1960 to 1969
1960 The end of Short Henslers in the Gaping Gill system was dug out to connect with the passages just beyond Bar Pot. A dig in Cwm Dwr finally yielded a route to Cwm Dwr Jama. The Double Troubles in Swildons were dug out but were not yet connected with Vicarage Passage and the streamway beyond Sump 1. The Derbyshire Caving Association was established.
1961 Sumps 5 and 6 were passed in Swildons. The Longwood-August Hole connection was dug through. A rescue from Pen Park Hole led to its closure to cavers by Bristol City Council. The Grampian Speleological Group was founded.
1962 The death occurred of Eli Simpson, possibly the man who had the greatest impact on British caving in the first half of the century. The Council of Northern Caving Clubs (CNCC) formed. The death occurred of Professor Leo Palmer, founder Member of UBSS, Honorary Curator of Wells Museum and proponent of the second Great Chamber in Lamb Leer which he believed he had discovered by resistivity measurements. The Mendip Cave Registry was re-started after a period of dormancy. Sump 6 was passed in Swildons; then Mike Boon passed Sump 7 after an underwater epic. This sump was not passed again until it was enlarged. Boon was also the first person to use a side-mounted cylinder for diving. Frank Salt led the first British expedition to the Gouffre Berger which not only bottomed the cave but one member free dived partway in to the sump and decided that it would be a feasible dive with air.
1963 The annual BSA Conference was re-started with the first one being held at Sheffield University. CNCC was formally established to negotiate access agreements with landowners. Geoff Workman stayed underground in Stump Cross for 105 Days. Ken Pearce led the expedition which dived Sump 1 in the Gouffre Berger only to be stopped by a second sump. The first edition of Caves in Wales and the Marches was published.
1964 Cavers were officially re-admitted to DYO beyond the showcave. There was a major rescue call-out with an underground search around Maeshafn for two missing youths, who were later found in Weston-Super-Mare. P8 (Jack Pot) was dug in to by the Manchester group of the BSA. The first edition of Caves of Derbyshire was published. The Cambrian Cave Registry was set up.
1965 The first edition of The Speleologist was published (Britain’s first truly commercial caving magazine). The Council of Southern Caving Clubs (CSCC) was formed. Cowsh Avens were scaled in Swildons. Swildon’s sumps 8 to 12 were passed by divers for the first time with the latter remaining the limit of exploration for a considerable period. A broken column in the Colonnades in Lancaster was mended with Araldite. Aygill Caverns were discovered after a dig. The longest free dive in Britain was achieved when a young army cadet (John KP Stevens) took a wrong turning in a Carslwark sump and managed to keep going until he found a small airbell after 21m. He was found after a major pumping exercise.
1966 Divers found a route into OFD II. The Long Crawl in DYO was passed and gave entry to DYO II where The Rising in DYO was also passed. Kingsdale Master Cave was discovered by the University of Leeds Speleological association (ULSA). Both Dale Barn and Gingling Hole were extended; the sumps in Langstroth Cave were passed and the avens beyond were scaled. Out Sleets Beck Pot was entered for the first time. Giants Hole and Oxlow Caverns were linked to give a new British depth record. The Ladder Dig in GB Cave finally went. The Scottish Cave Rescue Organisation was founded. The publication of A Technical Review of Cave Diving on Air by Mike Boon had a major impact on cave diving techniques.
1967 At Mossdale Caverns there was the worst caving accident in British history with six fatalities due to flooding. Tatham Wife, Black Shiver, Pasture Gill and Smeltmill Beck were all discovered as was Langstroth Pot which was connected to Langstroth Cave. A detailed survey of Lancaster Hole and Easegill Caverns by the RRCPC was published by CRG. Cwm Dwr was connected to OFD II. The Top Entrance to OFD was dug out after being located from the inside. Little Neath River Cave was discovered. The blockhouse at the entrance to Swildon’s was built. The Entrance Series to Giants Hole was blasted out by the landowner in an (unfulfilled) attempt to create a showcave. Restrictions on access to farmland due to foot & mouth disease disrupted caving. Ken Kelly’s expedition to Provatina descended the then deepest shaft in the world, a pitch of 411m. Ken Pearce’s Gouffre Berger Expedition passed Sump 2 but were stopped by a further pitch.
1968 Far Country and the Whitsun Series in Gaping Gill were both discovered and explored. Major extensions were made to Birks Fell Cave, Langcliffe Pot and Sleets Gill. Strans Gill Pot and Growling Hole were discovered. Dave Brook first postulated the Three Counties System. On Mendip the Great Flood washed away infill in the Water Rift providing a bypass to the 12m pitch in Swildons as well as causing many other changes to caves such as GB. Whernside Manor was established as a caving centre by the Boy Scouts Association. The National Caving Association (NCA) was formed. The CRG held a Cave Hydrology Symposium in Leicester.
1969 CNCC agreed to publish weather forecasts in co-operation with Yorkshire Dales National Park Information Services. Sump 1 in St Cuthberts Swallet was passed. The Belfry (BEC Hut) was burned down. Shatter Cave was discovered in Fairy Cave Quarry. The entrance to Eastwater was re-opened after it had collapsed. The Cambrian Caving Council was formed as was the British Association of Caving Instructors. The first issue of Descent and the last issue of The Speleologist were published. There was a British Expedition to PSM to help French teams push upstream from the Tete Sauvage entrance.