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. “
‘Neath your neighbourhood
Who you gonna call?
Kent Underground Research Group…