K.U.R.G

Sounds like one of those secret organisations from 1960s spy movies, doesn’t it. And if you give the acronym its proper title, it doesn’t sound much better – the Kent Underground Research Group.
These intrepid explorers are Kent’s own cross between Indiana Jones and the SAS. Dedicated to investigating holes in the ground, whatever they may be, they spend their weekends potholing, digging and generally poking around holes, caves and tunnels, ancient and modern.

But hey – these are the good guys. They don’t just winch themselves down the first cavern they find and blast through sundry ancient anti-personnel devices – Native Indian blowpipes – hidden knives triggered by a misplaced foot – trapdoors disguised by unidentifiable slime. They don’t grab the treasure and make a run for it, chased by inexplicable giant stone balls, glamorous though that sounds. As far as I can see from the pics, I can’t even tell that they wear felt fedoras or carry whips. Chiz.

They patch together a history of the place – talking to elderly folk who may remember something from their childhoods, consulting records and old maps or charts, folklore – whatever – then bring in the big boys. Trained underground investigators and potholers – not to mention experts who know about things like winches and pumps.

Every so often they get an SOS from someone who has a mysterious hole in their garden – or has heard that there might be something there, and they investigate everything from its origin and use to its wildlife. They have explored chalk mines, dene-holes, natural caves, secret passages, grottoes – you name it.

And don’t think that every county has one of these crack-teams. Oh, no – they get called out all over the place – Sussex, Berkshire – and, of course, Greenwich. You can read about the little they know of Greenwich in their book Kent and East Sussex Underground – though don’t expect huge volumes of info on our particular area – frankly I think they need to come and do much more research at The Point and in the conduits in the Park, hint, hint…

I can think of a lot less exciting hobbies to have – and if you’re reading this and licking your lips at the glamour and adventure of it all, you could join them – find their website here.

Don’t forget – these are Guys of Action: “The Group is willing, at short notice, to visit sites where they can advise on the origin and extent of an underground feature. “

Altogether now…

If there’s something strange
‘Neath your neighbourhood
Who you gonna call?
Kent Underground Research Group…
That’s enough dodgy 80s movies analogies – Ed…

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