One of Wharfedale’s most intrepid former residents has died at the age of 86.
To many neighbours and patients in Menston, Dorothy Shaw was the wife of a village GP and mother of four sons, but her exploits before she got married showed just how formidable a character she was.
Mossdale Caverns, between Grassington and Kettlewell have a reputation as sinister, extremely difficult and lethal.
Mossdale was the scene of Britain’s worst caving tragedy when six young explorers were drowned in 1967. Their bodies remain in one of the chambers.
So perilous is the system still considered today that cavers are officially advised not to enter.
Before the advent of neoprene wet suits and other modern equipment, caving pioneers had to be the most hardy souls and the name Robert Leakey stands out above many.
A legend in caving circles, Leakey explored Mossdale in the early 1940s and, as most of the men were away at war, recruited adventurous young women to help him.
One of these was Dorothy Stone, later to become Shaw. She had been born in Darlington, the daughter of a miner and a seamstress. When war came Dorothy obtained a job in the Civil Service as a clerk in London before being evacuated to Blackpool.