How Fergus Aven Got Its Name by Richard Bendall

Fossil Pot: Fergus and Companions (May 2000). 

(Any similarity in this article to any White Rose member, either living or sober, is purely intentional).

Fergus Ferret was a foolhardy character, but all who knew him were united about one thing, he was always good for a laugh. A new world had been heard of deep underground and two of Fergus’s friends had convinced him to join them in their search. And so it was that Fergus Ferret joined his companions on a journey, a journey hopefully of exploration, but certainly of intrigue. They each carried the hall-marks of their trade, rope, iron and fags, and it was with these things that they bid farewell to their loved ones and set off for the other world.

Fergus Aven, Fossil Pot (Survey Excerpt- Survey by Steve Warren)

Fergus Ferret was keen and could not wait to don the rope worn by one of his companions and began, unaided, to scale the watery fall that was said to lead to the new world. Up and up he climbed until he reached a suitable ledge and could rest and partake of one of his fags. His companions were amazed at Fergus Ferret’s progress and athleticism but suggested that at this point he should drive a piece of iron into the rock so that a rope could be attached, and allow him some safety. Rope was thrown to Fergus and iron hauled up. One piece was significantly larger than the many other tiny pieces of iron. Now with all the necessary trappings to continue his climb the two companions waved goodbye to Fergus Ferret and went about searching for other new worlds. They crossed a shallow sea with dark low skies and climbed a silver ladder to a corridor so high. And it was here they busied themselves for a hour or so picking at rocks that seemed to have fallen across their way. Before not too long though they were driven back with fear as the stones began to move all on their own. And so they headed back to their good friend Fergus Ferret to see for themselves what progress had been made whilst they had been away. As they approached the shallow sea with dark low sky, they could hear the faint call of Fergus from across the water. Hurriedly they crossed the shallow sea with dark low sky and raced toward the watery fall with the cries getting louder and louder,


What’s up, Fergus?” the two companions exclaimed as they rounded the corner and saw Fergus Ferret sat on the ledge where they had left him. Silly old Fergus Ferret! He had dropped the large piece of iron and had been unable to drive one of the tiny pieces of iron into the rock. What’s more, he could not attach the rope and was unable to proceed neither up nor down. And to cap it all Fergus Ferret had to sit on the ledge for an hour and a half in the spray from the watery fall and was rapidly
running out of fags.

Well the good friends found the large piece of metal and passed it to him, so he could attach a small piece of metal to the rock. And by attaching the rope to the small piece of metal, Fergus Ferret was able to descend from his watery ledge to join his friends. Cold and wet and now serrously out of fags, Fergus needed to be cheered up. In honour of their dim witted friend who had scaled to the ledge but dropped the hammer, they named the watery fall after him. Oh, how everyone laughed when the story was retold in the company of friends back at the pub. And they never did find out if the new world existed. Or did they?

This Article Was Published Originally in The White Rose Pothole Club Newsletter, Vol 19(2), May 2000, and titled ‘Fossil Pot – How Fergus Aven Got its Name by Richard Bendall’.