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Nominations for the 1964 Committee.

With the August B.B., requests for nomination for the next year's committee are made.  The club constitution states that a request for such nominations shall be made at least six weeks before the A.G.M. (which is on the first Saturday in October) and that all such nominations must be received by the Hon. Sec. at least four weeks before the meeting.

Since, in an average year, not more that half a dozen of the two hundred forms normally printed are used,  There will be no form this year, and members wishing to nominate a fellow member for the next year's committee should, after they have ascertained that their nominee or nominees are willing to stand if elected:-

1.                  Write, "I wish to nominate for election to the 1964 committee" on a suitable piece of paper.

2.                  Sign it and include their membership number.

3.                  Post or give it to Bob Bagshaw.  His address is: - 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.

Bob must have your nomination at least four weeks before the A.G.M.

Members are reminded that, according to the constitution, all members of the present committee are automatically nominated unless they express a wish not to stand next year. John Cornwell has decided that, owing to pressure of Cave Diving and other work, he will not be able to stand next year.  The rest of the present committee are, as far as is known, agreeable to stand for next year's committee.


To the Editor, Belfry Bulletin.

Dear Sir,

I was sorry to see that your contributor 'Stalagmite' has been misinformed.  In the June B.B. he wrote that the note circulated by the East Devon Caving Croup about its members disapproval of the locking of caves was left by the U.B.S.S. "laying" (eggs?) on top of a glass cabinet, implying that it was never exhibited on the U.B.S.S. notice board.  I can assure 'Stalagmite' that in fact it was on the notice board for a while.

Although I have become convinced that caves containing formations should be locked, I certainly approve of the U.B.S.S.'s action in exhibiting the circular.  Surely one should welcome the free expression of opinions even if differing from ones own?

Yours Sincerely,
P.P. Bird.

Agreed Pete, and sorry about the Laying - that was my bad grammar, not 'Stalagmite'.  The only point here is that our contributor feels that people tend to be a bit apathetic about things, and hence tries to take a deliberately extreme viewpoint, with the object of stirring people up a bit and provoking letters such as yours, whereby the opposite point of view can thus be brought to the notice of more club members than would otherwise be the case. (Editor)

To the Editor, Belfry Bulletin.

Dear Sir,

Further to the article "On the Naming of Caves" and bearing in mind the Editor’s request for material, I would like to add the following observations.  (I am, as you will gather, writing of and from the ‘Heathen North’.)

Three other types of name exist in addition to those listed by the author.  Firstly, there is the numerical method, applied by the Yorkshire Geological and Polytechnic Society in 1900.  These solemn gentlemen walked found Ingleborough naming all sinks from P.1 to P.104 and all springs from S.1 to S.124.  Thus Gaping Ghyll became P.3 and Alum Pot P.33.  Oddly enough, two of these names have survived - P.5, near G.G. and P.101 in Chaple-le-Dale.

Secondly, there are pure descriptive names e.g. Shatter Pot (Fountains Pell, not Swildons) Quaking Pot, Rat Hole, Rift Pot,  Sludge Hole and Hell Hole, all of which live up to their names.

Thirdly, there is a class of unpronounceable names found bestowed on caves in heathen parts such as Wales or Scotland e.g. Uamh an Poll Boghainn in Sutherland and Twll-y-Llwynog or even Agen Allwedd in S. Wales.

The following examples of types listed by the author are found in Yorkshire.  Holiday caves are represented by Whit Pot, Christmas Pot, Coronation Pot and V.J. Hole.  Pots named for their contents include Spider Cave, Spectacle Pot and Macabre Body Pot. Local geography goes to town with names like Yockenthwaite Pot and Twinbottom Scar Cave and initials are represented by A.G. (Arthur Gemmel) and one pot possibly named after a spy - Z pot.

Perhaps the best example of an underground sequence is to be found in Ireby Fell Cavern where the pitches are named Ding; Dong; Bell; Pussy; Bell and Rope.  I wonder if anyone will ever start with Stuffed; Long; Strong; Black; Sausage etc when naming parts of a cave.  One thing would result from this - no true caver would ever get lost!

Yours etc.
D.A.  "Grassy" Greenwood.

Nice to have a letter from our tame geologist.  Perhaps Upper Long Chamber in Cuthbert’s should have been named Strong Chamber and we could have gone on to Black Chamber etc.  Recent devotees of the Hunters would no doubt appreciate a cave series starting Swing; Low; Sweet; Chariot etc. (Ed.)


Congratulations to Jill Rollason and Norman Tuck on their recent engagement.  Also to John Ransome and Val Jones.  Who's going to be next????


Don’t forget the A.G.M. and Dinner is on the first Saturday of October.

Try your hand at Opencast Caving! The latest sport!  Get with it!

This fascinating pastime as now available close to the Belfry, where the first man to reach bedrock will be given the chance to throw the first bucketful of muck into the new pit! Seriously, help is needed for a new waste pit which Garth and his Merry men have begun recently.

Change of .address.

Grassy Greenwood's address is now:- 19 Greencroft Avenue, Northowram, HALIFAX, YORKS.

On the Hill

(or T.W.T.M.T.W.)

'On the Hill' for august makes quite an interesting change of policy, mainly due to the fact that, being actually written in august, the news for the beginning of the month is at least up to date.

The Shepton Mallet Caving Club have again distinguished themselves and happily I hear of the new depth record incorporating Steve Wynn-Roberts and Mike Boon, who gave everyone a rather worrying time until their safety was announced.  Of course, strictly speaking, they’re only friends of the Family.  In the Family proper, congratulations to Fred Davies who, with Johnny Attwood, was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s testimonial for their resuscitation attempts.  Fred Davies was of course present at the M.R.O.  turnout at Wookey Hole cave for the abortive rescue search (reported in the daily press).  It might be noted that, whilst Fred was caving in Wookey, his wife was producing a baby girl for him.  The Family increases!

It has been reported through some members (and no doubt the tale has worsened through telling) that  some M.N.R.C. members went caving in Balch's.  Apparently they were not a very well mannered bunch and had no thought for safety.  I'm told it would not penetrate that, if they insisted on standing under the ladder whilst someone was climbing something/one could fall on them.  Shades of Cheramodytes - a new Death Cult!

From Wessex comes very little news excepting rumour that Luke is giving up committee work in favour of watery pastimes.  Incidentally the report I've heard of the Wookey Hole rescue stated that Luke took to paddling in Wookey!

Axbridge C.C. have not risen to any of the baits I've thrown out and to me this indicates that either they've 'folded' of that they just don't consider the effort worth while. My attitude is that it's all "copy".

Cerberus have still not held a committee meeting for the months of May, June and July but there may be hope for August!

Charterhouse C.C. still have not sorted out the legal side of blood chitting yet and I cannot really see anything satisfactory in the near future, but who knows?

There are a few snippets that may interest before the actual club news.  Geoff Workman, you may remember him, is at present doing a very mild form of K. Jiffre i.e. 100 days underground.  There is, however, a fair difference.  He will, if he succeeds in staying down for over 62 days, receive £400 for his efforts which are taking place in the further regions of Stump Cross Caverns – a show cave of some repute.  In fact, everything M. Jiffre did the hard way; Mr. Workman is doing the easy way.  No doubt the Greeks had a word for it (Pushti).

Quote from a local paper. 'A potholer walked into Axbridge Police Station at the weekend and handed in to the sergeant on duty two pound notes.  He had found them down in Goatchurch Cavern.'  I reckon one must be fat to have to undress that much!

In another local paper, a fine letter headed 'The Cavers' by one J.R. Johnson begins ‘Caving is a hazardous and unseemly sport’.  Everyone says so. I certainly do, and goes on to extract the Michael very subtly and well. Such phrases as ' who worships what in the Temple of Tratman?' abound and the letter (Wells Journal, 9.8.63) is, well worth a read.

News from the club is getting better, though I must admit that I consider this only insomuch as upholding the reputation of the club.  Hunters Nights are on the up again.  How much of this is due to the advent of action singing and Mr. P. (Foulmouth) Miller I really can't say, but, even with this activity, a Family member was seen to be soliciting there recently.

I gather the B.B. situation is still almost a case of ‘drop me a line and anything you say will go down in print.’  There is also some binding about suggestions for the dinner this year.  It seems that we can hardly play Cardinal Puff, but photo and song competitions have been done before.  There is also in the offing a Grand Shovvers (Shove Ha'penny to the uninitiated) which looks as if it might add up to a grand and final presentation night for the winner (costly too, a barrel at least!)

That seems to be about the lot for this month but still it is holiday times, so I must dash away for a paddle and leave you with the thought for the month.

If you could spell Llanfairpwllgwyngwllgogerychryndrobwillantysilliogogogoch could you say it?


Cave Diving

To non-initiates of Cave Diving, the whole thing is still possibly something of a mystery.  We thus make no apology for this introductory article which, it is hoped, may at least acquaint some of our newer members with the basic history and techniques of this branch of caving...

by Kevin Abbey.

Cave diving is certainly the most skilled form of caving or of ordinary diving.  It has quite a long history.  Indeed, probably the first cave dive was in Derbyshire in the Buxton water rising at Peak Cavern while Martel, the celebrated French caver, records a dive into the Tauxline Spring in the 1870's.

The first organized cave diving in this country was in 1934 in Swildons by Sheppard and Balcombe and this led eventually to the formation of the Cave Diving Group at a meet in O.F.D. in 1946.  In the early days of the group, its H.Q. was at Wookey Hole and this provided an initial training ground for divers.  Another cave where much diving has been carried out is Peak Cavern in Derbyshire. In recent years, Swildons Hole has been the centre of activity.  The many dives and the problems met with in this cave have brought about major changes in the practice and techniques of cave diving.  This may be seen by the simplification of equipment, absence of large sherpa parties, and above all the practice of 'going caving' when once past the sump which required the dive.

Care of equipment matters more in cave diving than in any other sport.  Your life depends on one thing - the breathing apparatus.  The two main types of breathing methods are the compressed air and the oxygen re-breathing systems.  In the compressed air method you inhale the air from a high pressure cylinder via a demand valve and exhaust to waste.  With the re-breathing method, you breathe into a breathing bag which is kept filled with a constant flow of oxygen from a high pressure cylinder via a reducing valve.  To remove the carbon dioxide from the air, the gas is passed through a canister containing soda lime; a constant supply of gas is obtained by using a regulator which is usually injected into the breathing tube at its junction with the soda lime canister.  Thus, in an emergency if the breathing bag became damaged, gas can be obtained directly from the cylinder.  Since safety dictates that a far greater supply of gas in excess of known requirements should be carried under the conditions of cave diving, the usual practice is to carry two high pressure cylinders each of roughly one hour's duration.

Besides the breathing apparatus, the next most important item is the diving suit.  There are two main types used at present.  The services Inflatable Submarine Escape Immersion (or 'goon') suit or the expanded neoprene skin tight suit (or wet suit).  The former is useful if there as much stationary work to be done because spare clothes may be worn underneath, in other cases; the wet suit is much less bulky and permits greater freedom of movement.


Please note: Once again, the Belfry has been redecorated.  We now have a hut which is capable of looking very smart and comfortable providing everyone makes an effort to keep it so.  Why not show YOUR appreciation to those who have done this work by doing YOUR best to keep the place tidy?

Trips from the Caving Log

by John Ransome.

People are still caving, although we are rather behind in putting it in the B.B.

On March 20th, a G.B. meet was well attended by some 20 members who spent a good afternoon avoiding each other.

Several trips on the 7th, 18th and 20th took place in Cuthbert’s, Rod's Pot and Porth-yr-Ogof by Roger Stenner.  He reports that the latter trip was very good.  He took a party of Lockleaze people down and they spent a lot of time in the cave.  The worst part of the trip, says Roger, was having to avoid the odiferous sheep corpses which were a grim reminder of the hard winter.  In April, Alfie's Hole was reopened and a respectable pile of boulders removed.

Keith Franklyn, taking a party down Cuthbert’s on the 19th May, looked at the two passages in the back   of the Dining Room and says that the top passage looks as if it might go somewhere.

Garth arrived with a party from the army who were on an adventure training course and did Goatchurch and Sidcot.  They all said they would like to come down again.

Swildons on May 26th was reported by Kevin Abbey to be worse than the underground in the rush hour. There were waits of one to two hours at the Forty.  Kevin's party, having got down, helped another party who were lost.

Surprise, surprise! NIGEL has actually been caving! He took Kevin, a smallie boy and two members of the Bristol Evening Gatsache Caving Club down.  Norman Petty had a shock on seeing Nigel in caving gear.

Swildons Four and Sump I were visited by R.A. MacGregor using a thirty foot ladder on the Forty. In Cuthbert’s over Whitsun, Keith Franklyn reports that whilst on a photographic trip, he climbed the rift at the back of the Dining Room but found that it didn't go as far as he thought. August and Longwood were found to be drier than usual by Roger Stenner.

On June 9th, a practice rescue was held in Cuthbert’s entrance Rift.  This has already been reported in the B.B.  The same afternoon Roger Stenner carried out a survey of the Wire Rift.

Kevin Abbey, going down G.B. on the I4th June, gives a warning that a bull 'with a herd of cows is inclined to resent cavers in the same field as caves.

Mike Baker went down Cuthbert’s with a party of M.N.R.C. on the 16th June and reports that it was very nice to see another club tidying up a cave without being asked.  He reports that there was quite a lot of rubbish in September Chamber.

Trip to Bath Stone Workings

by Phil Townsend and Flicka.

On Friday 11th, after arriving 35 minutes late for the rendezvous, we made all haste to the Stone Works.  Through the recent heavy rain, the mud track made by the tipping lorries was very slippery. There was a treacherously muddy descent to the entrance among the trees.  This safely overcome by the party, some of whom were in ordinary clothes and footwear, the next obstacle was a four foot high barbed wire entanglement which presented no great difficulty.

The party, it seemed, consisted predominantly of committee members there being Bob Bagshaw, 'Mo' Marriott, Norman Petty (with an inexhaustible supply of spare clothing) Alan and Carol Sandall, Ron Bater and of course us two.

The stones at the immediate entrance were loose but once inside, surroundings were firmer but, should anything have slipped, the wooden supports, presumably erected for conscience's sake, would have found some difficulty in supporting the weight.  The floor was dry except for the occasional muddy patches.  An interesting item 'en route' was a deep well set into the floor by a wall.

The tracks for railway wagons had left their mark, and apart from the impressions in the hard floor, there were the occasional sleepers and pieces of line.  After some time spent in wandering through these passages, we came to a passage with pipes and cables stretching along it.  The passage was windy and very muddy and was, for about twenty feet, flooded to a depth of four to five inches.  Being the only members with no boots, we could proceed no further. We waited in a higher part of the passage, where there was no draught, for the rest of the party.

When they returned, we left the draughty passage, and proceeded along another route towards the entrance.  Soon we came to a chimney which was open to the night sky.  Before entering the chamber known as the Cathedral, we had to climb a mound of loose rubbish, which had been tipped in through another hole in the roof.  It was easy to see why this chamber was called the Cathedral.  Directly under yet another hole in the roof was another well. This one was unfenced, and the blue-green water could be easily seen.

It was soon noticed that it was fifty minutes to closing time and so an all out effort was made to get out quickly which involved a crawl over loose stones and rubble. After changing, when Mo's tie met an unfortunate end, it was about ten thirty.  So, with the usual enthusiasm, and the hope that we were in Somerset, we made our way to the local and thence homewards.  Thanks to Mo for an enjoyable trip.

Phil & Thil.

Rescue At Wookey

by Mike Wheadon.

It was reported to the police that a deaf mute, who had been staying at Cheddar Y.H.A. was missing. He had apparently cycled to Easton, where he had left his cycle at a farm and instructed the farmer that he would collect it later, then he walked via Wookey Hole to the caves where his entrance was noticed but, when his bicycle was not claimed, nobody remembered him leaving the caves.

The M.R.O. were alerted at 12.15 pm via Howard Kenney.  He did a search during the lunch hour and located Jack Johnson, Fred Davies and Herby Davies.  Later E.M.I, of Wells were called at approx 1.30 and released L.S trong, Bob Frost and myself to assist if possible.  Gordon Selby and Prew were informed, but were on Mendip at Westbury.

When I arrived at the cave, searching was already in progress.  Fred, Herby and Bob were sent by Howard to the Western Grottos while Howard, Eric and myself did as intensive a search of the Upper Series maze as possible. At 3.30, Luke appeared and Eric Strong went off to view Badger Hole, Hyena Den and the small rifts whilst Howard and Fred checked again the tourist route from the entrance.  All results were negative.

After a while, the remainder of us tried free diving to 4 and Luke entered the water to snorkel around. At 4.30, the police arrived and told us that he had been traced to Birmingham, the bicycle apparently stolen or borrowed.

Mrs Wingoo arranged sandwiches and cups of tea for us and disappointed reporters drifted off after the inevitable photographs.  The cave was cleared of genuine cavers by 4.45.  It may be noted that business was as usual during the rescue at 2/6 per head.

The Annual General Meeting.

Once again, the voting forms go out with this month's B.B. and the A.G.M. will soon be upon us. These are the two methods whereby the average member gets his (or her) say in. the way in which the club is run - so do turn up at the A.G.M. and don't forget to vote for the next year's committee.

A number of members have suggested in past years that we should give a resume of the past activities of various committee members to acquaint those who do not know them personally. This, we have always skated out of, since completely factual accounts are very difficult to present.  This year, however, our anonymous correspondent ‘Stalagmite’ has come forward with his own list and, on the principle of giving him his head, and with the usual proviso that his opinions are not necessarily those of the Editor or the Committee, we are  letting his article  stand exactly as he wrote it.


Owing to delays in the printing, a few of you will be getting this B.B. with a temporary cover. Next month, it is possible that we may have to send out a B.B. without a printed cover.  This is a strictly temporary measure.

A big 'thank you' to all those who have sent in articles of late.  With the promise of more to come, it looks as if we shall be all right for a while, but don't stop writing!  It's surprising how quickly they get used up!


A.G.M. & Dinner

A.G.M.  The following resolution has already been received for discussion at the A.G.M.  It; is proposed by I. Dear and seconded by A. Sandall that ‘A sum of Fifty Pounds be put aside to purchase an efficient hot water system - either solid fuel or perhaps oil - in the Belfry as a positive move towards a cleaner ‘Belfry.’

Dinner.  Ian Dear has suggested a competition for the dinner and is prepared to give a copy of one of Balch' s books as a prize for the winner of a competition to  'Write a caving story (fact or fiction) in not more  than 250 words suitable for an after dinner speech.  The three best (or only) entries to be read by the authors at the Dinner.'

A.G.M.  We have been criticised in past years for not telling members where and when the A.G.M. is.  Here goes then.  The Annual General Meeting of the Bristol Exploration Club will be held on the first Saturday of' October 1963 at Redcliffe Hall, Guinea Street, Bristol at 2.30 p.  Please be punctual.

Dinner.  Dinner bookings should be made by application to the Hon. Sec. R.J. Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4 and should reach him at least ten days before the dinner.  Applications received after this date cannot be guaranteed places.  The price is 12/6 per head.

Fairy Cave Quarry

Recently, it was decided by the Cerberus Committee and the quarry management that some form of government was required for cavers in the Fairy Cave Quarry group of caves and so, in addition to Cerberus leaders, members of other clubs were appointed leaders in order that they need not apply to Cerberus each time that they require trips. Leaders are:-

Wessex                     B.E.C.                            S.M.C.C.

M. Thompson.            M. Thompson.                 M. Thompson.
M. Baker.                   M. Baker.                        F. Davies.
J. Hanwell.                 B. Ellis.                           B. Ellis.
I. Davies.                    S. Collins.
D. Warburton.             J. Rollason.
B. Prewer.                  B. Prewer.
D. Berry.                    D. Berry
G. Pointing.                G. Pointing.
A. Surrel.                   M. Wheadon
D. Ford.                     M. Palmer.
                                 G. Selby.

The Committee appreciates that duplication has occurred.  The committee would also like to ensure that the number of persons per leader be limited to a reasonable number.  Six has been suggested, and that the leader ensures that the cottage and surroundings are left in a reasonable state.

Mr. Garlick, the quarry Manager, requires at least 48 hours notice of pending trips and his decision regarding access is final.  Mr. Thompson has received permission to organise any diving which might be carried out.

To obtain entry, leader to apply to Mr. Garlick, Manager, Fairy Cave Quarry, Oakhill (Oakhill 267) stating name and name of club.  Cerberus Cottage is locked and the key is obtainable from Mr. Garlick or R. Frost, 1 Creighton Close, Wells.  Trip fees are 1/- per person.  Cerberus Trip Sec. is. D. Percival, 27 Maple Gardens, Bath.

Trips from the Caving Log

by John Ransom.

On the 6th, a Hydrodynamic Engineering Trip in St. Cuthbert’s by Messrs Bennett, Miller and King. Down to sump via September, they found the water overpowering.  Final remarks at sump. 'Disgusting Dig!”  Mike Calvert and party followed at sump digging on the 9th.  Left spade there.       .

The 13th saw R. Roberts, A. MacGregor, D. Smith and A.T. Williams in St. Cuthbert’s.  While exploring Upper Long Chamber they found a tight squeeze under a slab which leads to a small chamber.  A squeeze in the lower part of this chamber leads to a small 'v' shaped pitch which in turn leads to the upper reaches of Coral Chamber. The initial chamber is located near an incessant drip.

More discoveries by Richard Roberts and party on the 14th again in St. Cuthbert’s.  In climbing to the highest part of Long Chamber, they found a large chamber with no previous boot marks with the floor covered in white flowstone and containing some very fine erratics.  The way in is very unstable.  This party also found a new way from Long Chamber to the Central rift leading down to Coral Chamber.  They propose to call the new chamber Straw Chamber unless there are any objections.

On the 30th, Mike Thompson, Jim Giles and Pete Miller carried out an experiment in St. Cuthbert’s Sump, using a rubber ball on a string.  They lost the ball, but are confident of going through to Wookey and asking for their ball back!  A polythene bag was found on the way out.  Mr. Miller investigated the contents and will give you his opinion if asked.  Spade brought out.

Forest of Dean

(13th and 14th July, 1963.)

During this weekend, members of our club were guests of the Gloucester Speleological Society, and a trip was arranged for Saturday down some of the local Iron Ore mines, to be followed in the evening by beer and skittles at one of the local hostelries (of which there are a large number).

The first party was led by Dave Parker and consisted of 'Mo' Marriott, the Franklyns and Joan Bennett. The second party was made up of Alan and Carol Sandall, Norman Petty and our beloved Hon. Treas/Sec.  This party was led by Tony Iles and they were joined by three other members of the G.S.S.

The mines visited were old iron ore workings which are situated in the Carboniferous Limestone which outcrops around the Forest of Dean coalfield.  The impression which one gets after visiting these particular mines is a confused picture of a series of quite large natural chambers interconnected by mine galleries.  There are a large number of mines in the area which interconnect underground.  We in fact, from one entrance, visited four mines - Old Ham, New Ham, Swing Pit and Easter Pit.  The entrance is approximately 600' above sea level and the water table is at about 300.  During mining operations there was continued pumping but now that activity has ceased, the water table has risen to its natural level and many of the lower stretches are not now able to be explored.  To Mendip cavers it seemed most odd to go through long, dry, dusty passages and suddenly to come upon static bluish (or was it greenish?) water stretching quietly away into the darkness.

According to our guide, and also gathered from a little homework, the metallic ores were found in irregular pockets in the Carboniferous Limestone.  Iron bearing solutions from the Coal Measure Shales, which overlay the limestone, permeated the open jointed rock and deposited the ore. Removal of the ore gave rise to the large ‘natural’ chambers which are the major feature of the mines.  Iron Ore has been worked in the area since Roman times but most of the mines closed at the beginning of the century as the ore field became exhausted.  Several of the mines, including the mine we visited, were opened during the war, but were finally closed in 1945.

Saturday evening was devoted to beer and skittles at the New Inn near Five Acres.  The G.S.S. arranged an alley for our use and also provided us with two players to make up numbers.  The B.E.C. team lost the match despite the efforts of Keith as Sticker Up (or Snooker Down?) and Bobby as keeper of the score.  The game was nevertheless most enjoyable and much beer was consumed.  When the game finished a section of the party adjourned to an upper room from which the sounds of music had come during the evening, the undoubted highlight of the weekend was when Keith jived with the local oldest inhabitant, and only stopped because he thought she might have heart failure.  However, the sight of the Franklyns Mo and Kangy twisting in climbing boots ran it a close second.

The party then returned to the camp site and Mo demonstrated that he climbs as well, if not better, under the influence than when sober.  He completed a very fine traverse round the barn which the G.S.S. use, going daintily from ledge to ledge and over rafters, demonstrating his 'clutterbucks' to perfection.

Sunday morning found several members of the party in a very delicate state of health, and so we will pass on to some of the events of the afternoon.  At this time, some of the party went to Wintour's Leap and a little climbing was done.  The weather was not good and Roy Bennett and Dave Quicke went up Corner Buttress (Diff) while tigers Marriott and King went up Beginners Route.

There are 13 climbs listed in the guide, and we understand that a new one is being produced.  This cliff should provide quite a good practice area for climbers from Bristol when the Severn Bridge has been completed, as it should be within easy reach for climbing on summer evenings.

The name of the cliff derives from Sir John Wintour who, being closely pursued by the parliamentarians in 1642 ‘galloped’ in desperation over the shelving precipice, escaped unhurt on the ground below, and got away by swimming the river.  This explanation was viewed rather sceptically, and we wondered if the cliff had become rather more precipitous due to subsequent quarrying. A very fine weekend, and our grateful thanks to the G.S.S.

Joan Bennett.

On The Hill

(or T.W.T.M.T.W.)

I propose to vary the article slightly for this month and deal firstly with our own club.  I make no apologies for views expressed in this article and whilst accenting that, as I write them, they must reflect my own views I would add that a lot of this information is gleaned from you - the average club member.

Next month will see us again at the A.G.M. & Dinner and each year a committee is elected to carry on the club's business for the year.  This is all very democratic.  We members elect them so let us at least know who we elected last year and my (and some of your) opinions of these 'Officers'.

R.A Setterington. (Sett)

Has been with the club since the beginning and is present chairman of the committee.  Has in the past been a very good Hut Warden.  Does not nowadays take part in caving.  Goes car rallying.

R.J. Bagshaw (Bobby)

Devoted Treasurer and practically a monument.  Caves annually and collects subs at any given opportunity (N.B. makes his own opportunities!)

S.J. Collins. (Alfie)

Editor (very ably) of the B.B.  Ex Hut Warden and digger of numerous small holes scattered round Mendip. We don't agree on all things.  Belfry builder.  Too fat to cave.

Norman Petty

Tackle Officer and Belfry Carpenter.  Does both very well, but some feel that these are ex officio posts.  Is an active Cuthbert’s Leader.

Tony Dunn.

Climbing Secretary.  Do we ever do any?  If so, we never hear of it (R.S.K. excluded)

C.A. Marriott. (Mo) & Mike Palmer

Caving Sec and Assistant.  Club meets appear to be becoming, very successful and, with the C.C.C. blood chit this looks like being a very important job.  Both are Cuthbert’s Leaders and cave occasionally.

John Ransom & Gordon Tilly.

Two dedicated Belfry Builders who cave also occasionally.  I notice that the Belfry is progressing well, almost time for a write up, since more people deserve thanks than I can name.

Garth Dell

Retired to join H.M. Forces and I hear rumours of Sarawak.

John Cornwell.

Defected to the Wessex whilst on the committee.  Is this compatible?  Cuthbert’s Leader.

Alan Sandall.

Seems to be known to all and his reputation precedes him.  Used to cave actively and still does occasionally.

Talking of active caving, I hear that Mrs. C. (Spike) Rees has managed to get tubby hubby caving - to Swildons IV.  Turning now to drinking, Priddy Fair has once more come and gone and I hear that Messrs Fowler and Mills were to be seen at the New Inn as usual, but this time on the other side of the bar where they were helping to speed (pardon the pun) the service.  The other day, I wandered into one of the better class of drinking establishments in Wells to find one of the B.E.C. associates - Miss Pat Laws - serving behind the bar.  There's not much hope of free beer however.

It appears that nine acres of the mineries on the eastern side of the depression from the Shepton Hut to the pool were bought by two members of the M.C.G.  If any club is looking for a site for an H.Q. perhaps it will be possible to come to an agreement.

An interesting letter in the Wessex Journal on Swildons Hydrogeology by Derek Ford.  It seems to me that it’s a pity to confine this sort of thing to one journal.  There is one other article of note, Jim Hanwell’s ‘Growth of Wessex'.  I suppose that if we boast of bed-nights, Wessex are allowed to gloat over affiliations.  I see Wessex have acquired some exposure suits.  Has B.E.C. ever tried this, or are its members too hardy?

Mendip  surveyors have held, an important meeting recently at which agreement was reached on several points and I expect an article may well appear in a future B.B.  (Certainly - Ed).  The thought that comes to mind here is why haven’t the C.R.G. organised something like this?  It was obviously desirable.

The S.V.C.C., only recently formed, has turned out a fairly good newsletter, though naturally enough with contributions by Tony Oldham.

Thought for the month - I'll be at the A.G.M. and Dinner.



It is intended to hold a trip to the Buckfastleigh area.  Camping, Bed & Breakfast or staying in hotels can be arranged to suit taste.  Please contact Mike Palmer for details.


It is intended to hold a Treasure Hunt over about thirty miles in the area covered by the 1” O.S. map of the Weston-super-Mare district.  Will those interested, please contact Mike Baker.

November is the month when production of the B.B. is normally at its lowest ebb.  Preparations for the Christmas B.B. are usually under way and the November issue is something which gets in the way of this effort. However, this month's issue deserves a few comments as it is the first to be distributed under the latest postal system - for the benefit of those receiving it by post, it is due to be given out in Bristol on Thursday, November 7th.

We regret that there has not been time for Stalagmite's usual comments on the Mendip scene, but welcome instead a climbing article.  The new batch of covers have also arrived.  That would seem to be all until the Christmas edition next month.


Cuthbert’s Leaders' Meeting.

The Annual Cuthbert’s Leaders' Meeting will be held at the Belfry on Sunday, November 17th.  The Caving Secretary wishes to remind all members interested in Cuthbert’s that they are welcome to attend.

The Meeting is arranged to commence at 3 pm.

Grand Showers Tournament

Results of the Grand Showers Tournament were as follows:-

First....Mike Baker.   Second....Dave Smith.   Third....Alfie Collins.   Booby prize.....John Ransom. 

Prizes will be forthcoming eventually.

Future Climbing Activities

It is hoped to hold trips to North Wales and other areas at more regular intervals.  As an experiment, trips will be arranged every second weekend in the month.

Next Trip - N. Wales - 14/15th December.

Those interested should contact the Hon. Climbing Sec. R. Bennett, 3 Russetts Cottages, Backwell Common, Backwell, Somerset.

Club Officers.

A Full list of club Officers for 1963/64 will appear in next month's B.B.  The postponement of this list is due to unavoidable circumstances.

Club Dinner

Not up to standard this year?  Food bad? Not enough drinks?  SEND YOUR SUGGESTIONS including your views on prices, venues, menu, entertainments etc TO THE HON. SEC.  Well, don't just sit there!


(North Wales - 26/28th October.)

After a period of inactivity, the Climbing Section bestirred itself sufficiently to have a weekend in North Wales.  The venue was Llanberis and the accommodation was arranged by Tony Dunn, with most of the party staying at the London Mountaineering Club hut.

Saturday morning saw the main walking contingent, comprising of Alan Sandall, Norman Petty, Jim Pembury and Ron Bater pounding round the Snowdon Horseshoe.  This trip was enlivened by some original route finding by Alan.  Some of the party nearly succumbed to the much feared 'Mountaineering Lassitude' caused, it is believed, by walking uphill.  Other causes were suggested.  Meanwhile two climbing parties - Mo Marriott, Kangy King and Brian Reynolds on one rope with Tony Dunn and John Howliston on the other, ascended Avalanche on Lliwedd.  They intended to finish in the Approved Fashion by doing Red Wall, but this was seething with bods, so the second half of Great Chimney was taken instead.  This was finished off by doing the Snowdon Horseshoe in the reverse direction to the route taken by Alan Sandall et al.

The rest of the party assembled in the Ogwen Valley where Lionel Williams and Nora went round the Glyders, having failed to rendezvous with the Bennetts at the foot of some obscure cliff on Foel Goch.  Roy and Joan Bennett completed some vague climb on the aforementioned obscure cliff, and returned from the top of Foel Goch by the not to be recommended North Ridge. The Attwood family were also in the Ogwen Valley and were walking on Y Garn.

The weather on Sunday was unexpectedly good for North Wales in October, and some members even complained of the heat.  Messrs Reynolds, King, Dunn and Howliston walked over Glydr Fawr and Foel Goch from Llanberis.  Lionel and Nora walked on Snowdon while the rest of the assembled company headed for the Carnedds.  The dreaded 'Mountaineering Lassitude' struck once more, and this time several of the party succumbed and had to be abandoned.  Steve Tuck and Roy Bennett drooped off to do amphitheatre Buttress, while the rest of the party forged ahead to ascend Carnedd Llewellyn.  Some even reached Carnedd Dafyd before returning to base.   All bodies being recovered from the mountain, most members headed for home. Jim Pembury and Brian Reynolds stayed over the Sunday night, and ascended the Glyders independently on the Monday.

A most successful and enjoyable weekend.

Roy Bennett.

Social Column

We have included this article in place of 'Stalagmite' as he has hot been able to contribute.  Incidentally, there seems to be an ominous silence about the B.E.C. Dinner this year!??

by Jill Rollason.

The Dinner of that other club, followed by Hywel Murrel's party at "Calamine", went off in fine style on Saturday 19th of October and the B.E.C. was well represented.  A very enjoyable time was had by all, even those (especially those?) who turned green towards the early morning.  The guests partook of turkey and a full tray of twenty peach melbas and ice cream was dropped by a waitress in the vicinity of Mr. David Perry, whose suit suffered somewhat.

Cox's Cave was open to the guests after the dinner, and the intrepid Mr. 'Dan' Hasell upheld the caving tradition of the B.E.C. by undertaking the full trip through this perilous cavern.  The party then continued with great liveliness at Hywel's where the squeeze machine proved very popular.  The record was 6.25", though several others managed to get through 6.5.  Many of the activities took place to the accompaniment of shrieks as ice cubes were brought in and surreptitiously dropped down the back of anyone unwise enough to leave themselves unguarded.  An interesting game was seen where a couple were trapped together under a blanket and told that they had to take off an unnamed article, although unsuccessful in finding out what it was (actually the blanket!) they did their best and produced a variety of unwanted items of clothing.

The breaking up of the party at about 3.30 am found many of the participants a little uncertain of their whereabouts.  Mr. Ponynting found the ground rather unstable, lost his balance and "bottomed" the Hillgrove track at one stage when it lurched more violently than usual.  The party spirit had not disappeared next lunchtime outside the Hunters when some climbing techniques were demonstrated, altogether a very entertaining time.

Brixham Bone Cave or Cavern (S.C.)

Due to my working in this area, and to the Editor's plea for more material, I found myself with the "missus" paying one and sixpence to see the wonders of Brixham Cavern (page 233 in Britain Underground - Windmill Hill Cave.)

It was discovered in 1858 by some workmen - probably leaning on their shovels too hard - digging the foundations for houses that were to be built for a Mr. Philip.  The cavern is entered through a door beneath the house and is located where the cellar might have been.

Throughout this system there are definite signs of its having been encouraged by vast water activities at some early stage in its life.  Since its discovery, it has been exhaustively dug by the Geological Society and has provided masses of archaeological material.  Most of the discoveries are on view in the London Natural History Museum.


According to the guide pamphlet, one of the large stalagmites is estimated to be over 200,000 years old, but the most important discovery was that of the existence of man in the form of a few bones and flints etc., in the same layers as that of bones of long extinct animals, thus proving fairly conclusively that man was contemporary with the animals in question.

(There are four main sections to the cave.  In the Reindeer Gallery the remains of reindeer can be seen still embedded in the stalagmite floor, along with that of cave bear and hyena.  Off this, as an extension, runs the Crystal Gorge, where bone remains of the cave lion and mammoth were found.  The mammoth remains are considered to have been washed in by the vast amount of water which followed the glacial period.  We next come to Flint Knife Gallery where, in addition to flint knives, scrapers and more remains of cave bear, hyena and cave lion were found.

In West Chamber there are several showcases of bones and photographs, displaying the varied species of bone remains.  A notice states that the minimum age of these specimens is 20,000 years.  Finally, South Chamber contain a few formations which are small in keeping with the general size of the cave.

That, to the best of my knowledge, is it.  Not being much of a chronicler, you will have to excuse by bad style but I hope this short write up will suffice to help fill in another small gap for those who are interested in oddities of caving information.

Michael Palmer.

An Echo Sounding Bird.

In the year 1800, a German Scientist, Alexander von Humboldt, described a remarkable cave dwelling bird found in South America.  The bird is called the Guacharo (Spanish for 'one who cries and laments') and Humboldt visited the great cavern of the Guacharos near the town of Caripe in the highlands of Venezuela.

He reported the bird to be the size of a chicken with a wing span of three and a half feet, an extremely strong beak, and blue eyes dazzled by the daylight.  The bird is covered with extensive deposits of fat and is much prized for its oil - a transparent, odourless butter-like food that was said to keep for a year without becoming rancid.  Once a year, the Indians went into the cave with long poles and knocked down the nests from the high roof, killing several thousands of nestlings. Today the bird is government protected.

One of the most remarkable attributes of the Guacharo is its powerful voice.  Humboldt wrote “It is difficult to convey any idea of the frightful noise which thousands of these birds produce in the dark portions of the cave."  In 1953; an American team led by Prof. Griffin from Harvard went to the cavern to investigate the possibility that the bird used its cries in a similar manner to the bat.  Firstly it was established that the birds did, in fact, live in complete darkness during the day and fly out of the cave at night in order to feed.  The next problem was to find out whether the birds used the squawks and shrieks for orientation.  Some of the sounds uttered by the Guacheros were rather sharp, short, clicks but they only formed a small part of the total noise.  Accordingly a microphone, together with an oscillograph and suitable recording devices were set up to record the flight of the birds at twilight.  To the surprise of the party, there were no shrieks or squawks but instead a steady stream of very sharp clicks, each click had a duration of only one or two thousandths of a second - about the same length as the ultrasonic signal of bats.

By catching some birds and taking them to a dark room, it was shown that they do, in fact, use the clicks as a means of object location when flying in the dark and use ordinary vision in the light.  The birds sounds have a frequency of about 7 thousand cycles per second (7 kc/s) and their wavelength (about 5 cm) compared with that of a bat's ultrasonic sounds (about 1 cm) indicates that the bird could probably not detect objects as small as those which a bat would detect with ease.

The Guachero is another case of echo sounding in nature.  I wonder how a Mendip caver would feel if suddenly confronted by such a bird on entering a cave at twilight?


Caving Reports

Another reminder that B.E.C. CAVING REPORTS, which cover a variety of subjects of interest to gentlemen whose minds are of an enquiring nature and who are desirous of furthering their education, may be had of:-

B.M. Ellis, esq., 41 Fore Street, North Petherton, Near Bridgwater in the County of Somerset.

Mr. Ellis has also a number of Surveys of the Netherworld, compiled by ingenious gentlemen. Gentlemen may communicate with Mr. Ellis by means of the Royal Mail, whose coaches now call regularly at North Petherton, but should supply a stamped addressed envelope.  Impecunious gentlemen may discover Mr. Ellis at the Shepton Mallet Hut.



Arrangements for the, B.B. in 1963-64.

Kevin Abbey is now in charge of the Postal Department and an arrangement has been worked out whereby all the B.B.'s are addressed and wrapped before being brought round to the Wagon on a Thursday.  Members who are at the Wagon will be able to pick up their B.B. as before, and the rest will be immediately posted.  By this arrangement, those members who rely on the post should get their B.B. within two days of it being published in Bristol.

In connection with this, a few of the members who have not been receiving, the B.B. regularly by post have failed to send their change of address to Bob Bagshaw.  Members are reminded that they cannot expect to get any communication from the club unless their up to date address is in the files.

Having moaned for some months about the lack of stuff to put in the B.B., the editor now finds himself confronted with a temporary surplus.  An attempt will be made to make this B.B. and the November B.B. both of twelve pages, but the rest of the material submitted will go towards making up what we hope will be the biggest and best Christmas B.B. ever.  Authors are asked to be tolerant of this situation and are reminded that it is difficult to allocate priorities to the various articles in the stock pile.


The Annual General Meeting

The 1963 Annual General Meeting was declared open at.2.50 pm with a good attendance present.  D. Hasell was elected as chairman.  Three tellers were elected for counting the ballot papers and the Minutes of the 1962 Meeting were read and adopted.

The Hon. Sec. then gave his report.  He announced that there had been a total of 32 new members elected during the year, compared with 31 and 27 for the preceding two years.  The total paid up membership had increased by 7 to 145.  In fact, it was somewhat greater than this as several members had paid their subscriptions since he had written his report. He pointed out however that there were still a number of considerably overdue subscriptions.  The attendance at the dinner this year was likely to be 130 as distinct from 114 last year.  The Charterhouse Caving Committee was now in operation and permits were now available.

There were no questions resulting from this report and its adoption was proposed by Mike Luckwell and. seconded.

The Chairman then called on the Hon. Treasurer to give his report and after the traditional expressions of surprise at finding the same bloke get up to speak, the report was read.  In spite of the large item of expenditure on the Belfry, the club's finances were in good shape.  The usual annual plea followed for more expenditure on tackle and the Hon. Treas. suggested that if we were unable to build enough we should consider buying it. He said that he did not consider it sound policy to build up a large surplus of cash, as the club's money should be spent on furthering the club's caving and climbing activities; neither did he think it was a sound plan to show such paper assets as the value of the Belfry. He concluded with a plea for the prompt payment of dinner tickets.

In the discussion following, Sett suggested that the membership application form should include an application for club ties and car badges.  Kangy queried the sub to the Mountaineering Council.  Bob replied that it had not been requested.  Dave Smith said that if we were going to buy ladders we should test them first.  This was agreed.  Mike Luckwell proposed that the report be adopted.

The Caving Secretary then gave his report.  A very encouraging increase in the number of younger active cavers had occurred, but he hoped that they would do more in Cuthbert’s. The caving meets had been very successful and there had been another series of discoveries in Cuthbert’s since the last A..G.M.  As announced by the Hon. Sec., the C.C.C. system was now in operation, but the Caving Sec. would require at least three weeks notice, for a G.B. trip.  He pointed out that some of the tackle in Cuthbert’s now needed renewing.

Jill said that she had had no idea of when the caving meets had been held.  The Caving Secretary replied that they had all been published in the B.B. with ample warning.  Jill replied that she had not had a B.B. for some time.  Kevin suggested that there were not enough leaders for the younger members to be able to do more in Cuthbert’s as suggested.  Mo asked why didn't some of the younger members apply? A general discussion on leaders followed during the course of which Mike Palmer offered to lead whenever required within reason.  The Chairman ruled that this was more properly a subject for the forthcoming Leader's Meeting, but suggested that the meeting be thrown open to any other interested parties.  With masterly timing, Make Luckwell then proposed that the report be adopted.

The Climbing report followed, and the Climbing Secretary said that there had been two trips to N. Wales. The trend is now for more people to take part, but for less good climbing to be done.  An Easter party camped near Land's End and at Whitsun a party visited the Dewar Stone.  Parties on the Avon Gorge on Thursdays have been a regular feature of the season. There were no questions and Mike Luckwell therefore proposed that the report be adopted.

The Tackle Officer announced that sixty feet of standard ladder had been rebuilt and a new sixty feet made.  Unfortunately, we have also lost eighty feet over the same period.  We now have 180' of standard ladder and 60' of wood and wire. The Chairman asked if the rope promised at the last A.G.M. had been produced.  Norman replied that it had.  There was a suggestion to go over to making the S.M.C.C. type of ladder and Frank Darbon suggested the W.S.G. type.  A discussion followed and it was agreed to refer the whole problem of tackle to the new committee.

At this stage the meeting stopped for tea.

After tea the Chairman announced the results of the committee ballot.  Votes are given in brackets. Bob Bagshaw (51) Norman Petty (50) Mo (45) Alfie (45) Gordon Tilly (38) Kevin (38) Roy Bennett (35) Alan Sandall (33) Mike Palmer (31) Sett (30) John Ransom (30) Keith Franklyn (30); the first nine being elected.

The Hut Warden's Report followed.  The bed nights had reached the all time record of 1361 - an increase of over 400 on the previous year.  More than 2/3 of this total had been put in by "regulars".  There had been a general increase in cleanliness, due mainly to the improvements in the Belfry accommodation.  There was still room for improvement.

Joan Bennett proposed a vote of thanks to all those who had helped to improve the Belfry, to which Mike Palmer added a vote of thanks to the Ladies who, he claimed, not only assisted in tidying the Belfry but also acted as a steadying influence.  This latter remark received a rather mixed reception and brought forth cries of "under thumb!"

Garth said that the Belfry was still dirty on Sunday nights.  The Chairman asked that concrete suggestions be made.  Kangy suggested a supply of hot water and asked whether the crockery had been removed as requested?  The Hut Warden replied that it had.

A vote of thanks was given to the Hut Warden, and the report adopted.  (This, of course, being proposed by Mike Luckwell)

The Belfry Engineer's Report followed.  The Belfry had been re-roofed; repainted; the car park levelled and laid; the Tackle Store cleaned out several times; a new concrete path laid to the Detailer; a locker for M.R.O. kit made and the new Women's Room completed.  The report was adopted (guess who proposed this?) and a vote of thanks given which was carried with acclamation.

The B.B. report followed. The Editor said that the B.B. had been its usual size this year and although a stock of articles was now held, response had been poor earlier in the year.  He mentioned difficulties with paper and said that we would have to buy some for the time being.  There was a possibility of printing the B.B. by the offset litho process.  Mike Luckwell proposed a vote of thanks to the Editor.

The Assistant Hon. Ed. then gave his report.  There had been a lack of publicity on Caving Reports and although the present position was financially sound (a profit of £10 had been made over the year) there were now no covers left and no new reports coining along.  Garth mentioned surveys and Kangy replied that it was possible to buy these from Bryan Ellis.  Mike Luckwell proposed that the report be adopted.

The Librarian’s Report followed.  She said that the library had been reorganised and that 100 borrowings had occurred. Six new books had been bought and a further six acquired.  It was hoped to purchase more books and member’s suggestions would be welcomed. In this connection the Chairman ruled that a copy of the Denning Report was not in line with the general subject matter of the club library.  The report was, naturally, adopted as a result of the by now unexpected proposal of Mike Luckwell's.

A discussion on the Postal System arrangements followed and Kevin Abbey volunteered for the job. Joan rennet volunteered to assist if required.

Under 'Members Resolutions', the resolution put up by Ian Dear concerning the purchase of a water heating system for the Belfry was carried.

Finally, of course, Mike Luckwell proposed that the meeting be closed.

Editor's Note;     As I had been ill, and was not fully recovered at the A.G.M. (or Dinner for that matter) I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the above account.

NOTICE!!!!  The next CUTHBERT’S LEADERS MEETING will be held at THE BELFRY on the 17TH NOVEMBER 1963.  Any interested cavers in addition to Cuthbert’s Leaders will be welcomed.


It appears that a letter from Dorothy Waddon to the Editor has gone astray, presumably in the post, and that in fact she wrote some time ago to the B.B. asking for the acknowledgement which follows to be published.  Owing to the method whereby letters are dumped in the communal hallway, they do occasionally go astray, and we hope that Dorothy will understand and accept our publication of her letter as now received from Bob Bagshaw.

32 Laxton Close,
Taunton, Somerset.

It is now almost eight months since Jack's accident and those of you who contributed towards the fund to assist me and our children must be wondering why there has been no acknowledgement from me.  Let me be quite honest and tell you that for a long while I didn't feel like accepting what I thought then was a charitable gesture.  Time has allowed me to face the situation and to think more clearly, and I realize how much you must have wanted to help.  So I would like to extend my very sincere thanks to all of you for the overwhelming response to aid us.  It is my intention to keep the money in trust for Anne and Alan until such time that it might further them in their education or any other aspect. Jack was a man who never did things by half-measure and this applied to his caving activities.  He was keen, enthusiastic and loved it.  Alas, it had such a tragic end.  But I feel this fund is perhaps the finest tribute you have given Jack.

Dorothy Waddon.

Editor's Note.     We understand that Dorothy would be very pleased to see any cavers who are in Taunton.

Castle Farm Dig

From the variety of Caving articles submitted, it is difficult to pick out one for priority of publication, but we have chosen this one since it describes the new club dig, which is giving promising results and may soon result in another Mendip cave.

by Gordon Tilly.

Location; West side of road from 'Miners Arms' to 'Castle of Comfort, thirty yards from gate opposite Castle Farm.

Against mixed opinions of wrong geological structure; wrong limestone etc; a dormant dig was re-opened on August 11th, 1963 after an initial inspection of the site the evening before.

Briefly, the historical facts are that the dig was, started in 1959 by John Andrews (a freelance caver) together with a friend who is now in Australia.  The lead was given them by the farmer (who it might be said is the most co-operative that one could wish for) who recalled that some years previously; there was a cloudburst in the area and the road outside his farm became a major river, running through farm and field. The water found its way to the depression nearest the road and soon filled it up (the size of this depression is 60' by 20' by 10' deep approximately).  Some few minutes later the depression was empty, leaving a small landslip in the South West bank.  It was at this point that Andrews commenced digging.

The dig was confined in area but revealed a rockface below two feet of Jurassic Oolite, of limestone fretted vertically and pitted over the entire surface.

Back to the dig proper. The initial moves made very little progress due to lack of manpower.  However, small probes were made to the East and West sides of the hole, which soon confirmed that bedrock was running in this direction, with a boulder pile on the North side.  During one of these probes a small pile of stones was broken into by Dave Irwin and a considerable draught was found to be issuing from them.  On August 13th, Gordon, Alan Whitcombe, Spike and Pam Rees and Brian Reynolds made great strides in removing many large boulders, and increased the size of the pit to approximately eight feet square.  On Sunday, August 25th, little progress was made due to heavy rain, but mud and stones were removed to obtain a clearer picture of the rock structure.  Water was found to be draining from the field to the dig, which was not holding any. Later that day, more mud and shale was cleared from the bottom of the hole.  It appeared that bedrock in the form of a narrow rift lay on two sides of the bottom of the dig, with a very large boulder forming a lintel at the Western end of the visible part of the rift.  The way on was seen under the boulder but was too tight to enter.  The pit was widened on the 29th august to find an alternative entrance but little progress was made until the weekend of the 21st September when Gordon, Dave Irwin and Dave Smith decided to dig over the boulder and face the problems of lifting it as it was restricting movement in the rift and making it impossible to work in.  This meant pulling down a seven foot bank of earth on the North side. The following day the boulder was broken up and moved out of harm's way.  During the digging into the West side, a small 'chamber' was found and this,           after the removal of small but awkward boulders, became the real entrance to the dig.  Monday saw vast changes in the pit, the west side overhang was removed and the entrance hole shored with galvanised iron as a temporary measure.   The remainder of the pit is now half filled with boulders and earth.

The way on is very clear for about thirty feet, but until a ledge some twelve feet down is cleared of mud and loose rock it is certainly unwise to probe further down at this stage.

(Some sketches showing the progress of this dig will be found on the next page.


The Annual General Meeting of the Mendip Cave Registry will be held at Wells Museum on Saturday 26th October 1963.  Further particulars may be obtained from the Secretary, B.M. Ellis, Fore Street, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset.  The work of the Cave Registry is perhaps the most important practical project of inter club co-operative effort which has yet occurred on Mendip. COME ALONG AND SUPPORT IT I!!!!

Caving Reports

A reminder that these are on sale direct from Bryan Ellis at 41 Fore Street, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset (post extra) or by arrangement with him at the Shepton Hut. Bryan also has copies of several surveys and other caving publications for sale.  B.E.C. Caving reports include: Surveying in Redcluffe Caves (reprint); The Manufacture of Lightweight Caving Ladders (3/-); The Shoring of Swallet Cave Entrances (2/6); A Survey of Headgear and Lighting available for caving (2/6); Some Smaller Mendip Caves – Vol. I (2/6); A Second Report on St. Cuthbert’s Swallet (3/-); Some Smaller Mendip Caves - Vol II (2/6) and The B.E.C. Method of Caving Ladder Construction (3/-).  If you are interested in caving literature and don't require any of these (or you've got 'em) Bryan is still worth contacting as he gets a very good selection of publications for sale

Before printing 'Stalagmite's' article for the  month, we have an anonymous note addressed from 'Wogland' which we think forms a fitting preface to the start of  'Stalagmite's' second club year of activity.

In answer to Stalagmite's very good article in last month’s B.B. (Sept) I really must congratulate him for putting his opinion so clearly.  Stalagmite's articles must, I think, give a lot of members interesting reading and thoughts, although I notice that now and again he slips up.

I sincerely hope that he will keep putting forth his views and opinions, but give him a friendly warning: Some people tell me that they know who you are - beware!


On The Hill

(or T.W.T.M.T.W.)

by Stalagmite

The 1963 A.G.M. provided a few changes in the committee; Sett and John Ransom being replaced by Roy Bennett & Kevin Abbey.  The clamour for "new blood" has always been high, so now let us wait and see. At the dinner, a few binds on the constitution of the election were voiced, but it all appeared legal to me. Talking of voices at the dinner, this year's, speeches were extremely good - Wessex forgot the toast - the reply was at great length and was followed by some, quick, quipping speeches from members, guests, and even police who thought we were clean and sober.

News from the clubs is, as usual, brief.  The U.B.S.S. seem to be very thin on the ground, not even sending a rep. for a free dinner, though I hear from Cerebus that the Long Ashton splinter group continues to cave.

The M.N.R.C. deserves a mention insomuch as it was recently reported in the B.B. that they did a bit of cleaning up in Cuthbert’s.  After the report of the Balch trip, one does not know quite what to believe of them - still, I hope they examined no polythene bags.

The Wessex will be holding their dinner on Saturday, 19 of October.  I'll be there.  The only other snippet I have of the Wessex via the Cave Registry is that George Pointing's dig at Thrupe Swallet is now an official club dig.

Cave Registry work is still progressing well, though I gather that the deadline of last Saturday for the manuscripts has nor been met and even after, there is quite an amount of work for Bryan to do.  Still, I hope to see the Register in the early part of next year.

Cerberus are holding their second annual dinner in November of this year.  With any luck, I'll be there too (If I can scrounge a ticket). For anyone who can remember the start of Cerberus there is news of Unwin who has reappeared though I gather that Cerberus are no longer associated with him.

During the B.E.C. dinner, there was a call to the M.R.C for an overdue party in Longwood.

The Family is spreading like the plague, and congrats to Dave Causer and Katherine (George).  If Mike Luckwell's next, it will look like a takeover bid for the B.E.C. as one of our new members turns out to be yet another member of the Family.

Shepton Mallet C.C. are holding their dinner early in December.  Have you ever tried getting a ticket for this?  Breaking into Holloway's easier!

No doubt at the forthcoming Cuthbert’s Leaders Meeting Roger will describe his new discovery in the Lower Mud Hall region a passage noticed during his recent survey work but not followed up at the time.

Bob Bagshaw arrived late at the dinner "sans auto" and appeared to be completely unruffled about turning over the car, as he quickly got to work collecting money!  A fair amount of intoxicants vanished after the dinner in the direction of Alan Thomas's house warming party, in fact, considering the shortage elsewhere; it appears that I should have joined the party. Alan's house is, I understand, situated at the bottom of Neil's garden.  Presumably this is a better arrangement to have the B.E.C. descend than to have the conventional fairies at the bottom of one's garden.

The editor was gracious enough to give me a vote of thanks at the A.G.M. for past articles - it's almost enough to tempt me to join the club!

Thought for the month (Supplied by the Editor this time.) If 'Stalactite' started dripping instead of praising Stalagmite, would they eventually form a pillar of Mendip Society?

Yes, unless something has occurred since these words were written, your eyes are not deceiving you - the B.B. is a pale blue colour.

The reason is not political. It is merely due to the fact that to obtain greater opacity without greater cost, a tinted paper is the answer and, of all the colours tried out, blue seemed to be the most opaque.  Not quite true, on second thoughts - a vivid orange colour was best, but we decided to spare your feelings!

Again, if rash prediction is correct, this should be the biggest B.B. ever to have been printed - bigger in fact than some issues of the Wessex Journal.  Whether the quality is as good is, as they say, open to doubt. At the time of writing, we have no cover so what you have just been looking at (if anything!) is a mystery to us at present and since this is being written only one week from the publication date, this is causing a headache at present!

However, we hope these and other problems will be solved in time, and take this opportunity, as is our custom at this time of the year to wish all club members; all B.B. readers and all cavers everywhere..

A Merry Christmas

The Day Expert Potholer Became Trapped In A Chair

From the daily mail of Friday, November 15th, the following article appeared: -

It took 90 minutes to rescue caving expert Alan Keene when he got stuck in a chair.

Mr. Keene, 19 was giving a demonstration of the way an experienced potholer should crawl through narrow rock passages.  He wriggled himself halfway through the chair, then could not move.

A crowd of 100 Exeter University students at the Murray Hall to watch the demonstration cheered as members of the University Caving Society set to work to free him.

FIRST they tried to dismantle the chair with a screw driver as coffee was served to Mr. Keene.  THEN a student fetched a hacksaw, but a plan to free Mr. Keene by sawing the chair to pieces was vetoed by the warden.

THEN Mr. Keene had his clothes removed, but still he was stuck.  FINALLY he escaped by being covered in soap.

Mr. Keene said last night, “I'll never live this down.  It would not have been so bad if I'd not been a potholer myself but who would have thought I'd have got stuck in a chair”.

Certainly-not us! and we hope Mr. Keene will forgive what follows - a bit of gentle chair leg pulling

A Little too Keene!

(A Weegeeode by Nick Carter.)

A Potholer called Alan Keene
Had been where many have not seen.
He'd crawled for miles upon his knees
And passed through many a sev'n inch squeeze.

His telling of his feats of glory
Seemed just an ordinary story
To caving friends who'd done the same
Themselves, and not found any fame.

But Alan’s need for admiration
Soon brought about a situation
Where he regaled his friends at college
With stories of his skill and knowledge.

And on one wet November's night
He'd spun his yarn to the delight
Of all save one bold undergrad
A rather sceptical young lad.

He said "I cannot quite conceive
How through such small holes you can weave"
He claimed the tale was quite absurd
And challenged Keene to prove his word.

Now Alan Keene was quite put out
To hear this lad express a doubt.
His active mind sought for a plan
To silence this outspoken man.

He then recalled a strange device
Evolved by caver's artifice
A squeeze machine composed of blocks
To represent adjacent rocks.

These wooden blocks could be adjusted
And though not stalagmite encrusted
Gave hours of pleasure to the caver
All in the dry, and thus found favour.

But though the college was prolific
In apparatus scientific
Our Alan knew he'd never seen
In Murray Hall a squeeze machine.

He looked round for a substitute
To keep his name in good repute
Until his gaze fell on a chair
"Aha!" he said, "I'll crawl through there"

The chair back it was measured then
Twixt seat and bar scarce twelve by ten.
Into this hole, so it is said,
The fearless Alan placed his head.         

His arms were next and, growing bolder, He wriggled through each manly shoulder
And did not take a seconds rest;
Until the chair had passed his chest.

His twisting movements were unhurried
Until he suddenly looked worried,
A stifled curse escaped his lips
"Can't get the …... past my hips!"

He writhed and wriggled half an hour
Until his muscles lost their power.
Although his antics were contortive
It seemed his efforts were abortive.

One friend said "Alan, for a fiver
I'll set you free with my screwdriver!"
Keene said "I'd rather that you pull some
Than use my buttocks as a fulcrum"

Another student farther back saw
A chance to use his trusty hacksaw
The Warden entered with a shout
“The fool got in - let him get out!"

That chair must not be mutilated
Be he for aye incarcerated
Let's put an end to all this racket
He'll soon get out without his jacket.

With all the onlookers in stitches
Our hero took off coat and breeches
Once more he struggled to get free
With cries of, "Oh, calamity!"

Next, causing further interest,
He shed his pants and his string vest.
Then stood he nude before that horde
Save for his chair and mortar board.

Keene silently thanked his creator
The Dean was no co-educator
But he could not forbear to blush
When someone said, "I think you're lush".

Then said a don “The situation
Seems to demand some lubrication".
Of this there seemed but little hope
Till someone else suggested soap.

A humorist said “Use Camay
Then he'll look lovelier each day"
They covered the unwilling bather
From head to foot in scented lather.

This luckless speleologist
Gave one more rend'ring of the twist
The crowd gave out a mighty roar
As chair descended to the floor.

When Alan had regained composure
And dried, and covered his exposure
He swore no more, for good or ill,
To boast about his caving skill.

Now students all, and cavers too,
A twofold moral comes to you.
Don't boast too much - and here's the crux


New Cave in Llanelly Hill Quarry" />

A New Cave Near Brecon

A small vertical hole in Carboniferous limestone was observed by Mel Davies of British Nylon Spinners a few weeks ago, after he had seen signs of stalagmite on a wall in a quarry opposite Aggy Aggy.  A couple of evenings digging there and the removal of assorted rocks revealed a rock wall with strong water scalloping, and interest rose further when a short space between rocks at the bottom was found to lead to the top of a deep rift. The top of this rift was about fifteen feet below ground, and was blocked with rocks which had to be removed before exploration could continue.  Encouraging signs were that small stones tossed down could be heard to fall a considerable distance before coming to rest, and the draught blowing up the rift was strong enough to douse a good flame on a carbide lamp.

Accordingly, on the 24th of August, a small party consisting of Mel Davies and Russell Sullivan of B.N.S. and Jill Rollason and Norman Tuck of B.E.C. arrived with digging equipment and set to work.  About five hours work was put into cleaning the rift - mainly by knocking the stones down towards the bottom and praying that they would not block anything of importance.  At last Russ reported that the way looked clear enough to take a small one, and let himself slip into the depths of the rift.

It appeared that, on average, the rift was about eighteen inches wide; more or less vertical, and about five feet wide at the top, gradually widening in this dimension as it descended.  About ten feet down was a constriction, and after passing this very tight squeeze, Russell found that the rift continued vertically in the same line for another fifteen feet or so.  At this point, to his great disappointment, his lamp began to run out and he had to return for a refill.  Meanwhile, thirty feet of ladder were optimistically lowered and the rest of us tried the rift for size but only Russ and Norman were able to pass the first constriction and thus explore the first part of the cave on this occasion.  They reported that at the bottom, the way continued as a rift shaped stream passage - both upstream and downstream.  Choosing the downstream passage, they followed it until they came to a very deep pot stretching across the end of the passage. Thirty feet of ladder were lowered, but when they climbed down it, they found that it was quite inadequate.  Russ returned for more ladder while Norman did some very necessary gardening around the edge of the pitch.  When the ladder, now sixty feet long, was placed in position, it was found that it ended in mid air with boulders just visible below.  Another hole which could be seen among these boulders suggested that they were but a false floor with the pitch continuing below them.


With hopes of something really spectacular, we four, with Bill Little and two other members of S.W.C.C. repaired again to the cave on the 1st of September, equipped with an optimistic quantity of ladder and a pessimistic quantity of explosive.  Bill blasted the squeeze in the entrance rift until the constriction was about three inches wider and, after only a few minutes wait to allow the fumes to clear, we were all able to attempt the entrance rift.

At the bottom of the rift, about twenty feet down, we met the stream passage which was horizontal, strongly scalloped and having a small trickle of water along the bottom.  This passage is about eight feet high, two to three feet wide at this point, and continues for two or three hundred feet to the pitch.  Although the strata on the surface tilts at an angle of about twenty degrees, the rock beds seem to have flattened out at this depth, and the passage makes its way in a series of sharp bends, ornamented occasionally with very dark stalagmite, including straws.  Since some of these reach within a few inches of the ground, it is thought that the stream does not rise much after rain but there were no obvious flood marks to provide any indication.  The trickle of water eventually falls through the boulders at the edge of the drop.

This is about seventy feet deep and is a pitch through the roof of a great rift passage about sixty feet high which leads away to the side into darkness.  The ladder passes through two narrowings of the rift (the stream is met in the lower one) and boulders are trapped in the rift at intervals. The more unstable ones have been pushed to the bottom, but more gardening is needed.  The whole rift has deep vertical grooving.

To our great disappointment, this apparent rift passage ended abruptly after about thirty feet, and another passage which could be seen about twenty feet above also proved negative. The entrance of the upper one is about four feet square, but this passage runs in for a few feet and ends in a high aven from which comes a tributary of the stream.  The bottom of the great rift is covered with very large boulders and there is an interesting false stalagmite floor at the far end revealed by an earth fall the rift is between four and seven feet wide at the bottom.

The obvious way on at this point is under the boulders and following the rift down, which would probably entail the removal of very many large rocks.  Air space can be seen at one point through the floor and there is another possible dig in earth and stones to the side.

We returned up the ladder and found that the stream had doubled its volume since we had descended. Passing the lower part of the rift was a rather drenching procedure.  Norman and I continued to the bottom of the entrance rift to have a look at the upstream portion of the passage which was the only remaining prospect. This again proved negative.  The apparent passage was seen to be the bottom of the entrance rift over which one traverses to reach the surface.  A small passage about a foot high does lead on, but it peters out after a few feet.

We met a quarry man outside who remembered working this part of the quarry.  He said that they had broken into a large chamber over what is now the floor of this section of the quarry, and described it as big enough to hold a double decker bus.  There are obvious water worn passage marks now on the quarry face, but we could not determine whether these were part of the chamber described by the quarryman, or part of another feature.  Possibly the latter, since the quarryman pointed to an area nearer the valley edge for the site of the chamber.

Two other cave entrances in this quarry face might be worth digging, but would possibly connect with the upper part of the cave.  A really accurate survey would be informative.

The cave thus ends disappointingly soon, and much work would probably be involved in extending it, but it might repay the effort as there it still quite a depth of limestone to go. It does, however, add another fine pitch to the few known in South Wales and it is probably the second longest pitch in this caving area.

Jill Rollason

A B.E.C. Type Cave Report

Though Christmas comes but once a year
Consider this, when drinking beer
That any time, there can be bought
A Survey - or a Cave Report
From B.M. Ellis, Forty One
Fore Street
. (That’s in North Petherton.)
Or you may find, if it's not shut,
Him often at the Shepton Hut.
So surely, at this festive season,
Each one can find sufficient reason
To buy himself - Oh, Merry Thought!

Trips from the Caving Log


Extracted by John Ransom.

On August 1st, a short Stoke Lane and a Swildons trip, Kevin, Aileen Etc.  Hunters Hole was extended by digging on the 5th by I. Dear, K. & P. Franklyn, P. King, R. King, P. Miller and D. Reynolds.  Result, another thirty feet of passage below the ladder.

St. Cuthbert’s party on the 10th August in the Maypole Series reported that the stal flow over gravel in Escalator Passage has now collapsed and ask if anyone remembers it intact on their last trip.  The 10th of august also saw the start of digging in Castle Farm Swallet.

A trip to Balch Hole on the 11th, reports that the group of straws known as the Golf Clubs at the end of Erratic Passage has been destroyed by some ***** who has used them to hang mag. ribbon on!

Further work was done in Alfie's Hole on the 11th by a party removing boulders from the rift.  Also on the 11th, two working trips in Cuthbert’s took place.  One party dug at the end of the passage behind the Dining Room while the other dug at the beginning of Sewer Passage.  Progress 8 feet and 11 feet respectively.

From the 13th to the 16th of August, a party consisting of Roger Stenner, Pete Miller, P. Morrell, Pete Bird and T. Burke went over to Ystradfellte where they surveyed an unnamed cave and part of another known one.  Roger Stenner found a new cave, then Pete Miller found a new section of another, then found a resurgence with a sump.  Roger Stenner, P. Morrell and T. Burke surveyed the cave found by Roger Stenner while Pete Miller surveyed the extension found by Pete Miller. Meanwhile, Pete Bird found another cave in a place dug unsuccessfully the previous day, then John found another cave, the most extensive of those found so far.  Photography then took place in all these new caves.

The caves are in the most unstable rock seen by Roger Stenner and Pete Miller since Tankard, in fact in many ways they are far more dangerous.  The party finished by padding around Porth Yr Ogof etc.

Pete Miller reports that during a Cuthbert’s trip on the 18th, the wire came off at Stal Pitch and says Please be careful.  Also on the 18th, digging took place at the sump and Steve Wynn Roberts made two dives.

On the 21st, Gaff, Kevin, Pat Takle, Pete Page and 2 others report that they have found the site of a gigantic system? at Westend, near Chewton Mendip.  Removing slabs and debris, Kevin was sent down to recce. About twenty feet down the shaft was found to be in a dangerous condition.  It was followed for 95 feet approx and is blocked at the bottom.  It is thought to be an air vent associated with a mineshaft.

Another go at the flake in the new entrance at Cuthbert’s was had by Roy Bennett and Keith Franklyn on the 21st.  They report that it was not completely successful and that care is still required. On the 23rd, more digging at Alfie's Hole, followed on the 24th by a trip to Sandford Levy, and further digging in Castle Farm Swallet.

On the 27th, R. Stenner and Pat TaHe surveyed old and new digs from Hunters - Castle - Punchbowl following the line of depressions to Lamb Leer.  They report that Vee Swallet is now in a bad state.  This was followed by surveying in St. Cuthbert’s from Mud Hall via Mud Hall Pitch to stream.  Roger reports wonderful surveying conditions and Brian Reynolds went into a new bit of cave just below the Water Chute and reports that there is a chance that this is a new bit entirely.

Highways and Byways of Cuthbert’s

Long Chamber Extension and the route, to Coral Chamber.

The other evening, I had the pleasure of accompanying a well known caving gentleman on a very enjoyable trip to one of the less visited, though of late much talked about, parts of St. Cuthbert’s.  We had started out with the intention of visiting several parts of the cave in order to renew, or in some cases, make our acquaintance with them and the first on our list was Long Chamber Extension.

We started out at a leisurely pace, wondering as we descended the Entrance Rift whether we would be able to get out  Again, since two very industrious fellows were working in the new entrance and we could well imagine the Rift being full of mud and boulders on our return. However, we moved on to the first ladder and the sound of water met our ears.  How pleasant this was.  (This although only lately received for publication, must have been written some time ago! - Ed.)  Of late, the caves of Mendip seem to have had their own private drought for we have not had a dry summer and yet the refreshing sound of tumbling water has been absent from both Swildons and Cuthbert’s.  And so, with this music in cur ears, we descended the Ledge Pitches, quickly avoided the waterfall at the bottom and turned into the Wire Rift.  We made our first stop in Pillar Chamber.  It seeing to me that this is a much neglected part of the cave, so many people must pass on to the deeper objectives and, apart from a quick glance at the pillar, miss the many fine formations in this chamber. A careful climb over some broken stal to the left will reveal a beautiful cascade, some tempting high level passages and a bird's eye view of the way on.  If you have only an hour or two to spare, I can well recommend a trip just as far as this point in the cave - pausing to look where before you hurried by.

One further stop by the side of Katchenjunga for a drink and fresh water in our lamps and we were soon climbing up into Long Chamber.  Traversing diagonally across the slabs, but keeping higher than the usual route to the vantage point over looking Curtain Chamber, we slid under the far wall into the tight clamber up into the Extension Chamber.  It is always a little exciting to enter a big chamber after a tight crawl and one can sense the thrill of discovery as one stands in such a chamber a little off the beaten track.  Long Chamber Extension is very similar to September Series, a steep floor strewn with the shattered stal flow which indicates the recent movements of this area of the cave.  Having taken our fill of the chamber as a whole, we climbed to the top and worked our way along.  A number of large boulders enable one to climb very high into a rift separated from the main chamber by a rock wall, but opening again at the far end to give an aerial view of the boulder strewn floor.  In the right hand wall, a small passage-leads up through a squeeze and over some wet stal.  This may be followed for some way until it eventually tightens up, and contains some fine straws and crystal pools.

At this point we decided to have a look at the further extension investigated recently by John Cornwell.  We straddled the rift and moved back over the climb up, keeping at the same level and eventually moving into a bedding plane on the left.  This bedding plane lies on top of the rock wall which separates the rift from the main chamber and slopes upwards over the chamber quickly becoming too tight for any further passage.  In the right hand corner, and directly over the rift are two avens, the furthest of which contains a strong draught and is blocked at the top by a number of unstable rocks.  Having removed a few of these and sent them hurtling down onto my feet, my companion decided that it was a fruitless task and to my relief we descended into the main chamber to continue our journey.

Following the chamber along at the most obvious level, now ducking under, now clambering over huge boulders of fallen (or in some cases, falling!) rock, we eventually reached a final chamber.  At the bottom of the end wall there is a bank of mud similar to that found on the way from Everest to Traverse Chamber.  The rest of the floor consists of a boulder ruckle and our way on lay down through these clean sharp boulders.  This route reminds one of the boulder ruckle in Eastwater except that it is dryer and the rock is light grey in colour.  Also scattered about at this point are small stones which are get black on the outside but sand coloured inside.  I have always been attracted by these objects because of their unusual lustre, but as with most shiny things underground, it is only the wet surface which imparts this and they are quite dull when dry.  They are unusual objects and very useful as cairns to mark the way through a strange boulder ruckle.  If anyone can explain their composition, I would be very interested to know.

We continued our careful way down through the ruckle, passing through a couple of 'chambers' and eventually entering a final chamber in the form of a wedge shaped rift which tightens up at the bottom and has a sandy fill giving a floor about six inches wide.  At this point we decided that although Coral Chamber must be around here somewhere, we were fated to go out the way we came in and so we turned round and made our way back.  However, before we were out of the boulders, we noticed a large round hole in the muddy side of the ruckle.  We scrambled through and were rewarded with the prospect of Coral Chamber.

Now we could go out through that interesting squeeze into the rift that leads to Annexe Chamber provided, of course, that I could find the exit!  For some reason, I was sure that the passage was at the bottom of the chamber and after searching the walls a couple of times, I was forced to the conclusion that I didn't know the way out.

However, the round trip would be very rewarding and one I can well recommend for passing a few hours on Mendip.  Care must be taken when crossing Long Chamber as broken rock, of which there is now quite a lot will, if carelessly dislodged, fall down into Curtain Chamber and damage the formations.  Next time I will go in via Annexe Chamber so that I know the way out.

Mike Luckwill.

The Underground Laboratories of Moulis

by Mike Luckwill.

It is only in recent years that cave exploration has been considered to be a separate branch of science and during the 17th 18th and 19th Centuries it remained in the nature of a hobby. However, the early explorers soon realised that many interesting discoveries were to be made in the caves and grottoes, not only in the fields of prehistory and palaeontology, but also in that of biology.

As early as the 17th Century it was known that the grottoes of Camiole on the borders of Austria, Italy and Yugoslavia contained a strange amphibian, the elm, different from any animal found above ground.  A scientific description of it was made in 1781 by the Austrian Laurenti who gave it the name Proteus Anguinus.  Some fifty years later count Franz von Hohenwart found, again in the Grotto of Camiole, the first blind cave beetle, the Leptodirus Hohenwarti.


At first these investigations were carried out by a number of enthusiasts, working in isolation, but early in this century the Rumanian scientist Racovitza with a French colleague Rene Jeannel set up an organization Biospeologica, to encourage the collection of specimens of cave fauna and the publication of results and observations.  The next step was to make a laboratory study of the life of the cave dwelling arthropods under natural conditions. It seems that the first underground laboratory was designed by a Frenchman, Armand Vire, who in 1897 fitted up one of the galleries in the catacombs which stretch under the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. However, the laboratory was destroyed thirteen years later in the great floods of 1910 when the water swept through the catacombs.  Twenty years later another laboratory was set up, this time in one of the galleries of the grotto of Adelsburg, part of the Carniole system, but the ambitious research programme never seems to have been carried out.

In 1945, the French Association for the Advancement of Science met in Paris.  Among the speakers was professor Jaannel, the founder, together with Racovitza, of Biospeologica.  He called for the creation of a cave laboratory in France and obtained the support of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique.

The grotto of Moulis, containing a perpetual spring, close to a source of electricity and a small village suitable for accommodation was chosen as a suitable cavern.  The natural entry was a small passage which necessitated crawling.  As this passage was inhabited by a large number of Choleva beetles during their period of metamorphosis, it was decided to leave it intact and to bore a tunnel 50 metres long a short distance away.  The new entrance led into the main gallery which at the time ended in a narrow tunnel too small to enter, another tunnel was bored at this point and a further long gallery was discovered.  The length of the accessible part of the cave was thus increased to 900 metres.

The whole gallery was fitted up to form three units.  Two for the study of the land-living arthropods and one housing aquaria for the water arthropods.  Electricity and compressed air lines were laid on and drains built to eliminate waste water and flood water.  A surface laboratory was also built containing two controlled temperature rooms and a photographic unit.

Although the new research institute, the 'Laboratoire Souterrain de Moulis' intends to cover a wide field of studies; measurement of ionisation in cave atmospheres; hygrometric and thermometric investigations: research on crystallization and the formation of stalactites and stalagmites etc., the present programme is mainly concerned with the investigation of the cave dwelling arthropods; their physiology, reproductive cycle and behaviour.

Among the cave dwelling Cloeptera which have been bred successfully in the laboratory are the Speonomus Longicornis and S. Diehki beetles, which have a curious-life cycle. The female lays one enormous egg every forty or fifty days.  The primary larva is only active for a short period varying between a few hours and a few days.  Without having eaten or undergone any mutation, the larva builds a cell in which it enters a state of rest, lasting for months and ending with pupation and transformation into adult form.  Having perfected work of breeding, consideration of the genetical problems of the many different species, and subspecies should provide many valuable results in the field of evolution.


Work on physiology was successfully directed towards the problem of absence of pigmentation and blindness (in some cases absence of eyes).  The first naturalists to examine cave fauna assumed that these features were directly attributable to the fact that the animals lived in darkness. However, some species which lived in the cave habitat possessed pigmentation and normal vision and conversely de-pigmentation is found in some animals which live in the light.  In 1931, Professor Fage, taking as his starting point work by Mayer and Plantefol showing that the respiratory rate of mosses decreases with increase in water content, put forward the view that the cave spider, living in a very humid atmosphere, must have a very low oxidation rate which would lead to de-pigmentation.  Work carried out at Moulis some ten years ago has confirmed Fage's hypothesis.  Another discovery made during the last fifteen years concerns the result of breeding tests carried out with Niphargus.  Young Niphargus supplied with all the nourishment it was presumed the species might require died during their second moult.  Others supplied only with cave clay outlived them, although not living as long as the normal lifespan.  Further work with the electron microscope showed the existence of a new baeterium - named Perabacterium Spelai - which fixes atmospheric nitrogen and derives its carbon from ferric carbonate.  Its energy is said to come from the decomposition of ferric carbonate to ferrous oxide. Thus a sequence of nutrition may well exist independent of any supplies from above ground.

Much work still remains to be done on these as yet unfamiliar cave animals, and it is the research carried out at Moulis and elsewhere that may well provide important clues in the investigation of evolutionary processes.

CRO Conference

Report on the Third Conference of the Cave Rescue Organisation Organisations held at Church Hall, Lion Street, Brecon on Saturday, September 28th 1963.

Our hosts for this conference were the South Wales Caving Club, and the agenda consisted of four main items, the first of which was concerned with the subject of cave accident statistics.

Dr. Evans has put in some interesting work on accident research.  By recording all the particulars of all the accidents he has heard of on punched cards, he has discovered two main causes of such accidents.  Firstly, those due to cavers not using a lifeline - these should be used on any pitch of twenty feet or more and, if the climb is exceptionally difficult, even on climbs of less than twenty feet.  The other main cause was due to equipment deteriorating.  All tackle should be inspected at least once a year, a fact which some clubs did not think of until too late.  A query was raised as to how a rope should be tested.  The answer was to cut it into two foot lengths and inspect every cut. The speaker did not recommend a use for the resulting two foot lifelines!  The main wear on a rope is usually at each end, where it is continually tied and untied, so another suggestion was to cut fifteen feet off each end and keep the middle.

I understand that the South Wales Caving Club has the most complete cave rescue kit in the country. It includes a coffin, should the rescue party fail.

The second item on the agenda concerned the subject of rescues in Ireland.  These are a big problem, since the only Irish cavers are in Northern Ireland and they are not many and have little experience, as yet.  Outside help is hardly practicable due to the cost of chartering a plane (cash in advance).  It is quite probable that the R.A.F. would be unable to help. Certainly they would not land in the republic.  Parties who go to Ireland must therefore go on the understanding that if they get into trouble they must be equipped to deal with it themselves.  They are requested also to contact Brian Baldwin, 29 Norfolk Avenue, Burnley, Lanes before leaving - sending an accurate address where they can be contacted and the total number of cavers in the party. If all parties do this, it will do much to ensure that, in the event of trouble, a rescue party can be on the scene as quickly as possible.  There is a small dump of rescue equipment at Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, and Dr. Lloyd has promised that the M.R.O. will set up a similar one at Ballynalacklan Castle, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Claire.  Should outside help be needed, contact the local Guarda, they have received instructions as to who to contact.  Dr. Lloyd recalled an occasion when some members of the U.B.S.S. got into difficulties and shouted for help, frightening the locals who thought it was the 'little people'!

The third item on the agenda was the formation of a national cave rescue organisation.  There was a lot of discussion on this topic, but no decision was made as there seemed little point in the idea.  It would create many new problems and solve very few existing ones.  We were also given the impression that it would require lots of money that, even if raised, could probably be better spent.

The final item was the reading of the report by the Yorkshire Ramblers on the International Conference in Brussels. Spelio Secours, the Belgian organisation for Cave Rescue, is a national one affiliated to the Red Cross.  It runs a couple of ambulances, and they can reach any part of the country in three hours of an alert.

The long discussion gave us a good appetite for dinner, which was at Perrins Restaurant, just outside Brecon.  Moving about after the meal was thus difficult.  It was a good job that the bar was close handy!  Sunday was miserably wet for the demonstrations, which were held behind the S.W.C.C Headquarters.  The exercise was to blast a new entrance to Weighbridge Cave through a platform of rock.  This was entirely successful.  The afternoon saw a demonstration of a new type of electromagnetic position finder (this has, in fact, been mentioned in the B.B. some time ago - Ed ).  It was placed in Cwm Dwr Cave and its position could be found from the surface by using a detector coil and headphone unit with a high degree of accuracy.

Tony Philpott.

On The Hill

by Stalagmite

For the Christmas Article, several thoughts flickered through what I am forced to call my brain, and the outcome was that a review of the club's activities as seen through the pages of the B.B. during the year might be interesting, so here goes:-


Noted for the great snowfall, the shortage of stuff for the B.B. and the very fine photograph on the back page with promise of more to come.


An article appears on how to write an article.  From this indirectly came 'On the Hill' and it's nice to know that occasionally an editor's efforts are read.  The club has already held a caving meet and a notice in the opening pages announced that tackle was to be removed from Cuthbert’s Stal Pitch.  I understand that only recently a Leaders' Meeting decided to do just that in November.  No photograph, of course, appeared on the back page of the B.B.


Seems to have been one of the few months when births occurred, and we read that Steven Brewer and Jonathan King were born.  Also born in this merry month was a certain nefarious article which for the sake of anonymity you can look up yourself.  The editor said 'we hope that this survey of what is going on on Mendip will contain a good proportion of caving news.  Just shows how wrong you can be!


C.D.G. reports discoveries in Stoke Lane, in an article by Mike Thompson who, it is reported, was not wearing a fireman's helmet.  Garth left to join the army.  However, he was able later in the year to get to the dinner and receive a present.

The caving log is naturally brief but reviewing it, I would like to congratulate Kevin (9th March) who appears to have done sump I twice?  An article on climbing was published and an advert for evening meets. It may be noticed that references to death cults in the B.E.C. were already prominent in the Other Club.


During this month the committee advertised for the Midsummer Barbecue and the Annual Dinner.  Many complaints have reached my ears about lack of entertainments at this year's dinner but if you realise that it was in your hands and you're not satisfied, think of that next year when the same appeal is made.  The club meet was in Fairy Cave Quarry and warranted an article. Was this just to inform us that Bobby bagged a boulder, or a general idea for all meets?  Naming caves was the subject of an article and I can still not see the special reason for not having a Hawthorn Hole.  Can some body please enlighten me?


Rather a controversial month, and an article included 'laying' in one of its paragraphs, and as a result was the only thing so far that anyone has written about 'Stalagmite' I wonder why this is, or is it merely that pen is not worth putting to paper?  Nigel Hallet left for Canada and I gather that in November Mervyn Hannam has also departed thence.


Brings the first news of the excellent work put in at the Belfry by the engineer, John Ransom in a redecoration programme.  I must admit that the old place has changed in the last couple of years.'  The Midsummer Barbecue was a success thanks to Kevin's efforts, although this was never reported in the B.B.  Perhaps everyone went and so a report was not thought to be necessary!


Rather a slim month for news.  Even your scribe 'ere did not write anything spectacular.  An item on nominations for the committee appeared. This was to have repercussions culminating in what some thought was a rather naughty article.  Jill and Norman Tuck and John Ransom and Val Jones got engaged and John also announced that the Belfry had been redecorated.


Brought the aforementioned article on the Committee.  There has been some howling about this article. Personally, I thought that it was fair, though biased since in the main it represented my vote.  Twelve were named, two of whom had no desire for re-election which meant that one of the remainder had to go unless there was a dead heat and it must be remembered that those who had not yet been nominated could not very well have had a write up.

Nuff Said.


The first month in the year when there is any surfeit of gen for the Ed. The A.G.M. and Dinner took place, with Mike Luckwill well to the fore at the A.G.M.  Owing to the usual apathy, the dinner was not enjoyed by all, though no criticism has yet been published, nor any report for that matter.  Perhaps it was beyond words.  This month, a mysterious article appeared from one 'stalactite' saying "some people tell me that they know who you are". Do you? - and if you do, why don't I?


A "scramble" edition of the B.B., my article being a day late and not, as my inspiration (T.W.3.) removed for political reasons.  I notice in a climbing article that Steve Tuck and Roy Bennett 'dropped off.  Surely in climbing this is an extremely dangerous practice.  Also in November, an extraordinary meeting of the club nearly took place.


Which brings us to the present month, as I write just about to start. This has, I suppose, been an adequate year as far as the club is concerned; but has been far from being a good year and miles away from being a memorable one.  However, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope that I shall have a lot of more interesting things to comment upon next year. Perhaps I may even get a reply, but then again, perhaps not.

Skiing On Blackdown

by Roy Bennett with Tony Dunn, Mo Marriott and Ted Gleary.

The heavy snows of last winter provided an unexpectedly fine opportunity for bringing winter sports to Mendip.  Burrington Coombe was the most used venue and several weekends were spent in much needed practise in some fields near the top.  From there, a trip over Blackdown was a logical extension and one morning four of us set off across the farmland between the hill and the road.

This route was a mistake as it took us directly up bracken covered slopes.  The many feet of snow which would be required to give a smooth cover over this sort of surface had hot been provided and progress was slow and tiring as skis slid uncontrollably, first one way and then the other and repeatedly tangled in vegetation.  Tempers were becoming a little frayed by the time the path was reached and a steady upward progress could be resumed.  None of the party possessed skins to provide upward traction and sidestepping or the more inelegant but rapid method of herringboning had to be resorted to. Carrying ski was also tried, but offered no advantage in the rather soft snow.

In spite of these disadvantages, the summit was soon reached (it is not really very far) and we sat down for a rest in the weak sun, which was just breaking through the mist.  A quick compass reading and we were off west between the rows of tussocks which criss-cross the level hilltop.  The wind had been active here and we punted with our sticks up and down the undulations in the snow.  After about half a mile of this, we turned slightly north and began a long gently sloping descent towards Dolbury.  The snow had not consolidated much in depth and it would have been heavy going if it had not been for a wind crust which was just strong enough to support the skis.  With the aid of this, we drifted down a further half mile until a forestry firebreak gave steeper, bumpier running and a few spills.  Another section of bracken, and a path was gained giving a continuous run to Read's Cavern where some enormous icicles depended from the cliff. Lunch was taken at this point, and we shuffled off back towards Burrington.  The track past Rod’s Pot was taken, and once more we slogged up the seemingly endless slopes to the top of Blackdown.  From here, a fine fast run could be taken to the road, descending in minutes what had taken well over an hour to ascend.

E. G. M.

As members are aware, the reason for calling an extra ordinary general meeting of the club arose from a series of unintentional events concerning the arrangements for the recent committee election and resulting in this election being constitutionally invalid.  The "committee", having waited until all the facts came to light, decided that the correct procedure would be to present the situation to the club at an Extra Ordinary General Meeting which, with the aid of some other members, they called for Saturday, November 30th at 3 pm.  A notice to this effect was sent out individually to every paid up member.

At 3 pm., seven members were present.  This number rose steadily to 24 by 3.15 pm, but had dropped to 22 by 3.3., when the Club Chairman announced that it appeared unlikely that the necessary quorum of thirty would be reached, and suggested that members disperse.

At his suggestion, a special committee met next day to examine the situation further and it was decided to hold a new postal ballot for the election of the 1963-64 committee.



Although the actual method of voting has not been the point at issue, recent events have caused attention to be drawn to perhaps its only drawback - the possibility of a multiple tie for last place on the committee.  Bearing in mind that it was recently announced that a northern club (believed to be N.P.C.) had called in experts to advise them on this subject, we have decided to examine the Single Transferable Vote system briefly in this B.B. and follow this with a simple addition to our present system which should go a long way towards tidying this aspect of elections up in the future if adopted.

The system requires each voter to indicate his list of preferences for the candidates on his voting form by writing the figures 1,2,3,4; etc to indicate the order of candidates of his choice.  He can do this for all the candidates on the form, of for as few as he wishes. Counting the votes is then carried out as follows:-

All the figure 1's are counted, and marked against each candidate, as though every member had only one vote.  This is where the SINGLE bit of the title of the system comes in.  This will usually result in one candidate getting a majority over the others.  This candidate is then elected.  No more votes are then counted for this candidate, as he is already elected.

For all the other candidates, the number 2's are then added to each of the candidates number 1 votes and the sum examined in each case.  This is where the TRANSFERABLE part comes in, as all the number 1 votes which, as it were, have not been used last time to elect a candidate, are transferred to the next counting in this manner.  This will, in general, result in the election of a second candidate.  In the case of a tie at this stage, the easiest method is to elect both candidates as each of them will, in any case, beat the rest eventually.  This process then goes on until all the required number have been elected.   The whole process takes about three quarters of an hour to compute by hand and the suggested method would be to have three tellers doing this job simultaneously and independently.  Their results could all be handed to the chairman, who would announce the result if all three of any two sets of figures agreed.

It is almost statistically impossible, under B.E.C. conditions to get a tie for last place by this method, and a series of 'dummy runs' have been tried out with success. However, if the method, which in all cases gave the same result as the simple system used at present except where the last place was tied, is thought to be too complicated, a simpler method could be used whereby the voting is carried out as at present but each member is asked to indicate his LAST CHOICE amongst those for whom he has voted, and only in the event of a tie for last place is this information used when the candidate who has the least number of last choice marks is elected.  All this is only a suggestion, but could provide conversation over the odd pint perhaps.

Climbing Meet

North Wales.   Jan 18/I9th. 3rd weekend of 1944.

New Caves at Ystradfellte" />

New Caves at Ystradfellte

by Roger Stenner.

On Monday, 12th August, Pete Miller, Paul Morrel and I set up our tents close to Porth-yr-Ogof where the river Mellte goes underground at Ystradfellte.  In the evening we met Peter Bird, who was camping there with Tony Burke, John Higgs and two S.W.C.C. members, Frank and Douglas Bagueley. Peter had asked for a surveying team to work on a line of small caves on the limestone/grit junction nearby.

Tuesday morning we got to work, at once intrigued by the instability of the caves.  In the second cave we surveyed were some well shaped pots, with a 14 foot drop into them, but I could not manage the climb.  A few yards away, a few rocks were removed and, followed by Doug, I was into a new cave, the biggest so far.  My thumb got cut when I was caught out by a pinnacle, seemingly as solid as the Bank of England that fell to bits at a touch. Exploration complete, it was time for food and repairs.

Pete wandered up to the unclimbed pot and traversed across and around.  After a few crashes, Pete was still at the top, but the floor was a lot nearer with about a ton of rocks that weren't there before.

Wednesday, we got back to our schedule by surveying and photographing both these caves but Pete Bird found another cave and then John found possibly the biggest of the lot, a cave with a very loose roof and some good ochre formations.  After a diversion on Thursday for more conventional caving in Pant Mawr Pot, more photography in the new caves took place on the Friday, then it was back to decent cider country with the least delay.

The caves themselves have several interesting features.  The roof is grit, and the water dripping through very acid, making circular pots of various sizes.  These pots have sharp fluting and pinnacles.  I sharpened a pencil on one pinnacle.  Thin bands of clay in the limestone and the absence of dripstone cementing; make the pinnacles likely to topple over at a touch.  The caves grow until the roof falls in, and the process starts again further in.  The caves are formed parallel with the edge of the grit and many of them have two or more entrances.  The water in the caves found to date cannot be followed far.  Connection with resurgences are unproved.  Because of the acidity of the water, there are no calcite formations.  There are formations of ochre and others of uncertain organic origin.

Let's re-open a nice safe cave - Tankard. How about it, Pete?



Ice Formations In Caves

Referring to ice caves in general, they must not be confused with glacier caves, which are 'holes' in glaciers like the glacier cave in Switzerland.  There are two main types of Ice Cave.  One is the type having permanent ice formations while the other has ice only at times.

The entrance of our ' Ice Cave' lies approximately north and faces a gully which contained at the time a deep snowdrift.  This helped to turn the outer part of the working into a gigantic refrigerator during the cold spell.  The working contained about five hundred ice 'stalagmites' which took three main shapes. Most of them were of the 'Indian Club' type, while others were shaped like beer/bottles and others again of a lop sided shape rather like a shark fin.  The average height was about two and a half feet while the tallest reached four and a half feet.  The 'Indian Clubs' were about three inches diameter at the top and narrowed down to about one inch diameter at the slender middle section.

The fact that there were very few ice 'stalactites' confirms that there must have been a relatively warm current of air near the roof, probably coming from the inner reaches of the workings, which are quite extensive.  It is also plain that there was a layer of cold air coming from outside the working which enabled the ice stalagmites to be formed.

The formation of the 'Indian Club' type of stalagmite was probably due to a warm layer of air at some time partially melting the centre portion of what were normal stalagmites. The upper part of the club could have been the result of the top melting as it grew into the relatively warmer air near the roof.

The lopsided or 'Shark's Fin' ice formations were formed in a brisk current of air, but whether this was cold air causing quicker freezing on one side, or warmer air causing a partial melt on the other is not certain.

It must be realised, of course, that these are all theories and that it was more or less impossible to study the exact growth of these truly wonderful ice formations, so rarely to be seen underground in this country.

Compiled by Peter F. Bird.   Written by Barry Lane.

Juta Cave Lebanon, Stop Press, Final Word" />

Juta Cave, Lebanon

From the cold to the hot, with an account of a cave in a more reasonable climate

by Bryan Scott.

Twenty miles North of Beirut, the Dog River flows through its strategically important gorge into the Mediterranean.  This deep and steep sided gorge leads up into the mountains which give this country its name, and cover this cave.

The resurgence gushes from beneath a low arch and is, to say the least, a heavy flow of water supplying power for a small hydro-electric station and all the water supply for Beirut itself.  Alongside the river is a small cafe (Cool, draught Almaza) a big car park (fits Chevvys) and a gi-normous souvenir shop cum ticket desk (5/-).  Oh yes, and the entrance to the cave.

A passage very much like the entrance to Wookey leads down gravelled steps to the river.  This is flowing from under yet another, low arch on the right and pouring over a concrete combined dam and landing stage. This dam provides sufficient depth of water in some of the lower chambers for the large punts in which the tourist trip is made.

The Boatman/Guide/Motive power stands on the prow and shovels the water with a paddle thing and the punt slowly moves off upstream.  The cave consists of a series of large chambers connected by a very lofty rift. The water depth varies from two to ninety five feet.  The whole roof is decorated in the most impressive fashion and the banks of silt have very slender stalagmites up to five feet high.  The silt supporting these has in some cases given way under the weight and resulted in 'Y' shaped or curved stalagmites.

The total boat trip is about a thousand metres, after which the passage becomes too narrow for the punt. The cave continues upstream with waterfalls, low bits, dams and chokes for a total of 6,300 metres, where progress is halted by a sump.

Beirut is 2,700 miles from London - or six hours flying and the fare is £142/10/- return.

Editor's Note: Which must be added to the cost of entering the cave, making a total of £142/15/- presumably.

Stop Press

Club members will be sorry to hear that our old friend 'Sago' Rice has had a very serious motorcycle accident in which he has lost his left leg.  He is, at the time of going to press, in, Southmead Hospital, Ward 'T'.  Club members intending to visit him in hospital are asked to get in touch with his mother first at 20 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7, or by phone.  (The number is in the book).

We wish Sago a speedy recovery and console ourselves with the thought that, knowing him as we all do, we may feel sure that he will be amongst us again soon.

A Final Word.

We are glad to see so much caving articles - especially those which describe new work.  On the other hand, we still have a fair number of articles describing caves in 'furrin parts' in the stockpile - but nothing else. If no inspiration for an article is forthcoming, a letter is always welcome for publication and gives you the opportunity to put your view in front of the club generally. You may not always get your contribution printed at once, but stuff for the stockpile is just as useful and equally valued.

Annual List of Club Member’s’ Names and Addresses

This list is the one currently used by the B.B. Postal Department and member’s copies of the B.B. are thus sent to the addresses given below.  If yours is out of date, or incorrect in any way, you are asked to get in touch with Kevin Abbey.


K. Abbey

15 Gypsy Patch lane, Little Stoke, Bristol


T Andrews

135 Danson Road, Bexley, Kent


J. Attwood

4 Bridge Road, Shortwood, Nr. Mangotsfield, Bristol


R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


M.J. Baker

Model Farm, Milton, Nr. Wells, Somerset


D Balcombe

58 Lebanon Road, Croydon, Surrey


R. Ball

13 Charis Avenue, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


R. Bater

108 Memorial Road, Hanam, Bristol


R. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset.


J. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset


D. Berry

1 York Place, St. Augustine’s , Brandon Hill, Bristol


P. Bird

City Museum, Queens Road, Bristol


P.M. Blogg

1 Ridgeway Park, Ridgeway, Bristol


A. Bonner

Lane End Cottage, Plumbland, Aspatria, Cumberland


P.J. Borchard

35 Hallstead Road, Harrogate, Yorkshire


R.J. Brook

130 Sylvan Way, Sea Mills, Bristol 6


N Brooks

109 Orolia Street, Eastbourne, New Zealand


G.A. Bull

20 Sloane Gardens, London, W.1


Miss R. Burnett

51 Bath Road, Brislington, Bristol 4


M. Calvert

16 Wetherley Avenue, Old Down, Bath, Somerset


R Casling

51 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol


B.R. Chamberlain

102 Egerton Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7


J. Churchward

1 Jamaica Street, Bristol


Mrs C. Coase

c/o Lamont, 57 Etna Street, Gosford, New South Wales, Australia


S.J. Collins

33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8


P. Compton

29 A.M.Q., R.A.F. Compton Bassett, Calne, Wiltshire


D. Cooke-Yarborough.

3 Hillside, Clarefield, Uxbridge, Middlesex.


J. Cornwell

26 Russell Road, Fishponds, Bristol


A.J. Crawford

3 Hillside, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middelsex


F.G. Darbon

43 Arthur Henderson House, Fulham Road, Fulham, London, S.W.6


J. Davey

25 Hanson Lane, Halifax, Yorks


Mrs A. Davies

10 Bramley Road, Street, Somerset


R. Davies

Icknell Way House, A.E.R.E., Harwell, Berkshire


I Dear

Tudor Cottage, Vicarage Lane, Studdington, Hampshire


G. Dell

L/Cpl. 23128511, 28 Coy., C.A.D., Bramley, Basingstoke, Hampshire


K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon


R. Drake

83 Greenbank Road, Eastville, Bristol 5


D.P. Drew

24 Merynton Avenue, Cannon Hill, Coventry


A.J. Dunn

63 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol



116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol


B.M. Ellis

41 Fore Street, North Petherton, Somerset


D. England

7 Frome Way, Winterbourne, Bristol


C. Falshaw

57 Hallen Grange Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield 10


P.G. Faulkner

251 Rowah Crescent, Langley, Middleton, Manchester


T. Fletcher

The Old Mill House, Parnack, Nr. Stamford, Lincs


S. Fowler

34 R.A.F. Compton, Calne, Wiltshire


K. Franklin

18 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol


P. Franklin

18 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol


A. Francis

Address to follow


P.M. Giles

2J6 C.P.O.’s Mess, H.M.S. Ark Royal, G.P.O., London


D. Greenwood

34 Oaklandst Avenue, Northrowane, Halifax, Yorks


S. Grimes

34 Dodworth Drive, Mettlethorpe, Wakefield, Yorkshire


N.P. Hallett

Address not known


M. Hannam

Address not known


N. Hart

80 Ridgeway Road, Long Ashton, Bristol


C.W. Harris

14 Market Place, Wells, Somerset


R.P. Harte

23 Frobisher Road, Ashton, Bristol 3


D. Hassell

 ‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset


C.J. Hawkes

147 Evington Lane, Leicester


J.W. Hill

29 Highbury Road, Horfield, Bristol


G. Honey

24 Valentine Crescent, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire


D.W. Hoskyns

128 Woodland Gardens, Isleworth, Middlesex


R. Howell

123 Landseer Avenue, Lockleaze, Bristol 7


T.G. Hutton

21 Alcove Road, Fishponds, Bristol


J. Ifold

Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.


P. Ifold

Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin, Somerset


M.J. Isles

40 Richmond Street, Totterdown, Bristol


D. Irwin

14 South Street, Yeovil, Somerset


Miss P. Irwin

26 York Road, Edgebaston, Birmingham 8


G.M. Jackson

113 Marissal Road, Henbury, Bristol


R. Jarman

c/o South Chase Farm, Chase Lane, Kenilworth, Warwickshire


V. Jewell

14 Winterstoke Road, Ashton, Bristol 3


A. Johnson

Warren Cottage, Station Road, Flax Bourton, Somerset


F. Jones

9 Waterloo Street, Clifton, Bristol 8


R. Jones

48 Southdown Road, Emmer Green, Reading, Berkshire


U. Jones

Marsh Farm, Askem In Furness, Lancs.


W.F. Jones

9 Waterloo Street, Clifton, Bristol 8


Miss V. Jones

46 Shakespeare Avenue, Horfield, Bristol


R.S. King

22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Bristol


P. Kingston

3 Kingsely Road, Eastville, Bristol 5


R. Kinsman, Mrs

Pond House Farm, Freshford, Bath, Somerset


R. Kitchen

1st Batt. 2 E. Anglican Reg., Mercer Barracks, Osnabruck, B.F.P.O. 36


T. Knight

61 Worton Way, Isleworth, Middlesex


J. Lamb

Broadmeadows, Padstowe Road, Wadebridge, Cornwall


Mrs J. Lamb

Broadmeadows, Padstowe Road, Wadebridge, Cornwall


B.T. Lane

107 Feeder Road, St. Phillips, Bristol 2


M. Luckwill

52 Clifton Down Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


G.T. Lucy

Pike Croft, Long Lane, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks.


R.A. MacGregor

The Railway Arms, Station Road, Theale, Reading, Berks.


N. McSharry

4267236 J/T. 303 S.U., R.A.F., Khormaksar, Aden, B.F.P.O. 69


J. Major

10 Blenheim Road, Redland, Bristol 6


C. Marriott

718 Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol 5


T. Marston

28 Creston Road, Creston, Plymouth, Devon


E.J. Mason

11 Kendon Drive Wellington Hill West, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


A.J. Meaden

1 Churchfield, Wincanton, Somerset


P.J. Miller

130 Longmead Avenue, Bishopston, Bristol 7


D.W. Mitchell

2 Selwood Road, Frome, Somerset


G. Mossman

33 Whateley’s End Road, Winterbourne, Bristol


K. Murray

17 Harrington Gardens, South Kensington, London, S.W.7


F. Nash, Miss

15 Iddesleigh Roiad, Redland, Bristol 6


A. Nash

23714348 Pte A.G. (Int) H.Q. East African Command, B.F.P.O. 10


T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset


Mrs T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset


P. Page

‘A’ Squadron, R.A.F. Compton Bassett, Calne, Wiltshire


D. Palmer

9 Forest Road, Kingswood, Bristol


M.A. Palmer

Cathedral Coffee Tavern, 3 St. Thomas Street, Wells, Somerset


Miss S.E. Paul

Flat H, 21 Lovelace Road, Surbiton, Surrey


J. Pembry

Grove View, Hambrook, Nr. Bristol


L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol


A. Philpot

3 Kings Drive, Bishopston, Bristol


G. Platten

‘Rutherfield’, Fernhill Lane, New Milton, Hants.


Miss B. Plummer

2 Hogarth Walk, Lockleaze, Bristol


G. Pointing

10 Green Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol


B. Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Nr. Wells, Somerset


R.J. Price

2 Weekes Road, Bishop Sutton, Somerset


D. Quicke

Address unknown


Mrs D. Quicke

Address unknown


D. Radmore

2 Dunkeld Road, Filton, Bristol


J. Ransom

15 South View, Lenthay, Sherborne, Dorset


C.H.G. Rees

7 Coberley Road, Footshill, Hanham, Bristol


Mrs Rees

7 Coberley Road, Footshill, Hanham, Bristol


B. Reynolds

76 Hampton Road,  Redland, Bristol 6



13 Wades Road, Filton, Bristol


A. Rich

c/o Pox 126, Basham, Alberta, Canada


L. Rihan

Lilac Cottage, Lamyat, Shepton Mallet, Somerset


R.J. Roberts

5 Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset


Mrs Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6


G. Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6


Miss J.P. Rollason

141 North Road, St. Andrews Park, Bristol 6


A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset.


Mrs. A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset


B.M. Scott

Abbotscroft, 45 Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, Somerset


G. Selby

38 Hawkers Lane, Wells, Somerset


A. Selway

15 Street Martin’s Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset


Mrs R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset


R. Setterington

5 Moycullen Court. 96 Maida Vale, London W.9


J. Simonds

Coryndon Museum Centre, Box 30239, Nairobi, Kenya


C.J. Slavin

340 Speedwell Road, St. George, Bristol


C. Smith

48 Windsor Road Leyton, London E10


D. Smith

3 Providence Place, Reading, Berks.


J. Stafford

Wern Isaf, Pethel, Cearns


Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


T.H. Stanbury

6 Aubrey Road, Bristol 3


W. Stanton

Crabtrees, Wraxhill Close, Street, Somerset


R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


Mrs. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


E.P. Tackle

29 Haydon Gardens, Romey Gardens, Lockleaze, Bristol 7


A. Thomas

Westhaven School, Uphill, Weston s Mare, Somerset


M. Thomson

7 New Street, Wells, Somerset


Mrs. M. Thompson

7 New Street, Wells, Somerset


G. Tilly

 ‘Jable’, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset


J. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


Mrs. D. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


E. Towler

5 Boxgrove Gardens, Aldwick, Bognor Regis, Sussex


P. Townsend

154 Sylvia Avenue, Lower Knowle, Bristol 3


N. Tuck

33 St. Arvans Road, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire


S. Tuck

13 Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


Mrs. S. Tuck

13 Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


D. Waddon

32 Laxton Close, Taunton, Somerset


J.K. Waldron

50 Gill Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol


R.M. Wallis

55 Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Warrington, Lancs


R.E. Webster

131 Eastville Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


C.D. West

21 Douglas Road, Hollywood, Birmingham


R.A. West

21 Douglas Road, Hollywood, Birmingham


D. Weston

10 Woodcroft Road, Brislington, Bristol 4


G.O. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield


Mrs. G. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield


M. Wheadon

27 High Street, Shepton Mallet, Somerset


R. White

22 Bayham Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


A.E. Whitcombe

Address to follow


C. Wildgoose

18 Baileybrook Drive, Langley Mill, Notts


A.J. Williams

54 Crossways, Roggiett, Newport, Monmouthshire


L.J. Williams

2 East Grove, Montpelier, Bristol


R. Wilmut

36 Rudthorpe Road, Horfield, Bristol 7


B. Wilton

22 Wedmore Vale, Knowle, Bristol 4


J.G. Wolff

Roughdown, Clevedon Walk, Bath, Somerset


E.A. Woodwell

Address to follow


A.M. Wring

8 Oakleaze Road, Gillingstool, Thornbury, Glos


R.F. Wyncoll

9 St. Christians Croft, Cheylesmore, Coventry

Correngenda.  (Sorry, Corrigendum)

Dick Cooke-Yarborough’s address, which was originally written as Tony Crawford’s address in error, owing to a sudden attack of stupidity on the part of the editor should read: -

Cook-Yarborough, D. The Beeches, St. Briavels, Lydney, Glos.


Did you approve of the B.B.
                         As it appeared in '63?
                                      Or would you like to see far more
                                                  Good articles in '64?

                                        Now if the latter bit is true -   The remedy is UP TO YOU


THE BELFRY BULLETIN. Secretary: R.J. Bagshaw, 699 Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol 4
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Department, K. Abbey, 15 Gypsy Patch Lane, Little Stoke, Bristol.