On this day . . .

Pitlamp

Well-known member
On this day, 15th January 1922, the Gritstone Club came into being.

Congratulations Grits, on a Century of exemplary activity, a long series of fascinating Journals and many fine caving discoveries (not to mention 100 years of mountaineering excellence)!  :clap:

(Note to moderators - the Gritstone Club is northern based but I've posted this in the general area of the forum for several reasons. The main one is that the topic title is inspired by a regular feature on Radio 4 and I thought others might like to make use of it to post similar "on this day" notes in future, from other caving areas. Also, the Grits aren't just active in the Dales; their publications reveal all sorts of adventures all over the world.)
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
On this day, 1st February 1962 (60 years ago) Eli "Cymmie" Simpson passed away.

We modern cavers still benefit from the foundations this visionary helped to lay. History has been rather unkind to Cymmie; it has tended to focus on the post war disputes which led to the great "Exodus" to form the Northern Pennine Club and Red Rose Cave & Pothole Club, at the expense of all the great things he did from earlier in the last Century.

Never forget that "history" is generally written by the winners / survivors. Dig a little deeper into contemporary publications and Cymmie's massive contributions and achievements will soon become obvious.

There really ought to be a blue plaque on "Cragdale" - the former Settle police station in which the BSA was based through the interwar years.

 

pwhole

Well-known member
Well if it's any consolation I was born on the 1st February, so it's partly balanced :)

And his work in Peak Cavern has been very useful to us lot too.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Purely in the interests of accuracy, I need to correct myself. In the post above about Cymmie I referred to the first premises occupied by the British Speleological Association asL ""Cragdale" - the former Settle police station in which the BSA was based through the interwar years.".

Jenny Potts has kindly given me some detailed information, in which is revealed the fact that Cragdale was occupied by the BSA between 1935 - 1939 (not the whole period between the 1st & 2nd World Wars, as my previous words seemed to imply). Thanks Jenny.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
On this day, 14th May 1972, 50 years ago, the CPC got through "The Trap" in their extension to Kingsdale's Slanting Cave and reached the 23 m shaft. This was bottomed on a subsequent trip on 4th June, to reach the sump. The survey of the cave was also completed on a 9 hour "most enjoyable" trip. The shaft was described as follows:

" . . . a fine "T" shaped passage led on to the pitch. Our only ladder enabled us to step onto a wide ledge 15 ft down. From here we could see the full splendour of a quite magnificent shaft not unlike some of the big classic pitches to be found in Kingsdale. As we only had the 130 ft rope left, abseil and prussik techniques had to be employed. Could this be the first time these techniques have been used by the CPC in exploring a brand new pothole?"

Slanting Cave has various low and wet sections which are prone to become badly blocked in flood; they sometimes need some determination to make them passable again. I bet not that many folk have bottomed this fine pot, even today.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
On this day, 12th July 1967, 55 years ago, the Valley Entrance to the (west) Kingsdale Master Cave was opened. This was achieved by cavers from the University of Leeds Speleological Association, helped by members of the Happy Wanderers Cave and Pothole Club. It made possible some very fine through trips (from Simpson Pot etc) and gave easier access from the dale side, which has facilitated further exploratory work ever since.

Of interest is a Valley Entrance meet report which has just appeared in CPC record 147 (July 2022) pages 28-29. It was produced, with a bit of help from the grown ups, by an exceptionally young caver. (Her grandad is the bloke who made the replacement lid for the tube we all slide through into the Roof Tunnel.) It concludes with the words: "I like caving and I expect I may be doing more in the future".
 

Alex

Well-known member
Slanting Cave has various low and wet sections which are prone to become badly blocked in flood; they sometimes need some determination to make them passable again. I bet not that many folk have bottomed this fine pot, even today.
Did try it, but it seemed to completely blocked after the chamber. It would definitely need digging out again.
 

Ian P

Active member
On this day, 12th July 1967, 55 years ago, the Valley Entrance to the (west) Kingsdale Master Cave was opened. This was achieved by cavers from the University of Leeds Speleological Association, helped by members of the Happy Wanderers Cave and Pothole Club. It made possible some very fine through trips (from Simpson Pot etc) and gave easier access from the dale side, which has facilitated further exploratory work ever since.

Of interest is a Valley Entrance meet report which has just appeared in CPC record 147 (July 2022) pages 28-29. It was produced, with a bit of help from the grown ups, by an exceptionally young caver. (Her grandad is the bloke who made the replacement lid for the tube we all slide through into the Roof Tunnel.) It concludes with the words: "I like caving and I expect I may be doing more in the future".
Some pictures from said trip.
 

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langcliffe

Active member
Slanting Cave has various low and wet sections which are prone to become badly blocked in flood; they sometimes need some determination to make them passable again. I bet not that many folk have bottomed this fine pot, even today.
I did it on ladders many years ago, soon after it was opened. I'm not sure that I could even find the entrance, now.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
(Almost) on this day - Summer 1952 (actual date uncertain) - Mike Dickinson and Brian Varley of the Craven Pothole Club discovered what is said to be the longest stalactite in Europe, 70 years ago. It's in Poll an Ionain in County Clare. There is a very fine photograph of this in the 1952 CPC Journal taken by Hugh Holgate. Nowadays most folk refer to this as Doolin Cave and it's open to the public.

I must ring Brian and congratulate him on the anniversary!
 
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