Covid 19 Update 31-Mar-2021

Editorial notes and news

The origins and the way ahead

Sid Perou helping to plan the audio archive

We can thank Dave Cobley for first coming up with the idea of a British Caving Audio Archive.

During early discussions, the most common remark was "It's a pity we didn't do it a year or two ago. We've lost so and so this year...". Unfortunately, this was always going to be the case, whenever it was started. However, it does underline the need to get recordings of some of the key caving figures out there, particularly those who are ageing or infirm. There is an enormous wealth of material to collect, and it is not possible for that to be done by one or two people!

We desperately need help from people from every club and every region to help find any existing material that is already out there, and also to start recording those precious memories for posterity.

If we can do that, this could be one of the most informative, and inspirational of all the caving sites on the web. Listen to the recordings already on here, and I'm sure that you'll agree!

In one respect we have been extraordinarily lucky. Geoff Yeadon uncovered some cassettes which contain some fifteen or so hours of recordings made in 1979 in conjunction with Lindsay Dodd. These were made whilst researching for a proposed book to follow the film "The Underground Eiger". They include some irreplaceable recordings from such as Bob Leakey, Eric Hensler, Graham Balcombe and Mike Wooding, as well as from many younger people who are still active today.

Sid Perou
19th February 2009


We would like to thank on behalf of the whole caving community those who have generously spent time tracking down their own material and contributed it freely to the archive, and to those who have gone out with a microphone to record valuable material. This would be a poorer site without the efforts of these guys.

Recordings have been contributed by:

Photographs have been contributed by:

Other photographs have also been used, the origins of which have been obscured by the mists of time. We apologise if you believe that we have infringed your copyright, and we trust that you will let us know.

Details of the source of a photograph may be seen by hovering your mouse over it to display a tooltip. The original is displayed if you click on it.

We are also grateful to Chris Snuggs who generously gave of his time to translate the Jochen Hasenmayer interview into English.

The webmaster has made use of external software resources in the construction of this website, and he thanks the following individuals and organisations for their generosity in making their software so readily available:

last updated: 27th October 2016

Technical notes

Recordings are held in MP3 format, and their details are stored in a MySQL database accessed by a PHP application. They may be played back within the browser using the embedded MP3 player developed by JW Player. By default this uses the HTML5 <audio> facility to play the recording, but if this is not supported by the browser, it reverts to a Adobe Flash plugin player. In either case, JavaScript is required. The MP3 ID3 metadata tags are created using the getID3 library. The recordings are also available for downloading and playing on external players for those who are unable to access them through their browser. If anyone wishes to develop their own playback facilities, the use made of the ID3 metatag structures is available on request.

You are welcome to post a comment on a recording, but please note that you will need session cookies to be enabled in your browser. See here for details on our use of cookies.

last updated: 4th October 2016