False Arithmetic

The annual publication of the list of club members is
usually taken by your editor as an occasion for some form of comment, and this
year is no exception.

A few years back, we had occasion to double the sub.  We needed to increase it to catch up with
rising costs, and the argument which prevailed at the time was that it was
better to get the increase over with for some time to come all at once, rather
than do it in dribs and drabs.

This dramatic increase had the effect of causing a number of
older members to leave the club.  I heard
it  said quite recently that in the long
term this turned out to have done no harm, since the total membership was now
back to what it had been.

What the man who said this had forgotten was that each
semi-permanent older member is worth about two and a half new members in terms
of guaranteed future subs.  The reason is
that 10 older members will still most likely all be there in, say, five year’s
time – whereas 10 new members will have reduced to 3 or so in the same period.  It thus needs about 25 new members to yield
the same total sub over about ten years that you would expect to get from 10
older and more permanent members.

Even this is not the whole story.  If 10 older members leave suddenly, the total
goes down by 10 but within about three years it will have climbed back to where
it had been without any increase in new members.  This is, in fact, exactly what has
occurred.  An estimate of the losses in
subs due to older members leaving when the sub was doubled gives a total to
date of about 50 annual subs – and shows clearly that dramatic increases are
not the right; way to cope with rising costs. The present committee realises this, and the increase in the annual sub
announced for next year is only that which is strictly necessary to cope with
genuine increases – like insurance.


People who prophesied that we would never get a team to run
the B.B. are – so far – being proved wrong. Six pages of this B.B. have been produced by hands other than my own
(our Hon. Sec., doubling as Deputy Editor) while already the essential supplies
of stationery are beginning to flow, thanks to our Hon. Treasurer doubling as
B.B. Stationery Supplies.  In addition,
rumour has it that Andy Sparrow is collecting a vast pile of manuscript while
our new printer:- Alan Kennett, shortly to be known as Caxton – is well on the
way to printing future B.B.’s.  Even more
encouraging is the fact that all this activity has spurred on a number of club
members to start making contributions to the B.B.  Some of the results will be found in this
edition.  If all continues to go well, we
will climb rapidly out of the nasty mess we have lately been in up to our


One of the first things which the new team (with the help of
the audience at the last committee meeting) have decided is to change the
format of the B.B. from its present A5 size to A4 starting in January.  I am pleased to be able to announce this, as
I have a very slight preference for the present size.  In case you think I have got something wrong,
I must explain that what pleases me is not so much the actual change as the
fact that it emphasises that the B.B. is being run by a team not by me plus a
lot of assistants.  Barrie is going to
produce the new cover.  One way and
another, it looks as if we might be off to a good start in 1977.



Pippikin Pot

Yet another episode in the career
of Graham Wilton-Jones (who sent in this account) and Bucket Tilbury.

I must start this account with many thanks, once again to
Fred, who booked this trip; lent us equipment so that we didn’t have to leave
our own in the Northern wastes, and fed us in true hospitable Lancashire
fashion.  All this – and yet he could not
join us on the trip himself.

The evening before, which also happened to be
Halloween.  Bucket and I warmed up with a
stroll over the infamous, witch-ridden Pendle Hill.  It was intended to be a daytime walk but we
didn’t start until 4 p.m.  The moon was
up, but the hags were obviously saving their evil energies for the morrow.  Not having been smitten down with curses, we
had no excuse not to descend Pippikin, so we got to bed relatively early that

At five o’clock on the Sunday morning we were astir.  We reached Leck Fell in an unbelievable, also
unmentionable record time, just as dawn was approaching.  We changed to the sound of grouse wakening
all round us, and the lights of Lancaster and Blackpool twinkling far
away.  We crept through the yard of Leck
Fell House, unfortunately waking the dog, and off the slopes of Bragareth
towards Easegill.  By now it was full
daylight and the Lake District was clearly visible.  Rabbits scuttled off through the heather
undoubtedly surprised by our presence on their fell during their breakfast.

Instead of clipping his figure-of-eight to a krab, Bucket
had tied it on with perlon’s so that it wouldn’t clank and wake the
farmer.  It fell off.  This time he tied it ‘securely.’  It fell off again, and we spent a futile hour
searching for it, disturbing all the grouse, rabbits and sheep of
Westmorland.  Eventually we descended
without the figure-of-eight and, needless to say, I didn’t trust any of
Bucket’s knots.

We used S.R.T. for the whole trip, although it would be
usual to ladder such short pitches.  The
value of S.R.T. in such a system is debateable. We took 180ft of rope instead of seven ladders, which is a great saving
in space and weight, but we also had harness and abseil/prussick gear, which
often had to be taken off in confined spaces and put back under similar
conditions between the pitches.  The
first pitch from the surface is an easy 20′ belayed to an obvious flake.  The traverse over Cellar Pot has been made
safe with a wooden beam and a fence post and then comes the first awkward
bit.  Awkward, because you emerge feet
first over a drop and spend ages groping for footholds.  The window into the next drop is easy, until
you have to return – when it’s six feet above the floor with practically
nothing to push against.  The
constrictions before the next pitch are also interesting.  Like the window, there is nothing to push
against the return – reminiscent of Primrose Squeeze.  Furthermore, the widest part of these rift
squeezes is part way up, and the tendency is to drop down into the narrow
section.  With legs beating the air six
feet up in space, these squeezes could be said to be technically difficult. The
belay for the next pitch is a beautiful mini-acrow, but the third pitch hangers
are both lethally loose on the bolts.  We
could have done with a spanner.  The
wriggle forward at the base of the third pitch must have been quite something
once upon a time, but it has been blasted now and is non-existent.  In the rope climb, there is a superbly placed
stemple, making this considerably easier also. I wrapped a wire tether round the obvious place for the fourth pitch,
and backed this up to the rope from the climb above.  At last we were down to the stream.

Had we known it, we could have left our S.R.T. gear, at this
point, since the 5th and 6th pitches are free climbable, especially with the
aid of ropes.  The awkward climb into a
pool has been made easy with a few permanent nylon slings.

None of the entrance series is particularly tight, but
several sections, particularly on the return journey, are awkward and
time-consuming.  We were glad to reach
the end of the pitches and move more freely down the widening though tightly
twisting streamway.  At the streamway
choke we climbed into the Hall of Ten. This is not the massive passage the book suggests, but does seem large
after the entrance series.  It is part of
a long, ancient phreatic section that has been largely in-filled with deposits
of sand, mud or pebbles.  At this point,
the infill is sand and the much more recent streamway has cut underneath the
old phreatic passage, causing it to collapse and washing away the infill.  We followed the old passage northwards,
through wide, low places where the deposits of sand nearly reach the roof, to
Dusty Junction.  In some parts, where
damage from passing cavers was less, the layering was quite clear in the
deposits and white powdery crystals had appeared between each layer.

We moved on from Dusty Junction to Red Well Chamber.  At first, the infill is large rounded pebbles
covered in the same white deposit, but this soon changes to a hard compacted
sandstone.  The passages here are higher
but narrower, with much collapse. Lacking time, we decided to look only at the larger passages, so we
returned to the Hall of Ten and headed southwards.  Turning left into a very old ox-bow, we
reached the Hall of the Mountain King. One slope down this is similar to, but not as bad as, the mud flow in
G.B.  Once, it must have looked quite
impressive but cavers have walked, squelched and slid all over it, ruining
it.  Far too few cavers seem to
appreciate floor formations, and the scientific value of undisturbed floor

Having covered ourselves in mud, we realized the
significance of the name ‘Wellington Boot Traverse’.  Had we used this route, we would not have
been coated in the revolting ooze.  We
quickly visited the remarkable Hall of the Damned where massive avens soar above,
and then went back to the main route, not wishing to take the grovel that
continues from there.  The route to Gour
Hall is wide and low, often a stoop and occasionally a crawl.  The formations are good, especially the
stalagmites, although many of these, and the final gours have suffered
unnecessarily from careless cavers.  We
were surprised by the amount of crawling involved, having originally been under
the false impression that lower Pippikin was huge.

The journey out was fairly easy, since we were only the
rigging party.  We met the de-rigging
party of four at the fifthy pitch.  One
of them had found bucket’s descendeur in the middle of a field.  Bucket was pleased, but finder was not,
because he’d just sold it for a couple of pints of beer!  By mid afternoon, we had reached the surface
and the sunshine.  Unusual for us as
we’re normally out way after dark from these northern trips.

If we go to Pippikin again, we’ll try the lower entrance –
the Mistral.  If you fancy a good, hard,
interesting trip, then you’re invited. Perhaps I ought to mention that the Mistral is only 60 feet long and 35
feet deep – but it’s Grade IV (Severe)

Any Takers?

Note:     Graham says in the above that
‘Far too few cavers seem to appreciate floor formations.’  On my first trip into Hilliers, the weekend
after its initial introduction to cavers, I found a really amazing floor
formation.  Stal had flowed down a wall,
reached the mud floor, and spread over it like huge fingers – each one over
afoot in length and only a quarter of an inch or so thick.  The underlying mud had subsequently been
washed away, leaving these huge fingers sticking out completely unsupported
from the wall.  Luckily, I thought, this
formation is likely to survive because it is not on the caver’s route along the
passage, it can be seen in plenty of time to avoid accidental damage, and the
wall behind it is solid and does not lead anywhere.

Two weeks later, when the cave was now three weeks old as
far as cavers were concerned, I visited the place again with a camera and a
party from the B.E.C, who were looking forward – apart from seeing the rest of
the cave ¬to this unusual formation.  We
reached the spot and gazed upon the smashed fragments.  The boot marks of the vandal who had indulged
his perversion for a few seconds of presumed pleasure could be clearly seen in
the floor.

It could not have been carelessness.  It was sheer, wanton destruction for its own
sake.  No wonder that cave photography
has near enough disappeared as a branch of general caving.

Secretarial Note – Membership

As an addendum to this year’s membership list I think that I
should point out that NO reminders were sent out to members in 1976 and as a
consequence there are probably a few would be members whose names do not appear
despite their desire to continue as club members.  We will be circulating these members
individually and will waiver the need for them to re-apply for membership if
they wish to continue.  Additionally
there are: –

Peter Lord- Same address as Sue – who has applied for joint
membership following their marriage.

JohnTurner – 92 Church Lane, Backwell – who left on an
expedition to the Himalayas before he had time to pay a subscription.


Bristol Exploration Club – Membership List October 1976


Nicolette Abell

Michaelmas Cottage, Faulkland, Bath


T. Andrews

43 Portway, Wells, Somerset

20 L

Bob Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol, Avon

392 L

Mike Baker

22 Riverside Walk, Midsomer Norton, Bath, Avon


M.D. Barker

44 Cedar Drive, Kingsclere, Nr. Newbury, Berks


M. Barker

44 Cedar Drive, Kingsclere, Nr. Newbury, Berks


Richard Barker

44 Croxteth Road, Liverpool


Arthur Ball

4 Charlotte Street, Cheadle, Cheshire


Marlon Barlow

93 Norton Drove, Norton Tower, Halifax, West Yorkshire


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


Glenys Beszant

190 Hinkler Road, Thornhill, Southampton.


Bob Bidmead

63 Cassell Road, Fishponds, Bristol


Martin Bishop

Bishops Cottage, Priddy


E. Bishop

Bishops Cottage, Priddy

336 L

Alan Bonner

Crags Farm Close, Little Broughton, Cokermouth, Cumberland

145 L

Sybil Bowden-Lyle

9 Beverley Close, Crithill Park, Frome, Somerset


Brian Bowers

44 Manor Way, Bagshot, Surrey


D. Bradshaw

37 Creswicke Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

751 L

T.A. Brookes

87 Wyatt Road, London, SW2


Neil Raynor Brown

25 Lingfield Park, Evesham, Worcs.


Viv Brown

3 Cross Street, Kingswood, Bristol


Tessa Burt

66 Roundwood Lane, Harpendon, Herts


Alan Butcher

17 Cedar Grove, Pennfields, Wolverhampton


Ian Calder

Plas Pencelli, Pencelli, Brecon


Penelope Calder

Plas Pencelli, Pencelli, Brecon


C. Chambers

35 Newbridge Road, Bath


Paul Christie

7 The Glen, London Road, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks


Patricia Christie

7 The Glen, London Road, Sunninghill, Ascot, Berks


Colin Clark

186 Cranbrook Road, Redland, Bristol


M. Clarke

62 Calabria Road, Highbury, London, N5

211 L

Clare Coase

The Belfry, 10 Shannon Parade, Berkeley-Vale, New South Wales, 2259,

89 L

Alfie Collins

Lavendar Cottage, Bishop Sutton, Nr Bristol, Somerset

377 L

D. Cooke-Yarborough

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


Bob Cork

22 Dennor Road, Hengrove, Bristol 4


Tony Corrigan

48 Talbot Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


Mike Cowlishaw

14 Plovers Down, Olivers Battery, Winchester


Jerry Crick

2 Coneacre, Chersey Road, Windlesham, Surrey


P. Cronin

38 Jubilee Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


Bob Cross

42 Bayham Road, Knowle, Bristol


Gary Cullen

47 Eversfield Road, Horsham, Sussex

405 L

Frank Darbon

PO Box 325, Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

423 L

Len Dawes

The Lodge, Main Street, Minster Matlock, Derbyshire


Garth Dell

5 Hillground Road, Withywood, Bristol


J. Dibben

17 Neville Road, Bramshall, Stockport, Cheshire


Colin Dooley

51 Osmaston Road, Harbourne, Birmingham 7


Angela Dooley

51 Osmaston Road, Harbourne, Birmingham 7

164 L

Ken Dobbs

85 Fox Rd., Beacon Heath, Exeter, Devon


John Dukes

4 Springford Crescent, Lordswood, Southampton


Michael Durham

11 Catherine Place, Bath


S. Durston

7 Estuary Park, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset


Jim Durston

7 Estuary Park, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset


P. Eckford

80 Wilton Gardens, Shirley, Southampton

322 L

Bryan Ellis

7 School Lane, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset

269 L

Tom Fletcher

11 Cow Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham.


Phil Ford

45 Gentwood Road, Huyton, Lancs.

404 L

Albert Francis

22 Hervey Road, Wells, Somerset


Joyce Franklin

16 Glen Drive, Stoke Bishop, Bristol


Pete Franklin

16 Glen Drive, Stoke Bishop, Bristol


Keith Franklin

42 Anne street, Dandenong, Victoria, Australia


A. Garrod

2 Spring Rise, Wells, Somerset


Leonard Gee

15 Warren Close, Denton, Manchester


Stan Gee

26 Parsonage Street, Heaton Norris, Stockport.


N. George

Homestead Gardens Cottage, Wookey Hole, Somerset


Bob Givens

Newstead Lodge, 1 Fields Green, Crawley, Sussex


E.M. Glanville

Jocelyn House Mews, Chard, Somerset


Bruce Glocking

213 St. Leonards, Horsham, Sussex


Martin Grass

14 Westlea Road, Wormley, Broxbourne, Herts


Christine Greenhall

Collingwood Road, Redland, Bristol 6


Chris Hall

2 Upper Radford, Paulton, Bristol

432 L

Nigel Hallet

62 Cranbrook Road, Bristol

104 L

Mervyn Hannam

14 Inskip Place, St Annes, Lancashire

304 L

C.W. Harris

The Diocesan Registry, Wells, Somerset

4 L

Dan Hassell

Hill House, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset


Dave Hatherley

4 Spring Rise, Wells


A.P. Hicks

3 Regency Drive, Brislington, Bristol


A. Higginbottom

Warana, Hill Lea Gardens, Cheddar, Somerset


John Hildrick

Tarngulla, Old Bristol Road, Priddy


Rodney Hobbs

Rose Cottage, Nailsea


Sid Hobbs

Hokestone Cottage, Townsend, Priddy


Sylvia Hobbs

Hokestone Cottage, Townsend, Priddy


Mike Hogg

32 Birchley Heath, Nuneaton, Warks


Liz Hollis

1 Bugle Cottage, Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne, Dorset


Tony Hollis

1 Bugle Cottage, Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne, Dorset

387 L

George Honey

Droppsta, 19044, Odensala, Sweden


J.H. Hookings

32 Churchill Road, Catshill, Bromsgrove, Worcs.


Ted Humphreys

9 Mounters Close, Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset


J.A. Hunt

35 Conygre Road, Filton, Bristol


B. Husband

244 Oak Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands


P. Ifold

The Cedars, Blackford, Nr. Wedmore, Cheddar


Maurise Iles

Waterworks Cottage, Gurmney Slade, Bath


Angus Innes

18 David’s Close, Alveston, Bristol, Aven


Margaret Innes

18 David’s Close, Alveston, Bristol, Aven

540 L

Dave Irwin

Townsend Cottage, Townsend, Priddy, Somerset


N. Jago

27 Quantock Road, Windmill Hill, Bristol 3


Ken James



Russ Jenkins

10, Amberley Close, Downend, Bristol

51 L

A Johnson

Warren Cottage, Station Rd., Flax Bourton, Bristol

560 L

Frank Jones

103 Wookey Hole Road, Wells, Somerset


U. Jones

Marsh Farm, Askem in Furness, Lancs.

567 L

Alan Kennett

92 West Broadway, Henleaze, Bristol


John King

4 Nightingale Road, Langley Green, Crawley, Sussex

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


J.M. Knopps

5 Kingsfield, Kingsway, Bath


Dave Lampard

Woodpeckers, 11 Springfield Park Road, Horsham, Sussex

667 L

Tim Large

72 Lower Whitesands, Radstock


Peter Leigh

17 Northampton Road, Ecton, Northants.

574 L

Oliver Lloyd

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


S. Lord

Greengates School, Apparto Postal 41-659, Mexico 10, DF


George Lucy

Pike Croft, Long Lane, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks

495 L

Val Luckwill

8 Greenslade Road, Sedgeley hill, Dudley, Worcs.


M.J. McCarthy

26 Elgin Park (Flat 5) Redland, Bristol


T.A. McDonagh

Poole Meadow, West End, Gloucester


D. McFarlane

24 Greenbank Gardens, Wallington, Fareham, Hants.

550 L

R A MacGregor

12 Douro Close, Baughurst, Basingstoke, Hants


A. McRory-Peace

5 Colmer Road, Yeovil Somerset


I.K. Marshall

4 Kings Drive, Bishopston, Bristol


I. Marshall

7 Fairacre Close, Lockleaze, Bristol

106 L

E.J. Mason

33 Bradleys Avenue, Henleaze, Bristol

558 L

Tony Meaden

Highcroft, Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset


John Noble

15 Nash Close, Keynsham, Bristol


Graham Nye

7 Ramsey Road, Horsham, Surrey


J. Orr

8 Wellington Terrace, Winklebury, Basingstoke, Hants


P.A. Palfree

10 Maynard, Clutton, Nr. Bristol

396 L

Mike Palmer

27 Roman Way, Paulton, Nr. Bristol


J. Pearce

23 Tiverton Drive, New Eltham, London, SE9

22 L

Les Peters

21 Melbury Rd., Knowle Park, Bristol Avon

499 L

Tony Philpott

3 Kings Drive, Bishopston, Bristol, Avon


Graham Phippen

Rock Cottage, Rock Road, Wick, Bristol


Brian Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Wells, Somerset


Jeff Price

18 Hurston Road, Inns Court, Bristol


Colin Priddle

10 Franklyn Flats, Kopje Road, Gwelo, Rhodesia

481 L

John Ransom

21 Bradley Rd., Patchway, Bristol, Avon

452 L

Pam Rees

c/o The Belfry

343 L

A Rich

Box 126, Basham, Alberta Canada

672 L

R Richards

PO Box 141, Jacobs, Natal, South Africa


J. Rigler

Beck Hall, 16/26 Sketty Road, Uplands, Swansea


K.E. Roebuck

P.O.’s Mess, HMS Daedalus, Lee on Solent, Hants.


Roger Sabido

163 Cold Harbour Road, Bristol 6

240 L

Alan Sandall

43 Meadway Ave., Nailsea, Avon

359 L

Carol Sandall

43 Meadway Ave., Nailsea, Avon

237 L

B. Scott

Merrymead, Havestock Road, Winchester Hants


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


A.O. Sharp

33 Hamilton Road, Motherwell, Strathclyde.


Mark Sherman

Wood View, Grey Field, High Litton


N. Shott

Westwood College of Education, Bristol Road, Selly Oak, Birmingham


A. Simpson

30 Channel heights, Bleadon Hill, Weston-super-Mare


M.B. Slade

230 Southampton Road, Reading, Berks.


Dave Smith

14 Severn Way, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks.


Andy Sparrow

30 Green Park, Bath


Maurice Stafford

28 Rowan Close, Sonning Common, Reading, Berks.

1 L

Harry Stanbury

31 Belvoir Road, St. Andrews, Bristol


Mrs I Stanbury

74 Redcatch, Knowle, Bristol


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


Richard Stevenson

Greystones, Priddy


Paul Stokes

32 Manor Way, Bagshot, Surrey


Derek Targett

16 Phyllis Hill, Midsomer Norton


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.


Buckett Tilbury

256 Cressex Road, High Wycombe, Bucks


Anne Tilbury

256 Cressex Road, High Wycombe, Bucks


Roger Toms

18 Hoton Road, Wysemold, Leicester


R.S. Toms

18 Hoton Road, Wysemold, Leicester


J.M. Postle Tompsett

11 Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

74 L

M.J. Dizzie Tompsett

11 Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

381 L

Daphne Towler

7 Ross Close, Nyetimber, Bognor Regis, Sussex

157 L

Jill Tuck

48 Wiston Path, Fairwater Way, Cwmbran, Gwent, Wales


Steve Tuck

3 Colles Close, Wells, Somerset


Tony Tucker

75 Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock, Avon


Sue Tucker

75 Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock, Avon


Dave Turner

Moonrakers, Brewery Lane, Holcombe, Bath


P. Turner

11 Harper Court, Honnington, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire


M.F. Turley

13 Gresham Walk, Tilgate, Crawley, Sussex

635 L

S. Tuttlebury

28 Butts Road, Alton, Hants.


Greg Villis

The Oaks, Round Oak Road, Cheddar, Somerset

175 L

D. Waddon

32 Laxton Close, Taunton, Somerset


Mike Wheadon

91 The Oval, Bath


Maureen Wheadon

91 The Oval, Bath


Bob White

Weavers Farm, Binegar


Ross White

30 Curley Hill Road, Lightwater, Surrey.


J. Widley

15 Minster Way, Bath


Barry Wilton

Valley View, 27 Venus Lane, Clutton, Bristol


Brenda Wilton

Valley View, 27 Venus Lane, Clutton, Bristol


Graham Wilton-Jones

Ileana, Stenfield Road, Nap Hill, High Wycombe, Bucks


Annie Wilton-Jones

6 Meadow Road, Withyall, Birmingham


Ian Wilton-Jones

6 Meadow Road, Withyall, Birmingham


Steve Woolven

21 Three Acres, Horsham, Sussex


An Unusual Ascent of the Scafell Pikes

Continued from last month’s B.B.

Readers of last month’s B.B. will
recall that we left BOB CROSS on the top of Scafell Pike, England’s loftiest
spot.  We hope he has not got too cold by
now, and you will be able to read how he gets down again.

One look at the mighty cairn, and you would swear
MacAlpine’s boys had built it.  Standing
at this point, our eyes were drawn down the entire length of Borrowdale over
Derwentwater and beyond to the majestic peaks of Skiddaw (3,054′) and Blencathra
(2,847′).  Eastwards, we could see
Bowfell, the Langdales and way beyond Windermere the broad mass of the Pennines
with Great Coum, LeckFell and Ingleborough. In my opinion, however, the Pike does not give exceptional views.  Its neighbours, Great Gable and Bowfell both
give better ones.

A mile and a half of rough going in a North-easterly
direction brought us to Great End (2,9B4′). From here it was easy downhill going all the way via Esk Hause (it is
pronounced ‘house’) to Angle Tarn.

Esk Hause is the name given to the col between Great End and
Esk Pike and it carries the paths between Borrowdale and Eskdale.  Between Esk Hause and Allen Crags and about a
hundred and fifty feet lower, runs the N.W./S.E. path between Langdale and
Wastdale.  The crossroads are an old
route centre for pack mules and are well marked on the ground.   Close by there are iron rings set into flat
boulders that were once used for tethering mules.

At Angle Tarn, we noted a couple of tents pitched at the
popular spot by the outfall.  A short
ascent brought us to the head of Rossitt Gill, a feature of Lakeland I
particularly dislike.  Up until now, I
had been ignorant of the existence of an alternative, but Mike showed me an old
mule track that branches Southwards under Bowfell, eventually reaching head of
Mickleden on the south side of Rossitt Gill. I was glad of this bit of information and soon discovered a more gentle
and comfortable descent.

Our last two miles lay along the wide strath of Mickleden to
the Dungeon Gill Hotel and over Great Langdal Beck to the campsite.  Our walk had taken us up 5,500 ft of ascent
and 12 miles in seven hours.


AGM ‘76

A different (and, in the editor’s humble opinion, much more
readable) account of that annual ritual – the A.G.M. – than is to be found in
the official minutes!

by Maureen Wheadon

For many years now, M.F.W. has disappeared over the horizon
each first Saturday in October, claiming that he was going to the B.E.C.
A.G.M., and not returning until darkness had fallen.

I had naturally thought this a very unlikely and suspicious
ritual.  After all, what A.G.M. could
possibly take that much time?  I have
attended some extremely turgid A.G.M.’s and, at the most, they only took about
an hour and a half.  After all, they only
elect officers and receive reports – and our election is carried out before the
A.G.M!  Anyway, this year I decided to go
and see for myself if the B.E.C. really did indulge in such lengthy meetings.

We (my joint member and I) set out at an ungodly hour – or
so it seemed to me, who never sees the dawn before 9.30 a.m. – and, as I was
driven through the fog, I found it hard to recall whether I was going to a cat
show, a conference, or why I was even awake. At intervals through the A.G.M., this feeling was to recur as the debate
waxed and waned.  To my amazement (even
yet!) we were not the first to arrive at the Belfry and the number of B.E.C.
bods, some not seen for several years, who were rattling round the shed was
equally amazing.  Preparation of bread
and cheese for lunch were well under way, and Roger soon appeared with the
brunch barrel which was left to settle (which is more that can be said for the

Amazingly, the meeting opened at 10.30. – on time – and in
the absence of any other nomination, Sett was once again (I’m told) elected as
Chairman for the day.  This absence of
nominations likewise applied to the committee for, although there were two
resignations last year, only Paul Christie was nominated for this year and was
elected unopposed.  Without maligning
Paul, who is very brave to apply for the committee, I think that this is a sad
state of affairs which has, now, existed for the last two years so pull your
fingers out, fellas and be sure to send in your nominations next year – for if
you don’t know someone worth nominating we’ll try a dose of petticoat

The first Officer’s Report was the Hon. Sec’s and M.F.W.
gave a credible impersonation of a political leader by declaring a year of doom
and gloom if we don’t pull together and miss our chance of greatness etc., but
if we believe in our club, we can make it if we try.

The Hon. Treasurer then shattered this portent by revealing
that, unlike the country, the club is in the embarrassing position of having
quite a lot of available cash.  However,
the A.G.M. were able to meet this event head-on and instantly directed that we
should install central heating not, it should be noted, to keep us warm and
snug but to ‘preserve our assets’.  Orang
then gave a brilliant though baffling “display of heating and ventilating
engineering knowledge (and jargon) by minutely discussing with the chairman
such magic items as dew point and the like all of which I found quite

Next to report was the Hut Warden, who gave by far the
funniest report of the day but which revealed to us that all was not well in
‘Belfryland’.  The report of the
Tacklemaster was baffling to the uninitiated, and there was a bit of a fracas
to do with ‘C’ links and Englefield Clips. Voices were raised and ‘order’ occasionally lost.  All was made right in the end when the
chairman pointed out that the ‘chain should be pulled to a hundredweight.’

The Hut Engineer gave his report, in a a rather cavalier and
unwritten form, rather in the fashion of TW Benn fairyland. The report was
received with what I gather to be the usual complaints (because we have heard
them year after year after year) and, as a non Belfry resident, it certainly
does seem that there are an awful lot of small jobs needing to be done at the
Belfry.  Bob Cross’s fear of sleeping in
the Men’s Dorm because of his suspicion of the mattresses emphasised some of
the difficulties (is there a Latin name for this fear?)

After quite an efficient lunch, we were treated to a very
full account of the insurance offered to us, with visual aids from the
Bennetts, Wig giving the treatise, and Bob White filling in any gaps.  This was probably the most important feature
of the A.G.M. and had been much discussed by the committee beforehand.  Unfortunately, during the presentation of
this item there was much to-ing and fro-ing in the Belfry and the added
distraction of a rogue barrel of beer didn’t help.  This did not affect my understanding of the
situation because I had already heard most of the reasons during many hours on
the side lines of the committee’s debates on the matter.  However, I have since been made aware that
many members were left in the ‘not fully understanding’ position that we had no
real options open to us unless the club was prepared to pay a ‘fantastic’
membership fee.  Perhaps at a more formal
meeting, some of the red herrings would have been out of order, but it is to be
hoped that we known we now have to pay a sum based on our membership, at a rate
fixed by the insurance companies.

After this debate, our revered editor outlined the terrible
tales of ills that beset the B.B. last year, and suggested a team to produce a
regular monthly B.B. in future, which was finally agreed to.  Some have since said that this will only mean
there are more places things can go wrong, but I think we should give it a
chance at least.

By now, you will know that the B.E.C. A.G.M. really DOES
take hours and hours.  Eventually the
meeting closed at ten to four (Just enough time to go home and change for the
dinner).  Would you believe it?  If not, come along yourself next year and
take part in this unique entertainment!



Members of the B.E.C. still meet in Bristol!  The meeting place has been recently changed
BACK to the Seven Stars (behind the Robinson building by Bristol Bridge).  Although only about half a dozen ‘regulars’
are to be found there on a Thursday evening, they would like other club members
to know that anyone who happens to be in Bristol on a Thursday is always very
welcome to drop into the Seven Stars and buy them a pint!


Members will find a questionnaire on the Club Dinner sent to
them with this B.B.  It explains itself,
but the committee would like as many people as possible to get their completed
questionnaires back into the hands of any committee member BEFORE
CHRISTMAS.  This will give the committee
a chance to sift through them and pick out the points which members would like
to see put into effect BEFORE the January meeting of the committee, at which
the results will be discussed.


Anyone who has any access to supplies of A4 size paper
suitable for printing the B.B. on, and at less cost than standard prices would
be doing the club a great service if he or she could let Barrie or Alfie know about
how much they can produce and at what price.


There will be a working weekend on December 18/19 (the
weekend before Christmas) this year. Anyone who can lend a hand should turn up and preferably contact John can
plan what can be done.


Monthly Crossword – Number 69



1. Appropriate word for Mendip
swallet. (5)
6. Harder if tight includes this cave feature. (4)
7. And pushing our system will reveal another. (5)
8. Fell, up north. (4)
10. Cave surveyor can make this. (5)
11. If heavy, can be dangerous in some caves. (4)
13. Poles differently inclined in caves? (5)
14. Scheme to produce survey? (4)
15. Employing. (5)


2. Upper part of cave. (4)
3. A lifeline may take this. (6)
4. 5 across cab be this. (5)
5. Floor deposit found in Goughs? (5)
8. Lashes rock found on Mendip. (6)
9. Found in Stoke Lane I. (5)
10. Rope material. (5)
12. No access problem with this type of cave. (4)

Solution to Last Month’s Crossword



Club Headquarters

The Belfry, Wells Rd, Priddy, Wells, Somerset.  Telephone WELLS 72126

Club Committee

Chairman          S.J.

Minutes Sec      M.

Members           C. Batstone, P. Christie, J. Dukes,
R. Jenkins T. Large, Barry Wilton, G. Wilton-Jones.

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

Caving Secretary                TIM
LARGE, 15 Kippax Avenue, Wells, Somerset

Climbing Secretary             R.
JENKINS, 10 Amberley Close, Downend, 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


The post of Membership Secretary has now been discontinued
and all correspondence previously dealt with by the membership secretary should
now be sent to Mike Wheadon.

Contributions to the Belfry Bulletin, including those from
officers of the club do not necessarily represent the views of the committee of
the Bristol Exploration Club or the editor, unless specifically stated as being

© 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.