The President’s Bit

I had a very enjoyable weekend at this year’s Summer Dinner in Kettlewell. The weather was brilliant and the company excellent. This was, of course the weekend of my caving comeback trip. A total of 17 other members turned up to escort me into Dow Cave, none of whom I’d caved with before. Everything went well, Dewi lent me a light and helmet and after a kit examination Graham, with certain reservations, pronounced my boiler suit and woollies adequate for the trip. I’d only been in Dow Cave once before and that was on a “team building” course from work. Much better than working nights I can tell you. So on a hot Saturday morning 17 Pennine members and myself set off up the valley to the entrance and was relieved to get in the cool cave. On the works trip we turned back at Hobson’s Choice, but this time caving mode has clicked in and I was keen to go further and so I ventured into the boulder choke in anticipation. After grovelling around for a few minutes Tom and Ursula found the way on and we soon reached the other side of the boulder choke. At the fixed rope which takes you up to the (graveyard?) I decided it was best to turn back and so my entourage of what could be described of some of the Pennine’s best amazons escorted their President back out. Returning without much ado, apart from meeting some very wet cavers coming out of Dowber Gill Passage, I emerged into glorious sunshine after about 21/2 hours underground feeling pretty pleased with myself. I’d like to thank everyone who turned up and joined me in my “come-back” trip, I felt rather humbled that so many made the effort to join me. Afterwards we had a very good meal in the Blue Bell Pub in Kettlewell where 28 sat down for dinner. My thanks to Fiona Hartley who did an excellent job organising the meal. The dinner was a great success in spite some of our members, including myself, being a bit lax in organising our accommodation for the weekend. Well we’ve never had to book the campsite before other than when we were at Eskdale. So thanks to Jean who pull a few strings with some locals and managed to get us all sorted out.

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