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Wookey Hole, 75 years of cave diving & exploration

front cover

Since the Middle Ages, visitors from all over Britain and beyond have been drawn to the magnificent cave system at Wookey Hole in Somerset where the River Axe flows through a series of grand chambers before emerging at the head of a rocky ravine. For the last 75 years, ever increasing numbers of tourists have been joined by an adventurous band of cave divers whose aim has been to explore the subterranean Axe and follow the river ever deeper into the Mendip Hills towards the feeder swallets on the plateau above. This book chronicles the saga of exploration from the hard hat, lead booted pioneers of the 1930s through the post-War "frogman" era to the high-tech, deep divers of the present generation. A story of triumph and occasional tragedy, it is told by the divers themselves and those who knew them well.

Joint winner of the 2010 Tratman Award for excellence in a caving-related paper-based publication.