QUODCUMQUE  FACIENDUM : NIMIS  FACIEMUS

Editorial

Nominations

Once again, it is time for nominations for next years’
committee. In case of any doubt, the rules are very simple.  You may nominate any club member – or as many
as you like. You do not need a seconder. You DO have to ask those who you nominate if they would stand if
elected. If they say not, or put in any conditions, they may not be
nominated.  You do not need to nominate
any members of the present committee who are automatically nominated if they
agree to stand again.  As far as can be
ascertained, all the present committee are, in fact, willing to stand again.

You should give or send your nomination or nominations to
the Hon. Sec. and sign the paper and include your number if you know it.  You should also state that you have asked
those concerned and they have said that they are willing to stand if elected.

Rumour has it that we can expect a fairly large number of
starters for the committee election this year. Since we have had no election for two years now, it is an encouraging
sign that so many members are taking an interest in the running of the club.

Club Officers Reports

In accordance with past practice, some of the Club Officers’
reports will be found in this B.B.  The
idea is, of course, to reduce the time taken at the A.G.M. by not having to
read them out.  If members have questions
to raise, they should make notes or bring this B. B. to the meeting.  The same applies to the minutes of the last
A.G.M., which were printed in the June B.B.

 

The Growth of the BEC

PART FOUR – SECOND WIND

The Fourth part in our series on the growth of the club.

In the five years from 1957 to 1962, the club quite suddenly
and dramatically expanded again at a rate nearly equal to its post-war
growth.  From a situation in which the
club seemed to have saturated at just over a hundred members it suddenly leaped
into a position where it had nearly twice that number of members.  All this happened without any external
factors like the ending of the war to account for the large growth.  It is thus a very remarkable occurrence.

Once again, the figures show that the increase cannot be
accounted for by a greater number of new members arriving over the period.  In fact, over this period a total of 136
members joined the club, against a predicted total of 131, so we must look
elsewhere for the reason.  It is, we
find, entirely due to a sudden reversal of the previous trend.  Right across the board, members were now
staying longer with the club and these lower  losses  entirely account for the spectacular increase
in total membership.  After 1962, the
increase levelled off, but we do not necessarily have to find a reason for
this, because a sudden increase due to a change in the rate of leaving levels
off naturally after a few years, as a new state of equilibrium is reached.  Admittedly, the actual levelling off is a
little sharper than theory would suggest, but this can be accounted for by
small fluctuations in the arrival of new members which was not, of course,
entirely constant over the period.

Thus, we still have our original question to answer. What
happened in 1951 which suddenly caused members to be less satisfied with the
club, and what else happened (or what stopped happening) in 1957 which so
dramatically reversed this trend?

We have already mentioned the fact that the discovery and
exploration of St. Cuthbert’s had no effect on membership.  Neither did the ups and downs of the
Belfry.  From 1954 to 1956, Belfry usage
increased by no less than 42%, but it had no effect on the decline mentioned
last month.  General club activities
were, in fact, high over the entire period covered by the decline and the new
upsurge in membership, with nothing changing in 1957 which would account for
the sudden change in the satisfaction of club members with their club.

The next part of this series discusses the recent past – the
period of time from 1962 to 1975 when the survey ends.  After this, the final part attempts to sort
out what it all means and manages to put actual figures to this business of the
satisfaction of members.  As was
mentioned at the start of this series, it is not intended to bore readers with
the actual maths, although this is available to any members who may be
interested in the methods used in this survey of the growth of the club.

A Fill In

The hard men who climb on the
Glyders
Are such that none ever considers
On seeing dense fogwen
They look at Llyn Ogwen
Their wives will be shortly their wyders.

P.S –  If your fill in
is better, send it in.

 

Some Peaks in the
North West
Highlands

by Roy Bennett

Previous visits to this wet but delectable area have always
been marred by continuous rain, but reports of the fine weather tempted us to
try again.  The first choice was to the
north of Ullapool where isolated

Sandstone
Mountains
rise up from a
rocky lochan strewn landscape.

The rocks responsible for this scenery are of particular
interest because of their great age. Firstly, the pre-Cambrian Torridon Sandstone which is devoid of
fossils  as it was laid down  before life on this planet had developed any
hard parts.  In spite of its venerable
age, the rock has lasted quite well and its massive beds normally lie at gentle
angles giving rise to impressive mural precipices.  These sometimes give excellent rock climbing
but often the cliffs are loose, lacking in belays and separated by horizontal
bands of very steep grass.  It is
succeeded by a White Cambrian Quarzite having Crinoids and other fossils and
giving rise to its own mountain forms.

The rocky and widespread foundations of the mountain are
composed of Lewisian Gneiss, an even older rock.  This forms part of the ‘Shield’ area of very
old much altered rocks and was once continuous with similar rocks in Greenland
and Arctic Canada, which it has been separated from by continental drift.  It is very resistant to weathering and it is
often exposed in the area as a series of hummocks, rounded and grooved by the
ice-age glaciers.

On our arrival in the area, it rained heavily.  The weather had been very good and it looked
as if we were in for our usual luck. However, it cleared up quite suddenly, remaining changeable but
improving for the rest of our holiday.

First choice for a ‘limber up’ was the well known Stac
Polly, a fancy mountain some 2,000ft high and handy to the road.  It consists of a rocky be-pinnacled ridge
offering some entertaining scrambling. Access was easy, up a steep path to a colon the, ridge.  From this point, the East summit was easily
reach, returning to the col to start the more interesting scramble over the
pinnacles to the highest point on the western end.  Where were some easy ways up most of these,
with an awkward few moves over the ‘bad step’ to the western¬most and highest
summit.  In all a very enjoyable little
mountain.

After a few more rainy days, fine weather again tempted us
out (unless you like plodding around mountains in the rain, some wet weather
pursuit such as fishing, bird watching or sitting in a pub is essential).   The mountain chosen was Quinag and its most
Northerly Torridon Sandstone peak rising as a great mountain wall when viewed
from the west.  The traverse of the
ridges connecting its various tops made a splendid trip especially as we were
dropped off at one end.  The approach to
this east summit was trackless, but was easy going apart from a crumby plod up
steep, loose scree to the summit itself. Once there, the going was speedy along the ridges on good paths.  Time could not be spared to include the
highest top which lies off to the south of the main ridge due to delay caused
by a small dog chasing grouse (didn’t catch any).  We caught up a little time on the descent
from the final peak when we raced down almost continuous slabs of Quartzite on
the dip slope of the mountain.

The next to be tackled was Suilven, the most spectacularly
steep sided peak in

Scotland
.  It was a prominent landmark to the Viking
raiders, raiding down the West coast, who called it Sul-Fjal or

Pillar
Mountain
.  From the western view¬point it appears as a
grassy dome sitting on a great prow-like semi-circle of almost vertical 800ft
cliffs.  From either side, Suilven shows
as a long ridge of 4 tops which from the other (western) end appears as a
symmetrical pyramid of knife-edge steepness.

In short, a very attractive mountain but with one snag – due
to some oversight it has been placed a rather long way from the nearest public
road.  Our first approach was from the
east where the OS map indicated a perfectly good foot¬path not mentioned in the
S.M.C. guidebook.

This was difficult to find at first and then followed along
the lake-side in bits and pieces, eventually to peter out altogether.  The going then became very heavy – up and
down peat hags, heather and boggy clumps of grass with the mountain
tantalisingly in the distance.  After
about 2½ hours, we gave up and a glance at the map showed a pathetic distance
covered.

The point being taken, I set off next day along one of the
recommended paths to the mountain.  This
was a splendid contrast to the previous day as these paths were put in for deer
stalking in days when labour must have been cheap and readily available.  Their mode of construction was very similar
to that of a road.  First of all a good
line is taken, then a ditch is dug on the up¬slope side for drainage and the
excavated material, where suitable, is used to raise up the path.  Large stones are removed from the levelled
surface and drainage channelled under the paths provided at intervals.  Most still stand in good condition and are
smooth enough to cycle over.  Walking on
such a path becomes a pleasure all of its own, the legs work smoothly and
efficiently and all the step breaking difficulties slide by defeated.  Lakes and rivers appear and pass by and
sandpipers flute from the shallows.

In 2 hours, I was sitting at the foot of the mountain, after
5½ miles of approach with 1,000ft of ascent. Another hour was sufficient to climb to the bealach (col) and traverse
by an easy path to the north peak – Castell Liath – the Grey castle.  This was quite unexpected, a large area of
mossy grass curving gradually away on 3 sides to the invisible supporting
cliffs.  The view from this isolated
eminence was like that from an aeroplane. Immediately down was a Scandinavian landscape of hummocks and lochans
hardly changed since the glaciers melted away many thousands of years ago.  Further away there was more grass and
heather, then a few trees and houses – to the deep blue of the sea.  Costal features could be picked out 13 miles
away.  Formerly there would have been
more trees and habitations, but these were finally removed during the
Highland clearances and the land is now derelict
supporting only a few sheep and deer.

From the summit, steps were re-traced re-passing one of the
most remarkable features of the mountain – a man-made dry stone wall erected
across the mainly grassy ridge of the mountain from cliff top to cliff
top.  The guide book mentions this, but I
was not prepared for its size – 4ft thick at its base with a 5-6ft vertical height,
built of massive squared off blocks laid in brick wall fashion.  It seemed enough to climb the mountain
without carrying out such work at the top. From the bealach, an easy path led over a subsid¬iary top to the highest
point.  To reach the small summit plateau
of this there was a bit of a climb up a broken wall.  The usual route was to return from here but –
look across the valley suggested a change of plan.  There was a good path to the head of the
nearby loch which could be reached from the end of the mountains

east ridge
and after some
hesitation I set out in this direction.

There was not much of a path and interest quickened.  This part of the mountain was clearly not so
often visited, but the guide books claimed there was no real difficulty.  A long descent over loose rocks and grass led
to a col, the sides of which fell away steeply. Beyond was a vertical wall to a sub¬sidiary peak which turned on the
left via some vegetated ledges.  From the
flat top of the peak, the

East Ridge

led comfortably down in a series of grassy ledges.  A surprised ptarmigan scuttled off without
flying to draw attention away from her two mottled yellow chicks.  I spoke to it but it did not answer.  On down, and a thought struck.  The river from the loch had been crossed by a
bridge – now I was proposing to cross higher up – and there was no bridge.  Too late to turn back, but the river was low
in its stony ‘bed’ when reached.  It was
crossed by use of some rickety stones and I was soon cruising steadily along a
good path back to civilisation.

Some sightseeing followed including visits to Loch Laxford –
with its glac¬iated landscape. 
Handa
Island,
home of the dreaded Great Skuas, and

Smoo
Cave
at Durness.  The weather continued to be fine and we were
drawn south to Torridon to avenge the continuous rain of previous visits.  This is a

Mecca
for mountaineers where the Sandstone
peaks reach their maximum height and the mountains are laid out in long
continuous ridges.

Firstly, Ben Damph was climbed, a gentle amble through
resinous pine woods to a spacious corrie leading on to the long, broad,
switchback to a summit with extensive views.

The finale was the traverse of Ben Eighe, the longest of the
Torridon ridges and the only one largely composed of Cambrian Quartzite.  In this, the tiered verticality of the
Torridonian Sandstone is replaced with sharp arêtes flanked by enormous spreads
of white scree, giving the mountain a dingy snow covered appearance.  The scree is noteworthy, being mainly
composed of angular blocks like small half-bricks which slide tiringly
underfoot on ascents – and it is too coarse to run when descending.

From the usual starting point near the eastern end of the
mountain, a heathery path leads to a few dotted remnants of former pine forest
to an extensive plateau thinly vegetated with dwarf juniper and other
shrubs.  From this a ridge, rocky at
first, then completely scree, rose between scree corries to¬wards the first
summit.  These corries have a cold
desolate appearance intimidating to the solo walker.  Apart from one long slope of loose scree, the
first ascent was not too taxing and 2 hours after leaving the road, the first
summit was reached.  The scene was
enlivened by a patch of dwarf sax¬ifrage, covered with rosy, inch-high flowers,
and there were extensive mountain views in all directions.

Upwind, towards the south-east however, there was a
spreading pall of bad¬ weather which looked as if it would catch up about half
way along the ridge.  After a quick bite
to eat I set off, whilst behind a subdued battle was being fought between the
southern depression and the high-pressure weather which had served us so
well.  A summit and a half later,
interest was quickened by a series of small towers on the ridge – the Black
Carls of Ben Eighe.  These were soon
passed and the next summit reached.  By
this time, the wind was backing steadily to northerly and the weather became a
past problem, pinned down in the distance.

The rocky ridge continued to another summit past some
remarkable rock scenery sculptured by the Quartzite jointing.  One particular gully had absolutely vertical
sides so that it was no wider at the top than the deeply descending bottom,
100ft below.  The ridge also showed
unexpected verticality and in one place a look over the path edge showed sheer
rocks disappearing under ones feet in an overhang.

A steep scree and loose rock descent, best forgotten, and a
more pleasant ascent gave more summit views. Back along the ridge two small back dots could be seen in the distance –
the nearest I got to seeing any other walkers on the mountain that day – rather
different to the Snowdon Horseshoe or Helvellyn!

A long ridge led on, becoming softer underfoot.  A tactical error resulted in a dismal
backtrack to take in the highest summit spurring off to the North.  A coffee-break restored flagging spirits and
the final section was started with a plod up a mossy meadow.  In sharp contrast the ridge beyond dropped
away in a series of great vertical rock steps which were bypassed with much
leaping about to a col.  A final plod up
to the final summit Sail Mhor.  From here
it was all down, threading a way round bits of cliff on the easy angled slopes
south of the ridge.  Remnants of energy
were squandered on rattling down the tourist path to the road, where tired feet
could be dabbled in a sun-warmed stream.

The whole trip had taken 7½ hours including stops and errors
and about 11 miles had been covered with a total ascent of about 5,000ft.  The actual length of the ridge, excluding
bits done twice, was nearly six miles. In all a very nice end to the holiday.

 

A Dryish Easter in the Lakes

Having carried out a bit of
begging for articles it is gratifying to get two excellent articles from the
Climbers – if you are not yet satiated read on the King family have joined
forces to deliver an account of the Lakes.

by Kangy, Jonathan
& Philip King

A pity about today. It started well enough and looked as if it would be scorchingly
hot.  We dawdled over breakfast and
closed up the little tent but were forced back into it at mid-afternoon by
closing time and torrential rain.  Lying
cosily in warm pit turned the yarning to Easter in the Lakes this year which
was not at all wet.

The Haystacks at Buttermere was our first outing.  It’s Ivy Bonner’s favourite walk and we don’t
mind!  The long pull up from the lake
fills the lungs, restores the circulation and sorts out the lads so that they
have sobered up for the walk around the tops. The views are extensive and always appreciated.  After the winter hazes have cleared from the
eyes, everything seems to be in glorious Kodachrome (or Agfa-colour for those
with defective colour sense) and the absolutely superb view of the end of
Buttermere in a golden light stopped us all in our tracks.

A FULL FRONTAL

A day later, when Alan Bonner and I came to look for our
sons, they had vanished into the recesses of the Bonners’ old farmhouse.  Not pushing the matter of whether they would
like a day out with us or not, Alan and I faced up to a day on our own.  “Where? says Alan, Grasmoor says I and
thinking no more about it off we went. Well, on the way and with the weather as it was, and with the feeling of
spring in the air, an urge to do a ridge route became stronger.  There was much discussion and the feeling
became mutual until two mountaineers had their blood up and felt
irresistible!  And as we saw Grasmoor we
saw what we had to do.  The challenge lay
in the west face of Grasmoor.  Viewed
edge on, from the north to the south, it presents the appearance of a steep
ridge and provides the clue to the ascent because the choice of route is
bewildering.  The geometry of the face is
that of a cottage loaf with a side sliced off. The detail is of a series of steep cliffs springing out of the scree
slopes and preventing access to the ridges and gullies of the upper
section.  The whole is about two thousand
feet of intricate steep rock.  It was at
the worst a frightful slog and at the best a delightful test of mountaineering
skills.

We planned our route as best we could from what we could see
of the fore¬shortened face and from what we could remember of the view from the
side as we drove up.  The long upper
ridges would be our objective and to get to them we would have to penetrate the
lengthy steep rock wall which belted in the lower face.  The right hand side was lower and more broken
and offered more chances of a breakthrough. It led to a diagonal traverse, which went above the main cliff but below
smaller tiered cliffs and then back onto the main line.  From here we could link with the longest and
steepest ridge, the sky¬line ridge, which finished in a cwm. The exit from the
cwm would have to be found when we arrived but ideally would be a continuation
of the main ridge.

Happy planning completed, we pulled on our boots, stuck some
wind proofs into a sac with some grub and stumped off across Lanthwaite
Common.  By the time we had reached a
small knoll set against the scree we were nicely warmed.  The scree here was stabilised with vegetation
and we climbed this carefully to steepening rocks at its head.  A way was found up a small gully amidst
heather until suddenly the pressure of the slope ceased and we could walk
freely on an almost grassy terrace.  The
main cliff rose directly from the back of the terrace.  It was vertical.  We prospected towards the left where it was
taller but the terrace gave out in steep rocks and the wall began to
overhang.  Towards the right seemed to
give a level of difficulty for which we were looking but first we tried a
twenty foot pinnacle just for the joy of rock climbing.

It defeated us mainly because it was difficult to see how we
could escape from it and we didn’t want to commit ourselves with the main climb
still to be done.  Alan then tried to the
right and led out across a rising traverse and climbed a small corner to the
higher terrace.  I joined him, where we
found that the terrace ran back to the left and upwards at forty-five degrees
gaining height satisfactorily to the start of the ridge we wanted.

The beginning of the ridge was broad and composed of short
steep walls which we could monkey up enjoyably. As we climbed higher the choice of route became more restricted until we
were scrambling up a true ridge which occasion¬ally steepened to a rock wall
making a traverse necessary to maintain the impetus of our progress.  We began to get an exhilarating feeling of
height as the gullies either side converged in perspective onto the brown
screes with Lanthwaite Common spread map like below.  Like all good things, our ridge came to an
end and flattened into the grass slopes of the upper cwm.

The view from here was great and we sat sweatily and steamed
mightily whilst drinking it in.  We gazed
contentedly and then gradually turned to the cwm and made a technical appraisal
of the final climbing difficulties.  Far
to the right was a good looking arête but to reach it we would have to
descend.  Coming round, towards the
centre, were nasty looking cliffs of vegetatious rock, then some straight
forward gullies, and, most interesting of all, a clean rock buttress which
marked the start of the continuation ridge. There were more escape routes to the left, so feeling that we were fail
safe we went to rub our noses against the buttress to see if it really was as
steep as it looked.  We thought at first
we might have to cheat a bit and get onto the ridge higher up by climbing the
gully bed, but the buttress could be climbed straightforwardly by a slight
outflanking move and with good big holds on clean steep rock.  We moved up and soon got into the swing of
ridge scrambling once more.

The angle soon eased and the ridge gave out onto the rounded
grass slopes below Grasmoor summit.  A
brisk walk with the wind pushing got us to the top.  We were glad of our anoraks, didn’t linger
and raced down the incredibly evenly graded path by Gasgale Gill.  I’d hate to walk up it.  Two miles long in a grim grey craggy vee of a
gorge and very boring.  Alright for
running down though.

The big day for Jonathan and Philip King and Timothy Bonner
(aged 14, 12 and 12 years respectively) was their attempt on
Scafell
Pike
.  Jonathan and Philip
describe it in their own words.

SCAFELL PIKE –
3,210 Feet

We left our friends farmhouse at about 8.00 and drove for
about an hour to Seathwaite.  Here we
changed and prepared for the walk by putting on water¬proofs because it looked
as if it would rain.

We walked a wet path becoming steep past the waterfall
called Taylorgill Force.  As we went past
the waterfall, we had to climb through a small steep valley over bare
rock.  At the top of the waterfall we
crossed the stream to avoid the regular route which had become worn and muddy.  By this time we were quite hot but when we
stopped in the shelter of the Mountain Rescue Hut at Sty Head we soon began to
feel the cold.  We shared out our Easter
Eggs and ate them overlooking the tarn below. The weather looked as though it would get steadily worse.  Starting off again we followed the course of
a small stream going towards the cliffs. Alan mentioned that we were going up the guide routes.  At this point we saw our first snow.  We went into a steep gully following the path
carefully round a deep drop leading to the snowfield.  After this steep part of the path it
flattened out a bit and snowflakes started to fall.  The visibility was still quite good.   There were two possible paths ahead, one
indirect around the snow, one directly through the middle.  The party decided to go up through the snow
and Jonathan was asked to cut the steps. He described it as follows:-

“The first few steps were difficult until I was told
how to use the ice-axe.  You swing it,
letting the weight of the axe do the work. After a time I got into the rhythm, the snow field began to get steeper
so Alan told me to cut the steps in zig-zags and closer together.  The difficulty was that when trav¬ersing you
have to cut across the slope and the snow was hard making it difficult to out a
decent step.  I was so occupied with this
that I did not realize that the wind was getting up until I turned from a
zig-zag and caught the full force of the wind and snow in my face.  This slowed me up because it put me out of
rhythm.  Every time I wanted to swing the
axe I was blinded by snow and the wind pushed me off balance.  At this point I felt that the people behind
had the ad¬vantage because they could lean on their axes.  I felt very unsafe and asked that someone who
was used to cutting steps could relieve me.

Alan took over.  As we
swapped places I looked down.  It was an
almost total ‘white out’.  You could not
tell which was snow and which was sky. In what seemed ages as I clung to a precarious hold, I found that the
position of following was no easier than that of leading”.

The slope was very steep and we moved over gradually to some
rocks.  At the rooks we found the
path.  On the path were a worried man and
his wife with their two small children. The man wanted to know the quickest way down the mountain and out of the
cloud.  Alan took them down part way
while we went on slowly up.  Because we
were going slowly I (Philip) could feel the cold seeping in and penetrating
though I was still enjoying it very much. The blizzard of snow increased and to our relief Alan rejoined us.  He told us that we were not very far from the
summit and sure enough after following the well-cairned path the summit cairn
appeared out of the mist.  We were now
the highest people in

England

and we waved our ice axes on the summit. Not being able to stand the bitingly cold wind for long in such an
exposed place we took shelter behind the huge cairn.

We shared out some more chocolate and then set off over easy
slopes towards Esk Hause.  Surprisingly
once out of the cloud the terrible wind dropped off and we could relax.  The air was remarkably clear and our eyes
took quite a time to adjust to the brightness of the snow.  We slid down a large, previously unspoilt,
snowfield standing on our inverted ice axe heads as little skis (quickly
changing back to the correct position when Daddy turned around).  Meanwhile, Jonathan started to ski standing
up on his boots using his ice axe as a rudder. When we reached the bottom we caught up with Alan and Daddy and
snowballed them.  At Esk Hause we had
lunch with sticky cake, shortbread and toffee called Supergoo and hot drinks
from Thermos flasks.

The rest of the trip was uneventful with good views and it
was satisfying that we had done our climb in good time and could see other
parties struggling to get up the mountain.

Secretarial

There were no New Members clamouring to get into the club
this month but we bid a welcome return to:

792 Ken James, Flat 2,

9 Shrubbery Road
,
Weston Super Mare.
687 Viv Brown,

3 Cross Street
,
Kingswood,

Bristol

800 M.D. Taylor,

39 Reedley Road
,
Westbury on Trym,

Bristol
.

Change of address: Claire Chambers has temporarily changed
her address to 70 Rush Hill,

Bath
.  She will tell us her permanent move when she
can find a flat.

 

1977 AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Bristol Exploration Club
will be held at the Belfry on Saturday 1st October 1971.  The start is scheduled for 10.30 am.  It is anticipated that the meeting will
continue into the pm and there will be the usual provision of a Beer plus
Cheese & Onion in the break.  This
year it is hoped that appreciation will be made that a reasonable charge must
be made to cover the cost of the barrel and refreshments.

THE SECRETARY’S AGENDA

Nominations for and Election of
Chairman – who will preside at the Dinner.

THE CHAIRMAN’S AGENDA

will include:-

Collection of Members Resolutions

Selection of Tellers for the election.
Minutes of the Last Annual General Meeting – As published in the June BB.
Matters arising from the Minutes
Hon. Secretary’s Report
Hut Warden’s Report
Hut Engineer’s Report
BB Editor’s Report
Publications Report
Librarian’s Report
Caving Secretary’s Report
Climbing Secretary’s Report
Tacklemaster’s Report
Hon. Treasure’s Report – together with Auditor’s comment.
IDMF Report
Member’s Resolutions
Any Other Business.

The results of the election will be announced immediately
prior to the lunch break.  This will be
followed by a meeting of the officers elected under the Chairmanship of the AGM
Chairman – to elect officers to posts. Members may vote for a maximum of nine candidates (although the
committee may number up to a maximum of 12). Nominations should be given as soon as possible to the Secretary.  Nominations to date received are the whole of
the present committee (with some reservations on posts) plus the following: Bob
Cross, Martin Grass, Maureen Wheadon, Brenda Wilton.  Russ Jenkins is still able to attend meetings
when his shift work permits and Chris Batstone has said that he has had enough
of being Hut Warden but will serve in another post.

 

The Festering Column

by Plagiarist

Your friendly plagiarist has had to be pestered into turning
out something for the BB at quite short notice and as a result I haven’t
managed the greatest in stealing from others and have had to rely to some
extent on originality.  Still, never mind
I’m told that every little helps.

Talking of little I’m sure that it hasn’t escaped your
notice that our very own Richard Stevenson together with Martyn Farr or is it
Fartyn Mar? went to (and came back its sad to report)

Persia
.  There was a remarkable lack of discovery I
understand but there is a wealth of fable for those who wallow in line
shooting.  Still they had a free holiday
on the BBC and I believe the programme was scheduled for 19.15 on July
17th.  Notice how late I am in telling
this fact – I suppose that it will be just as late when we get an article on
the trip written up in the BB.

Another interesting historical fact is the marathon push
that took place on 11th June in Wookey (together with its follow up on the
18th).  This also had negative results as
regards material extension to the cave system. Still at 150ft depth even the bravest are not to be blamed for being
careful.  Sump 25 has now reached a

UK
cave diving
depth record after approx 250-300′ of progress and it doesn’t seem that a
breakthrough into Wookey 26 will be possible this year.  Anyway it definitely provides some challenge
to our up and coming tigers.

The recent collapse of the Tynings entrance is a shame and
has temporarily we hope, prevented access. Although this was a joint club venture under some obscure title invented
especially for the purpose the T.I.T.S. put in a lot of work and it is only to
be hoped that entry into this quite fine swallet will be made possible again.

Who says the BEC never goes caving?  (We know ’tis true but) a EEC team, assisted
by many and varied sherpas invaded
Devon and
attempted a push into furthering Pridd’lausleigh (my slip – sorry!).  The divers are reported to have successfully
reached the bottom of the second lake and managed to run out miles of line but
no further discoveries have been reported – yet another article for the BB
sometime?

The intention to either gate or (worse) fill in Ludwell was
successfully resolved by the Axbridge CC. It was gated and the key is available from the farm.  Sad to say Hollowfield and Flower Pot (the
joy of Ken James) has not been dealt with so successfully and the entrances are
now blocked.

Cuthbert’s apart from being the subject of many written
reports has been the site of dye testing (in conjunction with Wookey 24) to the
resurgence.  Willie Stanton has found
that the volume of water beyond 24 is of the order of 3X of that downstream
from 24.  This is (I’m told) absolutely
daunting to those who have seen the variation of the flooded section of Wookey
as far as 24.

After that last snippet I think that Plagiarist will have to
go but there remains a few more snippets from :

The BEC are now digging again, this time in Wigmore Swallet.

Cow Hole has been re-opened by Cerberus.  The entrance is now improved and reported to
be only ‘horribly unstable’.

Finally, The Nature Conservancy Wardens have decided that it
is time they covered over the entrance of Timber Hole (more news as to whether
this is to be permanent or not soon).

 

Monthly Crossword Number 77


 

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Clues

1. I led pub role – out of a
ruckle, presumably!  (7,4)
2. Backward part for sump? (4)
3. Apart from half a rift for example. (5)
4. One should do this oneself to a lifeline. (6)
5. Light the Wig.  The result being mush
easier to tackle! (11)
6. Visitor’s accident description or routine expedition in Cuthbert’s? (7,4)
7. Beds are normally this in Mendip caves. (6)
8. Reach end of cave – and feel the muscular effects within. (4)
9. Many pounds per square foot in hidden series. (5)
10. Steal apples – or their product, perhaps. (6)
11. Wookey is this to the public. (5)
12. ‘As I tell you’ to use an army expression, rather than this. (2,1,2)
13. Crystalline substance found in cavern’s parts. (4)
14. Southern Railway mobile unit taken by lifeline sometimes.  (6)
15. …..which is made of this, naturally!. (4)
16.  Measure pitches for a Grade 2
survey? (5,6)

Solution to No. 76

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Club Headquarters

The Belfry,

Wells
Rd
, Priddy, Wells,

Somerset
. Telephone WELLS 72126

Club Committee

Chairman          S.J.
Collins

Minutes Sec      M.
Wheadon

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

52072

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

 

The views expressed by contributors to the Belfry Bulletin,
including those of club officers, are not necessarily the views of the
committee of the Bristol Exploration Club or the Editor, unless so stated.  The Editor cannot guarantee that the accuracy
of information contained in the contributed matter, as it cannot normally be
checked in the time at his disposal.

 

© 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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