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.

11th February 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, February 12, 2017 07:29:14
With Tav, Nick, Jonathon and Matt.

I was ready for the surface duties but, Tav opted for that position, on the grounds that he had dug on Thursday evening. I did the haul and shuttle again, Jonathon was at the top of the slope, Matt at the bottom, clearing away the filled bags from Nick, who was digging today.

I'd brought along another 'pick' to make the removal of the rocky fill easier, the steady flow of bags out, suggested it did the job.

On the surface, Tav busied himself by working on the retaining wall. He cut back the scrubby undergrowth to enable the wall baseline to be completed. I, too, spent a short time adding to the wall before going underground to clear the backlog of bags.

The skip was worn out so had to be replaced, this took quite a time as the haul ropes needed some adjustment. Then, just as we had got underway again, one of the boards on the bridge over the pot moved, causing the skip to jam, so had to sort that out.

At the end of the session, over 50 bags plus some rocks were cleared out to the surface. Another fine session was concluded and we made our way down to the farm to get changed, and head up to the pub.

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