A Classic Meet at a Classic Site by Steve Warren, Gary Rhodes & Mike Brown

Birks Fell: Gary Rhodes, Abigail Rhodes, Peter Whittaker, Dave, Jonathan, Mike Brown, John, Steve Warren (16 July 2006). 

Very briefly – fuller report in next newsletter – this was a superb meet held in superb weather conditions by an absolutely magnificent team. Gary and Abigail Rhodes were accompanied to the true sump – yes, down the fearsome ‘Slimy Slit’, by Peter Whitaker, returning to the surface after an eight and three quarter hours trip. Whilst many others would have it that they have been down Birks Fell, the sad fact is that many have deluded themselves into thinking they have ‘done it’ when they have been only as far as Elbow Bend. This time it was the real thing. It is also, to the best of my knowledge, one of the extremely rare occasions when a female has been in the bottoming party. In fact it is the only occasion this has happened that Edward Whitaker and myself can recall in the thirty eight years since the big push by Randy Coe and Roy Taylor of the Craven Pothole Club through ‘Connection Crawl’ in 1968. Congratulations, Abigail.

Meanwhile the remainder of the team, Dave, Jonathan, Mike, John and yours truly were satisifed to have got as far as Whitehall.

All descended in and emerged to brilliant sunshine.


Ah well what a day. Was it hot? Don’t ask me I were under the sods for nearly nine hours.

Happy to say that Birks Fell meet went well with a good turnout plus the addition of two new members.

Can’t write a description of the trip as it would be far too long and would bore the mind with all the technical stuff, hold on what tech stuff? All you need is three ladders and a bit of string!

Anyhow, as said we got to the sump. Abby, Peter Whitaker and me. This trip is really his and he will do a proper write up on the events that happened.

Lets just say for now that it is his Dad that made the first trip to the sump. And now Peter has made it at last after eleven years of not getting a team together.

So there you go, now guess what is at the sump?



I thoroughly enjoyed Birks Fell on Sunday. I had no idea on the size of the system but it had a bit of everything and was well worth it.