun" (i.e. not at all fun at the moment, but good fun in retrospect, especially when remembered in a pub). If anything his warning story greatly encouraged me in general - and also specifically to try a Derbyshire cave next.

AlexR and pwhole very kindly lead me through a Derbyshire through trip, which gave me a robust second taster of caving. Although I discovered my fitness was a bit lacking, I hugely enjoyed the trip!!!!

Anyhow, when yesterday I spoke to my Dad and mentioned I'd tried a Derbyshire cave a month or so ago, as I was encouraged by his story, he spun me a few more fragments of his story.  He was 19 maybe? (this helps with date, as does snow fall on exit) and had no intention of potholing but trying to impress the older brothers of his girlfriend - who would later become my Mum who were into potholing (I think they were having fun at his expense).

The second telling of the story revealed that he actually went there twice, on the second trip he was so tired and got so cold he was almost unable to get back out and had to be hauled out by my uncles and gave an anecdote about that. He decided never ever again. When he described back and footing across over a much lower and out of sight water course I asked if there was a handline (he laughed!) I mentioned sometimes others put them in - he said that Colin and Keith (Kingham) were pretty confident nobody else had been in as they'd only discovered it a few weeks earlier. He also mentioned other details such as the water tank with bottom knocked out, the sporting swing on a ladder to jump to a ledge while getting a soaking, etc but couldn't remember any more about names or location. The other details as above in the original post.

Sadly Colin passed away some years ago so I can't ask him, and I don't have my uncle Keith's contact details at moment (I will investigate!) but I was intrigued if the cave in my Dad's story could be identified from those scant details --> Sounds like it may have been p8?  Thanks guys!

T pot 2

The original entrance of P8 (Jack Pot) is directly above the bedding plane entrance that we use now.
There is evidence of lead mining  within , so it was entered by others before 1963


Well-known member
There's a stand alone publication about P8 - I think written by Mr P B Smith and Tony Waltham. From memory it covers how the cave was found. Might be worth talking to Mary Wilde at BCA Library? (Maybe someone familiar could quote the actual reference on here?)


Active member
T pot 2 said:
The original entrance of P8 (Jack Pot) is directly above the bedding plane entrance that we use now.
There is evidence of lead mining  within , so it was entered by others before 1963
I don't know whether the statement was meant to say that section had been recently discovered, or the whole thing or what. I'm not claiming they were discoverers/rediscoverers, just trying to see if a location could be added to a vague and pretty fragmented story. At least I think I should put my nose down P8 some time


Well-known member
Library lists:
British Speleological Association (BSA) : Cave Science (Journal)Vol.VI No.50 (1973) held by: BCL
Page Author Content Tag
21-28 Smith P.B. & Waltham A.C. The P8 Cave System, Castleton [Derbyshire]


Active member
Thanks pwhole!!

This does fit and seems very likely to be P8 in the story I heard. The "discovery?" early (assume early due to snow falling) 1964 and Manchester cavers all fits perfectly (equally of course the "nobody knows we're here, we've only just discovered it" could also been told to him as part of a windup).

The only part of the disjointed story that doesn't match the doc or other descriptions is the boulder gap creating a vertical squeeze passed by breathing out and running sideways, but again that is quite plausibly an unnecessary route taken added as windup to have "fun" for their novice/victim, or maybe part of the route via the original entrance or maybe a better route wasn't yet known? I hear they were more than capable of any windups so anything is possible including adding unnecessary squeezes ;)

Edit: actually the description of the original route being only accessible to people smaller/thinner than average could fit the squeeze described, which was apparent very very tight? Maybe?  Maybe?  that's a match?


Well-known member
Thanks for that BSA ref MikeM.

Tom, if pwhole can't easily get it, try the BCA librarian. She's always really helpful with scanning stuff.


Well-known member
I found it, and can post screengrabs up here if no-one objects? Clive sent me them.

The bit that's always intrigued me most is that when they first got in, they found a large curtain had already been removed by the miners to gain acces to the streamway, which does make you wonder just how far they went down. The accessible workings in the top chamber are small, but interesting, though I haven't seen the passage leading off, but that's because folks always dash off to the bottom - I guess we should have a 'P8 mine-only' trip one day :)

Photos by me or Dominika Wroblewska.


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Active member
Thanks everyone
I went back to him and described the location of P8 to him and he's pretty certain it was that one.
Also he confirmed it would have been 1964 and when pressed on the discovery, he was certain it wasn't a wind up and he restated the claim it was discovered (re-discovered after t'owd man) by either Keith or Colin or both and his 2 trips were the 2nd and 3rd trips that were made into it.

Bit of a shame though that it didn't inspire him to take up caving, rather than using the experience as a warning to other not to cave... It certainly didn't put off my uncles though (Although not confirmed yet by Keith).

So, if this is a "family cave"???  ;) , I suppose I better go down and inspect it some time. Make sure you lot have been looking after it