Milk Churn Hole

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Dave ramsay , Andy Walsh, Hugh St Lawrence, Bill Sherrington. The above Tuesday night C.C started new business venture on Hugh’s stomping ground towards Barbon. Previously attempted by Lionel and Jim their efforts surprisingly collapsed loosing all progress.The required Scaffolding , clamps and assorted gear are transported to stream sink approx 600m after end of New Years Series . Plan now forming after some spoil removal to Scaffold entrance area , this will start developing over the next few weeks … Read More

Milkchurn Dig

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There are some photos of the first night’s inspection at Milkchurn Dig, plus a PDF file showing the dig’s location and potential!

Milkchurn Hole.

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Dear Milkchurn hole team, I recognise these photos as a dig which collapsed on me in Summer 1992 during an intense digging campaign in this area with Neil Pacey and others. Please can you return my crowbar and hammer when you find them. You will find it under a large gritstone boulder that nearly squashed me. I think there may be a hammer too.

Milkchurn Hole

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Dear Milkchurn hole team, I recognise these photos as a dig which collapsed on me in Summer 1992 during an intense digging campaign in this area with Neil Pacey and others. Please can you return my crowbar and hammer when you find them. You will find it under a large gritstone boulder that nearly squashed me. I think there may be a hammer too. Pete Hall All I remember is ‘Bucket on the ed dig’ named because I had to … Read More

The Churns

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Bucket-on-the-Head is in a valley in Barbondale, Milkchurn is on the flats nearer to the farm. Mind, I think B-o-t-H is worth another look judging by its position – not far beyond end of Dog Holes and Barbon Pot.

The Churns

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Last week was a washout with Mr.Sherrington organising fellows of the royal geographical society and Messrs. Ramsay and St.Lawrence broken from Monday’ s extreme capping (and driving!) in places east. Fortunately, Johnny was around to accompany Andy for some mud removal, exposing large boulders of the stuck variety. This week again saw the absence of Mr.Ramsay who claimed “I can’t go caving five times a week”, not that going climbing with a young lady had anything to do with it. … Read More

The Churns

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Tuesday 24th May: Hugh, Bill, Andy. The Churns on squalid evening Stream entering the now more securely shored scaffold with rebar. We intended to dispatch boulders but again matless we walked across the fell. Tuesday 31st May: Richard Bendal, Bill, Andy, Hamish Balfour Excellent sunny evening saw Hamish escort the digging team across the fell to dispatch more boulders and pull buckets. Mr Bendal of Kendal obliged with every capping need catered for… Large boulders busted and removed. Also presence … Read More

The Churns

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Tues 7th June Messrs. Sherrington & St.Lawrence After a short diversion to the tumbledown scene of Sunnycrest, we moved over to a very dry Churns and began bucketing, expecting Andy and Jim to follow us. However, they never arrived, (they spent the evening busting a 6ft cube of rock) so we kept swapping over after 15 buckets apiece, keeping the midges at bay with a pair of the ex-girlfriends tights. Rapid progress was made and, to our great relief, the … Read More

The Churns

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Hugh , Bill, Andy and Lucky Jim, Jim was lucky as he stood at the top of the entrance he started to fall backward into the pit and at the last moment grabbbed the hauling rope and saved himself . Hugh too was lucky as later on boulders rumbled and tumbled . Hugh Skipped out of the way. Lucky Bleeders. Progress good, cave being excavated , more buckets, and scaffold urgently required to secure the progress made.

The Churns Update from several recent trips Tuesday 5th July

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Andy Walsh, Hugh St Lawrence , Bill Sherrington. Several trips have been made to the Churns over the past 2 weeks . Andy has provided Scaffold . My Clamp supply runs low . Hugh has supplied timbers for the much needed shoreing. We have ferried all of this stuff across the fell and used it immediately to excellent effect. We have cave opening up underneath a now more securely shored mud and boulder choke. What we can see in front … Read More

The Churns – 9th & 12th July

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Sat: Hugh, Bill, Pete O’Neil It was all Bill and I could do to hold the Grabber back, but good sense prevailed and some capping made entry past the Sword of Damocles somewhat easier. Pete returned announcing a low sloping chamber with a 10ft pit at the bottom blocked by slabs at the top. He then departed and Hugh went down for a look while Bill stayed on the surface (we didn’t want two below the SofD in case it … Read More

The Churns – 19th July

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Bill, Andy W, Hugh After a quick visit at the weekend to check the draught, it was back to the routine hard work. As it hadn’t ‘gone’ enough last week for the glory-seekers, it was left to the major shareholders to maintain progress…. This involved carrying staggering amounts of steel scaffolding across the fell as well as all the drilling gear. On reaching the Churns, Bill exclaimed “I’m shagged”. But we were soon at work while Andy went back across … Read More

The Churns – updates

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22nd July – Hugh, Bill, George North Carried more poles over to the dig and finished scaffolding the 1st Pit. Entry was then made to the 2nd Pit which wasn’t as solid as it first appeared! Nevertheless, everyone had a look at the enticing black space below and George was employed to try and make the space bigger. This failed and it was decided in any case that the 2nd pit would have to be made safe before any further … Read More

The Churns – Prozac Hall

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Sat 30th July – Hugh, Pete O’ The day started inauspiciously, with Pete dropping the spanner down the black hole. However, with the aid of ingenuity, stilsons, coffee and strong nerves, additional bracing was finally inserted and Pete said he would have a dig in the floor. As suspected, he didn’t like the look of the collapsing floor any more than Bill and I had last week and was soon exiting saying “we have a problem”. Nevertheless, I thought I’d … Read More

The Churns – updates

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Recent trips have focused on choosing the best option for finding a way beyond Prozac Hall. A dig had been started ‘around the corner’ , but as this became chossy we went back for a look at one of the holes in the main part of the chamber. Sat 13th Aug – Messrs. St.Lawrence, Exley and O’Neil opened a dig against the wall of the main chamber and proceeded, with the help of a little capping, into an alcove with … Read More

Churns again…13th Sept

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After a couple of solo scaffolding trips by Hugh, the cavity immediately under the choke was psychologically improved. With Bill and Andy back on the scene, regular Tuesdays began again. This week’s fare was twofold: 1) to do cementing of the bottom of the upper choke, and 2) get down the Ramp and examine Pete’s crawl. Bill and Andy both popped down through the lower choke for a look around and retreated with mixed feelings. Hugh then went down and … Read More

The Churns – 17th Sept

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Having seen the Promised Land on Tuesday, Bill was quick to cancel his Cripple Creek trip to come to the Churns ………………OK, let’s run that one past again: Having seen the loose nature of the choke on Tuesday, it was magnanimous of Bill to forego the pleasures of Cripple Creek and volunteer for the Churns. Friday night’s “shopping” was ferried down the hole and Hugh set about caging off the ‘orrible ‘angers above the Ramp while Bill cut to length. … Read More

The Churns – Tues 20th Sept

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Bill and Hugh Last entry for the Churns finished thus:- “Best options appear to be the 10ft hole, or digging straight down through the bottom of the Ramp”. Ostensibly, this trip was to survey the cave, a task which was duly completed in a couple of hours. On the final legs down the Ramp, Bill suddenly had a loss of nerve, announcing that there had been a substantial fall since Saturday. Hugh went down and confirmed that this was indeed … Read More

The Churns – Wed 28th Oct

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Bill and Hugh took a quick visit in flood to see what conditions were like – a turbid Aygill and Hazel Sike were crossed on the way, and poles were dropped off at the entrance. The upper choke scaffold route seemed to be a conduit for most of the water sinking at the entrance, and was moderately sporting. The stream funnelled down the Blind Pit and sank at the first opportunity in Prozac Hall. Surprisingly, the lower choke was merely … Read More

The Churns

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Sunday 9th October – Hugh, Bill, Andy Andy carried some light poles across for the entrance ‘lid’ and did some altimeter-ing. Apparently the entrance is at 351m, 56 metres above Aygill entrance. Not sure about this and may have to run a surface survey. Meanwhile down below Bill and Hugh reinforced pitch anchors with some shiny stainless through bolts and then proceeded to the bottom for a few rounds on the choke boulders. Progress beneath a large loose slab gained … Read More

The Churns – Sat 22nd Oct

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Pete Hall, Hugh, Rob Eavis, Katie Dent With some of the regulars unable to show, a very useful (and in one case very good looking!) pair of students was recruited from SUSS. While Pete and Rob set off for the Churns, Hugh and Katie descended Aygill and changed the detector at the New Year Series. Job done, they followed over to the Churns with some poles to discover that these were now needed at the bottom where Pete & Rob … Read More

The Churns – dye testing

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Over the past couple of weeks, Hugh and Bill have been busy around Barbondale and in Aygill, placing detectors for a dye test from the Churns. Eleven detectors were placed in total, ten to cover the major and some minor risings in Barbondale, plus one in New Year Series of Aygill. The dye was introduced to The Churns on the evening of 22nd Oct, which was immediately followed by three days of heavy rainfall and high water levels. An attempt … Read More

The Churns – updates

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Not a great deal of recent activity at the Churns due to unavailability of key staff, but…. On 4th Nov, Andy and Hugh put a lid on the entrance, mainly constructed from an old road sign. This makes the entrance alcove very bright, and the reflective qualities give an impression of daylight which is often dashed on reaching the surface proper. Cavers will also now be able to find their way to Greenodd….   On 16th Nov, Tim Allen and … Read More