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PEAK DISTRICT CAVING News - February 2000


Two small but promising breakthroughs, February 2000:

Report from John Beck.....

Mark Noble and I had a dig at this tiny blocked entrance on 7th February, and found that it was the top of a narrow passage full of flowstoned boulders. After 4 sessions of pleasant but strenuous boulder bashing and chiselling, we were able to wriggle through into a just-penetrable passage. After about 3 metres we were on the edge of a roomy 3 metre climb down into a chamber about 1.5m x 5m, with a floor of flowstoned boulders. Another day of rock moving revealed the wall undercutting into a passage, at which point the draught became very much stronger. Mark Loftus was easily persuaded to dig here instead of going to Streaks West Choke on 22nd February, and another session with crowbars and sledge hammers got us through another short bouldery thrutch to a second short climb down. Another small chamber, and another crawl full of flowstoned boulders followed. We shifted enough to scraum in for a couple of body lengths, but large boulders lie ahead and it will have to be made bigger. We reckon the present end is 9 or 10 metres below the entrance. It is a small fossil vadose swallet cave, with the bottom of each little cascade or pitch full of boulders, all flowstoned together. An exciting site, for we know of nothing in the immediate area that draughts like this: Paracetam 'Ole is about quarter of a mile up the valley.


Lloyd's Shaft dig restarted, February 2000:

Report from Steve Rider, Eldon Pothole Club.....

A preliminary visit was made to Eldon Hole on the 23rd January to assess the condition of the presumed Lloyd's Shaft. To our knowledge the dig was last active in the late 1980's when three TSG members including Iain Barker were trying to find the now legendary 'great river' as talked about by Lloyd and King in their writings of the 1770s. The Eldon team, consisting of Jase Rider, Gary Bode, Davey Jones and Steve Rider set about stabilising the entrance to the dig (which has collapsed due to rotting timbers) a week later on the 30th January. A third visit was made on the 7th February and good progress was made removing deads left over from the TSG dig, widening the current extent of shaft and extending the depth of the shaft by 3 to 4 feet - hopefully past the depth attained by the TSG in the late '80s. A return is planned in the near future.

next report 05/2000


New surface parimiter fence iminent, February 2000:

Report from Ralph Johnson, CCPC.....

The "Eldon fence" is now iminent thanks to a grant from Peak District National Park and to DCA for making up the difference. The old gate will be removed and replaced by a stile.

next report 04/2000 previous report 08/1999


The dig goes on, February 2000:

Report from Pete Dell, Keyhole Caving Club.....

We have started digging again in rubble rift in the phreatic tube at the top of the pot. We have got in about 8ft and the tube is starting to rise...... The dig goes on........

previous report 01/2000


Maintenance update, February 2000:

Report from Ralph Johnson, Crewe Climbing & Potholing Club.....

The Knotlow 210 shaft has been fitted with a grill which (judging by the amount of water vapour coming out!) should help to alleviate the (air) pollution. Apparently some work has been carried out at the foot of the 175 (Fourways) Shaft to improve the drainage there. Work is also continuing on the Hillocks Engine shaft. Despite delays due to wet weather and an injury to one of the contractors the shaft has been capped by contractors and an access lid is to be fitted by CCPC soon. CCPC will make this information public as soon as the job is finished. In the meantime please keep away as there is no way in at the moment.

previous report 09/1999

CCPC & The Turks:

A request from the Turkish Authorities, February 2000:

Report from Ralph Johnson, Crewe Climbing & Potholing Club.....

Following the work carried out by the CCPC in Turkey in the wake of the recent eartquake disaster the club has been asked to liase with the Turkish Authorities both here and in Turkey with a view to training Turkish nationals in working in confined spaces and dealing with casualties in difficult circumstances. Apparently it is not a question of "if" but "when" the next quake arrives. At present negotiations are under way in order to find out exactly what is required and what facilities will be available both here and in Turkey.......

previous report 08/1999