Hallowe'en Rift, Mendip Hills

Excursions [and other notes] involved in the exploration of Hallowe'en Rift; a cave, so far, formed within Triassic Dolomitic Conglomerate.

The exploration of Hallowe'en Rift was started in 1982 by Trevor Hughes with other members of the Bristol Exploration Club, then during the early 1990's Vince Simmonds and other, mostly, local diggers were active at a number of locations within the cave, including the start of the present dig with Graham Johnson in December 1991. The current phase of exploration was commenced in 2009, with the majority of the early work being carried out by Vince Simmonds and Alex Gee, now the regular team includes Rob 'Tav' Taviner, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Nick Hawkes, Matt Tuck, Jonathon Riley, Paul 'Brockers' Brock and Roz Simmonds. There has been regular assistance from Duncan Price and Mike Moxon, and occasional help from Mike Willett, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, with a couple of guest appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasy.

9th February 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sat, February 11, 2017 06:34:35
With Tav, Jake and Nick.

Tav, back after missing a few sessions due to work commitments, upfront digging, Jake clearing the bags and loading the skip to Nick at the top of the slope. I was on the haul and shuttle, stacking the bags in the entrance, ready for removal to the surface later.

The drips are making the passages quite damp now, almost squalid in places. When the skip first arrives, there is a splash, a face full of muddy water, that later turns to slurry. it does, however, lubricate the skip run and hauling gets easier.

Thirty bags filled and we all moved back to clear them out to the surface. The spoil is becoming claggy, so the bags aren't so easy to empty, some mumblings were heard.

There was a chill east wind across the field on the way back down to the farm.

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