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Cavers descend on Burnley for international conference
HUNDREDS of caving enthusiasts from Europe will descend on Burnley for a major national convention.
Thomas Whitham Sixth Form will be the base for first Hidden Earth conference in the area, organised by The British Cave Research Association and British Caving Association, on September 21 to 23.
Between 500 and 600 people are expected to travel from across the UK, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland and Ireland to attend each day.
And they will access a veritable gold mine of information with technical talks from experts, assault courses, rope testing rig, club stands, photo displays and a gala dinner with guest speaker Harry Long, from the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association.
Conference manager Les Williams said the event would provide a ‘shop window’ on caving across the country.
He said: “This is the first time we've been to East Lancashire in our long history.
“We are expecting hundreds of people over the weekend and it will be a great chance to speak to the various groups who are rocking up.
“We won’t be having trips out anywhere but they can make arrangements with the various clubs which will have information stands in the hall and people can approach them and have a chat.
“We stage the conference on a four-year cycle in Yorkshire, Derbyshire, South Wales and Somerset.
“Geographically we try to be near those locations but finding a suitable venue in the Yorkshire Dales is problematic because the population isn’t dense so there aren’t many big venues.
“Burnley was the nearest as the school can accommodate more than 1,000 pupils.”
He said one of the talks would focus on 70-mile ‘Three Counties’ underground cave system linking Lancashire, Cumbria and Yorkshire.
There will be also camping site on the playing fields and a licensed bar throughout the weekend.
Tickets cost £15 a day or £25 for the weekend.