NPC Headquarters - Greenclose House History

There follows a selection of snippets taken from old records relating to how Greenclose changed from a rather run-down old farmhouse (with nice fruit bushes in its garden) to a state-of-the-art caving headquarters (with a large car park).

The Septic tank - B. Smith

(from NPC newsletter 26, April 1968)

Once upon a time a group of potholers bought a cottage in a dell which was known as Greenclose. These men were uncouth and nasty and for a lavatory did use a device known as a tandem. As the rats became more numerous and the members less stout-hearted, an Elsan was invested in.

With the onslaught of civilisation and the better class of Pennine members, the Committee thought the time had come to invest in a weird and wonderful machine known as the flush toilet.

Permission was sought from Settle Council and approved plans were sent for. All the regulation materials were delivered at great expense. A Foot and Mouth epidemic was organised so that members could not go caving and the work was begun.

Firstly a great hole had to be dug. This was no new task for Pennine engineers. The tree stump was removed and the hole was started. Slowly it went deeper and quickly it became a slutch pit. Then it filled to the top with water and made an ideal pool for sobering up members and testing wet suits.

Then the new wall fell into it, and then the sides fell into it and Brian Heys decided that this was an ideal problem seeing as how the fells were closed. And so began phase two.

The water was baled out and the remains of the wall were removed. The slutch was baled to one end whilst a concrete base was laid at the other. And then the slutch dried and was shovelled out and the concrete base was completed.

And so began the brickwork. Never has such exquisite workmanship been displayed by so many Pennine members. Cement could not be mixed quickly enough as the bricks were laid at an amazing rate.

The the hole was filled in around it and the top capped with cement and the whole thing disguised as a septic tank. Then a man from the ministry arrived with a white stick and saw and was conquered. The tank had passed the test.

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