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British Cave Research Association Online Archive

BCRA Online Archive

Gaping Gill - June 1946

Introduction

These photographs were taken on the June 1946 BSA winch meet, the first post-war winch meet that lasted three weeks. Clarke's photograph of the winch also appears in the Eli Simpson archive. Of particular note is the photograph of the twin stalactites at the entrance to the Disappointment Pot inlet - one of only three known. The stalactites were destroyed soon after. They had been discovered by Eric Hensler in 1937, and for a long time could only be accessed through Hensler's Long Crawl. In 1944, however, Bob Leakey and other members of the BSA opened up Disappointment Pot, providing easier access. During the 1946 winch meet Eric Hensler did the through trip between the winch and Disappointment Pot, and it is likely that John Clarke also descended Disappointment. It is clear that Clarke also descended the winch, and photographed East Passage. Of particular note in this set, is the one of the caver descending into Mud Hall - a route seldom used by today's cavers who normally follow a high traverse line across a mud slope.

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