Speedwell Whirlpool Repairs - Alan Brentnall and Ann Soulsby

Wednesday, 29 July, 2015

Present: Ann Soulsby & Alan Brentnall


Popped into Speedwell to recce the Whirlpool Traverse but were snookered by the water. After weeks of ankle deep water yesterday’s rain resulted in me being on my tip toes at Pit Props. At least the journey was not completely wasted as we took in a couple of lengths of scaffolding. We then abseiled down to the Bottomless Pit to rescue some hard hats for John Harrison and we were again thwarted as most of them were well out of reach. Never mind plenty of time for completing a few jobs back at the Chapel!



We've had some biblical downpours over on our side, which is, after all, where the swallets are. And it's all been falling on, and running straight off, some pretty hard, dry moorland too. No wonder I was nearly swept away trying to get across the deep part opposite whirlpool passage while trying desperately not to let the heavy 2"OD scaff bar I was carrying drop to the bottom. Until I remembered Tony Marsden's advice: when it's in spate, it's best to "punt" your way up the Speedwell stream passage. And what better use for a bit of scaff bar you're carrying than as a punt pole!

Not an entirely wasted trip though. As Ann said, we got some of the scaff in, and stashed it on a ledge just upstream of the traverse lines. And, although it was far too deep to take accurate measurements, I got a good look at the two brackets which should provide support for the end poles of our scaffold bridge, and I've worked out what's needed to complete the job. In fact, I've just been on the phone to Len Kirkham, and may have sourced most of the extra bits for the scaffold bridge.

So the plan is (when the water goes back down) to complete the scaffold bridge, which is the middle section of the foot traverse, and, for the two outer "against the wall" sections, we'll use some rope, which was the original material, and which should tide us over until Roy can sort out some stainless brackets, which he's busy designing, and which will support your stainless cable, which will be neatly swaged, courtesy of Nick. But, boy! my over-suit's nice and clean now, so it is!