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.

27th October 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, October 28, 2018 07:04:52

With Alex, Jonathon, Brockers and Nick

While Alex went ahead to start digging, Jon and I rearranged the ‘boardwalk’ so that it bridged the ‘drainage channel’ and, therefore, making an improved skip haul route. Brockers, meanwhile, decided that he would ‘tidy-up’ at the bottom of the entrance shaft, there was an accumulation of fallen leaves and twigs and other detritus. Nick was on the surface, wall-building and hauling bags and rocks when required, bags were emptied too.

Alex was busy enlarging the passage south-west, but obviously not quick enough for Jon who decided to do some moonlighting and started to clear-out an alcove that had been stuffed with digging spoil in the past. I took a lump-hammer and started to batter a lump of calcited conglomerate that impeded the skip. There are a couple of corners that require some attention but, they will wait for another day.

As an aside, some ‘caving’ songs were being composed, mostly to the tune ‘So What’ by the Anti-Nowhere League, while the lyrics were funny (to us, anyway) they are probably, not printable.

As usual, time passed quickly, 99 loads were hauled-up to the surface and dealt with, refreshment was required. The cave secured, we made our way down to the farm, got changed, then up the road to the Hunter’s Lodge Inn.

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