Author Topic: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC  (Read 1080 times)

Offline Pitlamp

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1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« on: May 11, 2020, 05:28:04 pm »
At some stage in the second half of the 1960s a caver fell down the short pitch into the Kingsdale Master Cave from the Roof Tunnel. The cause was a failure of the wire, I think due to a ferrule becoming insecure because the hemp core had rotted, or because the hemp core trapped water leading to corrosion of the wire itself. Sadly, the caver suffered serious spinal injuries as a result.

I remember seeing some published information about this a while ago. It might have been in a Cave Research Group Newsletter or Transactions. There may be something in "Race Against Time (the book about the CRO by Jim Eyre and John Frankland). It may even have found its way into one of those late 1960s "Speleologist" magazines. I can't get at a caving library as I type; can anybody easily point me at any written references which describe this accident and / or the technical review of the causes which followed? (Even vaguer memory suggests one written source had one or more photographs of the damaged tackle.)

Thanks.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2020, 05:45:36 pm »
Race Against Time - page 90-91. It was Colin Green who fell, resulting in a broken spine, on the 26 April 1969 after a belay wire failed.

Do you need a scan?

Offline mikem

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2020, 05:54:26 pm »
& article in Descent 4 p.7 (ref 1/4 way down page):
https://northerncaves.co.uk/caves/details.php?id=1617

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2020, 06:08:31 pm »
Mike - thanks for that link - a useful reference list.

Langcliffe - thanks - your post already told me one very useful piece of information. Cheers for the offer of a scan, which would be extremely useful. (I think you have my email address; if not, just shout.)

Still haven't nailed the CRG source which I thought it was in . . . .


Offline langcliffe

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Offline mikem

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 07:44:09 pm »
No, but only thing in BCA catalogue mentioning wire belays.

Incident last came up in 2009:
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=5595.msg121158#msg121158

& there was a letter in jnl 124, p.352:
https://wessex-cave-club.org/about-us/journals/journal-pdfs/
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 08:08:26 pm by mikem »

Offline langcliffe

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2020, 08:00:56 pm »
No, but only thing in BCA catalogue mentioning wire belays.

Incident last came up in 2009:
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=5595.msg121158#msg121158

Yes - but that is Caves and Caving produced by the BCRA. Pitlamp was asking about the Cave Research Group publications, and the CRG was superseded by the BCRA in about 1973.

I have checked the CRG Transactions and there appears to be nothing in there - but as each publication tended to specialise in a specific topic, I wouldn't expect there to be. Unfortunately, I can't for the life of me remember where my CRG Newsletters are, so I cannot help there.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2020, 08:27:27 pm »
Some extremely helpful folk on here!

If it's not in CDG Trans then that makes it more likely to be in one of the later CRG Newsletters. Does anybody have a set which they could glance through? The accident happened  in April 1969. I thought it was 1972 when CRG & BSA were disbanded (to form BCRA) - but Langcliffe's memory of 1973 may well be right. Either way, there would be very few CRG Newsletters to look through.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2020, 08:29:34 pm »
. . . and while I'm on, does anyone have a copy of Descent 4 page 7, which MikeM kindly flagged up, because I'm sure that's on target.

Offline langcliffe

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2020, 08:40:07 pm »
. . . and while I'm on, does anyone have a copy of Descent 4 page 7, which MikeM kindly flagged up, because I'm sure that's on target.

Just a brief incident report. The only really relevant bit is: "... his belay broke. It is reported to have been of the old hemp-core type, and broke against the swaged splice".

Offline langcliffe

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2020, 08:43:31 pm »
I thought it was 1972 when CRG & BSA were disbanded (to form BCRA) - but Langcliffe's memory of 1973 may well be right.

Nah - I'm sure you are right.  At my age, I can't remember what I had for breakfast...  I was close enough, though.

Offline ZombieCake

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2020, 08:44:21 pm »
Here we are:


Offline darkdescender

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2020, 08:59:56 pm »
We have the 5 CRG Newsletters for 1969 in the EPC Library, but unable to access them at moment. Will PM you.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2020, 09:27:47 pm »
Thanks very much for that scan ZombieCake.

Thanks Dark Descender - I see a message waiting - will go for that now.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 12:52:18 pm »
I feel the need to apologise to Langcliffe - he was right about the year the CRG was disbanded (thus, along with the BSA forming BCRA). From BCRA's website:   

BCRA is UK registered charity number 267828, and a constituent body of the British Caving Association, undertaking charitable activities on behalf of BCA. It was created on 23 June 1973[/b].

Offline langcliffe

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 01:07:48 pm »
I feel the need to apologise to Langcliffe - he was right about the year the CRG was disbanded (thus, along with the BSA forming BCRA). From BCRA's website:   

BCRA is UK registered charity number 267828, and a constituent body of the British Caving Association, undertaking charitable activities on behalf of BCA. It was created on 23 June 1973[/b].

:smartass:

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2020, 02:05:19 pm »
 :clap2:      :thumbsup:

Offline Alex

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2020, 02:07:04 pm »
I believe from talking to a few people that the bottom article on that linked document about being the Grassington moors incident is in-correct and it's actually "Top Mere" where this happened.
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)

Offline ttxela2

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2020, 02:07:58 pm »
No, but only thing in BCA catalogue mentioning wire belays.

Incident last came up in 2009:
https://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=5595.msg121158#msg121158



I still have that ladder, I've even still got the jig I used to space the rungs. I've somehow never made another though  ::)

Offline langcliffe

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2020, 03:20:40 pm »
I believe from talking to a few people that the bottom article on that linked document about being the Grassington moors incident is in-correct and it's actually "Top Mere" where this happened.

It was indeed Top Mere.

Offline cfmwh

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2020, 03:41:19 pm »


Pitlamp..... email sent.

Offline mikem

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2020, 03:54:18 pm »
Did the Wessex letter contain any useful info?

Offline jimsheppard

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2020, 04:00:35 pm »
In CRG Newsletter 117, September 1969 there is an article "The safety Factor of Wire Rope" by Jim Eyre - Reprinted from NPC Newsletter August 1969. This contains a reference to the KMC incident and a similar one in Gavel Pot.

Offline Pitlamp

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Re: 1960s accident & spinal injuries, broken ladder, KMC
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2020, 04:14:27 pm »
In CRG Newsletter 117, September 1969 there is an article "The safety Factor of Wire Rope" by Jim Eyre - Reprinted from NPC Newsletter August 1969. This contains a reference to the KMC incident and a similar one in Gavel Pot.

That's it! Thanks ever so much for looking this up - in fact I've now been sent scans of the cover and pages 29-33 where the article can be found.

Mikem; in the end, that wasn't what I was looking for. But thanks for posting it.

cfmwh - got it! Thanks - and have replied directly.

 

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