Author Topic: Your very first underground ventures  (Read 3830 times)

Offline Peter Burgess

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Your very first underground ventures
« on: November 24, 2005, 12:09:43 pm »
andymorgan said in the Forest of Dean section:

Quote
I know people who started caving wearing bobble hats and carrying torches. They didn't know about caving clubs and how to join them


which set me thinking. How many of us started out this way, or how did you start to venture underground. More to the point, what gear did you improvise, and how long before you joined a club, if indeed you did eventually.

I started in the mid 70s with a site helmet bought from the local builders' merchant, and a metal bike lamp strapped to it. My first trips were with a friend into old mine adits in Cornwall, closely followed by old sand mines closer to home. I ended up joining a club a few years later after some publicity in the local press.

I would never have dreamt of going alone or without a helmet!

Online paul

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2005, 12:38:39 pm »
I have a similar story. A school friend, Dave, had been in Burrington Coombe in 1975 on Mendip rock collecting (don't ask!) and saw some people with helmets and lights and asked them what they were up to - cavers obviously. We were living in London and knew nothing about caving. He decided to give it a go and enlisted the help of another school friend, Mick. They got cheap head lights from somewhere and travelled down to Burrington on their mopeds and using their bike helmets and head lights had great fun exploring Goatchurch Cavern.

On returning to school they told me about their activities and I decided to join them on the next trip over the Easter holidays. I got a similar cheap head light and we rode down (I had a snall motorbike by then and Mick too - with Dave as pilion) to Cheddar from London on the Friday and headed for Burrington and Goatchurch again, this time with what we thought wer "proper" caving helmets obtained from a building site. All I rember was sliding down a handline in the Coal Shute and the Drainpipe. Afterwards I was so knackered from getting up to and going through Bloody Tight that I staggered back to the bikes and had to lay down!

Coming back via the road to the top of Cheddar Gorge Mick went straight instead of following the road around the bend and he and Dave took flying lessons on the grass verge luckily without injury. But this made us late and we turned up at the Youth Hostel after 10 pm and git a severe ticking off for being late!

Anyway, the next few days we visited Swildons, Stoke Lane Slocker, Cuckoo Cleeves.

We eventually got 3 ladders between us, graduated from old clothes and cotton boiler suits to wetsuits and some other school friends joined on other trips to Mendip, the Peak and South Wales.

It was on a visit to White Walls while on a few days New Years holiday, to get the key for Aggy, that we learned about Caving Clubs and Huts - we were booked in at the YH in Crickhowell but moved up the next day to Whitewalls!

A few of us sought out a Caving Club in the early 80's and the nearest was Saint Albans CC (sadly now defunct) which we soon joined as our meagre supply of gear was restricting the caves we could visit.

This opened the doors to caves further afield with trips abroad to Belgium and joining in on a WSG Berger trip in 1990.

After moving to the Peak District 10 years ago I joined the Orpheus CC and am still just as active now, if not more so.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Peter Burgess

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2005, 01:21:48 pm »
I just found this when browsing some old posts.

http://ukcaving.com/board/viewtopic.php?t=127

Looks like the subject's been covered before. But any recently joined members want to add to this topic?

Perhaps a slant on kit improvisation?

The first time I wanted to get down a shaft (about 10 feet) we found an old coiled up farmer's fence thrown down nearby, which when unravelled served as a crude electron ladder. I can't for the life of me remember how we fixed it at the top!

Oh, and before anyone asks, "Don't try this at home, kids!"

Offline Brains

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2005, 08:19:55 pm »
Just read the old thread, and I am sure there is a proper medical term for "seeing" colours and shapes in total darkness as described by Rachel and others, which is I believe one explanation for the Australian Aboriginal art style. Perhaps an artist and or medic could explain further?

My first dabble at the netherworld was with my climbing club when it was too wet to climb sensibly. Trips down P8 and Giants in old clothes and old cags with boiler suits on top to hold it all together, and lamps etc from Caving Supplies, laddering in the stream and generally having lots of fun...

Offline bubba

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2005, 04:52:07 am »
"Synaesthesia" is the term used to describe the seeing of sounds, hearing of colours, etc that some people experience. Reckon that's different to seeing colours in the dark though.
=:blubba:=

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Online Mrs Trellis

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2005, 11:52:40 am »
I may have posted this before but:-

1958 - Old Tor Mine. My school had a week long summer camp at Cooper's in Edale and we walked over to the Winnats. My form master was a maths teacher and we surveyed the mine/cave as a practical demo of trigonometry. We had a school caving club and did Giant's (pre blasting) , Oxlow, and even had a weekend camping at Bull Pot farm which was then a ruin. Took a ciggy shop owner from Kirby Lonsdale down Lancaster in exchange for fags. Transport and tackle big problem for poor schoolboys in the early 60's.

For those interested in ancient history my Eldon probationer trip was with Soppy, Jim Kinsman, Whacker and Geoff Dobson. T'other probationer was Grotty. He went on to higher .... and lower .... things.
Mrs Trellis
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Offline Wolfart

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2005, 05:31:29 pm »
1970 Venture scouts,18,Chris Duff gave us a click&rabbit show then arranged a weekend on the Mendips.Cuckoo cleeves,Ninebarrows then Swildons to sump one,some went through, me included, wearing old clothes and boiler suits,steel toe capped boots.lights and helmets hired from Rocksports by the bus station in Wells.hooked on caving but never got round to it until nine years later.STILL LOVE IT
Paint it black Specus Lupus

Offline underground

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2005, 09:34:38 pm »
Quote from: "Mrs Trellis"


For those interested in ancient history my Eldon probationer trip was with Soppy, Jim Kinsman, Whacker and Geoff Dobson. T'other probationer was Grotty. He went on to higher .... and lower .... things.


Mrs. Trellis, from a fellow Eldoneer, who are Soppy, Whacker and Grotty?  :D

Offline underground

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2005, 09:45:44 pm »
My memory is vague but I'm pretty sure my first caving venture was a scout trip into Bagshawe, about 16 years ago. It was all a bit of a blur, and my memory of that trip consists of a wet jeans and wooly jumper, a broken torch and horrid crawling along low passages with sore, cold hands and knees.

I then had a venture scout trip into Carlswark- as above but much worse due to the shells!

The final straw (f*ck knows why i kept going back for more) was the 1995 fresher's trip at Aberystwyth uni, somewhere on Llangattock obviously well frequented it was so smooth and worn.

"I will never, ever go caving again- it's horrible, wet, cramped, painful and a bag of shite" is possibly what I *absolutely swore* to myself at the time.

Fast forward a few years, while I'm just popping into SamT's place with bubba... 'You should come down Giant's on Tuesday....' 'repeat of the above...'

Tuesday, around 23:00- emerge exhausted from Giant's, freezing in a boiler suit with my climbing harness round my ankles wearing a huge smile.

I doubt that night will ever leave me it had such a profound effect on my life...  :D

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2005, 10:09:25 am »
My first underground venture was some years ago with a group called SPICE.
I cant remember the name of the cave but maybe someone might recognise it from my very brief description from memory.
It was a cave in Derbyshire and I think it was quite close to the roadside.
I think we abseiled in but I could be confusing this with another cave.
I remember the main feature to get to was a massive Oyster bed in the ceiling which was at a lower level in the cave. To get to this we did some walking and crawling and then went down a ladder. I think after this was a choke to the lower level and the Oyster bed.
I started to go down but got a bit stuck so decided not to bother.
I remember driving home covered in mud but very happy.
I did a few more caves with SPICE and then didnt bother for years as I was far to busy with my horses and my diving.
This year I did my SRT course with Andy Sparrow and this reminded me how much I had enjoyed caving so I have now hooked up with a few people and go caving quite regular.
Still have my first horse and still go diving but manage to make time for caving aswell.

Offline kay

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2005, 01:25:29 pm »
Quote from: "Frog"
My first underground venture was some years ago with a group called SPICE.
.


 Carlswark? That sounds like a Dave Roberts trip.

My first was also with SPICE - Lower Eglins - I had no idea that an entance that small could be regarded as a cave! SPICE seems to be an important recruiter of cavers in Yorks/Derbys - I know quite a few who came in that route.

Offline Mr Fell

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2005, 05:17:39 pm »
My first caving trip was in 1974 and was organised by some friends at 6th Form College in Preston.It was a large mixed party and we all went down good old Calf Holes and afterwards ended up in the Cross Keys Inn, at Ribchester and got drunk.Unspeakable things happened in the `back room' - much to the amusement of the others who observed !! The couple concerned married in the end but are now divorced.Neither went caving again !!!! :lol:  :lol:
Up yer passage !

Frog

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2005, 06:40:48 pm »
Quote from: "kay"

 Carlswark? That sounds like a Dave Roberts trip.

My first was also with SPICE - Lower Eglins - I had no idea that an entance that small could be regarded as a cave! SPICE seems to be an important recruiter of cavers in Yorks/Derbys - I know quite a few who came in that route.


It was Mike Roberts and his mate Adrian.
Could be Carlswark. it sounds familiar but its so long ago.
I went on a few trips with Mike and Adrian including spending a night underground which was fun.
Also did Long Churn with Les Hewitt and did Gaping Ghyll with the area co-ordinator whos name escapes me.

Offline kay

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2005, 08:14:30 pm »
Yeah, I meant Mike Roberts!
I had a picture of him in my mind as I typed, but I just know too many Daves!

Offline Wolfart

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2005, 01:49:48 am »
NOT HELLO DAVE FROM ROYSTON VASEY?
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Online Mrs Trellis

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Your very first underground ventures
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2005, 01:58:25 pm »
Quote from: "underground"
Quote from: "Mrs Trellis"


For those interested in ancient history my Eldon probationer trip was with Soppy, Jim Kinsman, Whacker and Geoff Dobson. T'other probationer was Grotty. He went on to higher .... and lower .... things.


Mrs. Trellis, from a fellow Eldoneer, who are Soppy, Whacker and Grotty?  :D



Sorry lad - btw I went to Aber too!!! - hence the interest in Llygad Llwchwr - I can still spell it freehand after all these years.

Soppy = Dave Allsop
Whacker = Brian Woodhall
Grotty = Dave Gill - not Icarus.

Regards

Mrs T
Mrs Trellis
Upper Sheeps Bottom
North Wales

 

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