ELBOLTON POT, walk meet – Sunday 4thDecember 1988. Leader!? Dave (ha! ha!)

A final look at the map to check the exact location of the pot and away we went up the hill by a cart track. The track turned into a path over old overgrown mining deposits and through a depression with derelict miner’s shelters and old drystone sidewalling. Up onto the moor and an obvious cairn came into view (the book described the pot as being about 15m west of the cairn). This was going to be easy and considering there was a gale force, freezing wind blowing it was good to think that we would get tackled and down quickly.

The party split up and wandered around the westward side of the cairn, then in case west had moved, all directions were searched but to no avail (perhaps the book meant 150m). So the search was extended out – but still no hole in the ground (perhaps there was another cairn higher up the moor). At this point random search techniques took over.

Wayne headed up over the moor in one direction and was not seen again for 2 hours. Andy, Russ and Steve had another search of the vicinity before heading over the moor in another direction and Jill and Philippa decided to check out the mining archaeology in the depression (and out of the wind). I set off over the top of the moor in a third direction and half an hour later, after passing three silted up natural shafts about 10ft deep (future dig perhaps), came across an old building (it was at this point that the hailstone started). In the distance at the end of a ridge were two cairns! Eureka! With more determined stride it didn’t take long to find out that the pot was not there either. OK I quit!

Walking back across the moor various bewildered (and knackered) cavers (?) were met and everyone made their way down to the cars in the village where Philippa and Jill had been studying the map. “Guess what” they said. “We’ve all just spent two and a half hours wandering over Thorpe Fell. Elbolton Hill is that one there”, pointing to a nearby hill which could be spat on from where the cars were parked!! Someone remarked that it was just 20mins to closing time, so the fastest change ever saw us in the pub just on the bell (good thing we didn’t find the pot, we would have missed the pub!!!!!)