A CAVER will discuss Adventure and Tragedy beneath the Northern Hills at Otley this month.

Mick Melvin was, in the 1960s, one of the founding members of the the Happy Wanderers Cave and Pothole Club - a small, limited membership caving club based in Kingsdale, near Ingleton.

The group was at the forefront of much of the new cave exploration work that was carried out in Yorkshire and Lancashire during the 1960s and 1970s.

Often their members would work together with other cavers or clubs in a joint venture to push new ground, and the Wanderers produced their first journal in 1966.

During his talk at Otley Courthouse on Friday, October 26 Mick will give an insight into his time as a local caver and how he continues to pursue his passion of speleology today.

He will discuss the endeavours of early caving pioneers such as John Birkbeck, the son of a Settle Banker, and Edward Alfred Martel, the French speleologist who was the first person to reach the huge main Chamber of Gaping Gill in 1895.

Mick will also describe some of the major caving discoveries made during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s - and consider the discovery and exploration of the Kingsdale Master Cave, a cave that became an important link in opening up the Three Counties System.

He will also talk about what lies behind Malham Cove and the Mossdale Tragedy of 1967, when six cavers lost their lives in Mossdale Caverns, near Grassington, in what remains Britain’s worst caving disaster.

Tickets cost £10 for adults and £8 for concessions, and can be booked by visiting www.otleycourthouse.org.uk, calling (01943) 467466 or popping into the Courthouse, on Courthouse Street.

A donation from the evening will be made to the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.