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Last updated: Friday, 29 October, 2004 12:51

Severn Beach Dig

By John Stevens

Cave date: 24 April 2004 | Photos | Interactive Map

We had cancelled our two previous trips to Severn Beach for various reasons, so we were determined to go ahead with this one. On Friday we were all working on the cottage and were to do the same on Sunday to get the screed floor down. This would leave Saturday to do a reasonable trip.
It was 11:30 when Arthur Millett, Mike Read and myself entered Aggy. A slow steady pace in was set to reach Severn Beach in 3 hours. A break for lunch then the work could start.
As the dig was going to be at least a medium term dig to started right back at the spoil heap and enlarged and removed any rock and mud that were going to stop a large drag tray. At the bottom of the drop the floor was deepened by several inches and several trays of rocks and mud came out.
It was over an hour before we had enlarged the route to the start of the sandy crawl. I now took over from Mike and reversed in filling trays the deepening the crawl as I slowly progressed backwards down the crawl. Unfortunately the tray was always getting stuck on the large boulder at the start of the crawl so I was constantly crawling back and forth.
As I reversed right into the dig face I accidentally blocked up the airspace with sand. This soon became apparent as the air got humid and stale. Once the air gap was re opened the air freshened. Again we had a good draught in the entrance but by the time we entered Prior Road the air was still. This accidental experiment is promising though.
Once enlarged to the end Mike was put back in the front and some forward progress was made. The final bits of enlargement we done and the huge boulder at the start of the crawl moved out of the way to one side. You can now get a full size tray to the end and fill it. But a full tray is rather heavy on the climb up!
In all we may have removed some 40+ trays and made a couple of feet of progress but the dig is now set up for some real spoil removal if we get a large enough team together. The airspace ahead is a couple of inches but still wide, with a view ahead of a couple of metres, possibly bending round and up to the left.
Exited in 2.5 hours. Total underground time 11 ¾ hours. And to round it off we all had parking tickets when we got back to Whitewalls!

John Stevens, 24 April 2004

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