The
Bristol
Exploration Club, The Belfry,

Wells
Road
, Priddy, Wells,

Somerset
.
Editor: John Williams


1993 – 1994 Committee

Hon. Sec.                Martin Grass
Treasurer                 Chris Smart
Caving Sec.             Jeff Price
Hut Warden             Estelle Sandford
Tackle Master          Mike Wilson
Hut Engineer            Tim Large
B.B. Editor               John Williams
Membership Sec.     Nigel Taylor

 

Editorial

Well its been some time since the last BB and quite a lot
has happened in the intervening period; for one thing I’ve had a chance to
collect quite a few articles, some of which appear in this issue, indeed my
thanks are due to those of you who have been forthcoming in this respect keep
it up!

Since the last ish the BEC have, as usual, been all over the
place including
Ireland,
Yorkshire, the

Philippines

and even occasionally to the Belfry.  I’m
sure that Spike will have-something to say about some of these events later in
the rag.

The most recent event of note on Mendip has been the British
Cave Rescue Conference, which was held at Eastwater Farm on the weekend of
9-10-11 July and was a resounding success. This was organised by the MRO and thanks must go to all those involved
in the setup and running of the event and in particular Dany Bradshaw.  A complicated program of events was scheduled
for the weekend and went very well with only minor hitches, a credit to all
concerned.  Practise rescues were enacted
in GB, Eastwater & St Cuthbert’s and a large number of people participated
both above and below ground.  There were
also workshops and demonstrations throughout the proceedings.  I will not go into further details here as
there is a separate article later on.

Before I end this piece may I just remind the membership
that there are now only two committee meetings scheduled before the (dreaded)
AGM on 1st October and that consequently any nominations for next year’s
committee should be forwarded to the Hon.Sec. ASAP & certainly no later
than the September meeting.  Also
Officers’ Reports need to be with me by the September committee meeting in
order that they may be published before the AGM.

It was noted, with some regret, at the last meeting that
several of this years committee members will not be standing again next year
and thus the posts will need filling …. any takers??

Finally I’d like to point out that there are articles not
included in this ish that perhaps should have been, but due to time
restrictions I’m unable to publish them as yet. Those of you who wrote stuff and can’t see it here, fear not, its
probably in the next one.

Well that’s quite enough waffle from me for now, save to say
that I plan to have the next issue out in a shorter space of time than this
one.  Indeed its being prepared as you
read this.

Cheers all ………
Jingles.


 


Austria

– Dachstein ’93

From the Log of Vince
Simmonds.

19.8.93

A night of sorting kit and loading the van.  An early start tomorrow so a quiet night in
the Hunters – at closing time we decided to go home.

20.8.93

4.15 am and on the road. A steady enough journey to Harwich in a slightly over laden van.  McDonalds big breakfast is definitely not to
be recommended.  Arriving at the ferry
port and discovering that you have your wife’s passport comes as a bit of a
shock – so the only thing to do is go for it anyway.  A very smooth crossing, only problem is – beer
is 2 for the price of 1, result – 6 hour pissup!!. … An eventful night-time
drive through

Germany
.

21.8.93

Luckily we were waved through the Austrian border and by
9.00 am we had arrived in Halstett.  We
had some breakfast in the town before heading up to the Seilbahn hut and
contacting Rich Blake at the Weisberghaus. We were asked to get some supplies for Wolfgang & Elfi so we had to
get ourselves a crate of Steigl.

The afternoon was spent basking in the sun by the side of a
mountain pool – good beer cooler until the crate tipped over and all the
bottles sunk.  Diving in ice cold water
to get a beer soon sobers you up; for a while anyway.  The evening was spent at the Halstett
Somerfest doing our bit for British diplomacy … & failing miserably!!

22.8.93

Picture a sunny Sunday in

Salzburg
with a stonking headache, trying to
find the airport when the only phrase book is on its way up to the
Weisberghaus.  Sticking your arms out and
making noises like an aeroplane gets some odd looks and people run away from
you.  However, after finally getting to
the Flughafen, VS met

PNI,
AB
, FM bang on time.

A long slog up the mountain in the afternoon sun wasn’t
fancied so we caught the Oberbraun cable car and had a much easier stroll to
the Weisberghaus. 

MK arrived late because he had been to
Strasbourg
instead of

Salzburg
.

23.8.93

After two glorious days the weather has turned shit.  A late start, it was 4.00pm before VS. RB, BL
& Josef (Austrian caver) arrived at G7 (LUMPENHOHLE).  RB & VS entered the cave with 200m of
10mm rope in a very large Daleswear anti-caving bag & various ladders &
bits of kit in an equally large bag.  We
rigged some short pitches and beat our bags through; such gems as “101 Damnations”
& ”The Exhaler”.  We rigged a
traverse around to the head of the big pitch, threw down a rock and decided
we’d had enough and started to make our way out.  We met BL & Josef at the 10m pitch and
while they started out we stopped for a smoke. It was then we realised it must be raining as we heard the sound of
running water all around us.

8.00pm on the surface the rain had stopped and a steady
jaunt back to the Weisberghaus in growing darkness.  The Steigl certainly went down well.

24.8.93

The weather forecast was not good so we went walking.  A search was made for the entrance to B1
before VS, RB, BL, IJS & AS went up to the Simonyhohle, the others carried
on searching.  A Do-Diddley day just
drinking in bars.

25.8.93

It was still raining so we eventually managed to talk
ourselves out of caving.  IJS & MK
had a look at G6-3, small pitches and cave blocked by an ice column.  The rest of us spent the day in the
Weisberghaus playing pigs but mostly drinking, it was after all VS’s
birthday.  Elfi cooked a superb birthday
supper. Schnapps, Steigl, Cider & Champagne do not mix well & everyone
was wrecked.

26.8.93

Oh my head!!!   We’ve
cracked back to the bar.

Boxhead … “Is this the British Dachstein sleeping
expedition?”

“Those chosen (by themselves) to snore for

England
!”

Going for G7 tomorrow.

27.8.93

An early start and we’re off. 

Snablet,
AB
& MK camped near the caves
last night and we then all made our ways to whichever mission we’d decided
on.  At G5 (EISTURNERHOHLE) we got some
water supplies. RB, VS & VL headed off for G7.

AB & MK had started to rig the big pitch last night so
RB went ahead to finish rigging and push on to the bottom.  VS & BL started the survey.  First drop was 46m followed by 38m then 21 m
then 9m onto a very loose ramp, rocks went rattling down.  A 13m drop and a very wet survey station to a
traverse.  RB was on his way back and
reported that the pitch ended in a choke. (30m drop onto a large ledge and a 70m pitch.)  A steady ascent was made and an easy pace
back to the Weisberghaus.

Snablet and Co. had better luck in G5, its still going.  PNI & IJS might have found another site
close to the camp.

28.8.93

It’s raining again and it’s been raining all night.  MK has had enough …. he’s left!

Spent the day in the Weisberghaus sorting survey data and
drinking.

29.8.93

Great!!  It’s stopped
raining … and started snowing instead …. it’s freezing!!    We decided to go for it anyway, so we all
slid and slipped our way across the mountain. Snablet and RB went for G5 even though the snow was beginning to thaw.  VS, AB, IJS & BL went to G7 to finish
surveying & de-rig the cave.

Got to the 10m pitch only to discover that no one had any
tabs, or as Boxhead called them.  ”The
Elixir of Life.”

VS arrived at the ledge below the 38m drop to meet IJS who
said AB was returning.  As AB came up
with a bundle of rope VS enquired as to the whereabouts of the other 200m
rope.  “What 200m rope??” came
the reply.  AB wasn’t happy as he
re-rigged to retrieve it.

A battle then ensued to get all the kit back to the surface.

Thankfully the others had kept the bar open in the
Weisberghaus as it was now 11.00pm.

Snablet and RB had quickly left G5 as it was too wet.

30.8.93

Spent the morning kit sorting.  Snablet and RB have gone back to G5.  IJS & PNI are exploring a snow plug near
the camp.

VS & AB went to G7 to bring back all the kit from the
entrance.  Snablet & RB pushed
another 5 pitches in G5 and it’s still going.

31.8.93

The weather has changed again …. we now have a
blizzard!!  Major fester day … back to
the bar.

1.9.93

We have to go for it today .. .VS drew the short straw.

VS & BL went into G5 to de-rig as much as possible.  Once underground the hangover soon wore
off.  The thawing snow meant the cave was
getting wetter and a certain amount of gear had to be left behind until next
year.

A very drunken night in the Weisberghaus (for a change).

2.9.93

Everyone looks & feels rough.  Kit slowly gets sorted and packed and carried
over to the Seilbahn.  More Steigl,
Schnapps, good-byes & more Schnapps and then off.

The van was loaded and we were on our way.  We had a stop in Bad Goisen to see Robert (ex
Weisberghaus) where we had to have a large meal.  We dropped BL at
Salzburg
railway station and VS, IJS, Snablet were the heading for the
Hook
of Holland
ferry port.

3.9.93

Arrived at the ferry port with little time to spare and
hassle because VS didn’t have a passport. We did manage to make the Hunter’s Lodge before closing time and Snablet
managed to sleep all the way after shouting ”Your mission, if you wish to accept it, is to make the Hunter’s”

(Tune Ode to Vince on
his Geburstang (PNI et al) My Way)

And now the end is near
And so I face the final Steigl
My friends I’ll say it clear
I state my case, which I know is feeble
I’ve had a right skinful
I’ve sampled each and every Goldbrau
And so because of this
I’m very pissed now

Schnapps!  I’ve had a few
But then again too few to mention
And then I tried a brew
A strange colloquial invention
It seemed to dull my brain
But thankfully it has all gone now
And so because of this
I’m very pissed now.

For what is a man
What has he got
If not a beer
Then he has not.. …….. etc …

 

Water Sampling in St. Cuthbert’s Swallet

On Sunday 29th May, Jingles collected a set of water samples
from the cave and Frankie and I startled a couple of adders while crashing
around in the marshy ground in the valley, taking water samples and (if
everything went as planned) measuring stream sizes.  Two Belfryites had membership numbers low
enough to remember when I last used to do this kind of thing (more than 20
years ago), and several people asked what was going on.  It’s all very logical, really.

Stream studies in the cave started in the earliest days of
the exploration of the cave. An account of the early work has been written up;
there may even be a copy in the library (C.R.G. Trans., Vol 10 No 2, p.49­60,
May 1968).  Although I did some Pyranine
traces, I was especially interested in measuring the characteristics of various
inlet streams, and surface streams feeding the inlets.

In 1972 I wrote up my findings, embedding them in a draft
account of scientific work carried out in the cave.  The text was intended to be the basis for the
projected Report No. 13, Part 0 (the St Cuthbert’s Report then being written
and published part by part).  At that
time I was unaware that I was being progressively disabled, and by the time the
draft was retuned to me, I was incapable of doing anything with it.  In 1991, while recovering after the miracles
of micro-surgery, I looked at the draft again, having been pressed to tidy it
up for publication.

I had studied the Plantation Stream from its source (the
Mineries Pool outlet), via Plantation Swallet to Plantation Junction.  There were some very unusual features.  The Total Hardness of the stream at
Plantation Swallet and at Plantation Junction were both very precisely related
to the stream size.  The correlation
coefficients (the way of expressing how close the agreements are) were
unusually high.  The situation contrasted
very sharply with the G.B. stream, which I had studied in 1968, and where such
correlations were absent.  However, my
results were very dated, and I needed to know if they were still relevant.  Still rather shaky on my legs, I took a walk,
helped by Frankie, around streams feeding the cave on a crisp winter afternoon,
when all the vegetation had died back.

As soon as we got to the entrance I could see there had been
a major change.  In the ’60s and early
’70s the stream had only ever been that size in high flood conditions.  Was the Plantation Stream breached at the
“Maypole Overflow” comer?  We
came back out of the depression, and along the track towards the Mineries Pool.  At Plantation Swallet, I was not surprised to
see that the water no longer reached the actual swallet.  Ever since Tim Atkinson’s trouble with
“vandals” while he was monitoring the streams in 1971, the stream
went underground half way between the swallet and the nearby “Maypole
Overflow” comer.  The
“vandals” had breached the clay lining of the stream, and I remember
how surprised I had been that the new route had acted simply as a short cut
into the cave, without causing any measurable changes in the stream.  I walked towards the “Maypole
Overflow” comer, expecting to find the stream there, cascading down into
the valley.  But at the comer, the stream
bed was empty.  Just a bit soggy.  We traced the empty stream towards the pool.
In the middle of the marsh near the pool, we found the breach, where the entire
stream from the Mineries Pool outlet went into the depression, and on towards
the cave.

The old Plantation Stream bed was very soggy, still draining
a sizeable area of marshy ground, but the quantity of water would be only a
small fraction of its former size.  We
went back to the entrance.  At the old
top dam the huge stream was back-flowing strongly into the Maypole Sink.

The Maypole Series would be spectacularly wet, and the
Drinking Fountain would be going well. Looking back to the lid of the cave, I didn’t have to use much
imagination to remember what a roar there would be going over Pulpit
Pitch.  But what about

Plantation
Junction?  Surely somebody would have noticed that
Plantation Stream was only a shadow of its former self!  I was shaken when Zot told me that he had
noticed no change whatever at Plantation Junction.  What on earth was happening there?

Here was the conundrum. If Zot was right, there would have to be a completely unexpected route
from the depression to Plantation Junction. Because of the link between Maypole,

Plantation
and the Drinking Fountain, this
possibility could not be ruled out altogether. For about two years I spoke to various Cuthbert’s leaders, trying to get
water samples to tackle this problem. There was no possibility that I could get well enough to go down and
collect them myself, unfortunately. Perhaps I talked to the wrong people. Perhaps I didn’t explain myself very well.  Then, just a few weeks ago, I talked to
Jingles, and within days I was making up standard solutions, cleaning glassware
that had been gathering dust for 19 years, and testing an alterative to
portable weirs for measuring streams sizes at the surface.

Between 1966 and 1968 I measured the ratio between the sizes
of Plantation Stream and the Main Stream at Plantation Junction on 8 trips. The
size of the Plantation Stream was measured at the surface with a temporary
rectangular-notch weir.  Plantation
Stream was always bigger than Main Stream, the ratio varying from 2.2:1 to
nearly 50:1.  Here was the yardstick for
comparison with new data.

On Sunday last, Jingles gave me the bag of water
samples.  Because of exams at

Bristol
University
, I haven’t been able to do
some crucial analyses yet.  Total
Hardness and Alkaline Hardness titrations provided the first new results.  Main Stream was bigger than Plantation
Stream, and there is no unexpected new cross-link.  The Total Hardness titrations gave a ratio of
1.97:1, the Alkaline Hardness titrations gave 2.00:1.  All right, there’s a lot of luck in getting
such close agreement, but it made me feel good!

Stream ratios at the other junctions (Maypole stream, Old
Route stream, Drinking Fountain, Disappointment Pot) are less precise (the salt
concentrations were too similar) and I’m waiting until I’ve had a session with
the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer before I’ll commit myself, and I’m keeping
my fingers crossed about the samples we took for salt dilution measurements on
the surface stream.

The first results also make it clear how much the
concentrations of salts have changed at Plantation Junction.  Some changes were expected, others were
not.  I have been delighted by the
results so far.  It felt good to be doing
some water chemistry again after such a long layoff.  I had quite forgotten how much I enjoy doing
this work, and I hope that Jingles thinks the results are worth the effort he
made to collect the samples.  I am so
very grateful to him for joining me in this project.

We are hoping to repeat the exercise in high, moderate and
low-water conditions, and we will then be in a position to bring out an updated
account of the hydrology of the cave.  I
would like to share the pleasure I get in doing this work by bringing some of
my gear up to the Belfry next time.  If you
want to see how it’s done, please come along, and see the results there and
then, “straight off the burette”.

Roger Stenner


 


Badalona
B15
to B1

This is the trip that gave the BEC “A” team such
an epic in 1991 that none of them would write anything about it.  Since I had managed to sneak in a year before
it was decided after a longish lunchtime pub session that I should write at
least something about it all.

After the grim battles of the Sima GESM the idea of sliding
down ropes and walking out through a large river cave appealed to the Keith
Sanderson caving holiday regulars.  A
quick scan of ”

Great
Caves
of the World”
showed that at that time, (1989), the deepest pull-through trip in the world
was, so to speak, almost on our doorstep. Badalona B15 to B1 looked a doddle if you closed your eyes to the 116m
pitch closely followed by a 54m pitch – oh and the Inferno a 30m low airspace
swim which frequently sumps.  Not to
mention the Belgian-type squeeze in the entrance series.  It was as good as in the bag.

Late July 1990 was fixed as a definite date.  Of the core team members there were Keith
Sanderson (WCC), Mark Madden (WCC), JJ Bevan (NCC) and myself plus Kev Clarke
(WCC) and Dinny Davies (ULSA).  Jake was
going to come and help uphold the BEC honour but had to drop out.

The top entrance, (B15), is situated in the
Ordesa
National Park
in the
Central Pyrenees on the Southern slopes
of the mountains surrounding Monte Perdido. Even if you have to use caving as an excuse it is a wonderful area to
visit.  High snow-dusted peaks lead down
to alpine meadows seething with butterflies and eventually end in a series of
deep gorges all of which have been bolted for sporting canyonning.  In the main “collector” gorge can
be found a number of resurgences, one of which, B1 or the Font da Escuain is
the bottom entrance for the through trip.

The all-day drive down through

France
was epic with temperatures
on the auto route reaching 44 deg C, (111 deg F), and international warfare
breaking out between the aggressive invaders, (Germans), and the natives over
bottles of mineral water at the service stations.  When we finally arrived at the pre-arranged
campsite in the town of

Ainsa

we were too knackered to do more than have a few beers and some food and then
slope off into the undergrowth with our bivi-bags.  The rock concert going on in town only
disturbed our sleep patterns for about the first four seconds.

Over breakfast next morning we discovered that we were not
the only team who had permission to do the cave – there was a small tented
village at one end of the site full of Belgian cavers all intent on the same
trip.  Subsequent international
discussions revealed that we did not actually have official permission.  They did. Their permit from the Spanish authorities was marginally more impressive
than the Magna Carta whereas as our scruffy letter from the local caving club
turned out to be the equivalent of having written to the

Severn
Valley

for permission to go down Lost Johns.  As
with the BEC/NCC the following year we did not let that stop us.

Day 1 was devoted to finding the bottom entrance and
checking out the paths.  Traditionally
the way back from the bottom entrance, (which is in the true left hand side of
the gorge), had been to drive to the

village of
Escuain
at the top of
the opposite side and leave a car there for the returning party.  However there were several drawbacks to
this.  First – the drive there was a real
car wrecker, second – the path to the bottom entrance was an almost sheer descent
of about 1000m and hence for a knackered party of cavers would be an almost
sheer ascent for about 1000m and third – there was no simple way from Escuain
to the top entrance which meant complicated logistics to do with cars and car
keys.  As everyone who goes there quickly
realises the more logical approach is to follow the track up the left hand side
of the gorge to a small parking slot just below the abandoned village of
Revilla from here a well worn path leads down to the floor of the gorge at a reasonable
angle and 40 minutes walking past idyllic blue green pools and tempting
cascades leads to the B1 entrance.  This
is an easier track both for people and vehicles and has the added advantage of
being the logical starting place for the walk to the upper B15 entrance.

With the temperatures still soaring to well over 35 deg C,
(95 deg F), we stopped off at several pools on the way down to cool off.  The nearest large pool to the track was also
being used by several French and German canyonners and walkers whose lean
bronzed Adonis-like physiques contrasted strongly with our large flabby white
beer bellies.   We consoled ourselves
with the thought that this was incontrovertible proof that English beer is the
best in
Europe.

Back in camp tactics were discussed.  Before leaving

England
we had decided to cave as
two separate teams each carrying two 60m ropes. As there was a 116m pitch on the trip this smacked to me of poor
planning but I was assured by all the experts who had never been down the cave
that we could use the re-belay bolts for intermediate pull­through
stations.  Since I could not work out why
this would not stand a good chance of leaving at least three people hanging on
one bolt half-way down a 100m+ pitch I was mightily relieved to hear that the
Belgians had re-rigged both it and the 54m pitch directly below with a new
rope.  New bolts would have been nice as
well since those in there were a tad dodgy, (for further information on this
ask Bob or Dany about their experiences in 1991 – I believe that after
appropriate trauma counselling they are now able talk about it).  Less comforting was the news that the Flems
had been trapped by flooding at the notorious Inferno section of passage and
considered it vital to install a food dump before anyone else from their party
attempted the through trip.  In the light
of this we slipped an extra Mars Bar into the tackle bag.

Incredibly for UK cavers we actually did have an early start
next day and the first team of Keith, JJ and myself were on our way out of camp
by 5:00am and dawn’s early light found us walking up the hillside behind
Revilla with loaded tacklesacks.  We were
pictures of elegance in well ie, shorts and scabby t-shirts.  Above Revilla the path was an easy amble to a
small refuge and from there a line of

cairns

erected by the Flems led to the entrance. Two hours walking maximum.

Keith and I kitted up in our wetsuits and harnesses while JJ
elected for dry grots and oversuit.  Then
JJ pointed out that while we had been changing his new watch, with a built-in
altimeter, had indicated a change in altitude of 10m.  Since he had spent most of this time sitting
on the same rock we discounted the obvious explanation and discussed the
relative probabilities of either a sudden geological surge of the
Pyrenees or a change in barometric pressure indicating in
its turn an imminent change of weather. We settled for the change of weather option but was it going to get
better or worse?  Wispy scraps of cloud
had started to build up and there ensued a lengthy discussion in which Keith,
(physicist), attempted to argue the case from first principles whilst JJ tried
to remember what it had said in the booklet that came with the watch.  Eventually Occam’s razor was brought into
play with the time-honoured phrase of “Sod it.  We’re here now and I’m not flogging all that
way up this hill again.”

The entrance pitch was about 45m and already rigged with a
single rope and the entrance series which followed was narrow and snaggy
although the Belgian-type squeeze presented no significant problems.  Half-an-hours caving and several pitches of
up to 30m got us to aT-junction at about -240m where we picked up a small
stream.  Here we turned left and followed
the water down a much larger passage.  We
had lost count of the pitches after a while which meant approaching each new
pitch with a sense of trepidation as we knew that the big one (Pozo Grande) was
our next significant obstacle and no one wanted to be the first to abseil 30m
only to find another 86m of air below his bottom!  As it turned out we had no need to
worry.  True to their word the Belgians
had rigged it with brand new single rope and there were several re-belays en
route.  We were glad to be using
figure-of-eight descenders as the sheath of the rope had slid down and bunched
up at the bottom of each section and it would have been a nightmare to do with
a Petzl stop.  Apart from the problem
with the rope sheath and some dodgy bolts the big pitch and the 54m one below
it were relatively stress-free.

Below the big pitches there was a long stretch of big well
decorated fossil passages all easy walking with only a few short pitches up to
about 18m which led to the 28m pitch of Pozo Negro where the main river passage
was met at a depth of about 925m.  Here
JJ tantalised us with a sensuous goose pimpled striptease whilst perched on a
spray lashed ledge as he sensuously slipped into a thin windsurfing wetsuit
that he had been secretly carrying in the bottom of his tackle sack.

From the bottom of Pozo Negro the caving was sheer
delightful fun.  We skipped down the
passage leaping down small cascades into pools and abseiling the occasional
short pitch for about two kilometres.  On
the way there were two sumped sections which we bypassed.  The second of these was quite interesting as
the fixed rope hanging out of the roof was quite heavily calcited.

In theory the next major obstacle was the Inferno a 30m low
airspace swim.  However the actuality was
a two foot airspace with a howling gale through it which was strong enough to
set up waves on the water and a handline for the “swimmer” to
use.  Despite the apparent lack of risk I
took the precaution of unclipping my tacklesack security cord from my harness
“just in case”.

Immediately after the Inferno is the 21m Cascade Silvia
which had been the main obstacle to upstream exploration of the B1
entrance.  This was a heavily stalled and
stunningly wet pitch rigged dry by a traverse out to the side.  I clipped into the traverse rope and shrugged
my sack off my shoulder only remembering that it was not clipped onto me when
it was a rapidly diminishing yellow blob in the spray and gloom.  Once down at floor level we spent a while
getting severely chilled and bruised under the thundering waterfall before
giving it up for lost – only to find it floating down the passage ahead of us
some minutes later.

Although the survey says that there is another cascade pitch
before the entrance I have no memory of it. My next memory is of floundering around the lowish airspaces of the
entrance lakes with a fast failing carbide light looking for the way out and
crawling out into a stiflingly hot night. The trip from entrance to entrance had taken about 11 to 12 hours.

The walk out in the dark was entertaining mainly because we
all just seemed to run out of energy as soon as we left the cave.  JJ set off first but stopped and then I fell
over him fast asleep on the path.  I
managed to get to the top first taking about an hour mainly because I knew that
if I stopped I would never start again, Rip Van JJ was about half an hour later
and then Keith was about three-quarters of an hour after him.

This trip is still the most “fun” caving trip that
I have ever done.  Apart from possible
bolt problems on the big pitch there is nothing particularly difficult,
dangerous or arduous about it and having got the caving out of the way the rest
of the holiday can be very pleasurably spent eating and drinking in the
excellent local hostelries with the occasional canyonning trip to work up an
appetite.

Rob Harper – 8/5/94.

 

The B.E.C. Go To

Ireland
.

At the beginning of April (some would say very
appropriately) various members in separate parties descended on the Emerald
Isle for some caving.  What follows are
two accounts of the events that occurred.

From Estelle Sandford
…..

After a lumpy Stranraer – Larne crossing (much agitated by
the consumption of Murphy’s) a drive through

Belfast
– past the police budgie cages – we
arrived at Belcoo, found a pub, lots of Guinness & Pete Bolt.  We stayed at Corallee cottages which were a
bit more upper class than the average caving hut.  J-Rat drove Pete out of their room with his
farting and snoring on the first night!!

On Saturday we met up with Vince, Ivan, Roz, Davey &
Steve, who were roughing it camping & we all went to Marble Arch show
caves, where we also met Emma Porter.  We
did Upper Cradle – big streamway & lots of boulders – then Lower Cradle
through duck into Marble Arch show caves up into the extensions and out through
show cave entrance.  (We were lucky to
get through the duck, a party turned up later and found it flooded!!)  We moved on to Boho and did a pre-cocktails
trip to Pollnagollum Coolarkin & big railway tunnel type cave with a
waterfall at the entrance ending in a massive boulder choke.  Afternoon cocktails at Linnet and the
Macguires in the South for the evening. Lots of other caving clubs about including Grampian, ULSA &
Huddersfield Uni.

Sunday, split groups … Vince et al digging Coolarkin.  J-Rat, myself & others looked at
Leggacapple, a very wet dig site, & Gortalughany Pots on Swanlinbar border
in Cuilcagh mountains – lots of wet entrances, then back to Boho to find the
others.  Pete was whinging about being
cold & wet so we dropped him off at a (closed) pub to sit in front of the
fire.  After we’d been up to Coolarkin to
see if the rest were there and found no van, we went back to pick up Pete who
told us that the police had stopped and were looking for some cavers in a cave
that sounded like Coolarkin, because of an accident.

It transpired that what had happened was that Steve (an
asthmatic) had felt ill and wanted to go to Enniskillen hospital to get on a
nebulizer for a few hours.  He had
dropped the rest off at Coolarkin to dig and arranged to be back by 3.30
ish.  However the doctor at the hospital
had decided that Steve was too ill to leave and despite him telling of cavers
stranded without transport they still insisted that he could not leave.  When later a caver turned up, Steve explained
details of the cave to him in order that he could meet them but at this point
the RUC arrived saying that they were dealing with the situation.  They read Steve acts on terrorism and told
him that if this was an ambush that he would be liable!!!  He had to sign forms and was left under
police guard while 6 RUC officers went over to Belmore forest…5 hid in the
bushes and a female officer, armed with a gun and in a flak jacket went down to
the cave entrance only to meet Davey Lennard coming out.  (If his grots weren’t brown beforehand they
were now!!!)  They gave Davey a lift and
picked up Martin Grass (rightly so …. ed) as Davey didn’t know the way &
drove them to Enniskillen to pick up the van. Finally we made it to Bush Bar in the south for Guinness and a lousy
rock band.

Monday … I went with Roz, Ivan, Vince & Davey to
Shannon cave (Steve was still in hospital).  An interesting cave.  According to the out of date guide book it
wasn’t really much but a survey sheet we had gave more info … the entrance
being an Eastwater type boulder ruckle only tighter in places, also very loose,
opened into slightly bigger passage with good formations and finally into a
Welsh type big wide streamway with lots of high level bypasses – thank God as
we needed them on the way out!!  We
finally got to a shored up bit which Vince & Roz managed to get past into
big passage but the rest of us had fun getting out when it started to collapse
on us and trying to keep it stable for Vince & Roz to get out!!  (Apparently this bit regularly collapses and
has to be dug out – Gaby Burns surveyed it and said he’s never going back there
again!!)  We went back via some pretty
oxbows as the stream had sumped a lot of the lower passages (thank God for
those high level bypasses) the water had risen by about a foot while we were
down and the entrance was now interestingly wet!!

Martin, Mac and J-Rat went to Whitefeathers cave nearby and
afterwards went for a sit down meal with some Irish birds they had pulled,
taking Tony along as gooseberry, leaving me stranded in Belcoo.  Fortunately some ULSA lads were staying in
the cottage opposite us so I had to go back with them via a party … what a
shame.!!

Tuesday … All went to

county
Sligo

Martin & Mac told us there were dry caves so most of us only took dry kit.
.. went and found roughly where Secarrow caves were and parked up the Mercedes
van.  We strolled up the driveway to ask
the farmer … no reply so we looked around in adjacent woodland and along the
road, then Martin, Mac Tony & Steve went to knock on the door again.  The rest of us were just off the road nearby
when we heard a screech of tyres, a hand break turn & saw a Garda car
haring up the drive.  The sight that
followed was highly amusing …. Tony, Martin, Mac & Steve being herded
down the driveway by aforementioned Garda car. It turned out that we were in a community watch area and that someone
had informed the Garda of potential terrorist movements.  They had thought that we were either
exchanging arms or breaking in.  They had
even sent a special branch man armed with a flat cap!!  The
Southern Garda
are much more relaxed.

After this we managed some caving with Davey & Vince
going up stream from a very wet resurgence into reasonable cave system.  We then went over to Keshcoran caves, 17
entrances in all. Vince & Roz tried digging one and made about one foot
progress.  Between us we looked at all of
them.  Then back to Belcoo where Martin,
Mac & Tony went to an Egon Ronay restaurant while the rest of us roughed it
on chips and went to the Linnet bar till late. The Landlords son trying to teach us Irish folk dancing and Davey trying
to teach Morris dancing at 2.00am was quite interesting.  Poor Steve was not allowed to drink due to
medication.

Wednesday ….. Me, Mac, Martin & Tony did the boat trip
part of Marble Arch then with Steve went from Noons hole to Linnet bar on a
long walk across

Belmore
Mountains
to find digs
… Lots of potential.  The rest went to
Boho caves, and met in Linnet for afternoon cocktails.  We the went to Mr Johnson’s to look at his
etchings, on the underside of his staircase dating back to the 1930s Yorkshire
ramblers, also a 1959 BEC, WSG, BPC trip … names engraved included T.
Marston, F. Darbon, D. Terry, C. Smith, D. Hoskins, T. Nash & I. Dear.  It must have been a caving hut in those days
as it had dates of first descents also.

Tonight the oldies (Martin, Mac & Tony) were too tired
so just stayed in & went to bed early whilst the rest of us went to the
Linnet, one more time.  Its amazing the
body’s capacity to drink a gallon plus of proper Irish Guinness and get up the
next morning and go caving with no undue effects.

Thursday … Maurice, who owns Corallee Cottages, came
caving with us down Pollaraftara … entrance rift and crawl to main streamway,
mud climb … really slimey through muddy series and on to some pretty gour
pools then into canals.  Tony produced a
pink blow up pig, blew it up, and knowing that Vince & Co were just in
front of us so we’d meet them on the way back, took the pig along the canals
and met Vince.  Tony left it at the sump
for someone else’s amusement & we came out. Met Martin & Mac who had had light failure & so stayed back …
we all went out.

Final nights cocktails in the Linnet, left very late.

Friday Going home … unfortunately both parties went via
Giants Causeway on the way back !!!!!!

 

Another version of the events perpetrated by the BEC comes
from the log of Vince Simmonds (Who has been rather prolific with articles this
issue …. thanks Vince ….. Ed)


Northern Ireland

– Co Fermanagh Easter ’94.

Vince Simmonds, Dave Lennard, Ivan Sandford, Roz Bateman,
Steve Grey.

31.3.94

After a couple of beers and something to eat in the Hunters,
we were on the road by 8.30pm.  The
motorway traffic was heavier than expected. We had a scenic tour of the

Peak
National Park
to pick up
Steve – pity it was too dark to see anything.!!

1.4.94

We arrived at Lame by 11.30 am and a steady drive saw us
arriving at Belcoo at 2.30pm.  We soon
located Steve’s mates from
Huddersfield, got
his caving kit, had a brew & ready to go caving.  A bit of navigational misunderstanding &
we finally located the caves.

White Feathers Caves … (St

Augustines
Caves
.)

Cave 1 A rock bridge upstream which no-one visited.

Cave 2 Another rock bridge 50m long with a good sized stream
RB & VS explored this one.

Cave 3 An impressive entrance arch with several openings to
the surface.  A good size stream passage
meanders gently past some decent formations until it gets deeper and faster,
then swimming leads to the bottom entrance. It was so much fun we did it again!! Players were RB, VS, DL & SG (Ivan gave it a miss) also several of
the
Huddersfield group.  After searching for the others and a very
mellow night at the Linnet.. … Boho.

2.4.94

It snowed a lot last night & there’s a puddle in the
tent coz Ivan left the door open, it also snowed in his sleeping bag.  Guinness doesn’t give you a hangover!!  Drove into Enniskillen after breakfast to buy
some maps, an unnecessary journey coz we later found we could have bought them
at

Marble
Arch
Cave
.  The Marble Arch system was the scene for
today’s activities.  Taking part were ..
.VS, RB, IS, DL, Emma, J-Rat, Mac, Estelle, Pete Bolt & Martin Grass.  Steves not feeling too good.

Upper Cradle Hole …. A gentle stroll upstream in a
sizeable passage to a sump.  Downstream
didn’t go far & ended in a small lake. About 20mins caving.

Lower Cradle Hole …. Another stroll through large stream
passage until reaching deep water & a swim; through a duck into a small
water filled chamber with a lot of people bobbing about.  Another swim & duck into the
showcave.  Quite a novelty going through
the showcave in kit.  Before long a climb
over a barrier, more swimming, a choke & then more walking in stream
passage.  We did find some rather nice
mud to wallow in.  Walked around for a
bit coz Emma said we had missed something but we couldn’t find it so we headed
out.  We were going to swim out of the
tourist boat trip but as the water level had risen by 12″ we decided to
give it a miss.  When later seeing the
water coming out it was probably a wise move.


Coolarkin
Cave
…. Located in

Belmore
Forest
near Boho.

Almost a shorts & t-shirt cave if it wasn’t so
cold.  A large stream passage with banks
either side to walk on, ending in a monster choke described as ” slur on
Irish caving!”

Adjourned to the Linnet for cocktails.

3.4.94

Weather was shit so we decided to go digging the choke in
Coolarkin cave.

RB, DL, VS & IS went digging, Steve was feeling much
worse so he decided to go to Enniskillen to get nebulized!!  (He’s athsmatic.)

VS had a tentative look into the boulder choke but could
find no obvious route & it was decided to dig where the stream was
sinking.  A lot of time was spent
diverting the stream down one hole or another. VS managed to make some progress into the choke but the area was
extremely unstable.  RB went down where
the stream previously sank but again digging would be long term.  DL & IS spent all their time dam building
& stream diverting.  We all had a
poke at a hole halfway along the main passage, but it quickly closed down.  RB took some compass bearings so we could
check the surface layout.  The
frustrating thing was that water could be heard flowing beyond the choke.  After 3.5 hrs digging we decided to check the
surface out.

On exiting the cave DL & VS were greeted by 2 RUC
officers and as we entered the wood 4 more with rifles … a little
disconcerting!!!

We were questioned as to how many people were here & if
we were meant to be meeting someone.  It
was eventually explained to us that Steve had been detained in Enniskillen
hospital with some pneumonia like virus & that one of us was to go with
them to collect the van.  So DL got to
ride in an armour plated Sierra!!

It turned out that Steve had to sign anti terrorist papers
& an armed guard was left at the hospital in case we had set them up for an
ambush.

While waiting for DL to return VS, RB & IS went in
search of the shakehole responsible for the choke, we soon located it but there
were no prospects for digging here either.

4.4.94 Shannon Cave … Nr Skeagh (

Cuilgagh
Mountain
)

This was one of two caves recommended to us as being ok
during wet conditions.  Just as well coz
its been snowing again & the ground was already saturated. RB, DL, VS, IS
& Estelle set off to locate the entrance & as normal spent some time in
the wrong place before deciding to drive 2 miles up a forest track, moving
fallen trees on the way.  We then had the
problem of turning the van round without getting it stuck in a bog.

A damp descent through boulders getting damper the further
we went, eventually leading out into more sizeable passage.  Dropping down through several levels there
are some nicely shaped meandering passages before finally dropping into the
main passage.  This was up to 50′ high
& meandering.  A good brisk walk with
some boulder hopping and some squeezes. The passage then closes down to a very unstable choked area which RB
& VS negotiated past some dodgy looking shoring.  We then followed some large stream passage to
a huge chamber, probably 100′ high, before rejoining the others.  On the way back we missed a crawl through
boulders and found ourselves following the aptly named mistake passage.

We had a few fits & start route finding on the way out,
partly due to rapidly rising water levels & damp squeezes on the way in
were now very wet.  One place that had
been a duck with 6″ of airspace was now under water.  Luckily there was a route over the top.  We got back to the surface into a blizzard
after 4 hrs of thoroughly enjoyable caving. We then drove to Enniskillen to collect Steve, who we met at a police
road block after he had talked a nurse into giving him a lift back to our
campsite.

Some food in Enniskillen and a steady session in the pub.

5.4.94

All of us drove to Co Sligo for the day & just for a
change the sun was shining.  Our lesson
for today was not to jump out of cars & vans & go running about in a
community alert area as the screech of Garda patrol cars soon tells you its not
the done thing.  It was soon sorted out,
though it was amusing to see Martin, Mac & J-Rat being shepherded down a
farm track by a patrol car!!!


Lecarrow
Cave
Nr Ballinafad (Lough
Arrow)

2 entrances Sink & Resurgence, unfortunately a through
trip was not possible.  DL, VS &
J-Rat (pants t-shirt & boiler suit) entered the resurgence & followed
some very pleasant stream passage with lovely formations.  About 200m of stooping passage with some wet
thrutches closing down at a choke & sump. At the sink we were joined by Martin & we followed a gently
meandering stream passage up to 15′ high & 4′ wide once again with some
superb formations.  The passage
eventually ended at another sump.

Caves of Keash ….

17 or so entrances high up on a cliff & very visible
from the road.  Most of the caves were
not long & were occupied by Brock! Steve said he pushed one for 600′. (What a Badger???? … Ed)  RB
& VS spent some time trying to dig a hole through into a chamber but lacked
tools & time.  There were several
joints running parallel to the cliff & joining several entrances.

6.4.94

After drinking in the Linnet until 2.45am & not getting
to bed until 5.30am, enthusiasm for caving was waning fast!!!. .. Still no
hangover.

After dropping the others at the impressive Noone Hole for
walking DL, RB, IS & VS decided to have a look at Boho caves.

Cave 1 … After locating the various entrances, sink &
resurgence, we decided on the through, to wash out the cobwebs.  Went u/s in decent cave passage, very cherty,
& joint controlled.  Turned around
& went d/s this time exploring various side passages, some dry &
grovelly with a few formations.

Cave 2 … RB & VS had a look at another
resurgence.  A very narrow cherty rift
with a lot of water, closing down after 40′. Very slimy.

Cave 3 … (

Ravine
Caves
.)

A high, open joint with daylight showing. A climb up leads
to a chamber with moonmilk.  A small hole
leads to another chamber with several joint passages leading off, also decorated
& all dry.

Cave 4 … (

Ravine
Caves
.)

Another resurgence with a fine waterfall a little way
in.  Followed the stream passage for
about 30m to a sump.  Several side
passages were followed but could not regain access to the stream.  The downstream caves were all located in an
old quarry that had been allowed to re-naturalize & with a 30′ waterfall
was a very peasant place.

7.4.94 Pollaraftar

Everyone apart from Ivan & we were joined by Marius
Lennard from Corallee.

A Sunny day at last if a little breezy.  A very pleasant walk over Knockmore about 20
mins to the entrance.  A climb through
boulders into a clean washed rift led to a chamber where the 2nd entrance
ladder pitch entered.  A walk down a
small streamway led to a bit of thrutching along a high level sump bypass.  Then followed a walk through sizeable passage
with a good deal of breakdown before coming into larger stream passage.  A muddy climb with a dubious bit of string
led to a short muddy section before better passage with formations.  A long chamber with goured floor was followed
before a climb up to boulders led to an exposed climb down the other side.  The passage then led to some canals, a good
deal of swimming & some fine formations the passage finally ending in a
large choke & sump.  On the return
trip we were met by an inflatable pink pig closely followed by J-Rat.

8.4.94

After dropping RB in Strabane DL, VS, IS & SG made their
way to Co Antrim to visit the Giants Causeway – a very impressive sight.  A landslide meant we could not follow the
cliff path as far as we wished.  We then
dropped in to

Ballinatoy
Harbour
where we had a
look at some small sea caves before making our way via the coastal road to
Lame.

Snippets .

On the way to the Linnet one night Steve pulled in to let a
car pass, when it didn’t he opened the window to wave it on only to find
himself looking down a rifle barrel, another RUC officer checking us out.

Specky to Estelle in the pub …

“If you didn’t swear every other word, you wouldn’t
spend all night talking.”

 

An Arresting Experience In

Myanmar
.

Helen Harper

I am writing to set the record straight.  Rob, my husband, has fabricated a tale
claiming that I was responsible for our arrest and detention by the army in
Myanmar (

Burma
) earlier this year.  It wasn’t me who led us into trouble and what
follows is my side of the story.  Many of
you will know about an incident after Batspiss’ engagement party involving half
the Wiltshire constabulary in 1986 and another in Matienzo in 1990 when even
his best buddy disowned him.  Since then
I have been very reluctant to let him go abroad without me being there to keep
an eye on him.  Shame I can hear you cry
but is a man who’s only line of defence is “But I’ve only been arrested
twice since we got married” really safe let loose on his own?  He needs a grown up, to look after him, i.e.
me since Blitz cannot be trusted!  On
this occasion however both of us ended up in trouble.

I won’t bore you with stories of being a member of an 8
person caving team to Meghalaya, where we surveyed and mapped 14kms of new cave
passage or the visit to some small caves in Orissa and Andra Pradesh made by
Rob and I.  That can be left to the real
cavers.

I shall start with our arrival in

Myanmar
.  Having obtained our 2 week visas in
London, well in advance, we extended our trip to South and
East Asia by flying to Yangon (
Rangoon) from
Calcutta via

Bangkok
.  Once in

Myanmar
we set of on the tourist
trail ‘up country’. 
Myanmar has a regime similar to

China
, there
are open areas where tourists can visit, grey areas where tourists are not
supposed to go but are usually tolerated and closed areas which are strictly.
‘No Go’.  This is because the Hill Tribes
are fighting a guerrilla war with the socialist military government, funded by
growing poppies for opium production. Consequently the government do not want tourists wandering around in
these areas.  Whether this is for the
protection of the tourist or to prevent them seeing what the government army is
up to in these areas I do not know.

For the first part of our journey we travelled from Yangon
to Thazi by train then by bus, (a Toyota pickup with about 30 people inside, on
the roof and hanging off the outside), to Kalaw in the Southern Shan States
which was an hill station in the days of the British occupation.

Here Rob realised we were only about 70kms north of an area
for which he had references from some Aussie cavers.  Fired by tales of rivers disappearing into
limestone ridges and entrances that could be seen from the shuttle flight to
Yangon, he tried to find out if we could reach the town
nearest to this area, Pinlaung, by public transport or Jeep hire.  The manager of the hotel at which we were
staying informed us that it was not an area we could enter without asking
permission from the Township branch of S.L.O.R.C.  (very 007) the State Law and Order
Restoration Council and the local Police. Another local then advised us not to bother to ask because we would not
be granted permission anyway.  Having had
this set back Rob said ‘F**k it lets go’ but I wimped out and refused much to
his disgust.  We then travelled on to

Inle
Lake

and spent 2 days being ordinary tourists again. By this time I could see that if we didn’t try to get to this potential
caving area Rob would go it alone.  In
fact he suggested that I tag along with some other travellers and meet up with
him again later in
Yangon.  I was then more concerned about him getting
into trouble on his own and possibly disappearing without trace, so AGAINST MY
BETTER JUDGEMENT I agreed to accompany him to Pinlaung.  We tried again to hire transport via a
Burmese Mr Fixit but he refused to have anything to do with our escapade.

We decided to go it alone by public transport and caught
another bus back to Aungban from where it is possible to travel north to the
famous Pindaya caves.  This confused all
the locals because they were convinced we should be going north to see caves
not south.  At Aungban the next bus
driver wouldn’t have anything to do with us and directed us to the train
station.  Here the Postmaster took us
under his wing directed us to a stall for refreshment and explained that the
train standing in the station would go to Pinlaung but didn’t depart until
3.00pm, this was at 11.00am.  The station
building was new but not completed, such is Burmese hospitality a room was
opened especially for us to rest and wait, accompanied by a large pile of
avocado pears a local cash crop.  Rob
bought the tickets unhindered and we were directed onto the train by the
Postmaster.  Then started an epic third
world train journey, when it took 7 hours to travel 70kms.  Rob struck up a conversation with a man
called Mr Black who spoke quite good English and owned a teashop in
Pinlaung.  He and his mates left the
train at the township.  As it slowed down
people, goods and luggage piled out of the windows.  At the station proper about 3kms down the
track we alighted.  It was about 10.30pm
and dark.  We were told we could not
sleep there and had to walk back into town. We set off down the road and after about 1.5kms a pickup truck passed us
and a voice called “Mr Rob, Mr Rob, very sorry, this is my friend from
army intelligence”

I was amazed how calm I felt at that moment.  We independently expected to be taken off for
interrogation and torture.  After
climbing into the pickup we were driven into the neighbouring army camp.  Every one kept assuring us that we had
nothing to worry about.  Much to our
surprise we were not dragged out to have electrodes clipped to sensitive parts
of our bodies but taken to the town guest house.  The old man who ran it was woken up to let us
and our escorts in.  Soon more members of
army intelligence arrived and demanded to know what we were doing there.  Our passports and visas were scrutinised and
Rob produced the photocopied references he had for the disappearing
rivers.  The army people claimed to have
no knowledge of any caves or rivers going underground.   However the old man knew something and even
though he was talking Burmese he was obviously pointing in the correct general
direction and telling them all about it. We were told off for not going through the official tourist authority
M.T.T. (Myanmar Travels and

Tours
)
and that it was not a “secure” area. However they said that they would enquire if we could stay and explore
but that we must not do anything until permission was granted.  We slept soundly that night and awoke to find
one of our guardians outside our door the next morning.  Had he been there all night?

After primitive ablutions around the back of the guest house
we walked up to Mr Black’s Teashop where we had been invited for
breakfast.  Our escort came too.  Then we had a tour around town.  A Buddhist festival was in progress so we
watched the elephant dance.  Not a real
elephant but a pantomime elephant like a pantomime horse danced by teams of two
men who needed regular replacements.  At
9.00am another intelligence officer arrived and after a hurried conversation
with our original escort we were informed that it was not a secure area, it was
not possible for us to visit, we must return to the guest house immediately and
go back to Aungban as soon as possible. With that we were marched back to the guest house and made to stay in
our room.  Rob was even followed to the
toilet in a shed on the land behind the guest house.  We tried to leave by bus or train but were
told this was not possible so we hired the pickup in which we had first been
detained, at our own expense, to take us back to Kalaw.  Our army intelligence escort travelled with
us and made sure we checked in and paid for our room at the hotel before he
left.

We were treated with great courtesy throughout the whole
incident by every one we met.  The
Burmese are the friendliest most helpful people we have encountered so far in
our travels.  Rob is now trying to obtain
permission through official tourist and government channels to return and
prospect for caves.

So far Rob has only been arrested three times during our married
life.  Admittedly I was detained with him
on this last occasion but I was NOT responsible for our predicament, I was led
astray!

 

Spike’s Bit…

Most of what I would have gossiped about has been published
elsewhere in this rag, but there are one or two bits juicy enough to mention
…….

Like when some of the members went up to
Yorkshire
to visit John & Sue Riley at The Old Hill Inn and got pissed up …. just for
a change you understand.

Apparently one night there was this bloke handcuffed to the
cartwheel in the bar!

Enter one B.E.C. member of the female persuasion (Who in the
interests of decency and potential blackmail threats, will remain nameless ….
won’t you Babs .. !!)

She enquired of the manacled one as to what was going on
….. he replied that it was his stag night. “Well they’re not doing much to you are they?” she said and
promptly disappeared.  Moments later as
if by magic she had returned armed with razor blades, foam and a wicked
grin.  At this point the victim probably
started feeling a little nervous.  To cut
a long story short (& Curly) she debagged him and removed his short &
curlies replacing them with a blue condom and a BEC sticker.  I wouldn’t fancy his chances explaining that
one to his bride to be!!

*****************************************

Dateline 23/7/94. Venue Priddy Village Hall.

The occasion this night was the celebration of the union of

Andy
Cave

& Angie Garwood …. now

Mr
& Mrs

Cave

….. to whom the author of this piece offers his congrats (As do we all I’m
sure …. Ed)

Free beer, music, fun & frolics were had by all.  An appearance by The Belfry Boys and an
excellent blues band went down very well, as did several barrels of Roger’s
finest.

The theme was “Boots & Headgear” and most
people made an effort with only a few boring F**t’s turning up in caving
helmets ….. shame on you.!!

The party went on till 1.00 when it abruptly teleported back
to chez Cave where it revitalized itself and lurched on until about 5.00
a.m.  A good time was had by all and we
even cleared up the next day.

I’d like to go on & on but Jingles won’t let me ….
still there’s always next time I suppose.

ta ta for now …… “Spike”.

 

Odds & Sods

Estelle Sandford has moved (again ) and is now resident at
the following address  Wells,

Somerset

Greg Villis has changed his phone number to …. 0934 xxxxxxx

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Chas Wethered has lost a windowpane…. sorry spectacle
lens…. he reckons it’s in the streamway somewhere between the entrance and
sump 1 in Swildons Hole and will buy a pint for the finder.  I’m sure we’ll all be rushing off down there
to look for it won’t we???

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As many of you may already know John & Sue Riley want to
flog the Hill Inn in Chapel Ie Dale (NO NO NO I hear you cry .. .’tis sad but
true)

So if any of you mega rich members fancy buying a pub for
Xmas give them a ring.  They can be
contacted on …. 0524-xxxxx.

I personally doubt that anyone is gonna top Sue’s food though
……. Jx

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The Belfry Boys …. those purveyors of exotic harmonies
(You What!!!) will be appearing at the Bath Arms in Cheddar on the evening of
Sunday 18th September 1994 at 8.15pm, if anyone is foolish enough to be
interested.

Rumour has it that they might be making an appearance at the
club dinner this year too, so best make sure you are not there eh????

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Folk In The Bath starts up again on 4th September, at,
surprisingly enough, The Bath Arms in Cheddar 8.15 on Sunday nights.  Snab has lined up some excellent acts for the
season (So why has he got the Belfry Boys then???)  Anyone who is in the area on a Sunday night
is more than welcome to come along.  At
times this venue is almost a BEC meet! and is always a fun night out.

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Nominations for next year’s committee should be forwarded to
the Hon Sec to reach him no later than 1.10.94

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And finally

Roger Stenner informs me that the drinking cup in the entrance
series of St Cuthbert’s Swallet actually takes water from the Belfry septic
tank …. mmmmm lovely.

On hearing this Zot was heard to exclaim ….

“But I’ve been drinking it for 30 years & it’s had
no effect on me!”

…………………………………….. I rest my case.

© 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.