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.

1st December 2018

digging 2018Posted by Vince Simmonds Sun, December 02, 2018 09:12:05

With Nick, Brockers, Jonathon, Duncan and Alex

Alex, Brockers, Jonathon and Duncan disappeared underground to get the digging underway and started to fill bags and shift rocks. Nick remained on the surface for a short time to build some wall, I passed some rocks to Nick and generally tidied up.

Soon it was just me on the surface and I was thankful that the rain earlier this morning had passed over. The bags and rocks started to arrive at a steady rate and there wasn’t any spare time to add to the wall. The bags were all emptied, the sediment compacted into the space behind the wall that Nick had created earlier. It was warm work and I was kept busy.

At the very end of the digging session, Nick returned to the surface to help haul out the last few bags and rocks. A total of 82 loads out of the cave, 62 filled bags and 20 skip-loads of rocks. A large pile of rocks remains at the bottom of the entrance ready for shifting out next session, all good stuff for wall building.

I was thirsty and the refreshments at the Hunter’s were very welcome. Another productive session.

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