Hunter Lodge Inn Sink – Glueing Stal
Sunday, 15 May 2016

Following the recent vandalism down Hunter Lodge Inn Sink (where over a dozen foot long stalactites were smashed to pieces), the cave has been closed while repairs take place. Estelle being one of the original discovers has lead the restoration efforts, co-opting caver’s across Mendip to help. This was about the 10th restoration trip so far.

It’s easy to be consumed with annoyance that the senseless vandalism occurred, and my first thought when seeing the scene of destruction was that restoration was an impossible task. However, once a few pieces started to fit back together, assisted with superglue and activator spray, the 3D jigsaw puzzle became strangely enjoyable.

Three seems to be the perfect number for a working group. Estelle systematically sorted through the fragments, finding pieces that fitted, then mine and Andy’s job was to glue the stal back together and try and find where it went on the ceiling. With many of the stals being carrot shaped, thick and chunky but with a narrow top, it’s quite difficult to find where they went, especially where there was no residual stal to mark it’s original location, just bare rock.

The temptation to improvise, to make a weird and wonderful stal creation, had to be suppressed.

The glue worked well to join small pieces (generally less than a few inches long, with less than an inch diameter), only having to hold them in place for 30second until they set. However i expect it will be tested to its limits when it comes to sticking the reformed chunky carrots at their narrow tops to the ceiling.
With glue fumes building up, headaches kicking in, we had to call it a day after 2hrs. Just in time for lunch in the Hunters. In total 2 stals were restored to the ceiling, with about 8 reformed but needing locating. All in all time well spent.

There’s still lot of work needed, so if anyone finds themselves on Mendip and fancies a productive 2hrs before the pub, you’ll be more than welcome to join.
Also if anyone can source some laboratory clamps and stands, they might come in useful for holding the chunky carrots in place long enough for the glue to set.

Comments

good job Mike. When was this sink found? assuming it connects into hunters hole…

Wob Rotson

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Images
Photographer – Estelle Sandford
Posted by: Mike Butcher
Size: 71kb
Width: 450 pixels
Height: 600 pixels
Posted: 15 May 2016
Photographer – Estelle Sandford
Posted by: Mike Butcher
Size: 70kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 15 May 2016
Photographer – Estelle Sandford
Posted by: Mike Butcher
Size: 84kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 15 May 2016
The two restored stals. Photographer – Estelle Sandford
Posted by: Mike Butcher
Size: 84kb
Width: 600 pixels
Height: 450 pixels
Posted: 15 May 2016