Author Topic: A question for more senior ULSA members  (Read 7304 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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A question for more senior ULSA members
« on: May 01, 2012, 06:17:53 pm »
One of the finest caving publications ever, by far, is the 1969 ULSA Explorations Journal. One of the best stories recounted in it concerns the discovery of the Kingsdale Master Cave, starting on page 11. I'm trying to establish a few historical facts which anyone who knew those involved may be able to help me with.

The Kingsdale survey work was started by A.Milner and R.Smart. Can anyone confirm their Christian names?

Also, the exploratory work which actually led to the finding of the KMC began when Geoff Boireau of ULSA and ECC was pottering in the floor of the final chamber of Swinsto with G.Cooper. Would that have been George Cooper of the Eldon, or a different G.Cooper?

What was R.Nettleton's Christian name? Also D.Howitt, B.Roberts, J.Morgan, J.Rushton, D.Roberts, P.Kelley,B.Reaveley, P.Freeman, M.Rogers, M.Sutton and N.Thorpe?

Am I right in thinking Iain Gasson's name was spelt "Iain" as opposed to "Ian"?

If anyone can help with any of these queries I'd be really grateful.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 06:42:46 pm »
I'm not a Senior ULSA member, but I am very old....

Iain Gasson
Alistair Milner
Martin Rogers
Mike Sutton
Peter Freeman

I'll have to delve deep into the far recesses of my memory where brave men fear to go, to remember any more.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 07:04:35 pm »
Many thanks Langcliffe.

By the way - you're not "old".
George Cornes was still caving when he was far older than you!  ;)

Offline braveduck

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 07:10:49 pm »
Hi Pitlamp, The N.Thorpe was Neil Thorpe of BPC.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 07:14:35 pm »
Roy Smart
Barry Roberts
Dave Howitt
John Rushton as in the Happy Wanderers?
« Last Edit: May 01, 2012, 07:24:12 pm by langcliffe »

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 07:25:30 pm »
Absolutely great - thanks both!

That's most of the queries sorted.

Offline psychocrawler

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 07:34:50 pm »
Senior eh?
Dave Brook knew my father ...... as the song goes, so I'm obviously a real whippersnapper!

Offline braveduck

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 07:40:38 pm »
There were 2 more BPC involved also, both died in Mossdale.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 07:52:40 pm »
Braveduck - yes, thanks - I know about the others but I didn't ask because I already knew their Christian names.

Psychocrawler - I almost emailed you directly (not because you're "senior" but because I thought you'd probably know anyway). Can you shed any light on the remaining questions?

Offline cfmwh

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 09:43:57 pm »
Ron Nettleton.
Bernie Reaveley.

Offline psychocrawler

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 09:58:27 pm »
G Cooper = Gordon Cooper (ULSA Newsheet 9) - no idea if in EPC.
J Morgan = Jeff Morgan (ditto)

M Rogers = Mart Rogers (been potholing with him)

Others as stated above

Will work on D Roberts and P Kelley

Offline psychocrawler

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 10:40:02 pm »
Defeated.

Suspect you need to get an ULSA or HWCPC membership list to find these two who did the trip to dig out Valley Entrance with Nod Rowan prior to the actual breakthrough to surface.

AT

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2012, 08:37:09 am »
This is brilliant - thanks all.

(Yes - the opening of VE is why I do need those names.)

Offline Wren

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2012, 10:40:15 pm »
I seem to remember DB telling me that Ab, grovelling about, found worms and that this lead to the Valley entrance dig.  However senility may be playing tricks :doubt:

Offline Peter Freeman

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2012, 04:37:29 am »
Hi Pitlamp - I was involved in the KMC-VE opening, and have a little information for you.

I was on the trip that first exited via West Kingsdale Valley Entrance, and in fact the breakthrough occurred on my digging turn and I was the first to crawl out of the tight, soily, grassy little hole. This event was one of the highlights of my caving career (in the UK, anyway), but I lay no claims to glory over it. I was simply in the right place at the right time (in those days, being with one of the Brooke Brothers was often a lucky place to be!).

To save me typing it all in, I paste here a paragraph out of my own caving story that I wrote up a few years ago (I still have all my detailed caving notebooks from the sixties) -

Kingsdale System, Yorkshire Dales
22/01/67  With John Mendum, Mary Bates, etc. (ULSA). Simpsons Pot to Swinsto Pot via Kingsdale Master Cave.
April 67  With Alan Brook, Martin Rodgers, Bernie Reaveley, Mike Sutton (ULSA). Entered via Simpsons Pot, and went to the sump via the Master Cave. Then laddered over the Bridge, went along the Main Tunnel, past the Milky Way, through three ‘ducks’, and along to a dig. We took spells at digging, and on my turn I squeezed out of a brand new entrance to this major cave system. Since this opening, the ‘Valley Entrance’ has been civilised by a large plastic tube, and is frequently used as an easy way into the Master Cave. It is used in virtually all diving visits, including the famous televised one where the first underwater through trip to Keld Head was achieved.


And another quote from my writings -

One of my best speleological episodes was my second trip, in April 1967, into the Simpsons/Swinsto system in Yorkshire, with ULSA. We entered through Simpson’s Pot on this day, and after a few hours, including using a ladder to ascend a large aven, we took a look at an ongoing internal ‘dig’. We decided to give it some work since we were there, and took turns to scrape away at a rising passage. The dig at this time was 6 feet long, 1.5 feet high and 2.5 feet wide. Alan went in first, and as he scraped away the rock roof disappeared, to be replaced with only compacted earth. Before long we were pulling vegetation roots out. Martin saw the first specks of daylight, then I took over. I was fortunate enough to break through on my turn, and climbed out. No one had ever been through there before, since it had been blocked for thousands of years, and I was unbelievably thrilled. I did not really deserve it: others had done all the previous work. But the opening of that fast way into the far reaches of the system was highly significant in the Yorkshire caving world, and it has stayed with me as a highlight in my caving memories. In 2006 and again in 2008 I revisited the now-‘civilised’ entrance and went in just a few metres.

The breakthrough party consisted of Alan Brook, Martin Rodgers, Bernie Reaveley, Mike Sutton and myself. There were others in different parts of the system on that day. Rather unusually, my notes specify only the month, not the exact date.

I recall that, after we popped out, we looked around and saw our bus parked on the roadside not far away, and we all remarked on how we'd saved ourselves a long climb out through Swinsto! I think I also recall that Alan Brooke was unaware of where it would emerge (I suppose the surveying hadn't kept totally up with the exploration), and he looked around muttering something like "aha, I thought it might be about here ... ".

This occurred during a standard ULSA weekend bus meet. I was not deeply embedded into ULSA, mainly going simply on the bus meets. However, I was not new to caving: I'd been caving in Derbyshire, and more recently in Yorkshire, since I was 15, with my own small group of friends. Around age 21 I ceased caving and didn't seriously take it up again until age 56. I'm now in the midst of my revived and very active second caving career, making significant discoveries in the caves of Australia. I'm new as a poster on this forum, but I've lurked here for a few years.

By the way, the event is first recorded in the ULSA Review published in Autumn 1967. It describes the observation of flies, alive and dead, near the final choke, as the initial stimulus for the dig. Also, a survey had shown the passage to be within thirty feet of the surface, and a resistivity survey had been performed on the surface nearby. So Nod Rowan and the Wanderers had started the dig. The Saturday evening after the breakthrough was Mike Boon’s farewell party at the Hill Inn, so by Sunday the news was all over the Dales.

Good luck with your research into the Kingsdale VE topic, Pitlamp.


Offline Hasbeen caver

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2012, 12:12:25 pm »
Peter

That's really fascinating - thank you for posting.

You mention that you still have your diaries from the period, and you have quoted two paragraphs from your 'writings'.  Have you published any articles or memoirs from which these quotes are taken?

I'm sure I am not the only one who would be very interested to read these, so hopefully you will take that as encouragement to 'revisit your archive' in due course!

Thanks again.

Neil

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2012, 12:23:23 pm »
Peter - that's absolutely great; many thanks for sharing that with us. What you describe was a milestone event in Dales caving.

Neil ("Hasbeen caver") has a very good point too . . .

Offline cobz

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2012, 06:06:32 pm »
Just to clarify one or two points relating to Brookies KMC discovery and exploration which you may find interesting. AB and DB inspected the base of Swinstow waterfall. There they found the way into the passage which led them to the KMC stream passage, which they followed down to the final sump. The following weekend they invited their friends Dave Cobley and Bill Frakes to go down with them and explore the upstream section of the passage, which they did to what was thought to be the Rowten Sump.
The following weekend a dive was planned in Rowten so on the Saturday Bill Frakes and John Ogden dived the sump and Allan Brook, Dave Cobley and Kenny Taylor followed, on their gear. They went down the streamway to the sump and whilst there, noticed a passage above the sump. Dave Cobley climbed up the wall into the passage and Kenny Taylor followed, They went along the passage investigating all the side passages along the way to the final pool. This was the pool that led into the valley entrance. They turned back having seen the small passage which would have led to the final small chamber and subsequently the valley entrance.
The following day, Sunday, a dive was arranged to complete the Swinstow/Rowten thro' trip. Another team was arranged to go down Swinstow comprising of Pete Livesy, Jeff morgan and other members of the HWCPC.The whole trip went like clockwork and the exchange was made at the Rowten sump.
ULSA were the main exploration team with AB and DB. Dave Cobley, Bill Frakes, Pete Livesy, and Colin Vickers were in the BPC. John Ogden, Jeff Morgan were in the HW . This was the fine example of differing club members working together as happened at lot in those days quite a number of times.
If you want to get more detailed information why not contact DB?
   

Offline Hasbeen caver

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #18 on: August 28, 2012, 08:57:50 pm »
Dave

That's really fascinating - thank you for posting.

etc.

(now, why don't you old buggers get your memoirs written, before it's too late...?!)

Cheers

Neil   ;)

Offline ianball11

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2012, 11:39:51 pm »
Or recorded for the BCA Audio archive?

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2012, 11:43:19 am »
Or both - as each medium has strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks for yours cobz - it's in agreement with (and complementary to) what's in the 1969 Explorations Journal. Next time I bump into DB I'll have a chat with him.

Offline Scoff

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #21 on: August 30, 2012, 10:11:05 pm »
Sorry - a bit off topic....

Cobz - it wasn't you that was taking to Jim Abbott at 'Farmer' Stoyles funeral, and asking about details of a certain Irish cave dive you did?

If so, send me an e-mail via the contacts page of the CDG website, and I will supply the information you wanted.

Back on thread. I love reading (and hearing) stuff like this. Fascinating stories from the folk who were there.

Thanks fellas - I take my helmet off to you.

Scoff
BPC/ CDG

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2013, 04:44:05 pm »
One further question; please can anyone tell me the date of the discovery of the Kingsdale Master Cave (by Alan & Dave Brook)?

Page 12 of the 1969 ULSA Explorations Journal mentions that it was 6 months after the trip when Geoff Boireau and Gordon Cooper dug through to the "Surprise Canal" but doesn't specify the date. I don't have access to the relevant ULSA Review as I type so if anyone can confirm the date (which is likely to have been have been April or May 1966) I'd be really grateful.

Thanks!

Offline langcliffe

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #23 on: February 22, 2013, 04:50:26 pm »
June 11th 1966 (Tony Salmon, Ron Nettleton and A. & D.B.)

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: A question for more senior ULSA members
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2013, 09:04:08 am »
Bless you Langcliffe!