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.

23rd December 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 24, 2017 08:48:56
With Jonathon, Nick, Jake and Brockers.

Nick digging, always good for him to be kept busy and out of mischief, Jake, after replacing the defunct skip, cleared the filled bags and stones away from the digger. It was my turn on the slippery slope, hauling the skip, then man-handling the bags and rocks up to Jon, at the top of the slope. Brockers, all by himself, on the haul and shuttle and stacking the spoil in the entrance, with no-one to talk to, the voices in his head kept him company.

About fifty bags were filled with sediment, most of it slop, these were going to be a 'joy' to empty, some more rocks were also added to the spoil stack. We decided then, it was time to go and clear-out the entrance. After being stacked and compressed the bags were, indeed, not easy to empty, but there was plenty of banter to keep us entertained as the task was completed. Also, gave the lock a bit of a clean and sprayed with WD40, before locking the cave and walking down the hillside to the farm. The field was left with red-brown streaks after rolling in the wet grass to remove the excess mud from oversuits. We changed and headed up to the Hunter's Lodge Inn for our usual de-briefing. It was good to see Alex there too.

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