Author Topic: East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13  (Read 2272 times)

Offline ArchaeoScott

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East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13
« on: November 29, 2013, 05:44:42 pm »
East Twin Swallet/Spar Pot

Cavers:  Ruth, Steve, Tim, and Scott

Ruth, Steve, and I met with Tim at the Burrington Inn car park at about 7.30. Tim’s brother who was due to accompany us on this trip had used his ‘I have to do something with my girlfriend’ get out of caving card, and so didn’t come along. We changed into our caving gear and walked up the road towards the cave. Ruth and Steve had not been to East Twin or Spar Pot before, so having been once before, Tim and I led the way despite not being able to remember where the path was! We arrived at the cave in good order and proceeded to enter.

After descending various dams, past the mini B+Q store areas, we arrived at the wonderfully built brick stepped dam, which looks like a garden feature! Everyone marvelled at this piece of building work in a cave, and we continued on downwards. The next engineering marvel that we stopped to admire was the pulley system that has been attached to the cave ceiling, it looks like a large meccano set!

We arrived at the Spar Pot connection, and I went through to check that it was all still safe (relatively). Everything seemed as secure as I remembered it being, and we made our way through the boulder choke into the chamber beyond. Ruth wasn’t too happy waiting around in Boulder Chamber so we pushed on down the rift and through the small connecting passage that has the annoying blue tube fed through it. We continued down towards Hairpin Bend and stopped to look at some of the fossils in the rock, of which Ruth took some photos. Tim had a look at a high level tube that I entered on the previous trip and he forced his way around a bend that I had some difficulty with, due to the length of my legs. He was gone for a couple of minutes and there were many proclamations of it really not being very nice, but he said it continued on and perhaps we would leave it for another day.

After negotiating Hairpin Bend we had two choices, a higher level body sized tube, which Tim had done on our previous visit, or a thin rift like descent, which I had opted for. I chose the same route this time, and both Steve and Ruth followed. Tim headed for the small tube. Both routes eventually meet in a small chamber, and after much grunting and thrutching we all arrived back together. We continued on in the hope of making our way to the grotto, having never been there before. Tim took the higher level route, Ruth went along a horizontal tube at floor level, and I pushed into a tube to our right. Tim wasn’t very happy in the upper tube, he said it was a bit nasty, so he made his way back. The tube I was in was closing down and Ruth said she may have found the grotto, so I made my way back out and headed for the floor tube that she had gone down earlier.

It may be that we did reach the grotto, as it was a grotto of sorts, and there were some formations. It doesn’t fit four people very well, as we found out, but our being crammed together in a confined space did produce amusing results when trying to exit! After making our way back up the floor tube I decided that I would reinvestigate the tube I was in earlier. I went in head first and shuffled my way along. About half way along some teeth like jagged rock hangs down into the tube and I have to do a bit of a twist manoeuvre to get by. I carried on a long until the tube closed in a bit and I thought that beyond this it started to open out, but decided that a feet first entry would be a better option than my current position, so I made my way back. Ruth went in next to have a look but didn’t like it very much and so came back out, and then it was Steve’s turn. He went in feet first and got as far as the constriction before he thought better of it! We decided time was getting on and that a visit to the Plume of Feathers was in order so we started to make our way back. Tim said he had seen a passage on the way in which he though was the long crawl so we stopped for a look on the way back. I had already looked at this on the way in, and it didn’t look very appealing, so I suggested that he give it a go. He started to make his way down the passage but decided it was horrible and swiftly came back out!

We arrived back at the chamber where the high level tube and lower rift route meet up and I decided that I would give the tube a go on the way out. After much pushing and determined squeezing I decided that my arse was far too big to fit in the constriction at the end of the tube, and had to give up and exit via the lower route. This is the plight of the pizza eating caver!

We made our way back out into East Twin without incident, and Steve, Tim, and Ruth descended to have a look at the (now) flooded dig at the bottom of the cave. I waited further up having been there previously. We got back to the cave entrance and noticed all the large spiders that we seemed to have missed on the way in! After a quick change of clothes we made it to the pub for about 10.45, just in time! Another good trip.

Offline Dingley Dell

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Re: East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2013, 07:47:58 pm »
Nice one Scott.  The place is a feat of engineering, that's for sure, and has the best fossils I've seen in a cave.

No photos from Ruth??

Offline bagpuss

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Re: East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2013, 10:49:12 am »
Really enjoyed this cave, especially all the fossils, the best I've seen in Burrington.

A not very well lit curtain in the first chamber

Concrete amphitheatre

Does anyone know what this is?

In the 'grotto?'

Scott just before trying to fit through a squeeze which eventually defeated him

I'm assuming this is a Meta Menardi, but feel free to correct me!

Offline mrodoc

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Re: East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2013, 11:23:03 am »
I am pretty certain the mystery fossil is a type of coral. One sees similar types on modern coral reefs.

Offline Les W

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Re: East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2013, 11:37:48 am »
The coral looks to me to be a Tabulate Coral, common in the Carboniferous but now extinct.

and the spider does indeed look like a Meta menardi but could be a Meta bourneti. It is very difficult to tell them apart, and certainly not without a microscope and some expert knowledge.
Most people refer to them both as Meta menardi...
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Offline o0rich0o

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Re: East Twin Swallet / Spar Pot - 28.11.13
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2015, 02:23:33 pm »
I'm not one for looking too long at spiders or for that fact not much into the fossils either but it does resemble some type of bee's nest.. if there were there such a thing as cave bees?
 and maybe its why the spider is looking so hungry. He has been waiting a few hundred years for them to hatch..
              Only a theory due to crushing a bee's nest that was live last year and not liking unknown spiders.
How big is it and where is it in the cave?. The fossil not the spider btw.
On another note are those bags still hanging on 1 peg?  I was too scared to pass them so back down the hill to Goatchurch I trudged.
Nothing stays the same. Unless it's the Goatchurch Dig..


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