Exploration Club, The Belfry,

, Priddy, Wells,

. Telephone: Wells (0749) 72126

Editor: G.

Bassett’s Notes

1951 John Ifold of the B.E.C. pushed through the boulder blocked bedding plane
at the top end of Harris’s Passage to discover a small network of unstable
passages, lying almost below the entrance to the cave.  It is now known as the Ifold Series.  The survey shows two choked passages leading
towards each other.  At the end of May,
Andy Lolly and Keith Gladman investigated the area and found one the chokes to
be draughting strongly.  After six hours
of digging in two sessions they broke through into virgin cave, initially of
typical Eastwater bedding planes and canyons, with plenty of wet, sandy fill
and gravel, loose boulders and unusually sharp and friable rock.  Some of the older stal suggests that the
passages are among the oldest in Eastwater, though perhaps I am sticking my
neck out here.  An eighty foot high aven
near the entrance seems to be under Morton’s Pot, and could well be the key to
dig there.  At the end of nearly 300 feet
of grovel some parallel pitches have been found.  The head of has been banged to allow normal
sized people to reach the narrow 25 foot rift, below which is a further 50 foot
pitch into a deep canyon with an, intermittent streamway – probably flood
overflow.  A small tube 200 feet along
this fault rift needs enlarging.  It
blows a constant, cool draught.  After
the opening nasty bits of the new series, the passages are unlike the rest of
Eastwater, several being horizontal, albeit only occasionally.  There is some good Stal in places, though
much of it is very vulnerable.

Several B.E.C. members have already visited the extension
and new discoveries come thick and fast. A survey is underway, and it is already clear that West End Series is
well to the west of anything else in the cave. Over 1000 feet of new cave has been explored so far, taking the total
length of Eastwater to well over a mile. The prospects for further extension look very good.


1983. The advance guard is currently up on the Dachstein plateau (mid June), in
the form of Rob Harper, Rachel Clarke and Trev ‘Biffo’ Hughes, together an
enormous load of tackle.  They are staying
at the Wiesberghaus for two weeks and intend to re-bolt and tackle
Bartngassewindschacht for those who come out in July.  Hopefully we shall soon know the exact depth
of the huge ‘Ben Dors Scacht’, thought to be around 200 metres, and learn what
happens at the bottom.

Since the Wiesberghaus is now on the ‘phone they will be
able to let us know almost instantly!

WOOKEY. Rob Harper continues his high level exploration
here. Following up where Bob Cork and Dany Bradsaw left off in Wookey 24, he
has reached the head of a bell shaped pitch 60′ deep, somewhere off Sting
Corner.  Dany has threatened to put a
ladder down it while Rob is in


– just to keep the poor lad biting his fingernails.

(S.W.C.C. & U.B.S.S.) &
Co. have now extended
this cave to 1500 feet.

editor will be required for the B.B. as from October, as I shall be resigning
from the post at the A.G.M.  Over the
three years I have been Editor I have managed to reduce the work-load
considerably, so it is no longer such an onerous task as it once was.  If you think you fancy the post, have a word
with me sometime and I’ll let you know what this entails.

New and Rejoined Members

Ian Jepson, Beechen Cliff,

Jok Orr, Sturton by
Stow, Linceln
Rich Stevenson, Wookey, Wells,


Quote Of The Issue 

From a member who has never written a single word for the
Bulletin, on receiving his latest copy:

 “This is a bit thin, isn’t it.”


Kangy’s Doggerel Irish Easter

Beneath the Belfry table, lying there in state,
With thoughts of Irish Guinness and the


in spate,
O’Connor’s Bar and Food Store, the day of “The Big Drink”,
And hazy days in

, of forging deep
the link,
With Mendip men and Guinness, caves measureless to man,
In one pot and another out (according to the plan!)

This Easter we were organised and went in different cars,
And stayed in different places but only used one bar.
O’Connor’s was the rendezvous down by the Doolin Strand,
Amongst the pints of Guinness, the cavers fought to stand,
And shout their cries of welcome and stirring stories tell,
Of climbing out of Fisherstreet by way of Catherine’s Well.
How the catchment karst is vast and the water exits few,
And a feature of the landscape is turloughs in a queue.

Down below it’s slightly morbid, to think, stuck in a fix,
How they hook the drownded caver out with sharp and pointed sticks

At McCarthy’s country cottage nine of the elite
Suffered suffocation from a fire built of peat.
The only consolation for a caver back from op’s
Was that peaty smoke annihilates the stink of vap’rous plops.

We went to Kilfenora and and Bunratty Folk Park too.
We went to Craggaunowen, saw the Crannog there on view.
We saw dolmen, we saw ring forts, we found a souterrain.
We enjoyed the Burren Centre, a good shelter from the rain.
At the Cave of the Wild Horses (look for Kilcorney One)
We nearly found new passages but U.B.S.S. won.

Another nine, a wealthy lot, were bedded down in style.
They lay in utter comfort in a warm and cosy pile.
They caved most every morning, and drank every afternoon.
They queued up for the evening, O’Conrior’s shut too soon.
We thought hard how to best them, to beat them in their home.
We gave a glass of fizzy coke a head of Irish foam.
We got a few refusals until someone, in their need,
Gulped at it, then gagged at it, and spat it out at speed.

There were four deep frozen campers and two lodgers in a van
And, like them, all the rest of us developed Irish tan.
We were muddy on the outside with our insides pickled brown,
And hilarious on the last night when free drinks were handed round.

So twenty four in all of us in the

land of

And that’s my chance to make a rhyme for Mrs. Grass or Glenys

Kangy April 1983

Illustrations by Philip



Brown’s Folly Mine/Swan Mine Access

Visitors to brown’s folly Mine should note that the
entrances to this mine have been locked with agreement with the landowner and
CSCC.  The keys are available from the
Belfry or from other CSCC shareholding clubs i.e.

, Shepton MCG etc.  In order to avoid a long disappointing
journey don’t forget to pick up a key as these readily available locally.  The new entrance to Brown’s Folly has
temporarily been bolted up as some inconsiderate person smashed the lock off in
January.  It is hoped a new lock will be
fitted soon as possible but, in the meantime, a adjustable wrench will be handy
for a through trip.

Box Mines

A climb-proof fence has now been erected around the Kingston
Minerals, Hazelbury Opencast Quarry, thus cutting off access to the quarry entrance.  This is probably to avoid the company being
clobbered by an insurance claim if some idiot falls over the edge and hurts

Bear in mind that if you exit via the quarry entrance you
may have problems getting off the site. The quarry is intermittently being used to tip waste stone from

’s other workings
and consequently the entrance may soon be blocked anyway.

On the subject of blocked entrances, tipping still continues
in Box Woods, thus endangering those few remaining entrances.  Perhaps it is drawing near the time to get a
few interested parties together to try to protect access to these mines!

The Backdoor Entrance

This is on private land and it is diplomatic to ask
permission of the landowner before crashing around in the undergrowth.  The owner is a Mr. Price who lives at the
large posh house with the tennis court – “Tanglewood”.  He is usually quite agreeable if approached
in the right way.  That is, politely.

A.O. route has suffered a major collapse at its start just
inside and to the right as you enter through the Backdoor.  It is advisable to use the “O” route and work
your way round via Cathedral and link to A.O.

A word of warning! Fresh roof falls have occurred recently in many parts of Box.  If in doubt, avoid the suspect area.  Large blocks of stone can suddenly and
silently fall if disturbed so don’t muck around with the supporting walls or
timbers, however much they seem to be doing no supporting job, as you might end
up under several tons of



Cranes should not be tampered with as the bearing blocks are
often rotten.  This could result in the
crane falling over and crushing someone. Leave them alone for others to see and please don’t write all over the

Chris Batstone


Halloween Rift – Further Work

By   Trev Hughes

After a layoff over Christmas, work in and around Halloween
Rift has recommenced with greater enthusiasm than before, with more club
members getting involved and seeing the first non-BEC members down the cave.  Here is a summary of events to date (end of
February).  It is hoped that more
discoveries will be made before this article appears in print.

The surface work has involved erecting a barbed wire fence
around the entrance and a compass and inclinometer traverse of the area to
establish the exact location and altitude of the entrance.

I started the traverse at the 9:2 top entrance of

.  My closed loop took in the 22 Radio Location
Point the Halloween Rift survey datum and so back to the 9:2 entrance via the
lower field.  By taking fore and back
sights, keeping my leg lengths as long as possible and using the two short
ranging rods as survey stations quite good results were achieved, despite the
windy conditions.  The traverse length
was just over 814m.  My vertical
mis-closure was 1.20m and the (magnetic) x and y mis-closures both less than
3m.  If the opportunity arises I will
repeat this exercise using a theodolite and ranging staff which will give far
better results.  Halloween Rift has a map
reference of ST53534809 and given that the ground level at the 9:2 entrance is
108.09m OD the survey datum at the rift top is at 133.81m OD (approx. 439ft).

The work underground has proceeded well.  I reached a particularly solid section of
calcite blocking progress in the dig on 28 Nov 82, the trench being about 1.5m
long (see BB No. 416 p20).  The offending
calcite was broken up by Tim Large on 7 Jan using only 150gm of ‘wonder hammer’
and on my next two (solo) trips in mid January about 1.3m of progress was
made.  The bang, although not displacing
the rock, had set up a large number of readily useable cracks.  A hammer, chisel and crowbar were all that
were needed to remove the rock.  On the
latter of these trips I installed a 25l drum, cut in half, as a spoil hauling
sledge for the entrance crawl.

A large BEC team comprising ‘Quiet’ John Watson, Blitz,
Rachel Clarke, Rob Harper and myself carried out a major spoil removing
exercise on 22 Jan.  Rob aid Blitz,
despite coming out with some sickeningly weak jokes also enlarged the end of
the trench considerably.

The next trip was nearly a month later on Sat 19th February
when J-Rat fresh from his Latin American exploits, returned to the fray.  On this trip we were joined by Andy Satfford
– the Grampian Wonder Boy and Phil ‘Tour de France’ Romford.  To the Grampian Wonder Boy went the dubious
honour of being the first non-BEC member down the cave.  Progress was slow and tiring as a large slab
of calcite blocked the way on, but by clearing away the mud cover, the open
section of passage, first fleetingly noticed on Nov 7 ‘82, could be clearly

The GWB was despatched to find the Moody Sisters (WCC) and
suitable quantities of boulder laxative for the metre square calcite
block.  A hearty ‘crump’ ended the day’s
events all was set for the morrow and my thanks to Pete and Alison for turning
out at such short notice.

J-Rat, Mac, the GWB and myself returned the next day.  Pete’s bang had totally demolished the block
and the debris was quickly removed from cave. Mac had a look round while Tony and I started chiselling away at the
hard strata originally under the calcite slab. This sloped up and away from the trench bottom to leave a 0.2m high slot
approximately 0.5m away.  This low
section continued for about 0.5m and then opened up slightly.  I worked on after the others had left until
my light gave out.  I had opened the
squeeze somewhat but it was still too small to pass.  About 4m of low passage could be seen.

Not wishing to leave longer than possible I returned in the
week and spent a further 3 hours working away at the squeeze.  Luckily the calcite gave way before my aching
arm muscles and I was able to pass the squeeze into the low bedding passage
beyond.  By shoving stones, mud and a
section of shattered calcite floor aside I was able to progress for 5m in an
elliptical passage some 2m wide.  I built
a small cairn to mark my progress and returned to the entrance end of the
trench to pick up the club’s Sunto compass and a tape.  I surveyed the trench and extension at the
end of a tiring afternoon.

I returned the next afternoon with only a limited time to
spare and dug my way along an additional 3m of passage visible from the day
before in less than 2 hours.  The end is
still open and is a low arch floored with jumbled rocks and is draughting
healthily out of the dig.  The limited
stacking space will mean that spoil will have to be removed back past the
squeeze. The dig also has a slight downhill gradient – Blitz to take note!

Although only 8m of new passage has been entered it is of a
passage form very similar to the Cam Valley Crawl recently discovered by Rob
and myself connecting 22 to 23.  My
surface survey work and recently acquired large scale plans of

show that the
present end of Halloween Rift is, with a generous error margin of ±2m, only 81m
from the nearest point of Wookey 22.  Rob
and myself are working on a dry connection between Wookey 23 and 24, we have
already bypassed the first of the 23 sumps and are confident of eventual
success.  I need say no more.


Since writing the above article Rob and I have spent another
couple of hours working at the dig.  We
have added another 0.7 metres of passage, dragged back a considerable quantity
of spoil, enlarged the entrance squeeze and can now look along 3m more of low
passage, the dig is still draughting.  A
further solo trip on the 1st March gained another 0.3 m and a clearer view of
the continuing passage which widens out after the narrow section marking the
dig face at the moment.  The draught on
this trip seemed the strongest ever.

Mark –




Jill Tuck recently sent in the following to provoke our

Have you ever wondered (well, one does) how bats avoid
showering themselves with their own excreta when they spend so much time
hanging upside down?

The New Scientist (9.6.85) found the solution when one of
their staff, who had never even thought about the subject, had the answer hit
him in the eye, or nearly.  In London Zoo
he saw a urinating bat clasp a ceiling support with the vestigial claws on its
wings and swing down to face him, right side up.  He said that the urination that followed was
long and luxurious and he was only saved by a sheet of glass!  The best description of the bat’s expression
while this was going on was, apparently, enigmatic.

It left the man very impressed, but now his conjecture has
moved on to bats’ sex life!

Meets List, July & August 1983

July 1st.           –

July 15th.         –

July 16th.         – –

July 30th.         – –

Aug. 12th.        –

Aug. 26th.        –


Aug 27th-29th

Longwood (Friday Niters)


Ogof Ffynnon Ddu (Top Ent. To I)

South Wales (F.N. – Saturday)

Lamb Leer (Friday Niters)

Charterhouse (Friday Niters 3 only)

                     Alternative – Manor Farm

North Wales.  Caving and

B. Prewer

B. Prewer

M. Grass

B. Prewer

B. Prewer

B. Prewer


M. Grass

Brian’s number to telephone re Friday Nit trips is Wells

Martin’s number is currently
33145, but this may change in the very near future.

Contact me (Wedmore 712284) if there’s any problem.


Down The Thurlogh

By Peter Glanvill

It’s not often one walks into 300m of new passage without
some considerable effort – even in

nowadays.  Even less does one expect to do it in a well
known and documented cave system as K1 or The Cave of the Wild Horses at
Kilcorney.  It becomes even more
satisfying when one discovers that Jayrat has looked at the relevant passage
five years previously – and left it alone! Now all can be told….

A group of UBSS/CDG/CSS/BEC/SWCC/DSS/BPC cavers were staying
at Kilshanny over the Easter period. – I shall henceforth call them the
Kilshanny Irregulars (K.I.’s).  Three of
us visited the Cave of the Wild Horses on the first day because it was wet, the
cave was dry (or supposed to be) Charlie Self hadn’t been there and the Poly
C.C. were digging in a depression.

K1 lies at the base of a cliff in a corner of the large
closed Kilcorney Depression.  It is
unique in being a cave associated with a turlough or vanishing lake and can act
as both a sink and very rarely a rising. It has been known for several hundred years and has the legend of the
wild horses attached to it – these are supposed to emerge when the cave floods
– I didn’t see any (but then the cave didn’t flood).  The turlough can flood to a considerable
depth and can empty after a minor flood in twenty minutes.  We were reliably informed that drilling in
the depression revealed 400 feet of earth – quite a staggering fact and rather
puzzling too.

To cut a long story short the three of us descended the cave
to the pitch where its awkwardness cut the party down to Charlie and
myself.  We wandered through the lower
series which seemed gloomy muddy and uninspiring until Gour Passage was found.  This contains some rather nice mini gours and
has a false floor of considerable thickness – it may be as much as 8m.  A tiny inlet stream feeds the gours which
terminate in a series of deep gour pools in a narrow rift.  The description of the cave stated that these
gour pools could be followed for 25m. Being the man with the wet suit and rather liking water I jumped into
the first gour which rapidly became 2m deep – a sort of swim cum traverse led
to a climb over a gour dam into the next and the next and the next… The
displaced water splashed on in front of me in a very tantalising way, and, as
the rift became constricted, I became aware of a strong inward draught.  The passage ended soon after I had passed a
couple of constrictions.  It ended in a
pitch which I was sure shouldn’t have been there.  Charlie took a quick look and we headed
out.  The next day two more K.I.’s came
with me, Tony Boycott hammered in a bolt and a fine 8m pitch down the side of
the final gour was descended.  The
subsequent rift passage dropped steeply past some fine fluting on the left wall
to what looked at a brief glance like a static gour pool sump.  Two days later all 7 of the K.I.’s returned
apart from Angie Glanvill who didn’t start speaking to me until the day after
the trip.  While Ted Popham, Charlie Self
and myself climbed into another 30m of passage (4m x 10m – 3 leads – strong
outward draught) in another part of the lower series, the diving contingent
discovered the “sump” was a pool bypassed by a squeeze.  All the K.I.’s battered the squeeze until
Tony and the two girls were able to pass it (hence its name – 36B
Squeeze).  The rest of us had to bludgeon
away for a bit longer to see the Promised Land. Once through they entered a meandering 1.5m diameter tube (very like the
canal in

) which took several dry inlets and
one small inlet stream.  The tube
continued to a collapsed area with a high cross rift above it.  The stream flowed down a hole in a stal
blockage.  A crawl to the right of the
stream led to some wallowy ducks in another tube and at last a junction with a
much larger (3m x 5m) passage at a boulder pile.

All were sworn to secrecy and it was not for a few days that
another trip was made into the cave at the instigation of the original explorer
who was getting impatient!  The big
passage was entered via a 2m drop (belay point detached itself from the mud on our
second visit!)  It was a pretty dismal
place.  One end led into the choke
mentioned earlier whilst the opposite direction the passage continued as a rift
lined with thick sticky mud banks and boulder obstructions until it ended in an
evil looking “minimal airspace” duck.  At
the duck a large proportion of the party got very frightened for some reason
and hurried out surveying as they went and vowing never to return.  They encountered a BEC party at the top of
the main pitch and successfully managed to transmit their anxieties to them
before making their exit.

A few days later Julian Walford, Ted Popham, Angie Glanvill
and myself returned to take photos and chase up loose ends.  None of us got “bad vibes” from the cave and
I managed to pass the terminal duck. This led after a miserable 3 metres to a very definite (diveable if you
are a masochist or mud freak) sump. There are still point to examine in the whole of K1 and one or two
places in the extension.  It’s worth
extra effort because there must be something quite big down there to create
such a powerful draught.  K1 occupies an
interesting position to, on the presumed drainage route between the Western
Burren and the


complex.  By the way the photographs came
out – Julian in Sludge Creek in particular, look quite dramatic.

Finally if anybody wants to know what Pollballiny is like –
read the Cerberus Journal!


Bassett’s Notes Continued

TACKLE MAKING. If you are one of the hundred or so members
who did not get round to helping the tackle-master during the last session, why
not give John a ring now on Shepton 4815. He has some new work needing doing. Remember, the tackle-master’s job is to organise the construction and
maintenance of tackle, not to make it and repair it all himself

LIBRARY.  Many thanks
to old member P. Wilkins for ten year’s worth of back-issues of the B.B.  Any others will be most gratefully received
(even new ones!)

J-Rat .

BELFRY IMPROVEMENTS. The E.G.M. was only just quorate, and then after we had waited for half
an hour.  A majority of those present
voted against continuing with the existing plans, and a sub-committee is
investigating a cheaper alternative


These two caves are now most definitely one, a filmed
through trip having been made during the Spring Bank Holiday.  While ‘Mendip’ Jim Abbott (ex B.P.C.) and
Julian Griffiths traversed from the lower end, Geoff Yeadon and Geoff Crossley
entered G.G. accompanied by Sid Perou et al., including Bassett and Jane.  Carrying movie cameras underground no longer
appeals to me.  An historic trip to have
been involved in, but I certainly would not do it again.

There cannot be many non-divers who have seen Radagast’s
Revenge.  The stal is good and the
chamber quite impressive, but most of us were too shattered to notice it.

The section is dangerously unstable and will probably need
to be dug out every time it is visited.

Thank goodness for the B.P.C. winch.  I think we would still be in G.G. otherwise.

Thank you, Geoff, for the invitation to join you on an epic.

CHARTERHOUSE CENTRE. Tom Elkin is retiring as warden of this Somerset Education Committee
Centre.  The new warden is to be one
Terry Matthews, an ex-marine who is currently working at Taunton Tech.  It is strongly rumoured that Tom is to be the
first Countryside Warden for Mendip, and he will be based at Charterhouse.

due to Lil Romford and Brenda Prewer for supplying and fitting washable covers
for many of the mattresses.  Very
professional they all look, too.


Grand Birthday P.U. –
Sat. 9th July

Come and celebrate
the birthdays of Phil Romford, Brenda Wilton, Mary Gwyther, Jane Thomas and
Annie West at 1 Vicarage Close, Coxley.

welcome…………. especially if you bring a bottle.

have one possible article for the next BB. Unless I receive further material very shortly, then the rest if the
July/August issue will consists of transcripts of Club Log entries on the
recent finds in Eastwater and Wookey.

Thanks to Robin Gray for a piccy of me to head one of my

Perhaps if a You write enough You can have your own
caricature to head the page!


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registered in England and Wales as a co-operative society under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014, registered no. 4934.