Mark R, Robbie S, Mark W, Henry Rockliff, Rob Middleton, Ellie Sharples
9th November 2010
At six-o’clock on a chilling wet evening at Rowter Farm in Derbyshire the dedicated few changed into their caving attire somewhat faster than usual and walked over to the entrance of Rowter Hole; the premier Buttered Badger dig! Joined by Henry Rockliff, Rob Middleton and Ellie Sharples from SUSS (Sheffield Uni Speleological Society) and armed with enough pipe to siphon The Caspian Sea they all descended the 80m mine shaft into a warmer world.
Henry immediately adopted the title of chief dam builder and began shouting orders at us mere mortals below at the foot of the torrent of water that was issuing from ‘Hypothermia Crawl’ (a tiny phreatic tube depleting to a miserably wet rocky tube that is too tight for a human to pass). Joined by top Badger from the sett; Mark Richardson, who due his work commitments and making two journeys over the sodden fields with equipment he didn’t need was an hour late! Using a siphon system that drained a pool of water from just inside the nasty crawl, we were able to build the dam in the dry as all the offending water flowed away in the pipe next to us.
The next two hours were spent mixing very fast setting concrete in a small Darren drum and sending it up to Henry and Rob who smeered it ‘lovingly’ around four plastic two inch pipes in the wall of the dam. At times the concrete was going off and setting hard in the drum before Henry had opened the lid. Too much talking and not enough hauling in my opinion!
However, it wasn’t long before the job was done and we could consider heading up the ropes to catch a swift pint or two of the amber nectar in the closest public house down in Castleton. Though, Henry being Henry couldn’t resist a quick test of his creation and see if he should consider a career in dam building. In short, no is the answer. Water steadily leaked out from one of the pipes. Nothing to worry about, and it will be fixed I’m pretty sure in due course.
Made the pub for 2245!
By Robbie Shone