The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records. E. Simpson, photographer.
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .
The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .

The Log Book of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club 1934. [cover-title]: Cavern and Fell 1934 Records .

Yorkshire, England, 1934. 8vo (8” x 10”), original printed wrappers. 117 pp. of typescript. 16 original silver print photographs wth typed captions. Inscribed on an endpaper “Presented to Mrs. Robinson of the Craven Arms with the compliments of the Cavern & Fell—in appreciation of the very many kindnesses shown to them.”.

A very fine and unusual typescript journal of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club of Yorkshire, including typescript accounts of spelunking adventures and sixteen striking original photographs.

This remarkable journal consists of lists of the officers of the Northern Cavern and Fell Club (est. 1928); a list of over a dozen meets the Club held in 1934; a table of contents indexing meets, events, and detailed narrative accounts of the club’s expeditions written by members. The meets took place at such caves as Gaping Ghyll, Arncliffe, Fountains Fell, Alum Pot, Isle of Skye, Mere Gill and Lingmell Girdle.

The photographs capture subterranean scenes during the Club’s meets as well as group and solo images of Club members. These variously show the spelunkers carrying and transporting gear; at the openings of various caves; rappelling and on ladders; climbing on different perilous sections of their routes (as indicated by captions); inside massive caves; at the club’s annual dinner with family members, and so forth. Captions include: “W.J. Haworth Esq. President 1934”; “Public Enemy No. 1, Public Enemy No. 2, and Public Assistance Required”; “Transport at G.G.”; “The Swildon’s Hole Diving Party,” etc. In this final image a group of seven spelunkers are pictured in a cave—a party of amused and amusing gents, two with headlamps and one with a mask. Another remarkable cave image pictures the Pen-y-Ghent entrance—showing a dangling ladder and sunlight shining into the hole from above. Another intriguing shot shows a man in a wheelchair reading a map as spelunkers stand nearby on a rock-face during a event.

The text includes descriptions of club get-togethers; a joint-meet with the Halifax Vandals; the commemoration of Club President Wally Haworth’s marriage in 1934; a piece entitled “Baulked at Bentham; Captured at Clapham. Was it Night Starvation or Ovaltine Orgy?”; verse by member George Butterworth entitled “Through A Looking Glass”; an interesting diagram of the Washfold Pot’s levels; a reproduced letter from the Gritstone Club (“The Grits”) on their expedition down Washfold Pot, and so forth. An incident termed the “Gingling Accident” is extensively detailed. Several letters concerning the accident are reproduced, including one penned from the hospital by an injured Club member, reading in part: “I am trying to forget the ghastly nightmare of the week-end, but shall never forget the wonderful work of your own and kindred club members, specially your belay pin feat.” The journal is rounded out with editorial notes; an account of the Christmas meet at Giggleswick; and a club roster.

Some representative passages

Pen-y-Ghent, Long Churn; 14 Apr. 1934 “Sunday morning found the gang…complete with ladders and ropes at the cottage ready for the fray. Cars were taken to Higher Birk with and from there a short walk soon landed the party at the hole. The stream had been diverted down a side passage thus leaving the ladder descent dry. It was afterwards learned that a Giggleswick party had been down the previous week-end but had failed to get very far. Nobody having thought of bringing a stake the fellows dispersed in search of more ammunition, and eventually a couple of branches were found which were believed to be strong enough—one quite dry and the other apparently half rotted. However, the N.C.F.C. are known for not being too particular a club and it was unanimously decided that ‘it’ll do.’ The two ladders were fastened together and hung down, and Downham slipped down. About twenty feet down there was an ominous crack and tho that worthy had been making a fairly quick descent, the next 60 feet were accomplished decidedly quicker. Fortunately, when the dry stake had snapped a dozen willing hands had grabbed the ladder and held it in position for the man below…quite an interesting descent! The ladder position was moved and shortly all men were safely below with the exception of Gregson…”

“The open pitch being perhaps 80 feet, starting with a small circular hole at the surface and opening out into quite a bell-shaped pot. The passage below follows the stream, and there are two ways. The passage is a huge though narrow fissure, and it is possible to traverse along the top or drop through the fissure and follow the stream. Downham, Dawson and Gregson has previously followed the upper traverse a considerable distance, but had not reached the end, and so it was decided to first follow this mode of progress to its—eventual—painful conclusion. It has the only advantage of being quite dry, and a terrific distance was squirmed before the end was reached by a blockage in the passage, which even the thinnest member, one Thornber, failed to get through. And so a return was made practically to the pot again, when a rope was lowered down the fissure from a huge chock stone. The pitch is perhaps twenty to thirty feet, and a painful progress is made to the notorious ‘mauvaispas’ a climb down between the fissure walls into the stream bed. A rope was put down on this occasion for both Dawson and Downham has unpleasant and nightmare recollections of the climb back up that ghastly pitch without a rope. Four men got below…”

“It was here that Downham and Dawson had stopped on their previous expedition. The going was considerably difficult. Progress being made along the water course, the fissure still continued, and was fortunately wide enough at the bottom to get through by lying in the water and squirming a difficult way along. Judging by the lurid remarks of George Bowen on this his first real pot, the going was considerably more than difficult. The water was devilishly cold, and it was no pleasant task bellying along. Dawson was ahead and behind him followed the other three. At least thirty yards was put on when the end came. Dawson was still struggling ahead with Downham following closely. A particularly nasty corner was negotiated and here Dawson adopted excavating tactics, showing the boulder strewn floor away to get through. Once through there, the going was slightly easier, but no more than five yards were put on when it became impossible to get further. Thus we definitely forced a conclusion with Pen-y-Ghent Long Churn and have reason to believe the Cavern & Fell is the first party to bottom the hole. A return was thankfully made and much swearing and blasphemy on thepart of Big George…as it was George’s first decent hole, it became necessary to at least baptize him and accordingly the stream was rediverted into the hold, and George made a watery climb up the ladder…all voted it the toughest little pot we had ever done.”

Tot Lord’s Hole, Stockdale; 28-29 July ‘34 “Most of the Club will recollect the occasion upon which two well-known members ran foul of established Law and Order as laid down in the Road Traffic Act. The incident inspired Thornber to the following effort. If it becomes too subtle, don’t write to the Editor about it…write Thornber.”

No records in OCLC.

CONDITION: Good, some wear to covers and spine; contents very good, photos with excellent contrast.

Item #5853

Price: $1,750.00

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