What Inspired You To Go Caving?

mrodoc

Well-known member
My earliest record of cave exploration is when I was about 8. We had 'caves' in Chard - actually old stone quarries and we did do some digging in there when I was a schoolboy armed with Price's candles. Then aged 14 started in earnest. Must be something in the blood!
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
I was actually at school when I first went caving. Cycled some 8 miles to Holwell Cavern on the Quantocks. The site was a lovely wooded quarry back then before the farmer tipped rubbish in it and got all anti cavers. There was a huge tame stag in the wood there that would let you stroke it. It bit my hand once. I started digging in the cave and found a bit of new stuff. MRODoc was doing the same and that's how we first met up. I really dont know what inspired me to keep going or why I went there in the first place. A chance remark at school I suppose. Back then we kids were always poking our nose into strange places and caving just came naturally. Perhaps I was 14 or 15 back then. I am 70 next year and go caving every week if I can which is far more now than I ever used to. I was " adopted" by the Portsmouth Polytechnic Caving Club as I was never a student
there. Did trips all over the UK with them usually traveling with PPCC student Pete Rose. Peter Glanvill, Pete Rose and I all met as teenagers caving. We were all together again down a cave this week 50 odd years on.
 

caving_fox

Active member
Scout leaders who took me down Swildons lots! Some of the best events were those trips, including the short round, emerging after 11 driving back for takeaways and school the next morning!

But also all the camaraderie of all the clubs I've been a member of, just great friendly inclusive people.
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
I rarely ever caved or dived with clubs. I do belong the The Chelsea and many years ago with Cerberus. Eventually I found club stuff claustrophobic as I am a bit of a free spirit. Diving particularly with all those BSAC and PADI rules. I objected strongly when Sport Diver depth limits were imposed as I had friends who never wanted to be Dive Leaders and regularly dived to 50m plus. Most of the digs I have been involved with are multi club efforts. Particularly so with Reservoir Hole and Vurley. We sort of rub along together, fall out often then hug and make up. Understanding your roll in such a group is quite important. I am er -- well er useful at times annoying at other times.
 

Tangent_tracker

Active member
My granfather took my to Alderley Edge from as far back as I remember. I would often beg him to walk to the bottom of the edge where the track popped out of the hough level and I would peep through the hole in to the darkness beyond. I wondered what was o the other side.
A trip to suicide and other places in intervieing years but it woul be 30 years after my first memories of looking through in to the hough level that I finally joined the DCC and I got to stare through the hole from the opposite side of the door 😊
 

tamarmole

Active member
Trip into Upper and Lower Long Churn with the cadets when I was in my mid teens fired my imagination.  When the opportunity arose to go caving in my mid twenties I grabbed it with both hands having had my eyes opened as a kid.
 

zomjon

Member
Chatting to the old lass who used to run the chippy on Stourbridge Road in Dudley about finding a climbing club. She mentioned that a caving club met in the back of an old school across the road (DCRT as they were then)and that they might do some climbing. Only in wellies, under a waterfall and with copious amounts of squelchy mud though, but it stuck!
 
Dad taking us into easy caves
The kids book-RUPERT BEAR real underground stuff !!
An older brother in RRCPC
And with same found aged 15 I found a cave very like a Rupert Bear tale in "location and likeness and walking size
UNFORTUNATELY the farmer saw two go into this tiny hole in boiler suits (1965) with two girls waiting outside and come out hours later happy out of the crevice in normal clothing.
As the milthorpe prison was nearby  as I walked home he and his dog + his van  I was 'arrested and we waited for 'half the Westmoreland police!! (which was one cop in a mini van)
It took a lot of explaining as prison still full
 

Speleofish

Active member
Originally taken aged 5 by my father. An activity where I was actually encouraged to get wet and muddy when fully clothed without being chastised! Obsession followed...
Brief period where I deserted caving for climbing. Re-recruited to the path of true righteousness when bored witless in Northern Ireland by a request for a doctor to go on a trip to New Guinea. Re-obsessed (is this a word?).
Age, overwork and obesity have reduced the number of caves in which I can take an active interest but the obsession remains!
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
An ideal thread for photos so where are they ?

Me at Holwell in 1968. I am stood on the bank left. One of Peter Glanvill's so I hope he forgives the nicking of it. If not he can roll a boulder onto me or stand on my bad hand. Come to think of it a regular occurrence anyway.

 
Having started rock climbing, mainly self-taught but with some input from clubs met at N York Moors crags we (Martin Smith and I) were convinced to go caving by John Grey of Sunderland Caving Club who is Martin's elder sister's partner. We went to the Dales for an August Bank Holiday 1978 and camped at The Station at Ribblehead and had an outstanding night in the Hill Inn as well as going caving on two days and climbing on the third. The seed was sown. A year later I joined ULSA at university in Leeds, met hugely inspiring people at the time like Dave Brook and countless others both then and to this day. Another major inspiration at about the same period was The Underground Eiger film and Sid Perou's Beneath The Pennines series and especially the Pippikin Pot episode and Kenny Taylor's both laconic and philosophical words. Breakfast in Ingleton in the early days at Fountains or Bernie's also had a huge influence and contact with the great and the good in the caving scene, and Thursday nights in the Packhorse in Leeds were similarly important. Subsequently, the inspiration to continue caving has come from all the people that I've ever been caving with over the years. There are too many to name them all but you either know who you are, have killed off too many brain cells in the pub or you weren't there. I always tried to go caving with people who were better than me - that way you always get a great trip. Certainly the potential for new exploration was a significant driver too and I've been lucky to be involved a a few minor successes. Starting diving can be blamed on Paul Monico aided and abetted by other notable people at the time. Becoming a caving club librarian at a later stage has provided access to the wealth of caving literature and the inspiration for a few projects too. I hope that similar opportunities arise for people that are new to caving - one of the reasons that I became a trustee for a caving club hut, the real heart of potholing and other forms of riotous assembly!
 

Ian Adams

Well-known member
Walking up a dry stream in summer with friends and noticing a crawl hole in the stream side which appeared to be a coffin sized cave - a return with a torch was made ........

:unsure:

Ian
 

paul

Moderator
A school friend had made his way to Burrington Combe one weekend due to his interest in minerals and geology, met some cavers and did a bit of research on this weird activity.

He persuaded another school friend to return for a week-end a while later and they had a trip in Goatchurch Cavern and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

They told me all about their exploits on the Monday at school and all three of us went soon after on two motorbikes (we were 17) from our homes in North London for a week during the Easter holidays staying in Mendip-based youth hostels. They took me into Goatchurch Cavern and the next day it was Swildons Hole, then Cuckoo Cleeves, and the next Stoke Lane Slocker. We were hooked.
 

cavemanmike

Well-known member
Jackalpup said:
Walking up a dry stream in summer with friends and noticing a crawl hole in the stream side which appeared to be a coffin sized cave - a return with a torch was made ........

:unsure:

Ian

you forgot to mention that you got accosted by mick murffffffffy
 

Ian Adams

Well-known member
cavemanmike said:
you forgot to mention that you got accosted by mick murffffffffy


The question related to "inspiration" and not "subjection" (which appears to be the basis of your response).

Play nicely  ;)

Ian
 

Graigwen

Active member
Trying to fulfil my childhood ambition of rock climbing in 1967, but finding this involved extreme boredom hanging around for ages with a mesh of ropes on the sea cliffs at Aberystwyth, doing an unrepeatable climb on shale that fell into the sea behind us.

Then....I met Mrs Trellis....



.
 

Groundhog

Member
On a road trip to the lakes in the late 50's ( I was about 8 or 9 ) somewhere we passed a sign saying "to the caves". For some reason this created an obsession in me.
Later I found "Underground Adventure" in the school library. Then I discovered Alderly Edge mines and that was that. Been stumbling about in the dark ever since.
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
We need an antithesis thread. " What inspired you to stop caving  ? "

I cant see any way out. I am having to crawl down a muddy hole every week. Help !

Holwell about 1963.

 
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