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.

12th May 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, May 13, 2018 07:18:15

With Jake, Tav, Brockers, Alex and Jonathon.

Jonathon digging with assistance from Alex, who was clearing the filled bags and occasional rocks to Brockers, on the slope. The spoil, loaded into the skip and I hauled and shuttled the bags and rocks to the entrance where Jake and Tav were on surface duties. In addition to hauling spoil from the cave, wall building was continued.

It wasn’t too long before the skip required replacement, this done, the skip moved smoothly along the passage, a joyful thing. Ahead, on the digging front, it seems there were a variety of discussions taking place, such as, the benefits of alternating left-handed and right-handed diggers in the low passage, and the merits, or demerits, of having two people in-line that have issues with authority. Never mind, spoil was removed at a steady pace. I had some time to dig some sediment from the low passage that leads to the west series, a follow-on from Brockers effort last session, it is hoped the passage to the east will drain into here.

At the cessation of today’s activities, 51 bags and 9 skip-loads of rock were hauled out from the cave. The surface team had depleted the supply of available rocks, we’ll need some more to continue the wall building. Another productive session, pub-time.

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