1) Sponsored Event

On the 28thJuly, Morley Potholing Club will carry a commemorative mug on a relay through 3 of Yorkshire’s finest potholes, namely Pippikin (grade4/5), Swinstow (grade 4) and Calf Holes (grade 2).  It is anticipated that 270 vertical metres (890 ft) will be scaled, keeping the mug in one piece.

All three caves are through-trips, and the running (?) order for the day is to be as follows:-

1) Pippikin Pot    (Leader – Andy Jackson, team mates Dave Roberts and Malcolm Street)

Team to descend at 8.30 am to emerge at around 11.30 am via “mistral” (for the uninitiated, this is a very tight exit!), where Malcolm will take the ‘baton’ (mug) and drive to Kingsdale (Valley Entrance), passing the baton to Steve Barker.

2) Swinstow (leaders Steve Barker/Steve Richardson)

The team will descend Swinstow, and emerge via valley entrance (already tackled by good old Malcolm).  The mug will then be driven to Ribblesdale, arriving mid to late afternoon.

3) Calf Holes (leader Russ Sowden)

The final leg of the route, Calf Holes will be descended and the party will emerge from Brow Ghyl (having passed through the letter box, of course).

These three trips offer caves of different levels, for all abilities.  If anyone is interested in joining any party, please phone any of the following:-

Steve Richardson 860790

Andy Jackson  534501

Russ Sowden  529153

After the trip, all involved will again descend, this time on the Hill Inn for a Caelidah (kay-leeh) with traditional caelidah band.  (camping at Hill Inn, sat. night).

2) Social

Sponsor forms are enclosed (please raise loads).  Tickets on sale, available from your friendly local MPC member.

3) Petzl Stops

Rope burn discovered on rope after rapid descent on Petzl stop.  If using a petzl don’t descent too quickly or alternatively wet ropes before use stop.  (it is good practice to wet ropes anyway stop.

4) Nenthead Trip

Malcolm has been pretty damned efficient in producing a map and info sheet for this trip.  Please see attached.

5) Change of address

Please note Steve Barker’s new address, as follows:-

161, Vernon Road,



Phone (0533) 837035 or (0532) 405851   (Diane and Alan Yarker)

6) Meets Reports

Nidderdale Weekend May 5/6/7th

Friday night saw the arrival of cavers to How Stein Gorge to the delight of Mr. Stevenson.  A warm welcome was given by Mr. Stevenson, who told us to settle up with him the next morning.  Friday night saw the first caving trip doing Tom Taylor’s cave without a light, making a quick exit to the pub.

Sat – Goydon Pot

Saturday brought warm weather and a bunch of semi- keen cavers.   Doing the usual trip of making our way to Mud Hall, crossing the rope traverse and descending into the wet Pyridine passage.  Visits were made via Sand and Clay tunnels to the bottom of Telegraph Aven, racing our way back to 5-ways (knowing that some of the passages lead straight back to five ways!)

Deciding to follow the small stream which lead into a rifting passage of mainly crawling, we all stopped, deciding this was getting hard on the knees and boring.  Me and Mike Carrol carried on the passage to eventually find it turned into a walking passage terminating a clear blue pool.   Mike decided to wade into the pool but couldn’t find the bottom (later we found that it was the 11 mtr deep new stream sump).  Returning to the other we made our way back up the tiresome new stream passage to take a left to join into labyrinth passage to end up in the main stream passage.  To make our way up the main streamway, we couldn’t see far because of the mist lurking in the passage.  We washed off in the main stream and the water was comfortably warm.  On exiting the system we went out into hot sunshine.


Being keen Dave and I had a quick trip down Low Eglins after returning from Goyden.  Quickly following the mainly walking passage with probably the best formations in Nidderdale.  The passage turns into a sharp jaggererd passage landing down the second climb to a small pool. Crawling down small oxbows and re-uniting with the main passage.  We went down as far as the start of the canal and made our return up the passage to make our exit.  On our way out we must have seen a dozen small passages leading off on either side of the main passage.  On returning to the first climb which has a rope, you have to trust it knowing that it’s belayed to a bit of bent pipe.  Exit was made after an hour’s caving and the sun was still shining.

Cavers – Dave, Chris, Lesley and me (Andy) – (Simon and Wayne turned up at teatime for Sunday’s caving which will be reported in the next newsletter).

Proposed meet at Nenthead 11/12th August 1990

The provisional plan for Saturday 11th will be a trip down Smallcleugh Mine, see plan overleaf. The length of the trip can be varied up to a full day trip. The mine is so extensive that on an eight hour trip you will rarely travel the same passage twice! It takes between 2 and 3 hours to travel from the entrance to the forehead on New Cross Vein alone. There is Galena (lead ore) in abundance along with other minerals, and the various things to be seen, besides wheelbarrows, wooden tabs etc. include the original impressions of the old miners clogs and horseshoes.

The potential for exploration in the valley is enormous, when the mines were working it was possible to go underground in the Tyne valley, walk under the hills, under the Nent valley, under the next range of hills, under the West Allen valley, again under the next range of hills and emerge in the East Allen valley without ever having seen daylight on the way. There are accounts of a people using the mines as access to Nenthead in winter when the roads were blocked by snow. Due to the attempts of various groups in recent times the mines are slowly beginning to reveal their secrets. It is possible now to go underground on the East bank of the River Nent at Nenthead and pass around the valley underground via the Rampgill, Smallcleugh and Capelcleugh mines, and emerge on the West bank of the Nent 20 yards from where you went in. This summer, hopefully, our group will make the connection between the Nent and Tyne valleys

The Alston Moor area also has some natural caves to offer:

1. Little Gill caves, these have a potential of 2 miles of passage from water tests and on a visit by myself a few years ago there seemed a possibility of a dig.

2. Ayleburn Mine Cave:  1.7km of stream passage.

3. Hudgill Burn Mine Cavern: Main level blocked by massive collapse at entrance and owner of caravan site in front refuses permission for a dig into it, however there is another level lower down and access may be gained from this or from shafts on the hill or from the mines on the other side of the hill. The cavern has not been entered in living memory. An account of a visit to it in 1818 is in a book by Thomas Sopwith entitled 'An Account of the Mining District of Alston moor Weardale and Teesdale, 1833, republished 1984. The cavern is said to contain many beautiful formations and lots of passages left unexplored.

If anyone is interested in attending this weekend please let me know before Friday 3rd August as I shall be up there for most of the week. Camping is available at Willows caravan site in Alston (next to the station) NGR NY717466 at a reasonable charge with free hot showers and a choice of about 8 pubs with 5 minutes walk.