The Alzheimers Dig by Phil Ryder

Graham Huck, John Clarke, Richard Gibson and Phil Ryder (23 September 2017). And just to confuse you pirates, it’s not in Langstrothdale either!

The B team diggers have several promising sites, unfortunately they are all water unfriendly, and Hucky noticing his hands were becoming webbed asked me if I knew a dry digging site.

“Yes,” I replied, “Me and Smithy found it eons ago, it’s only 5 minutes from the road, just next a gate. And I’ve even got a photo of it.”

‘OK,” says Hucky completely unconvinced. He’s fallen for this many times before!

I am back from Portugal, 32º to a typical English Indian summer, gale force rain and hailstorms.
We get permission from the land owner, and then Hucky and I set off up the hill, Hucky checking his watch to time the walk up.

Well 3 hours later we are completely pissed wet through having walked many miles in the torrential rain and found nothing. Hucky’s eyes are scrunched up, I am in trouble, the Hucky Stare.

“Have you got your GPS,” bites Hucky.

“No,” I lied.

Last time Hucky saw my GPS he tried to ‘adjust’ it with a lump hammer after a malfunction. The malfunction being that I hadn’t read the Instruction Manual!

Hucky begged his bosses to let him work the next Saturday so avoiding me, and it was up to Richard Gibson to be my stooge. After several hours on the fells, whilst returning back to the car, Richard found the dig, only 100 metres from the gate.


We must have walked past it many times.

The following week Hucky, Richard Gibson, John Clarke and I finally got to the dig, a rift in limestone pavement full of jammed boulders.

“I haven’t seen this before,” quips John, who has walked the area many times.

Double vindication!

Well we capped the jammed boulders in the rift, and it didn’t close down. It was draughting and it took a small stream, much to the consternation of Richard G who got his hair wet.

Hucky and John Clarke at the Alzeimers Dig (Photo – Phil Ryder)

It was during this I found my new nickname from Hucky, ‘Uncle Bulgaria’ from the Wombles, continuing on the ‘old’ theme. Thanks lad.

But we needed a space to get our arse in to bend and clear the floor, as John C stated. Ready to move some bedrock, Hucky’s eyes light up and he does this task with glee. But the wall isn’t playing so Hucky teaches it a lesson with 6 large black caps. The rock outcrop submits and collapses, unfortunately the resulting fragmentation debris leaves Richard G severely traumatised.

The pavement dig is in the middle of a bog so by this time every insect known to man has eaten us alive. Time to go.

One more trip to the dig and we should know if it’s worth pursuing.