I got to the hut on Saturday morning. I was greeted outside by Chris and Matt; the latter then invited me in for a cup of tea. The hut was full of more old friends, but also a fair amount of people I had not met before. It was filled to the brim!
The decision was made we would just go to good old Cwm. With this many people, they needed a big venue. Cwm fits the bill! And the men were interested in seeing our digs. With the YCC (and NYMCC and CMHS) I had done almost all my past digging. It had started, of course, with the likes of Lionel and Rick, but these were small projects, on which we only spent the occasional day. With the Yorkshire bunch we dug every week!
There was more faffing and tea, as there tends to be with this lot, and then we piled into some vehicles and drove to Tanygrisiau. I had never driven from that direction but all went well. I popped by Mick to get the key and then we could change and walk up.
We went in and headed for the Lost World. It took a while to get everybody down the pitch! Then I fist showed them the dig of Miles and me. Some people came out a bit pale. A death trap, they said! Such lack of appreciation.
When all who wanted to see it had seen it we went to the other dig; I knew this would be much more up the Yorkshire street. That dig is supported by scaffolding, and that's the Yorkshire way. They were impressed, this time! I had to stop one lady from coming through (it's not sufficiently secured yet) but not all were keen on the belly-crawl in. Then they had a look around, and we went back up.
From there we would do "the round trip", but not everybody understands that in the same way. Matt had an idea and I just went along with it. I still don't know my way around properly, but if I keep wandering I always end up somewhere I recognise rather soon. He sent us down the old vein incline, back up the steps (this is where I lost his concept of "round trip"), past the white waterfall, down 8 East, and over the hurdles. There I took the opportunity to go right instead of left; I never had! Very nice. I also grabbed the opportunity to have a chat in Welsh with one of the ladies I had not met before, who turned out to be from Bala. Nice! Later we went to the compressor chamber, and from there we would go a bit deeper in.
Pic in Cwm by Gary, with the lady from Bala in the foreground
I thought we might go down the bat cave. Some didn't like that! There is another way down; four went down right there, and the rest would go on, heading for ladders down. When I was down I went to the bottom of the ladders to see if I could catch them, but there was no sign of anyone. Nor on top! Nor in the main level. Oh dear. We decided to explore a bit. After a while we would go back to the compressor chamber; that would be a logical place to reconvene. But they would surely explore a bit first too, and we'd be bored going there directly.
I showed the men (I only had three men with me) some terrain we had explored about a year ago. We had not left any ropes in place, and we had none with us, so we could only get as far as we had ourselves the first time around. Oh well! Time to go back to the compressor chamber. But along the way we found a note. By the others! They had stopped waiting for us exactly four minutes ago. They would continue the round trip! But I'm not quite sure what they mean by that. I thought we'd just do something logical. We set off along Oakley floor DE, and came to what used to be the sump. I knew Miles had doen some serious restructuring there! I hadn't seen it like this. It was nice, you could just move up to Floor D without hassle and without getting wet. We were soon back at the old vein incline, and then the first chamber. We had got there first! The others might have taken a detour along Cwmorthing floor DE; that is a likely interpretation of the concept "round trip". We knew they intended to come up either on the back vein incline or the stairway. And indeed, we saw lights on the incline! Soon we were reunited.
Writing in the guest book; pic by Gary
All together again, Matt remembered he wanted to do the Catwalk so we did. At the end we saw a Go Below group do the free-fall machine. Then it was time to get out! We walked down, changed, and got back to the hut. Time for another cup of tea! But the Yorshire folk would head for a curry, and I didn't want to, as that would make it a long day, and we had our dig again the next day. Starting early!
It was sad to say goodbye. I don't know if I'll still be there when they come back next! But I hope I will. But the next day they would do a mine they would most easily find themselves, and I wanted to move on with the dig. Yes I am addicted. So I gave and received a lot of nice Yorkshire hugs and then we all went our separate ways. See you again people!