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, Roz Simmonds, Duncan Price and Mike Moxon. There has been occasional help from others including Mike Willett, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, with regular guest appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasy.

15th July 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, July 16, 2017 07:13:29
With Jake and Jonathon.

I went along to the end of Merlin's, reeling in the wire along the way, to start bagging the rocks and gravel. Jonathon and Jake cleared the backlog of spoil from last weekend, along with the bags and rocks that I was loading into the skip. Eventually, the loose spoil was bagged and digging slowed. Jake and Jonathon then moved back to clear the spoil stashed at the top of the slope to the entrance, and then, out to the surface.

Meanwhile, I got to work with hammer, chisel and bar to remove shattered rock, filled bags were stashed in "Nick's Folly". When clean, it was possible to get a better look at the narrow fissure, at most it's 15mm-20mm wide, and mostly, filled with fine sediment, not really a viable lead. I pondered for a while, Jake and Jonathon weren't going to return, I started to scratch around at the end of Nick's Folly, where the passages appear to converge, perhaps digging down in the floor here might reveal something. I'll loosen things-up a bit on Tuesday evening.

12:30, time to go and find the rest of the team and head-off to the Hunter's Lodge for refreshments.

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