Film ID: YFA 2248 Video of YFA 2248 Cave Rescue 1964 CAVE RESCUE 1964 Visitor TabsDescription 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 Context Unlike many of the films featured on YFA Online, which are part of larger collections, this film was made as a one-off by Otley photographer Edward Winpenny. Although not doing the actual filming, it was Winpenny who was the driving force behind the film. Cave Rescue has had a long and productive history. Although used principally to help with raising funds and for education, it was also shown at the National Film Theatre, went on to win the top award with the Scottish International Film Festival and was in the top 10 amateur films of the year as judged by ‘Amateur Cine World’. Cave Rescue was clearly a challenging film to make. Both the BBC and Granada thought that it couldn’t be done. But a freelance cameraman from Huddersfield, Peter Jackson, was persuaded over a few beers to take on the job. Jackson went on to establish a career with Yorkshire Television working on programmes like ‘The Darling Buds of May’ and ‘A Touch of Frost’ – not to be confused with the Peter Jackson who made films for the Morley Cycling Club Film Unit (also held with the YFA). The filming had to overcome great practical and technical difficulties, like supplying power for the lighting. The film was made at weekends over a number of weeks in several locations: Dow Cave, Hell Hole, Goyden Pot and How Stean Gorge at night. It required a lot of improvisation, like tying rope to the camera in order to lower it down holes. Being made at different times and places also meant that a great deal had to go into editing the film to make it seem as all of one piece. These difficulties, and how they were overcome, are detailed in Anytime ... Anywhere (see References). This book provides a fuller account of what rescuing was like in the early days, and of the equipment seen in the film, as well as some hair-raising and amusing stories. Edward Winpenny lived a remarkable and eventful life. Born in Armley, Leeds, in 1929, Edward began a five year metallurgical apprenticeship at the Yorkshire Copper Works in Hunslet in 1945. Here he developed the photography skills which he was to put into good effect as Picture Editor with the Yorkshire Evening Post, a Staff Photographer with the Daily Mail covering the North of England, and supplying photographs for the Otley & Ilkley editions of Otley Past, Present & Future books. In 1971 he set up his own photography business ‘Winpenny Photography’ in Boroughgate, Otley, before moving to Wesley Street. Edward was active in many organisations: he was Chairman of the Leeds Branch of the National Union of Journalists (later an Honorary Life Member); President of Otley Rotary Club (awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International for work in the community); a member of Otley Preservation Society; a Life Member of the Royal Air Force Association; a member of the Bomber Command Association; active in Otley branch of the Royal British Legion; an active member of the Otley Chamber of Trade; a member of the Manor Club in Otley; an Honorary Life Patron of Otley Little Theatre; a member of the Wharfedale Agricultural Society; the founder of the First Responder Team for the Otley area (trained medical volunteers); and, last but not least, a member of The Handlebar Club (formed in 1947 by, among others, Frank Muir and Jimmy Edwards) – he grew his moustache during his National Service in the RAF. A nice photo of Ted and his moustache from the early 1960s — including Norman Shorrock and Stephen Butcher, also featured in the film – can be seen in Anytime ... Anywhere. Edward’s association with the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association went back over 50 years. For this service he was awarded a certificate in recognition of services to mountain rescue, and, as a trustee of the Association for 20 years, he was also awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal. Edward finally gave way to Mesothelioma disease, (a form of Asbestosis) in 2007 due to early exposure to asbestos from a factory near his childhood home in Armley. Over 350 people packed into Otley All Saints Parish Church for his funeral. In the 1950s and 60s equipment was often acquired from other sources and adapted for rescue work. Many types of communication systems have been used over the years, underground and overground, often ex-army systems like the type ‘M’, ‘22’ and ‘46’ – like the cable phone seen in the film. A real breakthrough came in 1966 when cable systems could be replaced by the newly developed Inductaphone system which allowed communications through 600 ft of rock, and could pinpoint with great accuracy the location of the other set. Based in Grassington, the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association was set up in August 1948. It was the rescue of a lamb that first inspired Len Huff (seen in the film) and Ken Smallpage to start the Association – the rescue of animals has continued to be a key part of their rescue work. Originally based in a disused railway parcel van (called ‘the hut’, as their headquarters is still called), it moved up the railway hierarchy to a disused signal box in October 1962 shortly before this film was made. In 1976 they moved into a new centre – the first purpose built mountain and cave rescue centre in the country –officially opened by the Prince of Wales in 1978. For sixty plus years it has been rescuing animals and humans from the caves and fells around Wharfedale, Nidderdale, Littondale and Mid-Airedale. The film demonstrates just how much is involved in a rescue, especially when deep underground. Rescuers are very dedicated: some, like Norman Shorrock, are still involved passing on hard earned experience into their 70s after over 50 years service (70 is the cut off point for going on a rescue). At that time there was no way to claim any expenses, and the film shows schoolboys helping as runners – something not allowed any more because of the problems of getting insurance cover. Today more than 80 well trained and well equipped volunteer cavers, climbers and mountaineers are on call 24 hrs and 365 days a year. Volunteers are more than willing to make the sacrifices this requires: but those attempting adventures when poorly trained or equipped are not well appreciated! Caves played a significant role in the early development of mankind, but the exploration of caves for its own sake is part of the nineteenth century passion for exploration. At first caving, also known as potholing or speleology, was done for scientific research, before being taken up as a sport in the British Isles during the latter years of the nineteenth century. But it wasn’t until the 1920s and 30s that it really began to take off, seeing the formation of the first caving clubs, with the Yorkshire Dales taking a lead. This led to the discovery of many more caves and had great scientific value. At the forefront were two post office engineers, Graham Balcombe and Jack Sheppard, who explored northern caves using home-made respirators and other equipment. In 1946 they formed the Cave Diving Group, still going strong and possibly the oldest technical diving organisation still in existence. They made explorations of Keld Head, Alum Pot and Goyden Pot (which is featured in Cave RescueI); all detailed in A Glimmering in Darkness (see References). Today caving is a thriving activity, as a browse through the websites listed in Further Information will testify. The reason why caving inspires many might be elusive: watching the film the extremely confined spaces may provoke a claustrophobic reaction for many. One of the cavers talking on the film derides the ‘because it is there’ reason for doing what he does. But fellow potholer David Heap has tried to put it into words: writing shortly after this film was made, he states, ‘It is a unity of atmosphere, which may be either hostile or friendly, but which is always dignified and elevating. It may seem so overwhelming strong that it leads to fear; but man is part of nature, meant to enjoy its nobility and beauties.’ (Special thanks to Chris Baker and Norman Shorrock) References Harry Long (Ed) Anytime ... Anywhere : The First Fifty Years of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association, 1998. Graham Balcombe, A Glimmering in Darkness. Duncan Price (Ed.), Cave Diving Group, Leeds, 2007. David Heap, Potholing: Beneath the Northern Penines, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1964. Winpenny Photography Obituary of Edward Winpenny by Mike Solomons Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association The Cave Diving Group UK Caving The British Caving Association Caving UK The Yorkshire Subterranean Society British Cave Rescue Council the home page of Martyn Farr A comprehensive list of books on caving Further information Anthony Cansell, Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association 1948-1968, The Craven Herald, Skipton, 1968.