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Notice

With this issue of the B.B., a start has been made towards transforming the B.E.C. journal into something which club members may eventually be able to take some pride in. A lot of discussion has been, and is still going on about such points as what size we can sensibly expect to maintain while giving members good value for their money and, in a wider context, just what the content of a typical B.B. ought to consist of.  If YOU have any bright ideas on any subject connected with the B.B., the editor or any member of the committee will gladly give your idea an airing.  Better still why not come to a committee meeting and tell us how you think the B.B. could be improved?  Ideas should, of course, be constructive.  It is of little use, for example, telling us that you would like to see more of a certain type of article unless you have some idea of how we might set about doing this.  It is hoped that, by the end of this year, we shall have a B.B. which will cater for most tastes, but it will be easier to do this if we know what YOU think about it.

Editorial

Twenty Five Years Old

A quarter of a century, or a third of an average lifetime is sufficiently long span of time to warrant some form of acknowledgment.  We hope that the new form of the B.B. will gradually set a standard for the further improvements in contents and printing which hopefully will follow.

Belfry Matters

At least four sincerely held, yet conflicting points of view as to how we should organise the Belfry have been made known to your editor recently by their adherents.  What one might call the Caving Viewpoint says ' The Belfry is a caving hut, and all other activities must yield to caving’.  In contrast, the Social viewpoint says ‘ The B.E.C. is not just a caving club.  The good fellowship for which the club has always been noted should not be allowed to disappear, and life at the Belfry should encourage it.’

Then there is the economic viewpoint, which says ' The Belfry has cost a lot of money and is expensive to run and maintain.  Whatever else it may or may not do, its first job is to pay its way.’  Finally, there is the member's viewpoint, which says 'The Belfry was built by the club and for the club.  Club people should always get priority.'

We are not alone in finding problems connected with the ownership of a new headquarters building, and there is nothing to be ashamed of in admitting that such problems exist. It would even be odd if they did not. What we must do is to find some modus vivendi which satisfies the various viewpoints summarised above.  It would appear that the committee must do their sums and find out just how much the place costs and what return is necessary to pay for it - then some reasonable balance could be struck between the claims of members and the needs of visitors.  As for any conflicting claims between serious cavers and the mere social variety, there seems to be no real need, in these days of easy transport, to confine social activities to the weekend.  Why not a fortnightly Belfry social evening some time in the week? Participants could easily pay the day fee as well as chipping in for the drinks and thus help to make the Belfry pay and keep everybody happy.

The Irremovables?

Another theory which has come recently to the editorial ear says that there are committee members who, irrespective of performance or outlook, can never be removed to make way for more progressive types because they depend for their votes on older members who are equally out of touch.  On the face of it, this theory leaks plausible, but I wonder how true it really is? I can think of at least one occasion where a member of long standing and good past performance was voted off because the club - rightly or wrongly _ judged that he was no longer in a position to contribute his particular skills.  I can think of no time in which a member who was determined to do some job better than its holder was doing it, failed to get there fairly quickly.  On the ether hand, I can think of a number of occasions in which the new broom did a little quick sweeping and then failed to keep it up.  The motto for potential new brooms seems to be 'Show us what you can do, convince us, and then keep us that way.'

‘Alfie’

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QUOTE…..During a discussion on Tim Large's report in the St. Cuthbert’s news sheet where he refers to some leaders as 'deawood', Norman Petty was heard to comment " All these leaders have been struck down with Dutch Elm Disease, I suppose."