9th July 2016

With Nick, Matt, Pete Bolt and pleasantly surprised to see Tangent pedal over to offer his services on surface duties.

We met up at the Hunter’s a bit later this morning as I had to take the dog to the vets in Wells, anyway we all piled into the truck, except John who pedalled, and headed down to the farm. Got changed and walked across the field, keeping a watchful eye on the bull, into the woods to the cave entrance.

At the entrance I gave a quick demonstration on the use of ‘capping’ as some of the team hadn’t seen it done before, successfully splitting a largish boulder.

Underground it was my turn to dig, Pete clearing away with Nick and Matt hauling and shuttling to the entrance. Digging was slow progress, raking out sediment around cobbles and boulders. We are following a narrow rift at the moment, to the left side the bedding is becoming lower with bedrock rising, to the right side tightly packed rocks and sediment. There are a couple of obstinate slabs of rock in the way, loose but not quite loose enough. The task wasn’t any easier as the lump hammer had a loose handle that kept slipping whenever it was swung into action. The slabs are not deemed suitable for ‘capping’ in their current position and it seems that forward progress will likely be slower for a while as we deal with the rocks.

Back on the surface it seemed that Tangent hadn’t emptied the bags because he didn’t have any gloves, a poor excuse! There weren’t too many so it didn’t take long to empty them and hang the bags up. A quick squirt of WD40 on the lock and it was time to head back to the farm, get changed, and up to the Hunter’s for refreshments.

Matt then announced that he didn’t have any money, he was saved further embarrassment by Tangent who gallantly volunteered to cycle to a cashpoint in Wells then pedal up the hill to the pub to deliver good English pounds to the cash-strapped Matt who could then buy a round for the rest of us, especially Tangent.

Spent the afternoon mooching around Priddy Folk Festival and it was good to catch up with some old acquaintances. Even got to listen to some half decent music in the free tents.

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist