Buttered Badger Potholing Club
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Work in the Shark Cage

Mark R, Mark S, Mark W, Adam, Chris H (I think!)

I can only apologise for the vagueness of this report...it's being written quite some time after the event!

Having just got a scaffold ring in place at the base of the diagonal roof at the end of the last session, the aim this time was to start heading vertically down. With four of us there, hauling was fairly rapid and we could (theoretically) make decent progress. Unfortunately, sinking a shaft immediately underneath a somewhat scary roof is not especially conducive to rapid progress.

Firstly, creating a diagonal roof underneath about 10 m of rubble with no real idea at the time of how it would turn out meant that our scaffold wasn't exactly square at this point, and the roof meant that boards were really hard to squeeze into place. Not to mention the unnerving feeling of crouching under the sloping section with rubble continuously moving above and around us. The Shark Cage, as this sloping section was previously christened, has an amazing quality of appearing extremely solid and safe from outside, and feeling extremely vulnerable from the inside!

Nevertheless, as well as making some decent progress downwards, we "finished" (I don't think this will ever be really finished!) adjusting and tightening the roof, so hopefully progress will be easier and a little safer as we carry on down. The fettling of the cage also gave Mark R a chance to take a few pictures...we weren't to know at the time how many entertaining captions these would lead to on UKCaving!

On our way back to Mark R's, we enjoyed hearing about David Dickinson's spell in prison. Who'd have thought it?!

Mark S