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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 dig to the 'east' side of the entrance, leading to An Unexpected Development in August 2018, 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 also includes Rob 'Tav' Taviner, Graham 'Jake' Johnson, Nick Hawkes, Jonathon Riley, Paul 'Brockers' Brock, Roz Simmonds, Duncan Price, Mike Moxon and Matt Tuck. There has been occasional help from others including Caroline Allen, Mike Willett, John 'Tangent' Williams, Pete Bolt, Bob Smith, Callum and Hazel Simmonds, and several appearances by that well-known antipodean, Ray Deasey.

There have been visits from some notable experts in their various fields including: Charlie Self, Andy Farrant, Christopher Smith, Derek Ford, Joyce Lundberg, Don MacFarlane, Marc Luetscher and Gina Moseley. All have added to a better understanding of Hallowe'en Rift.

Diggy, Diggy Hole

notes Posted on Sun, March 13, 2016 08:38:26

Here is a video clip about digging to amuse you, it made me smile anyway. WARNING: this video contains an earworm!

It’s not a theme song for the team working at Hallowe’en Rift as Jake and Alex are both far too tall.

12th March 2016

digging 2016 Posted on Sun, March 13, 2016 08:01:32

With Tav, Jake and Nick.

After doing the digging bit last session it was my turn for surface duties this weekend. As it turned out I was rather overdressed in my plastic caving suit on this pleasant spring-like morning. Once the others had disappeared underground I spent a little time tidying up around the cave entrance, packing away the empty bags, etc., before settling back to take in the pleasure of being in an English wood. Down in the village below could be heard the occasional barking of a dog, the sounds of children playing. I watched a group of dainty long tailed tits flittering about in the branches of a hazel just showing signs of fresh leaf growth; overhead the plaintive call of a buzzard as it soared high on rising thermals, all around there were the sounds of other birds going about their daily business – wood pigeons, blackbirds, robin, chaffinch, coal tit, rooks, jackdaws, etc. A farmer then decided it was time to cut his hedgerows, a task that mostly drowned out the sounds coming from the village. This peaceful appreciation of the English countryside and life was truncated every now and then by a shout of “Yo” coming from the cave below as another batch of bags and occasionally rocks were ready to be hauled out, the bags were then emptied and hung up on the line or on a branch. Underground Nick was digging and filling the bags, Jake was clearing them back and Tav was on the haul and shuttle. 56 bags were filled and emptied along with 6 skip loads of rock. Good progress forward was made and we left Hallowe’en Rift to make our way down to the farm satisfied with the mornings work and ready for refreshments at the Hunters Lodge Inn.