Useful Guest Information

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Thank you for booking your stay, and welcome to Brackenbottom – the Bradford Pothole Club’s HQ.

We hope you enjoy your stay here. To try to ensure that you do and return to stay with us again, here is some information which we hope your party will find useful.

Brackenbottom is a converted Yorkshire Dales farmhouse (rather than a custom-designed hostel) which retains its character whilst combining it with basic but comfortable facilities. It is used by our own members as well as visitors, and is commonly referred to as ‘The Dump’ – dating back to when the club had just a tackle dump with no accommodation. During your stay, please park sensibly as close to the perimeter walls/ buildings as possible so no space is wasted and free access remains for all cars.

The building is accessed from the main door at the rear of the building – the Dump Warden will provide key access during your stay. Please get everyone in your group to sign in on the visitors’ sheet as soon as you arrive so we know who is staying, etc. The sheets can be found in the common room, round in the corner to the right of the door, on the shelf by the phone.

You will see that there is a Guest Room which is provided for our visitors to sleep in. It has Alpine style bunks with space underneath to put clothes bags. It also has a night storage heater to take the chill off the room in winter. There is a dual light switch in the bunkroom – the normal switch puts the light on and leaves it on (so please save energy by switching it off when leaving the room), the other push button leaves the light on for just a couple of minutes (allowing sleepers to see their way into their sleeping bags). For those who prefer it, camping on the lawn is also permitted, though space is limited to two or three small tents.

You will also see that there are kitchen facilities, a common room, a drying room, a changing room/ washroom with three hand basins, two toilets and two showers. These can all get busy at times, so we would ask that you follow the advice given below.

Please bring only those numbers of people booked in beforehand. It is not the number of bunk spaces which dictates the number of people that the building can accommodate, but the limits of kitchen/ seating/ toilet/ shower facilities and our responsibility to meet fire & safety concerns. We also want everyone to be comfortable and not feel too overcrowded.

There is a visitors’ caving tackle store and charging room in a separate external building – the green door facing you as you exit into the car park. This has numerous sockets for charging lights and other electrical equipment as well as shelves for storing wet ropes and tackle bags. After your caving trip you can stash your gear in here rather than leaving it strewn around the changing room/ corridors/ car park. The key for this store is hung up to the left of the main door. There are also rope washers outside in the entrance driveway (for fine days) or inside near the changing room hand basins (for foul weather only). Feel free to use these to clean your tackle.

Along the corridor from the Guest Room you will find an indoor rope practice area. Here you are welcome to check your gear, try new tricks or equipment, or teach others the basics and advanced techniques.

There is also a drying room for your personal kit. This works best if you first spin fleeces/ thermals in the spin dryer in the changing room (making sure the bucket is there to catch the water). Obviously spinning wellies/ oversuits/ helmets is pointless and will damage the spin dryer… Your gear may then be hung in the drying room. Drying is most effective if a gap is left between items to allow the dry/ warm air to circulate around and through the dehumidifier. Instructions on how to ensure the dehumidifier will operate are to be found by the door to the drying room – or ask a member for advice (it can be quirky). It only runs during the night using ‘off peak’ electricity.

The kitchen has two electric cookers each with an oven & four hobs. There are also two microwaves. The kitchen bins are labelled for recycling and when full should be emptied into the appropriate wheelie bins out near the front gate. Please arrange for your group to wash up their pots and pans and put them away on shelves/ racks when they have finished eating and leave the kitchen clean & tidy so that others may use it.

Caving plans should be made sat around in the common room rather than at the kitchen table. Feel free to ask members for advice regarding current stream conditions and flooding risks – as regulars they keep an eye on the weather and its effects. They may also be able to provide up to date information on cave access and rigging, etc.
The kitchen, changing room and common room all have underfloor ‘background’ heating. Additionally the common room has a very effective fan heater. Please use this sensibly and turn it off if leaving the room empty.

Dogs are allowed in the common room (provided no-one present objects), the locker rooms/corridor and studio. They are not allowed in the kitchen, or any bedroom.
Dogs must not be left unattended at the Dump whilst the owners go caving, walking etc.

Members look forward to socialising with visitors and swapping caving stories, etc. over a few drinks in the evening. We keep the common room window and front door closed then so as not to disturb and upset our neighbours with our noise.

If you need any help or advice re: nearby shops/ pubs/ medical centres or any other aspect of Brackenbottom and its facilities, please ask members or contact the Dump Warden.

Finally, before your party leaves, please:
1) make sure you contribute to keeping the place clean and tidy – a short time sweeping/ mopping/ wiping/ tidying will leave a welcoming place for the next group of visitors. It will also mean ‘The Dump’ does not live up to its name.

2) remember to pay your hut fees in the envelopes provided and note the sheets accordingly

3) make sure you do not leave any tackle/ food/ drink/ clothes/ gadgets behind – check the bunkroom/ drying room/ kitchen/ common room/ tackle store before you go.

We hope you follow this advice and enjoy your stay. We can then look forward to you visiting us again soon.