Underground Eiger by Sid Perou


Staff member
By Sid Perou:

This is not a film I worked on but I was involved from the sidelines. Through my association with Lindsay Dodd I have a decent copy which I have uploaded for historic reasons. I was good friends with bith divers and this is a tribute to Oliver (Bear) Statham who took his own life not long afterwards and those others in the film who are no longer with us.




Staff member
I know, have just watched snippets as have to go out, however looking forward to watching it in full later - did see the dancing at the Hill Inn and the wheel being put to good use :)

Fab of Sid to upload these films for us all to enjoy  (y) ;)

Clive G

The late Lindsay Dodd, who was the sound recordist who worked closely with Sid Perou on his Beneath the Pennines series of films, was the caving and specialist technical advisor behind 'Once in a Lifetime: The Underground Eiger' (1979), directed by Barry Cockcroft for Yorkshire Television:


It's an absolute classic and a highly motivating film.

The tragedy behind Oliver 'Bear' Statham's death is that he was due to give a lecture with Geoff Yeadon on the highly successful diving venture to the Royal Geographical Society (who supported the Keld Head project) on 1st October 1979, but instead took his life three days earlier. There were two notes left showing the act was intentional, but their contents were not published. (Descent (44), January/February 1980, 6)

I think all too often there is a drive in the public media to single out a person who was 'first' in great adventurous endeavours, but, in most cases, with cave exploration work involving great cave systems, which are not defined by any one particular moment in time - rather a series of landmark milestones, linked together one after another and continuing on into the unknown future . . . - the person who might be 'first' today may well be 'second' or not there at all tomorrow. These are achievements jointly brought about - since 'No Man is an Island' in himself - and, rightly, jointly shared in the limelight amongst "those who were there" and made it happen:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

John Donne, 1624​

So, RIP Bear Statham: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/3953027


Active member
Thank you Sid, and Pegasus for posting this here.

I remember the Hill at that time....an unholy mix of cavers and bikers. Wonderful times. Much enhanced by the marvellously eccentric Tony the landlord.


Active member
Who is the caver with the fabulous beard and orange jacket operating the molephone with Bob Mackin?


tony from suffolk said:
Damn! No longer available. Knew I should have watched it earlier.
Are you trying to watch it on an Android device? It's unavailable on my phone but works fine on my PC