• BCA Council meeting 16 July 2024

    The next BCA Council Meeting will be held online on 16th July

    Click here for more

Martyn Farr's Hidden Realms

moorebooks

Active member
Having seen and read part of the book , I was disappointed I don't feel its aimed for acitive Cave and Mining Community there are good colour photos of each site dedicated on 2 pages, however, there is very little text and some of the photos are somewhat staged. For instance Snailbeach Lead mine the photo in the shaft Its a few feet up from Day Level where we take the public and a rope and has been lowered from the grid on the shaft top above. He also refers to several Slate Quarries in Wales as Mines and that of course is incorrect. In all for the armchair Caver who wants a book to add to a collection then I would have it. It lacks, however, the adventure and in depth descriptions in all of his previous publications. The fact there are discounts everywhere doesn't help the publication and you will be glad you haven't paid £50 for a hard back that does come in a fancy case

Mike
 

mikem

Well-known member
It's not exactly incorrect, as the only reason they claimed to be quarries was to avoid the updated mining laws
 

Long Drop

Active member
Having seen and read part of the book , I was disappointed I don't feel its aimed for acitive Cave and Mining Community there are good colour photos of each site dedicated on 2 pages, however, there is very little text and some of the photos are somewhat staged. For instance Snailbeach Lead mine the photo in the shaft Its a few feet up from Day Level where we take the public and a rope and has been lowered from the grid on the shaft top above. He also refers to several Slate Quarries in Wales as Mines and that of course is incorrect. In all for the armchair Caver who wants a book to add to a collection then I would have it. It lacks, however, the adventure and in depth descriptions in all of his previous publications. The fact there are discounts everywhere doesn't help the publication and you will be glad you haven't paid £50 for a hard back that does come in a fancy case

Mike
I'll have you know the cased hardback edition is worth every penny of £50, as it comes with a rubber-stamped version of Martyn's signature!

Otherwise i pretty much agree with everything you write. :(
 

moorebooks

Active member
It's not exactly incorrect, as the only reason they claimed to be quarries was to avoid the updated mining laws
True but equally they are named as Quarries if you are going into print you should be accurate with your referencing, inevitably site names can be duplicated and confusing.

Mike
 

Ed

Active member
It's not exactly incorrect, as the only reason they claimed to be quarries was to avoid the updated mining laws

Certainly on this area - North & West Yorkshire, mine refers to metal and mineralised extrations and quarry is "rock". Be ut above or below ground.

Flag stone and sandstone quarries -above and below ground , Fire Clay mines (or pits)
 

mikem

Well-known member
"A small point first. Despite some people’s insistence, and my own preference, that stone is quarried, in the UK a ‘mine’ is defined, legally, as an underground working and a ‘quarry’ as a site of mineral extraction without a roof. In other parts of the world, the world, ‘mining’ is used interchangeably with ‘quarrying’." [That was to stop the owners avoiding new laws] & the Bath Stone is more often referred to as Mines...
 

damian

Active member
I've just received my copy and, despite the comments above, really enjoyed going from cover to cover. Yes, this book is not aimed at the caving community but it is certainly very pleasant to flick through. As a coffee-table book, it has the real potential to bring a good number of non-cavers to the sport. Well done, Martyn!
 

Ed

Active member
"A small point first. Despite some people’s insistence, and my own preference, that stone is quarried, in the UK a ‘mine’ is defined, legally, as an underground working and a ‘quarry’ as a site of mineral extraction without a roof. In other parts of the world, the world, ‘mining’ is used interchangeably with ‘quarrying’." [That was to stop the owners avoiding new laws] & the Bath Stone is more often referred to as Mines...
Not 100%

The flag quarries around Bradford are underground.... They are called quarries in their name and are quarries on all the legal documents.

That definition only considers the 2 in terms of The Quarries Regulations 1999 and the Mines Regulations 2014.

There is a load of practice/ tradition plus other legislation ie land ownership stuff as well
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
I've not encountered Martyn's latest book yet. Some comments above seem slightly on the negative side; Martyn is an extremely good photographer, a pioneering underwater photographer and (importantly) he often takes his camera to places that others don't. I suspect the results of his labours may actually be better than some posts above might suggest and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing it.
 

mikem

Well-known member
Not 100%

The flag quarries around Bradford are underground.... They are called quarries in their name and are quarries on all the legal documents.

That definition only considers the 2 in terms of The Quarries Regulations 1999 and the Mines Regulations 2014.

There is a load of practice/ tradition plus other legislation ie land ownership stuff as well
Yes, but my point is that the two terms have been used interchangeably to refer to the same thing throughout recorded history and there were usually reasons why different people wanted them identified as one or the other.
 

mikem

Well-known member
Semantics is quite important, as it's how our brains make sense of the world and some past errors have been repeated through several publications, so criticism should be expected (although generally not as badly as the internet manages it)
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Mine came today. Amazon Prime next day delivery at £20.

I dont see it as a " coffee table " book. More like one you whip out when aunty Jane says " why do you go caving ? " I found the colours a bit unnatural but that might be down to the printing process. Yes a bit staged ( one should be careful when talking about other photographers work ) but thats probably the best way to get the results from so many sites. Thats not a criticism. The text was enthusiastic rather than just descriptive. Anyway you have caving guides for that. All in all a good balance. Aunt Jane would like it and at £20 surely most cavers would find room for it in their bookshelf.
 

cfmwh

Member
Interview with Martyn....probably aimed more at the public, but it shows some of the pages from the book.


I have the deluxe, hardback copy.......well worth the money.
Yes, it's probably not aimed at hard cavers necessarily, but it is a very well turned out coffee table type book.
I can't remember the last time there was a dedicated book of photos from UK caves. Probably Paul Deakin's, back in the 70's,
so something like this is well overdue.

I'm not a fan of all the pictures in the book, but there's no doubt that Martyn takes much better photos underground than I ever will, so I'm prepared to overlook the few that don't float my boat. I'll never get to see all the caves featured either, so he's done me a favour by giving me an idea of what I'm missing.

Photos are obviously very subjective.
Do you like colour or (the maybe more evocative of underground) black and white?
Do you like all features shown or areas of shadow to allow the imagination to run riot?
Do you want people in the photos for scale or not?

As for the text, what are people expecting?
It's not aiming to be a guidebook or a blow-by-blow description of exploration.
Not evryone is going to be satisfied with this book, That was always going to be the case.

The comment posted above about some of the pictures being 'staged' made me chuckle.......aren't most caving photos staged?
Most that I've posed for have been set up to some degree.

Conclusions:
It's not a cave exploration book. It's not aimed solely at cavers. It is a collection of photos that celebrate some of the UK's best underground sites. This is Martyn Farr.....he doesn't turn out naff books (and no...I don't know the guy!)

Go on the website. Watch the video. Borrow a copy from a library.
Make your own decision about the book.
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Fair comment. The more I look at the book the more I am starting to like the photos. Its a heck of a job to visit 100 sites alone. I dont know how far back the images go. The Shatter/Withyhill images were common enough subjects but done with a differant slant. I liked those.
 
I pre-ordered the hardback copy (with the slip case) from the publisher in advance of the publication date, with free postage and at the discounted price of £37.50. It was a while between the order date and delivery, during which I had forgotten all about it, so it made a very nice surprise one morning when I arrived at the office to find the parcel waiting for me. Suffice to say that not much work got done that morning and I certainly don't regret buying it.
 
Top