The Echo Pot Saga

Discovered in 1958 by Brian Heys, a one-time N.P.C. great, as he was investigating the dry valley 300 yards north of the shooting hut on Fountains Fell, Echo Pot has been the focus of attention of various groups. The first N.P.C. thrust encountered various problems in the way of small pitches, crawls and squeezes and one 'bird-bath' which led to a tight rift, which was in the process of being blasted out when the crawl below the second pitch became blocked and sumped. Ken Ashton's name is mentioned with regard to this phenomenon, but in what respect it is not clear.

The crawl remained blocked for three years, despite the efforts of the ever resourceful N.P.C. to clear it with a large hand-pump. The hole was eventually purchased by Mike Boon on behalf of the B.P.C. for the sum of one halfpenny with the intention of diving through the flooded crawl and removing the obstruction.

The White Rose, in the person of Mike Melvin, also got in on the act and in 1965 an attempt was made to bale out the crawl into 6 ft. cube shaped plastic bags, which were held behind retaining walls above and below the second pitch. Kitbags were filled from these man-made lakes and hauled up the next pitch until it was possible for Mike Boon to clear the blockage at the end of the crawl.

Dave Judson, of the C.P.C., now became involved and spent several trips blasting in the rift, but without success. It was not until August that year that the rift, a tight crawl and the duck were passed by Mick Grant and Bill Frakes to a choke through which water could be heard running. In September, Tony Waltham of the Imperial College C.C. and Pete Livesey had a go at forcing Echo Pot but failed.

With all this interest in the pot it was inevitable that the N.P.C. would get involved again and Colin Green upset everybody with a dye-test that showed that the water emerged behind the barn near Magnetometer.... It was at this point that the B.P.C. asked for their halfpenny back.

Spasmodic prods have been made since then and the final chapter in the Echo Pot saga has just been written by the U.L.S.A. who have recently passed the final choke on to a 330 ft. pitch. This dramatic find adds to the enigma of Fountains Fell which has more unconformity in its underground development than any other area; at the time of writing, the foot of the 330 ft. pitch is blocked.

There is no truth in the rumour that the N.P.C. Thursday night phantoms discovered the pitch and hurriedly blocked it off.

> NPC Orange Bulletin 1975:
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