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 September 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, September 24, 2017 09:13:23
With Jake, Nick and Jonathon.

Initially, I went along to the dig-face, reeling in the wire as I progressed, to check the results of Tuesday's endeavour. The slab of rock was shattered, much of it now down in the Tuck Shop. Duly satisfied, I returned to the surface to haul-out the rocks and bags. Jonathon cleared the dig, Nick on top of the slope transferring the spoil to Jake on the haul and shuttle.

It was non-stop action on the surface as a steady stream of rocks and bags were removed from the cave. It was very warm work but, thankfully I wasn't pestered by flies and midges. There was a brief respite, when the skip was worn-out and required a replacement, luckily there was one available. 40 bags were hauled out and emptied, some of these had come to the end of use and were incorporated into the spoil heap. It was too busy to count the number of skip-loads of rock, but they must have equalled, if not exceeded the number of bags. About 6m length of wall was heightened and the spoil dumped behind it.

At the end of the morning's session, a brief discussion, it was decided that many of the rocks in the Tuck Shop would need capping, a job for Tuesday evening. We can do another voice test and re-assess the next stage to make the connection. I can try arranging a Thursday trip if required.

It had been thirsty work this morning and we were now ready for refreshment, to the Hunter's Lodge Inn!

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