News: MCRA Film Archive Now Available On You Tube

The Mendip Cave Registry and Archive (MCRA), in conjunction with Wells and Mendip Museum, holds an ever-growing collection of historical films of interest to cavers.

A select number of these films, with more being added all the time, has now been made available to a much wider audience via You Tube.  Dating from the 1930’s to the 2000’s, the films cover caving, diving, early cave rescue techniques and the popular Mendip sport of cave digging.

Swildon’s Hole. Photo by courtesy of Mendip Cave Registry & Archive.

Some of the highlights of the archive include the University of Bristol Speleological Society at camp in 1933, early scenes of descending Lamb Leer in 1937, and Swildon’s Hole captured in colour in 1964.

In today’s world of super-bright LED lighting and 4K cameras its worth a pause for thought as to just how hard many of the early caving film makers had to work to achieve the results they got.

Twenty four films are available already, so head over to the MCRA’s You Tube channel and please take a second of your time to click the subscribe button so that you can be kept up to date with new videos as they are added to the archive.

Caver Jonathan Williams who has worked on this along with Maurice Hewins and Alan Gray says: “We would really like to get some publicity for the channel, firstly so people can actually see some of the collection, and secondly so we can achieve 100 YouTube subscribers which unlocks a number of extra features on our channel.” So please, do click to subscribe, and do pass this link around you friends and club so we can help the MCRA get maximum publicity for this!

We thought we’d bring you one example:

The full film archive can be found here on You Tube. Just remember to click the subscribe button while you’re there.

Films uploaded so far include:

Hunters Lodge Inn Sink
Opening Eighteen Acre Dig – 1991
Opening Hymac Hole – 1991
Wessex Cave Club in South Wales & Yorkshire – 1962
Wessex Cave Club Activities – 1968
Horseshoes with Rings – A Study of Bats in Devon Caves 1958
Jack Duck in Lamb Leer – 1969
Swildon’s Hole – 1964
UBSS – Manor Farm Swallet, GB Cave and BOS Swallet
Thrupe Lane Swallet
How To Explore A Cave – 1958
Templeton Pot 2002-2008
Wessex Hut, Thrupe Swallet & Cow Hole
Lamb Leer 1937
Lamb Leere 1962
Grotte de Bedheilac
Full Moon Over Eastwater 1994
MRO Swildons Rescue Training Film
Shots of Manor Farm Priddy and Upper Swildons
Virtuos Lady Mine Devon
Wessex Cave Club at Cow Hole Dig
UBSS Camp Life at Burrington in 1933
Cave Diving Group at Cheddar 1960
UBSS Goatchurch and Reads 1933

Correspondent: Jonathan Williams