Exploration Club, The Belfry,

, Priddy, Wells,

.Telephone: Wells (0749) 72126.

Editor: G.

Bet you thought I’d given up for good!  No such luck – you’ll have to put up with my
verbiage for another year yet, and, I threaten, more regularly than of
late.  The move from Aylesbury is now
complete and you’ll see that I am now a local.

The printing machine has recently emerged from hibernation
beneath cardboard boxes and packing cases, the file of B.B. articles has been
found, and we’ve created enough floor space in one room of the house to sit
down and type.  We’re in business again,
so send in your articles.  There’s still
time to catch the Christmas B.B.

At this year’s A.G.M., which Alan Thomas did a remarkable
job of managing, Trev Hughes and the Batswine proposed the creation of a diving
section within the Club, together with the new committee post of Diving
Secretary, rather like the old climbing section.  Chris kept quiet for most of the discussion
and Trev did not argue his case particularly well.  The issue was, to say the least,
contentious.  Trev would have done better
had his 30 diving members of the B.E.C. all been at the A.G.M., and perhaps he
should have published his thoughts in advance. The majority at the A.G.M. were for the proposal.  However, it failed because those at the
A.G.M. who were for the proposal did not represent a great enough proportion of
the Club membership.  In other words,
there were not enough members present at the A.G.M.  Indeed, at one point some members left the
room and the meeting became inquorate. That’s apathy for you.

In next month’s B.B. we have something from the Pope + a
South African article on caving and marital breakdown, caving in Canada, by
Bolt, (if I can find the article amongst all the chaos) together with some of
his cartoons, 1981-82 Officers reports (caving sec., hut engineer, editor), a
note about Tynings, more on Wookey, maybe a snippet about Gaping
Gill/Ingleborough, a new show cave in Barbados, a list of jobs which YOU could
do to help maintain the Belfry, all the latest news from Mendip, plus bits from
those other, minor caving regions of Britain and the rest of the world, plus
much more, I hope.


Quote of the whateveryoucallfourmonthsoneaftertheother:

by Biffo in Wookey 20.

“Is there any water in this


Fund Raising

The Belfry Extension will cost £5,600 for materials
alone.  £2,000 is in the kitty.  £3,600 is needed.  Just £20 per member, including lifers.

Every member is asked to contribute at least £20 by straight
contribution, bankers order, or by running some fund raising activity – a
sponsored climb of the north face of Everest or steal a bell from the Mary
Rose, or even a sponsored drive home with Alan Thomas after an evening at the

Nigel Taylor proposes to con people into “buying blocks
for the Belfry” and Trevor Hughes will be selling 7,600 raffle tickets to
raise the whole damned lot himself.

Would members be prepared to “Buy a drink for the
Belfry” each time they visit.  50p
into a pot for the first round of the evening. Forty drinking evenings will raise everybody’s £20.

Other ideas for raising money breathtakingly awaited.  The best suggestion will win one free ticket
to next year’s dinner.

Providers of £20 or more to the fund will have their names
published in the B.B.

The best idea yet! Tip the Belfry as well as the barber every time you have a haircut.  The year 2000 will pass before we can afford
the roof tiles but catch Trevor quick before he goes for his next interview.

Jeremy Henley.


Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

John Stafford and Kangy King have great satisfaction in
reporting the successful completion of their journey over the Roof of
Wales.  They climbed over 40 peaks and
did 170 miles in 12 days.

Starting at the Roman road near Drum in the Carneidau, North
Wales, they successively climbed
Snowdon, the
Moelwyns, the Rhinogs, Cader Idris, Plynlimon, The Welsh Wilderness, the Eppynt
and finished on the Brecon Beacons, crossing the highest point of each range.


24th July to 5th August 1982.

In the last B.B. Kangy asked if any other B.E.C. members had
done the full CUILLIN RIDGE.  In 1976 I
did it during two glorious days one May, but I was a W.C.C. member then.  Does this count?

Martyn Farr dived in Wookey this weekend, attempting to pass
Sump 25, which he had pushed to a depth of 125 feet or so, back in 1977.  On this occasion (29th. to 31st. October) he
camped inside the cave in order to reduce the problems of decompression.  He reached a depth of 200 feet where the way
on lay through a slot 6 ft. wide and one foot high – not a pleasant prospect at
that depth.

He has left it for “the next generation”.


Space Filler: When mending wet suits beat hell out of the
glued joins whilst the adhesive is setting using a blunt instrument.  This helps to fuse the edges into the

J. H.


Headquarters Notes

by Phil Romford.

As your new, democratically elected hut warden, I would like
to make a few comments and observations which affect the year’s running of the

Firstly there is concern by myself and many other members
who use the Belfry that squalor has set in. This, unfortunately, is a reflection of the general standards of
cleanliness and discipline of a few people. I for one would like to see this change. Over the next few weeks this situation will change with the help of a
responsible committee.  This applies not
just to the Belfry interior but to the whole site which, frankly, is a
tip.  It came to my notice over the
A.G.M. weekend that the Royal Navy, who have been using our facilities for some
time now and providing a large and welcome income to the club, are not
happy.  Due to the normal squalor the
R.N. officers are proposing to use the S.M.C.C. hut and have already taken
schools there.  This, of course, results
in a loss of income to us.  At this time,
while we are building our funds for the Belfry extensions, we can ill afford
this loss.  So, Belfryite, buck up your
ideas or you will be disciplined!

The chief problems appear to be firstly in a lack of
direction from a responsible warden; various members are not taking any part in
Belfry cleaning and are leaving rubbish in any available free space within the
Belfry; there seems to be a general lack of interest in Belfry maintenance;
when there are working weekends little seems to be achieved, with many jobs
being unfinished.

I have no doubt some people will argue that this is a caving
club hut and not a bloody hotel.  While I
agree that we are first and foremost a caving club, this provides no excuse or
reason for turning it into a scrap yard.

Since I shall be essentially a non-resident warden, only
being at the Belfry say on one day over a weekend, I shall enlist the help of
resident members, i.e. Trevor Hughes and Nigel Taylor, who are committee
members, and any other willing member I choose. However, I will expect my deputy to go along with my philosophy of
general cleanliness.

Over the next few months there will be some working weekends
where club members are expected to participate. It would also help if members would donate any spare materials they may
have, such as paint, ceramic tiles and like materials; any spare plumbing bits
and pieces would come in handy.

The next working weekend will be: Friday – Sunday 3rd – 5th


  • Working
    refrigerator in reasonable condition.  Needed at the Belfry. Price negotiable, however, a donation would
    be even better.
  • Usable
    single mattresses for Belfry bunkrooms.
  • Ceramic
    wall tiles.

If you have any spare, can you donate them to the Belfry?

For all of the above, contact the Hut Warden, either at the
Belfry or on Wells 75407

Address Changes:

”Wormhole” (alias Ian Caldwell),
College Cardiff.

Ian & Annie Wilton – Jones, Llanelly Hill, Gwent.

Graham Wilton – Jones & Jane Clarke, Wedmore,

. DS 28 4AX




(The story they tried not to tell!!)

Since the expeditions of the summers of 1978, 79 & 80
there had been various plans, discussions, Ideas, thoughts, proposals and
blueprints of another trip to

.  These were mostly conducted in the academic
atmosphere of the Hunters, on the back of odd beermats and fuelled mainly on 2
star Badger Beer.  The discussion ran
along the lines that the final shaft (Ben Dors Shaft) in the
Barrengassewindeschact which was fairly wet in summer ought to be dry in the
winter as all available surface water should be frozen.  And this is where the story really starts.

In November 1981 another odd beermat was found and
accordingly plans were laid for a reconnaissance party to go out at
Christmastide.  Despite several false
starts and detours, and the odd misunderstanding or two, plus the Government’s
movement of Boxing Day, a strong crack team consisting of Rob (Harpic) Harper
and Chris (Blitz) Smart prepared themselves. The initial stages of the expedition i.e. the first four hours were
spent repairing the brakes on R.H.’s Renault 5 (and all without any form of
sponsorship) so that Joanna could drive back to

. This was then followed by the two expedition superstars packing a 1arge
amount of food, ropes and kit into the back of an elastic Renault 5 (another one)
much to the amazement of the passers-by and the passengers of the local bus
service – it was rumoured that they were infact running special coach
tours.  We rushed to make up for lost
time and no sooner had the feature film ‘Close Encounters of the Turd
Kind” finished, we leapt in what space was left in the car and drove like
a snail out of hell for the coast and La belle France.  We caught the 3 am ferry from Dover to
Boulogne, assumed funny accents and arrived in France at 5:30 having
ceaselessly lost an hour somewhere in mid-channel.  (For those of you with a nervous disposition
you will no doubt be glad to learn that we did infact find it again on the way

A couple of hours of driving found us bleary-eyed and
dangerous to the other road users, did you know they all drive on the wrong
side of road!?, so we stopped for a few hours sleep in a 5 star luxury, rustic
shelter.  (For the use of any interested
parties it is on the V7 next to

at a town called
Haucourt and is well worth a detour.  It
has hot and cold running draughts in all its one rooms and a quite exquisite
view of a dead tree.)  The rest of the
day was spent motoring to
and 10 o’clock that night saw us halted in the
by frozen roads. During the resultant brew up the road was salted and our intrepid heroes
managed to make another 5 miles to a Teutonic bus shelter.  It would be no exaggeration to say that the
night was a little on the cold side.

It was the cold that forced us to an early breakfast of
cheese and wine which was preceded by Rob entertaining the bus queue and an old
lady who was passing on her bike with a traditional BEC dawn chorus six foot
length of carpet being rent asunder.  We
then continued onward through a


which was trying hard to do a series of Christmas car impersonations – and
doing them very well!!  The remainder of
that day was memorable for its monotony that was only relieved by our two
heroes dropping the equivalent of about £10 in loose German coins onto the
tiled floor of a Bank and Blitz managing to obtain a complete list of German
Bank holidays without really trying.

We arrived in Halstatt in the early evening and began the
serious business of the expedition, and this is where the story really
starts.  Over a few beers we made the
acquaintance of an attitude of mind that was soon to become all too familiar
and was to turn up everywhere during our entire stay.  The Austrians are welded to a pair of
ski-boots from the moment that the first small flake of snow gently drifts
poetically down from the sky; although we did ponder whether they were actually
born with a pair, and since we took every opportunity to change into smart but
casual shoes for sitting in bars etc., each time we announced our plans and
intentions there would be a stunned silence and then the bravest local present
would exclaim…”IN THOSE SHOES?!!!”.  Sure
enough ‘after a couple’ of beers and the establishment of language of
communication (perm any four of four from English, French, German and Sign) the
barman asked us what we were doing in Halstatt and what our plans were.  We said we were cavers and we intended to
walk up to the Weisburghaus tomorrow; he seemed stunned and glancing at our
footwear gave birth to the phrase. However our first priority was to find overnight accommodation i. e. the
nearest bus shelter, but were waylaid by a phone box and a chance to report our
progress so far to base

.  Blitz then remembered the underground car
park that he had used two years before & we thought the accommodation
problem was solved.  Two minutes later we
were engaged in answering a few Police questions who thought we were a pair of
Polish refugees.  As there seemed to be a
local panic on regarding these refugees we though tit would be wise to seek
‘1egal’ accommodation and asked the Police about the local Youth Hostel.  N.B. There used to be one in Halstatt but not
now and we spent an interesting time following the Police car round the town
and watching as they would drive up to some unsuspecting late night reveller
and then give him the third degree treatment about accommodation locally.  The Police had been drafted in from outside
the area, for the refugee scare, so did not know the town and at one point we
ended up backing up a one-way street. Eventually a man was found who admitted that accommodation did exist in
Halstatt and he directed the convoy to a house use nearby.  The owner finally, surfaced and answered the
door and admitted that he had accommodation available, but that he was going to

the following morning by helicopter.  Now
given our somewhat p*ss*d up state and the limitations of ‘Teach Yourself
German’ we think that was his intentions, but any how he lead us around the
back streets of Halstatt which consist mainly of wooden walkways apparently
super glued to the cliffs, and battered on a door until it was opened to expose
the witch from Hansel and Gretel.  She
was obviously on holiday from molesting small children and offered us her spare
room.  This turned out to be a fairy
story eyrie at the top of the house, high overlooking the lake with an enormous
double bed (I’m sorry Rob but the truth must be told).  We retired to the car to fetch our kit and
returned to gaze at the seemingly vast acreage of the endless bed, before
crawling into it and going straight to sleep with only a bolster between us to
maintain moral standards.

Over breakfast even Granny, the friendly witch, chided us
about our choice of footwear for the day ahead and ensured frequent and regular
stops by insisting we both finish a litre of coffee each.  We drove up to the start of the Dachstein
cable car to try to make contact with the show cave manager, to get in touch
with the local cavers, but the ticket man, a mental defective, denied all
knowledge of his employer so we decided to try and walk up to the Weisberghaus
by the normal summer path which in winter is a cross country downhill
ski-run.  So by 12 noon we were packed
and ready to go, anticipating beer and schnapps in two or three hours, and were
gratified to be told by a group of small admiring boys that the path was open
but might take four or five hours.  Three
and a half hours later battling with waist deep and deeper powder snow left us
knackered, thirsty, hungry, very tired and with what can only be described as
definitely homicidal feelings towards, the small boys.  Blitz managed to add to the atmosphere of the
moment when his gloved hand slipped on a frozen pack strap smacking himself on
the nose and we had a few panic stricken moments when we thought that he had
lost a contact lens in the snow.  (The
wound left him with a large black scab, the size of a sixpence, in the middle
of his nose that was guaranteed to stop all conversation wherever we went).  At our highest point we were still less than
half the way up to the hut and it took us two more hours to get off the
mountain leaving nothing but a few footprints…..Blitz and Harpic body sized
footprints in the ski-run to trap unwary Austrians.

….And this is where the story really starts….Granny agreed
to have us back for the night but as it was New Year’s Eve intimated that she
would prefer us not to come back too p*ss*d up. She just had to be joking!!  We
were so shattered it was unbelievable and only managed few beers each, mind
you, had we discovered the special black label export brew before retiring to
our bed.  The only good thing to come of
the day was that news of our exploits was filtering down the mountainside,
mostly from skiers caught in a series of ‘mantraps’ in their ski-run, and the,
locals were immensely impressed with our performance considering we had neither
skis nor snow shoes.  We were a force to
be reckoned with, Mein Gott!

During the night we were woken regularly by the sound of
fireworks, once by the noise of a massive avalanche far across the valley and
once by Granny (could this be the answer to a thousand sexual fantasies) who
gave Blitz who was snoring happily a thorough telling off for leaving the
electric fire on.  (It didn’t suit him

The morning of Few Year’s Day dawned miserable and then
proceeded to get worse, but Granny in a mood approaching that of humour served
our breakfast and because of our success with the coffee the morning before,
increased our coffee allocation to two litres each.  We were defeated but only just.  We then sauntered out to see the havoc
wrought by the local population on the town – fair to good was the conclusion,
and the remains of a once proud sofa would have added the finishing touches to
make it indistinguishable from the Belfry on a Sunday morning.

Blitz had had a brainwave the night before over the beers
and we struggled to remember it…..then it came again, what we needed were snow
shoes…..and this is where the story really starts.  His German, it was thought, probably would
not cope with such a request and we decided to call on one Herr Siegfried
Mittendorfer, a local rambler who had caved once, who had been more than
helpful in the past.  Initial reaction
was good after we had managed to wake him, and he made us welcome, and insisted
we welcome the New Year in with a couple of glasses of wine (at 9.30am!).  He made a few quick phone calls and tracked
down the only pair of snowshoes in Halstatt (remember I said Austrians were
born with skis on) and arranged for us to call in at the shop that
morning.  We bought them and hurried off
to the mountain path eager to try them out, with thoughts of lightly running
across the snow.  We found that where there
wasn’t any crust or marginal consolidation at all they worked extremely well
but on unconsolidated powder snow there was little to choose between them and
ordinary boots.  Blitz then had another
brainwave and suggested that if we wove some pine twigs on and out of the
bindings it might make a difference… did, it meant that you looked as if
you had a bush growing out of each boot, and all this in a Nature Reserve, but
that they were still not adequate.  We
sought solace in a brew-up and were not amused after having spent half an hour
melting and boiling snow when Blitz kicked pressure cooker of tea all over the
ground.  The resultant yellow stain in
the middle of our makeshift kitchen caused some consternation to a passing
women skier that she almost lost balance, as she saw us preparing food next to
what she assumed was the contents of a large urinal.  It was obvious that after this our reputation
could only grow still bigger.

We decided that our standing would only diminish if we
sneaked back to Granny, and that we really should be getting rougher and
tougher so we headed for the underground car park and a bivouac.  That night saw two foot of snow fall in the
valley and it turned out that our ‘bedroom’ was the very place where they kept
the spare blades for the snowplough.  If
you don’t know how much noise a gang of Austrian workmen can make with large
sledgehammers changing snowploughs, then contact Harpic or Blitz in the pub
some time.

Bad Ischal, being the nearest place of any size was elected
as being the only place likely to have another pair of snowshoes, so waved goodbye
to the Halstatt commuters who by now were starting their cars and driving them
through our bedroom, brewed up (again!) and slid the Renault down the snowy
(Where are you, snowy?) roads to the biggest metropolis this side of Priddy.  Blitz did at one stage suggest that we should
buy a quantity of sausage while we were there just so that we could say we had
gone to Bad for-Wurst, but the sausage shop was closed so the joke doesn’t
really count.  Buying snowshoes was not
as easy as it might first appear and again we came up against the problem that
all men, women, children, and probably cats and dogs in

born with skis.  We were reduced to mimes
using tennis rackets in one shop and in another the assistant didn’t even know
the word when shown it in a dictionary! Eventually another pair was purchased and plans were once more laid for
storming the strongholds of the Gods and descending caverns measureless to man
etc.  (I knew I could get a mention of
Wigmore in here somewhere).

On the way back to the underground car park Blitz, he had
all the good ideas, suggested we should try to contact the Dachstein Showcave
manager, Herr Siegfried Gamsjaeger, at his home mentioning that even if he
wasn’t then his wife might be and that she was definitely worth seeing.  He wasn’t and she was.  It turned out that he was away organizing a
cavers cum local peoples type party for that evening at one of the nearby show
caves…..but, and this is where the story really starts, were we interested in
going to a caving club hut for the afternoon and then going on to the session
in the evening.  Can a Duck swim?  At last this was what we had come to

to do.

After some complicated car manoeuvring later and a variation
on the old phrase, what in those tyres! We found ourselves at an eighteenth
century farmhouse on the shores of the lake, which the local cavers were in the
process of renovating.  Not only was it
incredibly picturesque but every room had a wood burning stove in it and for
the first time in days we could be warm again.

We were introduced to the two cavers in residence in the
bedroom             and Frau G. left us in
their tender care.  We rapidly realized
that it was the old one caver + girlfriend arrangement and that we had
disturbed them at what I can only describe, with decorum, as a delicate and
very intimate stage in their relationship (not to mince words, I think it is
number 43 in the book).  However
differences were soon put aside, and dress adjusted, as we joined them for some
apple tea.  The subject of caving arose
and after Rob’s revelation that he had done some cave diving in Britain, and
Chris’s offhand remark that he had caved in the Himalayas they were left open
mouthed with awe.  It was obvious that
here were two cavers to be reckoned with, men who could stand alongside such
superstars as Martel, Casteret, Eyre,


and Wormhole (well after some discussion they decided perhaps not Wormhole).

Fitz’s girlfriend Gabby, honest we didn’t make these names
up, could speak English fairly well and from her we gathered that the evenings
festivities were a torchlight procession by the villagers to the show cave, the
Koppenbrullerhohle, followed by songs in the snow with a traditional ‘oompah’
band, and then songs around a camp fire with lashings of ‘tee-mit-rum.  Needless to say we couldn’t wait to get
started, and paused only to eat a tin or two of cold Irish Stew, which served
to increase our reputation still further, and attempt to explain that ‘Yes, in
those shoes/tyres.’  As with all well
organised p*ss ups we had to do a check on a number of bars to find the other
cavers and/or their girlfriends but things got underway at about 7:30.  The cave was quite uninteresting but, and
this is where the story really starts, the band, the singing, and the witch
like cauldron of ‘tee-mit-.rum’ more than made up for it, as did the cementing
of relations with the local speleos. (And not to put too fine a point on it we now had accommodation.)

The following morning we woke late and abandoned all previous
thoughts of going up the mountain, the rum had had its usual effect and we were
savouring the delights of comfortable surroundings.  At one point the previous evening we had
finally made contact with the elusive Herr G. and arranged to go into the Mammethohle
which is the major cave of the Dachstein area, but that was for the day after
tomorrow.  Blitz at this stage, I felt,
disappointed the Austrians by declining to push some of the local risings, clad
only in a dash of aftershave (without sponsorship) and a smile.  This was not the lack of activities that one
expects from a Himalayan caver.

It was not until the next evening, after yet another day of
‘weather’ that Siggy turned up and confirmed our trip into the Mammethohle for
the next day with a trio of Viennese cavers who were doing a photographic
trip.  We also managed to discuss and
begin to rectify some of the problems that had arisen from the surveys from the
summer expeditions.  By 10:30 the next
morning we were at the small hut (the Emma Hutte) which serves as a base for
cavers going into the Mammethohle.  We
were again lucky that all three of the Viennese spoke all too excellent
English, which was a great help as Blitz’s pocket dictionary had never really
recovered from the snowshoes episode and was beginning to look a little the
worse for wear and would probably would not have survived a long caving
trip.  The trip itself was very good, if
indeed a trifle slow by Mendip standards; we were gratified at one point to be
asked breathlessly ‘Do all English cavers cave so quickly?’, actually we been
going slowly so that they would keep up!! The cave posed no great technical difficulties or dangers apart from the
horrendous fixed aids; it is painfully obvious that they haven’t heard of the
words liability or insurance.  In all we
spent about 6½ hours going in the main drag as far as the formation, yes that’s
right, THE formation and also had a quick look at the head of the pitch into
the furtherest reaches of the cave, the Krippensteingang.  If I have forgotten to mention the walk from
the Emma Hutte to and from the Mammethohle it is because we are both still
trying to erase the horror from our memory, suffice to say that the last 50 or
so metres one has to scamper across a powder snow avalanche slope that is in
constant use judging by the fact that there is a large accumulation of fresh
snow boulders at the bottom, that there is a large unblunted break-off point
100 metres above and also that the locals who had quite happily negotiated
previous sections that had reduced us to dry-mouthed whimpering, felt that this
stretch was sufficiently serious to cross one at a time in complete
silence.  That eve was spent in the hut
with them, impressing them with the delights of pressure-cooked tea bags that
produced a very thick strong black tea (who are you calling thick ?)

After catching the cable-car back down the next morning we
watched the weather get worse and worse and worse and worse as we sat drinking
in one of the bars at the foot of the mountain. We felt very depressed and were about to call it a day and go and cook
some food (yes real hot food for a change!) when the door of the bar was flung
open and, words were spoken that look simple enough on paper, but which struck
terror into our hearts.  ‘Herr Blitz,
Herr Bobby’ we heard, and we knew the day of reckoning had come early.  The voice belonged to Fritz Platzl, the
guardian of the Weisberghaus, our summer base and the object of winter desires,
who, insisted we follow him home for a liquid supper just to round the days
drinking off.  He and his wife, Mitzi
then proceeded to insist that we come for lunch the next day… could we
refuse?  Fritz had been impressed by the
drinking of the English cavers on the summer trips and we struggled manfully at
lunch the next day to maintain the BEC reputation.  He had bought two full crates of beer for us
but we had to call a halt when the bootleg schnapps was produced and he
suggested we corner the market on the produce within our own stomachs.  Blitz did make a brave attempt to save the
day by downing a schnapps in one but was notably quiet for the next few minutes
as he decided whether or not it was biologically possible to live without the
use of his stomach.

Back at the caving hut, a rational discussion of the
situation told us what we should have realised before, that namely we were
really achieving very little by staying on. In almost record time the Renault was packed and we headed for the UK,
stopping off en route to pay our hut fees to Herr Siegfried Gamsjeager, and to
have and last look at wife (stop it! you’ll go blind).  We then travelled literally non-stop back to
Woking which took just on 24 hours, having managed to refind that missing hour
in mid-Channel, but getting back from Woking to
took nearly 2 days,


not being in quite the same league as the Continentals for road c1earing …..and
this is where the story really starts.

Some Conclusions: –


back through this article there seems to be some considerable number of
references to drinking in bars, and indeed drinking anywhere, and little on
climbing and caving.  This in fact is a
very fair representation of the time spent and highlights a problem that we as
cavers found in mid-winter but which is familiar to climbers all year round.  The problem is basically that in the
Alps or any high mountain range, unless the weather is
good and stable there is virtually nothing to be done except sit and wait for a
few days more.  On one occasion over a 15
minute period while waiting in one of the car parks we counted 8 major
avalanches, and that was on a good day.

Also since we were in receipt of a I.D.M.F. grant, it is
valid for the club to ask did we achieve anything; indeed was it worth our
while going?  We believe the answer to be

i)                    We ascertained beyond doubt that the tackling of
the cave entrances on the plateau, unless one is an exceptionally gifted skier
is impractical.  There is between 8 and
30 feet of unconsolidated powder snow making navigation hazardous both by
obliterating landmarks and by covering some shafts with fragile snow
plugs.  If this was the only positive
result I should still maintain that the expedition was valid, at the very least
it has ended considerable speculation.

ii)                  We disproved the theory that all the melt water
would be frozen into ice, so the caves would be dry and noted that there was
little perceptible difference between the risings in winter or summer.

iii)                 A presence was shown out in

valuable contacts were made or extended. If nothing else we now know where the caving hut is!!

iv)                 We bought two pairs of snow shoes with £40 of
the £60 of the I.D.M.F. grant, which have been donated to the BEC. The
remaining £20 of the ‘ grant was returned to the fund.

v)                   ‘The local cavers are very keen to take on the
Barrengassewindeschact (although it is not certain that they would find the
entrance) and it is essential that the club, continue to show an interest in
the area.  At the time of this trip we
were pressed very hard by them as to a firm commitment for this summer.  The area is very well worth a visit and the
locals are all extremely friendly, even to people in casual shoes; the caving
potential is excellent and the Mammethohle, a few kilometres away from
Barrengassewindeschact is a1ready the seventh deepest in the world with
continuing potential.

vi)                 And this is where the story really starts……The
End (until next time).

References to the previous expeditions can be found in the
following copies of the BB

Oct 1978, vol 32 no 10 (366); Feb
 1979, vol 33 no 2 (370); Nov 1979, vol
33 no 11 (379); Aug/Sept 1980, vol 34 nos 8 & 9 (388 & 389).


Thank you Chris and Rob, for the article, and particularly
for having typed it onto a stencil. Typed articles, on stencils or on good quality white paper make my job
so much easier.

Thanks also to Fi, who typed the next nine pages of the B.D.

FUND RAISING: Lil Romford and some of the other women
members who regularly stay at The Belfry are planning a Christmas raffle to
raise funds for the improvements planned for the hut.  Primarily they aim to raise money towards
refitting the women’s room in the new extension, after which any surplus money
will go towards the general building fund. There will be a wide variety of prizes which have been donated by other
members so when the time comes please support generously. (If you don’t then
Lil will set about you!!)



By Tim Large

SUBSCRIPTIONS: It’s that time of year again folks. Subscriptions this year are as last £10 single, £15 joint.  Send your money to Fi Lewis, 53 Portway,
Wells, Somerset BA5 2BQ by the 31st December 1982.  Those who have not paid by then will find
themselves BB less!!

recognition of his services to Queen and Country during the
campaign it was decided to award Marine Ross White a years Hon.
Membership.  Ross was one of the Marines
captured on South Georgia when the Argentineans invaded, later he was amongst
the Marines who retook the
South Sandwich Islands.  Well done Ross.

BELFRY IMPROVEMENTS: The latest position is that John Gywther has drawn up the plans and
these have now been presented for Planning Permission and Building Regulation
Consent.  When this has been done an EGM
will be called to give members a chance to express any views they may have on
the next stage.  I have been in touch
with Mendip District Council with regards a grant to help with the costs of
building the extension, they have no money available.  The next move is for me to get in touch with
Somerset Playing Fields Association and if they give no joy we lastly approach
The Sports Council.

ST CUTHBERTS LEASE: Any delays we have recently been faced with in leasing have been caused
by reorganisation at The Inveresk Paper Mill from whom we are getting the
lease.  At present I am waiting for a
date on which to walk the boundaries with a representative of the mill to
assert the area of land the lease will cover. When this has been done the lease can then be drawn up.

club has its fingers in many pies at the moment, with digs in Dan yr Ogof at
the end of Dalis Delight led by Martin Grass, Tim Large, Graham Wilton-Jones
and Jane Clarke who say that any help would be welcome.  Eastwater at the bottom of Mortons Pot a very
promising dig with much potential here again it involves Tim Large, J’Rat,
Graham Wilton-Jones, Jane Clarke, Stu McManus etc.  A’Day at the end of Tynings involving the
above group, Wigmore led mainly by J’Rat, Twin Ts where much exploration worlds
is still taking place, Trevor Hughes and Ross White have been playing with the
boulder ruckle at the end of Swildons 12 and say that on the next visit they
should break into new cave!  Finally the
dig to crown all digs

, Cheddar, Tim Large,
Chris Bradshaw etc assisted by various ex cave guides, electricians, are
digging a passage off Heartbreak Hill. Some of the luxuries afforded by this dig include heated changing room
with hot and cold running water, boiler suits and lamps curtsey of Longleat
Estates laundered after use, electric lighting, power for Hilti drills etc,
mobile spoil carrying machines (ex Cheshire Home electric wheelchairs) and
access for cars(minivans) right up to the dig. What ever are we going to do if the dig goes!!

AGM AND DINNER: The AGM was well attended.  Alan
Thomas chaired the meeting and the food was provided by Fi Lewis, beer by Alan
Thomas.  It was a rather long drawn out
meeting with several controversial issues discussed.  It is proposed that rather than pick things
out and put them in this column that I will try and get the minutes typed up
and put them in the next issue.  The
Dinner was attended by approx 120 people who sat down to a splendid meal which
was enjoyed by all.  As usual there were
several presentations to make; Zot presented Graham Wilton-Jones and Jane Clark
with a sign ‘The Bassets’ for their new house at Wedmore.  Pete Franklin presented Tony Jarrett with The
Driver of The Year Award for writing off his Suzuki Van in Derbyshire, and
Chris Batstone on behalf of Bob Hill who is working in

presented Trevor Hughes with The Bore
of the Year Award.

The 1982/83 Committee

HON. SECRETARY                   Tim

HON. TREASURER                   Jeremy

TACKLEMASTER                      John

HUT WARDEN                          Phil Romford

HUT ENGINEER                        Ian

CAVING SECRETARY               Martin

BB EDITOR                               Graham


MEMBERS                               Trevor Hughes, Nigel Taylor



LIBRARIAN                               Chris Batsone



Exploration Club – Membership List October 1982

828 Nicolette Abell Faulkland,
20 (L) Bobby Bagshaw Knowle, Bristol, Avon
392 (L) Mike Baker Midsomer Norton, Bath, Avon
818 Chris Batsone Bathford, Bath, Avon
390 (L) Joan Bennett Wesbury-on-Trym, Bristol
214 (L) Roy Bennett Wesbury-on-Trym, Bristol
731 Bob Bidmead Middle Street, East Harptree, Bristol
998 Crissie Bissett Exeter, Devon
145 (L) Sybil Bowden-Lyle Calne, Wiltshire
959 Chris Bradshaw Wells, Somerset
868 Dany Bradshaw Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset
967 Michael Brakespeare Dilton Marsh, Westbury. Wiltshire
1004 Brendan Brew Sutton-in-Craven, Keithley, West Yorkshire
751 (L) T.A. Bookes London, SW2
756 Tessie Burt Harpendon, Herts
956 Ian Caldwell Senngenydd House, University College, P.O. Box 8, Cardiff.
955 Jack Calvert Dilton Marsh, Westbury, Wiltshire.
1062 Andy Cave Wells Road, Priddy, Wells, Somerset
902 (L) Martin Cavendar Westbury-sub-Mendip, Wells, Somerset.
983 Jane Clarke Pilcorn Street, Wedmore, Somerset.
1003 Rachael Clarke Pilcorn Street, Wedmore, Somerset.
211 (L) Clare Coase Berkeley-Vale, New South Wales, 2259, Australia
89 (L) Alfie Collins Bishop Sutton, Nr Bristol, Somerset
862 Bob Cork Stoke St. Michael, Somerset
827 Mike Cowlishaw Cleveland Walk Bath, BA2 6JW.
890 Jerry Crick Address unknown
680 Bob Cross Knowle, Bristol
423 (L) Len Dawes Main Street, Minster Matlock, Derbyshire
815 Nigel Dibben Poynton, Cheshire
164 (L) Ken Dobbs Beacon Heath, Exeter, Devon
1000 (L) Roger Dors Priddy, Somerset
972 Mike Duck Bishops Batch, Priddy, Nr Wells, Somerset
830 John Dukes Shepton Mallet, Somerset
937 Sue Dukes Shepton Mallet, Somerset
779 Jim Durston Chard, Somerset
996 Terry Earley Wyle, Warmister, Wiltshire
771 Pete Eckford Itchen, Suton
997 Sandra Eckford Itchen, Suton
322 (L) Bryan Ellis Westonzoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset
269 (L) Tom Fletcher Bramcote, Nottingham.
404 (L) Albert Francis Wells, Somerset
468 Keith Franklin Dandenong, Victoria 3175, Australia
569 Joyce Franklin Stoke Bishop, Bristol
469 Pete Franklin Stoke Bishop, Bristol
769 Sue Gazzard Tynings, Radstock, Nr Bath, Avon
835 Len Gee St. Edgeley, Stockport, Cheshire
459 Keith Gladman Holt, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
1069 Angie Glanville Chard, Somerset
1017 Peter Glanville Chard, Somerset
648 Dave Glover Pamber Green, Basingstoke, Hampshire
1006 Edward Gosden Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, Hants
860 Glenys Grass Luton, Beds
790 Martin Grass Luton, Beds
1009 Robin Gray Frome Somerset
1010 Sue Gray Frome Somerset
432 (L) Nigel Hallet Yate, Bristol
1008 James Hamilton Wells, Somerset
104 (L) Mervyn Hannam St Annes, Lancashire
999 Rob Harper Hanham, Bristol, Avon
4 (L) Dan Hassell Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset
893 Dave Hatherley Cannington, Bridgwater, Somerset
974 Jeremy Henley Leg Square, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
917 Robin Hervin Trowbridge, Wiltshire
952 Bob Hill Chippenham, Wiltshire
373 Sid Hobbs Priddy, Wells Somerset
736 Sylvia Hobbs Priddy, Wells Somerset
905 Paul Hodgson Nailsea, Avon
898 Liz Hollis Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne, Dorset
899 Tony Hollis Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne, Dorset
920 Nick Holstead Trowbridge, Wiltshire
991 Julie Holstead Trowbridge, Wiltshire
387 (L) George Honey Address not known
971 Colin Houlden Bruton, Somerset
770 Chris Howell Edgebaston, Birmingham
923 Trevor Hughes Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset
855 Ted Humphreys Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset
73 Angus Innes Alveston, Bristol, Aven
969 Duncan Innes Traherne Hall, Uywn Grant Road, Penlyn Hill, Cardiff
540 (L) Dave Irwin Townsend, Priddy, Somerset
922 Tony Jarratt Station Road, Congresbury, Bristol
51 (L) A Johnson Station Rd., Flax Bourton, Bristol
995 Brian Johnson Ottery St. Mary, Devon
1001 Graeme Johnson East Park Road, Leicester
560 (L) Frank Jones Chilcote, Wells, Somerset
285 Urban Jones Oriental Road, Woking, Surrey
567 (L) Alan Kennett Henleaze, Brsitol
884 John King Cowfold, Sussex
316 (L) Kangy King Pucklechurch, Bristol, Avon
1007 Jonathan King Pucklechurch, Bristol, Avon
542 (L) Phil Kingston St. Mansfield, Brisbane, Queensland, 4122, Australia
413 (L) R. Kitchen Horrabridge, Yelverton, Devon
946 Alex Ragnar Knutson Bedminster, Bristol
874 Dave Lampard Horsham, Sussex
667 (L) Tim Large Wells, Somerset
958 Fi Lewis  Wells, Somerset
930 Stuart Lindsay Address unknown
574 (L) Oliver Lloyd Withey Close West, Westbury-on-Trim, Brisatol
58 George Lucy Long Lane, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks
550 (L) R A MacGregor Baughurst, Basingstoke, Hants
725 Stuart McManus Wells Road, Priddy, Somerset
106 (L) E.J. Mason Henleaze, Bristol
980 J Matthews Clifton, Bristol
979 Richard Matthews Clifton, Bristol
558 (L) Tony Meaden Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset
704 Dave Metcalf Long Eaton, Nottingham
957 Dave Maurison London NW11
1012 Al Mills Shepton Mallet, Somerset
989 A Nash Downend, Bristol
936 Dave Nichols Exeter, Devon
852 John Noble Tennis Courts Rod, Paulton, Bath
938 Kevin O’Neil Melksham, Wiltshire
964 Lawrie O’Neil Melksham, Wiltshire
396 (L) Mike Palmer YarleyHill, Yarley, Wells, Somerset
22 (L) Les Peters Knowle Park, Bristol Avon
499 (L) A. Philpott Bishopston, Bristol, Avon
990 Jem Pague Frogwell, Chippenham, Wiltshire
337 Brian Prewer West Horrington, Wells, Somerset
622 Colin Priddle Wadeville 1422, South Africa
481 (L) John Ransom Patchway, Bristol, Avon
682 John Riley Linton Falls, Skipton, North Yorkshire
945 Steve Robins Knowle, Bristol
1046 Gerard Robinson The Common, Patchway, Bristol
986 Lil Romford Coxley, Wells, Somerset
985 Phil Romford Coxley, Wells, Somerset 
921 Pete Rose Chandlers Ford, Hants
832 Roger Sabido Lawrence Weston, Bristol
941 John Sampson Knowle, Bristol
240 (L) Alan Sandall Nailsea, Avon
359 (L) Carol Sandall Nailsea, Avon
760 Jenny Sandercroft Victoria Park, Bristol
237 (L) Bryan Scott Havestock Road, Winchester Hants
482 Gordon Selby Wells, Somerset
78 (L) R Setterington Taunton, Somerset
213 (L) Rod Setterington Chiswick, London W4
915J Chris Smart Woking, Surrey
823 Andrew Sparrow Bath
984 Dave Speed Dinder, Nr Wells, Somerset
1 (L) Harry Stanbury Bude, Cornwall
38(L) Mrs I Stanbury Knowle, Bristol
575 (L) Dermot Statham Cole Road, Bruton, Somerset
365 (L) Roger Stenner Weston super Mare, Avon
1002 Alan Sutton Alveston, Bristol
284 (L) Alan Thomas Nine Barrows Lane, Priddy, Somerset
348 (L) D Thomas Little Birch, Bartlestree, Hereford
1013 Gwyn Thomas Wells Road, Priddy, Nr Wells, Somerset
571 (L) N Thomas Norwich Rd., Salhouse, Norwich, Norfolk.
994 Martin Thompson Matson. Gloucester
699 Buckett Tilbury High Wycombe, Bucks
700 Anne Tilbury High Wycombe, Bucks
80 Postle Thompsett-Clark Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
74 (L) Dizzie Thompsett-Clark Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
381 (L) Daphne Towler Nyetimber, Bognor Regis, Sussex
157 (L) Jill Tuck Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran, Gwent, Wales
678 Dave Turner Leigh on Mendip, Bath, Avon
912 John Turner Launceston Rd., Tavistock, Devon.
925 Gill Turner Launceston Rd., Tavistock, Devon.
635 (L) Stuart Tuttlebury Boundstone, Farnham, Surrey
887 Greg Villis Banwell, Weston-super-Mare, Avon
982 Christine Villis Banwell, Weston-super-Mare, Avon
175 (L) Mrs. D. Whaddon Taunton, Somerset
949 John Watson Bedminster, Bristol
553 R White Wells, Somerset
878 Marine Ross White RM Detachment, HMS Endurance, BFPO Ships, London
939 K Wilkinson Melksham, Wiltshire
940 V Wilkinson Melksham, Wiltshire
916 Jane Wilson Portswood, Southampton
568 Brenda Wilton Clutton, Bristol
850 Annie Wilton-Jones Llanlley Hill, Abergavenny, Gwent
813 Ian Wilton-Jones Llanlley Hill, Abergavenny, Gwent
943 Simon Woodman Burrington, Nr Bristol, Avon
914 Brian Workman Little London, Oakhill,  Bath
1011 Lucy Workman Little London, Oakhill,  Bath

(L) = Lapsed 

© 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.