Marilyn (a working title)

A picture of Marilyn Monroe in the film - The Seven Year Itch

For its initial discovery and activity during GG meets, see Peter Jones' articles in the CPC Record.

This is Rob Scott's log of some of the events starting in May 2003. Follow this link for the latest news.


19 May 2003

Present - Rob Dove, Pete Jones, Rob Scott, Edward Whitaker, Dave & Jan Hoggarth, Neville Lucas, Ted Wood.

It was not a pleasant day on which to go digging. It was the start of the Bradford's GG meet so it was miserable wet weather - not too bad in the shaft but unpleasant on the moor top. After our digging session we went over to GG to inspect the Bradford's set-up. We lurked in their PVC beer tent, much smaller than ours and no good for paraffin blowing.

7 June 2003

Present - Rob Dove, Pete Jones, Rob Scott & Edward Whitaker

We got a little bit deeper but it's hard work hauling up that shaft. It seems that we've got a mention in Descent, courtesy of the Bradford talking to their northern correspondent. Finished off with drinks in the New Inn with our fellow diggers from the Bradford and the White Rose (formerly known as Southern & Redfern Fridge Engineering). As usual the White Rose were saying nothing about what they're doing - must be up to mischief.





8 June 2003

Present - Pete Jones, Rob Scott, Edward Whitaker & Ric Halliwell

About 2 feet deeper today but we were chased off the fell by horrid rain - you could see it coming across Bowland. Still our oversuits were blast-cleaned by the time we got to the woods.

14 June 2003

Present - Pete Jones, Rob Scott, Edward Whitaker, Dave Allanach, Dave & Jan Hoggarth, Michael Whitehouse.

Really lovely weather today. We needed factor 16 sunblock on. Shaft is now 32 feet deep.

20 July 2003

Present - Rob Dove, Pete Jones, Rob Scott & Edward Whitaker

Today we found the top of the second shaft - the top is a bit restricted.

27 September 2003

Present - Rob Dove, Pete Jones, Rob Scott & Edward Whitaker

After discussing the merits of doubling up in the Bradford digging suits, Edward & Rob D managed to get 2 into a suit. We also found the tombstone that is blocking the top of the 3rd pitch.

For Adults only
Edward buying a pint for someone else!

13 December 2003  Present - Pete Jones, Rob Scott, Dave Milner & eventually Edward Whitaker

Pete & Rob S cleared slope at the bottom of the 2nd pitch to behind scaffolded shoring. But not having a saw meant we couldn't put in planks to retain the spoil. Walls are still very loose. Looks like it will be better if we take all the loose stuff out to the surface, but it's going to be a pig hauling from that depth through the constriction. After tidying up, we went to visit the Bradford in their "little house on the prairie". They were having a break from underground struggles and drinking mulled wine!

28 February 2004  Present - Rob Dove, Pete Jones & Rob Scott

Not the warmest of days but not bad considering how frozen the ground was.

Pete & Rob D to clear more from the bottom of the 2nd pitch to behind scaffolded shoring and put in a spit for the 3rd pitch. Whilst Rob D was putting in the spit, Rob S carried out a hydrological test at the top of the 2nd pitch by emptying the water out of a poodle into the hole at the southern end of the rift. It seems to link directly to point just above where Rob D was stood - Rob D was not very happy. Rob S then sawed the big plank into 3 nearly equal lengths and passed them down the 2nd second without pole-axing Pete & Rob D. The shuttering was hammered in and some more spoil dumped behind it. During lunch Rob D told a joke about Kylie Minogue and a man stranded on a desert island.

After tidying up, we went to visit the Bradford in their "little house on the prairie". They were having another break from underground struggles and were toasting crumpets. When offered a crumpet, one of the trio responded that he was already partaking in regular physical activity with Kylie Minogue which left the Bradford puzzled and the other two amused.

6 March 2004  Present - Pete Jones & Rob Scott

Made some structural changes to the boulders at the top of the 3rd pitch. As we leaving, we were met by John Allonby, Ted Wood & Neville Lucas who were out for a walk from Horton to Clapham. We had a drink in the New Inn before leaving Clapham.

9 April 2004 (Good Friday)   Present - Pete Jones, Edward Whitaker & Rob Scott

Pete & Edward discuss what to do next at the top of the third pitch. Agreed that the left hand end (north) of the rift needs the very loose stuff removing and the rest needs containing behind a scaffold frame. Much loose stuff was dragged over, smashed to smaller lumps and stacked behind the frame at the bottom of the 2nd pitch.

After lunch under our new sunshade, we lowered some more scaffolding and built the new frame at the top of the 3rd pitch. A quick look was taken to assess the way on. It was difficult to do without the magic smoke can.  It looks like the big flake/block at the top of the 3rd pitch might not be attached to anything and was only held there by a sharp intake of breath.

10 April 2004  Present - Pete Jones & Rob Scott

We carried up 2 scaffold planks each. Hard work especially at the gates. Once at the dig, we put up the sunshade, had a drink and a break. Soon refreshed we get some boards down to the top of the 3rd pitch and set them behind the scaffold frame. Pete makes a check with the magic smoke. Although the boulder floor is about 10 feet below the pitch head, we can see about another 7 feet down between the boulders. We also can see that the big flake/block which was a worry yesterday is attached to the rest of the wall. It looks like removing the 3 big flakes which make up the majority of the floor will make further progress at bit easier and let us see whether this pitch is just 17 feet deep or 35 feet like the other two - but that's for another day.

Before leaving the fell, we went over to the Bradford's dig. As usual they were just finishing off their roast potatoes. The Bradford later joined us for a pint in the New Inn.



30 May 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Tracey Jones,  Dave Milner & Rob Scott

Tracey "volunteered" to carry up the new long scaffold pole - well she is the youngest. Hard work especially at the stile. The logistics of having an aerial runway for hauling was worked through whilst Dave prepared the 3 big flakes. After the excitement, we wandered over for a look at Bradford's GG winch.

31 May 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Tracey Jones,  Dave Milner & Rob Scott

The only thing to carry up today was a can of petrol for the Bradford diggers. Dave went to the bottom to clear the spoil, which Tracey & Robert hauled up & stacked behind the the scaffold shoring. Only one piece was dropped - so that's why we wear helmets. Pete was the lifeliner at the foot of the first pitch so he had make do with chatting to Ged Benn (BPC digger) and then Mick Lupton (BPC Treasurer) who really wanted to speak to the CPC Treasurer. Dave found that the 3rd pitch may not be as simple a prospect as the first two pitches - Pete came down to have a look - definitely a challenge for another day.

Whilst having tiffin on the moor top after work, we were joined by young Bottomley & Hobson who had been shaft-bottoming on the BPC's ropes. After the youngsters returned to civilisation (aka Clapham) we wandered over to the BPC winch meet, pausing at their dig to replenish their petrol supply. After a chat to various BPC folk, we also made our way back to Clapham.

13 June 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Rob Dove & Rob Scott

Very nice to have Rob Dove with us again - he was able to update us on his injury which is usually only found in the farming community. So almost 2 months to the day after finding the big lumps blocking the 3rd shaft we tried to do extreme damage to the very big lump still blocking the 3rd shaft. We think we did, so there's going to be lots to clear on our next visit - probably in 2 week's time.

By the way, Pete found a dead baby bunny at the bottom of the 3rd pitch - he brought the remains out

27 June 2004  Present - Pete Jones & Rob Scott

Looks like tons of stuff to clear. Being a bit limited in the manpower numbers department, we decided to rebuild the scaffold frames and move them forward. It got quite exciting when we dismantled the rear frame to reuse the boards in the front frame.  They should now be able to hold another several cubic metres of rock.

Today, we had company on the first ledge at the top of the 3rd pitch. There was another dead bunny. It wasn't alone. It was being eaten by a shrew. The shrew was disturbed by our scaffold rebuild and moved (fell?) to the second ledge at the top of the 3rd pitch. It may still be there.

10 July 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Rob Dove, Howard Beck, Joe Foster & Rob Scott

Walked up via the Nature Trail; placing GG posters at the woodyard and at Ingleborough Cave. Met the new young assistant at the show cave who could turn out to be a useful caver - goes by the name of John Cordsomethingorother.

Once at the dig, all five got to the workface - no sign of the shrew. Rob D put in a spit to allow hauling from the 3rd pitch into the new frame - Rob S mended the hauling net. Pete took the first stint at poodle filling followed by Howard later - Joe did a sterling job both hauling and stacking. Although we got a fair bit of rubble out there's still more to do.

Had a very late lunch break  - so late that the Bradford were leaving their dig as we ate. Mind you, their generator was broken and they had a a triple 60th party to go to.

girding of loins
girding of loins
Rob D places spit
Rob D places spit
Old-timer reminisces
(after "The boyhood of Raleigh" by Sir John Everett Millais)

17 July 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Dave Milner & Rob Scott

It was a rainy day. We walked up via the Nature Trail; this time taking leaflets about GG to Ingleborough Cave. We reached the dig and, each crouching under his umbrella, discussed various things and had lunch. Eventually having run out of idle chit chat and things to eat, we tried to get changed out of civvies into digging gear without getting too wet from the constant rain.

Much filling, hauling & stacking was done accompanied by a constant shower, which is rare for this hole. The gentle breeze welling up from the depths of Hades was found again as was a newt(Triturus vulgaris) at 90 feet underground.

Still time was pressing and a return to the surface was made - the weather was now glorious. The party dashed round to Ingleton and fed on bowls of chips, whilst commiserating with those customers & staff who had become addicted to bike oil.

The Bradford weren't up today - they were at the wedding of Sue Smith & Dave Ryall.

24 July 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Gordon Coldwell, Mike Bottomley, Joe Foster & Rob Scott

It's the weekend for the Royal Horticultural Society's big show at Tatton Park, Cheshire and so wives of diggers from both the Craven and the Bradford will be there.

Much broken stuff was hauled up and a nice wall was built behind the scaffolding. Now it's easier to see the 3rd pitch and the rift in which it lives. It looks as though the rift wriggles and has become narrower. The widest part seems to be at the northern end but that's all big loose flakes which are holding up the floor where we've been stacking the spoil. In the middle, the bulge from the eastern wall could either be the eastern wall itself or a very large detached block wedged across the rift. The southern end may just be covered by tombstones which offer the easiest option for removal and further progress.

August 2004 - GG Meet

Please see Pete's article in the forthcoming Record

11 September 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Gordon Coldwell, Ric Halliwell, Neville Lucas & Rob Scott

The Bradford had a cast of thousands today so parking was at a premium. The before-lunch session was spent hauling the spoil previously piled behind the shoring in the second pitch on to the surface. Pete filled the poodle at the bottom, Ric handled the changeover at the bottom of the first pitch whilst the rest did the surface stuff. There was a puzzle during this session for those underground - the poodle remained suspended motionless for a few minutes. The surface crew were watching a kestrel (perhaps the GG kestrel) chase a small brown bird from the Grange Rigg area past us and down the dry valley toward Trow Gill. It didn't look as though the kestrel got its lunch.

After lunch, Ric lent his light and helmet to Neville so that he could go underground and Ric departed to do some work back at the Cottage. Neville went to the bottom of the third pitch whilst Pete & Rob hauled and Gordon did the emptying behind the shoring.  After a useful amount of work and only one Health & Safety incident, it looks as though we've cleared most of the small stuff left over from GG. Pete joined Neville at bottom to assess the next stage. Gordon is sure that he heard one of them say that they'd found a giraffe, a new addition to our menagerie of 2 dead bunnies, 1 shrew & 1 newt. However, they may have just found the draught again.

Once on the surface, we packed up fairly quickly as the weather was starting to become unpleasant. We got to the gate at Raygill wood before it hit us - pity the poor Bradford, they were still on the fell.

19 September 2004  Present - Pete Jones, Ric Halliwell, & Rob Scott

A quickly arranged (Friday at work via email) trip to give the generator some work to do and to test an electrical circuit. There was a non-continuity in the circuit so Pete had to redescend to check for breaks. The problem was identified and corrected. Pete returned to the surface to repeat the continuity test. This time there was a continuous circuit and very, very quickly there wasn't.

Pete and Rob stopped off at Bernies for eats before dropping some stuff off at the cottage.