31st October 2020, and it’s Hallowe’en!

Vince, Nick, Jake, Jon, and Brockers.

Before we ventured underground, we gathered around the cave entrance for a discussion regarding the different digging opportunities open to us. There was scope for two diggers to go to the Cold Gnarly North, others might continue in the Sunny South-West, and there was always the Soft South to fall back on, we could carry out one or decide on a variety of permutations. Eventually, to aid the decision-making process, we went underground to check conditions, there has been quite a bit of rain recently.

Brockers made a beeline to the Soft South and quickly made the decision to remove the accumulation of ‘slop’ there, after bailing the puddle of water. After a secondary sub-discussion, Nick was on his way to the Sunny South-West and I decided to join him, Jake and Jon opted to assist Brockers. No-one ventured to the Cold Gnarly North.

In the south-west, me and Nick reviewed the options and previous digging efforts and came up with a plan and an alternative random dig site, Nick was happy there was somewhere he could dig. I left him to it and returned to the junction to haul the loaded skips from both the ‘sloppy’ south and the more ‘random’ south-west’, it was going to be a busy morning. Jake shifted position to stack the bags in the entrance, those bags of wet slop at the bottom were going to be a ‘joy’ to empty later!

All was calm and mellow, the diggers were happy in their respective endeavours, after the recent spate of breakthroughs and explorations, it was something of a relief to return to ‘proper’ digging, lying around in wet, claggy mud and filling bags with slop and sediment, ultimately to empty them again later in the morning, albeit in a different location.

It was a good session, in excess of 80 bags were hauled out of the entrance, the contents of the bags then coaxed, with varying difficulty, out onto the spoil heap. And the sun was shining for us, all was good!

The morning was finished off with refreshments at the Hunter’s Lodge Inn. Unbeknown to us then, probably the last Saturday pub visit for several weeks to come!

Author: mendipgeoarch

Archaeologist, Geologist, Speleologist