Film ID:
YFA 2248



Visitor Tabs


Made by Peter Jackson and Edward Winpenny, this film documents the work of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.  It features a reconstruction of a cave rescue and includes brief interviews with the volunteers who make up the Rescue Team.   

The film begins with three potholers who make their up a muddy incline underground.  One of them loses his footing and slides down, and another runs off across moorland until reaching a public phone box where he rings for help.  In a dramatic fashion, and as the phone rings, the film shows closer and closer shots of an intertitle for Wharfedale Rescue Team.  A policeman answers the phone and locates their position on a map.   

At the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, the rescue and climbing gear is stored, and a several volunteers explain why they joined the rescue team.  The rescuers load the kit into the back of a land rover, get into their vehicles, and drive off to the scene.  Once on location, they grab their gear and make their way through the caves to the injured man.  As they do so, in the background commentary, rescuers (one named Norman) tell of their first experiences in the job.  At one point a rescuer climbs downs a rope ladder. 

An ambulance arrives, and the rescuers continue through narrow and water-logged passages.  They carry a stretcher with them.  Outside other members of the rescue team prepare hot soup which will be given to those rescued from the cave.  Once back on the surface, they relay their feelings of the experience.  The rescuers reach the injured man and securely strap him to the stretcher.  One of the rescuers uses a portable wind-up line phone and rings through to the surface.  Here the message is conveyed to another member of the team who passes the message onto another rescuer via a walkie-talkie.  He in turn passes it on to a policeman in a car who radios it through to dispatch. 

As the rescue team makes their way back through the caves with the injured man on the stretcher, they reach a place where they have to go under water.  At this point they put an oxygen mask on the injured man to get him through.  He is then loaded onto an inflatable raft to go through the water.  As they proceed up a steep incline and through narrow passages with the stretcher, the potholers recount their experiences and reflect on their mistakes.  One of the rescuers with a moustache (Winpenny) fixes a winch to the rock face.   Outside the cave, some rescuers prepare a stretcher, whilst back underground, the cave rescuers winch the injured man up the rock face using rope ladder. 

Once at the top they again have to negotiate narrow water logged passages.  At last they get to the outside where they place the injured man onto another stretcher.  As the stretcher is carried over the moors, the other rescuers pack up their gear, and some of the rescue team are seated on the grass drinking soup.  One member of the team member switches his lamp off. 

The film ends with some stills of the camera crew at work.   

End titles:  Acknowledgements  

West Riding County Constabulary

West Riding Ambulance Service

Chloride Batteries Ltd

JA Richardson (electrical) Ltd.

Donald Robinson          schoolmaster

David Proctor               engineer

Paul Barnard                schoolboy

David Easterby            builder 

Underground team 

Andrew Plunkett          technician

Paul Reinsch    schoolmaster

Norman Shorrock         printer

Keith Strutt                  sub postmaster

Dane Swires                salesman

Richard Yemans           engineer 

Surface team 

Jos Swithenbak            quarryman

Gregory Anson             schoolboy

Stephen Butcher          farmer

Norman Close farmer

Ian Core                      schoolmaster

Melvin Fewstar             electrician

Len Huff                       stationmaster

Cedric Lodge    engineer

Rev. Richard marsh

Philip Newbould           printer

Harry Parker                milkman

Kurt Reinsch     mechanic

Michael Steel    schoolmaster 

Technical team 

Edward Winpenny       stills

Joe Tattersall   art work

L. Richardson   electrician

Sound Group                recording

Leeds University         

Peter Jackson              direction photography editing