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Vol. 16, 1964

In search of caves

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four feet, but we went home with bruises, cuts and aching backs.
The next Saturday we returned-all set for the break-through into
a major cave system. Alas, a heavy shower of rain had washed
more mud into the hole. After a week's toil we reached a depth
of 12 feet. Here two great boulders blocked the way-as yet we
have not returned to that dig.
During the following year we explored Bovehill Pot, the
deepest pothole in the peninsula, and Wooley's Hole, where there
are some fine formations.
I go caving for the adventure and because it is very interesting.
The world underground is so entirely different from anything on
the surface. Through caving also one gains friends and, in my
case, my best friend is the one who has done the most caving with
me and has shared the greatest adventures and difficulties with
me underground. We have learnt that we can rely on one another
and have thus become better friends. Caving, like all other kinds
of exploration, fascinates man's natural curiosity, and this inevitably
leads him even into the most inaccessible places of the world.
Early Artists in Gower I
THE FIRST ARTISTS TO DEPICT scenes from the Gower peninsula
-the man-in-the-street's Gower without Swansea-were the
brothers Nathaniel and Samuel Buck, who in 1741 published a
long panel engraving of Pennarth (Pennard) and another of Penrice
in their collection of the views of the abbeys, castles and towns of
Britain. These etchings, captioned by long descriptive accounts
of the subject in a beautiful cursive script, can be bought for a
few pounds from antique dealers. The discriminating collector
will accept only an uncoloured print, as pure as when it came off
the press over two hundred years ago, and will shun the garishly-
tinted things that have been tampered with by professional
colourists at five shillings a time. Unless the colouring of a print
is genuinely contemporary, as it sometimes is with old maps,
aquatints and Rowlandson prints, the penny plain is in every
respect preferable to the tuppence coloured.
Of the other eighteenth-century topographers who recorded
Gower, one of the most interesting is Thomas Rothwell, who was
the engraver at the Cambrian Pottery, Swansea, in the years around
1790. In the course of his work at the Pottery, Rothwell would
engrave copper plates and then transfer the design to the piece of
earthenware by means of an intermediate tissue, which, being
flexible, could take the ink from the plate and make contact even
with a curved surface. The copper plate would therefore show the
picture the right way round.
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