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JRat’s Digging Award – The Beginning.
s most people who knew Tony Jarrett, knew digging was in his blood. He
logged over 11,481 hours underground in his 44 years of caving – it was more
than most “normal cavers” would have achieved in several lifetimes. Looking
through Tony’s log books, I don’t think there is one caving area within the UK
that Tony hadn’t visited, especially helped by his work travelling the UK as an
Ordnance Survey surveyor. His main areas of digging and caving interests before
his death were Mendip, Scotland and his annual trips to Meghalaya in India each
As the Ratfest committee sat in the Hunters’ discussing how to allocate
the money raised at the Ratfest, Roger and Jackie Dors handed over £250 that
they had collected from the sale of soup that Jackie had made especially in Tony’s
memory. All the money they raised was to go to good causes which we all knew
that Tony would have wanted to contribute to, which included the Roy Castle Lung
Cancer Charity. We thought that half of this money raised by Roger and Jackie
might be “recycled” into some form of digging shield to mark Tony’s life and hang
in the Hunters’.
Tony had arranged before his death, how he wanted to disperse the
proceeds of his books, pictures, and caving equipment, to benefit caving, remarking
that he didn’t want anything named after him. However the committee agreed that
to mark the recognition of Tony’s major contribution to caving, that we would
name the award after him. Hence the JRat Digging Award was created.
For those who don’t know, here are the rules:-
1. The JRat’s Digging Award is to be given to the club(s) or group who discover and survey the longest length of passage in
one cave. (This excludes claiming existing cave passage through digging a connection etc.).
2. The cave passage discovered and surveyed must be greater than 50 metres in length. In the unlikely event of a tie, the
club(s) or group who can provide documented evidence of the greatest number of diggers to have worked in the cave to
achieve their discovery will be considered the winner.
3. The cave passage discovered and surveyed must be either on Mendip or the surrounding area within Somerset or in
Scotland (two of JRat’s favourite digging areas).
4. The competition will run from 1
November until the 31
October each year.
5. Claims for the Award must be lodged officially with the Judges, with a closing date of the 31
October each year. Email
Martin Grass ( or Stuart (Mac) McManus (
6. The presentation will take place at the Hunters’ Lodge Inn Priddy on the nearest Saturday to the 21
November (JRat’s
birthday) with the club(s) or group being awarded “JRat’s Digging Award” for that year.
7. The winners will be entitled to have their club(s) or groups name and the length surveyed inscribed on the JRat’s Digging
Award Plaque, which will hang in the Hunters’ Lodge Inn at Priddy.

Diggers Dinner 2010: It is hoped for November 20
2010 we will have a diggers dinner at the Hunters’ Lodge Inn. More
details will be provided nearer the time.
Stuart (Mac) McManus
This years award presentation took place on Saturday 21
November in a
packed Hunter’s and was won by a joint WCC/ UBSS team for the 1500.77m
of new passage surveyed in Charterhouse Cave. The team members were
Ali & Pete Moody, Pete Hann, John Cooper, Andrew Atkinson and Simon
(Si) Flower.
Ali Moody
Above & Right: The digging team at
the presentation with Stuart McManus
(Photos:Martin Grass) Top: JRat digging
in Hunters Lodge Inn Sink (Photo: Andy
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