Extracts from a letter sent to Andy Hall by Alex Fletcher.

Alex Fletcher,

12A Jubilee Street,




Greetings from afar Andy.

On a recent visit back home to Preston I decided to dig through some old boxes full of all sorts and came across R.R.C.P.C. Journal number 7 and started flicking through the pages. The Maracaibo report made memories come flooding back, the most vivid of being doing a pushing trip with Richard Ellwood and coming all the way out without wetsuit bottom, completely ripped up in the Keel Hauler. So it was on Saturday the 17th April this year I persuaded a mate of mine to take me up to Ingleton and the farm. A flying visit to Inglesport and I purchased R.RC.P.C. 9 and C.D.G. 107. I read the Leck Beck Head dive reports and then tried to find John Cordingly for a chat. At Green Close Farm we pulled over to let a car out and he was gone. I didn’t recognise him and so up to the farm. I had hoped to see somebody up there but, although there were cars in the yard, the place was empty. I had hoped to have a bit of a walk but I had my mum in the car along with my mate, who incidentally made the enormous line reel which has been called a piece of Easegill history by John Cordingly in his C.D.G. report. After a quick look at Bull Pot we had to get going. On the way back to the car l noticed the plaque commemorating Mark Woodhouse and hoped someone would soon repair the gate post. This of course brought about a visit to Keld Head where I spent a few minutes in thought
The trip beck to Preston gave me a chance to have a
look at the latest journal, and a photograph of James Henry at Sylvester Pot. On reading the report I was glad to see the Red Rose still has “layabouts and Glory seekers.” and hope they’re as well behaved as Steve Pickles and myself used to be, and as helpful at the working weekends?
I had
contacted Ron Bliss at the farm a year or so ago and he told me about the death of Frank Hardy.

Reading his tribute had prompted me to tell you all of one time I wasn’t traveling with Keith Lewis, and Frank Hardy offered to pick me up to go on a club meet to Birks Fell. I can’t remember the date, maybe some of the older members will. He came through from Blackpool and picked me up early on Saturday evening in his Reliant Robin absolutely stacked full of caving and diving gear, I managed to stuff my gear in and off we go bouncing along the road. The conversation went something like this.

Me,           “Alright Frank, how are you?”

Frank,       “I think I have forgotten something.”

Me,           “Lamp, wet suit?”

Frank,       “No.”

Me,           “Food?”

Frank,       “No.”

Me,           “Sleeping bag.”

Frank,       “No.”

Me,           “It’s not the tent is it?”

Frank,       “Yus”

And so ten miles further up the road we had to go back to Blackpool to pick up his tent. We arrived at Buckden, I think it was, at 1130pm just in time to see various members staggering out of the pub. The end result of my trip home was that I felt like staying and getting up to the farm regularly again. Does the club do refresher courses? Regards to any of the members who remember me, Jim Newton, Pete Muckalt, Hugh St Lawrence, Pete Llewellyn etc, etc.

By the way, If any of the club members are interested and would like a little play around, Steve Pickles and myself had a splash one day in the little pool below the waterfall in the river at Kirkby Stephen. Behind a large flake to the left of the waterfall we entered a bedding for about 20 foot or so but we had no line. It seemed to continue so who knows?

Good health and good caving.


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