What Inspired You To Go Caving?


Staff member
Asked when in 6th form in North Wales would I like to go caving, thought yes I would then mentioned it to my parents - so that was a 'no'.

Went to Birmingham University the following year and was wandering like a little lost soul round freshers fair - happened across the BUSS stand.  There was a guy in SRT kit on a rope up in the air (I'm sure it was Duncan Price)- he looked cool 8)

His mates on the stand chatted to me about their up coming beginners trip.  There was a postcard sized photo of some stal and I remember thinking, what the heck, no parents to say 'no' now, I'd like to see some stal and  these are a friendly bunch - so I paid my ?3 and joined.

A few days later I was at the entrance to Goat Church - don't remember much of the trip but joined up for the next one to Peak Cavern.  That I remember, changing in the entrance, fantastic streamway, mud, soooo cold getting changed again and fish and chips- delicious.  Signed up again for a weekend in The Dales.

We stopped at Bull Pot Farm, a group of us freshers were taken down County but I was the only one who wanted to go caving the next day so Mike and Simon (I think) took me down Pool Sink.  A good trip - I remember liking the entrance but being absolutely knackered on the 55' pitch on the way out.  It was a real struggle up that ladder and walking back over the fell was exhausting - however the feeling of achievement and club spirit from that day had me well and truly hooked.

It's such a shame BUSS no longer exists as that decision to join a caving club turned out to be one of the most influential decisions I ever made.  Am looking forward to supporting CHECC via UKC for that reason.

Caving - more than a sport, a way of life  ;)


New member
As a kid, I initially went into the "fish cave" in Prestatyn as a dare. Got a fair way in before the lot outside bottled it and screamed for me to come out.

Many years later, I enquired if some people, planning on exploring a mine, thought the absolute torrent of rain of recent days would affect the mine. A week later, I'm dangling on a rope into Moel Fferna. I've not looked back, and having issues with heights, I don't look down either.

Roger W

Well-known member
NewStuff said:
...having issues with heights, I don't look down either.


When I was very small my Mum and Dad took me to Matlock Bath - Dad took me up the Victoria Prospect Tower on the Heights of Abraham and sat me on the parapet with my legs dangling on the outside so that I could wave to my Mum who had waited at the bottom. (I was too small to see over the parapet.)  I've never been the same since!

But they did take me on the trips into the Rutland and Masson caverns...    ;)


Well-known member
Lots of beer at University. And the rest is hysterical, sorry historical.  Glad I did though.  As well as seeing caves it opens up a world of cultures past and present and informs a heightened sense of inquisitiveness, wherever that may lead.

Mr Mike

Active member
Not what got me into caving but mining? When I started college, a new friend suggested that a group of us go to Matlock Bath and sleep down a mine. He had been going down mines with his dad for years. So 5 of us went in a car with sleeping bags/mats, helmets borrowed from the building department with homemade ad-hock lighting, got drunk in the Fishpond pub and headed for Cumberland Cavern late at night. After a freezing night we explored the cavern part and then got as far at the first parts of Wapping Mine. It was heady what I felt and experienced. We ended doing this about 3-4 times. Then I met his dad (Don Edwards), went down Wapping again but this time with a plan, Ball Eye Mine and then I got introduced to the pleasures of Smallcleugh and Nenthead?. And got hooked on that part of the world.


Active member
Started uni at Hallam, joined the climbing club, they were shit, went to SUSS and they were sound so cracked on


An interest in Geology and a friend with a car, meant that the old mine tips of the Lakes and Northern Pennines were frequently visited.  It was a short step to start going underground looking for better mineral specimens, helped by joining the Carlisle Geological Society which got me into more mines. 
After a couple of years of mine exploration, I went to College.  On arrival at College in Derby and attending Freshers Week, I joined the Mountaineering and Caving Club, whose reaction was ok you go underground, so you are in charge of the caving section.  Having never been in a cave other than a show cave when I was very young, this was definitely being thrown in at the deep end.  I survived and so did everyone else.
Forty plus years later I am still caving and mine exploring on a regular basis.
Caving was (and still is) an excuse to travel to many countries and meet a lot of other people with the same passion for going underground.
My Mother at nearly 95 still hopes that I might grow up one day and stop going underground.


New member
Started with a few mates down Dow in grots and a bicycle lamp.  However, really inspired by a trip to Easter Grotto with Joe Latham.  A truly great bloke.


New member
To discover new life and new civilisations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.

Or  more accurately to take up an activity that would get me out doing something and being somewhat social.


Well-known member
Scouts.  We had a young leader who was game to take us on Mendip weekends.  Liked the caving, loved the Hunter's Lodge - where else could you get 6 pints aged 16?