Descent (108), October 1992OUT OF...
Descent (108), October 1992
OUT OF PRINT
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With the close of Rescon ’92, Charles Bailey offers this topical piece of fiction.
In the years following the Second World War, British caving underwent a resurge of popularity. One activity was to become an annual event, the winch meet at Gaping Gill, enabling easy access to the bottom of the 365ft shaft. It was such an occasion in 1947 that introduced Len Cook to caving and, ultimately, the production of some of the finest caving pictures (and some of the earliest in colour) taken at that time. In this first of a series of articles concerning his involvement in those early years of British caving, Len tells of his introduction to Yorkshire exploration.
Alison Matthews comments on a visit to Coober Pedy in Australia, where opal mines are a fact of life.
Caving activities by outdoor centres are usually perceived as being trips with beginners to over-visited caves. However, some centres travel further afield; Dave Ludlam and Paul Edmunds take up the story of a trip to the karst of Hungary.
After years of possibilities, there’s now a new drop on Mendip: Atlas Pot in Thrupe Lane Swallet is open for visitors.
The Forest of Dean is renowned for its iron mines and the recently discovered Slaughter Stream System, and has rightly been attracting a lot of interest in the search for more caves. Here, Chris Bowen investigates the surface channels constructed to prevent water draining into the mines, and suggests that cave systems were deliberately sealed for this reason.
There’s a new prize on offer for the best captions for the latest engraving: a Daleswear oversuit.
The months of July and August saw more than just torrential downpours – there were also two, well-organised events aimed at giving cavers practical experience of techniques. The first, a Cavers’ Fair, was a new venture in Britain, while the second was Rescon ’92, an international conference on rescue.
Cover: Neil Pacey in the White River Series extensions, Peak Cavern. Photos: Giles Barker