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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, their interest waned by the late 80s. 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 with Graham Johnson in December 1991. This led to the discovery of An Unexpected Development in August 2018. 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, and Paul 'Brockers' Brock. There has been occasional help from others including Mike Moxon, Roz Simmonds, Duncan Price, Phil Coles, Caroline Allen, Mike Willett, Matt Tuck, 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.

16th July

digging 2022 Posted on Sun, July 17, 2022 09:27:24

With Jake, Brockers, Duncan, and Nick

Me and Jake down in the deep Soft South forging ahead along the NE passage, Brockers on the ledge, Duncan at the bottom of the entrance, Nick on the surface. Following the set quota of 20 bags per number of participants, a total of 100 bags were filled, hauled, and emptied. At the dig face the mornings progress was noticeable, some very tiny spaces at roof level were noted, these probably the result of sediment settlement over time but, interesting all the same.

Exited the cave to some very warm sunshine. It was not really a great surprise to find that Nick had not only hauled out the filled bags but had emptied them too. He did say the biting flies were not too much of an issue – probably too dry and hot for them.

9th July

digging 2022 Posted on Sun, July 17, 2022 09:26:34

No digging due to a number of factors including ailments, Priddy Folk Festival, and the need to dig a big hole to bury a goat.