Worcester News readers give their views on Gullet Quarry

Readers debate future of quarry

Readers debate future of quarry

First published in News

WE asked website readers what if any action should be taken at Gullet Quarry, where two people have recently lost their lives. We received more than 100 responses.

Here are some of the replies:


Becki, from Worcester: “I noticed someone recently mentioned filling in the quarry and have a memorial park/picnic park etc with a wall for memories of those who have passed. Seems like a lovely idea.”

Kerry, Malvern: “Close the quarry off in hot weather and leave it open for the public at other times, volunteers could help man the quarry in hot weather.

Anon: “Not a popular opinion I'm sure, but there are plenty of warnings, and the fact that certain individuals are ignoring them and dying speaks for itself. Leave the quarry open, leave the warnings in full view of everyone, and if these fools wish to take their lives into their own hands; so be it.”

G L Jones, Evesham: “Gullet Quarry was fenced off, but still very popular with swimmers when I used to go there while visiting my grandparents in Welland 40 years or more ago. Everyone who uses these places knows the risks involved and if you start shutting these "dangerous" places down, where do you stop. Drain it to make it safe and you'll get rock climbers falling onto hard ground or kids being hit by falling debris. Why not just level England, cover it with foam and ban unnecessary movement.”

Sara, Pershore: “It needs to be drained or filled in asap or do we have to watch the body count go up and up? Fill in or drain urgently, also fence off, put high wire fencing and stop entry completly.”

Ron Saunders: “Urgently needs fillling in completley and sealed off or fenced off completly or do we watch body count go up and up.”

Alice, Powick: “Why not fill the quarry with boulders and rocks to a level where it would be safe for people to swim? A dam so that when water levels are high it can flow down a stream into numerous pools. Yes it would cost a lot of money but it would make it a safe attraction.”

Rosemary Farrell, Worcester: “I was born in Malvern in the 60's and we regularly as a family went over to the quarry for picnics and a walk over the hills. The signs said "Dangerous" keep out and that is exactly what we did. Why should a beautiful looking place be taken away from "Jo Public" because a few stupid individuals ignore the signs.”

Ellie, Malvern: “It should be filled in/drained, whatever can be done to prevent the water from existing.”

Nathan Coll, Worcester: “It should be filled in! People die there every year, so I can't believe it hasn't been filled in or closed down already.”

James Flann, Malvern: “Firstly any one who enters that quarry knows the risks they are putting themselves and others at. The best thing that can be done is that the quarry gets drained and then filled in so that people can’t use it for rock climbing. If people really want to swim then my advice is go to a swimming pool like I do!”

Anon, Worcester: “All sympathy to the families of these young men who have died, but leave the quarry as it is. It is a place of natural beauty enjoyed by many people safely. People drown in the river every year. Are we going to fill it in or drain it? Common sense needs to prevail. It is clearly signed NO SWIMMING. Every danger can not be taken out of life.”

Matt, Worcester: “The quarry needs to be fenced off and people need to be educated of the dangers. Too many lives have been taken at this place.”

S Rogers, Malvern: “Alot of kids go there and get drunk then go in the Gullett so it’s many other issues too.”

Brook, Malvern: “I grew up near the quarry. For as long as I can remember people have always been risking their lives in there. It is common sense that you don't swim in these places. Why should we ruin the area just because some are unable to respect the rules.

Lydia Downton, Worcester: “Fill it in, drain it completly, remove it for the safety of others!”

Sim, Worcester: “Filled in or drained. It’s a death trap.”

Stuart, Worcester: “Perhaps the quarry can be turned into a nature reserve?”

Brian Hope, Worcester: “Do nothing. The quarry has been there a long time, most people can use it in complete safety and enjoy the surroundings, 5 in 18 years cannot . Cater for the majority not the few.”

Steve B, near Malvern: “Extremely tragic set of circumstances. In Derbyshire in a troublesome quarry where people kept swimming, the water was dyed black to try and prevent people entering the water. Is this an option for Gullet Quarry? Not ideal from an aesthetic point of view however, if drained this could potentially be more dangerous as cliffs will be left into a void in the ground and then there is the added problem of removing the spring water which may always flow into the quarry as it is a low point for water to collect. This may not make sense (as it sends the wrong message?), but a life buoy is needed at the quarry for emergencies if people continue to swim here and get into difficulties. I still think that dying the water black is the answer to stop this needless loss of life rather than draining. Tragic.”

Anne, Malvern: “Every other person you speak to, including myself, thinks that hte quarry should be drained and filled in to save another family from heartache. So come on Malvern Conservators get a grip and save our town from further fatalities. You know it makes sense. People will soon find other ways to cool off. What is wrong with the Splash? It would be wrong to allow any further sunbathing at Gullet Quarry. Do the right thing.”

Callum Scoby, St Johns, Worcester: “It definitely should be drained and protected by high fencing to stop idiots messing around in the remains of it.”

Christopher Hodgkiss, Great Malvern: “Nothing should be done to Gullet Quarry, there are several warning already in place at the beauty spot about the dangers of swimming and if people choose to be stupid and ignore it then so be it. People die at beaches, mountain ranges, moors etc etc, you don't see the council panicking and putting fences around them. Soon the message will get across into some of the thicker skulled people but untill then were just going to have to let the jumpers and swimmers make their own decision.”

Mrs Leonard, Worcester: “The quarry should be made less attractive for young people. First remove the snack shack there, take away the carpark. If it was harder and took longer to access less young people would go.Clear water depth markers are needed as well as signage similar to road black spots that state the amounts of deaths that have occured. All may just help save one more family from this terrible heart ache.”

M Simons, Kempsey: “The problem is not with the quarry, it's with the people who choose to ignore the warning signs. You can't make any quarry, or outdoor environment, 'safe'. Sorry, absolutely no sympathy on this one.”

Jack Davies, Malvern: “I think the quarry should be made safe. Have the area which people jump off made impossible to reach or removed. Remove anything from in the water and make parts shallower if needed. People will much rather it still be in use safely than not in use at all. If it is fenced off many people will still attempt and succeed to get into it. It's a great place to go and cool down and chill out. Removing as much danger as possible would make it an enjoyable place and much safer. I personally think it would be a great shame to see it filled as opposed to in safe use.”

Joseph Westley, Worcester: “The problem isn't with the quarry it's with the people who still for some reason feel its appropriate to swim there. There are warning signs saying not to swim. People have frowned there for as long as I can remember. In my opinion the only way this quarry can be made safer and not be shut off to the responsible public is to make the water area a trespass zone. Anyone who swims etc will be fined or charged. The deaths of these people clearly doesn't effect people so maybe hitting the wallet will. Surely this will use less resources than the ones used to recover people, inform families etc.”

Kathleen Gardner, Worcester: “Nothing should be done that hasn't already been done. The warnings are there. It would be a travesty to fill it in. People must be responsible for their own lives. If a person chooses to ignore warnings then that is their own choice and unfortunately their final choice.”

Dave jennings, Powick: “Fill it in, plant trees and flowers and make a garden dedicated to the poor people who have lost their lives there.”

Emily Reeves, Malvern Link: “Drained, fenced off, filled .. ANYTHING to stop such young precious lives from being taken.”

Vicky, Malvern: “The Gullet Quarry should be filled in or made safe for people to swim in. Otherwise people Just ignore the signs!!”

Leah Henney, Malvern: “The quarry should be completely shut down, enough pain has been caused and the tragedies are so devastating.”

Kerry, Malvern: “I wouldn't want to see the quarry blocked off or drained, it's a beautiful place and would spoil it for people who are responsible.”

Archie Byard, Malvern: “Dredge it, its simple. No water, no drownings - enough is enough.”

Pete, Malvern: “Drain it, or put high fencing all around it.”

Demi, Worcester: “I personally knew Russ and know that this amazing lad did not deserve his life being taken away by such a horrific tragedy. He didn’t even get to reach 18. Rip. And the second death in a week. Surely that proves that the quarry will keep taking lives, something needs to be done about this before more innocent lives get ruined and more hearts get broken.”

Beth, Worcester: “The quarry should be closed down full stop. RIP Russell.”

Ellie Provins, Upton-upon-Severn: “I think the quarry should be drained and shut off.”

Charlie, Worcester: “The quarry is a wonderful place and is very much apart of the scenic views. At the end of the day it isn't a public swimming pool and more should be done to warn people of the evident danger. There are plenty of places to swim in which are safe, the quarries for one are clearly not and people should have the common sense to not mess about near them.”

Emma, Malvern: “In my opinion I think that the quarry should be left as the beauty spot that its thought as. It is the fourth death in 2 decades, and people know the dangers of wild swimming and they choose to still swim. Don't ruin it everyone who loves to view Malvern's beauty.”

Lindsey Jones, Castlemorton: “The quarry should be filled in. It is too dangerous and people just ignore the warning signs.”

Andrew, Malvern: “Nothing needs to be done to gullet quarry, it is people that need to change and respect the warnings and reputation of the water. I feel for the family's that have suffered loss and for the emergency services that have to deal with the recovery, but while the water looks inviting it is incredibly dangerous, cold and deep. Most people have never been swimming where they can't touch the bottom and when they get to the layer of water below the warm surface area the temperature drops dramatically and causes involuntary gasping. The Gullet is a now beautiful place left over from quarrying, But it is not and never has been a safe place to swim. No one is to blame here, it is a tragic accident.”

Jen Smith, Malvern: “It should be drained and yes its a beauty spot but we have a lot of them and if the council can build on the fields and parks then losing this death trap is the only option.”

Sharon Rowberry, Upton-upon-Severn: “Leave the quarry exactly as it is, improve signs, you can't stop people doing stupid things they die in rivers and the sea and we don't drain them or fence them off.”

N Walters, Malvern: “While I understand the 'what if' sentiments of the families and friends who are grieving, this is no reason to ruin such a beautiful area that we are very lucky to have and that people visit from far and wide. We have to accept that people will always seek out water in hot weather, so rather than prevent access or destroy this area, make a special feature of it, which would cost a lot less. Lifesaving floats should be provided along with the warning signs about the water temp and swimming, as is standard practice beside most rivers, lakes and coast, also lifeguard/attendants could be on site between 10 am to 6 pm during periods of warmer weather. Perhaps an arrangement with the splash or FRS to provide suitably trained staff when required, may be an option? If managed properly, this could easily pay for itself through parking fees and possibly selling refreshments during the summer months. So come on Conservators, while these recent tragic events require that you must co nsider ways to improve safety, as "Just don't do it" obviously isn't working, you also have a duty to allow people to enjoy this unique area of outstanding beauty.”

Emma Judson, Malvern: “Gullet Quarry should be made as safe as is possible for people to swim in - there are not nearly enough places for people to swim outdoors in summer and this is partly what leads people to choose dangerous places. If the REAL risks of open water or 'wild' swimming were made clear to people, and it were made clearer that they swim at their own risk, people would be safer than they currently are. Filling in or draining Gullet Quarry would be hugely expensive - when it COULD be made a revenue earning attraction to the Malvern hills with very little financial outlay and a bit of common sense. Provide easy and safe access to replace the current scramble down a shaley landslipping steep and narrow path - which would provide much easier access for emergency services. Provide a notice board that clearly explains the dangers of submerged rocks and swimming in cold water, and swimming out of ones depth. Provide a life guard service during summer months. Reinstate free carparking, thereby stopping the blocking of the approach road.

Remove any submerged machinery (if there is any!) Considering the inherent dangers not just of swimming in natural pools and in un-monitored locations but also the dangers of the access to Gullet Quarry and the cliffs people insist on diving off, it is actually testament to how SAFE gullet quarry really IS, that ONLY 4 people have died in 20 years. Thats 4 out of (at a rough estimate!) 112'000 people - very roughly, thats a 0.04% chance of dying at Gullet Quarry! Put into perspective the risk of dying on the M5, which has for sure killed more people in one year than Gullet Quarry has in 20, surely the concept of filling in or draining Gullet Quarry becomes evidently knee-jerk and foolish reaction! We will never completely render any outdoor (and many indoor) activities 100% safe, all we can do is address the obvious issues, and keep people accurately informed as to the risks, should they choose to take them (and as far as I am aware, none of the deaths were people UNaware of these risks!)”

Jordan Barry, St Peter’s, Worcester: “Drain it or fill it in Asap before more Pointless deaths occur R.I.P”

Keith C, Malvern: “You will never stop people swimming in there. It’s a beauty spot. Needs to be filled in to make it shallower or filled in full stop. But it is also a wildlife haven for thousands of crayfish and some rather large fish. So it’s a difficult one to decide.”

Aaron Whittaker: “I think the quarry should be drained because more lives will be taken. If a fence is put up people will just jump the fence and still go in the quarry and it won't solve anything.”

Loukay, Malvern: “I have lived in Malvern all my life. The Quarry has been there before any of us. It should be drained, cleared of rubbish and weeds and then left to refill from the springs. There should a safe swimming area sectioned off and an annual maintenance contract. Just before the hot weather each year it should be cleared of dangerous objects and reeds. why should we lose an area of outstanding natural beauty because of peoples inability to adhere to warnings.”

Danny Start, Worcester: “Stop asking the general public "What should be done?" We have no facts or knowledge to make any sound judgment at this time. Leave it to the authorities. Stop trying to incite commotion, drama and knee jerk decisions.

Kirsty Freeman, Worcester: “The quarry should be shut off from everyone! Should be drained, or whatever to stop people from going there, everyone clearly know it is not a safe place to be due to many deaths that have occurred.”

Parker, Malvern: “Isn't it about time that such tragedies as the death of this young man and that of another person tonight are attributed to HUMAN ERROR on the part of the deceased...they CHOSE to ignore the very clear warning signs and have sadly paid the highest price for their stupidity. The quarry should NOT be filled in, people should stop taking risks when they are fooilsih and irresponsible and put other lives at risk when a catastrophe occurs.”

Naomi Withey, Worcester: “It needs to be shut down!!! Or at least make people more aware it’s not for swimming.”

Michelle Portman, Worcester: “Why wait until the 4-5th death to happen before debating about the quarry to be shut down? And not after the 1st? People make the choice to jump in and ignore the warning signs! Why spite us who go up there with families for a day out with a picnic to enjoy the weather and the beautiful place for the sake of idiots whose choice it is to jump in and risk their lives.”

Emily Dickenson, Worcestershire: “I have never been so bemused as I have over the last week. How can anybody consider any other option than filling/draining the quarry. Two people have died within a week. People clearly haven't read the signs but that doesnt mean they deserve to die. Please don't let anybody else die because of sinethung that can ve stopped.”

Andrew Brown, Worcester: “This is a matter of adults choosing to take risks despite the known lethality of the site. The signs make it obvious. Danger and sensation are intoxicating to the young and wild places to swim attract many of all ages. Children seem to be the ones less prone to jump into such places, they tend to be more sensible. Fencing it will produce an added challenge, to break in for a swim as well as an ugly eyesore, draining it seems a complex challenge. People will swim and drown and nothing can be done.”

Kerry-Ann Hadley, Worcester: “Why should the quarry be shut down its a beautiful place, a part of nature because of stupid irresponsible people jumping in there? There is warning signs all around warning not to jump in? But yet people still do? They're risking their own lives, they make the choice to put themselves in the situation by getting in!! The quarry is a beautiful place for those of us who use it sensibly for a walk, or a picnic etc.. Why should we suffer for the sake of those who jump in?”

Lorna Connolly, Worcester: “Dye the water at the quarry to discourage people from entering - has been successful in other areas. Anything to stop these tragic accidents!”

Rebecca, Pershore: “I think it's ridiculous that it needs people views on what to do about the quarry. It's pretty clear what needs to be done and it should happen as soon as possible. Warning signs aren't going to stop young teenagers from jumping/swimming as they seem to think 'it won't happen to me'. To stop these deaths the quarry needs to be drained. This quarry should be drained and made into something useful e.g water park for families/young people to enjoy themselves without having the risks of death.”

Poppy, Malvern: “Two deaths now. Something needs to be done now.”

Alexandra, Worcester: “The quarry needs to drained, beautiful scenery or not!!! We don't want anymore deaths. If there was a fence surrounding it, some how people would get in, always do.”

Taylor Wagstaff, Worcester: “The quarry should be drained. Money should not be a concern, when the main concern is peoples lives are being ended. It's the fact they are only young and have their lives ahead of them. putting a fence up isn't going to do anything, if people ignore the signs, they’re going to ignore the fence. drain the quarry!”

James, Redditch: “Whilst it's tragic what has happened, more needs to be done to alert people of the dangers. I have swum at Gullet Quarry for many years without incident... because I'm aware of the risks. Unfortunately in recent years it's become plagued by drunken idiots who have no idea how cold the deeper water is, jump off the cliffs, go into shock and never resurface. I've seen a lot of near misses where people have nearly drowned from the shock of the cold water, or they've jumped from the cliff and immediately got into difficulty because they are poor swimmers.

If anything should be done, it should be installing some life saving aids, and perhaps properly fencing off the section where people jump off (although I don't agree with this). More signage would help too. Anyway - heart goes out to the families of all who have been lost here. Sadly I feel they won't be the last after the kind of behaviour I witnessed last weekend.”

Steve Swales, St John’s: “The death is very sad. Better signage should be installed but at the end of the day people are responsible for their own actions. If they choose to ignore warning signs that is their perogative.”

Janet Wiggins, Upton-upon-Severn: “Dye the water a horrible colour and fence it all off , prosecute anyone found swimming in there, more police presence.”

Boz, Worcester: “Fence it off before someone else dies. Think the signs are a complete waste of time as they are being ignored.”

Mark, Kempsey: “Leave Gullet Quarry exactly as it is. It's not the quarry that's the problem it's people disregarding the warning signs. You can't make everything 'safe' and people need to learn that any outdoor environment has it's dangers. A second death today just goes to show how stupid people can be.”

Emily, Worcester: “ I think the quarry should be filled in as fencing it off will make no difference as someone will always find a way in.

Caitlin O’Callaghan, Worcester: “ Should we fill in rivers and lakes too because people know the dangers and choose to ignore them? They are tragic accidents but completely preventable. Can’t save people from themselves unfortunately, if they aren't jumping in the quarry they will go somewhere else and ignore warnings, a kid was dragged out of the river in Evesham today too. Can’t get rid of every danger, people need to use common sense too.”

Hannah Blizzard: “Gullet Quarry should be filled in.”

Jordan, Worcester: “The quarry needs to be drained or filled in. Russ was my close friend, its torn everyone apart losing him. We cannot keep losing precious lives in this death trap. Clearly signs won’t work. Fencing could make it more dangerous. People aren’t learning. Rather lose a quarry than yet another innocent life.”

Ellie Martin, Upton-upon-Severn: “The quarry is an attraction for many ABLE swimmers and tourists, why should immature children who cannot make responsible decisions take this away from us? It's only as dangerous as you make it, DO NOT take such a beautiful attraction away from us.”

Jack, Malvern: “Such a beautiful and historic place as Gullet Quarry should not be filled or fenced due to the sheer stupidity and ignorance of people choosing to swim in there, if they choose to take their life in there own hands then then so be it.”

Luke, Malvern: “I think there should be a barrier in the water so it stops people from going into the deep and dangerous bits of the quarry.”

Neil, Worcester: “I think the quarry should be fenced off so no one can swim in it but can still go for a walk around the area.”

Aaron, Malvern: “Too many people have died in the quarry, some action needs to be done fast before more innocent lives get taken away!!”

Amy Edwards: “Russell was my brother in law and I believe that the quarry should be drained and filled so that people are unable to swim in it ever again. I think that the loss of now two people should show to the council or whoever owns the land to do something to make a difference so that no other lives are lost. I think it's ridiculous that they didn't do something after Russell lost his life, how many more tragedies are going to happen until someone takes notice and does something about this dangerous quarry?!”

Jessie Sherriff, Worcester: “Personally I think the quarry should be gotten rid of and to build an outside swimming pool somewhere as that's the reason people go to the quarry in the first place.”

Sam, Malvern: “It needs to be closed down!!”

Anon, Malvern: “After a recent tragic life loss a week a go and a possible one today, immediate action should be taken. Shutting it off may not be enough, it should be filled or drained as sadly people may still swim in the water leading to more devastation.”

Maisie Sherriff, Worcester: “The Gullet quarry should be fenced off, drained or filled in if that possible. Too many inecent lives have been taken at the place and something needs to be done and fast!!”

Jordan Brant: “Shut it down before any more lives are taken.”

Soph Jones, Malvern: “Get this dangerous place shut down and filled in! A few metal signs will not stop people! It is taking lives!”

Sharney, Worcester: “It should be closed off so there is no access or lifeguards there on summer days.”

Liam Almond, Fromes Hill, Ledbury: “Due to the nature of the area being an area of outstanding natural beauty there are certain things that should not be done, a large fence, however functional it may be to stop people going into the quarry will ruin the landscape. Permanent draining of the quarry would require lots of geological involvement as the quarry is filled naturally by being below the water table, so unless it is pumped continuously or drained from the base it is unrealistic to maintain. A potential option that would work towards making the quarry safer, without damaging the beauty of the area, would be to temporarily drain the quarry and remove any debris that is within the water that could cause potential harm and any ledges in the rock face be removed so to reduce the risk of being caught under overhanging rocks. I think however the main most cost beneficial method is to increase awareness, increase the amount of signs warning people about the dangers of swimming in deep waters, as it is common sense, not to go swimming in a disused quarry that has a history of fatalities. My thoughts go out to the family and friends of those who have died at Gullet quarry, and i hope a method to make things safer is explored and put into place as soon as possible.”

Sally O'Reilly, Worcester: “Isn't it obvious the quarry should be shut off. How many more teenagers will die before something is done? It's disgusting its still accessible now. Counsellors be it on your head any other death that occurs from now. Have you got teenagers? Will they tell you if they go there? Probably not! Lets just hope none of us ever get that shattering phone call like the large amount of poor parents over the years. Close it now.”

Sarah, Malvern: “The quarry should be drained and filled in as this is going to continue happening. How many more lives must be lost for something to be done!?”

Peter Vaughan, Longley Green: “The solution is so simple - just erect a high mesh fence around the quarry, so high, no one can climb over. Put barbed wire on the top too. If this is too costly then be prepared for more deaths. You cannot stop idiots in many places if they are determined to break the law - complete safety is impossible.”

Julie Patricia Weeks: “Please don't fence it off... it is a beautiful location which everyone should be able to enjoy. It is very tragic this young lad died, very tragic. But there are plenty of warning signs and commonsense should prevail. People should not swim there....”

Shirley, Worcester: “Certain roads in France have life-sized wooden silhouettes posted along the side of them, indicating the number of people killed in accidents there. It is a stark reminder of our mortality. Perhaps a similar, graphic reminder of past deaths could be erected, alongside a roll-call of the dates of the accidents with the names and ages of the victims would serve as a warning.“ Emma Shibli, Newent: “This is such a difficult issue. Gullet Quarry is one of the loveliest places to swim and generations of young people have had some of the best times of their lives there, including the young men who have died. I was there yesterday and, until the dreadful moment when the boy was lost, it was a scene of absolute happiness and camaraderie between young people of different nationalities. At the risk of sounding horribly insensitive I would query whether a life well lived isn't also a life which includes some risk? And especially so if you seek fun and adventure which is part of being young. Just as we give young people the tools to manage the risks associated with other activities such as driving and cycling, should we not also instill in them the ways in which you deal with the risk of open water- because it will always be fascinating to adventurous people looking for fun. There is no easy answer and I don't pretend to know what should be done. With my deepest condolences to those who have lost these precious boys.”

Comments (2)

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10:08am Wed 17 Jul 13

Andy-Apache says...

Interesting how a couple of readers have just cut and pasted each other's response. Or is this a bit of 'editorial'?

Step forward 'Sara from pershore' and 'Ron Saunders'
Interesting how a couple of readers have just cut and pasted each other's response. Or is this a bit of 'editorial'? Step forward 'Sara from pershore' and 'Ron Saunders' Andy-Apache
  • Score: 0

5:57pm Wed 17 Jul 13

Geep says...

Don't really see any reason to close the Gullet. Anymore than fencing off the Severn/Teme, motorways or the sea.
There are warning signs, if people choose to ignore them...
Don't really see any reason to close the Gullet. Anymore than fencing off the Severn/Teme, motorways or the sea. There are warning signs, if people choose to ignore them... Geep
  • Score: 0

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