On SUnday 17th April 1966, Geoff. Benn, Toby, D.Saddington and the author walked up to Newby Moss to have a look at a shakehole we had noticed previously. This shakehole lies mid-way between Gritstone and Five Ways Pot at NGR SD 729 732 and takes a stream.
After hammering for an hour at a large boulder it finally broke and dropped down the shaft. We quickly cleared away a lot of the loose rubble (mainly by throwing it down the shaft) and hung a ladder down. I climbed down the shaft. It was about 15 ft. deep. On getting off the ladder I found that I was in a chamber approximately 9 ft. x 14 ft. Whilst I had a look round the chamber Dennis came down the ladder to join me. In one corner of the chamber I noticed a narrow rift in the wall about 4 ft. long and 1 ft. wide in the middle tapering to nothing at both ends. As we had no more ladder, we covered the shaft over and returned to Greenclose to check whther this was a known pothole that we had opened. We were rather pleased to find that as far as anyone knew it was previously unknown.
We returned to Newby Moss on Sunday 24th April with more digging tackle and more ladder. Dennis and myself climbed down the first chamber and whilst he loaded loose rubble into a bucket to be pulled up the shaft, I hammered away at the rift to make it body width. We finally made the place reasonably safe, so we put two ladders down and found the pitch to be 35 ft. deep. I climbed down to join him. The bottom of the pitch turned out to be a steeply sloping passage with a couple of climbable drops and after about 25 ft. it ended in a blank wall with the water sinking at the bottom of it.
In the chamber at the bottom of the first pitch there is another small pitch (about 20 ft.) which we didn't explore due to all the loose rublle ready to fall down it - which brings us to the name for the pot, Loose Pot, which speaks for itself.
From a quick survey of the hole, the total dpeth was calculated to be 84 ft. from the top of the shakehole.
On Saturday 4th Feb. 1967, Gordon Batty arrived at Greenclose to tempt members away from the meet down Magnetometer Pot. Malcolm Lodge and myself decided to go with him to investigate Fern Pot on Newby Moss.
We descended the 25 ft. pitch to where the water was sinking amongst boulders on the floor. We started digging where the water was sinking and soon found a 20 ft. pitch. A couple of hoursa later we were able to descend although it was still rather loose and awkward. We found ourselves in a small chamber with a boulder floor.
A short dig at one side opened up a short boulder slope which led to a 30 ft. ladder pitch. The take off for this pitch was rather tight so Malcolm was called for being the smallest in the party. He descended onlu to find that the floor was composed of boulders of a particularly solid nature.
Once again a Newby Moss Pothole ended in an impenetrable boulder choke.
The estimated depth reached was 85 ft.