Throughout October 1999 to June 2003 a 45 metre shaft had been sunk mainly through solid limestone, and a 15m adit had been driven to the “Breakout Window". One of the main reasons for undertaking this ambitious project to intersect the top of Titan was to facilitate exploration of the passages leading off from the main shaft. West Passage was just one of several “leads” that awaited a determined push.

In May 2004, following a 12 month break, the team reassembled to push the short passage leading into the choke going west from the base of the surface shaft: the project was full of promise, leading as it did into a blank area on the map. Four years later, and at a vertical depth of around 35 metres we finally admitted defeat and handed victory to the energy- sapping boulder choke. The Titan Compound was abandoned to the elements, local wildlife and visits by cavers embarking on a trip into Titan.

As part of obtaining the necessary permissions from Natural England and others (officially known as the consent process) the site had eventually to be returned to agriculture and levelled as near as possible to its original contours. On a sunny weekend of October 16th-17th 2010, a team led by Moose spent two days undertaking the clear-up and capping work.

Day one was spent taking down the barbed-wire surround, the winch and headgear and removing the trusty Lister diesel engine that has powered the winch for nearly a decade. The little dry stone wall around it was left to provide temporary shelter for visitors waiting to be called over to the shaft for the descent into the hillside.

Day two saw the arrival of a JCB and a procession of 4x4 vehicles and trailers carrying the concrete rings necessary to build up the shaft-head prior to backfilling from the rather large spoil heap. This took most of the day and the activities attracted a steady stream of onlookers and helpers all of whom had at one time or another been associated with the dig.

Dave Webb. November 2010

News Flash

Speedwell Bung Ladder - replaced

The Bung Ladder in Speedwell MIne has now been repaired and replaced. The four anchors that were installed about a month ago are still there and can be used by cavers if they still wish to protect themselves on the climb.