Warning: These facts cannot be guaranteed to be accurate. I am trying to recall events that happened between thirty and forty years ago. They may, however, give a clue for further investigation if needed.
I joined the staff of Bolton School Boys’ Division in September 1975. Soon after, I got together with Terry Butterworth (a member of the Physics Department, and the Fourth Year Blockmaster) to help him set up a Caving Club. For the first trips we used some of my own equipment – including home-made ladders. I cannot recall, as Terry mentions in his introduction to the log book, borrowing equipment from Bury Grammar School. Before long Terry, by means of one (or two?) discos held at Rivington Barn, had raised enough funds to obtain the equipment we needed.
At the beginning I was able to pass on my knowledge of the location of, and routes through, several cave systems.
The first trips took place in the Autumn of 1975. Initially they took place at weekends (usually on a Sunday) or in School holidays. Terry managed to arrange things so that in a following year he was able to take a group, starting from School during the Sixth Form Games session, on Wednesday afternoons and returning in the evening.
Terry left School, I think, in the summer of 1978. I took the occasional trip after he left, but found that pressures on time, other interests, waning enthusiasm, etc, were too much to continue taking trips on my own. I remember taking a group of Venture Scouts for one trip, and a group from the Girls’ Division (with one or two of its staff) on another – but cannot remember when these trips took place. The caving equipment was eventually acquired by Patterdale Hall.
Sometime in the early 1980s, I revived and organised the annual Joint Divisions’ Senior Skiing Holiday. The main helpers were John Hyde, Pam Johnson, Lesley Relph, Chris Millington and Val Hanrahan. Later on, Val took over the main organisation, before everything came under the Pledger syndicate in the early 1990s.