News Items Archive

Drystone Walling Day

Another successful drystone walling day was held on Saturday 15th October. We completed a rebuild of the outside wall of the farm backgarden next to the stream. This was mostly done by members some of whom had not done this sort of work before. Although the event had been widelt advertised to other clubs and quite a bit of interest shown only a few non-members did attend and training was given by Mel and Sam. The weather held and it was a bight sunny day. Click on photos below for larger versions.

Before we began

hard at work

halfway through

Finished job

BCRA Cave Archaeology Group

The Cave Archaeology Group (CAG) is BCRA’s newest Special Interest Group, launched in October 2011 to promote interest and understanding of archaeology in and around caves. The Group’s target ‘audience’ are members of the caving community, who regularly visit or explore caves and who are in an ideal position to identify archaeological or paleontological material within cave environments. The creation of CAG has come about following the achievements of the Upland Caves Network -a discussion group of experts and interested parties drawn from various areas of discipline within cave research. The UCN was given a finite two-year lifespan and was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The group hopes to enlist support and interest from anyone who spends leisure or professional time in caves, or who require a ‘first stop’ point of contact for advice, information, or other help with finds of potential archaeological material in caves. It is hoped that group
activities will be developed over time to include guided site visits, lectures, and the dissemination of information on cave archaeology
projects. The success of CAG will depend largely on the level of interest and support shown by those with an interest in cave
archaeology, who are also invited to come forward with their own suggestions regarding the development of the group.

Summer 2011 trip to Chartreuse

Grotte du Guiers Vif resurgence cave

The summer trip was a great success, only spoiled by our club President breaking his ankle in two places while on a Trou Du Glaz to Grotte du Guiers Mort through trip. He was able with the help of other Red Rose members to get himself out of the cave and was hospitalised in Grenoble for a week where he had surgery on his leg. He has now returned home via Geneva airport and Easyjet!

Members did quite a lot of caving including several through trips on the Dent du Croll system, trips to Guiers Vif system and other minor caves.

There will be a slideshow evening at Bullpot Farm on Sat 15th Oct at 8pm. All members are invited. Please bring only 40 or so slides each to give everyone a chance to show their photos.

At least three separate parties did the Trou du Glaz to Guiers Mort 300 metre deep through trip. The “A” team did the 600m deep P40 to Guiers Mort through trip. Although the article in a recent Descent and information from Petzl employees stated that the exposed path round the southern

Sam Leiberman about to descend Lantern Pitch2

edge of the Dent du Crolles was too dangerous to use we found this was not the case and with care it was possible to get to both Grotte Annette and Grotte Chavalier. This meant that two separate parties did the Trou du Glaz to Grotte Annette through trip, which takes you right under the Dent du Crolles massif from one side to the other. This is a fine trip with plenty of entertainment including traverses, up and down pitches, boulder chokes, large passages and even some crawling. A number of members thought this was the best trip of the holiday.

A variety of Via Ferrata in Grenoble and Chartreuse and canyons were also tackled along with some spectacular walking in the Chartreuse mountains. Lots of family excursions were also undertaken. Some photos will appear below.

While we were there it was Sandra Wilkinson’s birthday so Mel arranged a party and most people who were there turned up at some stage.

Most members managed a visit to the Saint Christophe le Grotte show caves. This is an historic site with two fine show caves, a walk along a Sardinian Way roman road, a roman bridge and visitor’s centre. The road was the main route between Lyon and Turin until a tunnel was built through the mountain in the Nineteenth Century.

Click on thumbnails for larger view

Sandra's birthday party

Ray gets taken off to hospital!

A welcome beer after a walk up Cirque St Mer

Last group to leave the campsite

Ray's leg after the operation!

Visiting time at the hospital!

Club members on Grotte Annette thru trip

Heather and Paul in Gallerie 43

Slug in main passage of Grotte Chavalier

Grotte St Christophe show cave


Easter Grotto

On June 18th Red Rose members made a fairly concerted effort to clean up Easter Grotto in Ease Gill Caverns as part of their ongoing conservation work in the cave. Spray bottles, scrubbing brushes, sponges and other cleaning aids were carried up to the passage by a team of five. Some equipment was left there for future use.The passage was also retaped. Please do not cross the new tapes.

This involved a team of water lifters up from the stream at Assembly Hall and returning dirty water, some scrubbers and some wiper-uppers and tape-upperers.  The stile on the way to Lancaster Hole was repaired by Mel Wilkinson. Ray took the underground photos of the work in progress.


3 Peaks Challenge

Yorkshire’s Ultimate 3 Peaks Challenge Walk. 12th November 2011
Raising funds for the local rescue team. Are YOU up for it ?

Members Lounge

Work has finally started on the cavers lounge re-vamp. Soon to be fitted will be a new fire grate – especially made to our own specifications. Advice from our fire officer has recommended replacing the ceiling with fire board, as there is a bedroom above and this work is already in progress with the old joists    being    replaced    before covering in the new fire board.
Ray Duffy and Sandra Wilkinson helping to remove old plaster board from the ceiling
One section of the ceiling has now been completed and the final two will be finished in a couple of weeks time. If you can spare a day or two to help, the work will be taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday 24th. / 25th. May. Fireplace has now been fitted.
As part of our obligations to improve the farm water supply we have also been revamping the UV system and cold water storage. A new storage tank has been installed upstairs and the UV system made more accessible. The room has now been repainted. A new set of comfy chairs has already been acquired and these will really finish off the room.

Mark Shinwell wins photo Award

Moorebooks Award

Hidden Earth 2010 – Mining Photo Winner

If you follow the link you will see the superb photo from Mark Shinwell that won the £100 of books prize sponsored by

I am sure you will agree what superb photo it is particularly as water vapour and steam can be a real problem in the level

Mike Moore

BCRA forthcoming events


BCRA news updates

1) The online version of Cave & Karst Science 37(2) is now available from

2) Speleology 16 is now in the post to you.

3)  Info about the Field Meeting in South Wales on 6 March ’11 is now on the news forum:

4) We’re planning for Speleology 17 to follow closely on from this so, if you have any news items or articles, the editor, Erin Lynch would appreciate them by the middle of January.

5) Your BCA renewal letters are now in the post to you. You can renew your membership by credit or debit card online, or you can drop a cheque in the post. You dont *need* your renewal letter, just go to and, if you have your membership number handy, it will (possibly) speed up your form-filling experience :-). You can pay by credit or debit card or you can send us a cheque – the web site will tell you what to do.

Other news items…

BCRA Cave Science Symposium 2011

Saturday 5 March, Cardiff University

Contributions are invited on any aspect of cave or karst science or
caving technology. Poster papers, displays or preliminary presentations
by postgraduate and undergraduate students are especially welcome. Each
year the symposium covers a wide range of cave science topics, including
geology, hydrology, speleogenesis, speleothems, biology and archaeology.

A Cave Science Field Trip on Sunday 6 March to a cave in SouthWales is also planned, and will be announced separately.

For the latest info, check the postings at

BCRA Cave Technology Symposium 2011

Saturday 9 April 2011, Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Presentations of short topics on cave surveying, electronics, computing,
lighting, photography, cave radio, radio-location and other aspects of
caving “technology”.

The event is expected to coincide with the Cave Surveying Group’s spring
field meeting. Field trips and ‘classroom’ sessions (CREG and CSG) may
be offered on the Sunday, and will be announced in due course.

New Visitor’s Kitchen

New Visitor’s Kitchen at Bullpot Farm

On a wet weekend in July a small but dedicated band of members returned to the farm to assist Alan (Starkers) Martin install the second of our new kitchens, this time for use by our visitors. A new floor was laid, and complimented by another superb range of new cupboards and gas hobs as well as some wall cupboards.