The Shaft was a very popular diving hole during the late 1960's and early 1970's, before it was closed in 1973 after four divers died there under very dramatic circumstances. The resultant public outcry was the major reason for the formation of the CDAA, which sought to self-regulate cave diving before the Government banned it. Sporadic unofficial and official attempts at renewing access occurred during the next decade however all formal negotiations broke down in the early 1980's.
In late 1983, with the successful completion of the first CDAA Research Group project in Kilsbys Hole, it was felt that this report, plus an offer to produce photos and models of The Shaft, might help with renewed access negotiations. After some very lengthy and complex negotiations the mapping project was finally approved and it was completed successfully in 1984. At the completion of the project, a number of the divers were on good terms with the owners, and were subsequently invited to bring others onto the property to dive The Shaft. These "guides" agreed to form a group to organise schedules and set diving standards so that all qualified CDAA members could visit the site.