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.

25th November 2017

digging 2017Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, November 26, 2017 15:12:54
With Jake, Jonathon, Tav, Brockers and Nick.

Brockers, sporting a pair of dapper orange dungarees, in a 'Southern Comfort' style, was on surface duties; Jonathon on the haul and shuttle; I was on top of the slope. Jake was on the slippery slope leading to Another Emotional Journey, where Nick, assisted by Tav, was digging.

Bags and rocks were coming through at a steady rate when, there came a lull in proceedings as Nick moved a large slab of rock that became wedged tight in the fissure, effectively preventing any more forward progress. Then followed the sound of the rock being battered with the sledge hammer, the rock finally succumbed, and was moved to one-side with some difficulty, and there it remains. Bags and rocks started to be moved-out again. The dig face has become a little squalid, Nick started to show signs of despondency, this is not permitted and Tav told him to get on with digging.

At the end of the session, 80 loads shifted out to the surface, 64 bags and 16 skip-loads of rock.

Above image is 'rock of the day', it has some interesting striations, presumably these were formed during sediment transport in a high energy environment.

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