Buttered Badger Potholing Club
A+ A A-
  • Hits: 572

Another day, another dig, another stemple socket?!

Mark R, Henry Rockliff
21st May 2013

Today I was once again joined by Derbyshire digging expert and cave engineer Henry!
We picked up where Chris and I had left off the day before and continued sinking the floor and making use of the new stacking area for disposing of the rubble. In the process of digging downwards, we uncovered a bloody huge great big calcite boulder right in the corner of the dig just here we wanted to put our next lot of scaffolding. Rather than scaffolding around it we stuck to the philosophy adopted from an early stage and plowed through it. This ended up taking us most of our trip... We capped it at least half a dozen times and hammered and chiselled to quarry away enough room to fit the poles and clips. Eventually, with the help of the new long handled smashing hammer brought along by Henry we made just enough room to get the pole in where we wanted it but it was hard work!
We left not quite feeling the sense of satisfaction we were hoping for but the hard work needed to be done at some point and this may as well have been it. It's definitely worth sticking to our tactics and not being tempted to take the easy way out. If we cut corners now we, or someone else in the future will end up suffering for it. We had taken another 4 scaff poles with us and 15 or so clips and Henry brought out a very heavy section of old pipe for my wheelie bin.

I forgot to mention in the last trip report but in Sunday we uncovered a new stemple hole. As you look at the wall the dig follows, there is a line of stemples followed right down the centre of the old dig shaft. We have extended the shaft out to the left forcing us to go through a load of large boulders that were previously left. A the far left hand edge of our new shaft we uncovered this stemple socket, about 5 or 6" square and 2 or 3 " deep and about 3 or 4 feet  away from the top socket the old dig follows. If this new socket is the top of a Long vertical line, it would appear that we are now descending between what used to be two walls of stemples... Interesting!
I'll try and get some more detailed measurements of the sockets but they look quite large and quite close together to me. Close enough to be climbing stemples but the size is either something to do with having to hold back a large volume of spoil or boulders (??) or simply due to having to span such a wide rift... Only time will tell.
I have ordered another 20 boards, bought a wire brush for reclaiming old scaff clips from the dig and a new short pry bar. I will  probably also be visiting a scaffold yard one morning this week in preparation for the coming weekend.

Mark out.