Years ago, possibly in the millemmium edition, I recall reading an article in On The Edge Magazine about the Neil Moss cave rescue attempt in Peak Cavern in the Peak District. Anybody remember which edition of the magazine it was? And better still anybody have the mag or know who wrote the article? If I recall correctly it was some special edition of the mag which was essentially an anthology of articles / essays.
I think that may be the article Matt is thinking of. I remember it vividly. It was reprinted in a High 100th edition collection of best writing from the mag.
I got rid of my High collection but I have a feeling I kept that one. I’ll have a look later.
This is a good account of the tragedy and its aftermath:
I also remember that article. Yes it was 100th edition of High I think. Very impactive as I didn't know the story.
I probably have it in the garage somewhere - will try and dig it out if no one finds it first
Not the same article but this came up in Google.
In the late 70's I entered an old hardware shop in Hazel Grove for something to repair crampons and I got talking with the owner of this ramshackle shop. It transpired that this infirm elderly lady had actually been involved with the Neil Moss rescue as she was in the Derbyshire Cave Rescue. She went into great detail and felt very sorry for the young student and his family. In retrospect I wish I had recorded our conversation for what would have been a first hand account of what actually happened.
There is a chapter about it in Jim Eyre’s book - A race against time. There is also some YouTube videos about it in Sid Perou’s library, although I can’t remember exactly which ones. ‘call-out’ maybe.
Trying to confirm for definite that the article in High #19, which Matt now has, is the one reprinted in High #100; I don't appear to have a copy of #100 for comparison. Has anybody found #100? The #19 article has about thirty paragraphs. Under the sub-heading "The Memory", the first paragraph begins with the sentence: "In June 1983 a girl was murdered at Cave Dale, Castleton." The final paragraph starts: "Twenty-five years on, the mis-spelt inscription scratched in the mud above the shaft which is his grave is still there in Moss Chamber." There are four B&W photos, plus a rough topo of Peak Cavern. Can anyone confirm that this appears to match the #100 article?
There is a video available about the whole episode. Featured is Bob Toogood who was actually on the trip when N.M. got stuck and he played a leading role in the rescue attempt. Bob is now 80, but through the years he has been a leading caver, rock climber, alpinist and not least of all an international fell and cross country runner, as well as the world 10K road running champion. Recently he bottomed Giants Hole with me, not an easy cave and complained he felt a bit tired. I replied “Bob you’re effing 80, how many others your age could do that”
With the greatest respect to Neil Moss and his tragic story... it puzzles me why his story gets so much focus (maybe the media circus at the time?). Sadly there are others far less famous who are entombed (too difficult to recover) who are not at all famous such as the 3 University of Warwick students in 1983 South Wales (http://www.ogof.org.uk/cwm-pot-cave.html), and sadly there are many other tragedies too. Although that's to be expected in small quantities in any "risky" sport 1:3,300 cavers will die while caving (lifetime not per caving trip) although typically heart attack etc not accident, possibly due to caving having a wider age profile than say: sport climbing.
Rather than fixate on the tragedy of Neil Moss, wouldn't it be better to celebrate stories like the Bob Toogood post above? That was the most interesting post on the thread as far as I'm concerned. Good for Bob!
The worst British caving fatal occurrence was Mossdale caverns where in the 1960,s 6 cavers were drowned in the Far Marathon series when the cave catastrophically flooded. The bodies were not recovered but moved to the High Level Sand Caverns to avoid disturbance and allow ongoing exploration. Bob was engaged in the early explorations of the cave, as was Pete Livesey. On a subsequent trip I’ve been to the end of the cave with Bob and it’s very scary. Through the years many top climbers have also been cavers in the winter, especially before climbing walls
> Rather than fixate on the tragedy of Neil Moss, wouldn't it be better to celebrate stories like the Bob Toogood post above?
Asking for info on an article is hardly fixating and I have to say it's the first I've heard of it although I don't move in caving circles.
Agree, when you stand on Wingfield and look at https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/ingleborough-9935/gee_gee_rider-73355#overview you realise what the top caver/climbers can achieve. Those reading the link and thinking it's just E3 5c, honestly it's not just the grade: it's astonishingly serious
In reply to DaveHK:
Well I don't think this thread is obsessing (yet), but the sad events are hugely publicised and re-reported in a way that few other UK "outdoor" tragedies are, struggling to think of one comparable to this in past coverage
With the greatest respect to Neil Moss and his tragic story... it puzzles me why his story gets so much focus (maybe the media circus at the time?). Sadly there are others far less famous who are entombed (too difficult to recover) who are not at all famous such as the 3 University of Warwick students in 1983 South Wales (http://www.ogof.org.uk/cwm-pot-cave.html),
the entombed students didn’t actually happen….. there is no cwm pot cave