Happywanderers Cave and Pothole Club

How the “Happy Wanderers” came into being

Five lads were exploring around Castleton in Derbyshire. We bumped into each other once or twice and formed a lasting friendship. We visited Peak Cavern, Winnets Pass, Giants Hole and Peveral Castle. There was Malcolm (Tiger) Culshaw from Southport, Pete Matley from Salford, Frank Shuttleworth (Bazz of Bolton) and Philip Wallace from Bolton and myself from Barrow. It was summer 1955. We decided to meet up again the following Easter at Ingleton.
Mike Myers

It was summer 1955. We decided to meet up again the following Easter at Ingleton. So in 1956, after exploring a few caves around Ingleton and Clapham, we decided to form ourselves into a proper group. It was August-September 1956 we held a meeting in the Wheatsheaf Hotel, Ingleton.

MOSSDALE VOICES...Compiled by Mick Melvin


Jed Scott, a very experienced and tough caver, was working as a firefighter at Altringham Fire Station on the morning of Tuesday, June 27th, 1967. On that Morning he took a call from Ken Pearce.  “Could he get off and go to Mossdale” he could and he did.

Jed had been a vital member of the British caving team that exceeded the world cave depth record in August 1963 when Ken Pearce passed the terminal sump in The Gouffre Berger; then the deepest known cave in the world and extended the depth of the known cave.

At Mossdale Caverns 27th June 1967 the team with Jed Scott consisted of Ken Pearce, Bobby Toogood, John Sinclair, Noel Booth, and Dr Hugh Kidd.


From: JT Scott 127                                                                    The Chief Fire Officer
B4.                                                                                               GHQ
28th June 1967                                                                         Special Leave Granted

I submit that on the morning of the 27th June I was released from duty at the request of Dr Ken Pearce to assist in the search for a sixth missing caver in the Mossdale Caverns Wharfedale Yorkshire.

This caver’s five comrades had all been found late Sunday but in the absence of a sixth body, it was believed by a number of people, that a more detailed search should be mounted as soon as weather conditions would permit.

We arrived at the cave mouth at approx. 1500 and proceeded to dress for the descent which was started at 1630. At approx. 1900 we met up with a Leeds University team who had established that the missing caver was not to be found in any of the small number of places where he might have conceivably escaped the floods downstream of his colleagues’. We searched passages in the vicinity of the five bodies for two hours without success and finally set off towards the surface at 2300.

On arriving out at 0100 the opinions of all five members of the team were that, due to the risks involved, the removal of the five bodies, and the sixth if found would not be justified and therefore our presence at the cave now being of no importance we packed up and drove home, arriving at 0500.

I would like to express my appreciation of the assistance given by the officer concerned in releasing me from duty.
Signed  J. T. Scott