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.

16th December 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 17, 2017 09:22:50
With Jake, Nick and Tav.

It was Brockers turn to dig but, he had gone to Bristol, we suspect Christmas shopping to purchase some squealish delights! This left us in a bit of a quandary, without our lead in Another Emotional Journey, what were our options?

When it was suggested, it was a fine morning, we were only a small team, it will be squalid underground, and, we had said, why don't we sort-out the spoil heap wall? There wasn't too much resistance, so that's what we did.

I had to venture underground to look at a [potentially] loose slab of rock. At the top of the slope there had been a slump of sediment - about a wheelbarrow full. Another Emotional Journey was, indeed, wet, a puddle of water on the floor was drained away before the slab of rock was tapped and poked, it seems okay to me, the crack appears to be a bedding joint and was always there, no requirement for immediate action.

Back at the entrance, I called to Nick and we removed the dozen or so loads of rock from the bottom of the entrance. I was asked to go and get a mattock and spade from the top of the pot to aid the surface works.

On the surface, wall building was being carried-out in earnest with two sections receiving some attention. The largest section is to be terraced due to the height required, the second section increases space by encroaching into the bramble patch. The slumped spoil was levelled-off, and the walls built consolidated. Eventually we ran out off suitable rocks for building and decided to go to the pub. I'm sure more rock will become available soon.

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