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.

A request from Neddy Jenkins and Nigel Taylor.

The Caving and Climbing Secretaries are shortly going to
establish a meets programme for next year. Anyone with ideas for either specific caving, climbing, walking,
canoeing etc., meets or general just away meets should send their ideas to
either Russell Jenkins or Nigel Taylor as soon as possible for inclusion in a
Diary of Events in time for very interested member to join in.  Please send all suggestions c/o The Belfry,

Wells Road
, Priddy,


Dates for your Diary:

12th. Priddy Niters trip to
S. Wales

25th. St. Cuthbert’s Swallet;

December 9th.
Longwood. (Further details available from Richard Kenney, ‘Yennek’, St. Mary’s
Road, Meare,

, BA6 9SS. Tel. Meare Heath 296.

10th. BORA  Winter Meeting.  Hunters Lodge (back room) 9-4p.m.  Provisional programme:

·        ‘Water Pollution’ – Dave Maneley (SMOC)


1977′ – speaker to be announced;

These lectures will be followed
by a Buffet Supper at 7 p.m.

Price (for meal only) £2.75.  Bookings to Bryan Ellis,

30 Main Road
Westonzoyland, Bridgwater,

, by December
3rd, 1977.

Following the meeting, at 8.30,
Jerry Wooldridge will be showing his slide sequences of Fairy Cave Quarry and
La Cigaliere.

March 11th 1978, BCRA Symposium –
Cave Photography, UMIST,


Further club meets:

Nov.19th. Oxlow – Giants –
contact John Dukes for details.

Nov. 20th. Peak Cavern – details
from Martin Grass

Nov. 26th. and Nov. 27th.
North Wales – contact John Dukes or Graham Wilton-Jones.

Jan. 8th

– details from Martin Grass.

Next month in the BB:-


by Nick Thorne

New cave in

Diving in Pridhamsleigh,
Devon – Jane Wilson

+ many other shorter features     .



– a Monthly Miscellany

compiled by Niph

OTTER HOLE is to be gated shortly.  Key and information from John Courte,
Trenchard Cott., The Mire, Joyford, Nr. Coleford, Glos. Telephone: Coleford
2565. (6-7 p.m.) Surveyed length 8,000ft; total est. length 12,000ft.

You can’t take them anywhere!  When Jane Wilson was window gazing in
Buckfastleigh recently a local woman commented to her about JD and G.W-J
“Wouldn’t like to meet those two on a dark night.”

TYNINGS BARROWS SWALLET.  This recently discovered cave is currently
blocked ‘by the’ influx of more liquid mud below the 2nd. Pitch.  A further complication is that the farm has
been sold.  Martin Bishop intends to
visit the new owner and re-negotiate access and arrange digging parties to
re-open the system.  Enthusiastic diggers
urgently required – phone Martin for dates. Tel., Priddy 370.

SWILDONS HOLE. A recent trip through the Troubles by the Hon. Sec. proved wetter than
usual.  Whereas the Mud Sump was
virtually dry, Troubles passable without bailing, the squeeze into Doomed
Grotto was nearly sumped making life very interesting.  Also the first wet dig from Glistening
Gallery was a virtual sump, being a case of on your back with helmet off!

Another route from Vicarage Passage to the ‘2’ streamway has
been recently reopened by WOC. coming out into the streamway opposite the

S. Wales.  The Mendip grapevine is alive with news of a
large cave system on the Aggie side of the Clydach Gorge near Brynmawr.  Opened apparently about March this year, the
surveyed length is 4.75 miles, wet (floodable) entrance passage leading to a
massive passage, with good formations. Reliable reports say that sections of the cave include the largest
passage discovered in the

.  More details in the December BB following a
trip into it by a couple of local cavers on the 23rd. October.  Access notes will follow – at the moment as
you will guess; access is very limited. Working parties only.

International Speleo. Congress – post congress caving
camp.  The visit of a dozen foreign
cavers to the Belfry enlisted support from many local cavers.  Included amongst them was ZOT who arrived
minus gear, but in the usual Zottie manner managed to acquire a complete set of
gear and accompanied our foreign friends down Cuthbert’s.  Thanks Zot, don’t let it happen too often or
else you might set a bad image!  Full
report will appear in the December BB.

has recently become necessary to formulate a new agreement with Somerset County
Council to secure access to this cave. Unfortunately the SCC require a large rental; initially £250 based on
500 cavers visiting the system per year at 5Op/head.  The matter was discussed by the member clubs
of CSCC and they were prepared to let the cave be closed rather than pay such a
large sum that would obviously set a precedent and sending caving costs
sky-high.  Tim Reynolds and Oliver Lloyd
met representatives of SCC and have now secured a rental of about £30 per
year.  The final details of the agreement
are not yet known, but it is hoped to inform members in the near future.

MIDWEEK CAVING. Many will remember the Tuesday Night Caving Group and its
activities.  Tim Large regularly caves on
Wednesday evenings and would like to hear from anyone interested in joining
him.  Unlike the TNCG, it is hoped to
visit a variety of caves, including digging at various sites.  If you are interested phone Tim (Radstock
4211) or meet at the Belfry, 7 pm.

AGGY – new survey published by BORA, 60p (available
from Bryan Ellis). Surveyed length 15.5 miles and 490ft deep.  Applications for access permits and key from:
P. Larbalestier,

46 Llanyravon Way
Cwymbran, Gwent. NP4 2HW.


Letter to the Editor

Dear Sir,

May I take up some the B.B. space to reply to the points
raised by Kangy about the Well article.

Kangy was right in thinking that we wanted to use S.R.T for
its own sake, but he was wrong to assume that ladders were not considered.  Graham and I gave a great deal of thought to
how we should tackle this job, and we came down on the side of ropes for the
following reasons.

Firstly we were both very unwilling to attempt a 330ft.
ladder pitch without some practice before hand. It is a long time since I did a big pitch and Graham has only done big
pitches on ropes.

Bearing the above point in mind and the fact that there were
only two of us who would do the lifelining? I had already been involved in a well rescue some time ago.  On this occasion I used ladders and the local
fire brigade did the lifelining; trying to go down while they pulled up is not
funny, likewise coming up while the rope went down does not instil
confidence.  I did not fancy this sort of
thing at 300ft.  I also knew that it
would take two people at the bottom to retrieve the dog.  Therefore two lads on the bottom of the
ladder with no experienced people at the top did not appear very safe.  We also thought that the ladder would need a
belay half way down so one would have required an Acrow.

The last reason was purely financial, in that we only have
225ft. of ladder in Wycombe and did not fancy a trip to Mendip for the rest.

I would agree with Kangy that the ladder is an adaptable
tool and should always be considered as it will be the best thing to use in
some cases.

I have been down a number of wells in this area varying from
30 to 330ft.  They have all been dug by
hand through the top soil and down into the rock chalk.  The diameters have all been approx.
5-6ft.  The reason for this diameter
became clear when I was able to observe a local well being dug deeper because
it dried up in last years draught.  The
5-6ft. dia. is just right to give comfortable working room without removing
extra spoil.  It would seem that 2-3 ft
depth could be gained each day through the rock chalk.  All the wells I have seen have the top
section with brickwork or dry stone walls. The depth of this is dependant on the surrounding top soil; as soon as
the well is in rock, chalk the walls become self supporting.

I have only one point to make.  Graham only handed in the article, I wrote

High Wycombe, 14 Sept.


Odds and Sods

The CNCC has negotiated a Personal accident Scheme for
mem¬ber clubs of CNCC at £4.50 per head providing there are at least 2,500
people in the scheme.  Benefits include
£5,000 for death, loss of limbs or sight and £50 per week for 1 year (excluding
first 28 days) temporary total disability. They are hoping to extend the cover for overseas trips for an extra fee of
a couple of pounds.  Details from J. J.
Clegg; Whernsiide Manor, Dent,


Films of Alum, White Scar, Pippikin, Prov-Dow and Lancaster-
Easgill will be shown on BBC Television in the near future – watch the Radio





by Graham Wilton-Jones.

This summer I forsook the Pyrenees, and the heat, dust and
flies of the South of France, and headed North, for the
Arctic.  Was it different?  Was there snow everywhere and were
temperatures below freezing?  No!  We had heat, dust and flies, or at least,
mosquitoes.  Really it was all a plot to
keep an eye on the W.S.G. expedition to

, and to prove that the
B.E.C. does, indeed, get everywhere.  It
was good to be completely out of the organisation side, and be able to just concentrate
on the caving.

It was decided to spend a couple of days getting to

, which proved a
wise decision.  After a highly
effervescent barrel on Friday July 29th. we packed the vehicles (W.S.G. minibus
and one of their member’s Cortina estate) on the Saturday morning.  The bus was loaded within limits, but the
car’s springs were bent the wrong way by the weight.  We stopped beside Ripon race¬course
overnight.  On the way north in the
morning the Cortina’s clutch fell to bits. Fortunately we had two spare
clutches with us (

minor roads have a certain notoriety) and a new one was on in two hours.

The ferry journey was notable for sleepy cavers being moved
around from deck to deck in the middle of the night, and being thrown off (the
decks, not the ferry) at five in the morning for the washing of decks.  We arrived in

to rain.  I’m told it always rains in

. Night was spent in a lay-by just short of Voss, and the following two
days were mainly continuous travelling for thirty two hours.  Over the Sognefiord, deepest in

at 1244
metres, we headed across the Jotunheimen range to the E6. The twisting,
mountain roads are largely un-metalled, and were quite a surprise for our poor
old vehicles.  We reached the top of the
Jotunheim just before a storm arrived, and managed to take a few photographs of
its impressive ruggedness, emptiness and vastness.  The E6 is a good, fairly fast road, and we
reached Mo-i-Rana, just outside the
late on Wednesday afternoon.  There we
stayed in a small ‘Rom’ – sixteen of us in a place about the size of the old
stone Belfry with an upstairs.  Some of
us camped, and there was plenty of barn space for drying equipment.

Our first cave was Jordbrugrotten.  A good track led from the E6, close by our
base, along the Plurdal (valley of the

).  Some distance along this an underground river
cascades from the middle of a cliff and flows into the Plura.  This is the Jordbrugrotten resurgence – the
Sprutfossen.  Having found it, we spent
much time clambering about through birch, alder and miscellaneous undergrowth
to reach the belay directly above, at the cliff top.  We laddered or abseiled, according to choice,
down to a wide shelf next to Sprutfossen, and swung into the cave.  Here and O.F.D. size stream flows along a
large, whitish marble walled passage, down cascades and under great block and
sheets of ice.  Frost shattering is very
evident near the surface, close to the resurgence.  Here and there bands of insoluble mica-schist
jut out from the walls, much like chert would in

.  The walls are mostly very smooth, and the
off-white is broken by parallel bands of darker colouring.  A howling, icy draught blows through the
system, so it was easy to find the bedding-plane crawl that by-passed the
sump.  Beyond, the plunge pools were
deeper, and we finally turned back at an awkward climb in a tributary
streamway, just above an impressive 9m waterfall where the mainstream enters.  The exit was interesting, swinging off the
ledge at Sprutfossen out into the void. Although we had been only a short time underground, by the time we were
all back at the Rom it was dark.  It had
been getting that way as people were climbing out of the cave, but dusk lasts a
long time that far north.  On ladder was
dropped off the top of the cliff, and was found some days later several hundred
metres downstream, having been washed that distance, including through l00m of
stream cave below Sprutfossen, by flooding.

Friday dawned (around 4 a.m.) fine and warm.  Much later we headed north along the Rovasdal
for about 10 km.  From a vague point off
the track we off-loaded the minibus and walked up a path through the steep
forest slopes towards Reingardslivatn (vatn = lake).  Within sight of the lake is Lapphullet, a
1,000m long system on two, sometimes three levels.  The system is largely phreatic, with some
areas of breakdown. In many places there are exposures of insoluble mica schist
– differential erosion causing these to be left projecting as blades, girders
and tubes on the roof or walls of the passage. We spent two hours looking at most of this system, including exploring
some virgin territory of bedding planes and muddy passages around the middle of
the system.  The ice marked on the survey
at the end of Wilf’s passage has now retreated leaving a few small icicles in a
choke of pebbles and boulders.

Emerging from Lapphullet, we went off in search of its
neighbour, Larshullet.  The forest here
is of small, stunted or dead birch trees, the lumpy karst being overgrown with
a riot of bright flowers, especially geraniums. Branches and twigs, both live and dead, lay haphazardly all over the
ground making progress very awkward. There are numerous holes in the limestone, mainly small and
inaccessible, or requiring digging.  A
few of the caves in this region are gated and marked ‘FREDET’ – protected.  Having found the largest one of these, we
confirmed that it was Larshullet using a photograph from the C.R.G. book.

This cave is considerably larger than the previous one,
being 2½ km long and 326m deep.  Most of
this depth is gained by a steady descent throughout the cave, only a 23m shaft
near the bottom requiring tackle.  The
entrance passages have impressive, sharply folded (ptygmatic) quartz veins from
around which the marble has been corroded. At one point the entire passage is formed in a tube of quartz, from
within which the marble has been dissolved, giving a very unnatural
appearance.  Further down, where the
passage takes on the dimensions of a motorway tunnel, the walls are lined with
parallel intrusions of mica schist and quartz, looking remarkably as if someone
has carefully lined the gallery with polished, straight grained wood.

While one group went to the head of the 23m shaft, another
group took several photographs in the entrance series.  Near the entrance itself there are some ice
formations, and a small stream of ice on the floor peters out when the
temperature rises just above freezing, some 50m from the entrance.  300m in a small stream flows from the roof
and on down to the bottom of the cave. Wet suits are not necessary, and dry grots were sufficient to keep us
warm except when hanging around for photos. We were all out within two hours, which indicates how easy the cave is
in spite of its considerable depth.

So as not to give us too much of a good thing it rained on
Saturday, not too hard but consistently, out of a low cloud.  In the morning we drove out along some of the
tracks towards Glomdalen, a major caving area, to make contact with David and
Shirley St. Pierre and the Norwegian cavers. On the way the minibus decided to part company with the road (I was not
driving at the time!).  Fortunately there
were sixteen of us with it at the time, and the road was only soft sand and
gravel, so we dug it up, made a ramp, drove the van completely down the bank
onto the marsh below and back up the ramp. Apparently it happens all the time in


Later, much later, we arrived back at Gronligrotten, where
it was still raining.  This cave is well
known in the area, and is essentially a sporting show cave.  Visitors can either be guided through a small
section of the cave by young, pretty Norwegian girls, or can make their own
explorations (or maybe both!). Expeditions, like us, go without the guides, but it’s free.  There is a dry, sand-floored upper series,
joined at certain points by a rather fine, if small, streamway.  The tourist section has occasional
gang-planks and short ladders, and some thin, fractured bedding in the roof is
held up by ineffective iron girders and a lot of faith.  The way is lit by naked bulbs.

We, of course, explored virtually everywhere, especially the
rushing stream¬way, which seemed a lot bigger once YOU were in it.  Differential erosion has produced many sharp
shelves in the stream passages so it is fairly easy going.  Several of us finished our explorations long
before the photographic team, so we returned to the van for a bite to eat.  There was still no sign of the others when
the guides came down and headed for home, leaving an ominous notice (in
Norwegian and English) ‘The cave is closed because it is overflowed!’  Later, the photographic team reported that it
had been quite exciting in the stream. Anyway, we hadn’t really been worried.

In the evening six of us moved up to Svartis Vatnet to camp
there overnight.  The following morning
we travelled by boat along the lake, saving several hours of difficult walking
through steeply sloping birch woods by the side of the lake, and disembarked on
the very bare rocks at the other end.  At
the turn of the century the Svartisen glacier, second largest in

, used to
reach right down into the lake, but has retreated well over a kilometre since
that time.  The rate of retreat is very
variable, but is at present about 30m per year. Paint marks on the rocks indicate the position of the snout of the
glacier at different times, all measured in the summer months.  It was particularly interesting to see a
paint mark made exactly one year previously. Changes in the shape and size of the glacier are so rapid now that it
has been necessary to construct a mile long tunnel underneath the glacier, this
tongue of which is called Austerdalsisen, to continually drain the lake
beyond.  Some years, ago the glacial lake
broke through an ice barrier and destroyed many houses miles away down the
valley.  Hopefully, the threat of a
recurrence of this has now been averted.

On the glacier crampons and ice axes were necessary.  The ice surface was pitted and broken with
minute fissures, but was, nevertheless, hard and slippery, and well endowed
with crevasses, up to about 25m depth and often too wide to jump.  There was no snow, so all the crevasses were
visible from some distance and it was not necessary to rope up.  At first, on the edge of the glacier where
the ice was thin, it was dirty with a veneer of mud, black and very wet, but
higher up on the tongue the ice was a clean grey-blue.  A couple of heavy showers passed us by,
except for a few drops, and most of the day was bright and warm.  The ice glared, reflecting most of the light
and much of the heat, though it soon became chilly if clouds covered the
sun.  Every¬where around us, and
sometimes beneath us, the sound of streams echoed.  Many super-glacial streams ran for some
distance before gurgling down into the deep blue-blackness of ice rifts and
potholes, while others tumbled down crevasses, gradually enlarging them more
and more.

As we made our way towards the ice-fall crevasses became
more and more frequent, and we were slowed down considerably, or headed off
from our intended course.  Due to this,
and to lack of time, we never reached any real seracs, having to turn back just
below the main ice-fall.  We returned via
the outfall edge of the glacier tongue, where there were some of the largest
crevasses.  We had taken full S.R.T. gear
and a length of blue water, and so were able to drop one of these.  The intense blue of the ice deep down, the
wind scallops on the crevasse walls, and the patterns of little bubbles within
the ice were all features new to me, and I found them fascinating.

Beyond the large crevasses the ice was so littered with
moraine of all sizes, from fine gravel up to large boulders of various sorts
that it was difficult to tell glacier from solid ground.  Here the ice was dirty all the way through,
and looked like the surrounding rocks. Below us an impressive river roared out from beneath the glacier.  We eventually dropped off the glacier above
an ice cave, which was filled with rushing waters and a deep blue light.  We did not stop long – the sound of ice
cracking when you are underneath is not inspiring or inviting.  Returning to a wet camp, we packed up the
tents and headed for


On Monday we loaded up the vehicles again, 100 lbs heavier
now with fermenting beer, and headed up into the
Arctic.  Around the
Arctic Circle,
well marked at the E6, with a cafe and souvenir shop, and even white lines
across the road, the woods gave way to more tundra like scenery, such as we had
seen in the Jotunheimen.  However, a
little further north the woods took over once more on the hills, though the
mountains looked more rugged and bleak, with larger patches of snow on lower
slopes.  At about latitude 68o north we
left the main road, to Drag, on the Tysfiord, and then drove up the fiord to
Helland, where we bivouacked overnight. Just about everyone took photographs of the sky at midnight, with the
sun just below the horizon.  There was a
very heavy dew, but the sun rose early (2.30 a.m.) and my sleeping bag had
dried off by 5 a.m.

The boat to take us further up the fiord, to Musken, without
the vehicles, was due at 7.15, so we were all up at 6.00.  Thus chaos almost reigned when the boat
turned up at 6.05 to leave in ten minutes. A very harassed and slightly impatient captain watched, rather
helplessly, as we filled the deck of his boat with all manner of nameless and
unidentifiable (to him and his fellows) equipment.  Needless to say, in all the rush, one or two
things were forgotten.  On arrival in
Husken, Big Jim (Cerberus) was dispatched on the returning ferry to collect
this, gear. “He should be back on the afternoon ferry,” we
thought.  The ferry came very late in the
evening.  Jim said nothing.

We had travelled this far north in order to do the deepest
through trip in
Northern Europe – Ragge Javre
Raige.  The top entrances are near the
top of Musken mountain, and the bottom entrances are down at or near fiord
level.  Of the three lower entrances, one
is a submerged resurgence, from which the cave’s fresh water bubbles up into
the salt water of the fiord; another, just above this resurgence, is a cleft
which draughts very strongly with a freezing air that can be felt from a boat
in the fiord, but a short distance inside the way on divides and becomes
narrow; the third, the main exit from the system, is 114m above fiord
level.  It emerges from an icy cleft onto
a narrow shelf in a cliff face.

Kendal Caving Club did much of the original exploration of
Ragge, and concluded by reaching the bottom entrance and making the
survey.  Unfortunately they had to go all
the way back up through the cave again, de-tackling en route.  Norwegian cavers, who are few but hard, did
the first through trip in a time of 17 hours. When they reached the exit they climbed back up the outside of the
mountain; which climb they said was considerably harder than the cave
itself.  We intended to go one better, by
abseiling through the cave and down at the bottom into a boat.  It was therefore fairly important that we
locate the bottom exit before the trip, so that our boatman waited in the right

We had borrowed the S.W.C.C. rubber dinghy and an outboard,
and spent most of the day transporting gear across the fiord to Segleneset,
from which point the easiest route up Nusken mountain runs.  We also scrutinised the edge of the fiord.  The resurgence and the draughting hole were
easy to find, but the main exit remained thoroughly concealed in the
trees.  Ragge lies in a narrow belt of
marble which dips at about 45°.  Bands of
marble were sharply defined on the opposite wall of the fiord, but were
difficult to spot on our side, from close to – all the rocks appeared very
similar in colour.  Our boatman would
just have to sit out in the fiord and wait until he saw light or heard our
shouts from on high.

On Wednesday morning Paul, a boat owner we had befriended,
took 12 of us, plus further equipment, plus the dinghy, over to Seglneset.  This saved at least two slow and overloaded
journeys in the dinghy, and very soon we were scrambling our various routes up
the steep, wooded mountainside.  500 –
600m up the woods finally gave way to rock with grassy and mossy patches, and
over the final climb we looked down on the hanging valley where Ragge
begins.  There were several melting snow
patches feeding the little stream which trickled over the grassy floor before
disappearing into Bumperhullet.  Memories
of the photographs in Norsk Grotteblad I made the, location of Ragge a simple
task, its two, strongly in-draughting entrances being up on the south east side
of the valley.

We had divided into two teams – 7 of us to do the complete
through trip and 5 to come as far as the top of the big pitch, de-tackle this
and go back down the mountain.  After a
brew up of soup we set off into the cave at about 2 p.m.  The floor is sandy and dry at first, and level,
but soon drops away, down a series of parallel pitches, towards the
stream.  One of these pitches was
laddered initially but an awkward free climb was found to avoid this.  So far we had come down about 25m.  The next pitch, the Inclined Rift, dropped
down to 102m., taking a large stream with it. We climbed down parallel to the stream and a few metres from it.  The climb was a little awkward at the bottom
(we had belayed a rope at the top, but it just ran out at this point) though it
was possible to stand up and reach out to the roof in order to traverse down
the steep (70o – 80o) slope.  At the
bottom we were into a low section with a ‘Swildons’ in spate’ size stream,
where we actually got our dry gear wet, up to the knees.  That was the wettest we got.  Round the corner the stream rushes down
another inclined rift and into a vertical pot of nearly 150m full of rushing,
white water.  We traversed over the top
of this via the straight forward ‘Wolf Walk’, where a rope was handy for the
gear, and climbed down a steep, muddy rift to the head of the Big Pitch –
Storstupet ¬139m.  This is dry; sloping
in several places, and descends next to the wet pot.  While the pitch was being rigged another brew
was on the go – very welcome considering the low temperature of the cave (20 –
30 C).

The rigging was hopeless. Instead of someone descending with the main bulk of the rope in a bag,
feeding it out as they went, part of it was coiled and then thrown over the
edge of the pitch.  150m of rope is a lot
and, quite naturally it tangled itself into intricate knots on the way down,
and caught itself on just about every projection.  It took 2½ hours to clear this knitting, when
the whole pitch should have taken seven of us no more than 15 minutes.  Fortunately we had a telephone with us, which
helped morale a great deal during all the hanging about, and once the pitch was
properly rigged it was invaluable in communicating from top to bottom.  The rope is rarely away from the wall, and
abseiling basically involves walking or running down the wall.  For the first 50m there is a huge rock window
through which the wet pitch can be seen. At the bottom the water from this appears again, briefly, but soon
vanishes for good underneath the large boulders.  However, the base of the pitch is filled with
the noise of water, with spray and with turbulent winds.

Two of us went on to rig the next pitch for rappel, but
could find no convenient belay for this. The top section was easily free-climbable, being the sloping base of an
enormous vertical aven, but the last section was awkward.  We all used the rope for this except the last
man, who let down the rope and free-climbed the whole pitch, albeit
gingerly.  The small trickle that had
been with us since the base of Storstupet went down a hale in the floor the
but, for the moment, we continued straight ahead along a passage with a virgin
dusty-dry floor.  We arrived at the head
of a l00+m pitch with an aven disappearing into the blackness above.  The passage we had ‘explored’ was, in fact on
the survey.  I guess that in winter heavy
drip obliterates any foot-prints up and in summer the cold, but powerful
draught dries out the mud completely.  We
found no drip anywhere in the cave.  We
returned to the hole in the floor – Razor Passage.  This descends extremely steeply (I used a
lifeline on one section) through the marble. Elsewhere in the cave the marble has been worn entirely away, but here
the walls, roof and floor are of marble, and the walls consist of parallel
lines of sharp, projecting bands where the layers of rock are of varying
hardness and have been differentially eroded. We then reached the Litlstupet, which is the lower part of the l00+m.
pitch mentioned above.  Norwegian tethers
were still in place here, and were in good condition, so decided to use them
for the rappel belays.  The first bit of
this pitch is 13m to a broad, sloping ledge, and was soon over.  The second part, also with a Norwegian belay,
is 39m and free-hanging – a really nice pitch. We should have taken more notice of the Norwegian comment, that it is
difficult to retrieve the rope from this pitch after rappel, because it
was.  Even with three of us hanging on
one end it would not budge, and eventually someone had to prusik back up, sort
out the jam, and descend keeping the two lines apart to prevent them from

The landing from this pitch is among large boulders, of the
loose and the way on is following the draught down through a long, loose, but
easy boulder choke.  Someone kicked some
particularly large and vicious ones at me, but I escaped to tell you this
thrilling tale.  The end of the cave
became a little confusing.  It drops down
to a final depth of 575m but the exit is a 523m.  We met with some large ice blocks (the first
ice we have seen in the cave) which had fallen from an alcove where further ice
blocks were precariously perched.  The
draught seemed to be diminished, but I followed it on downwards until it blew
up a smooth walled aven.  The route
onwards was, in fact, up into the alcove and into a concealed passage behind or
around an enormous block.  The ice
formations increased with an ice floor and ice pillars, and suddenly we were
out, seven of us perched on a narrow lodge overlooking the fiord.  It was half past midnight, and twilight, but becoming
lighter, but becoming lighter all the time. Using trees as belays we rappelled down the fiord slope through the
trees.  Soon after the dinghy arrived,
but our boatman took a lot or persuading to keep away from the cliff, until
boulders bounced down the slope into the depths of the fiord, all around
him.  One of these boulders was a helmet
and carbide light, while another was a knapsack full of fairly valuable
equipment.  Though the former was
recovered from an underwater shelf using a fishing line later that day, the
knapsack must have gone to greater depths. Once we had all rappelled into the dinghy – very close to the resurgence
and the draughting cleft as it so happened, we headed back to camp.  It had been a long day.

The rest of the day, after a short sleep, was spent
exploring the locality.  The following
day we fished in the fiord, unsuccessfully, and packed up the gear ready for
the ferry in the evening.  Once back at
Helland we quickly packed the vehicles and set off for Bodo, where we bivouacked
in the Gildeskal ferry car-park.  We
crossed to the islands of the Gildeskal area, just to the north of the
Arctic Circle, in the morning, and drove to Inndyr where
we met up with the Norwegian cavers, et al. We joined in their mini-symposium at the local school, and exchanged
ideas and information.  We were to stay
in the school overnight, so we opened up one of the five gallon containers of
beer, but it still wasn’t ready.  In the
evening many of the locals turned up on invitation, to hear what caving was all
about, and what was going on in the area. Good for public relations, thought I.

We moved out of the school in the morning, and set up a base
camp a few kilometres away, not far from the road and beside a stream, below
the Cave of the Lost Waters.  This is now
known as Greftkjelen, since David Heap’s name for it translated as cave of the
loose waters.  The cave is near the end
of a beautifully situated hanging valley, from the lip of which there are
expansive views, even as far ss the Lofoten Islands, over 160km away.  Further up the same valley is Greftsprekl,
while beyond this is a sink and then a substantial lake.  All these are hydrologically one system, but
the mysteries thereof have not yet been unravelled.  Most of the Norwegians had set up their camp
by the lake previously, and both caves were already partially rigged.  While one group set off to carry out some
exploration of Greftkjelen, from which a link up with Greftsprekl is immanent,
some of us decided to attack the resurgence. This, we were told, was obvious, it draughted strongly, and a way on
could be seen through the boulders, which needed a little digging.  We found the resurgence by a scree slope of
thousands of tons of various sizes and types of boulders, created by road¬ building
works.  We easily moved a couple of
boulders and were in, but among more loose boulders.  After much probing and prevaricating we began
to wonder if these loose boulders were also the products of road making.  Investigating up above the road I found a
small sink in the sands and gravels. Could this be the same water as our resurgence?  We searched further a field down below the
road.  Sure enough, there was a second
resurgence, and soon after we found yet a third.  Confused, we temporarily gave up.

Wandering back to camp we chanced upon one of our number
coming down the hill, carrying lots of little bottles.  He was to take some samples from the
resurgence when some dye came through from the sink, to be put there by one the
Norwegians.  I hurried back to camp to
check which was the correct resurgence. Much later, waiting for dye to emerge, I had a long chat with a local
farmer.  At least, he spoke Norwegian and
I spoke English, but we managed.  It
transpired that, in his youth he used to fish for trout in the now non-existent
pools of the resurgence, when the water was half a metre higher and a wind used
to blow outwards.  It seems the
road-building upset everything.

On Monday four of us climbed up to the hanging valley to do
Greftkjelen, while another group went into Greftsprekl.  The Kendal C.C. survey of the former shows a
long slope of snow stretching to nearly l00m deep into the cave.  However, this has been rapidly melting in
recent years (perhaps, we thought, because of the stopping of the draught by
the road-building) so that now there is a short, earthy slope, a snow slope
where a hand line is useful, 25m pitch, a further short snow slope and a 30m
pitch.  The passage then continues as a
roomy, winding rift under a roof of snow, then down a short pitch into further,
larger passage with a small stream. Where it becomes low we climbed out of the stream passage into a dry,
often sandy-floored series.  Still the
passages were large (Lapphullet was the only cave with a fair amount of
hands-and-knees work, most of the others being dominated by at least walking
size passage.  However, I think this was
because we only did some of the larger systems) and the sandy floors are
generally unspoilt by the passage of cavers. We were, in fact, only the third party to go to the bottom of
Groftkjelen.  About half way down we
negotiated the BOULDER CHOKE – a half a dozen boulders lodged in a rift which
we descended.  In this region is a beautiful
horizontal, but inclined in section, rift, with a hardly disturbed veneer of
fine sand on the wall/floor.  Also here,
and at the base of the final pitch, are some very fine stalactite formations,
resembling a cross between helictites and splash globule formations, some
looking like little trees and bushes. Near the present end of the cave the passage size diminishes a little,
and there are even one or two roomy crawls. Big pools appear on the floor (we did not have wet-suits, and some of
the pools were deep and difficult to avoid) a rushing inlet comes in from the
roof, and the resultant stream disappears under a boulder choke.  A black space had been seen beyond this, and
we were suitably armed with lump hammer and jemmy.  I sat back awhile for others to remove
quantities of stones and boulders, and then forced one of the tightest squeezes
I have ever been in.  Unfortunately,
after only a further 30m, having joined up with the water once again, the
passage narrowed and lowered, and the water disappeared down an impassable
slot.  We estimated the total depth of
the system to be in the region of 250m, rather than Heap’s 300+m.  On the way out we met up with various other
people, so together we photographed and de-tackled as far as the big pitches by
the snow.  Various members of the party
had been underground for between 10 and 12 hours.  The journey back down to camp, along a ridge
and down through the now familiar scenery of birch scrub with bilberry and
cloudberry undergrowth, took only 30 minutes, even though we went wrong in the
dim light.

Tuesday saw a couple of us back at Greftkjelen to complete
the de-tackling, while another party were doing the same job in
Greftsprekl.  We had laddered and
self-lifelined on all the pitches, so there was a large amount of tackle to be
brought out, including some Norwegian tackle we had christened ‘Elephant
ladder’ for obvious reasons.  One or two
of the piton belays disarmingly almost fell out, but the ‘dead-boy’ back up in
the snow slope had been excellent.  Working
on the snow slope was hard, cold and tiring, and I was glad to be back on the
surface after a couple of hours.

I thought it would be a good idea to lower the tackle from
the top directly down to the woods just above the road, so we took a
substantial amount of gear from the two cave entrances to the lip of the
hanging valley, and I abseiled down a gulley in the cliffs.  A five minute scramble down through the woods
and I was on the road.  I walked up to
the camp, and drove the minibus down meet the others descending.  At camp the other five gallon container of
beer had been opened, and it was good, and so was the evening that followed.

Round about midnight two people were dispatched to the top
yet again, to gather up the rest of the gear from the cave entrances, bring it
to the lip the valley, and lower it down. A little later on I went out with another group to show them where the
end of the rope was.  Once there we
waited and waited but there was no sign of the lowering party on the top, so I
climbed up the cliffs (rather hairy) to find no people but lots of tackle.  Using the rope pulled up a telephone line and
telephone, explained the situation, and re¬sited the rope to a better lowering
position.  Meanwhile, back at the bottom
the lowering party appeared.  They had
met somebody coming down, they said, and there was no gear left on the
top.  No, I thought, looking around me at
the life-size images of 200m of ladder, 600m of rope, pitons, krabs, ammo
boxes, etc., etc.  Nothing left at all!  Having lowered it all down, using the very
useful telephone link with the bottom, I was informed that there was definitely
nothing left at the cave entrances, so I went to have a look.  Hare life-size images – about as many as
before, plus wet-suits and S.R.T. gear, and a HUGE tent.  I swore quietly, and began carting some of it
to the edge.  I swore into the telephone
and lowered the extra gear down.  I then
rappelled down myself, my spirits slowly rising with the early morning sun.

It was not worth trying to get any sleep, as we had a series
of ferries to catch through the islands and fiords down the coast.  We therefore began to pack up camp, waking
everyone else up around six.  Travelling
by ferry along the Norwegian coast is a beautiful way to spend the end of an
expedition: relaxing among the magnificent scenery, and driving only short distances
between boats.  We relaxed while we
could.  Beyond the ferries we till had
1000 miles of driving to do.

Altogether it had been a very enjoyable and successful
expedition.  Like most trips of this
kind, plans had had to be altered, and we did not manage to do everything we
might have hoped, but the main objectives were achieved.

The trips into Ragge Javre Raige and the
Greftkjelen-Greftsprekl system been particularly noteworthy and memorable. I
hope that, one say, shall be going there again.


1.         C.R.G.  Transactions,
vol. 11, No. 1, March 1969, p. 57.

2.         C.R.G.  Transactions,
vol. 11, No. 1, March 1969, p. 17 ff.

3.         C.R.G.  Transactions,
vol. 11, No. 1, March 1969, p. 17 ff.

4.         C.R.G.  Transactions,
vol. 11, No. 1, March 1969, p. 12 ff.

5.         Norsk Grotteblad 1, 1976.

Atlas des Grands Gouffres du
Monde, P. Courbon, 1972

Descent No., 1

S.W.E.T.C.C.C. also have some
excellent publications on caves of





, 1974

Occasional Publication No. 4,
1977, Ed.  T. Faulkner &
S. St. Pierre.

Published by SWETC Caving Club,
East London Polytechnic. £0.40.

Knowing the experience that SWETC Caving Club have of
Norwegian caves, and the at publications and articles by various of their
members, this sizable and meaty work comes as no surprise.  So much have SWETC C.C. become an authority


that this publication, with their others, forms a standard reference work for
anyon¬e contemplating visiting Norwegian caving regions.

Of the 70 pages of A4, no less than 41 are surveys and maps,
and 31 are detailed descriptions of caves and caving areas.  There is also a brief supplement concerning
the 1976 expedition.  In our copy at
least, the quality of the printing does not always match the quality of the
consents, one of the faults of farming out the production to different people
over the space of three years. Occasional references within the text have been omitted or confused, for
the same reason.

Considering that only ten days were spent in actual
exploration, SWETC C.C. have managed to be commendably thorough.  All sites listed have grid reference
locations (longitudes are measured from


– see the important note on p. 4) altitudes, lengths and depths.  There are brief geological and
geomorphological descriptions where these are relevant, together with general,
put more thorough descriptions for the caver. Occasionally the description for finding a particular cave is under the
heading for the previous cave, with which it may be associated, but if using
this publication in the field one would no doubt read a whole section on one
area together, thus avoiding this confusion. At the beginning of each section there is a description of the area
involved, including geology, geomorphology and hydrology, where these are

The maps scattered throughout are invaluable.  Caves in

are equally well scattered,
and could otherwise be impossible to locate – SWETC C.C. could not even re-find
one of their own discoveries.

Having used the SWETC C.C. publications before in

I shall not hesitate to add this to the list of essential books for any future
expedition, if the Wig allows it out of the library!



Exploration Club – Membership List November 1977

828 Nicolette Abell               Michaelmas
Cottage, Faulkland,


879 T. Andrews                    43
Portway, Wells, Somerset

20 L Bob Bagshaw              

699 Wells Road

392 L Mike Baker                 10
Riverside Walk, Midsomer Norton,

913 Ken Baker                    

36 Northumberland Road


901 Richard Barker               6a

Collingwood Drive


295 Arthur Ball                    

Charlotte Street
, Cheadle,


892 Marlon Barlow                93
Norton Drove,
West Yorkshire

818 Chris Batstone              

8 Prospect Place

390 L Joan Bennett              

8 Radnor Road


214 L Roy Bennett               

8 Radnor Road


860 Glenys Beszant            

190 Hinkler Road
Thornhill, Southampton.

731 Bob Bidmead                

63 Cassell Road


720 Martin Bishop                Bishops
Cottage, Priddy

364 L Pete Blogg                 

5 Tyrolean Court
Cheviot Close, Avenue Rd., Banstead,

336 L Alan Bonner                Crags
Farm Close, Little Broughton, Cokermouth,


145 L Sybil Bowden-Lyle      


, Calne, Wiltshire

883 Brian Bowers                

44 Manor Way

751 L T.A. Brookes              

87 Wyatt Road,

, SW2

891 Neil Raynor Brown          25
Lingfield Park, Evesham, Worcs.

687 Viv Brown                     

3 Cross Street


756 Tessa Burt                    

66 Roundwood Lane
Harpendon, Herts

849 Alan Butcher                  17
Cedar Grove, Pennfields,

777 Ian Calder                      22
Greenways, Lydney, Gloucestershire

778 Penelope Calder             22
Greenways, Lydney, Gloucestershire

902 Martin Cavendar             The
Old Rectory, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Wells,


903 Francisca Cavendar        The
Old Rectory, Westbury-sub-Mendip, Wells,


885 C. Chambers                 70
Rush Hill,


785 Paul Christie                  7
The Glen,

London Road
Ascot, Berks

782 Patricia Christie             7
The Glen,

London Road
Ascot, Berks

655 Colin Clark                    

Cranbrook Road
, Redland,


211 L Clare Coase                The
Belfry, 10 Shannon Parade,
New South Wales, 2259,


89 L Alfie Collins                  Lavendar
Cottage, Bishop Sutton, Nr Bristol,


377 L D. Cooke-Yarborough   Lot
11 McKay Crescent,
New South Wales,

862 Bob Cork                      

22 Dennor Road



585 Tony Corrigan               

139 Stockwood Lane


827 Mike Cowlishaw             14
Plovers Down, Olivers Battery,


890 Jerry Crick                     2

Chersey Road

680 Bob Cross                    

42 Bayham Road


870 Gary Cullen                  
47 Eversfield Road,


405 L Frank Darbon             

PO Box 325,
British Columbia,

423 L Len Dawes                  The

Main Street
Minster Matlock, Derbyshire

449 Garth Dell                      AI
5 Printing, HQNI, BFPO 825.

815 J. Dibben                       97
Worth Clough, Poynton,


710 Colin Dooley                 

51 Osmaston Road



829 Angela Dooley              

51 Osmaston Road



164 L Ken Dobbs                 

85 Fox Rd.
, Beacon

830 John Dukes                  

55 Cowl Street
Shepton Mallet,


847 Michael Durham            
11 Catherine Place,


812 S. Durston                     Hill
View, Old Beat, Maidentown, Nr. Burlescombe, Tiverton,

779 Jim Durston                   Hill
View, Old Beat, Maidentown, Nr. Burlescombe, Tiverton,

322 L Bryan Ellis                 

30 Main Road
Westonzoyland, Bridgwater,


232 Chris Falshaw               

23 Hallam Grange Crescent

909 Helen Fielding                19
Queens Terrace, Jesmond,


269 L Tom Fletcher              

11 Cow Lane

894 Phil Ford                       34
New Street, Deiniolen, Gwynedd,
North Wales

404 L Albert Francis            

22 Hervey Road


569 Joyce Franklin              

16 Glen Drive
Stoke Bishop,


469 Pete Franklin                

16 Glen Drive
Stoke Bishop,


759 Colleen Gage                

36 Woodland Road

765 Tom Gage                    

36 Woodland Road

835 Leonard Gee                  15
Warren Close,


265 Stan Gee                      

26 Parsonage Street
Heaton Norris,

869 N. George                      Zapata
Offshore Ltd.,

Crombie Road


836 Bob Givens                    Newstead
Lodge, 1 Fields Green,


894 Bruce Glocking              213
St. Leonards,


790 Martin Grass                 

14 Westlea Road
Wormley, Broxbourne, Herts

900 Christine Greenhall        
Nooreys Avenue

582 Chris Hall                      1
Chancellors Cottage, Long Lane, Redhill,


432 L Nigel Hallet                

62 Cranbrook Road,

910 Sandra Halliday              6A

Collingwood Road



104 L Mervyn Hannam         

14 Inskip Place
, St

304 L C.W. Harris                 The
Diocesan Registry, Wells,


581 Chris Harvey                  Byways,

Hanham Lane
Paulton, Somerset

4 L Dan Hassell                    Hill
House, Moorlynch, Bridgwater,


893 Dave Hatherley               4
Spring Rise, Wells

917 Robin Hervin                 

24 Ashton Street
Trowbridge, Wiltshire

873 A. Higginbottom             Warana,


863 John Hildrick                  Tarngulla,

Old Bristol Road

773 Rodney

               Rose Cottage, Nailsea

373 Sid Hobbs                     Hokestone
Cottage, Townsend, Priddy

736 Sylvia Hobbs                  Hokestone
Cottage, Townsend, Priddy

905 Paul Hodgson                11
Ockford Ridge, Godalming,

793 Mike Hogg                     32
Birchley Heath,
Nuneaton, Warks

898 Liz Hollis                       1
Bugle Cottage, Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne,

899 Tony Hollis                    1
Bugle Cottage, Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne,

920 Nick Holstead                7
Sladebrook close, Bradfod-on-Avon, Wiltshire

387 L George Honey             Droppsta,


855 Ted Humphreys              7
Mounters Close, Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset

363 Maurise Iles                   50
Warman, Stockwood,


906 Annette Ingleton            

Cottage, Hinton
St. Mary, Sturminster Newton, Dorset

73 Angus Innes                    18
David’s Close, Alveston,


168 Margaret Innes               18
David’s Close, Alveston,


540 L Dave Irwin                   Townsend
Cottage, Townsend, Priddy,


753 N. Jago                        

27 Quantock Road
Windmill Hill,



792 Ken James                    Flat

Shrubbery Road

922 Tony Jarratt                   Alwyn

Station Road


340 Russ Jenkins                 10,
Amberley Close, Downend,


51 L A Johnson                   
Warren Cottage,

, Flax Bourton,


560 L Frank Jones               

103 Wookey Hole Road


285 U. Jones                        Marsh
Farm, Askem in Furness, Lancs.

907 Karen Jones                  65
McDonald road, Lightwater,

567 L Alan Kennett               92
West Broadway, Henleaze,


884 John King                     

4 Nightingale Road,


316 L Kangy King                 22
Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch,

542 L Phil Kingston             
257 Pemona Street,

New Zealand

413 L R. Kitchen                  Overcombe,
Horrabridge, Yelverton,

904 Calvin Knight                 

54 Leatherhead Road

874 Dave Lampard                Woodpeckers,

11 Springfield Park Road,

667 L Tim Large                   72
Lower Whitesands, Radstock

795 Peter Leigh                   


, Ecton, Northants.

574 L Oliver Lloyd                 Withey
House, Withey Close West, Westbury-on-Trym,


871 S. Lord                         
Apparto Postal 41-659,


10, DF

908 P. Lord                         
Apparto Postal 41-659,


10, DF

58 George Lucy                    Pike
Croft, Long Lane, Tilehurst,


495 L Val Luckwill               

8 Greenslade Road
Sedgeley hill, Dudley, Worcs.

550 L R A MacGregor           12
Douro Close, Baughurst,
Basingstoke, Hants

722 A. McRory-Peace          

5 Colmer Road
Yeovil Somerset

558 L Tony Meaden              Highcroft,
Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset

704 Dave Metcalfe               

10 Troughton Crescent
Blackpool, Lancs.

Keith Murray                  17


852 John Noble                   

18 Hope Place

Tennis Court

880 Graham Nye                 

7 Ramsey Road

624 J. Orr                            8
Wellington Terrace, Winklebury,
Basingstoke, Hants

396 L Mike Palmer              
Laurel Farm, YarleyHill, Yarley, Wells,


22 L Les Peters                   

21 Melbury Rd.

499 L Tony Philpott              

3 Kings Drive

724 Graham Phippen            Rock

Rock Road


337 Brian Prewer                  East
View, West Horrington, Wells,


886 Jeff Price                      

18 Hurston Road

Inns Court,

622 Colin Priddle                  10
Franklyn Flats,

Kopje Road,

481 L John Ransom             

21 Bradley Rd.

452 L Pam Rees                  No
Known Address

343 L A Rich                       

Box 126,

672 L R Richards                 

PO Box 141
, Jacobs,


682 John Riley                     Araluen,
Linershwood Close, Bramley,

921 Pete Rose                     2
The Beacon, Ilminster

918 Richard Round              

131 Middleton Road
Banbury, Oxfordshire

832 Roger Sabido                

163 Coldharbour Road,


240 L Alan Sandall              

43 Meadway Ave.

359 L Carol Sandall             

43 Meadway Ave.

760 Jenny Sandercroft          5
Eastcroft, Henleaze,


747 Derek Sanderson           23
Penzeance Gardesn, Harold Hill, Romford, Essex.

237 L B. Scott                      Merrymead,

Havestock Road,

482 Gordon Selby                

2 Dodd Avenue


78 L R.A. Setterington         

4 Galmington Lane,


213 L R. Setterington           

4 Cavendish Road



864 Chris Shaw                    7
Queens Head Walk, Wormley, Broxbourne, Herts.

872 Mark Sherman               Wood
View, Grey Field, High Litton

889 N. Shott                        Flat
15, assessment Centre,
Schools, Counterpool Road., Kingswood,


915 Chris Smart                   15
Timor Close,

911 James Smart                 c/o

72 Winchester Road


823 Andy Sparrow               

2 Grosvenor Place,


851 Maurice Stafford             28
Rowan Close, Sonning Common,


1 L Harry Stanbury              

31 Belvoir Road
St. Andrews,


38L Mrs I Stanbury               74
Redcatch, Knowle,


840 G. Standring                 

Vienna Road
Edgeley, Stockport,


575 L D. Statham                 The
Bungallow, North Barrow, Yeovil,


365 L Roger Stenner            

18 Stafford Place
Weston super Mare,

837 Richard Stevenson         Greystones,

865 Paul Stokes                  

32 Manor Way

583 Derek Targett                 16
Phyllis Hill, Midsomer Norton

800 Mike Taylor                    39
Reedley road, Westbury-on-Trym,


772 Nigel Taylor                   Whidden
Farm, Chilcote, Nr. Wells,


919 Tom

                   3 Larch Close, Lee-on-Solent,

284 L Allan Thomas              Allens

Nine Barrows Lane


348 L D Thomas                   Pendant,
Little Birch, Bartlestree,


571 L N Thomas                   Holly

Norwich Rd.


876 Nick Thorne                  

20 Hawkers Lane


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,

74 L M.J. Dizzie Tompsett    

11 Lodge Avenue
Great Baddow,

381 L Daphne Towler            7
Ross Close, Nyetimber,

Bognor Regis,

157 L Jill Tuck                      48
Wiston Path,

Fairwater Way
Cwmbran, Gwent,


328 Steve Tuck                    Colles
Close, Wells,


768 Tony Tucker                   75
Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock,

769 Sue Tucker                    75
Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock,

678 Dave Turner                   Moonrakers,

Brewery Lane


912 John Turner                    Orchard
Cottage, 92 Church lane, Backwell,

635 L S. Tuttlebury              

28 Butts Road,

, Hants.

887 Greg Villis                     The

Round Oak Road


175 L D. Waddon                 32
Laxton Close,


397 Mike Wheadon               91
The Oval,


861 Maureen Wheadon         91 The


553 Bob White                     Weavers
Farm, Binegar

878 Ross White                  

30 Curley Hill Road

916 Jane Wilson                   University
Laboratory of Psychology,


559 Barry Wilton                  Valley

27 Venus Lane


568 Brenda Wilton                Valley

27 Venus Lane


721 Graham
Wilton-Jones     Ileana,

Stenfield Road
, Nap Hill,
High Wycombe, Bucks

850 Annie
Wilton-Jones        Cwm Dwr,

110 Pierce Avenue
, Olton, Solihull,
West Midlands

813 Ian
Wilton-Jones            Cwm Dwr,

110 Pierce Avenue
, Olton, Solihull,
West Midlands

738 Roger Wing                   15
Harold Hill, Romford,

877 Steve Woolven               21
Three Acres,


914 Brian Workman              11
Moreland, 11 New
Bath Road, Radstock,





Another year begins with the usual long committee meeting
sorting out the directions of the A.G.M. The Dinner although not pleasing everybody did bring many old faces back
to the fold.  Amongst those I noticed
were Norman Petty, Jok and Judy, and Frank Darbon.  The pantomime was much enjoyed judging by the
applause, particularly the performance of

.  Whilst everyone was at the Dinner the Belfry
was broken into and vandalised.  I am sure
many pints reward would be waiting for information leading to, as they say on
the better side of the law.

The Belfry was a prominent topic at the October committee
meeting much concern shown over its maintenance.  Martin Bishop plans to tackle the problem of
the drains as top priority.  Other jobs
include finishing the new bunks in the men’s room; waterproofing the
troublesome window at the end of the men’s room and exterior painting
particularly of the window sills using a wood preservative as so far paint has
not successfully taken to it.  It should
go without saying that much help is needed.

May I remind everyone of the Ian Dear Fund.  It is available to younger members to enable
them to partake in expeditions abroad. It’s never too early to apply and all you have to do is find Mike
Palmer, Sett or any committee member to make sure your application is

Although the club has several leaders to D.Y.O. and O.F.D.
there is always room for more.  Those
interested should contact the caving sec. The Leaders system is somewhat like that for Cuthbert’s requiring the
individual to acquaint him/herself with the various routes in the cave and show
cave sense.

In order that the members address list can be updated please
let me know of any changes.  This will
ensure that your B.B. gets to the right address.  The members list appears in this issue so
check your details.

Many thanks to Sett for the donation of duplicating ink and
also to Jonah for a collection of BB’s for the Library.  At the October meeting the Committee
expressed the Clubs thanks to Brenda Wilton for the valuable service given in
distributing the BB.  Mike Palmer has
recently taken on this job in the new Club Year.  I am sure he would be pleased to hear from
anyone with any bright ideas to improve the distribution – particularly in
keeping postage costs as low as possible.

Tim Large.

Stop Press

Following the displeasure shown by many members regarding
the Dinner, negotiations the

have resulted in a,
saving of £75 on the total bill.  What
shall we do with it?  Any bright idea’s?

B.E.C. Dig – Wheal Wigmore

Even if you have only been to Mendip once in the past four
months, you probably know all about Wigmore. J-Rat, Snab and many others have worked like Trojans hoping for another Tynings
here (Wessex and MNRC have both tried, in pre war years) and are already deeper
down than their forbears, and J-Rats Walls, with mining spoil rock gardens, vie
with the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

If the winch does not fall down the hole – it isn’t filled
with autumn leaves, it’s bound to go. Come and have a look, or even a dig – 10p a go.  There will be an article, with survey and
picture in a future B. B.



A combined Grampian/B.E.C. trip is to be made to the
Hollengebirge, east of


next year.  Provisional dates are 22nd
July to 13th August, 1978.  Anyone
interested should contact Wig or Snab.


Mendip Original Limestone Exploration Society – is an
interclub organisation, whose aim is to provide transport for expeditions abroad.

Remember the green papers at the dinner.  Remember the raffle.

There is a raffle every Saturday night in the Hunters, so
empty your pockets of all those silly 10p’s and give them to the Moles dolly
bird.  It is only £1 to join the society

Slit Sided Stals

The discovery of Roman Mine by Jill and Norman Tuck revealed
a number of slit sided stals (see BEC Caving Report No. 15).  It was thought that they were unique to this
mine.  On a recent trip into G.B., Wig
noticed a number of similar formations in the roof.  They were about ½” long and were bell
formed at the lower end.  Perhaps they
are more common than previously thought.

Severn Barrage is proposed.

A couple of years ago a serious proposal was made to HM
government to construct a massive dam across the
estuary to provide hydro-electric power thus making use of the exceptionally
high tides.  The quantity of aggregate
required is enormous – about 4,000 million tonnes.  This material will be obtained from the
Mendips and
South Wales – both principal
caving regions.  The Government is being
pressurized to publish the preliminary report on the subject and alternative
scheme including wave motion at Oban. The CSCC and CCC are keeping a close watch on the situation.

© 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.