Author Topic: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?  (Read 5784 times)

Offline blackshiver

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 165
Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« on: March 09, 2014, 02:45:50 pm »
For over 40 Years I have had an original photograph that Ian Davidson (sadly long gone) gave me when I was a schoolboy in the early 1970's. Ian used to live close to me and worked for Rolls Royce, his 1970's exploits with Hasselblad camera's in MSG's Northern Dales caves and mines were legendary. Having had a trip down Juniper Gulf yesterday I tried using modern techniques to get some decent pictures of a very difficult to photograph cave. All this achieved was a realisation of just how talented Ian was (well over 40 years ago). I have not seen this picture for many years in the caving scene and although it was a popular poster a long time ago there may be a generation of cavers that have never seen this.
I'm posting a link here, but if one of the admins can upload the image it would be good.

Its a digital photo of an A4 original print from a large format camera which does not do any justice for the original - I have no idea if a negative survived from Ian's collection.





http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13032839525/#
« Last Edit: July 29, 2017, 12:27:58 pm by Pegasus »
I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel.

Offline Jude

  • addict
  • **
  • Posts: 111
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 04:05:47 pm »
That is a super photo! :thumbsup:

Offline grahams

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 922
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 04:32:30 pm »
Seconded. But so too is the second photo in your photostream (looking down the shaft). Is it also of Juniper Gulf?
Sceptics wanted!

Online paul

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4234
  • Orpheus CC, NPC
    • Orpheus Caving Club
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 05:24:57 pm »
In the 80's I was secretary of St Albans Caving Club (sadly now defunct with remaining members joining Keyhole Caving Club some 20 years or so ago) for a spell and Ian was connected with the club. There was a box of various documents and photos among the club's posessions and a print of that photo was also in the box. I believe the caver was Nigella Ballard (who didn't really like ladders!) but I could swear to that. Yes, and excellent photo.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Cap'n Chris

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 12180
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 05:28:10 pm »
What Grahams said: blinkin' marvellous. Made my afternoon!

Offline mrodoc

  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2550
    • Peter Glanvill's Webpage
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2014, 09:10:14 pm »
Striking image. I think I have the poster in the attic.

Offline richardg

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 461
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2014, 10:24:45 pm »
Absolutely Fantastic photos Black Shiver :clap2: :clap2: :clap2:

Thanks for including the picture of me. but the caption.... :spank:  cheeky person you are.... he he he :lol:

Richard

Offline Hunter

  • regular
  • *
  • Posts: 52
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 10:26:56 pm »
I had that picture on the wall at work years ago along with one of GG main chamber. Very inspirational.....if you like big  ladders!  :'(

Offline skippy

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • CPC
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 08:54:37 am »
That photo was in Arthur Champion and Dave Judsons book. As a 14 year old who had just started caving in the early eighties I used to pore over that photo and show it all my school mates...I remember a few years later having done Juniper harking back to that photo.

Offline skippy

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 443
  • CPC
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 11:40:46 am »
Love the 'Miss Descent' photo in your photostream  ;D

Offline Pegasus

  • NCC
  • Administrator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 2139
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2017, 10:42:54 pm »
Thanks to Blackshiver for pointing this thread out to me  :thumbsup:

It's a great shot  :)

Offline RobinGriffiths

  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 869
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2017, 11:26:56 pm »
Yes brilliant photo. The fact it's on a ladder rather than rope, and you can make out the individual rungs gradually fading into nothingness as you follow them up adds a great sense of scale. And you've got some sedimentary layers in the middle giving way to a thick fluted bed down the bottom, bringing a sense of resolution.

Online MJenkinson

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 463
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2017, 08:22:42 am »
Beautiful photo.  I can just imagine the loneliness of ascending that ladder.

However..having never been a fan of ladders..that picture also conjures the emotion of "forrrrrrrrrrrget it" and "Thank god for SRT".

Offline mudman

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 392
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2017, 12:11:49 pm »
Seeing that photo makes me glad that I live in South Wales and all our caves are laid on their sides.  ;D

Online Ian Ball

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2017, 03:24:16 pm »
Going up I'd be fine, setting off at the top though! might prove difficult.
ib

Offline topcat

  • obsessive maniac
  • ***
  • Posts: 359
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2017, 05:04:16 pm »
I hope he is going up..........the ladder seems to run out just below his feet!

Offline blackshiver

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 165
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2017, 05:18:12 pm »
"He" is a "She" and I seem to remember Clive (Weslake) told me he held the flashgun!
I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel.

Online paul

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4234
  • Orpheus CC, NPC
    • Orpheus Caving Club
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2017, 05:40:56 pm »
Yes, I believe the caver was Nigella Ballard - and she hated ladders! (See my previous post above).
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline oldcaver

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2017, 08:59:14 pm »
I would like to put the record straight on this thread as I was a member of St Albans Caving club from 1972 until the mid- 1980s.  I was actually on the trip with Ian and other club members when this photograph was taken.  The other people I can remember who were also on this trip are:  Graham Mosley, Ray Bains, Clive Westlake, Malcolm Lloyd and Ian Davidson .
The caver on the ladder is not Nigella Ballard. I am still in contact with Neil and Nigella and they have confirmed that they were not club members at this time.
The trip took place in December 1972 when the club was staying at the Bolton Speleo Club Hut at Upper Winskill, just above Stainforth.  (Sadly this site no longer exists as it has become houses).  Early in the morning we had ladders set up in the barn just to get a bit more practice on ladder work before going into the cave later that morning.  There was some debate at the time the picture was published as to who was on the ladder, it came down to either Graham or Ray and the consensus of opinion was that it was Ray.
Paul is right about Clive firing a flash gun.  There were in fact five of us involved in taking the picture.  We were all operating flash guns for that one photo with 5 x PF5 flash bulbs going off at the same time.  Electronic flash guns were not powerful enough in those days. All lights were turned off and a shout of “fire” came from Ian and we could see all the way up the shaft for a brief second. The climb down and up the ladder were very memorable, being such an impressive pitch, there wasn’t a feeling of loneliness at all. But I can say that I agree with mudman that caves I now visit in South Wales are “laid on their side”, especially as cavers tend to slide down bits of string these days.
This was an outstanding trip and I have fond memories of caving with Ian on many occasions.

Online Ian Ball

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 539
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2017, 09:30:33 pm »
I like showing this picture to people when they say its too small for them, the figure being a woman was great.  Shame it isn't a female.

Offline Goydenman

  • Black Sheep Digger
  • junky
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2017, 10:48:02 pm »
That is a super photo! :thumbsup:

My thoughts too

Online paul

  • Global Moderator
  • forum hero
  • *****
  • Posts: 4234
  • Orpheus CC, NPC
    • Orpheus Caving Club
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2017, 12:09:06 pm »
I would like to put the record straight on this thread as I was a member of St Albans Caving club from 1972 until the mid- 1980s.  I was actually on the trip with Ian and other club members when this photograph was taken.  The other people I can remember who were also on this trip are:  Graham Mosley, Ray Bains, Clive Westlake, Malcolm Lloyd and Ian Davidson .
The caver on the ladder is not Nigella Ballard. I am still in contact with Neil and Nigella and they have confirmed that they were not club members at this time.
The trip took place in December 1972 when the club was staying at the Bolton Speleo Club Hut at Upper Winskill, just above Stainforth.  (Sadly this site no longer exists as it has become houses).  Early in the morning we had ladders set up in the barn just to get a bit more practice on ladder work before going into the cave later that morning.  There was some debate at the time the picture was published as to who was on the ladder, it came down to either Graham or Ray and the consensus of opinion was that it was Ray.
Paul is right about Clive firing a flash gun.  There were in fact five of us involved in taking the picture.  We were all operating flash guns for that one photo with 5 x PF5 flash bulbs going off at the same time.  Electronic flash guns were not powerful enough in those days. All lights were turned off and a shout of “fire” came from Ian and we could see all the way up the shaft for a brief second. The climb down and up the ladder were very memorable, being such an impressive pitch, there wasn’t a feeling of loneliness at all. But I can say that I agree with mudman that caves I now visit in South Wales are “laid on their side”, especially as cavers tend to slide down bits of string these days.
This was an outstanding trip and I have fond memories of caving with Ian on many occasions.


Ah, thanks for helping to clarify the details. I can't remember where the info came from that it was Nigella on the ladder now - it was many years ago! It is still an excellent photo.

Clive still uses flash bulbs as well - I've had to hold hiw flash gun a few times.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline blackshiver

  • menacing presence
  • **
  • Posts: 165
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2017, 08:00:52 pm »
What an excellent post by "oldcaver" - as I said with the previous historical questions about Goat Inlet in Langstroth Pot - UK Caving is a great resource for people to learn from the people involved as to what actually happened "on the day"and "during exploration" from events long in the past that deserve recognition. I have had an original print of this hanging in my house for most of my life and your reply made my day. Thanks.
I have a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a Weasel.

Offline chunky

  • forum star
  • ****
  • Posts: 503
  • The Dudley, SWCC
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2017, 09:51:27 pm »
Inspirational shot. The skill involved to capture this at that time is breathtaking.

Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk


Online tamarmole

  • stalker
  • ***
  • Posts: 273
Re: Best Yorkshire Caving Photograph to date?
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2017, 10:01:31 pm »
It beautifully encapsulates a pre SRT world of ladders and wetsuits  in much the same way as some of the Sid Perou films do; you can almost hear the jingle of the ladders as they are unravelled down the pitch.  Wonderfully evocative.