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Present: Ralph, Ian, Dave, James, Jannah, Adrian

Unfortunately the van died. Fortunately, it was near the Station Inn, and the train line home. Thanks to all that helped. The couple that gave us a lift to the Station Inn, the Station Inn mechanic, and Dad for driving the trailer. The people that pretended to stop when we were hitching, then sped off at the last minute can rot in hell.


And Ian’s more literate version:

Have you heard the story,
I’m sure by now you’ll know,
Of the unfortunate caver,
Who’s name was Chris Molyneaux?

But return he did, with a friend,
Clearly someone in the know,
He lashed a washing line to his motor;
The Dusa van was in tow.

But never mind, Ralph sorted that,
And the group moved off again,
Headed towards the station,
In the hope of catching a train.

He lent his van to Dusa,
For what reason, no one is sure,
And off it went to the Dales,
O’er the Swale and on past the Ure.

“We’ve got a long wait ahead of us,”
Said the President of the club,
“I think we would be better off,
If we all adjourned to the pub.”

Up at the station, great fun was had,
With consumption of crisps and pop,
The playing of loud rock music,
And the balancing of the mop.

At a swift pace it travelled,
Among the greenest of lands,
In the offside seat, Ralph Leech,
With no sign of skill in his hands.

So there we were, in the Station Inn,
With a pint or too in our bellies,
But one or two of the cavers,
Were starting to miss their wellies.

Out came the station master,
“Turn that music down,”
And “That mops been weed on,”
He told them with a frown.

Now here you see the problem,
Put a loony in charge of a van,
And if it isn’t owned by him,
He’ll drive it as hard as he can.

Whilst the rest sat on their seats,
And mourned for the van and its loss,
Across the road the adventurous two,
Were heading toward Batty Moss.

The Leeds train was a few minutes late,
As they sometimes happen to be,
“It doesn’t matter,” said fresher Ian,
“It looks warm and dry to me.”

Ramming every kerbstone,
But missing all the trees,
On and on the van went,
Passengers weak at the knees.

They ran up and down, looking for a hole,
One in which they knew they could play;
To slide around the boulders,
Get wet and crawl in the clay.

The train went off, straight to Leeds,
A nicer journey you couldn’t foresee,
And the rabble alighted onto the platforms,
To run to 15b.

“That doesn’t sound too good,” said the driver,
“I’ve not heard that sound before,”
But before they could find the problem,
The engine decided not to run any more.

Find it they did, and down they went,
Into the dark below ground,
“Much better is this, than being sat on our bums,”
Was heard to echo around.

TransPennine Express is how they went,
The cavers, looking motley,
But Hannah had already left them,
And run off home to Otley.

So they gathered round the engine,
With one lad crawling under,
And found the big end bearings,
And crankshaft all asunder.

But all too soon for the cavers,
Light from the sky could be seen,
But happy they were with their trip;
What a wonderful cave it had been.

So in standard class they did sit,
Their books and games forgot,
Some went to sleep in the corner
Others just tied knots.

“That’s not right,” said the driver,
With a terrible look on his face,
When he realised what he was looking into,
Was the bottom of the crankshaft case.

Back by the van, dead though it was,
The duo changed clothes in the road,
The rest of the group came out from the pub,
And emptied the van of its load.

Back at Durham, on the platform,
They decided what should be done;
Ralph went to Cuth’s to try find Chris,
And get a good kicking.

Flagging down a passing car,
And quickly jumping in,
The driver left his passengers,
To go to the Station Inn.

The van was left locked by the driver,
Or so he told every one,
But Ian checked them anyway,
And found the back door lock undone.

By Ian Walker.
Age 7