The Secret Seven Go Digging At Ribblehead, by Phil Ryder.

(Main photo by Steve Warren).

Richard Gibson says we White Rose diggers are a parochial lot, but in a very rare event he’s managed to drag us out of Wharfedale TWICE!! in 7 months. Anybody familiar with his digs would be better off at least 100 miles away when he comes seeking volunteers, but seeing I only live two streets away from him it’s hard to escape.

In March Richard, Hucky and I opened up the hole 2 metres deep to running water, and vowed to return once our nerves had recovered!

On 11th September a bigger team returned. I had arranged for us all to meet at the Burger Van at Ribblehead for a cuppa and bacon butty before the dig. Unfortunately the catering van wasn’t there, and I was faced with a mutiny. The mutiny was averted when Steve Warren, (with wife Maud), produced 6 of the finest growlers ever made from Stanforth’s – The Celebrated Pork Pie Establishment in Skipton.

Moving to park near the dig, we were treated to some driving worthy of Top Gear courtesy of Adele in the Black Merc.

Weighed down with mountains of digging gear, we began the long and arduous slog up to the dig. Steve brought his camera and tripod and photographed the intrepid explorers, and departed soon after. Not to be outdone I claimed to be a pensioner with a dodgy knee, and therefore was given the most important job of looking after Richard Bendall’s dog Brodie for the duration. That left only 4 diggers with any chance of being squashed by a boulder! 

Hucky started drilling away with The Beast, our big Bosch drill. Richard Bendall not to be surpassed produced an even bigger and newer model Bosch drill that was awesome. (Mind you I wouldn’t want to lug it about. We have Sherpa Gibson to carry ours.)

After much mayhem and noise, and many goes at Russian Roulette with the unstable rocks, it was decided that to avoid masses of shoring it might be easier to move the entrance 3 metres to solid rock after a dye test was done to decide if the dig was worth it in the first place!!!

I had problems driving home afterwards, it was very off-putting. Hucky was sat in the passenger seat beaming from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat having smashed so much rock today.

A fine day out.

Hucky and Gibbo at the dig 18/03/2019. Photo Phil Ryder.
“Er what you doing Hucky?”, says Richard Bendall. Photo Phil Ryder.
“I just broke this gut ‘un”, says Hucky. Photo Phil Ryder.