'Caving Memories' / 'Wilky' DVD - anyone recognise this?

Steve Clark

Well-known member
I've found a DVD in with our club (Fylde MC) surveys and things. It appears to be a homemade DVD-R with a printed label. 44mins of photo slideshow with background music, no spoken description. There is a Lancaster University Student's Union minibus in it. Does anyone recognise it or the people in it? Quite a lot of photos that may be of interest to someone.

2024-05-25 20.25.37.jpg

I've made a digital copy because the disc is in poor condition. If anyone wants to claim it (or for me to remove it from online) please let me know. Link here :



Well-known member
Ditto what Chocolate Fireguard said.

Only had time to watch the first 10 minutes at the moment but I think I recognise Dave Checkley and Colin Boothroyd. If right, this would support Steve Clark's implication that the images are of LUSS members.

Langcliffe on here is probably the best person to say yay or nay.


I can't help at all, way before my time, just a quick thanks for sharing it.👍

Just spent 44 minutes seeing lots of great photos from a very varied selection of caves - and to echo above, some hard ones and from a different era of caving - all those ladders😲


Well-known member
Car regs are from 1971 to 1973, so after that (surveys 1972 / 76, although one is 1990, but DVD was obviously made much later). First two Ghar parau expeds were 1971 and 1972


I've found a DVD in with our club (Fylde MC) surveys and things ... Does anyone recognise it or the people in it?
The surveys look like those published in Northern Caves, the first volume of which was published in 1988, so that might help to date it. However, the Great Whernside area map on page 17 of my copy of Northern Caves 1 is not the same as the one shown at 00:06 as my copy does not have the mile ticks on the scale bar. Perhaps the librarians at the British Caving Library might be able to help with dating it. (I suggest the BCL would be a good home for the original DVD.)

There are many people in the photos who look vaguely familiar but the only one I think I can name is Carol Tringham at 06:23.

... all those ladders😲
... to say nothing of all the beards, hair and wetsuits with holes. :)


New member
I agree with Pitlamp that Dave Checkley and Colin Boothroyd are featured. I started caving properly in 1976 and the clothing and equipment shown definitely brought a lot of memories back! The pictures and accompanying music made me very nostalgic for an era and a time in my life that has long gone and will never come back. Thank you! I wasn't a LUSS caver but my best mate was so I used to hang out at their lair on Vic Avenue in Lancaster in the late 70s/early 80s or up at Clapdale Farm (great to have a hot shower in the barn after a winter trip down GG). I'll always remember the Cambridge Uni guy whose party piece was fire breathing with diesel from the bus who set the curtains on fire.

Steve Clark

Well-known member
Thanks for the replies. Please share the link with anyone who may be interested.

From the meta-data, the DVD-R itself was created on 7th March 2013.


Well-known member
Taffy24 what are you trying to do? If it's a printed report would be best sent to caving Library - contact Jenny P on here


Well-known member
Car regs are from 1971 to 1973, so after that (surveys 1972 / 76, although one is 1990, but DVD was obviously made much later). First two Ghar parau expeds were 1971 and 1972

That's useful information. Doubtful that student cavers would have new cars though so I suspect the pictures date from later than 1971 - 72.

But; there are nice images in Marble Pot - yet that became blocked in 1980 due to a big collapse of the glacial till in the entrance shakehole (and we think still is; see: https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?threads/marble-pot-on-the-allotment.31824/#post-393595).

Assuming none of the other images dates from post 1980 as well, that constrains the dates of the photographs to a period of 8 years at most. If Lancaster Uni S S members did indeed take these pictures, it ought to be possible to narrow down a list of names of members during that period. Some of these folk will still be around and could then perhaps advise directly.

Looking at this another way, that superb survey of Bar Pot & Flood Entrance Pot by LUSS members was published (from memory) in 1980. It came with an explanatory booklet which I seem to remember lists names of folk involved. Some of those are defintely still around and could be asked.

I reckon Langcliffe on here will be our best hope. I think he'll be able to comment usefully once he sees this.


paraphrasing from conversation with Howard Jones..

This is probably a collection from Johnny Wilkinson (Johnny Wilks) who caved with the NEG out of Lancaster. Some of the better LUSS cavers went with them on occasion.

In the first few minutes I recognised

Colin Boothroyd
Tim the Fireman
Billy Goat
Jonah ( Howard) Rothwell
Richard Ellwood

Would also expect to see
Howard Jones
John Wallwork
Chris Baxter
Danny Ellwood


New member
The dvd is a collection of photos taken by Johnny Wilks in the seventies and early eighties.

He kept them hidden away for decades before they were finally aired on the dvd. Very much of their time and bring back many memories. Mainly of shivering and cursing while Johnny fumbled with his camera or threw his carbide around the cave walls to help mend its faltering flame.

I wasn't much involved in the Marble Pot dig although I did have one trip after he broke through.

Johnny is still around and maybe able to illuminate eager diggers that are planning to reopen the Marble Pot with some more up to date weaponry