QUODCUMQUE  FACIENDUM : NIMIS  FACIEMUS

Editorial

Membership List

November is, of course, the month in which the club’s annual
membership list is published and in the event it turns out to be the biggest
list ever, with 224 names.  We seem to
have stopped the rot which happened when the sub was suddenly doubled to catch
up with inflation and are back to our steady turnover of twenty members per
year.  It is hoped, however, that the
committee have learned the lesson as to what happens when the sub is shifted
upwards by what turned out to be too large a step for many members to take.

Affiliation

The committee has been charged by the A.G.M. to look into
the possibility of allowing school caving groups to become affiliated to the
B.E.C.

The reasons behind the resolution which was proposed by Dave
Irwin (who is secretary of the Council of Southern Caving Clubs) was that the
Somerset Local Education Authority felt that the B.A.C.I. scheme for cave
leadership was probably beyond the ability of many of its teachers and that the
C.S.C.C. scheme – ‘Caving for Beginners’ – was too informal.  They suggested some sort of compromise on the
understanding that, if C.S.C.C. was not willing to look into such a compromise,
then the Somerset L.E.A. would be forced to run an entirely independent scheme.

Unfortunately, there are aspects of caving which cannot be
ignored however much somebody may decide to ‘go it alone’.  No one, for instance, would expect the M.R.O.
to refuse to rescue people who refused to comply with the C.S.C.C. recommendations
on novice training.  Since we are all
involved with M.R.O. when required, we may feel that we cannot entirely ignore
an ‘outside’ body like the local L.E.A.

Thus, C.S.C.C. will, no doubt, find a compromise which is
acceptable to both sides – although not quite what either side would really
like.  This compromise will undoubtedly
involve the use of caving clubs – a point on which C.S.C.C. will probably
insist.  Hence, Dave Irwin’s resolution.

The scheme, of course, will not stand or fall by what the
B.E.C. decides to do.  The Wessex, for
example, already have an affiliation scheme and would be able to take part
without any change to their constitution or rules, thus C.S.C.C. would be able
at once to steer any school caving groups towards the Wessex.  The question, as far as we are concerned, is
whether we want the B.E.C to become involved or not.

The reason for spelling all this out at some length is
because strong feelings were shown at the A.G.M. both for and against the
idea.  Of the 34 members who voted at
all, ten of these were so strongly against the idea that they did not even wish
the committee to consider it.  A further
ten were so strongly in favour that they said they would be happy for the
committee to act without consulting them again. The remaining 24 said that they would not mind the committee looking
into it, and would make up their minds when the committee had produced its
findings.

As far as can be shown, the committee have no strong
feelings, and are probably amongst the 24 who wanted to see what was being
proposed.  Under these circumstances it
would be a good thing if those who hold strong views used the B.B. to let
others know their reasons, so that the club and the committee may get a better
idea of what the thinking is on this subject. The editor is prepared to accept nom de plume providing that the author
gives his real name to the editor.

“Alfie”


 


Bristol

Exploration Club – Membership List October 1975

828

Nicolette Abell

Ardtraskart,

Greenway Lane,
Bath

741

J.M. Bacon


12 Marine Road
, Pensarn, Abergele,

Wales

20 L

Bob Bagshaw


699 Wells Road
, Knowle,
Bristol,
Avon

392 L

Mike Baker

22 Riverside Walk, Midsomer Norton,
Bath,
Avon

856

M.D. Barker

Hunters Lodge,

4 Heath
Road
, Pamber Heath, Nr. Basingstoke, Hants

295

Arthur Ball


4 Charlotte Street
, Cheadle,

Cheshire

617

R. Bater

4 Butterfield Close, westbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

618

Mrs Bater

4 Butterfield Close, westbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

818

Chris Batstone


8 Prospect Place
, Bathford,
Bath,
Avon

390 L

Joan Bennett


8 Radnor Road
, Wesbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

214 L

Roy Bennett


8 Radnor Road
, Wesbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

860

Glenys Beszant


190 Hinkler Road
, Thornhill, Southampton.

731

Bob Bidmead


63 Cassell Road
, Fishponds,

Bristol

720

Martin Bishop

Bishops Cottage, Priddy

734

E. Bishop

Bishops Cottage, Priddy

364 L

P. Blogg


5 Tyrolean Court
, Cheviot Close, Avenue Road, Banstead,
Surrey

336 L

Alan Bonner

Crags Farm Close, Little Broughton, Cokermouth,

Cumberland

145 L

Sybil Bowden-Lyle

9 Beverley Close,
Crithill
Park, Frome,

Somerset

751 L

T.A. Brookes


87 Wyatt Road,
London
, SW2

707

R. Brown

Cranleigh Gardns,
Luton, Beds.

732

Mrs Brown

Cranleigh Gardns,
Luton, Beds.

687

Viv Brown


3 Cross Street
, Kingswood,

Bristol

819

G. Buckham


13 Grosvenor Place,
London
Road,

Bath

756

Tessa Burt


66 Roundwood Lane
, Harpendon, Herts.

849

Alan Butcher

Address to follow

777

Ian Calder

Plas Pencelli, Pencelli, Brecon

778

Penelope Calder

Plas Pencelli, Pencelli, Brecon

679

R. Chandler

6 Blackcap close,
Southgate, Crawley,
West Sussex

785

Paul Christie

67 Keswick Driove, Lightwater,
Surrey

655

Colin Clark


186 Cranbrook Road
, Redland,

Bristol

211 L

Clare Coase

5
Mandalay Flats,

10 Elsiemer Street
, Long Jetty, N.S.W.
2262,

Australia

780

J. Coleman

Little Green, Bunwell,

Norfolk

89 L

Alfie Collins

Lavendar Cottage, Bishop Sutton, Nr Bristol,

Somerset

821

J, Cooke

Lancaster house, Tondu, Nr.
Bridgend,
S. Wales

377 L

D. Cooke-Yarborough

Lot
11 McKay Crescent,
Orange,
New South Wales,
Australia

585

Tony Corrigan

48a

Talbot Road
,
Knowle,

Bristol
4

827

Mike Cowlishaw

Hilston,
Cleveland Walk,

Bath

858

S. Craig


49 Stepney Drive
, Southcote Reading

680

Bob Cross


42 Bayham Road
, Knowle,

Bristol

609

I.M. Daniels

Handsworth, Pilgrims way, Chilham,

Canterbury,
Kent

405 L

Frank Darbon


PO Box 325,
Vernon,
British
Columbia
,
Canada

423 L

Len Dawes


223 Southwark Park Road
, Bermondsey,

London
,
SE10

449

Garth Dell


5 Hillground Road
, Withywood,

Bristol

815

J. Dibben


17 Nevill Road
, Bramshall, Stockport,

Cheshire

710

Colin Dooley


51 Osmaston Road
, Harbourne,

Birmingham
7

829

Angela Dooley


51 Osmaston Road
, Harbourne,

Birmingham
7

164 L

Ken Dobbs


85 Fox Rd.
, Beacon Heath,
Exeter,
Devon

830

John Dukes


4 Springford Crescent
, Lordswood, Southampton

847

Michael Durham


11 Catherine Place,
Bath

812

S. Durston

7 Estuary Park, Combwich, Bridgwater,

Somerset

779

Jim Durston

7 Estuary Park, Combwich, Bridgwater,

Somerset

771

P. Eckford

80
Wilton
Gardens, Shirley,
Southampton

322 L

Bryan Ellis


7 School Lane
, Combwich, Bridgwater,

Somerset

232

C. Falshaw


23 Hallam Grange Crescent
,
Sheffield

831

R.J. Fisher


19 Alma Road
, Portswood,
Southampton

269 L

Tom Fletcher


11 Cow Lane
, Bramcote,
Nottingham.

783

D. Foxwell


87 Okebourne Road
, Brentry,

Bristol

404 L

Albert Francis


22 Hervey Road
, Wells,

Somerset

569

Joyce Franklin


12 Avon Way
, Portishead,

Bristol

469

Pete Franklin


12 Avon Way
, Portishead,

Bristol

468

Keith Franklin

Address to follow

765

R.T. Gage


36 Woodland Road
, Nailsea,

Bristol

759

C. Gage


36 Woodland Road
, Nailsea,

Bristol

835

Leonard Gee

15
Warren Close,
Denton,

Manchester

265

Stan Gee


26 Parsonage Street
, Heaton Norris,
Stockport.

836

Bob Givens

Newstead Lodge, 1 Fields Green,

Crawley,
Sussex

459

Keith Gladman


29 Sheffield Road
, Brentwood,
Essex

752

E.M. Glanville

Jocelyn House Mews, Chard, Somerset

790

Martin Grass


14 Westlea Road
, Wormley, Broxbourne, Herts

582

Chris Hall

2 Upper Radford, Paulton,

Bristol

432 L

Nigel Hallet


144 Stockwood Road,
Bristol
4

104 L

Mervyn Hannam


14 Inskip Place
, St Annes,
Lancashire

304 L

C.W. Harris

The Diocesan Registry, Wells,

Somerset

581

Chris Harvey

Byways,

Hanham Lane
,
Paulton, Nr. Bristol

4 L

Dan Hassell

Hill House, Moorlynch, Bridgwater,

Somerset

866

A.P. Hicks

3 Regency Drive, Brislington,

Bristol

857

M. Henderson


28 Newgreens Avenue
, St.Albans, Herts.

773

Rodney Hobbs

Rose Cottage, Nailsea

373

Sid Hobbs

Hokerstone Cottage, Townsend, Priddy

736

Sylvia Hobbs

Hokerstone Cottage, Townsend, Priddy

793

Mike Hogg

32 Birchley Heath,
Nuneaton, Warks

833

J.H. Hookings


32 Churchill Road
, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Worcs.

387 L

George Honey

Droppsta, 19044,

Odensala,
Sweden

770

C. Howell


131 Sandford Road
, Edgebaston,

Birmingham

631

P. Hudson

22
Glantawe
Park Estate,

Wind Road
, Ystradgynlais,

Wales

855

Ted Humphreys

9 Mounters Close, Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset

808

J.A. Hunt


35 Conygre Road
, Filton,

Bristol

97

J. Ifold

5

Rushgrove
Gardens
, Bishop Sutton,
Nr. Bristol

150

P. Ifold

The Cedars, Blackford, Nr. Wedmore, Cheddar

363

Maurise Iles

Waterworks Cottage, Gurmney Slade,

Bath

73

Angus Innes

18 David’s Close, Alveston,

Bristol
,
Aven

168

Margaret Innes

18 David’s Close, Alveston,

Bristol
,
Aven

540 L

Dave Irwin

Townsend Cottage, Townsend, Priddy,

Somerset

753

N. Jago


27 Quantock Road
, Windmill Hill,

Bristol
3

792

Ken James


5 Bay Tree Road
,
Weston-super-Mare

814

M. Jarrett

12 Edgecombe Hill, Hall Green,

Birmingham

51 L

A Johnson

Warren Cottage,

Station
Rd.
, Flax Bourton,

Bristol

560 L

Frank Jones

8
York
Gardens,
Clifton,

Bristol
8

438

Mrs. P. Jones


50 Louisville
Avenue
,
Aberdeen

285

U. Jones

Marsh Farm, Askem in Furness, Lancs.

567 L

Alan Kennett

92 West Broadway, Henleaze,

Bristol

316 L

Kangy King

22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch,
Bristol,
Avon

542 L

Phil Kingston


257 Pemona Street,
Invercargill,
New Zealand

413 L

R. Kitchen

Overcombe, Horrabridge, Yelverton,
Devon

811

D. Knowles


35 North Road
, Watleys End, Winterbourne,

Bristol

667 L

Tim Large


15 Kippax Avenue
, Wells

795

Peter Leigh

Address unknown

656

P. Littlewood


22 Brockhurst Avenue
, Burbage, Hankley, Leics.

657

Mrs Littlewood


22 Brockhurst Avenue
, Burbage, Hankley, Leics

846

I.

Livermore

9 Leystone, Close, Frome,

Somerset

574 L

Oliver Lloyd

Withey House, Withey Close West, Westbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

58

George Lucy

Pike Croft, Long Lane, Tilehurst,

Reading
,
Berks

495 L

Val Luckwill


8 Greenslade Road
, Sedgeley hill, Dudley, Worcs.

848

T.A. McDonagh

Poole Meadow, West End,

Gloucester

838

D. McFarlane

24
Greenbank
Gardens, Wallington,
Fareham,
Hants.

550 L

R A MacGregor

12 Douro Close, Baughurst,
Basingstoke,
Hants

591

J. Manchip

Orwell Terrace, Edinburgh

845

A. Marchant

Manor Farm Cottage, Chilcote, Wells

788

I.K. Marshall


4 Kings Drive
, Bishopston,

Bristol

662

I.

Marshall

7 Fairacre Close, Lockleaze,

Bristol

106 L

E.J. Mason


33 Broadleys Avenue
, Henleaze,

Bristol

558 L

Tony Meaden

Highcroft, Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset

704

D. Metcalf


52 Northfield Road,
Peterborough
. Northants.

308

K. Murray

17
Harrington
Gardens,

London
SW7

794

A. Nichols

Address to follow

852

John Noble

15 Nash Close, Keynsham,

Bristol

842

M. O’Niell

21 Wickford, Drive, Harrow Hill, Romford,
Essex

624

J. Orr

Flat 2, Dorset House,
Basingstoke
District
Hospital,
Basingstoke, Hants

798

P.A. Palfree

10 Maynard, Clutton, Nr. Bristol

557

D. Palmer


29 St. John Road
, Wesley,

Bristol
3

396 L

Mike Palmer


27 Roman Way
, Paulton, Nr. Bristol

637

A. Pearce


5 Colmer Road
, Yeovil,

Somerset

22 L

Les Peters


21 Melbury Rd.
,
Knowle
Park,
Bristol
Avon

160

Norman Petty


Bankside Road
, Brislington,

Bristol

499 L

Tony Philpott


3 Kings Drive
, Bishopston,
Bristol,
Avon

724

Graham Phippen

Rock Cottage,

Rock Road
,
Wick,

Bristol

820

P. Preece


20 Belvedere Road
, Moortown,
Leeds 17

337

Brian Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Wells,

Somerset

622

Colin Priddle

10 Franklyn Flats,

Kopje
Road
,
Gwelo,
Rhodesia

481 L

John Ransom


21 Bradley Rd.
, Patchway,
Bristol,
Avon

452 L

Pam Rees

Address unknown

343 L

A Rich


Box 126,
Basham,
Alberta
Canada

672 L

R Richards


PO Box 141
, Jacobs,

Natal,
South Africa

844

J. Ridler

Beck Hall,

16/26 Sketty
Road
, Uplands,

Swansea

682

J. Riley


67 Alfred Hill Drive
, Melba,

Canberra,
Australia

712

Mrs Riley


67 Alfred Hill Drive
, Melba,

Canberra,
Australia

787

I.P. Rogers

56 Charlton lane, Brentry,

Bristol

816

P.G. Rodgers

56 Charlton lane, Brentry,

Bristol

832

Roger Sabido


1 Longmead Avenue
, Hoefield,

Bristol
7

240 L

Alan Sandall


43 Meadway Ave.
, Nailsea,
Avon

359 L

Carol Sandall


43 Meadway Ave.
, Nailsea,
Avon

747

D.R. Sanderson

23

Penzance
Gardens
, Harold Hill,
Romford

237 L

B. Scott

Merrymead,

Havestock Road,
Winchester
Hants

577

Dave Searle


14 Silver Street
, Midsomer Norton,

Bath

578

Kathy Searle


14 Silver Street
, Midsomer Norton,

Bath

482

Gordon Selby


2 Dodd Avenue
, Wells,

Somerset

78 L

R.A. Setterington


4 Galmington Lane,
Taunton
, Somerset

213 L

R. Setterington


4 Cavendish Road
, Chiswick,

London
W4

839

A.O. Sharp

Address to follow.

789

N.K. Shaw

Queens Head Walk, Wormley,
Broxbourne, Herts

 

C. Shaw

Queens Head Walk, Wormley,
Broxbourne, Herts

764

M.B. Slade


230 Southampton Road,
Reading
, Berks.

473

Dave Smith


14 Severn Way
, Tilehurst,

Reading
,
Berks.

823

Andy Sparrow

6 Downsway,

Salisbury
,
Wilts

276

J.M. Stafford

Back Plaidy, King Edward, Nr Turriff,

Aberdeen
.

1 L

Harry Stanbury


31 Belvoir Road
, St. Andrews,

Bristol

38L

Mrs I Stanbury

74 Redcatch, Knowle,

Bristol

840

G. Standring


71 Vienna Road
, Edgeley, Stockport,

Chester

575 L

D. Statham

The Bungallow, North Barrow, Yeovil,

Somerset

365 L

Roger Stenner


38 Paulton Road,
Victoria
Park,

Bristol
3

381 L

Daphne Stenner

Address unknown

837

Richard Stevenson

Greystones, Priddy

865

Paul Stokes


32 Manor Way
, Bagshot,
Surrey

572

P. Sutton

75 Brendon, Yate,

Bristol

826

J.G. Talbot


52 Galley Lane
, Barnet, Herts.

583

Derek Targett

16 Phyllis Hill, Midsomer Norton

800

M.D. Taylor


15 Kennington Avenue
, Bishopston,

Bristol

772

Nigel Taylor

Whidden Farm, Chilcote, Nr. Wells,

Somerset

284 L

Allan Thomas

Allens House,

Nine Barrows
Lane
, Priddy,

Somerset

348 L

D Thomas

Lower Lodge, Bartlestree,

Hereford

571 L

N Thomas

Holly Lodge,

Norwich Rd.
,
Salhouse,
Norwich,

Norfolk
.

711

M. Thomas


5 Woolcot St.
Redland,

Bristol
6

699

Buckett Tilbury


256 Cressex Road
,
High Wycombe, Bucks

700

Anne Tilbury


256 Cressex Road
,
High Wycombe, Bucks

692

Roger Toms


18 Hoton Road
, Wysemold, Leicester

803

R.S. Toms


18 Hoton Road
, Wysemold, Leicester

80

J.M. Postle Tompsett


11 Lodge Avenue
, Great Baddow,
Chelmsford,
Essex

74 L

M.J. Dizzie Tompsett


11 Lodge Avenue
, Great Baddow,
Chelmsford,
Essex

544

Phil Townsend

20 Lime Close, Prestbury.
Cheltenham,
Glos.

157 L

Jill Tuck

48 Wiston Path,

Fairwater
Way
, Cwmbran, Gwent,

Wales

328

Steve Tuck

3 Colles Close, Wells, Somerset

768

Tony Tucker

Address to follow

769

Sue Tucker

Address to follow

678

Dave Turner

Moonrakers,

Brewery Lane
,
Holcombe,

Bath

646

P. Turner


11 Harper Court
, Honnington, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire

843

M.F. Turley

13 Cresham Walk, Tilgate,

Crawley,
Sussex

635 L

S. Tuttlebury


28 Butts Road,
Alton
, Hants.

775

J. Upsall

Gable End, The Flying Horseshoe, Clapham,
Lancashire

776

Mrs Upsall

Gable End, The Flying Horseshoe, Clapham,
Lancashire

175 L

Mrs D. Waddon

32 Laxton Close,
Taunton,

Somerset

592

Eddie Welch


18 Station Road
, Filton,

Bristol

397

Mike Wheadon

91 The Oval,

Bath

861

Maureen Wheadon

91 The Oval,

Bath

817

C.D. Wheeler


13 Greywell Avenue
, Aldermoor, Southampton

553

Bob White

Address to follow

559

Barry Wilton


27 Venus Lane
, Clutton,

Bristol

568

Brenda Wilton


27 Venus Lane
, Clutton,

Bristol

721

Graham Wilton-Jones

Ileana,

Stenfield Road
,
Nap Hill,
High Wycombe, Bucks

850

Annie Wilton-Jones


6 Meadow Road
, Withyall,

Birmingham

813

Ian Wilton-Jones


6 Meadow Road
, Withyall,

Birmingham

594

P. Wilkins

55

Eighth Avenue
,
Northville,

Bristol

549

Alan Williams

Address not known

841

C.K. Williams

Whitestown Farm, Cheddar Cross Roads,
Compton Martin,

Bristol

738

R.F. Wing

Penzance
Gardens, Harold Hill,
Romford,
Essex

859

J, Widley

15 Nash Close, Keynsham,

Bristol

853

D.Wiltshire


31 Bath Road
, Keynsham,

Bristol

 

Note: Any member who knows any of the following omissions
from the list above will greatly oblige all concerned if they could please
supply any missing information.

Keith Franklin’s address.
Pete Hamm’s address.
Dr.A. Hicks’s membership number.
P.Leigh’s address.
Andy Nichols’s address.
Pam Rees’s address.
Tony Sharp’s address.
Daphne Stenner’s address. 
P. Stokes’s membership number
Doug Stuckey’s address.
The Tuckers’ address
Bob White’s address
A. Williams’s address

And who has the membership 854 ?

 

Down the Chute

A Novice’s First Trip – by Annie Wilton-Jones.

It is pleasant to welcome the
newest member of the Wilton-Jones clan to the pages of the B.B.  Not only do they all cave, but they write
about it as well!

The Chute

Caving was a completely new experience to me, and the nearer
we got to Cwm Dwr, the entrance which was to lead us into Ogof Ffynon Ddu, the
more nervous I felt.  My first sight of
the entrance confirmed my worst fears.  A
tiny metal door opened to reveal a concrete tube leading almost vertically
downwards.  I stared at this chute in
horror as the first three in the party disappeared down it.  Me next! My face was white; my stomach knotted in terror, but I couldn’t back out
now!  I slid down the chute into the
blackness and reached a narrow gap through which the head of one of the group
was passing.  (Why didn’t I stick to my
diet?).  Now the passage opened and I
relaxed before the next hazard.

The Crawls

We appeared to have reached an impasse.  Where could we go?  Oh, no! Not into that tiny hole there!  But
next moment, there I was, flat on my stomach, starting an apparently
never-ending slither along a tunnel just wide enough for my shoulders.  Every now and then, the height of the tunnel
increased and I was able to crawl (luxury!) but mostly I slid along using my
elbows as levers.  After a few yards my
elbows and knees felt really raw as the gravel floor bit into them, but this
was nothing compared with the final indignity – a puddle about five or six feet
long and filling the width of the tunnel, the roof of which, needless to say,
was now at its lowest point.  I slid into
the water like an ungainly water snake and heaved myself back onto dry lend
with my long suffering elbows.

Stal

Now, at last, I could stand and I forgot about the
appropriately named crawls as I moved into the underground caverns and passages
where the beauties of various stal. formations awaited me.  Now I knew why so many people spend so much
time burrowing underground like moles. Stalactites and stalagmites I had seen before but not the beauty of
straws nor the precarious strength of a false floor stiffened with stal.  Sand washed into pinnacles by the constant
drip of water or formed into a gigantic ledge through the years; these and many
other delights were revealed to us as we passed from passage to passage, cavern
to cavern.  To protect these natural
phenomena, tapes had been placed round them by previous cavers as a warning not
to get too close.  The manoeuvres
necessary to avoid taped areas were often incredibly complicated.

The Main Stream

Then we reached the Main Stream.  It was smaller than I expected but it made up
for its lack of size with the volume of noise it created.  The stream was shallow – no deeper at most
than knee level, but I still did not trust myself in it.  As I walked along the bed of the stream, I
felt carefully with each foot before daring to move.  I must here give full recognition to the
patience of my party; their feet froze as they kept down to my pace yet there
was no murmur of discontent.

“Up the Ladder and Down the Wall”

At last we climbed out of the water and into another tunnel
about thirty inches high.  The next big
challenge was there before me – a thirty three foot high wall of rock, twenty
feet of which we were to ascend on a wire ladder.  My turn came too soon. I put my hands in the
correct position and one foot on a rung; then, bravely, I moved the other
foot.  The ladder swung, taking my heart
with it, but once I got back in control I refused to be beaten and so, slowly
but surely, I approached the top of the wall and clambered, gleefully, to
safety.  “Now for a little
exploration!” We walked; climbed, clambered and jumped for nearly an hour,
stopping at one point for a much-needed snack. Then back down the ladder and into the stream again.


Home,
James
!

As we had now been underground for four hours, we started
for home, but by a different route.  On
the way back I decided that I did not like straddling wide gaps over seemingly
bottomless pits – the knee tremble of the climber attacked me and I had to be
gently talked through each move.  One gap
was too wide for me even to straddle and I had to lean across it with my hands
on one side and my feet on the other, with only friction keeping me in
position.  “This is the life,”
I thought – wondering how long my life would last!

The Final Struggle

Soon afterwards, our passage met the passage we had entered
by and we were back in the Crawls starting at the puddle and working back.  After five hours in the cave I was really
tired.  My arms ached and pulling myself
along on my elbows nearly finished me off. I was faring better than one member of the party, however, as my caving
light was still reasonably strong whereas this poor unfortunate’s light had
faded to nothing.  His passage through
the Crawls was punctuated with crashings and exclamations as bends and jutting
rocks caught him unawares.  But now we
were nearly home and little mattered except the final effort to pull oneself
back up the chute.  Here, I failed
miserably.  My arms gave up altogether
and I had to be pulled from above and pushed from below until I finally emerged
like a Jack-in-the-Box into the fading daylight six hours after I had left it.

Covered in mud from head to foot, my wet socks full of water
and sand, my eyes half closed with tiredness, I made myself a promise – ‘I’ll
be back’

 

Mik’s Peregrinations

I was just thinking that it was time I took up my pen again
for another stroll over Mendip’s mighty gossip columns – particularly now that
Alfie tells me that ‘Wig’ is about to retire – although it could well be
Christmas by the time I complete this and get it published.  (And it could well be Christmas before the
November B.B. is out at the rate articles are coming in! – Editor.)

Now, where should I begin? Perhaps just a brief mention of our intrepid explorers John Dukes and
Graham Wilton-Jones, with their sucessfu1 P.S.M. summer expedition.  Modest though they both are, their exploits
were well in keeping with the normal excesses of the club, no doubt we can
expect even more next year.

Next, in geological order in my memory, comes the A.G.M.
which was once again reasonably lively even though there was no debate this
year on the periodicity of the B.B. – perhaps because Tim wasn’t there.  A further item absent from the agenda this
year was the election, for although Colin, ‘Wig’ and Tony Sharpe fled the
scene, the only replacements were Chris Batstone, Mike Wheadon and Roy
Marshall.  Unfortunately, as far as I can
see, there were several matters unresolved, such as insurance and affiliations.

Tony Tucker livened things up for a brief time by pointing
out that his legs were too long for him to assume a comfortable seat in the new
Belfry loos (big sighs of commiseration all round for Tony).  Anyway, the loos ARE installed and one of
them is operational.  John Dukes reckons
it will only be a short time before all the mods are complete and he plans to
hold a working weekend some time before Christmas, so keep working.

Having surprised myself by doing a separate article on the
dinner (that’s one of the drawbacks of being a syndicate) my sense of time has
been upset because it should slot into this column at about this point.  All the same, it seems to have been
reasonably successful though there are cries for changes of venue and menu and
a return of the traditional B.E.C. entertainment.

Still, if that’s all you have to worry about, not to
complain – you complacent bods.  Spare a
thought for our friendly neighbouring club the

Wessex
, whose dinner on the 18th of
October at the Bishop’s Barn passed almost unnoticed.  What a far cry this is from the days not so
long ago when their dinner was the one event not to be missed in the Mendip
calendar.  Nowadays, the Absent Friends
list outnumbers the attendance list.  Sad
though this is, it is nevertheless true and whilst the reasons are not really
our affair, we should perhaps learn and ensure that our dinner never heads in
that direction.  One cannot but wonder
whether it has anything to do with their turning the affair into a coconut
shy.  Once again, their dinner was concerned
with throwing and the would-be diner has the agonising choice between a lounge
suit or a wet suit as dress for the occasion.

Changing the mood – it seems that the barrel season is
beginning to blossom again.  On the list
we had Chris Hallam and Martin G., Mike W. and Mike P. putting on two barrels
between them at the Belfry after hours. No one seems to recall the reasons for the barrels but they were much
enjoyed – though I think the exuberance of trying to extract day fees for
drinking guests sets a dangerous precedent which should be forgotten with
thanks to those too drunk to know what they were doing by contributing.

Finally, and to bring us up to date, I must mention the
Shepton Dinner/Buffet which was again held in Priddy Village Hall.  Once again, the dinner was excellent and a
great credit to the hard workers of the Shepton who organised it all.  There was plenty of food and plenty of
plonk.  After the meal, the customary
custard pie slapping sponsored affair (Butch v. Mr. N.) which, incidentally,
only spreads food on the participants, took place and a reasonable sum was
raised for M.R.O. finds.  Then came the
traditional games – this year in the early stages with perhaps too much
exposure – which demand a reasonable degree of skill and dexterity.  The Shepton were the victorious team, so
honour was satisfied and we all left feeling very merry.

Lastly, definitely, I must make note that our Treasurer has
finally lapsed by missing his first committee meeting since he was elected eons
ago – he forgot! 

Barrie
is also working to try to get last
year’s expedition members to the Lakes again this year, so pray for some snow
for him!

 

Round and About

A Monthly Miscellany,
by Wig

192.      O.F.D.: Following several years of
negotiations, O.F.D.,

Britain
’s
longest and deepest cave becomes a National nature reserve.  Due to threats of quarrying by Hobbs
Quarries, the Nature Conservancy has purchased most of the land above the
cave.  O.F.D 1 and Cwm Dwr lie outside
the Nature Conservancy boundaries. Access to the cave is being controlled as usual by South Wales Cave Club
but it appears that a management committee may be required in the future.

193.      Conservation and Access drop purchase
of Quarry Shares
: At the 1974 Annual Meeting of N.C.A., it was proposed to
attack the quarrying companies ‘from within’. It was pointed out by C.S.C.C. representatives that this was a futile
method of going about the job, and that little, if any, information would be
available to shareholders.  In the South,
good relations and an understanding of each others problems has been a
framework built up over the years.  When
the C and A group investigated the situation in a little more detail, it was
found that the quarrying operations formed minute parts of large combines – so
small in fact that no details were available. Anyway, to try to attack firms by the back door would merely set their
backs up.  Once again, the south has been
proved right.

194.      C.S.C.C. “Chuck out” N.C.A.
Equipment Annual Report
:  No doubt
the C.S.C.C. will be in its usual position of ‘the baddy’ after the N.C.A.
Annual Meeting on December 5th at Ingleton. At the C.S.C.C. meeting on November 29th, the annual report of this
controversial special committee on equipment was discussed.  The report is couched in vague generalities
such as “We should like to carry out testing on ropes.”  In fact, there are no less than seven
examples of “We should like… ” A committee of four or five, living in various parts of the country,
have suggested enough work to keep a well organised laboratory happy for many
years!  In addition, the committee is to
ask the N.C.A. for £200 for travel and administration expenses next year.  As most of these expenses are NOT covered by
grants, this alone would mean a doubling of the annual subscription from
regions.  For what?  A mountain of paperwork of NO DIRECT USE TO
THE CAVER.  If this committee is allowed
to carry out testing (and their technical ability is strongly criticised by
C.S.C.C.) then a considerable sum of money is going to be required.

As a result, the C.S.C.C. has
instructed its delegates to refer this report back to the special committee for
re-writing to include details of costs and times for the work it wishes to
do.  It is essential that cavers have any
useful information that may be available, but the work must be carried out by
people that have the confidence of the grass-roots caver and at a price that
the caving world can afford.

Wally Wilcocks, the C.S.C.C.
representative on this Committee has requested clubs to search their membership
to find any professionally qualified technicians who might be able to
help.  Also, let him know your views on
equipment testing.  Do you want a
committee to do it for you?  Are you
prepared to trust the findings of people you’re not certain about?  Do you want a potentially expensive body set
up for which, indirectly you will have to pay? Let Wally, or Mike Cowlishaw know your views on these and related
question.

195.      Southern Reps at N.C.A .Annual Meeting:
Six people are attending this meeting. They are Tim Reynolds (W.C.C.) Fred Davies (N.H.A.S.A.) Mike Jay,
(S.V.C.C.) Dave Irwin and Alfie Collins (B.E.C.) and Wall Wilcocks
(W.C.C.).  The official minutes will not
be available until late in January.

196.      New Book published by B.C.R.A.: The
B.C.R.A. have withdrawn the text of Bryan Ellis’s new book ‘

Surveying
Caves

from David and Charles and are publishing it themselves.  Available about January price £1.50.

197.      ‘Descent’ in political trouble: As
readers of Descent will know, the Editor – Bruce Bedford – has given over two
pages to the N.C.A., thus enabling them to publish news of latest
activities.  The retiring Hon. Sec.
(Jenny Potts) has criticised magazine for its irregular publishing dates and
suggested that N.C.A. should spend money on a propaganda sheet.  Really, you know – beggars can’t be choosers!

198.      Burrington Atlas: The B.E.C.’s
popular ‘best seller’ is being reprinted with corrections.  Price and to be announced shortly.

199.      A History of Swildons Hole:  After three years in the preparation stage,
this book has finally appeared.  It costs
£12 bound in leather or £9 in rexine covers. Intended to raise £1,500 to finance the building of a workshop at Upper
Pitts, it is being sold at about three times its production cost.  For a prestige book, as this is intended to
be, it is very lacking in proof reading. I must admit here that I have only looked at the pictures and have not
yet read the text.  The layout is untidy
and there are some mistakes that should never have been passed – an inverted
photograph; bad layout of photographs; small portions of text tucked away into
corners; too much name dropping of people not really notable for the activities
in this cave, and so on.  However, those
with £9 – £12 to spend on a limited edition (300 copies) might be interested in
obtaining a copy.  There are many
interesting record photographs, but are these worth the money to assist

Wessex
build a
workshop?  A good idea that has not met
its specification due to bad editing.  A
pity.

200.      Whernside Manor: As many of you
already know, the Scout Association is withdrawing financial support to the
centre as from next March.  Without any
financial support to cover its annual deficit of about £15,000 the centre will
have to close.  Various ideas have been
looked into, including the possibility of forming a trust with NCA on its management
board.  The Sports Council have stated
that they do not intend to bail the centre out of financial trouble should the
trust be formed – so the idea has been abandoned.  The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority
have expressed their interest in the site with a view to diversifying its
activities.  They are going to include
Whernside in their budget for 1976/7 and hope that the North Yorkshire County
Council will cough up the necessary money. At the moment, Ben Lyon and his associates are biting their nails hard.

201.      Further protection for Mendip caves:
Rich Witcombe, C and A Officer for the Southern Council, has been quietly
working away to get SSSI cover for Thrupe Lane Manor Farm and Fairy Cave Quarry
caves.  The Nature Conservancy has agreed
to extend the boundary of Stoke Lane SSSI to cover the Fairy Cave Quarry caves,
but they are not entirely convinced of the importance of Thrupe or Manor.  Rich is now awaiting the publication of an
accurate survey of Thrupe before taking any further action.

202.      More to be found?: Tim Large
recently visited St. Cuthbert’s little known Marble Pot to find that a hole had
opened up at the bottom of the shaft.  A
rift led up dip(?) and off this a tight tube led with a promising draught
coming from it.  Later pushing showed
that it became too tight.  However, more
work here might give more cave passage.

Secretarial

Once again this month we welcome both new members and two
who have rejoined after having been away for many years: –

Margaret and Angus Innes, 18
Davids Close, Alvestion,

Bristol
.

Mike McCarthy, Flat 5, 26
Elgin Park, Redland,

Bristol
.
Nigel George,

Homestead
Garden
Cottage, Wookey
Hole, Wells.
Gary Cullen,

47 Eversfield Rd.,
Horsham,
Sussex
.

 

Monthly Crossword – Number 62

 

Across

1. O, limited cod!
(Conglomerated, perhaps?) (9)
6. Negative expression. (2)
7. See 5 down
9. Knot. (5)
12. Gruff was originally this according to some. (6)
13. Exist. (2)
15. Low pubs that sell anything? – No, sumps, in fact. (4,5)

Down

1. Gay R.N. food?  Welsh rarebit perhaps! (3-2-4)
2. Short pound. (2)
3. A G.B. chamber contains mother? (4)
4. Worker, perhaps, in a place of mine in Cuthbert’s. (6)
5. and 7 across. You might well be reduced to crawling after this – but not in
August, surely? (9,6).
8.  – or beef, coming first. (6)
11. Keen, like an old six and five hundred. (4)
14. Cider drinkers will recognise this abbreviation. (1,1)

Solution to Last Month’s Crossword

 

 

Club Headquarters

The Belfry,

Wells
Rd
, Priddy, Wells,

Somerset
. Telephone WELLS 72126

Club Committee

Chairman          S.J.
Collins

Minutes Sec      G.

Wilton
-Jones

Members           Chris Batstone, John Dukes, Chris
Howell, Tim Large, Mike Wheadon, R. Marshall, Barry Wilton.

Officers Of The Club

Honorary Secretary        M.
WHEADON, 91 The Oval, Englishcoombe,

Bath
.  Tel :

BATH

713646

Honorary Treasurer         B.

WILTON
, ‘Valley View’,

Venus Lane
,
Clutton, Nr. Bristol. Tele :

TEMPLE
CLOUD

52072

Caving Secretary            TIM
LARGE,

15 Kippax Avenue
,
Wells, Somerset

Climbing
Secretary         R. MARSHALL, 7 Fairacre
Close, Lockleaze,

Bristol

Hut Warden                   C.
BATSTONE,

8 Prospect Place
,
Bathford,

Bath
..

Belfry Engineer              J.
DUKES,

4 Springfield Crescent
,
Southampton. SO1 6LE  Tele : (0703) 774649

Tacklemaster                 G.
WILTON-JONES, ‘Ilenea’,

Stonefield
Road
. Nap Hill,
High Wycombe,
Bucks. Tele : (024) 024 3534

B.B. Editor                    S.J.
COLLINS, Lavender Cottage, Bishops Sutton, Nr. Bristol. Tel : CHEW MAGNA 2915

Publications Editor         C.
HOWELL,

131 Sandon Road
,
Edgebaston,

Birmingham

17.  Tele : (021) 429 5549

B.B. Postal                    BRENDA

WILTON
  Address as for Barry

Spares                          T.
LARGE,  Address already given

Membership Sec.           Mrs. A.
DOOLEY, c/o The Belfry.  TO WHOM ALL SUBS
SHOULD BE SENT.

 

All views expressed by contributors to the Belfry Bulletin,
including those of officers of the club, do not necessarily co-coincide with
those of the editor or the committee of the Bristol Exploration Club, unless
specifically so stated.

The Editor would like to appeal URGENTLY for more material
for the B.B.  Small items are always useful
for filling up odd spaces.  Of course,
long articles are even better!

© 2024 Bristol Exploration Club Ltd

registered in England and Wales as a co-operative society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered no. 4934.

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