Peninsular Gower’s subterranean caves were explored during the 1950s and 1960s by the unlikely trio of Maurice Clague Taylor and his sisters Marjorie and Eileen. At an age when less demanding activities might be expected, they were caving pioneers in this area. But even caving in Gower can have its hazards, as when in November 1961 three young cavers exploring an abandoned lead mine in Brandy Cove made the grisly discovery of the dismembered skeleton of Mamie Stuart, who had been murdered forty years earlier. But it takes particular courage to deliberately set out to recover bodies of those who have been violently killed, which was the mission of some members of South Wales Caving Club in the 1960s.
In the upper Swansea valley Dan-yr-Ogof cave was first explored in 1912 by three local Morgan brothers, which led later to that extensive cave network being opened up to the public. Across the valley, the headquarters of the South Wales Caving Club is in the former quarrying
Members of the South Wales Caving Club had been caving in the former
In Penwyllt it was decided that a motorised winch would have to be built, capable of hauling a man-carrying cage up and down the main shaft. Anticipating an exceptional depth, a cage with a power-driven winch was built by the late Gwyn Sanders, who lived at
After some adjustments and re-designing of equipment, a second expedition in 1966 managed with much difficulty to recover the bones of the men murdered 24 years earlier, which were placed in four metal coffins. Those four Partisans had been war-time comrades of President Tito, so the undertaking aroused much media interest, and the cavers received medals of appreciation from the president himself. The South Wales Caving Club can take pride that their members, including Gwyn Sanders from Clydach, successfully performed this demanding and compassionate recovery.