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.

22nd February 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Thu, February 23, 2017 06:27:39

I had finished a rather slow archaeological watching brief early, with the prospect of going down to Okehampton tomorrow, I decided to take a half-days leave.

Rather than go into Hallowe'en Rift this evening, I thought that going in the afternoon would give me more time to complete my task. So, I got my gear together, loaded the van and headed off, over the hill to the farm.

The half-dozen drag trays I had prepared last weekend were left in the cabin. Thanks to Hugh Tucker for supplying them and to Jonathon for collecting them, they will be very useful.

Lugged the two bags with the 'capping' gear and drill to the [current] end of Merlin's to deal with the boulders left there on Saturday. There were two quite substantial lumps and, another bigger than the two combined, all of them in the way of making progress forward.

Once I had sorted out where to place all the kit, so that it was easy to access when required, work got underway.

Drill a hole, two black 'caps' inserted, the rod placed, gently tapping the 'caps' until compressed, then, a heavy thwack - bang! The resulting split rock was moved aside and the process repeated.

About two and a half hours later, the boulders had been reduced to a decent sized pile of rock in more manageable pieces, ready to be removed on the weekend.

Packed the kit away and made my way out of the cave.

It turned out that the job in Okehampton had been cancelled, so I won't be going there tomorrow.

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