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 December 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 16, 2018 07:47:36

With Jon, Duncan, Nick and Brockers

It was a wet and miserable morning with a cold south-easterly wind, not a good day to spend too long on the surface, everyone underground. Brockers digging with assistance from Duncan, Nick was at the mid-way haul position, I was sat at the junction, Jon stacking the spoil in the entrance.

In between bags, Nick, of course, began some surreptitious excavation, “clearing around a large stal boss” he said. I, too, bagged up some loose stones that were lying on the floor of the south-east passage. We were mindful not to use too many of the dry bags that had been stored below ground or someone (Jon) would have to retrieve some wet bags from the surface. Jon reported that the trickle down the entrance had become a small stream as the rain got heavier, I could hear the wind blowing from where I was.

Eventually though it was time to bite the bullet and some of us return to the surface to haul-out and empty the bags, 45 of them, the rocks were left to accumulate at the bottom of the entrance again. Nick and I did have a brief discussion regarding another wall extension being necessary, but that’s a job for another [drier] day. We were all rather damp as we made out way back down to the farm.

At the Hunter’s we met Ivan Sandford who had been clearing out his containers and he donated some long ropes to the cause, very useful.

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