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THE SOCIAL SIDE OF CAVING

The social life of the club is a very important part for the members.  When you are caving, you rely on the people you cave with for your safety and sometimes for your life. Strong friendships can develop as a result.  Members of the Derbyshire Caving Club meet on various occasions such as for trips in the Dales or camping/caving weekends in the Peak District.  Tuesday night is the regular night at Alderley Edge.  Every two months, there is a formal Club meeting on a Monday night (currently at the Wizard Inn at Alderley Edge) and on the month without a Club meeting, there is often a slideshow or something similar as a social event.

The social side extends into other areas such as the Annual Dinner and Dance, dances (known as Stomps) arranged in Stockport or elsewhere, parties at Halloween and so on.  As well as its own events, the Club sometimes participates in local events such as the Stockport carnival and Macclesfield and Alderley Edge "Fun Days".  Some years ago, the Club regularly won prizes for humorous floats in local carnivals.  In 1993, the Club members pulled a stunt on the Bradford Pothole Club when a giant rocket was placed in Gaping Gill.  There is a separate page about this!  More recently, members set up a golf course in GG and then a badminton court.  Photos can be seen on the caving gallery page.

Meeting members from other clubs is another good excuse for a little drink and members regularly attend Hidden Earth (the national caving conference) and NAMHO conferences for mining clubs.

THE FLUFFIES

The Fluffies at PindaleNot long ago, in honour of a deceased member, a team of 9 members formed a "Formation Dancing Team" that became known as the "Fluffies" which made its appearance at Ashbourne and Buxton Carnivals and at some other events besides.

Associations between caving clubs are also strong and as well as being a member of the British Cave Research Association and the Derbyshire Caving Association, members of the Club have connections with the Alternative DCC, Northern Cave Club, Manchester University Speleological Society, Bristol Exploration Club, Disley Underground Group, Eldon Pothole Club, Wirksworth Mine Exploration Group, Wealden Cave and Mine Society and many others.

THE SQUEEZE MACHINE

One of the highlights of many recent barbecues and camps has been the appearance of the Squeeze Machine.  The pictures below show the squeeze machine in use at Tony's BBQ with the record (for a non-member, excluding children) of 6.5 inches.  Current member records are listed below.  The idea for a squeeze machine is not new and one of the pictures shows the Gloucester Speleological Society one made of smart polished wood - ours is a kitchen top, a cupboard door and some pieces of pallet.  Nevertheless, the challenge keeps members amused for hours.  For another design, look at Descent 184 p.12.  

Ideas are always welcome for improvements to the design and I quite like the one shown in the last picture which is made from a mangle and could be motorised.  No thrutching or heaving, just turn the handle and see if you can get through in one piece!

Some photographs:

Pete in the squeeze machine This is really tight Style!  Going through with your beer
Pete going through the current design of squeeze machine which limits width as well as height. A young non-member going through at 6.5 inches. How to do it in style with your beer bottle in hand and without spilling a drop (that would be anti-social as well as wasteful.
Alderley May Fair Theory of squeeze machines Just joking
Lauren at the Alderley May Fair, 2013 Basic design of a squeeze box.  The distance from front to back must be sufficient to make it interesting, say 2 feet or so.  Height must be variable.  Making width variable as well makes it more interesting!  You need a good weight on top to stop cheating. A new design seen on the web where the victim does not need to do all the pushing; just set the height and turn the handle.  This design has not yet been tested.  Anyone willing?

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Last updated: 13/06/2016
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