Exploration Club, The Belfry,

, Priddy, Wells,

Editor: John Williams

Cover:  ‘Gonzo’ in Soft Rock Cruise (The Sand Swims) Daren
Photo by: Peter “Just One More” Bolt


1996 – 1997 Committee

Hon. Sec.                Nigel


Treasurer                 Chris Smart
Caving Sec.             Jeff Price
Hut Warden             Becca Campbell
Tackle Master          Mike Wilson
Hut Engineer            Ivan Sandford
Membership Sec.    

Richard St
B.B. Editor               John Williams
Librarian                  Alex Gee
Floating                   Hilary Wilson

                               Estelle Sandford



Okay so here we are again, the first BB of the club
year.  Hopefully from now on I will be
able to produce a more satisfactory rag than the last couple of issues, given
that I have more time on my hands and better computer access.

First off, as some of you will already know, I have
moved.  I am now living in Very North
Somerset….Chapel le Dale in fact…see address list at front of rag.  Its just conceivably possible if you are up
my way that I could be found at the Hill Inn …. but don’t listen to rumours
… they are often untrue.  Let me know
if you are about though.

Sadly one of our oldest members passed away recently … Dan
Hasell.  He died peacefully whilst having
a nap.  The club was well represented at
the funeral and the turnout was a testament to the respect in which Dan was
held.  I had only recently got to know
the man but liked him immensely as did many of us I’m sure. It was rather nice
that he had attended the club dinner recently.

I’m sure we would all pass on our commiserations to Stella
at this time.

The AGM and Dinner were as usual….the AGM and Dinner.  For details see the minutes published later
in this edition.  The dinner was held at
the Cross Hands Inn in North Wooton and was attended by approx 100 people, a
fairly good turnout considering it was the 61st year.  Malcolm Cotter of MCG was the guest speaker
and provided an interesting slide show after dinner … thank you Malcolm.

Snab proposed the toast to absent friends remarkably well
considering Jingles had rigged the PA so he sounded like he’d been breathing
Helium one minute and speaking in slow motion the next much to the hilarity of
those present.  Added to which a rather
inebriated Lil Romford was determined to find out what he had under his kilt..
.. work the rest out yourselves.

It seems a good evening was had by all and was only slightly
marred by the absence of beer back at the Belfry afterwards.

What else???

Congratulations go to Dick-Fred and his New Wife Jacqui,
married on 15.11.96 …. kept that one quiet didn’t they.

Can’t really think of much else at this stage.  I understand that work is still going on in
Five Buddles and also in Barrow Rake when its dry …. keep me informed you

Finally … as usual I am in need of articles to publish,
and am loathe to publish issues just for the sake of it….so those of you who
moan that there aren’t enough BBs …. this is your chance … put pen to paper
and write something this ish we have articles from Mr Wand Alex Gee … thanks
lads …. perhaps we could have a few more bits for the Xmas issue.

Anyway I’m off diving in Hurtle Pot now, which is a mere
5mins walk from my front door …. how sad eh???  No more freezing my B******s off.  Mind you Keld Head is still a bit of a hike
.. (2 Miles) .. can’t have it all though …. or can you???

See you all soon …

Good Caving.



From the Belfry Table

I write this note with great regret, as it gives me no
pleasure to inform the Membership of the passing of one of it’s founder
members, and a man who I have always regarded as “One of Life’s

Dennis (Dan) Henry Hasell Honorary and Life Member Number 4,
died peacefully on Thursday, 24th October, 1996.

The Club I know will extend its deepest sympathy to Dan’s
beloved Stella, and as one of those fortunate enough to be able to attend his
funeral at St. Mary’s Church, Moorlynch on Friday  1st November,  there was some

pleasure at least in seeing nearly fifty BEC members from
across the broad age spectrum from the club. Each person there, as well as those who could not attend, had been
touched in same way by Dan’s radiance. His sometimes gruff, but always well intentioned and far sighted advice
and interest in club affairs will be missed by many.  His keen and intense concern in the welfare
of the BEC, Cave Diving group and his Motor Club would be a hard match for
anyone to follow.  We know that Stella
will miss him, the BEC will miss him, you and me will miss him, for we have
lost a true friend, farewell, and thank you Dan.

The BEC Committee
1996-1997, The Election, and the AGM.

If you were one of those thirty odd people who made it to
the AGM, thank you!  If not, why were you
not there please?  So few people actually
attended, that for most of the AGM, we were not quorate, in fact for a period
of some thirty minutes we actually became quorate, then people drifted away
again, it will be necessary to adopt all the AGM business at the 1997 AGM as a
result.  It is your club, your chance to
have your say, if you could not be bothered to attend, then fine, but don’t
expect the BEC to make another sixty years, and don’t gripe about matters at
some later date. The 1997 AGM will be held at the Belfry at 10.30 am, Saturday
3rd. October 1997.

The 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006,
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, AGM’s and Annual Dinners will always be on the
first Saturday in October of each year. Have you understood that?  Make a
note now in your diary, your head whatever, please, I am fed up with people
saying “I didn’t know the date of the AGM/Dinner so I missed it!”

Again as you will note from the AGM minutes, I was concerned
with the poor response or return of voting forms.  These I had produced and passed out for
circulation with the BB in the required time scale.  Many members said that they had not received
them, but as I am assured that all of these were sent out, perhaps the Post
office industrial action was to blame? The result is that all eleven contenders for the election were put-in by
the floor of the in-quorate AGM as a caretaker committee for 1996-1997.  Now, though not constitutionally correct, as
technically no meeting business can be held without the AGM being quorate, it
would have been an insult to those same thirty odd individuals who bothered to
attend if I had not started the AGM, and under Bob Cork’s excellent
chairmanship, we had not attempted to bring some order to the potential chaos
that would have otherwise occurred.  The
eleven member committee will continue to act as a caretaker committee unless
members call for an EGM and fresh ballot, given that there are no objections, I
am sure that these people will do their best for the club.

Nigel Taylor, Hon.


Germany – Sauerland Notes.

Having tackled Bullshit Pot it was time to be serious for

Hilary and I were cordially invited to visit Helmut Posch
his Wife and daughter and their home in Solingen.  They live near a limestone region called the
Sauerland which is east of Dusseldorf and embraces the Towns of Wuppertal and
Hagen on the West and Warstein and Brilon on the East of the caving
region.  The area is approx 50K east of
Solingen with Koln and Dusseldoerf being the two major cities.

We travelled from Bristol via the Ramsgate Ostende ferries,
cheap at £110 return, including a cabin. From Ostende the most direct route is via Brussels and Koln, total
mileage approx 430.

Within the region there are cheap air fares to Dusseldorf
and cheap Bus and Tram fares locally based on a Zonal fee.

The areas we visited with Helmut and his family were
Ennepetal and Wuppertal with one visit to Hagen.  In Ennepetal at the side of the road on the
outskirts of town lies a caving system called Heilenbecke Hohle.  This is one of the larger systems “Well
decorated and Locked.” Helmut, myself, Annete and a local caver called
Stephan took a trip in this system. 3915m in length.

The cave lies in a 10m thick bed of limestone capped with a
layer of solid slate.  The limestone runs
down dip and in several places the system has a slate roof with obviously
interesting formations resembling what I call Hairy Armpits .. .’Most Unusual’.

At the end of the system, Stephan showed us some blue lakes,
quite small but one is worth diving coz the local lads reckon it is the only
way on!!  Perhaps this region holds more
interesting caves worth diving.  I know
of one more called Kluterhohle with an interesting water system as yet un-dived
due to the owner not being co-operative.

The other caves in the region number about thirty of which
15 or so are worthy of a visit.  There
are more caves being explored and surveyed at the time of writing.  Please note that anyone wishing to visit the
region would be advised to contact the two main local clubs.

To carry on with the caving ….

Anther quaint trip is situated in the town of Wuppertal near
the botanical gardens.  It is called
Harthohle and the entrance is in a road near the gardens.  You have to stop the traffic in your oversuit
(Only Mike Wilson could have traffic in his oversuit….ed) and hop in quick
before you are run over like a passing frog!! Also there is more than one manhole so be sure you pick the right one or
you’ll end up in the sh**!!

At 4000m long the cave is a 2 dimensional maze still being dug
and only recently linked between 2 levels. A new survey is being prepared at this moment.  I have seen the proof copy.  It is an odd system and route finding could
be tricky due to the exit routes being small and hard to locate, whereas the
central system has large interconnecting passages.  Well worth a visit even if only to try your
skill at exiting in traffic.!!

Another interesting Arvo wander (What??? .. ed) is
Kluterhohle .. .’Mainly for tourists’. The majority of the cave has been converted into a sanatorium for Athsma
sufferers.  Although the system is fairly
large it is only possible to visit a third of it due to the inmates not taking
too kindly to being leered at by grockles. There is a small river in this cave which was used as a refuge during
the war … Dare I mention the War??? .. Yes!!

Finally for those with an engineering or fairground
interest, Wuppertal hosts a large suspended tram system which is quite unique
and was built in the 1900’s.  It runs
from Vohvinkle to Barmen (???) and is called the Sweiberbahn.  We confess to riding on it for a whole
morning but didn’t join the 10m Sweiberbahn club though.

To finish there are surveys, journals etc deposited in the
BEC library for all to read and make use of.

Mike Wilson.



Recent Exploration In ‘Wookey’

Alex Gee
(Foreword by Jingles)

During the course of 1996 there has been a fair bit of
activity at Wookey Hole one way and another. There have been several pushing attempts on sump twenty five by Mike
Barnes and Petes Bolt and Mulholland ably assisted on various occasions by BEC
members myself, Nick Mitchell and Alex Gee amongst them.

This year also saw the Jubilee celebrations of the CDG at
what has become a kind of cave diver’s Mecca. A not to be repeated event this was possibly the largest ever assembly
of cave divers in this country and certainly there will never again be such a
gathering of divers from right through the decades.

With all this in the limelight it is easy to forget that
there is always a fair degree of exploration going on in the farther reaches of
Wookey Hole.  Most of us only ever get as
far as the gantry overlooking what to dry cavers is the terminal sump pool; but
what to divers is the start of the cave ‘proper’.  Sump 9b.

The Somerset section of the CDG has a fairly high percentage
of BEC members amongst its number, most of whom are active if not pushing
divers.  The following pages document the
efforts of Alex and others over the past eight months in chamber 22, high up
above the static pool.

This aven was originally climbed and bolted by Rob Harper in
1966 (I think … ed) but has been pushed considerably further by Alex.  Speaking to Alex since he gave me this
article, he informs me he has in fact continued working here and now reckons to
be within 15m of the surface and although probably 100m away horizontally he is
within 3m of the vertical level of Halloween Rift.  Perhaps Mr Hughes will start digging again
and meet him half way??

What is not to be forgotten is the degree of organisation
and commitment in a project such as this. Getting to the dig site involves two fairly deep dives (as one) giving a
‘sawtooth’ dive profile.  The dives are
fairly long … it takes approx 10- 15 minutes to dive from 9b to ch 22 ….
and its COLD.

Once at chamber 22 Alex has been climbing up into the roof
for heights approaching 60m and then wrestling with boulders.  (Why??? is a question that readily springs to

A lot of work has gone into this project thus far and I am
sure  Alex would thank all those who have

It is to be hoped that there will be an update on this in
the not too distant future …..


Alex Gee Personal Diving Log.


Wookey Hole.
Ch22 Aven.  Static Pool.

April 1966.
Divers: N. Mitchell.  A. Gee.

Took climbing gear to 22 to investigate the limit of Rob
Harper’s attempt to climb the aven above 22 static pool.  Dumped gear then investigated why Nick hadn’t
appeared.  Found him in 9:2. He had lost
a bottle en route and then got a line tangle his pressure gauge having become
wedged between two rocks.

May 1996.
Divers: N. Mitchell. A. Gee.

Nick belayed me while I aid climbed up to Harper’s limit..
.. Scary stuff … I wouldn’t have liked to have bolted it first!!  Nick then joined me while I climbed up
another 10m in parallel roof tube which closed down.  Good draught. Tried to remove boulders blocking main way on.  Then large coffin sized piece of wall peeled
off.  Most impressive.


Back again this time with Keith Savory and Carol Tapley.  I climbed up and levered several boulders off
(while the others hid in a sand crawl). The way on was now open.


Just myself.  First
Solo trip.  Slightly unnerving.  Reached previous limit then free climbed
another 6m on shunt self line to boulder blockage.  Can see the way on beyond.  Adrian Hole helped in 9:2.


Solo trips to try to remove boulder.  Drill not working as bloody Blakey had given
me the wrong drill!!  Keith and Adrian
helped in 9:2 again.


Solo trip, this time drill bit broke!!  This is F*&I\%ng  jinxed.


Solo trip.  Success at
last, drill worked and boulder removed. Light went out on return to 9:2. Adrian and Nick Gymer helped to 9:2.


Solo.  Jo waited in
car.  Surveyed damage from last
trip.  Spent 90mins trying to squeeze and
hammer way up into alcove above.


With Nick then without Nick due to bad hangover. (Mine
slightly better) went to 22 and managed to squeeze into alcove.  Part of large rift, can see 5-10 m in both
directions and 10m upwards to roof that runs full length, can’t see top.  3ft possible vadose passage runs along top
but only 6 inches wide unfortunately.  De
rigged for another date …. 24 next I suppose.

Total 10 trips.  7
Solo trips.



Although this project has not resulted in a great deal of
passage being found (20-30mtrs so far) it has brought to light the following
interesting facts.

1.                  The flooded passages from 9:2 to 22 do not head
directly into the hill but follow the contours until 22 static pool,
consequently they lie at a much shallower depth than the passages beyond 22 and
more likely to have a surface connection.

2.                  The altitude of the water level in Wookey Hole
Cave is approximately 60mtrs and the land overlying 22 is approximately
150mtrs.  Which means that when the aven
height above water is 55mtrs there is only about 35mtrs between the aven and

3.                  On most trips I have observed a good draught at
the top of the aven (cigarette smoke dissipating instantly even in the smaller
passage.)  Another possible reason for a
surface link.

So we conclude that there is a good reason for reactivating
old digs such as Halloween Rift (which lies on the 130mtr contour in the
vicinity of 22) and having a good look for other openings in the same
area.  As a link here would allow easy
access to 24 and the potential there via Cam Valley Crawl to 23.

So anyone fancy a dig? cheers Alex.


Minutes of the 1996 B.E.C Annual General Meeting – Saturday 5th.October.

The meeting was started almost on time at 10.35 am, by the
Hon. Secretary, {Nigel Taylor} and is customary, he called for the handing in
of any outstanding Ballot Forms.  The
Hon. Secretary then addressed the meeting with his grave concern that he had
only received fourteen returned ballot papers in total, and further that
although he had prepared and handed these on for distribution some six weeks
prior to the AGM, he was not happy that he could advise the club to accept
these as a valid and representative expression of the clubs’ members, he then
suggested that although the meeting was not quorate they should commence
business without further ado, and he called for nominations for a Chairman,
there being one nominee, Bob Cork was duly elected.

It was agreed that Tellers were not required, and the
Chairman proposed that the AGM will elect a caretaker committee, comprising all
nominees” and further, “That all fourteen returned ballot papers
should be placed in a sealed envelope, in the event of objections, and kept by
the Secretary for three months then destroyed” This was carried nem.con.

The Secretary had received apologies from: Emma Porter, Jeff
Price, Andrew Newton, Estelle Sandford, and Rob & Helen Harper, whom he
advised the meeting, were celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary.  Apologies received from the floor on behalf
of: Nicola Slan, Graham Johnson, Tony Imalt, Steve Ostler (Later attended) Rich
Blake, Adrian Hole, Jeremey Henley ,Brian Prewer, Stu McManus, Dave Irwin.

Twenty five paid-up members signed the attendance sheet,
these are recorded as follows:­ Chris Smart, Nigel Taylor, Dany Bradshaw, Alex
Gee, Martin Grass, Barrie Wilton, Brenda Wilton, Peter Franklyn, Joyce
Franklyn, Greg Villis, Nick Mitchell, Andy Thomas, Andy Sparrow, John Buxton,
Nick Gymer, Chas Wethered, Babs Williams, Hilary Wilson, Mike Wilson, Ron
Wyncoll, Ivan Sandford, Rebecca Campbell, Bob Cork, Robin Grey.

Later during the course of the meeting, five more members
arrived:- John Williams, Henry Bennett, Mike ODriscoll, and Steve Ostler, and
after lunch some members left the meeting to be replaced with five more
members: – Graham Walsh, Colin Dooley, Angie Dooley, Mike Jeanmaire, Richard Blake.  Some of these arrived towards the end of the
meeting, and in effect the meeting only became quorate for one brief period of
half an hour.

 [NOTE:- Our
Constitution as amended at the 1986 AG.M Paragraph 4. Section d] states “That a quorum shall consist of 30 members or
25% of the membership whichever is the lesser. No business shall be transacted without a quorum
” There being
109 paid-up members and 42 life/Honorary members, Thirty has to be the minimum
recorded the number of members present at anyone time in brackets after the
voting figures.  Nigel Taylor, Hon. Secretary.]

Martin Grass [MG] then voiced his strong criticism that
several committee members were not present at the AGM.  The Hon Secretary defended the position of
the three missing members, two were due to their having to work, and the third
having to repair her car for work.

Item Five, Minutes of the 1995 AGM:- That the minutes
of the 1995 AGM be taken as read was proposed [p:] by Dany Bradshaw [DB] and
Seconded [S:] by Andy Sparrow, carried nem.con.

Item 6.  Matters
arising from the Minutes
:- The Secretary pointed out that these had been
printed in the BB directly after last years AGM, and there being no questions
from the floor, he read a list that he had prepared, to the meeting which
raised the following points:-

1]. To look at the position of
club archivist and act accordingly.

2]. To carry out two rescue
practices annually.

3]. Repayments of St. Cuthbert’s
Loans, Stock Position, and Sales Report.

4]. Examine and act to increase
telephone use.

5]. Committee to enforce rules re
hut debts.

6]. Ladder for St. Cuthbert’s to
be made available.

7]. C.S.C.C minutes to be
included in BB if relevant.

With regard to these actions, the Secretary explained that
he spoken with Alan Thomas who wished to continue as Club Archivist.  Item 2 had been effected, as had the
repayments in 3 above, but he added that the Hon Treasurer would speak on this
later, as well as on item 4 above. Items 5 ,6, & 7 had been dealt with

Item 7, Hon Secretary’s Report:- Nigel Taylor then
read this to the meeting as he had not wanted all of its’ contents published in
the BB and seen subsequently by outside interests or non members.  There was much debate on Nigel’s comments re
St. Cuthbert’s, with contributions from MG, DB and Rebecca Campbell [RC]  the meeting was in accord with his proposals
and his report was carried nem.con. with one abstention ,(25) P: Ron Wyncol
{RW}, and S:Greg Villis {GV}

Nigels’ proposal “That the BEC set up a St. Cuthbert’s
Fund to enable the future tenure and associated legal costs to be met,”
was seconded by Chis Smart and taken out of sequence as it went with his
report, carried nem.con. (25).

Item 8, Bon Treasurers’ Report: This was read to the
meeting by Chris Smart, and one the question of telephone usage, MG suggested
that the club write-off the annual loss as the club simply need a phone.  Babs Williams {BABS} suggested the committee
contact Mercury for an alternative cost or a more sympathetic view of the clubs
status.  Barrie Wilton {BW}asked about
BMC membership, Chris explained that only two members had taken up the
Committee offer on this.  NT suggested
that we still continue this proposal as it was a tiny return for those climbing
section members within the club, the meeting concurred.  NT then asked Treasurer if he felt cheques
were being received and enchased fast enough, CS thought they were generally,
Richard Stephens {RS} felt that people did not always pay up on time.  Alex GEE {AG} asked if we received sufficient
interest on club accounts.  Chris replied
that in today’s financial climate, it was as good as we could expect.  The report was then voted on, P:DB, S:Ivan
Sandford{IS} and carried 23 For, 2 Abst’n. (25).

Item 9, Hon. Auditors Report: Barry Wilton apologised
to the Club, that as he had not yet had open-access to the books, he had not
been able to audit them, further that he would still do so and report to a
future committee meeting.  Deferred Vote,
Audit awaiting.

Item 10, Caving Secretary’s Report: Kindly read to
the meeting by Babs Williams, on behalf of Jeff Price in absentia.  Martin Grass spoke upon the thorny issue of
ex or lapsed members masquerading as full BEC members to gain access to
controlled caves.  The meeting noted his
concern, and NT pointed out that Jeff had acted quickly on this and circulated
“Sister/Access Controlling Clubs” with up-to-date membership lists in
event to stem this abuse.

The meeting expressed it’s gratitude to Babs for the
delivery, P:NT, S:John Williams, {JW},and carried Nem Con. (27).

Item 11, Membership Secretary’s Report: Richard
Stephens {RS} spoke strongly on this subject, he expressed his intension not to
mollycoddle members, they must be responsible and pay up on time.  He did not intend to chase up members, if
they failed to pay, he would delete them as per the club rules.  NT interrupted and stated his view that we
did not want to lose any members, he thought every and all members were
important, and he asked the Membership Secretary to pursue a policy of
reminding them that their subs were due. John Williams echoed NT’s sentiments, and Martin Grass concurred.  Brenda Wilton raised the potential of Direct
Debits and Standing orders, NT advised that he had looked into this and though
any members could set-up a Standing order, Direct Debits were not economically
viable.  The Membership Secretary
re-stated that though members could be asked to pay, he didn’t want to go
chasing them.  Andy Sparrow commented
that since ten years ago (sic: 1986) we had lost fifty members, and warned
against complacency, most members were now over thirty years of age.  Martin Grass again echoed these sentiments,
and added that we should be actively recruiting new members as they came onto
the scene.  John Buxton then spoke on the
general state of the Belfry whenever he visited it, saying it “Always
seems a tip”.  NT quickly advised
the AGM of the strong line with regards to discipline being taken by the out-going
{And now re-appointed) Committee. Members called for membership cards, RS stated already in hand. P:JW,
S:Mike Wilson {MW}Voting: 26 For, 1 Abst’n .(27).

Item 12, Hut Wardens Report: Published in the
B.B.  Andy Sparrow asked Ivan to comment
on Hut usage, Ivan agreed that it was in decline, Martin Grass noted that as
many members now lived locally, they were unlikely to use the Belfry overnight,
however it was probably these same persons who mess it up on their post-pub
visits.  He added that things might
improve if members were to stay again. Robin Grey voiced his concern – which was also shared by many members
­with regard to the “Trashing reputation of the B .E. C” Most
especially known in Yorkshire.  Nigel
Taylor swiftly replied that “Trashing will not be tolerated under any
circumstances by this Committee”. Henry Bennett complained about what he saw as a regular lack of ready
cleaning materials to hand at the Belfry. NT suggested that a cleaner and tidy hut could still go in hand with the
hut being used for caving purposes and result in attracting back members.  Mike Wilson suggested that members should try
to stay at the hut, perhaps on a rota system, this met with a mixed comment
from the floor.  Andy Sparrow suggested
that we advertise in “Descent”. Chas Wethered thought that all
members could help spread the message of a new era at the Belfry by word of
mouth in order to attract back guests frightened away by the bad
reputation.  After much comment in
similar vein from the floor, P:MG, S:CW, Voting: 26 For. 1 Abst’n.(27).

Item 13, Hut Engineers Report.  “Published in the B.B.  The meeting felt that it was unfortunate that
Estelle was not present.  Comments from
the floor centred on the need for the Belfry to be habitable.  MW asked if perhaps the Hut Engineer needed
an assistant.  The report was then put to
the vote, P:MW, S:RC, Voting: 23 For, 4 Abst’n. (27).

Item 14, Tackle Masters Report:  Published in the B.B. Chris Smart asked about
SRT Rope, Mike Wilson {Tacklemaster) advised that it was now five years old and
would soon need replacing, albeit it had only limited use.  AS suggested that we needed a thorough
testing regime.  MW advised that
restricted tackle introduced at last years AGM has not worked, and he wondered
if we should revert to our open access arrangements of former years.  This was roundly supported by NT, who spoke
fervently for the right of open access to tackle by each and every member as
their entitlement, although the AGM did not in turn support his views, as then
voted upon, P:NT, S:MW Voting: 4 For, 18 Against and either 2 or 3 Abst’n.  Mikes report was then voted upon, P:Ron
Wyncoll {RW}, S:AS, Voting: 26 For, 1 Abst’n. (27).

Item 15, B.B Editors Report:  Published in the B.B. The Chairman stressed
that the late publication! non-publication of the BB and Ballot forms had caused a major
problem.  RC queried that perhaps this
should be the Membership Secretaries job, NT stated that it was the job of the
Hon. Secretary, and reiterated that he had called for nominations on time,
produced the ballot forms on time, and passed these on for distribution to the
B.B team, and he accepted their explanation that it could be the Royal Mail’s
industrial action that was to blame. In any event, the floor concurred that
this should be the Secretaries job, and MG suggested that in future perhaps the
Secretary himself would post out all ballot forms directly and separately from
the B.B to paid–up members John Williams made clear his interest to continue
the editorship if none else was willing, but was at pains to state that his
personal circumstances might be liable to change at short notice and the
meeting must make its choice later with this fact in mind.  The report was then taken: P:BABS, S:NT,
Voting: Nem.Con. (27).

Item 16, Librarians Report: Presented by Ivan
Sandford on behalf of Adrian Hole in absentia. The Chairman reminded the meeting that despite comments in the report
about changing the structure in the Library, that it was in fact now a “Memorial
Library,” and this was supported by many members from the floor.  The meeting also reiterated that Guide books
are NOT to be loaned out, (Sic – Members are expected to provide their own for
field use.)  The report was then put to
the vote, P:Robin Grey {RG}, S: AG, Voting: Nem.Con. (27).

Item 17, Ian Deer Memorial Fund:  Already presented to the Meeting with Caving
Secretary’s report.  The Treasurer
suggested no transfer of funds into the Fund this year to top up.  This proposal was voted on: P:CS, S:JW,
Voting: Nem.Con. (28). Peter Franklyn was asked by NT to inform the meeting on
some history regarding Ian Deer, and Peter kindly gave a humorous and well
informed account of his personal knowledge relating to Ian prior to his
untimely death.  Ron Wyncoll also added
to this from his experiences.  The Report
was then taken, P:Peter Franklyn {PF}, S:RW, For 27, 1 Abst’n. (28)

Item 18, Result of Ballot: (Ballot decreed by meeting
as invalid.  No further discussion).

Item 19, Election of the 1996/7 Committee:  As is customary, this was done from the floor
of the meeting, and was as follows:-

Hon. Secretary: Nigel Taylor. Hon. Treasurer: Chris Smart.
Tacklemaster: Mike Wilson.  Hut Warden:
Rebecca Campbell.  Hut Engineer: Ivan
Sandford.  Membership Secretary: Richard
Stephens.  Caving Secretary: Jeff
Price.   B.B Editor: John Williams.  Librarian (Purists will comment not normally
a Committee Post, but filled by one of the new 11 strong committee) Alex Gee.
Hon. Auditor: Barrie Wilton.  Non-Post
Holden: Hilary Wilson, Estelle Sandford. The position of the post of Club Archivist was then raised, and a vote
between Alan Thomas and Peter Franklyn was made, Peter being appointed.  Nigel Taylor then proposed that the club gave
Alan a sincere vote of thanks for his past work, this was seconded by the whole
meeting, and obviously carried nem.con. (28).

Item 20, Destruction of Ballot Forms: (Those returned
forms to be held by Hon. Secretary in case of any appeal. No further

Item 21, Members Resolutions:

The earlier proposal re St. Cuthbert’s had been dealt with
prior to this time, during the Hon. Secretary’s report discussion.

A further proposal by NT and seconded by CS as follows:

“That prospective members joining at any time in the
year, pay on a quarter basis of the full subscription, and not as present on
the monthly basis”.

Nigel explained the need for his proposal as the problem
currently that we have had some new members join in the last month or so of the
club year, these persons have paid approximately only £2 or so, paid for a key,
and then had full and uncontrolled possible access to the Hut, and never
continued to remain members in the following year.  He was worried about this, also that a
quarter rate proposal was a probably a constitutional change, but was none the
less an important point needing airing. The Treasurer fully supported the need for this proposal.  The Chairman ruled that it was in fact a
Constitutional change, and therefore could not be enacted this year if the
meeting approved the proposal.  Dany
Bradshaw, Steve Ostler, Ron Wyncoll amongst others contributed to much
discussion upon this, but the Chairman correctly halted further discussion upon
it, however the prevailing guidance from the floor was that the Committee had
the discretion to charge a “Joining Fee” if necessary.

The AGM was asked by NT to give him an indication of its
view on the proposal purely for guidance, which is not binding, but was as
follows: 21 For, 2 Against 3, Abst’n. (26).

Nigel then stated that he was formally submitting it for
airing at the 1997 AGM as a Constitutional Change, at this time.

Andy Sparrow then made the following proposals from the

I].The Club publishes a Mendip
Meets List. (p:AS,S:RG, 30 For, 3 Abst’n [33?]).

2]. The Club address a policy to
encourage new members.

3].The Club appoints a Training

Andy spoke eloquently on these three proposals, and much
discussion was then entered into.  DB
spoke strongly against having a “Training Officer”, he felt
that” we should keep the Club as it is. The BEC has a lot to offer through its’ individual members.  BABS questioned the need to formalise such a
role, suggesting that such formalisation was alien to the club.  This met with much support from the
floor.  AG stated that he was “Very against
this, idea stinks!  Current system
works”.  Colin Dooley spoke firmly
upon the subject and the need to be progressive, and cautioned the club against
not moving with the times and harbouring too blinkered a viewpoint,  Andy interjected his agreement in this.  Colin then spoke passionately on the need to
go out and find new members.  Colin
proposed the amendment that the title “Training Officer” be dropped
from Andy’s proposal, seconded by unknown, voting: 22 For, 5 Against. 1 Abst’n.
(28)  A further comment by NT was then
changed into an amendment that “The Committee nominate a novice contact
officer” This was seconded by Richard Blake, and put to the Vote 22 For, 5
Against (27)

Andy Sparrow then proposed” The BEC advertise itself
for prospective members in Descent, etc”

No seconder recorded, however voting: 14 For, 11 Against

Peter Franklyn commented that if the club’s reputation is
bad, we will not get new members, Colin Dooley, Alex Gee, Dany Bradshaw, and NT
all expressed their views on this subject, Richard Blake commented that he had
been chosen to join the BEC as a mark of his esteem and caving prowess, this
caused some confusion amongst certain members and the Chairman had to restore
order.  John Williams put forward the
amendment that the “BEC advertise its’ accommodation only” This was
seconded by The Treasurer (CS) 18 For, 4 Against. (22).

Item 23, Any Other Business: Chris Smart as Treasurer, formally proposed “No change in current
subscriptions.”  This was heartily
seconded by the Meeting and carried without objection.  Nigel Taylor as Hon. Secretary, announced the
details and date of the 1997 AGM, as 10.30 am, Saturday 3rd.October 1997 at the
Belfry.  Bob Cork as Chairman then
declared the AGM closed at 4.13 pm. (Less than 17 members left in room).

Minutes recorded by, and later typed: Nigel Taylor Hon.
Secretary, Saturday 6th. October 1996.



With regard to articles for this ‘ere rag… quite apart from
the fact that they are always needed not to mention welcomed …. some of you
seem in doubt as to how to present them. I don’t mind at all and am happy to accept anything in any form.  For the record the easiest from my point of
view is to receive them on 3.5 inch floppy discs in either Word/WordPerfect or
ASCII text formats, although. it is always wise to provide a hard copy along
with this.  “Camera Ready” i.e. pre
printed sheets are next best as this obviously saves me time.  However those without the necessary
technology but blessed with the ability to write are welcome to simply scribble
on a bit of toilet paper (or copies of the Sun …same thing really) and
forward them to me and I will retype them, or in some cases translate them back
into English.  So there you have it.  Knowing the BEC, not the blindest bit of
attention will be paid to this … but never mind.  Articles for the next ish would be much
appreciated cos a cover and a contents page maketh not the Xmas BB.

Hut Renovations.

Becca Campbell informs me that in the New Year plans are
afoot to re-floor the Belfry completely. This will involve the temporary closure of said premises for
approximately one week.  If anyone has
any particularly strong feelings about this Perhaps you would inform the
committee of it.  The idea is to use some
sort of hard wearing epoxy resin, as purchased from pig farm suppliers ….
Highly appropriate some would say …. hopefully this would last a not
inconsiderable length of time. Personally I think this is a good idea and long overdue …. any

Saturday 23.11.96 saw a day of activity at Priddy Village
Hall organised by the MRO.  This
consisted of demonstrations and instruction in the use of various equipment
items, including the new ‘Little Dragon’ hot air machine.  Some 30 people attended, a reasonable turnout
and considerably better than the previous event.  It is suggested that newer members or others
not having attended MRO lectures before may like to do so in the future as
there is no substitute for practical demonstration of rescue equipment and in
the long run is in every caver’s interest.

The evening saw ‘The Stomp’ which started in a restrained
manner and as usual livened up considerably after the ‘Broomstick Game’
accompanied by skiing practice and flying beer!!  Just for a change it ended in mayhem as
opposed to tears.

If any of you are planning on heading North in the near
future and need accommodation at reasonable rates …. give me a ring as I have
made various contacts and can arrange fairly good deals.  Also anyone at a loose end at New Year might
like to come up to the Hill Inn Bash which I am helping to organise.  A liking for loud rock music is a definite
advantage in this case …. Jed Thomas Band plus Surprised Guests will be
performing and a great night is guaranteed.

Guess that’s all for now … see you all soon.



Bristol Exploration Club

Annual Subscriptions are now due for the year 1996/97

The current subscription rates set at the 1996 Annual
General Meeting are …..

£24 for Single Membership

£36 for Joint Membership

A discount of £4 for Single Membership and £6 for Joint
Membership is available for those memberships if renewed BEFORE December 31st

If you have not already been given an envelope to return
your subs in or you are a Life Member, there should be one included with this
copy of the Belfry Bulletin.

Please put your cheque, made payable to the Bristol
Exploration Club, inside, put a stamp on it and send it back to me. I will not
accept envelopes that have no stamp on the outside as it costs 40p to get them
from the Post Office, and I’m not a millionaire.  Please do not give your cheques/cash to other
Committee Members, leave them at the Hunters Lodge or Bat Products.

A receipt will then be sent out with your next copy of the
Belfry Bulletin.

© 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.