An Appointment with the Past

Devotees of the club meets list  will remember that we should have done Washfold on August 10th. The weather and its effect on the big pitch put an end to that. I had teamed up with Johnny Wi1kinson (SFHM) for a day on his dig up on Conistone Moor on the 9th. , and with Washfold obviously off we headed for t’Heifer on Saturday night to fix up a trip Sunday.

At the door we met Jim ”We-were-just-leaving-because-we-don’t-know-anyone—but-now-you’re-here-I’1l-have-a-Newkie-brown” Eyre & John “I’ll-have-one-too” Frankland, With great originality we hit on the idea of a classic Lancaster to County through trip, mainly for the benefit of John’s sons It was not the trip itself that sent me to bed with pulse racing, but My Appointment with the Past scheduled for the rnorn. Has the through trip ever seen a line up like Eyre, Newton, Frankland & son, Wilkinson & Sheldon? At 32  I was the second youngest!! My 13years of caving pales to nought next to the two Jim’s with thirty several & twenty several respectively to their credit. Talk about living archeology!!
Anyway, along with countless others including the harpic squad attempting to pass S bends where no brush can reach, at Fall Pot we picked our way trough the expensive granny’s knitting dangling down the main shaft and were off.

I’ll say this for it, caving with your boyhood heroes certainly increases your knowledge of who blew what lid off what pot, who found what, when & where and so forth. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. Jim Eyre demonstrated a crafty little climb to the upper series at Oxbow Corner, and just to show that you can teach an old dog new tricks, he was introduced to the bypass at the Minarets.
An otherwise uneventful exit was enlivened by the unusual experience of climbing up the pitch in County, three abreast. I’ve heard of popu1ar trips but this was more reminiscent of
Swildon’s on a Bank Holiday. The stroll back to the farm in the late afternoon provided another opportunity for turning over events of long ago, an demonstrated that to enjoy your caving you don’t need an appointment with fear:. just with  the past.

Incidentally; talking of appointments with the past, I’m sorry that I shall miss the 30 anniversary party, presumably hosted by Ron, in the P.J. crawl, on. October 20th.

J. Sheldon.


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