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.


I came to Leeds University in 1956. I was already quite an experienced caver, previously with the Wessex and Bradford PC. I naturally assumed that Leeds would have a caving club, but no! A group of us applied to the Students Union for some funding to set up a club, but we were told that caving was really just like climbing and there was already a Climbing Club. After some while we eventually won and the Leeds University Speos were established. I can well remember on our first enrolment day a pair of fresh-faced young guys came to the table expressing some interest. "Have you ever done any potholing?" we asked. "No, but it sounds interesting". "What’s your name?” “Brook, Dave and Alan"!
I was already a friend of Jack Myers and he suggested that I should also join the NPC, which I did. We had a lot of fun with places like Hammer and Magnetometer. However, I felt that it would be a good thing for the University club to have project. I had met and talked to Bob Leakey about Mossdale and it occurred to me that being reasonably close to Leeds and with only Bob's sketchy BSA survey being in existence, then here was a project. I put this idea to the Leeds club and it was accepted. In a long series of trips we eventually mapped most of the cave as far as Kneewrecker Junction. Latterly in all of this it was Dave Adamson who enthusiastically took over organising much of the later work. So that is essentially how LUSS (later to become ULSA) got involved in Mossdale.