The

Bristol

Exploration Club, The Belfry,

Wells
Road
, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Som.  Telephone: Wells 72126.

Editor: D.J. Irwin, Townsend Cottage, Priddy, Nr. Wells,

Somerset
.  Telephone: Priddy 369.

News in brief

Congratulations to John and Sue Dukes who were married this
month at the Shepton Mallet Registry Office. The formalities were followed by a ‘Folk’ evening at the Priddy Village
Hall.

Descent – the next issue will see another price rise – it
will cost you 75p…….

ADDRESS CHANGES: – Jim Watson, c/o 15 Farm Grove,
Southfields,
Rugby, Warwickshire.

New Member: – 971. Colin Houlden, c/o HM Prison, Shepton, Mallet,

Somerset
.

BCRA 1980 Symposium at the
Renold
Building, UMIST,

Manchester
– Subject SRT.  The symposium will consist of lectures all
day Saturday in the

Renold
Building
, followed by a
practical session on Sunday in the University Gymnasium.

This will be held on March 8 and 9th.  Lecturers include: Dave Elliot, Andy Eavis,
Daye Brook, Steve Foster, Brian Smith, Paul Ramsden and John Forder.  Application to the ‘Bookings Manager’ Dr.
R.G. Picknett,

28 Potters Way
,
Laverstock,

Salisbury
,
Wilts, SP1 1PX – tickets are £1.50 each (non-members of BCRA) and £1.00
(members).  Members of member clubs are
able to purchase tickets at member’s rates – BEC is a Member club.

Swildons Sump 1 is given as 5ft (Mendip Underground); 6ft
6ins (

Complete
Caves
) and now, under relatively dry
conditions, 30 inches.  This length of
2½ft has been thought to be the general length of the sump.

Banwell Bone and

Stalagmite
Caves
: – Key from Steve
Redwood,

11 West St.
,
Banwell.  Telephone: 823867.

Stop Press

Following the very successful weekend caving in

Belgium

all arrived back on Mendip very late on the Sunday night.

Next day Martin Bishop rang Stu McManus, “I did get my
caving gear out of your car and leave it by the gate did I?”

“Yes,” said Mac. “Shit, the dustman’s taken it!”


Bristol

Exploration Club – Membership List February 1980

828 Nicolette Abell               Michaelmas
Cottage, Faulkland,

Bath

20 L Bob Bagshaw              

699 Wells Road
,
Knowle,
Bristol,
Avon

392 L M. Baker                    10
Riverside Walk, Midsomer Norton,
Bath,
Avon

295 Arthur Ball                    

4
Charlotte Street
, Cheadle,

Cheshire

818 Chris Batstone              

8 Prospect Place
,
Bathford,
Bath,
Avon

390 L Joan Bennett              

8 Radnor Road
,
Wesbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

214 L Roy Bennett               

8 Radnor Road
,
Wesbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

860 Glenys Beszant            

13 Granville Road
,
Luton, Bedfordshire


731 Bob Bidmead                 Valley Way
,

Middle Street, East

Harptree,

Bristol

364 L Pete Blogg                 

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

336 L A. Bonner                   Crags
Farm Close, Little Broughton, Cokermouth,

Cumberland

145 L Sybil Bowden-Lyle      

111

London
Road
, Calne, Wiltshire

959 Chris Bradshaw             

9 Coles Road
,
Wells,

Somerset

868 Dany Bradshaw              7
Creswicke,

Bristol

967 Michael Brakespeare      7 Red
Pit, Dilton Marsh, Westbury. Wiltshire

751 L T.A. Brookes              

87 Wyatt Road,

London
, SW2

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

956 Ian Caldwell                   44
Strode Road, Clevedon,
Avon.

955 Jack Calvert                   4
The Hollow, Dilton Marsh, Westbury, Wiltshire.

965 Gary Childs                   Wheels,

Southwater Street
,
Southwater, Nr. Horsham,
Surrey

785 Paul Christie                  7
The Glen,

London Road
,
Sunninghill,
Ascot, Berks

782 Pat Christie                   7
The Glen,

London Road
,
Sunninghill,
Ascot, Berks

655 Colin Clark                    

186
Cranbrook Road
, Redland,

Bristol

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

Australia

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

Somerset

377 L D. Cooke-Yarborough   No known
address

862 Bob Cork                       25
The Mead, Stoke St. Michael,

Somerset

827 Mike Cowlishaw             14
Plovers Down, Olivers Battery,

Winchester

890 Jerry Crick                     Whitestones
farm, Cheddar Cross Roads, Compton Martin, Nr. Bristol

680 Bob Cross                    

42 Baynham Road
,
Knowle,

Bristol

870 Gary Cullen                  
47 Eversfield Road,
Horsham,

Sussex

405 L Frank Darbon             

PO Box 325,
Vernon,
British Columbia,
Canada

423 L Len Dawes                  The
Lodge,

Main Street
,
Minster Matlock, Derbyshire

449 Garth Dell                      BLD
47 (Press), COD Donnington,
Telford, Salop.

164 L Ken Dobbs                 

85 Fox Rd.
, Beacon
Heath,
Exeter,
Devon

830 John Dukes                   Bridge
Farm, Dulcote, Wells,

Somerset

937 Sue Dukes                    Bridge
Farm, Dulcote, Wells,

Somerset

847 Michael Durham            
11 Catherine Place,

Bath

322 L Bryan Ellis                 

30 Main Road
,
Westonzoyland, Bridgwater,

Somerset

269 L Tom Fletcher              

11 Cow Lane
,
Bramcote,
Nottingham.

947 Phil Ford                       CPO’s
Mess, RNAS Yeovilton,

Somerset

404 L Albert Francis            

22 Hervey Road
,
Wells,

Somerset

569 Joyce Franklin              

16 Glen Drive
,
Stoke Bishop,

Bristol

469 Pete Franklin                

16 Glen Drive
,
Stoke Bishop,

Bristol

265 Stan Gee                      

26 Parsonage Street
,
Heaton Norris,
Stockport.

648 Dave Glover                   c/o
Leisure,

Green Lane
,
Pamber Green,
Basingstoke, Hampshire

860 Glenys Grass               

13 Granville Road
,
Luton, Beds

790 Martin Grass                 

13 Granville Road
,
Luton, Beds

432 L Nigel Hallet                

62 Cranbrook Road,
Bristol

104 L Mervyn Hannam         

14 Inskip Place
, St
Annes,
Lancashire

4 L Dan Hassell                    Hill
House, Moorlynch, Bridgwater,

Somerset

935 Lynne Henley                

10 Silver Street
,
Wells,

Somerset

917 Robin Hervin                  12

York
Buildings
, Trowbridge, Wiltshire

952 Robert Hill                     32
Ridings Mead, Chippenham, Wiltshire

905 Paul Hodgson                15
Cromwell Terrace,

Chatham,
Kent

793 Mike Hogg                     32
Birchley Heath,
Nuneaton, Warks

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

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

920 Nick Holstead                Little
Maplecroft,

Bath Road
,
Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire

387 L George Honey             Droppsta,
19044,

Odensala,
Sweden

971 Colin Houlden                c/o
HM Prison, Shepton Mallet,

Somerset

770 Chris Howell                 

131 Sandon Road
,
Cadbsoton, Birmimgham

923 Trevor Hughes                Wardroom,
HMS Bulwark, BFPO Ships,

London

855 Ted Humphreys              Frekes
Cottage, Moorsite, Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset

73 Angus Innes                    18
David’s Close, Alveston,

Bristol
,
Aven

969 Duncan Innes                 0

540 L Dave Irwin                   Townsend
Cottage, Townsend, Priddy,

Somerset

922 Tony Jarratt                   Alwyn
Cottage,

Station Road
,
Congressbury,

Bristol

51 L A Johnson                   
Warren Cottage,

Station
Rd.
, Flax Bourton,

Bristol

966 Pete Johnson                 R
& IT Section, HMS Daedelus, Lee-on-Solent, Hants.

560 L Frank Jones               

103 Wookey Hole Road
,
Wells,

Somerset

285 U. Jones                        Woking
Grange,

Oriental Road
,
Woking,
Surrey

907 Karen Jones                  Room
63, New Ednd Nurses Home, New End Hospital, Hampstead, London NW3

567 L Alan Kennett               9
Hillburn, Henleaze, Brsitol

316 L Kangy King                 22
Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch,
Bristol,
Avon

542 L Phil
Kingston              9 Lingfield, St. Mansfield,
Brisbane,
Queensland, 4122,

Australia

413 L R. Kitchen                  Overcombe,
Horrabridge, Yelverton,
Devon

946 Alex Ragar Knutson      

21
Milford Street
, Southville,

Bristol

874 Dave Lampard                Woodpeckers,

11 Springfield Park Road,
Horsham,
Sussex

667 L Tim Large                   53
Portway, Wells,

Somerset

958 Fiona Lewis                   53
Portway,  Wells,

Somerset

930 Stuart Lindsay               5
Laburnum Walk, Keynsham, Bristil

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

Bristol

58 George Lucy                    Pike
Croft, Long Lane, Tilehurst,

Reading
,
Berks

495 L Val Luckwill               

8 Greenslade Road
,
Sedgeley hill, Dudley, Worcs.

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

725 Stuart McManus           

33 Welford Avenue
,
Wells,

Somerset

106 L E.J. Mason                

33 Bradleys Avenue
,
Henleaze,

Bristol

957 Dave Morrison                27
Maurice Walk,

London

NW1

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

963 Clare Merritt                  

9 Pipsmore Road
,
Chippenham, Wiltshire

704 Dave Metcalfe               

10 Troughton Crescent
,
Blackpool, Lancs.

308 Keith Murray                  17
Harrington
Gardens,

London
  SW7

936 Dave Nichols                 

2 Hartley Road,
Exeter
,
Devon

880 Graham Nye                 

7 Ramsey Road
,
Horsham,
Surrey

938 Kevin O’Neil                  

99
Forest Road
, Melksham, Wiltshire

964 Lawrie O’Neil                

99
Forest Road
, Melksham, Wiltshire

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

Somerset

22 L Les Peters                   

21 Melbury Rd.
,
Knowle
Park,
Bristol
Avon

499 L A. Philpott                 

3 Kings Drive
,
Bishopston,
Bristol,
Avon

961 Mick Phinister               

4 Old Mill Lane,
Inverness,
Scotland

337 Brian Prewer                  East
View, West Horrington, Wells,

Somerset

622 Colin Priddle                 

PO Box 14048
,
Wadeville 1422,

South Africa

481 L John Ransom             

21 Bradley Rd.
,
Patchway,
Bristol,
Avon

452 L Pam Rees                  No
Known Address

343 L A Rich                       

Box 126,
Basham,
Alberta
Canada

672 L R Richards                 

PO Box 141
, Jacobs,

Natal,
South
Africa

945 Steve Robins                 16
Hillcrest, Knowle,

Bristol

970 Trev Roberts                 

67 Mendip Road
,
Yatton,
Avon

921 Pete Rose                     2
The Beacon, Ilminster

832 Roger Sabido                 15
Concorde drive, Westbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

941 John Sampson               8
Hillcrest, Knowle,

Bristol

240 L Alan Sandall              

43 Meadway Ave.
,
Nailsea,
Avon

359 L Carol Sandall             

43 Meadway Ave.
,
Nailsea,
Avon

760 Jen Sandercroft              5
Eastcroft, Henleaze,

Bristol

237 L B. Scott                      Merrymead,

Havestock Road,
Winchester
Hants

78 L R.A. Setterington         

4 Galmington Lane,
Taunton
,

Somerset

213 L R. Setterington           

4 Cavendish Road
,
Chiswick,

London

W4

915 Chris Smart                  

10
Arnold Road
,
Woking,
Surrey

851 Maurice Stafford             28
Rowan Close, Sonning Common,

Reading
,
Berks.

1 L Harry Stanbury              

31 Belvoir Road
,
St. Andrews,

Bristol

38L Mrs I Stanbury               74
Redcatch, Knowle,

Bristol

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

Somerset

365 L Roger Stenner            

18 Stafford Place
,
Weston super Mare,
Avon

865 Paul Stokes                  

32 Manor Way
,
Bagshot,
Surrey

968 James Tasker                281
Canford lane, Westbury-on-Trym, Brsitol

772 Nigel Taylor                   Whidden
Farm, Chilcote, Nr Wells,

Somerset

284 L Allan Thomas              Allens
House,

Nine Barrows Lane
,
Priddy,

Somerset

348 L D Thomas                   Pendant,
Little Birch, Bartlestree,

Hereford

571 L N Thomas                   Holly
Lodge,

Norwich Rd.
,
Salhouse,
Norwich,

Norfolk
.

876 Nick Thorne                  

20 Hawkers Lane
,
Wells,

Somerset

699 Buckett Tilbury               15
Fernie Fields,
High Wycombe, Bucks

700 Anne Tilbury                  15
Fernie Fields,
High Wycombe, Bucks

80 J.M. Postle Thompsett    

11 Lodge Avenue
,
Great Baddow,
Chelmsford,
Essex

74 L M.J. Dizzie Thompsett  

11 Lodge Avenue
,
Great Baddow,
Chelmsford,
Essex

381 L Daphne Towler            7
Ross Close, Nyetimber,

Bognor Regis,
Sussex

157 L J. Tuck                       33
Crown Rise, Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran, Gwent,

Wales

768 Tony Tucker                   75
Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock,
Avon

769 Sue Tucker                    75
Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock,
Avon

678 Dave Turner                   Moonrakers,

Brewery Lane
,
Holcombe,

Bath

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

635 L S. Tuttlebury               28
Beacon Close, Boundstone, Farnham,
Surrey

887 Greg Villis                     The
Oaks,

Round Oak Road
,
Cheddar,

Somerset

175 L D. Waddon                 32
Laxton Close,
Taunton,

Somerset

949 John Watson                

113 Abbey Road
,
Westbury-on-Trym,

Bristol

953 Jim Watson                   c/o
15 Farm Grove, Southfields,
Rugby, Warks.

397 Mike Wheadon               91
The Oval,

Bath

553 Bob White                     Cedar
Hall,

Henley Lane
,
Wookey, Wells,

Somerset

878 Ross White                   PO38389Y,
5 Troop, B. Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines,

Northern Ireland
, BFPO 802

939 Woly Wilkinson             

17 Kings Street
,
Melksham, Wiltshire

940 Val Wilkinson               

17 Kings Street
,
Melksham, Wiltshire

934 Colin Williams                Whitestones
Farm, Cheddar Cross Roads,
Compton Martin,

Bristol

885 Claire Williams               Whitestones
Farm, Cheddar Cross Roads,
Compton Martin,

Bristol

559 Barry Wilton                  Valley
View,

27 Venus Lane
,
Clutton,

Bristol

568 Brenda Wilton                Valley
View,

27 Venus Lane
,
Clutton,

Bristol

721 Graham

Wilton
-Jones    

24
Redland Way
, Aylesbury, Bucks

850 Annie
Wilton-Jones        Cwm Dwr,

110 Pierce Avenue
, Olton, Solihul,
West Midlands

813 Ian
Wilton-Jones            Cwm Dwr,

110 Pierce Avenue
, Olton, Solihul,
West Midlands

943 Simon Woodman           Link
Batch, Burrington, Nr Bristol,
Avon

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

Bath

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

Somerset

919 Tom

Temple
                   3 Larch Close, Lee-on-Solent,
Hants.

284 L Allan Thomas              Allens
House,

Nine Barrows Lane
,
Priddy,

Somerset

348 L D Thomas                   Pendant,
Little Birch, Bartlestree,

Hereford

571 L N Thomas                   Holly
Lodge,

Norwich Rd.
,
Salhouse,
Norwich,

Norfolk
.

876 Nick Thorne                  

20 Hawkers Lane
,
Wells,

Somerset

699 Buckett Tilbury              

256 Cressex Road
,
High Wycombe, Bucks

700 Anne Tilbury                 

256 Cressex Road
,
High Wycombe, Bucks

692 Roger Toms                  

18 Hoton Road
,
Wysemold, Leicester

803 R.S. Toms                    

18 Hoton Road
,
Wysemold, Leicester

80 J.M. Postle Tompsett      

11 Lodge Avenue
,
Great Baddow,
Chelmsford,
Essex

74 L M.J. Dizzie Tompsett    

11 Lodge Avenue
,
Great Baddow,
Chelmsford,
Essex

381 L Daphne Towler            7
Ross Close, Nyetimber,

Bognor Regis,
Sussex

157 L Jill Tuck                      48
Wiston Path,

Fairwater Way
,
Cwmbran, Gwent,

Wales

328 Steve Tuck                    Colles
Close, Wells,

Somerset

768 Tony Tucker                   75
Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock,
Avon

769 Sue Tucker                    75
Lower Whitelands, Tynings, Radstock,
Avon

678 Dave Turner                   Moonrakers,

Brewery Lane
,
Holcombe,

Bath

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

635 L S. Tuttlebury              

28 Butts Road,

Alton
, Hants.

887 Greg Villis                     The
Oaks,

Round Oak Road
,
Cheddar,

Somerset

175 L D. Waddon                 32
Laxton Close,
Taunton,

Somerset

397 Mike Wheadon               91
The Oval,

Bath

861 Maureen Wheadon         91 The
Oval,

Bath

553 Bob White                     Weavers
Farm, Binegar

878 Ross White                  

30 Curley Hill Road
,
Lightwater,
Surrey.

916 Jane Wilson                   University
Laboratory of Psychology,

Park
Road
,
Oxford

559 Barry Wilton                  Valley
View,

27 Venus Lane
,
Clutton,

Bristol

568 Brenda Wilton                Valley
View,

27 Venus Lane
,
Clutton,

Bristol

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
Penleaze
Gardens,
Harold Hill, Romford,
Essex

877 Steve Woolven               21
Three Acres,

Horsham,
Sussex

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

Bath

 

 

Trappiste As Newts – A tale of the B.E.C. in

Belgium


Belgium

was the January meet for the Belfry regulars….

By Tony Jarratt

The weekend of 18th – 20th of January heralded yet another
historical assault on the continental mainland by the forces of British
imperialism.  In the hirsute and motley
forms of the Belfryites and the Geriatric Cave Club.  The advance party (with their uniforms and
pennant bedecked staff car) of Macannus, Barry Wilton, Colin Dooley and Martin
Bishop established themselves in various bars in the

village of
Hochefort

on Friday evening.  Meeting up with
Pieter Staal, and his Speleo Nederland irregulars,

Edmond
and Josh.  With fervent dedication to the cause, they
all got swiftly arseholded.

The bright and calm morn that followed was marred for the
inhabitants of the
Ardennes by the arrival of
another carload, fresh from the hill – Alan Thomas (straight out of retirement)
Trefor Roberts and the Uglies (sometimes known as Dany and Bob).  Also, direct from a huge Belgian
refrigerator, masquerading as a caving hut, came the remainder of the Expeditionary
Forces:- Buckett Tilbury, Graham Wilton-Jones, Jeff Price, J’Rat and organiser
of the whole issue Big John Watson.

After a series of cock-ups regarding rendezvous, Belgian
cavers, etc., the team sample some local ale, got a cheap visit to the
caving/archaeological museum at Han-Sur-Lene and eventually got underground.

Led by one Dominique, we were taken into the impressive
Grotte de Pierre Noel for a two hour trip. Hydrologically part of the long and fascinating Grotte de Han system,
the cave consists essentially of a roomy breakdown tunnel with white columns,
bones and curtains – all on a grand scale and, in a reasonable state of repair
considering the muddy path through the cave and grotty fingerprints on the
lower pretties.  We were informed that a
film was being made here in anticipation of the site becoming a show cave in the
near future.

Barry, Buckett and Bassett photographed the place to death
while the rest pottered about the place comparing it with Otter Hole, the
Bergerete.  A short and easy cave but
well worth a visit.

Intending to buy Dominique a beer for his troubles, all were
prepared for an onslaught on the nearest bar. This became unnecessary when it was found that Trappiste (local
nonentity brewed high Octane Newcastle Brown) and Stella

Artois
could be purchased cheap at
Dominique’s club hut!

Refreshment was duly obtained, B.E.C. sticker emplaced and
the entourage moved off for a vast meal of sauerkraut, mash and donkeys
dickwurst provided by the Dutch lads at their cosy wooden hut (behind a caravan
site and almost underneath a motorway!) Much of the rest of the evening has been pieced together from others
memories.  Extreme field trials of
various brews and-octane ratings washed down with Frog speleos wine have
forever erased it from the writer’s memory. A packed bar in Hochofort emptied exceedingly fast on our arrival – as
did the little bowls of peanuts provided by the landlord.  Two Belgian lorry drivers looked on
bemused.  The local monks worked overtime
on Sunday…..

Dawn – 10am. Those staying in the fridge (amidst bits of
French carrot and tomato skins) were up early and across to the Dutch hut,
where the others were still in their pits. What they did that day is doubtless another story but Graham
Wilton-Jones, Jim Watson, Jeff Price, Buckett Tilbury and J’Rat managed a trip
into the Grotte de Fontaine River with a mixed team of Belgians.  Again, a short and well decorated cave but
very notable for its huge, deep lake at the end where the wet suited Englishmen
played for some time, all but one oblivious to the fact that a Belgium caver
they had rushed past when he fell in the water had a dislocated shoulder.  !Great fun.

Back to the Whiteman’s country – on the Sunday night boat –
hangover, knackered and broke.  An
excellent weekend.

Our thanks to Big Jim for arranging it all, to our Dutch
colleagues for the grub and the hospitality, our drivers. 

Belgium
cavers and a bunch of monks
somewhere who remain oblivious to the havoc and moral decline that they caused.

 

Lifeline

By Tim Large our Hon.
Secretary

Everyone receiving this B.B. is now a paid up member.  There are 147 of us. Hopefully some of these
who are perpetually late payers will pay their sub sometime in the near
future.  It does make the Treasurer’s job
more difficult as we cannot finally calculate haw much money is available for
various needs.  This was part of the
reason for altering the club year in the new constitution.  Perhaps another change in the constitution
will encourage members to pay up earlier. Suppose we had a £5 joining fee besides an £8 subscription.  Then once the latest date for payment of subs
had past, lapsed members would have to reapply and pay the £5 joining fee the
same as new members.  This should also
increase the clubs income – Any comments?

TACKLE: – As you all should know most of our ladders,
lifelines etc., are stored in the new Tacklestore/Workshop.  Minimal tackle is kept in the wire basket in
the showers for midweek caving by those who occasionally come to the
Belfry.  Those caving on a frequent basis
can apply for a tackle box key to enable access to the main supply.  Since the introduction of the system all
seems to be working well, except that some members are taking tackle from the
store, but on finishing their trip are leaving it in the showers.  It is important to put the tackle in the
store even if you do find it in the showers. Only 1 ladder, 1 lifeline and 1 tether shall be kept in the showers also
please complete the tackle book in order that we know where all our tackle is
and what usage it gets.

SHATTER CAVE ACCESS:- In the January B.B. (The ODD
NOTE) written by Wig he mistakenly published that we now have 2 leaders to

Shatter
Cave
. This is incorrect.  At the present
time Chris Batstone and myself are being assessed by the Cerberus S.S. along
the same lines as to our leadership system for St Cuthbert’s.  Once this is completed we have to wait for
the C.S.S. decision as to whether we qualify as leaders.

LIBRARY: – has recently purchased copies of the
following: –

‘Complete Caves of Mendip’

‘Mendip Underground’

‘Lead Mining in the Pea District’

The two Mendip Guidebooks are for reference at the Belfry
only and on no account be taken away.

The Lead Mining book has been compiled by members of the
Peak District Mines Historical Society, and makes very interesting
reading.  It covers the history and
geology of many mines.  Those of
particular interest are Knotlow, Magpie, Hillocks and Odin Mines.

 

Camping Trades Exhibition 1979

To start the year
Chris. Bradshaw, our friendly shopkeeper of Rocksport has sent in this report
of the …

For those who are not familiar with this show, it is the
event of the year where the camping, climbing and now the cave trade can see
new wares displayed by manufacturer’s and wholesalers.  It is held at the exhibition centre in
Harrogate, but is not open to the general public.

It would be impossible to review all the items on display
(or even see them in the four days available) so I will give a brief
description of a few of the items of interest. No attempt is made at evaluation and most items will not be available
until 1980.

Bonatti Self Locking Descender.

This is based on the single Petzl type descender, but the
lower roller is connected to an arm which rotates it by about 20% of its
circumference.  This is then connected by
an arm to a brake block acting against the fixed, upper roller.  The action of the rope on the rotating roller
operates the brake unless a handle, which runs from it, is held against the
body.


Down and Out Descender/Ascender.

On show as a prototype only, this is yet another
self-braking descender.  This time
working on an off-set cam trapping the rope when the ‘deadman’s handle’ is
released.  The really interesting
feature, however, is that the device can be turned, upside-down, and the rope
fed straight through to form an ascender.


CMI ‘Shorti’ Ascender.

From the same stable (Colorado Mountain Industries) as the
‘5000’ Ascender, this is a non-handled jammer type ascender.  It is made from a super-strong extruded and
machined body, but still has the very weak spring that has caused so much
trouble on the ‘5000’.  When this problem
is solved, it will be a useful tool, as it is easily chest mounted, and the cam
can be removed for cleaning etc, and reversed if required to give either left
or right hand operation.

Clog

In the same year that Bridon Ropes and Fibres have launched
a direct copy of the Clog Fig. 8, marketed under their brand name of ‘Viking’,
Clog have revamped the principle to bring out a simple descender that need not
be unkrabbed to get on or off the rope. Comparable in cost to their Fig. 8, it usefully doubles a Knuckle-Duster
when getting to the bar for that last drink!

They have also introduced a new lock for their spring gated
krabs.  Available as a very expensive
option, it is a pull and twist operation, which makes locking the gate fast and
automatic.  Whether a good dose of mud
will destroy it remains to be seen!

‘Sprung-Rung’ Ladder

At present the only commercially available ladder is either
pin and araldite (which is expensive) or pressure bonded, which is finished so
badly that it tears clothing to pieces. The new ‘sprung-rung’ ladder uses the well tried taper pin fixing, then
the rung end is spun over to give a smooth finish.  Cost is similar to the pressure bonded
ladder, with 25ft, 3mm wire with 10″ rung spacing.

‘High-Efficiency’ Caving Lamp Bulbs.

As cavers generally tend to break, loose or otherwise
destroy their bulbs before enjoying the 350 hours that should be expected from
a mining lamp bulb, a new concept will be introduced to cavers.  This bulb is designed to give a life
expectancy of 100 hours, and so can be burned with a proportionally higher
efficiency.  Three versions will be
available: 2.4v, .6amp and 4v, .6amp., which more or less retain the light
output of the normal 1amp bulbs, but almost doubles the burning time of NiCads,
3 – cell Nifes, and Lead Acid batteries, and a 2.4v 1amp which burns brighter
on NiCads.  They are sold, however, with
the warning that they must be expected to occasionally ‘blow’ underground, so a
spare must be carried or a pilot bulb relied upon.  Also, they should not be turned on within
about six hours of the battery being charged, as the extra voltage will
overload them too much.  The price is
about 70p each.

MOLE

Brendan Brew, who manufactures under the trade name of
‘Mole’, is having his own specification polyester tape made.  Rumour has it that it is to be called
‘Mole-ester’ .

Goretex

The 8th November, saw the official launch in this country of
Goretex Mk.II.  It is claimed that it
requires a less rigid standard of cleanliness to keep it working – someone has
heard of cavers?

Raw Material Prices

Leather is still increasing rapidly in price.  Italian boots more susceptible than others,
but DOWN is DOWN.  February should see
the first shipments of Chinese made Duvets (under £40) and vests (about £17.50)
to join the already cheap sleeping bags on the market.  This makes them competitive with ‘hollofil’
which is up in price!

Tents

The usual people displayed their usual wares, the
‘Hi.Pakker’ and ‘Mountain’ from Saunders being of interest and obvious
‘winners’ to join their range.  The real
stir of the show was not actually in the show itself, but tucked away in the
basement of the Majestic Hotel.  This was
the ‘Hi-Tech’ range of tents from a company called N.R. Components.  These are lightweight tents (from 4lb. 6oz
for Z-man) which have hollow fibre glass poles permanently fixed to the outside
of the tent.  The fixing is by a
patented, hinged mounting, connected to a tough rubber tube which holds both
fly-sheet and inner tent.  The tent is
unrolled, pegged out around the edge, the half holes connected and then the
tensioning straps at front and rear tightened. It takes 45 seconds.

There are three basic models, two man, large two man (90
seconds to erect) and a big rhomboid which will seat 10 to 12 people (120
seconds to erect!)  They are due to be in
the shops from February 1980, at about the same time as a spot on the BBC TV
programme ‘Tomorrows World’

Shinabro Stoves

By sheer co-incidence, Blacks are importing these stoves
from

Korea
,
which have a remarkable resemblance to the Optimus 8R (petrol) and OO
(paraffin).  The price is, about £10
cheaper in each case.

 

Survey Of Wookey Hole

Reproduced by kind permission of C.D.G.


Radio Location Of Wookey 24

A general article for the uninitiated!

The published surveys of the far reaches have been put to
the test by ‘Prews’ transmitting equipment and found, in some instances to be
up to 30 degrees in error.  After the
valuable work in the cave by Bob Cork and Dany Bradshaw the story can now be
told………..

by Bob Cork and Alan
Thomas

The radio-location of Wookey Twenty Four was part of a
continuous programme to fix a survey point in each dry section of the cave
necessary because of the inaccuracy of underwater surveying.

In order to radio-locate an underground point the
transmitter, with its coil or aerial and its batteries, must first be taken to
that point.  The coil must be laid out in
an approximate circle as horizontally as possible.  The point located will be the centre of the
circle.  The surface apparatus consists
of the receiver and a box aerial used in the vertical plane.  Once the signal is received this aerial is
rotated until minimum strength is achieved. Two stakes mark its direction. The aerial is moved to another position, usually at 90 degrees, and
another direction obtained.  Where they
converge is an approximate fix.  The
process is repeated.  This time a silent
point is obtained which is the exact fix. This point is marked with a stake and the aerial carried, and slowly
rotated in the vertical plane, until a second silent point is found; the
distance between these two points is the depth of the location underground.

Our practical problem was the physical effort of two divers
transporting the transmitting apparatus and sufficient air to get them to
Wookey 24 and back safely.  There was no
lack of willing helpers as far as Wookey 9!

Accordingly, Bob Cork and Dany Bradshaw took in the coil and
set it up in Wookey 24 on 27th September 1979. This proved to be an all-day trip which they found very tiring and they
were somewhat pleased to find that Alan Thomas, who had no knowledge of the
time they had dived or how long they would be, arrived in Wookey 9 at the same
time as they returned to help them out with their gear.  The advantage of setting the coil up in
advance was that the surface workers knew where it was located and had a clue
where to await the signal.  To further
lighten their burden for Saturday they took two 50 cu.ft. air cylinders to
Wookey 22 on Friday night.  This was only
a forty minute trip, what you might call resting up for Saturday.

The next morning the intrepid divers met at Wookey Hole car
park with the surface party which comprised such distinguished figures as Brian
Prewer, Oliver Lloyd, Dan Hasell and Alan Thomas (?Ed) together with others no
less distinguished but too numerous to mention. After much discussion, muttering, eating bacon butties, drinking coffee
etc., the divers were persuaded to don their soggy wetsuits and sort out their
equipment.

The usual rig for diving at Wookey seems to consist of
individually valved, side mounted, twin air cylinders (usually 40, 45 or 50
cu.ft. capacity) a wetsuit and a helmet such as children wear skate boarding to
which is attached a pair of aquaflash underwater torches and the business end
of a NiFe cell.  No additional lead is
needed by most people.  For this dive
they had a total of 140 cu.ft. of air each including the bottles already in the
cave, sufficient for the return journey and allowing the 100% safety margin
demanded by good cave diving practice.

Bob and Dany enjoyed the walk to the cave for once someone
else was carrying their gear.

Watches were synchronised in Wookey 9 and the two divers
submerged at 10.45am, the arranged transmitting time was to be 12.30pm.  The dive from Wookey 9 to Wookey 20 is in a
large submersed passage in the conglomerate for the first 250ft after which
they are in limestone.  The total dive to
Wookey 20 is about 500ft and going to depth of 75ft.  There are few constrictions, even a tight
section of bedding about two-thirds of the way, known as the Slot, presenting
little problem even with luggage if the bottles are held horizontally.  The passage continues uphill after The Slot
to the Wookey 20 sump pool.  Here it is
possible to transfer to the Wookey 22 line without surfacing, though on this
occasion the divers surfaced under the Spiders Web, as the multiplicity of
lines in Wookey 20 is affectionately known. They had felt under some pressure from the surface party and wanted a
breather to sort themselves out.

From Wookey 20 to Wookey 22 the dive is about 600ft and goes
to a depth of 70ft.  Leaving the Spiders
Web they went down through boulders to a depth of 15ft, turning north into an
open passage twenty to thirty feet wide. The divers line was followed along the right hand wall to a depth of
about 60ft where the passage levels out and after some distance enters a large
chamber where even in the conditions of perfect visibility that day, the side
walls could not be seen.  At the far end
of that chamber the passage ascends rapidly to the Wookey 22 sump pool.  Here the fun began because it is necessary to
leave the water and start caving.

The sump pool is at the bottom of a conglomerate rift some
sixty to eighty feet high; the way on is up a steep slippery slope and a
traverse to the right where the floor levels out, where it is littered with
very sharp debris and large boulders.  At
the far end of this section a twenty-five foot descent through boulders leads
to a muddy squeeze into a large chamber. A further difficult climb down over sharp boulders leads to the Wookey
22 sump pool which is static.  Here,
there is a permanent iron ladder in the pool to facilitate the return journey;
how the ladder was got there is a story in itself and perhaps in the distant future
when the ‘fixed aids’ debate is again in full swing someone might bring it out
through Cuthbert’s.  The Static Pool is
smooth-sided and the water can be twenty feet down.  The divers, of course, were still carrying
their equipment.  Before continuing from
Wookey 22 they had changed their partly used 45’ for the dumped 50’s.  At the Static Pool they kitted up again
removing boots and replacing fins etc.

The dive from the Static Pool is 360ft long and 60ft deep
descending rapidly from the surface to a silted-up passage which narrows to a
slot which is passed on the left.  The
passage then gradually rises to surface in a muddy pool in Wookey 23.  Like this one the following sumps are static
under normal conditions but ripple marks in the mud suggest that it is an
overflow in time of spate.  These static
sumps hold silt in suspension for a long time so the return journey is like
diving in cocoa and not very pleasant even if you like cocoa.

The divers clambered out of the mud-walled sump pool by
kicking their toes into the soft mud and inching their way up the slope,
pausing only occasionally to fall back in. Once out of the water in Wookey 23 they were in a wide muddy floored
passage along which they stumbled and made their way to the 30ft diameter lake
at the far end, where a duck led them into a small pool from which it was
difficult to get out.  A lower passage
brought them to Sump 23 which was only 15ft long and roomy.  Thus they surfaced in the large passage which
is Wookey 24.

They de-kitted, emptied the water that had seeped into the
transmitter box, fortunately doing no harm, and continued to the two connected
chambers where they had laid out the coil on the previous Thursday.  It was now 12.25pm.  The apparatus was quickly assembled and the
transmission began only a few minutes late. The arrangement was that they would transmit for one hour.  However, watching a small needle flip up and
down can be very boring and as they had noted on a previous trip potential side
passages they decided to go exploring. At the northern end of the second chamber the roar of water can be
heard.  A 25ft climb over large boulders
and a traverse along a narrow rift-like passage leads to a point above the
foaming torrent of the River Axe which here disappears into a boulder
choke.  Upstream the active streamway
passage enlarges; traversing above the water becomes difficult and it becomes
necessary to swim.  A line assists the
caver from here to Sting Corner, the right-angle bend in the streamway, just
beyond which it becomes possible to walk again. Their first attempt at climbing the wall opposite Sting Corner where a
void could be seen at a height of about 30ft ended in double splash as a Bob
and a Dany both plummeted back into the streamway.  They did not like this place!  And moved on.

Beyond Sting Corner the water is twelve to fifteen feet deep
and about ten feet wide.  With a strong
current, a hauling line is very useful. The whole passage is in conglomerate, with thick slippery manganese deposits
on the walls.  Further on the passage
becomes shallower and the water faster flowing, continuing eastwards to Sump
24.  The going now, becomes harder.  At one point along the streamway it is
possible to climb up about 50ft on the left hand side and enter an oxbow, the
other end of which is only a few hundred feet from Sump 24.

Here the two divers made their second attempt at finding new
passage.  They entered a hole at the
western end of the oxbow and followed a three foot wide fifteen foot high rift
which became blocked with debris after 150ft. They managed to remove a boulder from the top of the blockage and thus
get by.  The way on was no wider but
increased in height.  After 200ft a climb
over two large boulders brought them to the head of a rift about 50ft deep for
which they would have needed tackle. Having none they then traversed along the rift for about another 50ft to
where it became impassable.  The only way
on would be below.  Stones dropped down
the rift could be heard bouncing beyond the visible bottom.  As they returned it seemed obvious that the
passage floor along which they had come was formed by boulders jammed in the
rift.  They then carried a rough line and
compass survey.

They returned to their radio location station without
incident.  The transmitter had been
transmitting for one and quarter hours and the meter was reading a low
output.  It was nearly two o’clock so
they turned off the transmitter and packed up.

The journey out was uneventful except for occasional problems
such as Dany playing with the coil halfway through the static sump 22 in nil
visibility on the pretext that it had come undone.  And Bob, having descended and entered the
last twenty feet of the Wookey 22 dry slope faster than he intended and entered
the water in a most inelegant manner midst a clatter of cylinders, was not
amused to hear “that’s one way to do it youth” followed by a loud
guffaw.

From Wookey 22 they could have had a relatively easy trip
out carrying only the radio-location gear and leaving the spare (now empty)
cylinders to be recovered later.  But
with characteristic whole heartedness they decided to carry the lot and have
done with it.  They had little trouble in
the good visibility and the desire to get out overcame the drag caused by the
extra gear.

They were relieved when they surfaced to find a fair number
of the surface party waiting in Wookey 9, not only to carry the gear but to
tell them of the success of the operation.

The story of the surface party is soon told.  Leaving the cave as soon as Dob and Dany had
dived they returned to the car park to fetch the receiver equipment.  They assembled in a field to the west of

Green Lane
where
the residents, mainly horses and cattle seemed to think that radio-location was
the most interesting thing that had happened for a long time.  Naturally everyone confidently predicted
where Wookey 24 would prove to be. Naturally all were wrong.  The
signal was soon received very clearly and Brian Prewer, designer and builder of
the apparatus led them eastwards towards

Green Lane
.  The point was finally found to be in a field
belonging to Madame Tussauds on the other side of the lane.  The whole operation had taken place in very
pleasant sunshine and when completed they adjourned to the Hunters before
returning to the cave to meet the divers.

 

Derbyshire News in Brief

Miss Nellie Kirkhom, the well known mines historian, died in
May 1979; Eldon PC are digging at the end of Pilgrims Way in Oxlow in the hope
that it will lead them straight into Peak Cavern; Carlswark – Big Dig has gone
and about 1,500ft of new stream passage discovered; Masson Complex, Matlock is
to be closed for two years whilst blasting is carried out nearby.  They will be re-opened to cavers; Giants Hole
– owner charging 45p per caver, call at farm. No access to cave during April and May during lambing season.

© 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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