The Dudley visit Eldon Hole in Derbyshire. With apologies to the Fast Show circa 1993 from which we stole the script, to the Buttered Badger Potholing Club, and to women cavers who everyone knows are equal to or if not better than their male counterparts.
This is a work of fiction and the Buttered Badgers mentioned bear no relationship to the actual Buttered Badgers. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s fevered imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
This was on the list of caves for our pre-Christmas trip on 10th December but after messing about in Goatchurch (see Caver Keith Goes In Search of the Real Santa Claus) and Sidcot Swallet (see Caver Stuck in the Lobster Pot) we ran out of time.
I'd done the round trip in Lionel's many years ago and my vague memories didn't prepare me for the complexity of this small cave, not to mention its sporting nature.
Route finding took some time and when we found the way on we then found that mark wouldn't fit through the first squeeze! We consulted the survey and found an alternative route but then managed to go off route at the end of the traverse. Eventually back on track we found the next squeeze and the squeeze in the steamway. Kay and I went through but the going didn't get any easier after this. We had read that the round trip involved 6 squeezes and Mark didn't want to get most of the way round only to have to turn back. With this and the call of coffee and cake at the Burrington Inn we decided to cut the trip short and engage in our favourite pastime - consuming vast quantities of cake.
Some video was taken which may eventually make it to YouTube but perhaps a return trip is needed to finish filming the system - thin cavers only need apply.
On 1st November 2015 Dudley Caving Club members Phil, Ian, Brendan, Mark and myself set off for the Mendips to visit Fairy Quarry to explore Fernhill and Withyhill Caves. We explored Fernhill Cave but never got to see Withyhill. In fact I didn’t get home until 18 days later and didn’t see the inside of a cave for another 6 months. Last year I got to do Withyhill twice (15th May & 27th November) and managed to take some video. It’s a bit rubbish but the cave is fantastically decorated and hopefully the video gives a flavour of its beauty.
We all have bad days, days where nothing seems to go right, days when things that are usually easy such as a particular obstacle in a cave become next to impossible. These incidents always provide great amusement for the spectators and over the years they have provided superb material for my caving videos. Today I have learned a new word, schadenfreude, and I have to plead guilty to engaging in a lot of schadenfreude during my caving career - great fun, happy memories.
However I've rarely been on the receiving end, and never when some joker is pointing a video camera in my face.
Please DO NOT share this film as is not up to the usual high standard expected by viewers of Caver Keith videos. It is being published under great duress and at the insistence of my caving chums who feel that fans of my videos would like to see me suffering from extreme embarrassment. I tried telling them that the footage had been lost - they didn't believe me. "Not exactly lost but corrupted when my computer crashed," I replied. They still wouldn't believe me. Neither would they believe that my computer had been hacked and the raw footage stolen. Eventually I had to give in and show them the footage, and now as a penance I've had to make it public.
As the Yuletide offerings on TV are a little disappointing this year I thought I'd treat my fans and upload the full series in one easy to watch package complete with the added bonus of outtakes (or should it be outcakes?). So why not sit back, relax and hit the play button.