50 Shades of Slate

A certain Welshman has been pestering a couple of us to visit this mine for some time. Max and Richard picked me up on Friday night, stopping for a pub dinner on our way to the hostel in Corris.

This is a very pretty mine, the open chambers give a different perspective to most other underground slate quarries.

100ft Ladderway


Top day out, thanks guys :)

Milltown Quarry, Ashover

A last minute, mid week drive out to Milltown Quarry, in Ashover, Derbyshire. Nice place to spend 420...
Some nice BBQ'd sausages too!

A Mine in Bonsall

Richard in a large chamber (by Derbyshire standards)
Today started with no real plan with the exception of being told to "be ready for 9.00am."
After a little discussion beforehand, and some indecision we headed in the direction of Matlock, with half an idea to do Jugholes. However on the way there we formed a better plan.

Tiviot Dale Railway Tunnel

Tiviot Dale station and tunnel began operation in 1865 with the opening of the Stockport, Timperley & Altrincham Junction Railway. The tunnel was 225 yards, or about 206 metres long. It is now filled in almost to the roof at both ends, and open to full height in a 75 yard long middle section, where a series of supporting girders has been fitted. There are also several alcoves along the tunnel, carved into the sandstone.

Nenthead, Spring 2017

Max has arrived.
It's hard to believe that it's been over a year since I was last here. I love Nenthead, every time I go here here it's to stay for the weekend, and we always get a decent amount of exploring in, and this would be my fifth visit in seven years. Each mine has something completely different to offer. This time, for the first time, I would be the only one there who has been to Nent before, and as such, kind of, sort of "leading" the trip. Maybe.

Bruntwood Hall

Stained Glass false ceiling in the Main Hall
This was a completely new experience for me- a pre-arranged guided tour around a building with the security guard, who turns out to be one of my friends that shall not be named. We rocked up late at night, expecting Bruntwood to be in darkness but the place was awash wish workers trying to hit their deadline for this new boutique hotel.


Chapel of St. Kinga, Wieliczka
Damian has had this trip in mind for years, so many times he told us about the salt mines in Poland; the size and grandeur of them is a must see for underground enthusiasts. The cheapest flights available to us northerners was Doncaster - Katowice, and ten of us ended up on this particular flight. There were also five others going from Luton, and two from Liverpool. This made our group in Krakow eighteen, as Damian's lovely cousin Karolina would also be joining us on our excursions. The weekend started well, with me passing my driving test the day before, I would be driving to Ed's house on Friday afternoon, and leaving my car there for the weekend. Five of us would be going to Doncaster together to meet five more at the airport.

James' 21st Wood Mine Challenge / Celebration

James Johnson
It's hard to believe James is 21, he has always seemed older than his years, that was until alcohol became involved a couple of years ago! James has been a regular at Alderley Edge since he was kneehigh to a grasshopper.

Moss Chamber, Peak Cavern

A hastily arranged trip to Derbyshire saw me and Richard up early and wolfing down bacon butties at the TSG, many thanks to Alan for his patience with us! It wasn't the best of starts to the day, I forgot my knee pads, which is an incredibly stupid thing to forget on this trip.

High in London

Many thanks to Joel and Emily for inviting me to head South for New Years Eve. You guys really are the best!

Boxing Day in West Mine

Following on from Christmas Eve, I was back in West Mine for the traditional DCC Boxing Day celebration. This involved decorating the poor Holly Bush mark II with shiny wrappers and mince pie tins, bubbles, and building a giant sandcastle with a moat, drawbridges and turrets. Behold our creation!

Sophie, Me & Sean, photo by the fair hand of Mr Richard Bullock


Christmas Eve in West Mine

I met up with Richard and Max today for a Christmas photoshoot in Frank Shaft involving rope, tinsel, fairy lights, santa hats and a couple of beers for good measure!

By Richard Pryce


Top day out wandering around an old soda works with class lads, cheers guys :)

DCRO Practice at Alderley Edge

My nephew Dylan
The Derbyshire Cave Rescue Association usually does a practice session once a year at the copper mines in Alderley Edge. I have missed the last 5 years practice so thought I better make the effort to go this year, and I'm really glad I did. We had a full days practice down Engine Vein copper mine.

Paris, August 2016

Catas Birthday Weekend Oi Oi!

Galerie des Promo
One long weekend in the planning for months. 2 nights underground, 3 cars, 15 people, one big party in the Catacombs! This was my third trip mostly underneath Paris, in what is now looking very much like a yearly event...


Diagram by Olly King
I have wanted to descend Titan ever since I heard about it, but as a newbie caver 6 years ago, I presumed this was going to be out of reach for a very long time, and wondered if I would ever be capable of such a caving trip. For those that don't know and are interested, a brief bit of background and history:

Belgium - Ropes, Caving, and Brussels

Stephane Fontaine very kindly invited the DCC to a rope event that his caving club run each year in Senzeilles Quarry in Cerfontaine, Belgium. Initially, and for 3 months, I was the only person who took this offer up, until a month before the event Andrew Farrow booked himself a plane ticket too.

Stockport Crane

Small, yet difficult to climb.

Yorkshire Bank Holiday Weekender

DCC Rock On!
Under the dictatorship of Anton...
All but one managed the trip from Stream Passage Pot to Gaping Gill, and out of Bar Pot/Small Mammal, taking advantage of the Bradford Pothole Club's rigging during the Winch Meet.

The Corsican Crawl - 282 metre Zip Wire

Olly abseiling down the tree for the first time
Enormous thanks to Steve for hosting and organising his tree rigging weekend. Steve worked very hard to organise a brilliantly fun couple of days. I think he deserves some sort of special club stunt award for his "Corsican Crawl". (And maybe his outdoor toilet too). Huge thankyous to Tom Howard, Olly King, Cath, Sophie & Sean, Charlotte Meakin, James, Pete & Heather Johnson, Nigel Dibben, Robert and Louise Stevenson, Geordie & the kids, Paul Richardson, and especially to Scott Bradley of the TSG who we all agreed deserve a proper DCC thank you.

Giant's Hole

Ladder on Comic Act Cascade by Tom Howard
Tom and I found ourselves at a loose end this weekend, on Friday night we decided to go down the classic Giant's Hole near Castleton in Derbyshire. Tom came to pick me up at the entirely reasonable time of 9.45am and off we went, stopping for breakfast at Sainsbury's on the way. Upon arriving at the Giants car park, we found the usual horde of adventure activity people being kitted up for their tourists' trip down Garlands.

DCC North Wales Slate Weekend

Cwmorthin Underground Slate Quarry
Gwynfynydd Gold Mine

Cwmorthin Entrance

Cambrian Slate Mine

Thanks to Steven Dalgleish for organising this fab little trip :)

Solo Trip to Geneva

So I had a few drinks, went on skyscanner and looked up flights from Manchester airport to anywhere on a weekend in December, with the idea of just booking the cheapest foreign country that came up. This turned out to be Geneva for £41.98 which I booked without hesitation (or clarity it would later transpire).

SR high T: DCC Stunt of the Year 2015

In September this year some DCC members went to Hidden Earth, as they often do. Much shit red wine was drunk, many bruises were gained, and all of the swimming pool alarms were set off. Amongst the madness, I managed to cobble together some photographs to enter into the competition, and even found a comedy shot of Tom from 2 years ago drinking a cup of tea whilst doing some SRT practice in Bear Pit at Alderley Edge. SRTea Break didn’t win the comedy fun shot category, but it did rekindle an idea in Kieran and Charlotte that had to be done. They were having a full SRTea Party.

Paris Catacombs 2015

Another fantastic weekend in and mostly underneath Paris with a some awesome people.

Matienzo Summer 2015

My second trip to Matienzo, this time flying from Stanstead to Bilbao with Tom and Anton.

Cueva Coventosa

People's History Museum, Manchester

The People's History Museum (formerly the National Museum of Labour History), is one of the few museums in and around Manchester that I had not visited before today. The building conversion by Henry Price is fabulous. Situated on the corner of Bridge Street and Water Street, it used to be a hydraulic pumping station.

Matienzo Summer 2014

We drove to Spain!
We stopped at Le Mans for lunch

York Minster

So I went to York for just a couple of days break two weeks ago, I had never visited there before. Had a great time, particularly enjoyed the National Railway Museum, and the sight of York Minster with scaffolding all over it. I love Gothic architecture,  the present cathedral building dates back to around the year 1230. Being face to face with a gargoyle up Chester Cathedral last month was amazing, the Minster is a lot bigger...

Salford ♥ Manchester

A roof at Salford Quays and a crane in the Northern Quarter.

Highs and Lows...

Somewhere I have wanted to see for years

Sunny day in Manchester

A sunny day out in Manchester with Paul.

Barton Arcade


My second trip to Cwmorthin with Ed and Olly, Simon and Briony. The original plan for the day was Snakes & Ladders at Dinorwic Quarry, however the weather was shockingly bad, even for Snowdonia. The rain refused to relent, and while a few hardy (foolish) members of UCET braved the weather, the four of us decided that going underground was a far more appealing prospect.
Old tourist sign

Post Dinner "Caving" Trip in Manchester

The Sunday after the club dinner is traditionally a hung over caving trip to somewhere in Derbyshire. The only takers were Me, Tom and Olly. By midday, after several cups of caffeine we were sat at Olly's house and just about decided on doing Nettle Pot or something. Then I mentioned that Joel was in Manchester. Tom looked at Olly for a minute and so we were off to Manchester...