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Goodbye Bill Mitchell


Well-known member
Bill Mitchell, from Giggleswick near Settle, has passed away this week.

Many presently active cavers will not have known Bill, or even have heard of him. But you have a lot to be grateful to him for. He began his career in journalism in the early 1940s with the Craven Herald newspaper. This was wartime, during which (and for some time afterwards) there was a severe paper shortage. Very few caving clubs had the resources to publish their discoveries themselves in this period so many were described in the Craven Herald (still sometimes referred to locally as the "Caving Herald") and later The Dalesman magazine. As a result a lot of information went on record which might otherwise not have done. Bill was very much involved in all this and knew many of the caving legends of the time personally. I certainly picked his brains from time to time when trying to find historical facts of caving interest.

He became editor of The Dalesman subsequently and continued to produce articles of interest to cavers, long after club self publishing became the norm. Even in his late eighties he was writing about caves in the Dales for various publications, often giving a different (and often valuable) perspective on major events. He was a real gentleman - a lovely bloke, always eager to learn about what was happening in the caving community.

For anyone interested, there is some more general information about Bill here:


(Moderators - please will you leave this information here for a while, even if you eventually move it to the Obituaries area? I've deliberately chosen to post this under the Dales heading as Dales cavers would probably most want to know of his passing. Thanks.)


New member
I never knew him but certainly knew of his work - although I've only read a fraction of what he produced. A sad loss for the Dales.


Well-known member
He did of course produce various booklets with a caving theme; I have here a copy of his "Yorkshire's Hollow Mountains" (48 pages, ISBN 1 871064 04 X). He gave this to me several years ago on one of my visits to his house and kindly signed it for me. We're fortunate that a bloke with such a depth of knowledge was also a prolific writer.


Active member
Goodbye Bill and thank you for all those many years of contributions to our Dales experience and appreciation