Deeper, Darker, Danker:
1st August 2012
Pierre de Coubertin dreamt up (or to be more precise, borrowed
from a friend) the motto of the modern Olympic
faster, stronger), how did he envisage that
applying to the Gold Medal that he, himself,
won at the 1912 Summer Olympics in
winning entry, an epic entitled: Ode
fact, both in ancient Greece and in the
modern Olympics up to London in 1948, Poetry accompanied Sport
as an Olympic competition. To be fair,
in case you think it was a bit of a stitch up, I should
make it clear that Coubertin did
the decent thing and submitted his entry, written in both French
and German, under pseudonyms, Georges Hohrod and Martin Eschbach.
P-de-C been with us today, a new event would have been
introduced although he might have declared it to be Hadesian
rather than Olympic with a motto along the lines of:
suggested that a huge cave, albeit dripping with water,
was likely to be a better option than the severe lashings
on the fells predicted by the Met Office.
started, conventionally enough, with an examination
of the hidden away, and previously unknown to Tony and
me, Killington Hall and All
close to where John H lives.
Saints Church, Killington
Austwick Private Army base
day was, as yet, surprisingly dry and continued so to
be as we drove past the Austwick Private Army base and
on to the White
near Ingleton. As part of the first group of the
day, we followed our guide into the longest show cave
in England. We had tried to make the visit twice previously
but had had to abort because when it rains heavily the cavern
floods. It was comforting to be told that they hadn't
drowned anyone for thirty five years at which point
I could hear the distant echo of Kenneth Williams. How
the bowels (or perhaps more appropriately, the bladder)
of the cold earth we burrowed, half a mile
along narrow tunnels in which we had to stoop uncomfortably
to avoid the low, rocky roof that would have made nasty holes
in our heads had it not been for the mandatory hard
hats we wore. For much of the way, water was running
fiercely beneath our feet, fortunately below metal
grills, or dripping on us from above.
A line on the
wall, worryingly high, showed to what level the water
reached when in spate.
strange shapes were to be found growing with infinte
Eventually,when the huge and dry
cavern was reached, I felt some strange relationship
to the Night's
it was an interesting visit. Not as spectacular
as the Caves of Drach in Majorca or as imaginatively illuminated
as one I visited in Crete but well presented by
our informative guide.
back into the surprisingly warm (and, even more surprisingly,
dry) outdoors, Tony drove us to the Old Hill Inn where
the landlady had kindly given us permission to park whilst
we worked up a thirst. It was nearing Tony's feeding
time so we aimed for a bench outside St Leonard's
at Chapel-le-Dale. Just as we sat down, the first
drops of rain started so we took shelter and nourishment
inside the Church.
prayers were answered for as we emerged, the rain stopped
and held off for the rest of our circuit. We followed
the track to Ellerbeck, passing on the way an interesting
sculpture first seen on BB1129.
No mass of cyclists this time but still some of
the goats which a couple of passing youths assured us
were sheep. Bullocks, we informed them.
was a pleasant stroll along the track below Whernside.
As we arrived back at the Old Hill Inn, the Gods
realised that they need restrain themselves no more.
flashed and we ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing.
Or was it rounds of ecstatic applause at the sight
of us wearing our Plutonium medals? Whilst we
celebrated with our beer and burger,
the heavens opened. The
Olympian-Hadesean battle had resumed and the caves would
become even darker, deeper and danker.
1st August 2012
August 1923, Cambridge student Christopher Long
was on holiday in the Dales.
He noticed a slight
fissure in the ground, and decided to investigate.
on by the distant roar of water, he struggled over jagged
rocks and through pools, until eventually he found himself
at the foot of a waterfall........
White Scar Cave website contains many spectacular
photos and a page dedicated to the history
of the cave.
it has been "upgraded" and currently does
not seem to be working properly. Maybe you will have
better luck. Try loading White
Our Alpine Correspondent
reports that his recent Alpine trip went well, although pretty "interesting"
at times! He comments that these three photos give a
The one in the sunshine was taken on the traverse
of the Valle Blanche. A superb day traversing glaciers
and past some of the greatest peaks in the Alps.
The one on the rocks is of a group approaching the
summit of Gran Paradiso (we are already there!) – the
only 4,000m peak entirely in Italy.
It was foggy and
icy, and this last stretch involves rock scrambling
of Striding Edge standard, but in crampons and with
a 1,500m drop to the glacier!
The final one is on the summit of Mont Blanc. Although
we had no view to speak of we did at least get up –
more than people managed next day as the weather worsened.
With a 2:30am start we were on top at 9:30 and back
at the hut at 14:45. A massive day with no more than
15 minutes of time stopped (no stops for lunch, Tony!)
The lad I’m with is Robert. I first met him on the
Toubkal trip and subsequently came across him in Sass
Fee when I was doing the climbing there.
I knew he was thinking of doing Gran Paradiso so
I kept in touch as I had it in mind to do that and Mont
Blanc. We went out a few days early so we could get
a couple of acclimatisation walks in (to give us a chance
of living with any youngsters on the trip). In my case
it also helped to get my back settled down a bit before
the hard work started. As it turned out we were the
only ones on this trip, so we had a guide for just the
two of us for the entire week!
adds that he will put some photos up on Flickr soon.
Regular followers of BOOTboys
will be aware of the poem, first introduced to these
pages in BB0914,
or Companions of the Boot. I
am indebted to Andrew Belsey for pointing out that,
in respect of their roles at Oxford University, I
had confused the author, Arthur Hugh Sidgwick, with
his father, Arthur Sidgwick
wrote to advise that:
Hugh Sidgwick (1882-1917) was always known to family
and friends as Hugh (because his father was Arthur),
and published his books as A H Sidgwick.
from Oxford University he was a civil servant at the
Board of Education from 1906 to 1915, when he joined
As a captain in the Royal Garrison Artillery
he died of wounds on the western front near Ypres on
17 September 1917. He can be found on the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission database on its website.
the following books (the last posthumously):
Essays (Edward Arnold, 1912)
Promenade Ticket (Edward Arnold, 1914)
Wedding (Edward Arnold, 1918)
on image to read online
father Arthur Sidgwick (1840-1924) was a fellow of Corpus
Christi College, Oxford, and university reader in Greek.
He published many books on ancient Greek authors and
other classical subjects.
Google search then led me to the Balliol
and this reference:
ARTHUR HUGH SIDGWICK , 1882-1917. Balliol 1901-1905.
Several ALS from Capt. Sidgwick to his family, mainly
his sister, 1916-17.
Letters written from France
and contain detailed accounts of the fighting,
in the army etc. With newspaper cutting of his obituary.
Given by Mrs. Elizabeth Belsey (niece of Capt. Sidgwick)
subsequently explained that Elizabeth Belsey is his
mother, born June 1912 and still alive and well, Arthur
Hugh Sidgwick was his great uncle and Arthur Sidgwick
his great grandfather. Hugh died unmarried and there
are no direct descendants.
relevant texts on the BOOTboys
website have now been corrected.
climbed in feet:
John H, Tony
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