Pool Sink

Sat. 9th April 1994     Team:     Ray Duffy, Tony Clarke, Jo Spurr, Pete Healand.

I arrived at Bullpot Farm at 10 am to find the usual hive of activity that I have come to know and love so well (everyone was in bed). Oh well the prince and the princess of darkness will have to face the sunlight sooner or later. ‘No Peter, I don’t think putting crucifixes in their sleeping bags will do any good’
An hour or so later when all the ghouls had risen from their coffins and the traditional breakfast of new born babies and virgins (a night time date with Mrs Wrist and her five daughters does not include you Peter.) had been eaten, the talk finally got round to the planned caving trip.

Neil:         ‘Where are you going today,Tony’

Tony:        ‘I haven’t got a clue at the moment Neil, I’ll see what you lot have got on I’ll pick the hardest cos I feel like really pushing myself to the limit today’. What I really meant was, not within 3 Shakeholes, 2 ducks and one pitch of you, chummy.

Neil:         ‘Well, myself, Lee, Chris, and Sarah are going to Pippikin Pot because it is a pretty severe trip with a very tight entrance and lots of thrutching and thrashing about. Ray is going to Pool Sink on a poncy photographic trip that is only for big girlies’

Tony:        ‘Pool sink it is then’.

Once the tackle was sorted and Jo Spurr had arrived from Surrey (or was it Sandra’s? ), we set off over the fell and arrived at Pool Sink a short time later then kitted up.

Half time score:                    Bog Monster 3, Beck Monster 1, Cavers United 0.

As well as being a photographic trip this was also going to be a rigging practice for Pete and myself, so with Ray leading we entered the system. Our objective was to find Helicmite Chamber which is reputed to contain some weird formations. Pete rigged the first pitch watched by Ray’s beady eye and everyone descended, I rigged the second and third pitches watched by Ray’s other beady eye and then Ray rigged the fourth pitch watched by our beady eyes (lots of beady eyes on this trip).
At the bottom of the fourth pitch instead of following the water climb up the right hand side wall and then after a bit of traversing and two big chambers (one is quite loose - so take care!) you go through a tightish bit and emerge in a small alcove. I can’t give better directions than that because to be honest I got a bit disorientated, or in cavers terms ‘lost’

Ray ‘Litchfield’ Duffy set his camera gear up and helped by his able-bodied assistant (me) hopefully got some good shots of the formations. Seriously Ray, thanks for taking the time and trouble to explain some of the finer points of cave photography. The formations were some of the weirdest I ever seen, the looked like mushrooms but with really tiny helictites corkscrewing from the top. There was also one stalagmite about a finger thickness that grew from the floor for five inches and then grew at a right angle for another four inches. Fascinating. Jo Spurr at this point noticed a stal that she said resembled a women with her arms up, and then proceeded to point out to us in minute detail where the ankle, knees, hips and shoulders were. Typical, no naughty bits! Photography lesson over we left the
chamber from the opposite side and after a short climb down ended up back in the streamway a few yards upstream of the fourth pitch. How did we do that? On the way out progress was somewhat slower due to the fact Jo and I both had lamp failure tut! tut

Full time score:            Bog Monster 19, Beck Monster 2, Cavers United 0. (Relegated to 1st division caving next season).

Good trip.

Tony Clarke.

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