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.

22nd December 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 23, 2018 08:42:40

With Jon, Brockers and Nick.

Nick turned-up with a large, heavy bar to try and deal with an obstruction underground. At Hallowe’en Rift, Nick went ahead to attempt to remove the obstructing slab of rock, although he required some assistance to get the bar down the entrance. Jon, Brockers and me had decided to clear-out the accumulation of rocks at the bottom of the entrance. The smaller ones were loaded into the skip, the large ones placed into a strop we had devised, specifically for rock removal, the rock-net had long ago been purloined by persons unknown. The strop was effective, and thirty-six loads of rock were hauled-out to the surface. Brockers argued that some of the larger boulders were worth four skips but this was discounted. When the rocks were cleared we made our way underground to assist Nick. The large bar didn’t have the desired effect and the obstruction remains, so we worked around it. Spoil removal proceeded at a rather sedate pace today, the digging is a bit constricted and awkward.

Discussions took place, in my opinion we should put digging along the south-west passage on the back-burner and switch the effort to follow the passage trending north-west (Trevor Hughes’ old dig), at least that is going in the desired direction.

At the end of the session twenty-five filled bags were hauled-out and emptied and a further eight skip-loads of rock. There are plenty of stones on the surface for wall building now.

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