Sue Hollingshead delivered the most fascinating talk that provided an insight into the underground world that can only be witnessed by way of caving. Sue a long - time member of the Forest of Dean Caving Club spends many hours on a regular basis underground exploring the network of caves/old disused mines in the Forest of Dean area and further afield. Her clear passion for this pastime was born out of adventures undertaken as a teenager with her father.

She talked through the techniques required to overcome the various challenges faced underground, the risks involved and in many cases the teamwork required. She explained the different and diverse routes to be overcome and showed a number of incredible images of that world that so few have ever seen, these included some showing the sheer beauty of different formations of stalagmites, others were of artefacts, including tools etc left behind by the long-departed miners. She also explained how they make every attempt to preserve what they discover underground by sometimes tapping area’s off or by simply leaving artefacts in place.

Sue referred to a club trip to explore a cave in South Wales with an intended underground duration of some eight hours, it was after four hours and a great deal of physical effort that Sue became unwell and concern for her safety started to grow.

Fortunately, one of her colleagues suggested she need some sugar so offered her a Mars Bar, as a result she started to feel better and was able to make it safely back to the surface, without that Mars Bar things could have been very different. The Forest of Dean Club also form part of the Local Cave Rescue Service and for which they raise much needs funds.

Vaga Probus is a men’s group that meets twice a month in Ross. Visitors are very welcome, if you have an interest in visiting or indeed have a talk you would like to deliver, please contact the Secretary on 01452 831026.