Information Circular 2000/4 - June/July 2000


Council Meeting: Sat. 15 July at 10am. Monyash Village Hall

The Hall will be open from about 9.30am. with tea, coffee & biscuits on tap. The Old Smithy Cafe, next to the Pub, does an excellent breakfast from 9am. All meetings arranged start at 10am. at Monyash Village Hall.

Further meetings arranged are:

DCA Council: Saturday, 11 November 2000;
AGM 2001: Saturday, 17 February 2001

CAVERS FAIR 2000 - 7/8/9 July
Pindale Farm Outdoor Centre, Hope, Derbyshire.


If you have any information to pass on or have any queries, please contact the Conservation & Access Officer direct: Tony Gibbs E-mail. t.gibbs @

Knotlow Mine - Pollution Again!
A party from Orpheus C.C. and Wealden C.M.G. visiting on 25th. June abseiled down the Chapel Dale Engine Shaft into Waterfall Chamber and about half to two thirds of the way down noticed a bad smell - described as "akin to a rotting carcass". A member of the party turned back from his proposed visit to the coffin level near the Waterfall Chamber end because of pollution. He described finding some organic debris in the coffin level: the walls were covered in a "kind of white mould" and he came across "something that looked like a lambs leg" that disintegrated when he touched it. He later referred to the item as being "like a chicken wing". The smell quickly dissipated on entering Meccano, although curiously in the last or second last chamber before entering Hillocks 'main' chamber the party came across the same smell - although it was limited to just this chamber. This was not noted in the Log Book in the Climbing Shaft because none of the party went that way, but the situation was reported to Jenny Potts, who passed on the information to John Gunn at the Limestone Research Group immediately. John has already informed the Environment Agency and an inspection visit to check on the situation is organised for Monday, 3rd. July. Our thanks to those who reported this incident in detail so promptly - it may give a chance of tracking the source. Please fill in the Log Book at the foot of the Climbing Shaft each time you visit - even a "nil return" may be helpful in pinpointing events if the pollution appears again.

Eldon Hole Dumping
Members of Crewe C. P. C. reported in mid-June the finding of two plastic bags containing animal remains at the bottom of Eldon. The bags are official Stoke-on-Trent bin bags and the remains have been tentatively identified as "puppies", though this is not certain. Further enquiries indicate that the bags may have been there at least since March, at which time they were partly buried in snow. Members of Crewe will attempt to clear up the mess and the appropriate authorities will be informed so that we can try to prevent this sort of thing happening again. We would welcome any information which might help to find out when these were dumped and by whom.


Sadly Iain Barker has had to stand down as Newsletter Editor because of pressure of work. He continues as Publications and P.R. Officer and Alan Keen has volunteered to take on the task of editing "The Derbyshire Caver". Alan would welcome contributions for No. 107, which we hope to have ready by the beginning of September. E-mail Alan at alan @


If you come across a DMM Eco-hanger which you think may be loose, (or any other suspect anchor, fixed aid, etc.) please contact DCA Equipment Officer, Mark Lowe MLowecave @ or inform Jenny: Tel. 01335-370629 or e-mail. jenny.potts @

Suspect bolts on Bitch Pitch in J.H.
Recent inspection has confirmed that the re-belay approximately 8m below the head of Bitch Pitch is very loose. This can be avoided by using the re-belay bolt above it, approximately 6m below the pitch head, so there is no need to use the lower loose bolt at all. One of the two bolts below the -8m re-belay and above the final Y-hang is also loose but the pitch can be rigged satisfactorily missing out these last two deviation/re-belay bolts altogether. The loose bolts will be removed/replaced in due course.

Water Icicle
Following the installation of the new chain on the lid by Orpheus C.C. a belay stake will soon be installed to give the necessary back-up belay on the surface. A stainless steel stake is being supplied by Crewe C.P.C. and will shortly be installed by Orpheus C.C.


The Ballot gives a YES
The ballot on proposals to amend the NCA Constitution approved all the changes proposed. The revised Constitution will shortly be circulated to all NCA member clubs with SPELEOScene 42. Also being sent out are the NCA Annual Report for 1999 and the Minutes of the AGM 2000.

Functional Analysis of British Caving
At the NCA AGM it was agreed to widen the scope of the discussions between NCA and BCRA and to seek the help of an external consultant through the Charities Aid Foundation so that independent advice could be sought. External funding has been secured to allow the next stage of considering the consolidation of BCRA and NCA. A consultant has been selected and meetings are being set up with representatives from regional councils. An open forum discussion is planned for the BCRA Conference at Bristol in September and a report will be made to a joint BCRA/NCA Council meeting on 7th. October. Officers of NCA and BCRA met with the consultant in separate sessions on 18th. June. Sessions have been arranged with CSCC and Cambrian Council on the weekend 1/2 July and with CNCC and DCA on 15th. July. DCA officers will meet with the consultant in the afternoon after the DCA Council Meeting, this session being hosted by Orpheus C. C. at their H.Q. Written comments are invited from the caving world and should be sent to either Dave Judson at BCRA or Bob Mehew at NCA.

Bob Mehew E-mail. mehewrd @
David Judson E-mail. judson @


3 July 2000

Hon. Sec./Treas., Jenny Potts, 3 Greenway, Hulland Ward, Ashbourne, Derbys. DE6 3FE. Tel. 01335-370629

E-m: jenny.potts @