Author Topic: Hidden Earth 2018  (Read 4629 times)

Offline Les W

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Hidden Earth 2018
« on: July 18, 2018, 11:30:17 am »
After a lot of work I can confirm that this year's Hidden Earth will be at Churchill Academy, Mendip
21st to 23rd September

It has been extremely difficult to find a venue in Northern Britain this year, with more than 25 venues checked and inspected, but we will persevere for next year.

Les Williams
Hidden Earth Event Manager
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Offline mrodoc

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2018, 11:31:24 am »
I might come along :unsure:

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2018, 11:45:44 am »
Well done Les and team - I doubt that many cavers fully appreciate your commitment to make it happen.

Don't apologise; Mendips a grand place to be!  :thumbsup:

Offline Katie

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2018, 12:59:57 pm »
Bugger!
I had gambled on it being a week later and have scheduled a full day cave rescue training including cave diving and a team supper for that weekend!
Hmmm, will go contact all those involved in organising it and see if rescheduling is a possibility....

Offline Andyj23UK

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2018, 01:35:22 pm »
Hmmm, will go contact all those involved in organising it and see if rescheduling is a possibility....

yup - force HE to reschedule :P

Offline AWW

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2018, 01:41:34 pm »
I'm only going if there's another singsong lecture.  ;D

But seriously, well done.  :clap2:

Offline kay

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2018, 01:46:58 pm »
Well done Les.

If you do find a Northern venue, would it be possible to consider an "extra" Northern HE to make up for missing out this year?

Offline Cave_Troll

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2018, 02:10:40 pm »
Hmmm, will go contact all those involved in organising it and see if rescheduling is a possibility....

yup - force HE to reschedule :P

I think she was suggesting contacting the organisers of the training ex.
As one of the organisers, i'd rather be at HE

Offline The Old Ruminator

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2018, 02:48:29 pm »
I shall jolly well force myself to be there.

Offline Maj

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2018, 03:46:34 pm »
I shall be there  :)
 
So long as there is beer  :beer2:

 :lol:
 
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Offline GarDouth

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2018, 09:27:50 pm »
Online submission of Lecture, Film & Workshop Sessions is now available.

Dust off those expedition log books and present your discoveries, adventures or anything else caving related at Hidden Earth 2018!  8)

https://hidden.earth/lectures
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Offline Alex

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2018, 10:16:19 am »
Mendip again!?? Was it not Mendip last year? Surely there must had been somewhere up north, what about the Leak in the Peak or Dales bridge as that was suitable for Euro Spelo? Even somewhere in the middle would have done, such as Northern Wales, has there ever been an HE there?

Oh well like the government thinks, I guess us northerners don't exist.

I will have to decide if it's worth the drive this time. It depends what/if Mad Phil has to say about China.
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Offline nobrotson

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2018, 10:31:52 am »
Mendip again!?? Was it not Mendip last year? Surely there must had been somewhere up north, what about the Leak in the Peak or Dales bridge as that was suitable for Euro Spelo? Even somewhere in the middle would have done, such as Northern Wales, has there ever been an HE there?

Oh well like the government thinks, I guess us northerners don't exist.

I will have to decide if it's worth the drive this time. It depends what/if Mad Phil has to say about China.

You are being quite obtuse. Do you really think the organisers have spent this long working on finding a venue only to get the same as last years again because that was what they wanted? N, this was the only venue that was available and suitable for HE this year. The organisers of this event put a lot of time in every year to make it happen and your comments don't show much respect for their efforts.
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Offline Benfool

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2018, 10:48:21 am »
Alex read this again.

"After a lot of work I can confirm that this year's Hidden Earth will be at Churchill Academy, Mendip
21st to 23rd September

It has been extremely difficult to find a venue in Northern Britain this year, with more than 25 venues checked and inspected, but we will persevere for next year.

Les Williams
Hidden Earth Event Manager"

I'm sure Les has better things to do than try to waste even more time finding a northern venue for this year - its not as if he has other stuff to do? I believe the reason why its not in Leek this year is because the school changed and is no longer suitable.

If you're so appalled at it being back down on Mendip why dont you offer to try to find a northern venue? I'm sure Les would appreciate the help.

B

Offline Les W

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2018, 10:52:28 am »
Mendip again!?? Was it not Mendip last year?

Indeed it was..

Surely there must had been somewhere up north

Yes, surely there must.
Perhaps you can spend 8 months of your time ringing around prospective venues and visiting them during working hours to confirm suitability, whilst trying to keep your day job running as well, oh, and some time for enjoyment, caving, a life, etc?

, what about the Leak in the Peak

Well, Leek is no longer suitable, following their redevelopment of part of the site...

or Dales bridge as that was suitable for Euro Spelo?

But Eurospeleo was a very different event and the venue was very expensive, the marquees alone cost over £20k and the total costs were in excess of £70k.
Oh, and that was with only one lecture theatre...

Even somewhere in the middle would have done, such as Northern Wales, has there ever been an HE there?

I have spent several months chasing around North Wales, and the North West of England and no suitable venue was found. Either they aren't interested or there are prior bookings or the site is just not suitable...

Oh well like the government thinks, I guess us northerners don't exist.

Well, if I thought Northerners didn't exist then I wouldn't have just spent a vast amount of my time, and money, trying to sort a suitable venue there...

I will have to decide if it's worth the drive this time. It depends what/if Mad Phil has to say about China.

You decide what you want. I can't help you there, but if Mad Phil is your only reason for considering whether to come then why bother to come at all...
The event runs all weekend, has three lecture theatres running through out with a whole host of other stuff going on as well.
All run by volunteers, for the benefit of cavers.
A lot of people give up a lot of time to put on this event...
But if you only want to hear what Mad Phil has to say about China then why not just chat to him in the pub, only cost you a pint and will save the drive
I'm a very busy person

Offline alastairgott

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2018, 11:01:55 am »
*Wonders what Alex would think if they found a venue in Southport. It is the north, but an hour and a half at least from any caves.

I can see it from the perspective of cavers who want to go for a quick caving trip as well.

When it was at Burnley, some slinked off to go caving in the dales.
In leek, some snook off for a session in the Peak.
In Somerset, some commute from the comfort of the Wessex.

Dalesbridge only coped with Eurospeleo due to a herculean effort of everybody helping out. And thankfully the weather turned out ok from Saturday through Thursday.

At the end of September, the weather is a bit more temperamental and the ground is soggier. Probably a lot of consideration there.
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Offline pwhole

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2018, 11:46:47 am »
I can't really see the point of 'going to' Hidden Earth, only then to go caving nearby instead, especially when many of us go caving every weekend anyway. Personally the last thing I want to do at a conference is...erm...miss the conference. It's a long way for me too unless I set off walking in a few days, but you never know. Well done to Les and the team for finding anywhere suitable - your efforts are much appreciated.

Online Mark Wright

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2018, 11:50:18 am »
Well done Les for once again giving up a considerable amount of your time and wages and securing this years Hidden Earth in Mendip.

Churchill is an excellent venue and I will certainly be driving down from the North to run the SRT races again.

Mark


Offline Alex

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2018, 11:53:04 am »
I think the tongue and cheek bit did not come across as I thought it would with the government comment.

I apologise for not realising such a long time was spent, it just seems so unbelievable there is no place in the whole of Northern England and it always seems that it's down South almost every year. I appretiate the amount of work you have put in, I guess if you are spending 8 months you are an unsung hero there. Here's me thinking you just spend a few hours on an evening ringing round lol.

I guessed Mendip was just picked again for ease. It just felt like we are being ignored up here.

The Mad Phil comment was if he needed help with the lecture (as I was on that expo)

Southport? Hmm not completely against it I guess.

Another idea which I assume from the above you have checked then is North East you got the North york moors stuff such as Excalibur pot.
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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2018, 11:56:01 am »
When I first attended Hidden Earth, although I think it was called the BCRA Conference then, it was at UMIST in Manchester and it remained there for many years.  It's been at Churchill three out of the last four years if memory serves me correct with only the Eurospeleo event breaking up the run.  So there is a precedent for it to remain in the same location for many years.

I think in an ideal world we'd all like to see it move around the country or the regions and that is clearly the aim of Les and the team.  I do worry, and from what Les says it appears to be true, that there just aren't the venues to run Hidden Earth like it has been in the past.  Is it time for a change of format?  To think outside the box and review what sort of national event can be delivered given the resources available.  Should we consider a larger budget? A different time of year? Do we need camping on site, to run our own bar, a sit down dinner and three lecture theatres?  What about less lectures and more field trips, some caving even.  Does it have to be a single national event, what about a series of smaller events around the regions, Cavefest meets Eurospeleo perhaps, or tie it in with other larger outdoor events.  How about getting regional councils more involved and identifying the event with them.  There are always lots of options and ideas rather than the same old same old.  Happy to work on more ideas if you think it would help and good luck for this year.

Offline Alex

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2018, 12:00:06 pm »
All Sound like a good idea BadLad. If it was hosted earlier in the year (when weather is better), then a few large marquees in a random field would do. Maybe a more festival format? Farmers can't charge that much to hire out a field. But if marquees are 20k a pop then I can see why 4 of them would be quite a bit expensive. I assume School in Mendip costs less than 80k?

Another option is we have our own smaller "Northern" hidden earth? And the main one remains in Mendip.
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Offline JoshW

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2018, 12:04:50 pm »
good work Les!

absolutely buzzing with the change of weekend meaning I can go again!

Whilst a shame it's not up north, Churchill is a fantastic fall back option, and the effort put into finding an alternate venue is appreciated.

See you there!  :beer2:

Offline Topimo

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2018, 12:07:24 pm »
Another option is we have our own smaller "Northern" hidden earth? And the main one remains in Mendip.

Forbidden Earth?

Offline Les W

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2018, 12:16:42 pm »
I think the tongue and cheek bit did not come across with the government comment.

Oh, it did. If I had considered it a serious comment it would have got a much more serious answer...  :-\

I apologise in not realising such a long time was spent, it just seems so unbelievable there is no place in the whole of Northern England and it always seems that it's down South almost every year.

Some people have very short memories. It was down south last year as it was supposed to be, as Eurospeleo (instead of Hidden Earth) was in the north. That was in 2016, only two years ago...
Two years before that it was in Leek, in the Peak District. We try to alternate around the four main caving regions (or as near as we can sensibly get...)

Some time before the event was branded as Hidden Earth it was held at UMIST (Manchester, nominally in the north) for seven years in a row...

I guessed Mendip was just picked again for ease. It just felt like we are being ignored up here.

Mendip was selected as a last resort, as we only have a few days until schools close for the summer, making impossible to secure a venue then...
As for being ignored then just cast your mind back only a short two years when the north hosted the largest caver event in Europe, ever...

The Mad Phil comment was if he needed help with the lecture (as I was on that expo)

But my point still stands, if that is your only reason for considering travelling south then perhaps you shouldn't  :tease:

Southport? Hmm not completely against it I guess.

We did hold it in Southport in 1998 I think, but the attendance was low and the location (Floral Hall) was not really ideal. Pretty sure it is quite expensive nowadays too.

Another idea which I assume from the above you have checked then is North East you got the North york moors stuff such as Excalibur pot.

I am happy to consider any venue, however there is a list of criteria
1. There must be the four large spaces we need, i.e. A large sports hall, a school hall or similar seating at least 300, a gymnasium or similar seating at least 200 and a smaller space for 50 to 80 persons.
2. They must allow camping on site, or camping must be very near by (walking distance)
3. They must allow alcohol!
4. They must actually want to let the premises out
5. The premises must be available on our chosen dates

Most other stuff we can work around.

However, to ascertain all of this, for each venue, takes on average a week or more. Remember, these are schools and their main business is educating kids, not running conferences so we are not their priority.
We need to make contact. Find the right person to speak with. Send them our requirements. Typically they will need to liaise with the (normally) privately run sports centre. Then check with the school management team. Then get back to us.
This is a lot of work carried out over the telephone and internet, from my office, when I really ought to be earning money and keeping my customers happy...
If the venue is considered suitable after this then an initial site visit is set up, and I have to travel there, in working hours again, to meet on site.
If after the site visit, the venue is still suitable, then we can get on with organising the event.

Typically, the situation has been that at some point in the above process, each venue has proven unsuitable or unavailable...

This has happened at sites from Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales.
When I found myself with only a week before the end of the school year I was left with no option but to ask if we could go back to Churchill. Even then it took almost a week to get confirmation that the site was still suitable, was available and we were welcome.
Had we not got the Churchil site then there would not have been a Hidden Earth this year...

I will continue to look for Northern venues, but it's a big job that takes a lot of time.
I'm a very busy person

Offline Alex

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Re: Hidden Earth 2018
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2018, 12:41:48 pm »
Again was not belittling your efforts at all. It sounds like a herculean task, and you do need some help. I can keep my ear to the group myself with your criteria in mind. I wonder what facilities Craven college offer... I shall find out, unless you have already checked? Of course this will be for next year now.

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Some time before the event was branded as Hidden Earth it was held at UMIST (Manchester, nominally in the north) for seven years in a row...

Must say I joined caving world too late and never heard of this before.

As BadLad said its been in Mendip there 3 out of 4. I guess it's really worrying if Chruchill decide not to host it anymore, like you say we would then be completely stuck!

So for completely non-serious suggestion based on your criteria:

Gaping Gill

Quote
1. There must be the four large spaces we need, i.e. A large sports hall, a school hall or similar seating at least 300, a gymnasium or similar seating at least 200 and a smaller space for 50 to 80 persons.

Definitely space down there for all that, including snad cavern and Mud hall being smaller lecturing space.

Quote
2. They must allow camping on site, or camping must be very near by (walking distance)
It's only a short winch ride away.

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3. They must allow alcohol!

Not stopped the Craven/Bradford before, so alcohol is allowed.

Quote
4. They must actually want to let the premises out

Well I think it's free or do Craven/Bradford pay a fee. Negotiations could be made

Quote
5. The premises must be available on our chosen dates

Depends on mother nature I guess.

Quote
Most other stuff we can work around.

I am sure there could solutions to minor problems like no electricity, thunderstorms and the like. You did say they could be worked around ;)

Anything I say is represents my own opinion and not that of a any club/organisation that I am a member of (unless its good of course)