Pendle Caving Club

Archive Material from 1998

Illusion Pot Notts Pot Roaring Hole Washfold Pot Brown Hill Pot
Gaping Ghyll Tatham Wife Hole Lancaster to Wretched Rabbit Deaths Head Out Sleets Beck
Lancaster Hole Giants Hole Sell Gill Holes Gavel Pot Tatham Wife Hole
Gaping Ghyll Main Shaft Providence to Dow Link Pot Rift Pot Jockey Hole
County Pot Snatchers Pot Upper Heseldens Pot

11/1/98 Last Trip Report......Illusion Pot.

The first time in this delightful cave for the Pendle Boys. No kit was the order of the day, and a nice change it was from lumping tonnes of ropes and metal around. The team consisted of the usual suspects with Pete and Fat Stu in tow as well.

The cave was quickly located by an experienced Boy and we descended the fixed ladders into caves measureless to beards. The cave had suffered since I had last been in it about a year ago. Many of the best formations were smashed or muddied beyond recognition. Most of the mud cauliflowers on the passage walls had been crushed and I felt angry at the level of unnecessary destruction.

We quickly reached the sump. For a change it was well up and required the usual massive bailing effort. An hour later we had lowered the sump to allow gill-less beings passage and the bravest member went first (as usual!). We all stumbled out into Vandals Passage, the Missile Silo towering above us and the rumbling from the third sump in Dale Barn very apparent. The place was filling with water !!!

A look at the formations at the far end of Expressway and we headed off to look at the good stuff in Rushton Chamber. On the way, along the passage is a large sand-dune that has been looked at by the greatest beards in the land. It seems to point to the Expressway being a major conduit from Chapel-le-Dale to Kingsdale during the last glaciation. Sadly, some ignorant moron, not caring one jot about cave sediments had walked along the top of the dune, destroying the sediment strata, and any further information that might be gained from investigating it. Why had nobody bothered to tape the sediment formation ???

The cave then continues in great style with masses of giant red stals until the entrance to Rushton Chamber is met. The chamber is massive and contains masses of straws. At the lowest point the chamber ends in a pitch to the sump and it was at this point that the brave boys decided to leave, happy in their explorations today.


18/1/98 Last Trip Report.......Notts Pot.
A massive quantity of people turned up for this trip. The weather had been bad and it was still raining, so we weren't hopeful about getting to the bottom of the last section.

The team divided up into those with skill and those without. Ron, unfortunately got stuck with the hapless lot and rigged the Center Route. I flew off in fine fashion and rigged Adamsons Route. Soon we had all converged in the streamway, but not before I had done a mid-air knot pass with all watching me faff around like a novice getting tied up in knitting !! The water in the cave wasn't as high as expected and an uneventful descent and ascent was made.

Whilst ascending and de-rigging the Center Route I heard the large and ungainly Stu faffing around on the Adamsons Route. While waiting in Three-Way Chamber for the tail-ends of our lot to extricate themselves from the pot I decided to go and see what Stu and Pete were up to. As I got to the top of the big pitch I found Pete dancing around trying to get Stu up the pitch. Apparently he was too tired to ascend the pitch and had decided he was going to die there and then !! Why Pete hadn't sent him up first instead of making him de-rig I don't kwon. My pulley-jammer was on it's way out of the cave with Stevey Bloom and so I went to get Ron. We returned to find Fat Stu puffing like a steam-train at the top of the pitch so sent him out while we de-rigged. Pete took the chance to leg it and disappeared in a flash, leaving us to take his large bearded mate out and 4 tackle bags !! Nice one Pete !!!!

Eventually the brave rescuers emerged to a foggy Leck Fell, rain and car horns to guide us back to civilisation. Stu struggled back to his car and was not seen again !!!!! Fat Boy !


19/4/98 Last Trip Report......Roaring Hole.
Des Marshal calls this a classic. I don't agree. Me, John and Pearshape were the only people up for it and so it was that we wandered up Ingleborough to do battle with Des Marshal's "classic" pit !!

We found the entrance hiding under a pathetic metal mesh, put there by god knows who ! The mesh was quickly removed and the brave boys descended the horrid drystone wall into the Pit of Damnation !!
A disgusting sight met us at the bottom the entrance climb. Loose boulders held together with concrete and the odd scaf bar. Needless to say we didn't realise that this was the entire theme of the cave. The cave soon broke out in to a large chamber with the way on being through an even more horrid choke held up by rusty metal girders, railway sleepers and mud !!! Yuck and double yuck. Still, on we pressed, determined not to be thwarted by a bit of loose rock. A small stream met us half way through the crawl, which lead to a pitch. The boys had come prepared and a ladder (!) was quickly drafted into action and soon we were all clambering down it, desperate to be the first to see the treasures that Des had promised us.

The pitch went onto a ledge, overlooking another drop. This was dodged in a crafty manner by the brave Boy who free climbed a dangerous muddy slope to get his companions to safety. And all this was done without one bolt !! What a hero !! Soon the boys had assembled and John was thrust into the next obstacle, another bloody boulder choke !! Drop after loose boulder followed as we made our way into the streamway below. Eventually we emerged in a large decorated chamber from which led off, yes you've guessed it, a crawl to a boulder choke. The third boulder choke was passed with ease and the Pendle reached a gruesome chamber of rocking boulders and carbide.

The only way on was through a tight bit and Pearshape decided to give it a go. After deciding he wouldn't fit he let John have a go, who after my coaxing popped out the other side. With the Duck exploring caverns measureless we quickly followed and came to another pitch. The Lad led the jelly-legs down the pitch, free-climbing with such grace that the others just had to follow. A muddy ramp led us to the best bit of the cave, romping phreatic passage. Now this is what we had come to see !!!

We descended the other pitches, but I found the last one too water logged to proceed and a halt was called. A quick exit ensued as suddenly there were beards everywhere and not wanting to get caught behind them, let along rescue them we sped out to sunshine, tea and cakes. John likened climbing out through the boulder chokes as "escaping from a sinking submarine". I have to agree, Roaring Hole is not a place for those with hydrophobia !!


10/5/98 Last Trip Report...............Washfold Pot
It was doomed to failure before we even got there !!!

The lovely Pete "Fuck-off, I'm not carrying a bag" decided to rig so off I dashed, desperate to catch him before he trashed all the kit. In my exuberance in getting to the top of the pitch, I leapt the little climbs before them , landing with the grace of a highly trained ballerina. John followed my example and plummeted like a well trained Lemming, leaving him clutching a very swollen ankle.

I quickly set about rigging the big pitch, with John's screams lingering in my ears. Soon 3 of the 9 were down and we sat around waiting for the others. 20 cold minutes later nobody had materialised so we decided to leave them to whatever fate had befallen them and carry on down the cave. Many climbs were climbed, some with rope and some without. The cave is formed all on a massive fault and so is very tall and thin, with plenty of boulders. The chockstone climbs were soon reached and we were chuffed to see that somebody had left a rope in for us, how kind we thought as we sped off into the darkness. A squeeze through a boulder choke and a crawl in water got us to the next set of pitches. A rope was in-situ, but being a typical divers rope was not guaranteed to hold the weight of us mere mortals.

Pete set about rigging as we had forced his way to the front when I had gone to look at a climb above the boulder choke, so I got to the pitch to find it festooned with Pete's rusty maillons and bizarre attempt at rigging. After a monster faff and re-rig I was down and into the final chamber of Washfold, very impressive indeed with rushing water and black limestone forming a massive chamber and a tiny, tiny sump pool.

Quickly back up the pitches, through the chokes and crawls until at the top of the final climb before the big pitch we met the rest of our group and 2 divers carrying washing-up bottles full of air. They quickly passed us and left us with the remnants of our brave team who set about explaining the disastrous set of events that had caused the other three to exit before getting down the pitch ! These two took the rope bags and set off with the intention of getting to the bottom, leaving us with the easy task of getting ourselves out. On reaching the surface a scene of utter destruction met our eyes. John's ankle had swollen to the size of his thigh and half of Ron's finger was hanging off after he had squashed it under a rock whilst helping John to escape.

We helped the invalids down to the car and sat around waiting for Steve and Andy to return. 3 hours later patience had run out and as we were on the verge of donning our wet kit they turned up, not having gotten to the bottom due to not knowing where to go. Still, they were alive and I didn't need to put my cold kit on !!


24/5/98 Last Trip Report.............Brown Hill Pot.
Where Pearshape had got this mad idea from I don't know but after looking at the survey I was mad for it. We tramped up the hill in tropical weather and set about descending Velcro Entrance. Pearshape quickly came back saying the entrance was blocked. I believe him but he forced me in there anyway and so I was duty bound to have a look. It certainly was blocked, mud, rocks and sheep formed a convincing barrier and so we went in search of Floyds Entrance.

This was quickly descended, through giant spiders and monster worms, but the brave boys fought on pushing such creatures aside. The entrance series is tight and narrow so it was no surprise when I found a section to be a bit cheeky and so returned to ditch my SRT kit in my kit bag. Soon I came to the top of the first pitch but not before the Pear had become so stuck John could hear him bellowing on the surface !!! I then had to return to free Pearshape (who was stuck by his kit, like !!) and then we set about formulating a plan of action to get him through the tight bits. Eventually we came to the conclusion that he would probably never fit so I would return with a thin team and tell him all about it.

By this time John had left us and gone to rig Heron Pot. What a sensible chap.


12/7/98 Last Trip Report......Far East Passage.
At last it is raining enough to put Pearshape off Meregill, so off we went down Bar Pot with a ladder (arrggghhhh) to do battle with Far East Passage and a little hole Ron found last time. Pete had forgotten that carbide lamps need cleaning before they work, so as usual his fucked up as soon as we got to the bottom of the big pitch. It was then found that Thomas had forgotten the ladder so he was quickly dispatched up the pitch to get it. 20 minutes later Ron had decided he wanted to watch the football and Pearshape agreed. So a quick trip to the Main Chamber (that was very impressive with loads of water) and a sit down in Mud Hall saw off two of the Founder Members and one of their cronies leaving the valiant "Pendle Youth Brigade" to soldier on in the face of adversity into the unknown.

We quickly left the Beardies to their own queer Northern ways and went exploring. Thomas thought it might be clever to try and force himself through the link into Car Pot, I have tried this from the other side so sat down and waited for his return. 10 minutes later a very muddy and squashed Thomas arrived and admitted defeat !!! A quick look at some inlet and Ron`s hole (!) put us over our time limit so we legged it out. A non-eventful quick exit followed to emerge in Yorkshires finest July weather, RAIN !!!!!!


16/7/98 Last Trip Report......Tatham Wife Hole.

Pendles finest and a new recruit slogged up the hill to the sacred place of worship known as Tatham Wife Hole.

The omens were good as I found some kit at the entrance so I decided to rig. Off I flew in typical intrepid style and had the pitches almost rigged by the time the Jolly boys reached me. I decided that it would be fun to rig the 3rd pitch fly-over so proceeded in it's general direction. Imagine my surprise when I found an Elliot bolt deep into Indian territory, quietly rusting away. The Gods were obviously pleased with us and had decided to send a beard before us into the unknown.

I got into the crawl and heard severe commotion behind me. Thinking it was just Pearshape having a good bellowing I carried on, found the pitch and went back to get the rope I had left behind at a rather interesting rift. Ron quickly reached my position and the tale of idiocy unfolded. Pearshape was bellowing because he had just dropped the bag for the last pitch down the impenetrable rift we had traversed over. How he did it is still not clear so a rescue mission came into being.

I rigged the 3rd pitch and ramp as normal to see if it had fallen into the streamway, but alas it had not. I then climbed up the ramp, guided by my fellow travellers to where the bag had landed. Getting to the bag involved climbing almost level with the ramp belay and traversing on mud pellets for 5m, up several wobbly flakes to the bag. Needless to say I did not make it, so a return with a coathanger is needed to retrieve the bag. John says it is all about karma. The rope in the bag being to remainder of the 80m rope we used to escape from the whirlpool of death and across the traverse of certain doom in the Ecouges.


26/7/98 Last Trip Report......Lancy to WR exchange.
A lack of communication resulted in the Pendle Rebels doing a decent bit of caving for a change. Off we set down Lancaster with absolutely no intention of prussiking !!! Hooray for one-way caves !! A splendid trip down the decorated passages of Montague East into Waterfall passage then a delightful jaunt down Wilf Taylors stunningly sculpted passage into the Main Drain River Series !!

A climb up at Oxbow Corner saw us into the delights of the Minarets, Cornes Cavern and our aim, Carrot Chamber. A quick exit via Wretched Rabbit led to painful acrobatics by Steve in to the large pool outside WR much to John's and myself's amusement !!!! Back over to Lancaster Hole to collect out kit and a cup of tea in Inglesport finished off the day. Bollocks to all this rope rubbish, I want to go to Wales where horizontal passage rules !!!


2/8/98 Deaths Head etc
Well, off we set in high spirits with the intention of doing BM to DH exchange. Found the BM shake hole with no mishaps and I was promptly volunteered to rig. This was a fine idea as when I got to the tight bit I found that without effort I would not be going through. This would not have been a problem if the other lads had been as small and as hard as my good self. As this was not the case, our loudest, most bravado filled and fattest member proceeded to call me fat and left in a hurry, so fast it left myself and John (a slim but sensible lad) to pack the rope and discuss tactics.

The other two had gone to find moral solace with Ron at Deaths Head. A yawn filled trip to the bottom of this splendid shaft was quickly undertaken whilst I suffered at the mouth and attitudes of Pearshape proclaiming to be as slim as a rake and able to fit through P5 with his SRT kit on. Our longsuffering leader then ran away leaving the Pendle Hard as Nails Posse to undertake a jolly in Short Drop to the tune of my forthright leadership. As John put it so well, "Dave you do everything too fast. I feel sorry for your girlfriend". "No", I replied "You are just an old git!!!". So endeth another chapter in Pendles caving by list game



9/8/98 Last Trip Report...............Out Sleets Beck Pot.

A splendid start to the day as my car broke down outside Mellings. The AA man was very nice but didn't serve the expected tea and biscuits all the best mechanics do when they are fixing your car!! Eventually I reached the others, who had been kind enough to wait for me (how touching!). Off we strolled with Thomas having forgotten his furry !!!

The cave was reached without problems then it all went horribly wrong. Our recent addition, Steve (ex-Rubber Duck) leapt into the hole and proceeded to fanny around like a right old beard fucking up the most simple rigging tactics. i.e. When the pitch is underwater you generally find a different hang and/or a deviation. It was not the best rigging I had ever seen and my confidence was shattered by Ron who looked very upset at the new "Toun Army" guys from Darlington who had allegedly been down this cave only days before !! The pretty passage between the 2nd and 3rd pitch was admired slowly to give the muppets some time to rig the pitch.

On arrival at the pitch it was discovered that they had neglected to bring their brains and that this was the root cause of the problem!! After 40 minutes another "Meregill" happened and the hardest members left in disgust, however Ron felt obliged to stay in case the Toun boys coughed up some dough. So me, John and Pearshape had a lovely time frolicking in the sun !!! Hooray for the summer.

16/8/98 Last Trip Report...............Pen-y-Ghent Pot.
A bad start with Ron and John not going from the outset. Our bravest were down to a measly two Never fear thought I, we are gonna be joined by the infamous Andy Phillipson of Les Ecouges fame, who is a good lad and knows his stuff.

Little did I know that fate was conspiring against a Pendle Meet for this weekend. Pearshape phoned and cancelled due to his back passage being
blocked by workmen and refuse !!! Thomas phoned and I got the jitters at the thought of his constant moaning and harping about how good his Uni club was, blah, blah, blah. Andy phoned and said he was on his way. It occurred to me that Pen-y-Ghent Pot would be difficult with only two people, no matter how hard we both are. Therefore with a sad heart I informed our Southern correspondent that there would be no caving this weekend and he was better off staying in with his girlfriend. So ended a rather pathetic Pendle trip that never even got past the telephone stage


23/8/98 Last Trip Report...............EPC 71 Series in Lancaster.
Being desperate to do Lancaster to Link and Top Sink to Link I thought it necessary to recce the middle bit. I'd been in here before until my companion became overcome with an urge to leave citing "being lost" and "a long way from home" as good reasons to leave. Not wanting to have to come out on my own carrying all the bags (to make a change) I reluctantly agreed, and left. My appetite was whetted !!

What a good idea to go in here on a day where bad weather is forecast to get to the 86ft pitch and have a quick look in the crawls and Cape Kennedy (pretty apparently). A quick fly to Fall Pot and down saw us to our first difficulties. The recent rains had caused large amounts of the usually slightly slippery mud to become a convincing quagmire of certain death !!! To cut a long story short, it took us three hours to get to Stake Pot, which I rigged with a rope on both sides to stop people plummeting to their deaths. This has to be my slowest time to Stake, my fastest being 45 mins from Lanc and back !!! Now the real purpose of the trip was apon us, two of our intrepid bunch departed with mumblings of, "to much mud, it'll take hours to clean this like !!" (Tannoy) and "Dave, you prick. I hate this cave. I've spent too much time on my arse sliding around !!" (Duck).

Nevermind thought I, and with that the other three set off until we found what we were looking for, the drainpipe into the Long Gallery. A quick exit saw us in Inglesport to catch the last cup of tea of the day and a very large piece of cake.


30/8/98 Last Trip Report...............The "Over 35's club" do Giants Hole to East Canal.
With the boy having been packed off to his mums for the weekend, clutching flowers and a birthday card (products of his newly found wealth), the Pendle "over 35's" headed for pastures new - namely Derbyshire.

The change of venue, along with Duck's new "phone diversion system" succeeded in throwing any non-payers, rope trashers and general piss takers off the trail, leaving only the core team to do battle with the days subterranean thriller.

Underground by 9am, the men proceeded to attack the trip to East Canal in a methodical and highly clinical manner. Once bottomed, a return to the surface was made via the Upper Series. Under Duck's superb leadership, solidly backed up by Pearshape and the Ranger, nothing could go wrong, and at 2.15pm the team emerged into daylight, satisfied that they had completed a "Derbyshire Classic" in blistering style.

After a shaky few months, the Pendle are back on track and firing on all cylinders. It was just a case of finding the right team!

I hereby acknowledge this to be a true account of Sundays trip.

Phillip Ladyshave Esq.


6/9/98 Last Trip Report...............Fearsome four-some do Sell Gill.
With the likes of "Sports injuries Ltd" Pete and "I'm a professional fuck-wit" Thomas coming we decided an easier cave was well in order. The impending rain didn't help much either, as ULSA said, "wet, gloomy and liable to total flooding" aren't good on a rainy day in Langcliffe Pot. So off we went to do Sell Gill Wet and Dry routes into the extensions.

The Famous Four swung into action and off we trundled annoyed that yet again nobody had turned up but relieved that Pete couldn't talk shite to us all day and we wouldn't have to part with an essential item of our SRT kits to provide Thomas with a way of going caving !!! The dry route was rigged in double quick time and then de-rigged by the same team as John had traumas about his rack whilst rigging the Wet route.

A quick trip in the extensions saw Pearshape increase his not insubstantial gear cache with another new find and me chasing frogs in an attempt to relieve some boredom. An enjoyable day with zero stress !!!


13/9/98 Last Trip Report...............Gavel Pot.
Being bored of Rumbling Hole I managed to get John to agree to Gavel Pot. I also had another reason. Andy P was coming to stay and Rumbling isn't the most exciting cave on Leck Fell, well neither is Gavel but it has some horizontal caving and more than one formation !!!

The Pendle Foursome were swiftly cut in half by Ron's decision to stay at home and thus Pearshape quickly invented an excuse not to go else he would have to talk to himself all the way to the Dales which would cause him to crash as he got into a heated argument with himself over nothing. Andy swiftly arrived at my house, downed a cup of black coffee (what a man!!) and the Pendle Fishboys were on their way to do battle with our trusty helmsman, John at our side.

After a lardy breakfast and even more coffee a cunningly forgotten rope saw us on our way to the planet Bloom, our Ingleton rope store !! June very kindly lent us the rope and off we flew to the desolate reaches of Leck Fell where only sheep and cavers dare to tread. At the car park another group turned up and produced a real permit to Gavel Pot. Having neither a permit for Gavel or even the permit for Rumbling we made our peace with the intruders and made our merry way down the hill leaving them chuffing on about ladders and Short Drop.

The cave was expertly rigged by myself until the top of the last pitch, there I looked down upon a foaming cataract and decided that discretion really was the better part of valour, that the pitch would always be there (unless Pearshape steals it!) and so retreated to the safety of Glasfords series. On the way, John took us up a small inlet that I hadn't noticed before. It was very pretty and ended in a gravel choke. Something to dig when I give up caving !!!

Glasfords was excellent and I wondered why we had bothered with all the kit when this was much better than some silly rope work. Formation after formation after formation. The place is one of the best decorated caves in the Dales for sure. A photo trip could well be in order. After our arduous trip, we exited to only just meet the beards with the permit who were coming upstream as we left. They had taken 4 hours to do Short Drop and not put a rope in on the 2nd daylight pitch. I'm sure I heard a cry for help as we left with our ropes !!!!

A good day, no stress, bother, earbashing or bollocks.


20/9/98 Last Trip Report...............Pendle rescue at Tatham Wife Hole.
The Fearless Foursome had been cut by one due to the conference (and they almost lost me to it as well!) so our rescue of a valued member of the club was put in to action by the Tired Threesome. Not having had much sleep (for a change) and still being full of red wine we dashed like snails up the Hill full of hope in rescuing our colleague.

He had been left two months ago after a freak accident caused by Pearshapes ability in causing the most simple things to go wrong (see Mallaterre incident, the Vercors Page). I feared for his safety but had been reassured on the first attempt to rescue our mate. He was sat on a ledge just out of my reach, but thankfully had landed upright. He was stuck half way down the third pitch, just level with the rock you belay to descend the ramp. My first rescue attempt had been straight after the accident, but had failed due to me not having 3m long arms. The second attempt 4 days later failed even though I had cunningly brought a coat hanger to provide assistance. Unfortunately the coat hanger was less than useful so we had to retreat in the knowledge that we were leaving our friend to an uncertain future at the ravages of passing cavers and the environment.

Sunday's attempt was successful as Ron had cunningly devised an extendable pole with a hook on the end. The pole was less than enthusiastic at the prospect of going underground and proceeded to make my progress through the cave as difficult as possible. Being hindered by a group of Fuckwits rigging like
students in P8 hampered progress further. Eventually I reached the casualty for the third time and extended my pole towards him. Lucky for us he had not moved and with a twist of the wrist I had him firmly in my grip (oo-er missus !!). Cheers abounded throughout the cave as our compardre was reunited with his chums.

The rope bag and it's contents, a new 30m rope were rushed to Rossendale Municipal Hospital where they underwent microsurgery and had a good wash. The trip was also alright but I'd rather we had all gone to Southport to laugh at the beards !!!


28/9/98 Last Trip Report...............Gaping Ghyll Main Shaft.

Pendle CC had a visitor from Alabama USA for this trip. He was Scott Fee of Speleo Digest, the NSS and Cave Photography fame. The Team was small, John was at home being nice to his wife and Dave (the Ferret) Kestell was too tired after running the Royal Mail all week and could only manage the walk to the Gill.

Pearshape rigged and eventually did a fine job (after going up and down the shaft several times to find all 3 deviations on the first section). Scott had fun with the deviations and rebelays or reberlays as he called them. (Being a Yank they don't normally use them. They just throw a rope over the edge and ab. down on a rack.) He got hung up on the awkward deviation off the ledge so super hero Ranger Ron using a lot of brute force and plenty of ignorance dragged him back up about 2 metres so he could untangle himself.

Once down we had a look around the main chamber and up the East Passage.
Then made a hasty exit up the wet main shaft. I think it was at this point that Scott understood why I was wearing a TSA suit. Scott enjoyed his first taste of caving in the Dales and left an invitation to the Pendle Boys to visit him in TAG. (This for the uninitiated is the triangle between Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia where there are thousands of caves). Scott took loads of photographs (well he was a tourist) so some of these will appear in another edition of PEN.

Ranger Ron


4/10/98 Last Trip Report...............Providence Pot to Dow Cave.
With the prospect of our Southern Hard Nut attending a meet we decided to do a decent caving trip. Not having done the DP exchange I was looking forward to the 8hrs that Ron thought it would take in the company of Pendles finest beards.

Meeting in the Badlands of Kettlewell at the unearthly time of 9am we found that the Duck had ducked out with alleged car trouble and would not be attending the meeting of mass rubberness. A lavish breakfast saw the fearless foursome fired into action and after a quick change into rubber gear we dashed off in style to the entrance of Providence Pot. After fighting off hoards of bumblies we descended into the depths and the point of no return. After 20 minutes Ron twisted his back and decided to leave. Pearshape saw the opportunity to escape early so that he could get out for a quickie with Ron (and in case his work needed him and he could get even more money to go towards his helicopter fund !!!!) This then left Andy and I to finish the trip in order to keep the good name of Pendle Caving Club alive.

After many trials and tribulations we emerged into Dow Cave glad to be alive and very very tired. The trip had taken us 4 and a quarter hours !!!!! A record over Pendles previous attempts.

As Pearshape said, "Dave, if I'd have come I would have slowed you down, but not by much like". Bollocks mate, we are young, hard and very very fast. Too fast for the likes of you !!! Long live the Pendle Youth Brigade !!!!! Beards need not apply.


11/10/98 Last Trip Report...............Link Pot into Serendipidy Series.

It was a slightly altered Pendle line up that assembled at Bull Pot Farm for the planned assault on Link Pot. Now wanted by six different Police Forces across the country, the human mole phone, alias Thor Thumb, had to be dropped from the squad, to be replaced at the eleventh hour by Steve " I'm honest as the day is long, guv" Bloom. Also making a return to the fold was young Jeremy, back from his summer break, and still dressed like Jacques Cousteau.

Across a bone dry Ease Gill Beck, and we were soon on our way. A slight hold up at Squid Junction as the lad insisted that we should all spend a good half hour on our stomachs wallowing in shite, so as to have a look at the bottom of Pippikin. But it was all in vain, as we had come in search of Ron sized passage! The boy was suitably chastised for his silliness, and once again we were under way.

Next came the muddy traverse of possible, if not certain, death. With much moaning from the Manchester Mole and a quick pull on a toilet chain we were all safely into Tigers Inlet. Cairn Junction and the rather damp Serendipity pitches followed, with the lad rigging like a true hero. At the bottom we were rewarded with 2000 feet of stomping stream way, and some wonderful formations.

Back at the bottom of Serendipity we were met by a fucking huge wall of water, and two drowned rats from the Eldon PC....................It had been raining!!!! The Pendle boys adopted the panic position and left Ranger Ron behind to de-rig, without so much as an umbrella for aid.

At the top of the pitches we were joined by a large team from the NPC who had decided to cut short their trip on viewing the roaring torrent, complete with a spinning Ranger. It then transpired that both the NPC and the EPC had fixed traverse lines over the traverse of plunging doom. Yippee thought the Mole, and quickly scurried off in that direction before some rotten bastard took them away.

Another pull on the bog chain followed by a quick Whey- Hey! on the slack rope and we were all soon back in the entrance chamber. A cold draught was blasting down the exit thrutch, so Big Ron was pushed in first to block it. Back on the surface the Pendle Hard Brigade were met by the sight of Ease Gill Beck flowing along like a great big flowing thing. All gripping stuff or what!!

Tune in next week as Thor Thumb describes how to break into a pensioners shed and take two rusty spanners and an old tin of lawnmower grease, cos in his words..... " Someone had just left them there, like"

Ed's Note: Our thanks are extended to Philly Ladyshave for her enchanting stories. I can't wait for the next instalment from our intrepid underground, hairy rubberlegged Mole.


18/10/98 Last Trip Report...............Rift Pot, the Allotment.
Due to readership pressure, I have taken time off from my mud project to bring you this edition of the PEN.

The Pendle Four were cut in the week to the Solid Three by the dreaded flu. With John laid up in bed eating oranges we were glad he hadn't come to pollute our delicate constitutions !!!

The morning started bright and early with a delicate selection of egg dishes from Inglesport. Pearshape had a brown sauce omelette just to prove how foul he is whilst Ron stuck with the trusty poached eggs, guaranteed to strike fear in any mans bowels.

After the usual toilet stop for Pearshape a quick drive and a brisk walk saw us at the entrance after some excellent memory navigation by me, and so we set about deciding who should rig. After a quick discussion it was found that it was Ron's turn, Pearshape can't be trusted to rig a tow-rope in less than 30 minutes and I had rigged so well last week that my rigging medal was still shiny !!!

Rift Pot is an excellent shaft and soon we were gathered at the bottom marvelling at the warmth underground. Pearshape spied a dig and fancying his chances rushed off to liberate somebody else's kit from them !!! With some excellent hup, two, three, fuck-me rigging we were soon hanging from hanging death over the Bridge in Rift. I had a look around the Bridge and decided that it had changed somewhat since I had last been there. Mainly that there was a fair bit of the Bridge that had once been and was now no more.

This did not instil confidence in Ron and after a quick tussle with a boulder he decided that there was no way it was a good idea to carry on our descent. We knew full well that Pearshape would be unable to stand still on loose boulders and therefore we would be more than likely to die a horrible death thanks to Pearshape.

A quick exit saw us marvelling at the Navy's rescue helicopters. Unfortunately they weren't for us and we had to walk down. Not before I had a look in Jockey Hole with the intention of doing it as an evening trip. Don't do a Lee Cradock was Ron's call as I leant out over the not insubstantial drop. A quote to go down in history !!!!


25/10/98 Last Trip Report………………Ron and Pearshape battle Jockey Hole.....

Well on this very wet weekend the team was down to 2! Half the Hard Brigade
was absent. The Duck was trying to cough out his insides and the Boy Wonder had gone to the Lake District for some reason, seems his girlfriend was more important than caving. The rest of PCC were hiding from the rain so it was left to Pearshape and Ranger Ron to tackle Jockey Hole. After the obligatory poached eggs on toast in Settle we went off up the dirt road (more like mud road at present!!) to Crummack.

Amidst the gale force winds and heavy showers we walked to the Allotment and set to work. Pearshape rigged the first pitch amid the spray in this normally dry hole. The second section was confusing with the ridiculous array of the full range of assorted hangars bolted or glued into the walls of the shaft. After deciding an 8ft Y-hang was not ideal the Ranger took over and changed this to a deviation to run the rope down the centre of the shaft.

During this (rigging on a rack I might add) there were some regular and very
eerie rumbling sounds. It became apparent what the rumbling was, a thunderstorm!! The severity of the icy cold water showering on the Ranger increased so much, that coffee and buns in Settle seemed a better option, therefore with ever chilling fingers the rope was derigged and a retreat was made. We will return on a less stormy day. Interesting that this shaft takes so much water in the rain and that someone has installed so many hangars.


1/11/98 Last Trip Report...............Bimble in County.
The fearless threesome set of in the cold to do battle with the Caverns of Easegill. Before we got anywhere the Phantom Rockthrower of Out Sleets pounced on us from a Rubber car and questioned us about our destination. After throwing him off the scent we dashed off up the "Black Route" to the fate that awaited us.

A flowing beck greeted us at County entrance. I expected much more after the horrendous rain that had flooded the Lune last week, but it had all gone out to sea on a jolly with it's mates !!!

I was allocated the rigging gear and off we went into the depths of the Earth.
To spice things up a bit we had decided to leave a ladder and rope in-situ in case the Caverns of Damnation had collapsed and we couldn't do a round trip.
To make things even more exciting I decided to make a harness out of my less than strong chest harness and with this abseil the first pitch in County. A brave deed indeed my friends as the chest strap cut into places no man would want cut into, but a valuable learning exercise non-the-less.

"Enough bollocks, get on with the trip" I hear you cry. To continue, we wandered down to Dismal Junction to see if the pool was a sump or a duck. It was a sump and so that route into the High Level was crushed. So then into the muddy confines of the Manchester Bypass with it's formations and crawls.

Pretty soon we were at my chosen destination, a secret cavern know only to a few people. A manky rope led into the depths and then another mankier rope led further into a dry, silent cavern rarely visited. The entire chamber was formed in a shale bed. Obvious recent collapses lay all around and at the far end the Master Cave could be heard racing it's way towards the sump.

After a quick poke around we were convinced we had seen it all and Ron was making "I'm bored noises". However, spotting a passage behind a fallen rock led me into a low phreatic chamber whose floor was undisturbed. It consisted of mountains of worm casts overlain by old, dry flood debris. Unfortunately Pearshape did his best to disturb these deposits after I told him to follow
my tracks, he ignored me. Tosser.

I then spotted a passage leading off from the chamber and as it was through a crawl PS and Ron didn't follow me. The passage was deep in mud and had many worm casts covering it's surface. I came across a pool with several calcite rafts floating about in it. A sight indeed. A white worm caught my eye and as I turned to study it it ducked out of the way into it's burrow. The passage then led on over more mud flows to a pool that spanned the passage. This pool also had calcite rafts and these were undisturbed. Obviously nobody has been across this pool for a very long time. Caverns Measureless to Mice obviously lay beyond the pool, but I have no interest in damaging such good formations.

The exit out of Wretched Rabbit was quick, hampered only by some idiot from Cambridge UCC ("What Ho chaps!!. My father owns Lloyds, what !") asking if we knew the way out !!!! Apparently he did and wanted to make sure we knew as well. How kind !!!!

My question is, has anybody been across that pool and how long does it take for a creature to loose all it's pigment whilst living underground ????


Dated 9th November 1998

I feel I must pass on a message to my fellow cavers after a particularly disturbing incident happened apon me whilst driving through the village of Hellifield after caving on Sunday. Beware of the Hellifield Witches. They are distinctive from other witches by having copious amounts of facial hair. I was almost dragged from my car in Hellifield by such a horror on Sunday. They are known to prey on young cavers and drain all their caving abilities from them. I luckily managed to fight them off with a Remington Fuz-Away. Please make your friends aware of the dangers of upsetting the Witches of Hellifield !!!!

12/11/98 Last Trip Report...............Aygill Flood Sink.
I am pleased to announce the discovery of a new cave to the world. At the time of writing the cave is approximately 10m long and 7m deep. It consists of two chambers and a body sized tube that descends to a choked fissure in which water obviously sinks. The cave is located in the stream bed of Aygill beck and is in a very prominent position as you walk to Aygill Caverns.

The cave was discovered on the 14th of November by David Kestell and Steven Bloom, both highly respected members of the elite mid-week caving team of Pendle Caving Club. The entrance of stacked unstable boulders was excavated and made safe during the uncovering of the cave. A thorough exploration was only possible after the safe removal of an unstable boulder bridge that threatened to crush the explorers. This was made possible thanks to the brilliant material engineering skills of Mr Edelrid and Mr Maillon Rapide. The explorers have yet to fully push the cave due to yet more dangerous boulders, but a return is planned post-haste with a big long pole !!! Cavers are asked to stay away as there is fuck all to see and it is suicidily loose.


6th December 1998...............Snatchers and Upper Heselden Cave No. 2.

"Bloody hell, it's cold like", said Pearshape in the cafe. I had to agree with the wee fellow as I had spent rather a long time scrapping ice from the inside of my car before I could leave Lancaster. Today was a good day to go caving as no more than Pearshapes allowed Pendle members were available for extreme jollies. A splendid day was in order.

John eventually turned up after driving 10 miles out of his way to visit a cafe known as Brookhouse. A fine cafe, but not really worthy of extra petrol costs though. John thought otherwise. We thought he had a promise on and left it at that.

A slidey drive up to Pen-y-Ghent Gill saw us parked and shivering, ready to spring into action like a well oiled sack of slack shit tied in the middle with string. After a quick faff and a shiver we were charging up the road towards the cave. I had suggested the cave and John had concurred as it was close to the road and sounded good.

Eventually we found the entrance, it had been cunningly disguised as a pile of rocks. Such camouflage didn't stop my cave hunting abilities in sniffing it out and after a bit we were in. The entrance was a tight-ish rift full of man-eating spiders that glared at me as I invaded their territory. I was having none of it and had a bit of a spider-nightmare session. Refusing to move and help Pearshape as he lay upside-down in a rift, stuck firm by his arse !!!!!

John struck out finding a tight, committing rift that led down to caverns measureless. He was unwilling to invite death and left me to try it out. Bollocks to that I thought. There is no way that Pear or Ron will follow so why do I want to get stuck for their amusement.

Off we fled back to the car, rescuing a sheep that was stuck half way down a waterfall on our way. Back at the car we shed our kit and ran off, back up the valley to do battle once more with Hades, King of the Underground.

For our second cave of the day I decided on Upper Heselden Cave 2. It seemed an amusing cave as you enter the resurgence and travel upstream as far as you can before going out for tea and cakes. A quick recce trip was made in a nice streamwashed passage until a huge aven brought us to a stand still. Pearshape started his mad ideas factory going and before long a return was planned with scaffold bars and threaded rod to make a ladder of sorts from.

A fun little cave that added amusement to an otherwise non-descript day. On getting back to the car we had a long chat with a bloke from Airedale CC who was digging a rift in a huge dry valley. They had also recently re-opened Swan Dike Pot and made a lot of the loose boulders safe. Fair-play to these guys who were surprised to see cavers in the Dale.

A fine Dale with a lot to offer to amuse cavers bored of the Three Peaks Merry-go-round !!!!

Link to actual trip list in 1998 - the precursor to the PEN