Author Topic: Brian Sidnet Roach aka Brian Laroache  (Read 239 times)

Offline rhychydwr1

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Brian Sidnet Roach aka Brian Laroache
« on: April 22, 2020, 04:20:21 pm »
Just heard, succumbed Coron 19, sadly past away in the USA .  We were both members of the Severn Valley Caving Club, Wessex Cave Club, etc  c50 years ago.  Full obituary to follow.

Offline rhychydwr1

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Re: Brian Sidnet Roach aka Brian Laroache
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2020, 10:20:21 am »
Obituary Brian Sydney Roach

19.09.39 – 04.04.2020

 

Brian Roach was brought up in Hotwells, Bristol and had a lot of local knowledge about the caves and tunnels in the area most of which are now inaccessible today.  We were both apprentices at Bristol Aircraft Craft Ltd and this is how we met.   

 

To give you an idea of what caving was like in the 50’s and 60’s below are some anecdotes of our activities. 

 

Our first recorded caving trip together was Saturday, 3rd March 1956 when we visited the caves in in Kingsweston Down Quarry and the Avon Gorge.  This was one of my early bat ringing trips.

 

On Tuesday 3rd May 1960  Wessex Caving Club  Hon Secretary Mr Frank Frost rang me at 4.30 am and gave me a list of caves on Eastern Mendip to search.  It appears that two Officer Cadets from Sandhurst had left there on Saturday morning to go caving in the Mendips and that they had not returned by Monday, that meant they were 24 hours overdue.  I went to call for Brian Roach.  We then departed for Mendip and visited the following caves:- Blakes Farm Swallet, Downhead Swallet, Hunting Lodge Swallet, Little London Swallet, Waterlip Swallet, Withybrook Swallet, Thrupe Swallet, Midway Slocker, St Dunstan’s Well Cave.  We also checked with Mr Garnet the quarry manager that Fairy Cave and Hillier’s Cave entrances were secure.  Duck Hole was the only possibility left but we could not descend it as they were quarrying.  The Cadets were later found sunning themselves in Jersey.

 

From Log Book No 7.  Friday 22nd July 1960  Evening Trip to Storm Water Tunnel

We met this bloke who was going to take us down in The Miner’s Arms, in Mina Road.  After a little refreshment we adjourned to the hut at the shaft head.  After fish and chips we descended.  The tunnel at the moment is about 3½ miles long and we went on a diesel train right down to Clifton Down, via Redland and St Andrew’s Park.  There was only a small amount of water running but we were informed that this amounted to a million gallons in 24 hours!  We were shown the method of blasting and the machine used to remove the debris.  A pleasant 2½ hour trip.

 

Sunday 7th May 1961.  Archaeological excavation at Tom Tivey’s Hole.  Brian and wife Greta.   Continued to excavate  C 5/6 until rock bottom was reached at about 12 feet or 340 odd cm.  We inspected Asham Wood Cave and White Woman’s Hole.   

 

Sunday 16th December 1962.  A trip to the Avon Gorge, Bristol with the Severn Valley Caving Club.   

 

Sunday 27th January 1963  Mushroom Mine, Bath.  Bat Ringing.  TO & BSR

It was still very cold temperatures at sub-zero.  We found a cluster of about 100 GH and few bats scattered about.  We visited Shaft Road Workings where there were a few bats but many beautiful ice formations, stalactites, curtains and pillars.  We continued to Chanctonbury Workings but we did not find any bats, but instead piles of junk which we all wallowed in.  I collected postcards whilst the others collected books etc.  BSR disgraced himself by lighting a fire which caused stones to drop out of the roof.  We were very fortunate that they did not fall on anybody.  The lady at No 90, gave us all a cup of tea afterwards!  Finding all that junk certainly made a difference to the trip.  It was most amusing to see everybody grovelling for bits and pieces!

And so it continued, with other notable trips in the Somerset area.  Remember this was an era when we relied on buses and walking to get to the caves, and a real step up was when we eventually got motorbikes!

 

Brian moved frequently because of his work which took him all over the world although Israel was his favourite country and one which he told me he would have loved to retire to.  Eventually however, he ended up in America where unfortunately he died of a stroke the day after he had been discharged  from hospital after 3 weeks battling the Coronovirus. 

 

Sadly he lost Greta some years ago, but is survived by Tara and David, to whom we send out heartful condolences.  He never lost his love of caving, and the caving world has lost one of the real old timers, there are not many of us left now to carry the flag!

 

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