The Brickworks Dig
Ogof Gweath Brics
Map Reference: SN 8552 1526
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
The Dig Team: MBo, KEd, BMa, GSm, JSm & ASt
Dig Activity in 2004
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
TO CONTACT US:
Keith Edwards on 0121 525 1230 or 07939 042467
Website designed, created and
maintained by Keith Edwards.