First day of digging week sees major new
Zach's Dig breaks
into the lower end of Gents'
By Bridget Hall
Gary, Mandie and Rhys at Zak's dig.
The first day of digging week was
kicked off when Gary Evans got a team of people together to help him with his
project, Zach's Dig that for the past few years he has dug with friends. I was
going up the hill to have a look at Razor Slot but Gary pursuaded me that my morning
would be well spent helping haul buckets and I could get back to the hut for a
cuppa in 5 minutes, so I was in.
This was the first time I'd been to this
dig and I was joined by Martin Hoff and Nicki Bailey. Having cleared the sleepers
off the entrance I was surpised at the size of the shaft that Gary and friends
had created. It was all well scaffolded apart from one bar that Gary told us not
to touch or it would all fall down. Gary was first down and was expecting to have
to do his usual frog resuce, however there were no frogs to be found; perhaps
this was the first sign that today was a little different. Having hauled on lots
of buckets and started to stack spoil on the impressive heap, Martin came up and
told me, as we stood on the edge of the shakehole, how close we were to Northern
Lights. This news spured me on to have a go at the dig face and so armed with
a crow bar and spade I had a go at clearing my share of the fill from the bottom
of the shaft ...... >
was quite exciting as I could see air space above the fill and the water was draining
away. Just as I thought I was getting somewhere Martin shouted for me to stop
and jumped down into the dig face area and leaned against the shuttering. A little
purturbded I climbed up into the roof space and over Martin who called for more
wood and the lump hammer. Martin was very calm at this moment but was in fact
hold back much of the soil behind where I had been digging. I was a little put
off and as soon as Martin had rebuilt the shuttered scaffolding was measured up
for and I retreated to the surface to start hacksawing. Having got half way through
one steel bar (girls!) , Martin took over and managed to get through the rest
and also three blades in the process!
While all this was happening Jules,
Madie and Rhys had turned up and joined in with the hauling and heckling. Jules
and Martin went to have a dig and it wasn't long before there were shouts of excitment
and Gary was called for. The excitment soon died away as evidence of Mr Clipstone
and his white tip-ex marks were found. Mandie, Rhys and I were not to be disappointed
and sent Jules to fetch a ladder and the key for Gents'. We entered Zach's Dig
and made the first through trip to Gent's, free climbing the ladder pitch on the
way (Jules had forgotten the tether!).