One Morning, while the night before,
Lay restless in my head,
There came a ringing on my phone,
That filled my heart with dread.

At once I flung, with lightning speed,
My body from my cot,
As i’d agreed, with much regret,
To go down Rowter Pot.

My bag was choked with caving kit,
And one spare pair of drawers,
My stomach grumbled angrily,
Awaiting Pevrill Stores.

With Rob and Helen in the car,
We totalled nought but three,
And set off westwards, caving-bound,
Towards the TSG.

Our mission was as such, you see,
To dye dear Rowter’s sumps,
For this we wouldn’t be paid in coins,
But pints, from The Cobden’s pumps.

We feasted with much merriment,
On bacon, egg and bread,
Then off we drove, with bellies full,
Out town, past Winnat’s Head.

We paid the farm its rightful coin;
Its daily dose of dime,
Then struggled into oversuits,
All caked with mud and grime.

At last, we journeyed through the field,
T’was moist with morning dew,
With nought b’tween us save the dye,
A vibrant, greenish hue.

In no more than a quarter-hour,
Spent underneath the dale,
We stood in silence at the mouth,
Of Rowter’s Ice Cream Trail.

The squeezes, they came thick and fast,
With stone on chest and back,
And often was the utterance heard;
“F**K THIS TACKLESACK”

At last we broke, to much elate,
Into the cavern’s womb,
While Helen ventured forth to rig,
We bided in the gloom.

With ov’r an hour to kill in time,
Before we’d pour the dye,
We went and looked at Rowter’s heights,
Back up, towards the sky.

The stones were loose, the slopes were steep,
The footholds cracked and gave,
And rocks did fall into the dark,
Towards a silent grave.

And thusly we did reach the peaks,
Of flowstone, pure and white,
Formations which had seldom felt,
The touch of man-made light.

Alas, the time did tick away,
And once more we went down,
Towards dear Rowter’s final sump,
In which the dye would drown.

Adam Walmsley volunteered
To wreck his Oversuit,
By sqeezing through the muddy choke,
To find the water’s route.

The dye was poured, the job was done,
And with it came a hope,
Despite the task that still remained;
Derigging all the rope.

It took some pain and much lament,
But ‘las we did arrive,
Upon the surface, safe and sound,
At near 2:45.

We met with those from t’other side,
And tears were in their eyes,
As they had seen not one small drop
Of our most potent dye.

The results are out, laid clean and bare,
But this is what I gleam;
That we’d spent nearly half a day
Turning a puddle green.

 

Leo