Author Topic: Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life (John E Gillett)  (Read 644 times)

Offline Ian Adams

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Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life (John E Gillett)
« on: October 27, 2018, 05:01:36 pm »
“Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life” by John E Gillett (2002)


A rather splendid journal of the life and times of a caver written for the enjoyment of those who have been intrigued by the pursuit (but never pursued it) as well as those of us who have.

The underground adventure of the author starts in 1958 after being endowed with enthusiasm from the local library’s stock of science fiction literature. A keenness to explore a new world, a different world, fuelled the desire to begin (and then pursue) caving. The passion is quickly enflamed by the discoveries made leading to adventures both at home and across the seas. And your journey as the reader begins ....

This is a compelling and rich book filled with that “I want to read more” itch that prevents you from putting it down. You follow the author through many twists and turns – some familiar and some not. Clever and eloquent writing, Set off with illustrations (again by the author).

This is a fantastic read.


:)


Ian



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Offline paul

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Re: Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life (John E Gillett)
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 06:46:50 pm »
Excellent book. A few years ago I was with Boyd (who is mentioned in the book) in Inglesport and after seeing the book on the bookshelf, I bought it. As I left the shop, Boyd was outside talking to someone who was passing. When I asked who it was he had been talking to, Boyd said "An friend of mine, John Gillett". A bit of a coincidence.
I'm not a complete idiot: some parts are missing!

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life (John E Gillett)
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2018, 04:01:20 pm »
John and I had lunch together early this year and were talking about John's days in the Army with Boyd - National Service squaddies at Catterick.  Boyd was there from 1956 to 1958 and had introduced John, and numerous others, to caving and we worked out that Boyd was the person who had introduced Neil Moss to caving when Neil was an Officer Cadet at Catterick, before he went to university.

Boyd and others, including people like Fred Davies from the Shepton, ran the "Dales Club" and used to hitch out from Catterick to places like Wharfedale to go caving.  It seems Dowber Gill was a favourite of theirs and they didn't need to take tents with them as most farmers in those days were happy to allow them to sleep in the barn - everyone had a soft spot for the National Serviceman.  Boyd reckoned they lived on 7 lb. tins of Army baked beans and "Pom", issued by the cook house when they headed off for the weekend and drew supplies.

Joh has written 3 books about the early caving days, the third has only just been published and I haven't got a copy yet - it's called "Sixty Years of Caves and Caving".

Offline Tangent_tracker

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Re: Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life (John E Gillett)
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2018, 11:51:03 am »
Yep I can vouch for John's latest book. It is basically an updated version to "Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life" but with added chapters but certainly, he has you hooked with his tales of adventures! John is also still very keen to get out and cave, so I am hoping to do a non vertical trip in Derbyshire with him sometime soon!

“Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life” by John E Gillett (2002)


A rather splendid journal of the life and times of a caver written for the enjoyment of those who have been intrigued by the pursuit (but never pursued it) as well as those of us who have.

The underground adventure of the author starts in 1958 after being endowed with enthusiasm from the local library’s stock of science fiction literature. A keenness to explore a new world, a different world, fuelled the desire to begin (and then pursue) caving. The passion is quickly enflamed by the discoveries made leading to adventures both at home and across the seas. And your journey as the reader begins ....

This is a compelling and rich book filled with that “I want to read more” itch that prevents you from putting it down. You follow the author through many twists and turns – some familiar and some not. Clever and eloquent writing, Set off with illustrations (again by the author).

This is a fantastic read.


:)


Ian




Olly.

Offline Jenny P

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Re: Of Caves and Caving, a way and a life (John E Gillett)
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 03:21:45 pm »
Now I have my copy!

What I really liked about this latest book of John's is his first chapter on his very first ever caving trip while he was at Catterick.  Caving gear as a National Service Squaddie included army issue long underwear (shrunk down 3 sizes to fit by the camp laundry), and protected by old clothes plus a "cardboard" folding helmet and carbide lamp.

They took two buses to get from Catterick to Wensleydale on the Saturday morning; followed by a 12 mile walk up and over the hill and down to the foot of Park Rash - and carrying an army pack with caving gear, sleeping bag, food and other items to set up and cook supper in the farmer's hay barn.  Walk 2 miles down the road to Kettlewell for 2 pints in the pub, then 2 miles back to sleep in the barn.  Up early on Sunday to walk to Dow Cave for their trip, then change and walk the 12 miles back over the hill to Wensleydale (with the wet gear in the rucksacks), to catch the last bus back to Catterick.

Particularly poignant for me, because the leader and leading light of the trip was my husband Boyd, also a National Service Squaddie and Caving Secretary of the Dales Club at Catterick.