Extracted from the Northern Pennine Club's 1948-1950 Log Book

The discovery and exploration of Stream Passage Entrance

Christmas 1942 saw two intrepid lads, Burgess and Gray, plodding through thick mist in the Ingleborough and G.G. areas. As usual, heaps of odd holes were found which were very promising, but their location was submerged in "Mistery" and their whereabouts are even now a mystery. However, one shakehole was of such promise that its identification was made certain and later the fact was reported to the great Eli Simpson with the confirmed opinion that digging would give excellent results. Due in no small measure to the lack of enthusiastic diggers who could be obtained at that time, the shakehole, fortunately for the N.P.C., lay forgotten in the records of the B.S.A.

Sunday October 10th 1948

Messrs Burgess, Gray, Clough and Butterfield spent the day on the west side of Gaping Ghyll. The original intention was to continue the digging at the shakehole by the aqueduct but by mutual consent it was abandoned in favour of the large shakehole some few hundred yards to the north. A few hours work uncovered a good rock face at points behind which it was possible to hear water dripping. Knowe Gap Syke was dammed and the water diverted into the shakehole. The dig was then left to "consolidate" (vide Burgess) and the party withdrew in good order at 17.00 hrs.


Tuesday November 2nd

Party :- H.Burgess

After cleaning the cooking slab and primuses, the party moved off at a smart rate to the G.G. area. The dig at Knowe Gap Syke was filled in and cleaned up as much as possible. The dig in the large shakehole was inspected (see Oct. 10th) and a large stream was flowing down the shakehole, entering at the joint in the face and could be heard roaring inside. As the stream was not helping to remove any soil from the dig, the diversion was removed and the stream restored to its original course. A short distance away, a very promising shakehole was inspected. A lot of water from two drains was dropping down a four foot shaft into loose boulders. The stream could definitely be heard further underground. As the weather was wet and misty, accurate bearings on this new dig were impossible to obtain, but the sketch gives a rough idea. The party then went to the Cross Streets and wrapped himself round several black and tans.


Sunday 16th January 1949

Party :- A.Jowett, K.Gray, J.J.Leach, H.Burgess, D.Hawtrey & Theo.Wild

During the day, members of the above party between them continued digging in a shakehole above Hensler's with fair results. At this dig, prospects were good, but a tight squeeze prevented access to a shaft-like opening below. Gelignite was tentatively suggested.

Another digging site between Disappointment and Flood Entrance was worked but was abandoned until drier conditions should prevail. Vast amount of mud and boulders held up progress.

A large shakehole on the G.G. west side area, with stream sinks in three or four places was attacked furiously. This was to become the 'Quarry Dig', and eventually Stream Passage Entrance.


Sunday 13th March

Party J.O.Myers, J.J.Leach, K.Harris, J.Buckley, D.Hawtrey, K.Gray

Spent a day in an atrociously high wind mixed with a fair quantity of rain digging out Buzzer's Roaring Hole and the Quarry Dig more to the north. Duration was short due to the weather conditions.


Sunday 27th March

J.O.Myers, J.J.Leach, K.Gray, D.Hawtrey, A.Gemmel.

Continued digs near G.G. (Buzzer's Roaring Hole and Quarry Dig). Got into cavity at Quarry Dig and heard stream in cave. Now very promising.


Sunday 3rd April

Party J.J.Leach, F.Butterfield, A.Jowett, H.Burgess & K.Gray

Retired to the Quarry Dig in the G.G. Area in a somewhat depressed state (NB. Yesterday's Report) [The party had left the Hill Inn with only three bottles of ale remaining. Ed.] to do further excavation. Progress was halted by a large and awkwardly placed boulder. Much thought and energy was expended on trying to remove it but losing patience on one occasion, the party managed to break off one or two large pieces, but the boulder still remained to be moved. Entry was expected be quite easy afterwards, but a further boulder was noted as possibly still proving awkward to move.


Sunday, April 9th

D.Hawtrey, J.J.Leach, D.M.Boothman

Continued work at the Quarry Dig. Don went in first and after 20 minutes intensive digging, he made a way into a chamber, 12' long, 5' wide, 8' high with a small inlet passage on the left and a fissure passage on the right. This passage leads in 12' to the head of a 25' pitch. This pitch was descended by Don and Jim who landed in a chamber 45' high, 15' wide, 30' long which has three passages leading off.

One upstream, requiring a 13' climb up, was not explored. The main downstream passage, wet, was followed for approximately 200 yards. A pool was crossed, various roof and curtain formations noted, and 30 yards down, a large intake on the right was noted. More pools were crossed and eventually the passage led to a pitch. Some pitch !! Of unknown depth, just blackness for an indefinite depth. It is an oval-shaped shaft 15' x 12' with a fair amount of water passing.

The other downstream passage is dry and apparently connects with the wet passage.

Thus was discovered N.P.C.'s biggest find to date, which has every chance of putting other club's discoveries in the shade.


EASTER ACTIVITIES

Good Friday, 15th April

Party D.Hawtrey, J.J.Leach, J.O.Myers, T.Wild, R.Young, K.Harris, J.Buckley, J.Walmsley, A.Jowett, K.Gray and President P.Pearson.

The first part of the day was spent in organising the tackle up to the G.G. camp site and installing ourselves in camp. At 2.30, the party made off to the new hole at Quarry Dig and proceeded to explore the passage noted the previous week. They then started to ladder the end pitch. It was found that to hang the ladder from a small upper passage the stream could be avoided to a great extent. The pitch, 90 feet, was successfully descended and it was found that another, even deeper, followed immediately. More gear was called for. This necessitated calling on the full amount of ladders at the camp. Eventually the descent was started on the third pitch, but after descending a depth of 50 feet or so it was found that the stream deluged the ladder making descent extremely arduous, and a retreat was made. It was decided to lower the stream before tackling the descent. So the party made its exit and proceeded very effectively to stop all leakages in Knowe Gap Syke and divert all the streams into it. After some dinner, a further descent was made to check on the effect of the work and an appreciable lowering of the annoying stream was observed. Several inlets were checked but due to tightness, the stream inlet was left for some useful widening work with a hammer. Some photographs were also taken.


Saturday 16th April

Party D.Hawtrey, J.J.Leach, J.O.Myers, T.Wild, R.Young, K.Harris, J.Buckley, J.Walmsley, A.Jowett and K.Gray.

The main effort of the day's work was to descend the big pitch where we had been held up the previous day. However, closer examination of the only position for hanging the ladder showed it was extremely dangerous, the floor comprising some very loosely jammed boulders which were dropping off as people were walking on it. A good number of loose boulders were cleared away which eased the position somewhat and a descent was made. Immediately following this was another pitch of 90 feet which led into Stream Passage in Gaping Ghyll, and a section of the party explored to Stalagmite Chamber and returned. The last pot was somewhat wet but a dry position could be easily found. Having had a somewhat rough trip down of some duration an exit was then made.

Due to the ending of the pot, the name henceforth given to it was Stream Passage Entrance. Photography and some survey was done.


Easter Sunday, 17th April

Party J.O.Myers, K.Harris, J.Buckley, T.Wild, H.Burgess, A.Gemmel, M.J.Ridges & K.Gray

The original intention for the day was to descend G.G., carry out some surveying to complete the hole, finish off some details of photography and remove the tackle from the hole. Descent was made by a section of the party who were to go on to G.G., surveyors and photographers taking up the rear. The first party descended to the head of the dangerous (110 feet) pitch and decided after examination that it was too dangerous to go any further. This meant the abandoning of tackle at the bottom of the pitch, 60' ladder, 180' rope. Survey was carried out to this position and exit was made removing all tackle on route.

[ The floor at the head of the third pitch was subsequently stabilised using explosives, but I can't currently find a write-up of this ]


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