5th October 2019

Vince, Jake, Jon, Nick, Tav and Pete Bolt.

The main task of the morning was to clear up after another application of IRS. With a team of six we could get the spoil back to the Junction. I went ahead to reel in the wire and to check that all had gone according to plan. It had and there was plenty of debris. I moved back to the dry ‘lake’ and Nick set about filling bags and shifting fractured rocks. The initial line-up was; Nick clearing, Jake and Tav moving the spoil away and transferring the spoil into the skip hauled by me in the lake chamber, the load dumped into the next skip, hauled away by Pete at the intermediate corner and then, to Jon at the Junction where the spoil was temporarily stashed.

Things were progressing smoothly, then I needed a comfort break and returned to the surface, Pete and Jon moved one position forward. I returned, relieved, and took up position at the Junction for a short while. Then Jake passed by needing a comfort break, so we all moved forward one position. Meanwhile, the spoil was still being cleared away despite the positional changes.

A rumour had been spread from the ‘north’ that things had gone from “looking good” to looking “very good”. Hammering could be heard in the distance and spoil removal had stalled. Some of the team headed back to start clearing the stash of filled bags and rocks out to the surface. I wanted to get a look at the end to plan for another mid-week application of some chemical persuasion and Pete also wanted to see the current end, so we moved forward to join Nick.

Nick was trying to coax a couple of obstinate boulders out of their position where they were impeding the view of the space ahead. They were loose but there was not quite enough gap for their removal. Eventually, with a combined effort the offending rocks were removed and a good look at the prospects ahead was possible. It looked good, straight ahead was open space, about 2m length x c.2m width x c.0.2m height, there appears to be a continuation to the left (?north) but this cannot be confirmed yet. There is air movement. The initial progress forward is constricted by calcited boulders that will require some loosening; the mid-week task is clear. If all goes to plan, we’ll get an even better look at it next weekend.

Satisfied with the prospects we headed out to help clear the cave of spoil, 54 loads in total – 34 bags and 20 skip-loads of rock. Pub time.

Both digs (Wookey Hole and Hallowe’en Rift) have positive outcomes this week. How good is that!

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist