British Cave Research Association Online Archive

BCRA Online Archive

Alum Pot Incident


The first newspaper cutting, from the Craven Herald about 13th August 1948, records an incident when Albert Wilkinson and six companions were trapped by floods in Lower Long Churn on Sunday 12th September 1948. Wilkinson was 22 years old at the time. The incident is recorded in the CRO Incident Log. The second newspaper cutting was found by the archive editor, and relates to the same incident. The remaining pages are from the logbook of the 16th Middleton Scout and Rover Group, which provides a contemporaneous account of the incident by one of the seven which evidence indicates was Albert himself. The originals were on foolscap paper, and each page was scanned by the donor on an A4 scanner twice to ensure both the top and bottom were included. The images were subsequently cropped by the editor to ensure that the text is continuous, hence their peculiar shape...

This incident probably occurred on one of the group's earliest caving trips - certainly predating their photographic trip to Long Churn. It seems that having exerted so much effort to get to Selside (a day-long four-bus journey from Oldham and an overnight camp), they were unwilling to allow a little matter like heavy rain stopping them from caving! The report indicate that they picked up the rope ladders from The Crown in Horton - whether they had been sent ahead, or The Crown had some for loan is unknown.

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