On a recent trip down Little Neath River Cave last Bank Holiday weekend with several other Croydon members, we were all disturbed to discover a number of examples of mindless vandalism. Emerging from the entrance series, our lights picked out the sparkling roof of the first chamber, and the graffiti scrawled on it. It appears that a previous party had seen it necessary to write their names in the mud for posterity.
Continuing down into the cave, past a couple of piles of old carbide, we reached the emergency food dump in Mud Hall. As we found it, it would be of little use in an emergency, as the only food it contained was empty Mars wrappers, and the dry clothing and space blankets were carefully stored in a plastic bag half full of water. Fortunately, it appears that the telephone line had been left intact.
Thinking that we might escape the worst of the desecration, we ventured into the Genesis Series. Even here, the emergency food dump looked as though it had seen happier days, and the best formations in the cave were decidedly muddy through years of carelessly placed hands and feet.
On the way out, we took the dry oxbow, and were alarmed to find another perfectly formed mud ceiling festooned with grafitti. Remarkably, the names this time were different to those discovered earlier.
Little Neath River Cave is one of the adopted caves of Croydon Caving Club. What is perhaps most disturbing about these findings is the fact that they must have occured over several months, yet I have not heard of any reports from Croydon members. Bearing this in mind, is it not time that we mounted a clean-up campaign to put these wrongs right?