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Dig Activity in 2005
Dig Activity in 2006
Dig Activity in 2007
Dig Inactivity in 2008
Dig Activity in 2009
The Courtesan, Agen Allwedd

The Brickworks Dig

Ogof Gweath Brics

Map Reference: SN 8552 1526
Altitude: 335m

This project was started in 1986.  The Club has been involved in various dig projects throughout its history but this is the one we have always returned to.

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The entrance The surface party hard at work Pulling out the truck

No "rabbit-holing" in this dig.  All of the spoil, literally tons of it have been brought out to the surface using a railway system.

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Tipping the spoil

Looking back up the entrance slope.  The side passage is on the right.

Dig Activity in 2000

We visited Ogof Gweath Brics on Saturday 5th February 2000.  The previous week had been very wet and there was too much water at the dig face for us to be able to bale it out in a reasonable time so instead we dug out another 8 feet or so of the Side Passage.  The un-surveyed passage is trending downwards and will probably connect to the dig face.

Our next visit was on Sunday 12th March 2000 following another fairly damp week.  The water was a little lower than last time but still too high for us to be able to dig in Lower Main Passage so we completed digging out the Side Passage - it did connect and Keith was the first Club member to complete the "round trip".

Jim, Mick, Brendan and Keith visited the dig over the weekend of 27th and 28th May.  The dig truck had been vandalised, had lost a tire and needed re-welding. Over an inch of rain had fallen on Friday night but the water level was still below the level of the railway track - just.
We used the propane pump which shifted over a thousand gallons of water in a little over ten minutes.  However by the time the fumes had cleared over half of the water had flowed back in.  Nevertheless we shifted 75 buckets of infill over the weekend.  There is now a large void at the dig face with loads of "hanging death" in the ceiling.  Immediately in front of us there appears to be a solid cave wall.
Keith took some video of the proceedings.

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Keith and John in Lower Main Passage on the day it was discovered. Jim in the same place on 5th February 2000 - slightly damper! Jim in the side passage on 5th Feb - slightly muddy! Jim emerging from the dig chocolate factory.

The last visit for digging in 2000 was on the weekend of 18th-20th August. We pumped out a large volume of water late on the Friday night. Unfortunately when we visited to dig the following morning we found that some "no brain" (Keith) had left the propane cylinder turned on over night and the cave was full of potentially explosive gas!  Nevertheless we managed to dig all of Saturday and cleared a four to five foot section of floor. In the floor is a foot wide slot. We knocked a scaffold bar four feet into the slot with very little resistance. We also removed a lot of spoil from the dig face but cannot undermine the "hanging death" any further unless we undertake some serious scaffolding.
Due to lack of volunteers we were unable to dig on the Sunday and so went caving instead.

Dig Activity in 2001

We were not able to visit the dig in 2001 due to the Foot and Mouth situation.

Dig Activity in 2002

Brendan visited the dig on Saturday 9th March and found that part of the roof of the aven had collapsed in from the surface.  So the dig now has a "through trip" to add to the "round trip".
John, Graham, Roger, Keith and Brendan spent Saturday 6th April capping and making safe the recent surface collapse above the aven.  When Brendan had first spotted the collapse 4 weeks before the hole had been about the diameter of a dust bin.  When we arrived the hole had grown to be about 4 to 5 feet across.
We also spent an hour of so digging in the base of the quarry on the opposite side of the tram road but to no avail and finally returned to the Brickworks to pull out about 25 buckets of the recent infill.

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The old and the "temporary" new entrance.

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John placing railway sleepers in place above the hole.

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Finishing off by sloping the sides of the depression.

The dig was next dug on the Sunday 18th August by GS, JS, MB, BM, MC & EP. We have started piling the fill which came in from the surface into sand bags and have built a lovely retaining wall with it up in the chamber. Looks like it should work quite well. Spoil removed down to track level as far as the turn left.

The dig has collapsed to surface again - late October.  The new hole is to the right of the original one.

Dig Activity in 2003

25th/26th January  John, Graham, Brendan and Keith spent this weekend working at the Brickworks, building terraced walls from the scaffold tower.  Another weekend's work should see the dig capped once again.

15th/16th February  John, Graham, Brendan, Adrian, Mick, Jim (yes Jim) and Keith spent the weekend on 15th/16th February working at the Brickworks.  The hole to surface has now been capped once again.  There is still a lot of infill to remove from below the scaffold tower as the original route into the cave is now completely blocked.
The dig face looks very interesting with the possibility of two rifts to be dug out - one straight on and one to the right.

The hole taken from SWCC HQ

Brendan Marris in the hole

22nd/23rd March  The digging team consisted of: Pete Anstey (Sat. only), Mick Bowdler (Sun. only), Keith Edwards, Andy Grimes (Sat. only), Brendan Marris, Graham Smith, John Smith and Adrian Stanley.  During the weekend most of the infill was removed from below the scaffold frame.  Truck repairs were necessary on the Saturday evening.

8th June  A day digging on the Sunday by Keith Edwards, Brendan Marris, John Smith and Adrian Stanley, after a trip in OFD 2 on the Saturday.  The infill below the scaffold frame has now been cleared to track level and below.  The original route into the cave is now passable once again.

13th July  The team this time consisted of Roger Bryan, Keith Edwards, Brendan Marris, Graham Smith, John Smith and Adrian Stanley.  All of the infill from the collapse has now been cleared and the floor re-exposed in Lower Main Passage below the railway track.  We are ready now for the big push forward.

Keith demonstrating the re-exposed floor in the side passage

John clearing the side passage

John taking a break from digging and enjoying a well-earned cuppa

Sunday 14th September  A very tired (from the previous day's caving and walking) digging team cleared a lot of the infill from the pile by the dig face.
BMa & GSm took the first underground shift and KEd & ASt the second one.
The rift straight ahead shows no signs of opening out lower down.  The right-hand rift still needs further investigation.

The Dig Team: MBo, KEd, BMa, GSm, JSm & ASt

Dig Activity in 2004

14th/15th August  A very successful digging weekend. In spite of the recent inclement weather there was only about 2' 6" of water at the lowest point. Saturday was spent bailing then digging with 45 buckets of infill removed to the surface. Sunday was spent mainly on scaffolding the around a large boulder and creating a scaffold roof for the protection of the digger. At the end of the day a further 15 buckets where removed. We have proved that the way on is to the right at the dig face with solid walls and roof! During the weekend we added another 6 feet to the length of the cave. We aim to return soon to complete the scaffolding and add more passage to the survey.

The Dig Team: JDu (Sun only), KEd, BMa, GSm, JSm & ASt

Adrian examining the scaffolding.
The way-on is behind the shored-up boulder on the right

25th/26th September  One of the most successful dig weekends ever.  Much of the weekend was spent scaffolding and stabilising the area before the final right turn, but we still managed to remove 105 buckets of in-fill and add another six feet to the length of the system.

The Dig Team MBo, KEd, BMa, JSm & ASt

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