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Annual List of Club Member’s’ Names and Addresses

At the request of those members who make requests, we are printing the annual list of member’s names and addresses in the November B.B. this year, to give more time between the publication of the list and Christmas.  This will make the November B.B. rather full and there will be little room for much else.  However, we hope that the publication of the list now will free more space in the Christmas B.B. for other, and perhaps more interesting items.

528

K. Abbey

15 Gypsy Patch lane, Little Stoke, Bristol

306

T Andrews

135 Danson Road, Bexley, Kent

236

J. Attwood

4 Bridge Road, Shortwood, Nr. Mangosfield, Bristol

20

R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

358

D Balcombe

49 Shelford Road, Trumpington, Cambridge

546

R. Ball

13 Charis Avenue, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

290

R. Bater

108 Memorial Road, Hanam, Bristol

214

R. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset.

390

J. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset

451

D. Berry

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

417

P. Bird

City Museum, Queens Road, Bristol

364

P.M. Blogg

1 Ridgeway Park, Ridgeway, Bristol

336

A. Bonner

20 Sandfiedl Road, Cullercoats, North Shields, Northumberland

145

Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

P.O. Box 447, Durbro, N.S.W., Australia

573

Miss S. Bradshaw

55 Manor Park, Redland, Bristol 6

532

R.J. Brook

130 Sylvan Way, Sea Mills, Bristol 6

564

R. Broomhead

59 Kingshill Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

551

G. Bull

97 Queensgate, London, S.W.7

506

Miss R. Burnett

“Clowes Villa”, Station Road, Hatton-le-Hole, Co. Durham

488

M. Calvert

16 Wetherley Avenue, Old Down, Bath, Somerset

526

J. Churchward

1 Jamaica Street, Bristol

398

A. Coase

53 Broughton Road, Croft, leicestershire

211

Mrs C. Coase

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

89

S.J. Collins

c/o Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Bristol

377

D. Cooke-Yarborough.

The Beeches, St. Briavels, Lydmney, Glos.

576

N. Cooper

3 West Terrace, Westbury, Sherborne, Dorset

494

J. Cornwell

26 Russell Road, Fishponds, Bristol

585

A.F. Corrigan

48A Talbot Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

71

A.J. Crawford

3 Hillside, Haverfield, Uxbridge, Middlesex

580

R.H. Crawford

685 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

405

F.G. Darbon

43 Arthur Henderson House, Fulham Road, Fulham, London

464

J. Davey

12 St. Annes Road, Skirsal Green, Halifax, Yorks

350

Mrs A. Davies

10 Bramley Road, Street, Somerset

472

R. Davies

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

423

L. Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermonsey, S.E.16

424

Mrs. L. Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermonsey, S.E.16

449

G. Dell

225 Ground Liaison Section, R.A.F. Khormaksar, B.F.P.O. 69

164

K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon

553

R. Drake

83 Greenbank Road, Eastville, Bristol 5

563

J. Dryden

1 Beauforst East, London Road, Bath, Somerset

325

A.J. Dunn

63 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol

331

J.A.Etough

116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol

322

B.M. Ellis

‘Knowkauns’, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset

263

D. England

7 Frome Way, Winterbourne, Bristol

232

C. Falshaw

57 Hallen Grange Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield 10

496

P.G. Faulkner

251 Rowah Crescent, Langley, Middleton, Manchester

453

D. Ford

Address unknown

278

S. Fowler

Officers Mess, R.A.F. Locking, Weston-Super-Mare, Som

468

K. Franklin

20 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol

469

P. Franklin

20 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol

269

T. Fletcher

The Old Mill House, Parnack, Stamford, Lincs

371

A. Fincham

Leeds University Union, Leeds 2

470

P.M. Giles

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

434

D. Greenwood

19 Green Croft Avenue, Northrowan, Halifax, Yorks

566

P.E. Griffin

121 Colston Road, Easton. Bristol 5.

388

J. Goodwind

11 Glen Arm Walk, Brislington, Bristol 5

239

D. Gwinnel

34 Gatehouse Close, Withywood, Bristol 3

478

S. Grimes

R.N. Test Squadron, A & A.E.E. Boscombe Down, Amesbury, Wilts

582

C. Hall

29 Abbostfield Road, Redlands, Bristol

432

N.P. Hallett

7 Cobverley, Footshill, Kingswood, Bristol

104

M. Hannam

31 Devonshire, Pinawa, Manitoba, Canada

537

N. Hart

8 Ridgeway Road, Long Ashton, Bristol

304

C.W. Harris

4 Market Place, Wells, Somerset

581

C. Harvey

Byways, Brittens, Paulton, Nr. Bristol

4

D. Hassell

‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset

587

D.G. Hewitt

21 Clarendon Road, Redland, Bristol 6

436

J.W. Hill

100 Cotham Brow, Cotham, Bristol 6

373

S. Hobbs

Hockerstone Cottage, Townsend, Priddy, Wells, Somerset

387

G. Honey

34 Knightsbridge Walk, Billericay, essex

97

J. Ifold

Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.

150

P. Ifold

Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin, Somerset

363

M.J. Isles

89 Broad Walk, Knowle, Bristol 4

540

D. Irwin

9 Campden Hill Gardens, London W.8

438

Miss P. Irwin

c/o Mrs. Sutur, 4 Albert Street, Bangor, North Wales

555

G.M. Jackson

113 Marissal Road, Henbury, Bristol

522

R. Jarman

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

51

A. Johnson

Warren Cottage, Station Road, Flax Bourton, Somerset

560

F. Jones

9 Waterloo Street, Clifton, Bristol 8

285

U. Jones

Marsh Farm, Askem In Furness, Lancs.

529

Miss V. Jones

46 Shakespeare Avenue, Horfield, Bristol

579

P.R. Kempson

9 Fossedale Avenue, Bristol 4

567

A.J. Kennett

9 Belmont Road, Redland, Bristol 6

316

R.S. King

22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Bristol

542

P. Kingston

3 Kingsely Road, Eastville, Bristol 5

429

R. Kinsman

24 Linden Lane, Princetown, New Jersey, U.S.A.

413

R. Kitchen

2nd Batt. Royal Ang. Regiment, Alexandra Barracks, Dhekelia, B.F.P.O. 53

456

T. Knight

61 Worton Way, Isleworth, Middlesex

475

B.T. Lane

107 Feeder Road, St. Phillips, Bristol 2

574

Dr. O.C.  Lloyd

Withey House, Withey Close West, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

495

M. Luckwill

52 Clifton Down Road, Clifton, Bristol 8

58

G.T. Lucy

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

550

R.A. MacGregor

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

561

J. Major

10 Blenheim Road, Redland, Bristol 6

275

C. Marriott

718 Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol 5

415

T. Marston

28 Creston Road, Creston, Plymouth, Devon

106

E.J.Mason

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

558

A.J. Meaden

1 Churchfield, Wincanton, Somerset

339

G. Mossman

33 Whateley’s End Road, Winterbourne, Bristol

308

K. Murray

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

386

A. Nash

Security Office, G,(int) H.Q. Brirish Land Forces, Kenya, B.F.P.O. 10

586

G.R. Neilson

23 Hogarth Walk, Lockleaze, Bristol 7

557

D. Palmer

9 Forest Road, Kingswood, Bristol

396

M.A. Palmer

111A Winner Street, Paignton, Devon

492

Miss S.E. Paul

21 Lovelace Road, Surbiton, Surrey

22

L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

160

N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol

499

A. Philpot

3 Kings Drive, Bishopston, Bristol

56

G. Platten

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

568

Miss B. Plummer

2 Hogarth Walk, Lockleaze, Bristol

450

G. Pointing

10 Green Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol

337

B. Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Nr. Wells, Somerset

342

R.J. Price

2 Weekes Road, Bishop Sutton, Somerset

503

D. Quicke

Address unknown

291

D. Radmore

2 Dunkeld Road, Filton, Bristol

481

J. Ransom

15 South View, Lenthay, Sherborne, Dorset

258

C.H.G. Rees

7 Coberley Road, Footshill, Hanham, Bristol

452

Mrs Rees

7 Coberley Road, Footshill, Hanham, Bristol

552

B. Reynolds

76 Hampton Road,  Redland, Bristol 6

241

A.L.C.Rice

20 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7

343

A. Rich

c/o Pox 126, Basham, Alberta, Canada

443

R.J. Roberts

5 Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset

489

Mrs Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6

490

G. Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6

569

Miss J. Rowlands

15 Eden Crowe, Bristol

240

A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset.

359

Mrs. A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset

237

B.M. Scott

Abbotscroft, 45 Chilkwell Street, Glastonbury, Somerset

577

D. Searle

55 Langton Park, Southville, Bristol 3

578

Mrs. D. Searle

55 Langton Park, Southville, Bristol 3

482

G. Selby

38 Hawkes Lane, Wells, Somerset

508

A. Selway

15 Street Martin’s Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

78

R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset

533

Mrs R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset

213

R. Setterington

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

425

J. Simonds

Coryndon Museum Centre, Box 30239, Nairobi, Kenya

556

C.J. Slavin

340 Speedwell Road, St. George, Bristol

562

J. Slapp

10 Thicket Road, Thornbury, Bristol

565

W.J. Smart

38 Glenwood Road, Mill Hill, London N.W.7

473

D. Smith

3 Providence Place, Reading, Berks.

276

J. Stafford

Wern Isaf, Pethel, Cearns

38

Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.

1

T.H. Stanbury

6 Aubrey Road, Bristol 3

547

W. Stanton

Crabtrees, Wraxhill Close, Street, Somerset

575

J.D. Statham

117 Belmont Road, Bristol 6

570

Miss J. Steadman

194 Romney Avenue, Lockleaze, Bristol 7

365

R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3

381

Mrs. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3

60

P.A. Stewart

11 Fairhaven Road, Redland, Bristol 6

572

P. Sutton

56 Arley Hill, Redland, Bristol 6

514

E.P. Tackle

29 Haydon Gardens, Romey Gardens, Lockleaze, Bristol 7

583

D. Targett

16 Phillis Hill, Midsomer Norton, Bath, Somerset

284

A. Thomas

Westhaven School, Uphill, Weston s Mare, Somerset

571

N.L. Thomas

The Paddocks, Charlton Down, Andover Hants.

497

M. Thomson

7 New Street, Wells, Somerset

498

Mrs. M. Thompson

7 New Street, Wells, Somerset

502

G. Tilly

 ‘Jable’, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset

584

Miss O. Tomlinson

Weyside gardens, Guildford, Surrey

74

J. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

80

Mrs. D. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

326

E. Towler

5 Boxgrove Gardens, Aldwick, Bognor Regis, Sussex

544

P. Townsend

154 Sylvia Avenue, Lower Knowle, Bristol 3

512

N. Tuck

33 St. Arvans Road, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire

157

Mrs. J. Tuck

33 St. Arvans Road, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire

382

S. Tuck

13 Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8

 

Mrs. S. Tuck

13 Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8

175

Mrs. D. Waddon

32 Laxton Close, Taunton, Somerset

79

R.M. Wallis

55 Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Warrington, Lancs

536

R.E. Webster

131 Eastville Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

538

C.D. West

21 Douglas Road, Hollywood, Birmingham

539

R.A. West

21 Douglas Road, Hollywood, Birmingham

525

D. Weston

10 Woodcroft Road, Brislington, Bristol 4

441

G.O. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield

442

Mrs. G. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield

397

M. Wheadon

Maplecroft, Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts

553

R. White

22 Bayham Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

520

C. Wildgoose

18 Baileybrook Drive, Langley Mill, Notts

549

A.J. Williams

54 Crossways, Roggiett, Newport, Monmouthshire

559

B. Wilton

22 Wedmore Vale, Knowle, Bristol 4

509

R. Wilmut

36 Rudthorpe Road, Horfield, Bristol 7

In addition, Joan Bennett – who is in charge of the Postal Dept. this year – has sent in the following additions and changes…

M. Luckwill, “Newhaven”, 139 Dudley St., Belston, Staffs.
S.A. Lee, 1 Coliseum Terrace, Albany Street, London N.W.1
D. Quicke, 26 Oresfielde Avenue, Elland Yorks

Still on the subject of names and addresses, we have received a note from Jill Tuck (who some of you may remember as Jill Rollason –she recently married Norma Tuck – and incidentally, congratulations and best wished to both of you!) announcing a change of address, which is now 48 Wiston Path, Fairwater, Cwmbran, Mon.  She says that Norman and herself will be very pleased to see any club members who happen to be passing that way, which is only a few miles south of Aggy Aggy.

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

The A.G.M. of the C.R.G. will be held this year at the Temperance Hall, Sackville Street, Skipton, Yorks on

The Belfry Will Be Closed

The Belfry will be closed to all except a chosen working party for the weekend 18-20th December. The building has been examined by Pat Ifold and, although no dry rot has been found (it would mean the extremely rapid end of the Belfry if this did rear its ugly head) the conditions are ripe for it to appear unless some pretty drastic steps are taken now.

It is necessary, therefore, to fit guttering to the font and rear of the building and gradually replace all the rotten timber.  Unfortunately, this includes one of the beams on which the building stands.  In order to replace it, the whole building must be lifted on screw jacks.  This is why the building must be closed for the weekend.  I hope that the choice of the weekend immediately before Christmas will inconvenience the fewest number of people.

Since becoming Belfry Engineer, I have been delighted with the willing way that people muscle in and lend a hand.   Few indeed don’t help.  After all, somebody built the place and we have a duty to maintain it.  The builders of the Belfry were active cavers, many of whom have wasted several years of their youth in the forces, and their time was precious enough.  We are privileged to have inherited the finest social club in the world.  Please come along and help keep it!

Alan Thomas

Climbing in November

In the short space of two months, it has been possible to sample extremes of weather in North Wales.

Early September was warm and sunny and short energetic climbs were followed by long idle hours sunbathing on the little beach in Cwm Idwal.  During mid October, snow fell and a hazardous fight along Crib Gogh in a snowstorm was followed by hot showers at the ever hospitable Staffords.  The next day was outstandingly beautiful, with snow clad summits under blue skies as a very alpine traverse was made across the Glyders.

Conditions for the club trip on the 14-15th of November were again extreme – but simple.  There was simply an excessive wind.  Gale force winds buffeting and making tents almost inhabitable, pouring over ridges and staggering the balance of climbers crouched against the blast.

Arriving at Gwern-y-gof Isaf, the Sandalls, Norman Petty, Barry Wilton and Ruth Hammer preffred the stability of the barn while Mo, Eddie Welch, Roy Bennett, Mark James and Kangy camped (Ruth, Eddie and Mark are prospective members).  The climbing accomplished must be viewed against a background of a noisy, cold, tearing wind.  In these conditions, fingers freeze and progress is slow and made by synchronising movements with lulls.  Sudden gusts are made by gripping, huddling with cheek close to rock, and hoping.  Mo and Eddie did well to complete the Sub Cneifon Arête.  Roy and Ruth, Mark and Kangy climbed Pinnacle Rib then on up and over the Glyders. Chasm Route on Glyder Fach was also climbed by Roy and Mo with Ruth, while others walked in wind and hail.

An invigorating trip, with far more snatched from the weekend than at first seemed possible.

“Kangy”

Trip to Dachstein in Austria

During the last year or so, the feeling has grown amongst some members that the B.E.C. should be taking a more active interest in serious speleological projects.  Amongst those considered were the investigation and subsequent exploration of some foreign caving area.

After due consideration, the area decided upon, and approved by the committee was in Austria – the Dachstein Massif.  This is located immediately to the south of Lake Hallstatt, about 35 miles from Saltsburg, and forms one of the units comprising the Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria.  In the cave region is found the Dachstein Limestone, the highest series of beds which is about 7,500 feet thick and consist of unaltered and dolomitic limestones with reff facies.  The Massif is bounded to the north by the river Traum flood plain at 2,000 feet, so the available limestone for cave development is about 5,500 feet.  Some work has already been done in the area by the Austrians and also by the B.S.A. in the neighbouring Tannengebirge.  This is a similar karst type plateau to the Dachstein.  Judging by the caves already known, there would be plenty of scope for all types of cavers on the ‘expedition’.  Those who prefer long ladder pitches will be catered for, but those preferring Mendip type caving will find plenty to occupy and interest them. It is essential to know an approximate number of people who will be going on this trip as soon as possible, as accommodation may be limited.  One may stay in guest houses in the valley, in mountain huts on the plateau, or camp at either place.  It is anticipated that transport will be by private vehicle as far as is possible and the duration of stay either 2 or 3 weeks.  Dates will have to be arranged when it is known who can definitely go, but it will have to be restricted to late July or early August for weather reasons. Finally, and perhaps the most important item, the cost is thought to be no more than about £30 per person per fortnight.  Please, if you are interested, give your names to myself, Keith Franklin or Roy Bennett.

Editors Note:     I should have written; ‘Mo’ Marriott instead of Keith Franklin, who wrote the above article.

Editorial

As you will appreciate from the heading, page one of this B.B. has had to be scrapped.  It originally did things like wishing you all a Merry Christmas, but perhaps in view of the ill fortune that has dogged the production of this very belated Christmas Number, it might be safer to wish you a Happy Easter (or in, the case of members who get the B.B. by post, Whitsun).

Not to bore you unduly, but what has happened is a temporary breakdown in the printing department of the B.B. also, as a result of changes here, it will not be possible to implement the plans for producing the B.B. by the Offset Litho process – at least not in the near future.  So it is a case of ‘as you were’ and perhaps that’ll finally teach me not to natter on about the future any more!

You will however, find some forms about the M.R.O. and the continental trip in this B.B. and also you are being asked for your comments on the subject of next year’s dinner. Please try to answer all these if you possible can as various arrangements depend on us knowing what you want and what you are prepared to do.

In spite of the delay, the editor would like to wish all club members and cavers everywhere a very Happy and Prosperous New Year and good caving in 1965.

 “Alfie”


The Sequence of Development of St. Cuthberts [Part 2]

Re-examination and Vadose Erosion.

The great plug was finally broken, possibly by the simple pressure of the water that it impounded, possibly by the fall in the water table at the Wookey end of the system causing the choke to be sapped from downstream.  The first re-excavating streams came down the Arête route and from the north east corner of Upper Traverse Chamber.  Both cleared much of the fill in the central chambers and the western part of the Warren before re-opening the gravity favoured channels down Everest Passage and The Fingers and so clearing Main Stream Passage.  A comparatively small stream removed the top six feet or so of fill in the Lake – Cerberus Hall section of the rift, flowing into the Main Stream through the Dining Room.  Southeast of the Dining Room Junction the rift remained choked. The streams cleared it again at end below their final points of entry – Beehive Chamber.  The gours for which the rift is named are thus stalagmite deposits on to a wall of fill left standing immediately upstream of the Beehive Junction.

In the highest parts of the cave, there was little fill to clear.  The streams instead expended their energy on the erosion of the cave.  At the south end of the Wire Rift a great stream pothole was drilled by the water on its way to Pillar and Boulder Chambers. The drilling struck an extensive low-angle thrust which guides most of the Pulpit route from the second pitch to Lower Traverse Chamber.  Water was diverted down it, tearing the bottom out of the pothole and opening a primitive route across Lower Traverse Chamber and out into Main Stream Passage at the lower Everest Passage Junction.  This route (proto Pulpit) thus passed under Upper traverse Chamber without connecting with it during the early stages of formation.  The ruptured pothole is Upper Mud Hall, now further modified by a hefty rock fall.

Stream flow in the cave then ceased and another stalagmite phase began.  The principal remains are a great false floor – up to 24 inches thick - which has to be ducked under when passing into the Dining Room

It was built onto a gravel floor sloping from Cerberus Hall down to the Main Stream Passage.  Only the lower part of it is left now and it is s good site to look at stream eroded stalagmite.  There are even some anastomoses.

When the streams started up again, they entered the cave via new routes.  During the stalagmite phase, the earlier surface sinks must have been infilled.  The Arête – Wire Rift route was abandoned and a small stream found its way down through the big aven at the bottom of the descent from Pillar Chamber to Kanchenjunga Boulder level.  It went on through Boulder Chamber to Main Stream passage, continuing the work of clearing fill.

A larger stream followed a great vertical fault down onto the northwest side of September Series. When it hit the shales, it burst a new route to the west, into Upper Traverse Chamber.  The fault guided pitch, apparently the biggest vadose feature in the cave, is High Chamber.  Another stream from Lake Chamber cleared another six feet or so of fill in Cerberus Hall, undermining the Dining Room stalagmite floor and leaving it hanging in the air.  The combined streams cut shallow trenches in the rock floor immediately up and downstream of plantation Junction.  Half of the upstream trench remains as a muddy ledge followed along the bottom of the Sewer.

Another stalagmite phase followed.  Remains are again seen at the Dining Room, where a thin floor is preserved on the north side descending the 24 inch one.  When the stream recommenced, they brought in a unique fill of sand and silt which had evidently accumulated above ground during the stalagmite phase.  For a while, many parts of the cave were clogged with this, until the surface supply ran out and the streams began to move their dumpings further downstream into the unknown cave.  Sand from High Chamber Stream can be seen on the Upper Traverse, banked against the remaining course fill in the Tunnel and all over the Fingers.  There it buried stalagmite and built up at least fifteen feet deep, spilling into the Warren. A lot of sand remains north of the Kanchenjunga Boulder, indicating that the stream from the aven there brought its share.

In Cerberus Hall, there was a rock fall onto the stalagmite and then six to eight feet of sand was laid. It is the flat floor material in the centre of the hall.  At the northwest end it can be seen burying big stalagmite bosses of an earlier phase. There are remains of the sand in crevices all the way down Main Stream Passage and great bank of it at Plantation Junction.

At the close of the sand phase, High Chamber lost the principal stream.  It has only been a trickle since, which cut a prominent trench to the mouth of Maypole Series.  It was this series which captured the water.  This created the most northerly passages, then joining the pre-existing rift.  This was entrenched, creating some of the finest stream potholes on Mendip.  One, which follows vertically plunging shales, is a must for the collector of spectacular geology.

On entering Upper traverse Chamber, the Maypole Stream used a sequence of routes.  First, it cleared sand down the old course through Cascade Chamber and The Fingers.  Once this was out of the way a route was opened through the solid rock floor down to the proto-Pulpit Channel, which had been inactive since the first phase of re-excavation.  The new route was Sentry Passage.  Before this had grown very big, it was abandoned for the more direct course that the trickles from the Maypole Series now follow.  This course culminates in a thirty foot vertical drop to the proto-Pulpit cave.  The greatest pothole in St. Cuthbert’s was drilled at the base of it.  This is Lower Traverse Chamber.  From the pothole, the water first exited on the west side, the modern crawl through the boulders to the lower parts of the cave.  The trench it cut here left Sentry Passage hanging eight feet up the wall and caused the boulder fall.  Later, the lower route cut through the south wall of the pothole was developed.  The stream follows this to a choke today.

Then the Maypole Series was robbed of its water in turn.  It was diverted, immediately below ground, into the Arête Route.  Fill was cleared in the Wire Rift and the series of little capture channels between Upper Mud Hall and Waterfall Pitch (the last and biggest of the captures) were opened.

Rockfall in the Arête Pitch diverted the water into some big joints in the northwest.  These opened up into Pulpit Pitch, the last great vadose trench was cut down to the Lower Traverse pothole.  This, of course, was out of action because the water from Maypole was gone.

In this phase of erosion also, a stream re-entered September Series and the Extension.  This area had been inactive since it was choked in the Main Fill Period.  The new stream opened Catgut which had not existed before, and then cleared Extension Passage down through Helictite Passage.  It switched its course and began clearing the modern Plantation Stream Route. Fill in Continuation Chamber could be flushed into Extension Passage via the Sausage Machine.  Further downstream, clearance was more difficult and most of the coarse material in the choke remains, though the finer stuff has been filtered out.  Flood waters in the clogged passage built up quite a head of pressure, which caused water to burst from the Tin Mine and erode a channel, through fill, into the top of the Sewer.  This is why it is necessary to climb to enter Helictie Passage and use a chain to scale stalagmite 10 feet to the north (entrance to Upper Extension Passage). One is climbing the walls of the flood channel, since mantled with stalagmite.

Since the Sand Phase, there has been no big stream flowing from Curtain Chamber into Cerberus Hall. At Lake and Mud Hall Chambers, local drips have washed the fill down into the soak ways in the floor.  The soaking water may emerge somewhere in the Sewers but I think it more probable that it goes straight down the Great Rift to seep under the Gours.  The Lake level thus fluctuates because the heavy wet weather drips have to filter out, on a shallow gradient, through more than 250 feet of stream gravels.

The mainstream (Pulpit) was reduced in size at the close of this last major erosion phase.  It cut slot trenches through its potholes and then could only deposit its load of pebbles and gravels.  The deposit built up to 4 – 5 feet above the modern floor at Lower Traverse Chamber, where many residuals of it can be seen.

Cavers, however, are the most active cause of erosion of all kinds at the moment.  There is plenty of evidence all over Mendip to indicate that falls most frequently occur in much-travelled boulder chokes, even if there is no deliberate displacement of material.  Gravel and clay deposits have taken a heavy beating.  As they may be of significance to the kind of historical reconstruction given above, it is well to avoid trampling over those that have escaped the boot so far.  Please don’t dump carbide anywhere near buried stalagmite deposits.  In the future it may be possible to get dates on these, but they will look pretty queer if the calcium ratios have been affected by seeping calcium carbide.

Derek Ford
Los Angeles
May 1964

The sequence of development in st. Cuthbert’s swallet.

Phreatic Period

Phase 1.

Phreatic Erosion. – Bore Passages.

 

2

Phreatic Erosion. – Expansion –

 

 

Disintegration of Bore Passages.

 

 

Cave Drained of Phreatic Water

Main Fill Period.

Phase 3a.

Stream Deposition.  Coarse deposits, followed by finer sediments.

 

3b.

Stalagmite Deposition.

 

4a.

Stream Deposition.  -  As in 3a.

 

4b.

Stalagmite Deposition.

 

5a.

Stream Deposition.  -  As in 3a.

 

5b.

Stalagmite Deposition.

 

6

Stream Deposition.  -  As in 3a.

 

7

Stream Deposition.  -  As in 3a

Re-excavation Period.

8a.

Vadose Erosion.  Mud Hall’s Pothole

 

8b.

Stalagmite Deposition.

 

9a.

Vadose Erosion.  -  High Chamber.

 

9b.

Stalagmite Deposition.

 

10

Stream Deposition.  -  Sand Phase.

 

11a.

Vadose Erosion.  -  Maypole & Pulpit.

 

11b.

Stream Deposition.

 

11c.

Recent Stalagmite.

 

12

Vadose Erosion.  -  Recommencing.  (modern phase).


 

Cuthbert’s in 1964

For the last few years, the Christmas B.B. has included an article on St. Cuthbert’s giving outlines of new discoveries found during the year.

On one of the main trips to the Coral area this year, several interesting chambers were found giving, I hope, a new interest to the would be explorer and those who are under the impression that S. Cuthbert’s is an explored cave with no further discoveries of interest to come!

Following the discovery of Chandelier Passage and Upper Long Chamber (This should not be confused with Long Chamber Extension which is the chamber reached by traversing the bedding plane of Long Chamber and which was also known as Upper long Chamber.  Due to the duplicating of chamber names, Upper Long Chamber is now the chamber noted by John Cornwell – although it was probably discovered in December 1963 when Nick Hart and Phil Davies maypole the hole in the wall opposite Kanchenjunga) by John Cornwell in March, a rough survey was commenced with a view to obtaining a clear picture of what existed in this comparatively little known area of the cave, and to attempt to catalogue all the known chambers and passages.

On one of these trips, accompanied by Bill Smart, Dave Smith and Olive Tomlinson, a visit was paid to a passage off the ruckle mentioned by Mike Luckwill on the 1963 Christmas B.B. This rift passage, some fifty feet, was explored both in the roof and the floor for any extensions.  I found a small hole at the bottom end of the rift that led to a tight rift leading to a small boulder chamber which was the terminal point of a visit by Roy Bennett some years ago.  Several holes were noted under the only solid wall which showed to be another narrow rift with a chamber below.  Several feeble attempts were made to remove a key, medium sized, boulder but we couldn’t get sufficient leverage to get it out.  The only way left to us was to remove the pile of boulders at the side – at first carefully, but gradually increasing in speed until they all avalanched to the floor of the chamber with an almighty crash!  In doing this, they blocked the keystone, but revealed a choked rift.  By digging through the fill, we broke into a lower chamber.  This chamber tapered to a stal. choke and, as I was looking at it, Bill Smart noticed a small hole in the floor near the limestone climb.  We threw stones in to the hole and by the way they fell sounded extremely promising.  Just able to squeeze my head and shoulders through, I saw what appeared to be a very large pot with huge slabs balanced against the sides. Extracting myself, we started moving a slab of rock giving sufficient room to squeeze through.  I landed on a ledge in the chamber some twenty feet above the floor level and saw at once that it was not a pot, neither was it circular! The chamber was about forty feet long and some twenty to twenty feet wide and about forty feet high.  The right hand wall was absolutely smooth for the full height of the chamber, giving the impression of height far more than it really was.  The climb down was accomplished by the party gave us a chance to look at the chamber. It appeared we were in the upper reaches of the Lake/Gour fault.  This time we were looking at the fault in its original unwaterworn state, although some mineralization has taken place on the vertical wall.  It was noted some time later that it was rather strange to see the bedding on the left ‘wall’ broken into large boulders and the complete absence of any bedding on the fault wall.  The ‘white limestone’ we had climbed down was an eight foot wide band of breccia.  On a later trip, when we lit the chamber with magnesium string showed horizontal slickensliding, which has given a clue to the type of fault we are trying to cross.

The following day, accompanied by the same party except Dave Smith, who had an argument with the Mineries Pool the evening before, plus Mike Palmer, Mike Luckwill and Tony Meadon, scoured Marble Hall for any further passages.  A series of such passages were found below the chamber reached by climbing down a rift; but were all choked with coarse infill.  The interesting point was that the bedding appeared to be all but vertical (the normal angle for the cave is 38 -400) but this is presumably due to the disturbance caused by the fault.  Before leaving we discussed a suitable name for the chamber and arrived finally at Marble Hall for two reasons: - Large white calcite banding was a feature in the fault wall resembling marble and the high narrow rectangular section of the chamber looked very much like an impressive hall.

During a photographic trip with Barry Lane and Tommy Thomas (Aug 9th) I had a further look at the stal. choke in the chamber above Marble Hall, and saw that it was comprised of small boulders with a thin coating of flowstone.  Stones were dropped through the small openings and indicated a space below. The following Saturday armed with hammer and accompanied by Phil Kingston and Mike Luckwill, we smashed

the choke and entered a very small but well water worn chamber, the only way one being a very tight tube leading almost vertically downwards.  At first sight it looked almost impossible, but I managed to slide through to the top of another rift chamber about fifteen feet deep.  This led to another squeeze in the floor and a shaft (climbable) some three to four feet in diameter and once choked with a coarse infill.  Parts are quite well stalled over.  This dropped away for nearly thirty feet, ending in a choke.  A tight squeeze led to a side chamber that only Phil could get through.  On the floor, a tight phreatic tube was noticed with several fist size holes leading downward from it.  Small stones were dropped down and indicated a space below once again.  On a later trip with Roy Bennett, Roy noticed a small chamber at the bottom of the fifteen foot rift.  This has not been entered to this date, as it is proposed to photograph the stal. flow before it is soiled when entering a tube on the far side.  On the 25th August we (Bill Smart, Alan Williams, Geoff Bull and myself) explored the ruckle again.  Much work will have to be done in the future as many promising holes have yet to be probed.

Another interesting area that has been found this year (although great care needs to be exercised) is off Pillar Chamber.  We (Alan Thomas and myself) entered a hole in the roof to a small chamber with bat guano on the floor that led to a rather shattered passage after a short climb, entered a chamber about twenty feet five feet high.  This was probably the feeder to Rocky Boulder Passage as the floor below shows a well developed pot some six feet in diameter and blocked with boulders. An interesting pitch of about twenty five feet may be made through the eyehole to Rocky Boulder Passage.

Alan climbed a rather dodgy looking lot of boulders to find a large chamber above and to the left of this (looking north).  This chamber is formed along the same plane as Upper Long Chamber and bedding planes. A much more sporting way to connect the two chambers is via a 54’ pitch that is reached from the large chamber via a squeeze (The Thrutch).  This leads to a wide rift some 25 to 30 feet high with an unclimbed aven at the end. At the floor of the aven are fine formations with several crystal pools.  A thirty foot maypole will be required to climb the aven and avoid the stal. The rift was entered and the left hand wall climbed to a height of about eighteen feet to a point near the stal. floor (Saturday 10th October – Alan Coase, Bill Smart, 2 W.S.G. and myself). Although Alan was tempted to climb a bedding plane, it proved too dicey without ropes.

As we were about to leave the rift, I had a look at a hole at the end of a restricted bedding plane and could see a ledge some ten to twelve feet down.  As I was halfway through the hole, a stone crashed away telling us that it was more than ten to twelve feet.  The ladders were fetched and belayed to boulders in the floor. Alan, the only one handy with a Nife, as water supplies were about out, bottomed the pitch to say that the forty feet of ladder that we had got was about ten feet short.  Climbing down the rest, he found himself in a bedding plane leading to Long Chamber.

This then is a brief description of some of the new areas in Cuthbert’s with a very great deal still to be probed.  Perhaps 1965 might be the year the B.E.C. cross the fault.  Who knows?

Dave Irwin.


 

M. R. O.

As many of you will know, the B.E.C. operates a rescue call-out system as part of its co-operative effort with the Mendip Rescue Organisation.  This involves having an up to date list of active members, with their telephone numbers and addresses, so that in the event of a rescue call-out a suitable number of people can be brought to the scene of the rescue as quickly as possible.  This is particularly important at time when few cavers are on Mendip as for instance in a mid-week call-out.

Over the last few years, the list has become out of date and a questionnaire has therefore been included in this B.B.  From the answers received, a short list of thirty or so people will be drawn up. The term ‘most Mendip caves’ in the questionnaire means the major systems of Mendip; Swildons, Eastwater, Cuthbert’s, G.B., Stoke Lane, etc.  The term ‘special Knowledge’ includes features such as the Long Chamber area of Cuthbert’s, Pine Tree Pot, Cow Holes, etc.

C.A. Marriott.

Crossword

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

 

X WORD

Across.   1. Mendip Cave (9). 

6. Any Other Business (3). 

8. Used by learner cavers to find their way out (6). 

9. I get into a broken bell (5). 

10. A devilish metal (6).

11. Allow to become a lord (7). 

13.  If rocks do this, it could be dangerous (7). 

16. In the Chinese vase, that is broken (6). 

18. Bird, wrapped up in a towel?  (5).

19. Electrical power supplies (6).

21. Van Gogh cut his off!  Would you do the same? (3)

22. Logically when Alice should have had the jam? (9).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

7

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

12

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

14

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

 

17

 

 

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

20

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Down. 

1. Consume (3).

2. Stir a stump, or for that matter the B.E.C. and the result is this (5).

3. TWISTED? (7)

4. Edible form of Egyptian writing? (6).

5. Natural caver? (6).

7. See 14 down (9).        8. Rock from underneath the limestone (9)

12. Neil and egg beaten up to give a film garnet (7).

14 & 7. Read by bats? (6 & 9).

15. Buries (6).

17. Sulky transport (5).

20. Plaything (3).

Sett


 

Extracts from the Caving Log

Edited by Barry lane

On the 4th October, Bob White and Dave Irwin inspected a rift in the large chamber off the “Pillar Extensions” in St. Cuthbert’s and found that an aven near the entrance to the chamber connected with passages above Upper Long Chamber.  The aven is a fairly easy climb of thirty feet but care is required near the top due to loose scree.  On the following day, Dave was accompanied by Alan Coase and Bill Smart. The same region was explored and another rift off the same large chamber was climbed but became too tight to follow at the top.  A hole in the bottom of the rift was entered, which led to a passage similar to Fracture Rift in size, but unfortunately only about twenty five feet long.  Another twenty five foot climb revealed a fine stal. flow, and behind this a six foot passage leads back to the fifty foot pot mentioned frequently in earlier caving logs.

On the 11th October, Tony Meadon, Bob Craig and Barry Lane looked at Lake Chamber and found that the water level was so low that an archway was passable into an adjacent chamber.  This chamber has a large aven in the roof which looks very promising.

Cannington Cave was entered on 22nd by Noel McSharry and Sett.  Lots of bones were found, ranging from rabbit to cave bear. The trip was thought to be very worth while for the student of caves but not for the ‘tiger’.  On the 31st, Tony Meadon and Chris Harvey carried out work on the dig under the gours but found conditions rather muddy as the dig quickly became filled with water due to its position being lower than the stream.  On the same day, Geoff Bull and Bill Smart were digging at the bottom of the Railway Tunnel in Hunters Hole.

Alan Thomas and Steve Grime helped Willy Stanton at his dig in Goughs on 7th November.  Their report states that they have broken the digging record which now stands at three hundred buckets day.  However, on the following weekend only two hundred and fifty buckets were removed in six hours.  This was said to be a rather poor effort.  On the 21st, an even greater gathering of B.E.C., Wessex and Sidcot School people broke the bucket record in Goughs once again, by removing there hundred and thirty three.

Trips to Swildons and Eastwater were made this month but were mainly tourist.  Cuthbert’s seems to be out of the news for November, with nothing of interest happening there.  Where has Dave Irwin been?

Mathematical Puzzles – by Sett

The problem asking for the number of patterns appearing has a large number of solutions.  Almost all of these depend on the fact that odd and even numbers occur on alternate squares and hence diagonal lines, also that squares and squares with additions and subtractions occur on diagonal lines. No solutions were sent in for this problem. Tiny Meadon again sent in the only correct solution to the problem about pints of beer.

If the last digit of the original number is 4, the last digit of the new number (and the second digit of the original number) must be 6 (4 times 4).  Similarly, if the second digit of the new number (and the third last digit of the original number) must be 5 (4 times 6 plus 1) and by repeating this process, we find that: -

                        102,564 times 4 = 410,256.

This mathematical answer could have a decimal point added or could be repeated depending on an intelligent guess of the true number of pints actually sold.  If we assume an average of 50 cavers each drinking four pints per weekend, we obtain 10,400 pints per year.  Thus the correct solution will be 10,256.4 pints.

A party of cavers decide to do a round trip in Cuthbert’s which will take 20 hours.  Nowhere does the route cross and it can be considered as a circular course starting and finishing at the entrance.  The route chosen is so tight that they decide to use acetylene lamps in which a single charge will last fours.  They also make up spare four hour charges in sealed tins which they include in packs with four hours worth of food.  They can only carry one pack each at a time.  When a carbide tin is opened it must be all put into a lamp as a part empty tin will not keep.  There is a large stock of spare charges at the entrance.  What is the smallest number needed for the trip? This problem is not really as difficult as it might seem, learners are as likely to obtain the correct solution as experts.  There is no proof that the minimum number assumed to be the correct solution is in fact the best solution.

 “Sett”


 

Climbing Meets

North Wales. 23/24 January.
North Wales. 27/28 January.
North Wales 20/21 March.

Accommodation on all these weekends will be in huts and early booking is thus essential.

Wye Valley.  10/11 April. This trip will involve travelling over on Saturday morning and camping on the Saturday evening.

There should be sufficient private transport for all these meets.

Bookings to: - Roy Bennett, 3 Russells Cottages, Backwell Common, Backwell, Somerset.

Caving Meets

January 24th.  Pine Tree Pot.  Meet at the Belfry at 11am.

February 21st.  Cow Hole.  Meet at the Belfry at 11am.

March 14th. Eastwater.  Balch memorial trip.  Period dress to be worn.  Meet at the Belfry at 11am.

April 16/19th.  Easter in Yorkshire.  Gaping Ghyll. Several members have expressed a wish to ladder the main shaft of gaping Ghyll (365’) and, as the club has not yet paid a visit to this area for some time, Easter this year has been arranged for the visit.

To those who gulp at the thought of laddering G.G., there are numerous other caves and pots in the area to suit all tastes, Alum Pot and Bar Pot being amongst the more popular. It is hoped to visit a northern caving club hut, but if this does not materialise, then it will be camping at the Flying Horseshoe.  Will all those interested in the Yorkshire trip at Easter please contact the Caving Secretary, Dave Irwin either at the Belfry or at 9 Camden Hill Gardens, London, W.8. as soon as possible to book accommodation and to let him know if they require transport or if they can help with transport.

The St. Cuthbert’s Leaders meeting will be held at the Belfry at 2.15pm on January 17th 1965. Any interested cavers in addition to the St. Cuthbert’s Leaders will be very welcome.

Digs.

Castle Farm, Nine Barrows Swallet, Hunters Hole and several places in St. Cuthbert’s (Mud Ball Chamber, Mo’s Dig, the Mud Sump behind the Dining Room, and below the choke in Traverse Chamber) are all actually being dug.  As you can see, this is quite a big programme so come along and give a hand. Remember that St. Cuthbert’s, G.B., August-Longwood etc. were all found by digging.  All those interested in helping contact Keith Franklin, Kevin Abbey, Roy Bennett or myself (Dave Irwin).  We can accommodate you all – wet or fine – indoors or out!


 

Notices

As from the first of January, 1965, non members may only stay at the Belfry on THREE occasions annually without applying for membership unless obtaining special permission form the Hut Warden prior to their next visit.  This does not apply to bona fide visitors from clubs offering the B.E.C. reciprocal facilities.

Will members who leave cars in the Belfry car park and intend to be away from the Belfry for some time, please ensure before departing that their car does not prevent other members from leaving.  If this cannot be avoided, please leave your car out of gear and with the handbrake off or (preferable) unlocked.  If you do not do this, your car may have to be bounced or slid and this will not do your tyres or springs much good!

It has been brought to the notice of the committee that the Tackle instructions are not always being adhered to.  Tackle has been found in the changing room from the weekend before, unwashed and left lying about.  The committee are prepared to deal severely with any members not respecting club tackle – on which other members lives may depend.  All ladders which are used for St. Cuthbert’s, where one party may require to use ladders taken down by an earlier party may be rebooked by the original signatory to the leader of the later party (with his consent).  It then becomes the second leader’s responsibility. Should the occasion arise when a party having a late E.T.O. (normally on a Sunday) suspects that there will be nobody possessing a key to the Tackle Store when they return, the leader should make prior arrangements to obtain one, so that the tackle can be properly put away.

The committee would like to record their thanks for the donation of £5 to be added to the Ian Dear Memorial Fund sent in by ‘Ex-Young Member’.

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

The Hut Warden and Belfry Engineer would like to thank Maurice Iles for his gift of a settee for the Belfry

Some time ago, a short synopsis of the business conducted at committee meetings was published regularly in the B.B.  It has been agreed to start this again, especially in view of the very great amount of business at present being tackled by the committee.  A resume of the January meeting follows these notices.

January Committee Meeting

Matters being dealt with by the committee and brought up at the January meeting included the drainage scheme for Cuthbert’s, the provision of a shower for the changing room, The Annual Dinner, The Ian Dear Memorial Fund (The Committee of which has now been arranged as follows: R. Bagshaw, Hon. Sec. & Treas., R. Bennett, Climbing Sec., D. Irwin, Caving Sec., R.A. Setterington and M. Luckwill).  The provision of photographs of Balch Hole for the club library, the planting of trees on the Belfry Site, the provision of suitable photographs of Jack Waddon and Ian Dear to be hung in the Belfry alongside that of Don Coase, the provision of Flush Toilets at the Belfry, the election of new members (J.V. Manchip and P.E. Rouse being elected) the provision of a new stock of carbide for the Belfry, the care of Belfry blankets and tools, the Changing Room drainage, Tackle, a charging bank for Nife cells and Belfry arrangements.

Book Review

The Speleological Yearbook and Diary.

The 1965 Speleological Yearbook and Diary has just been published following a barrage of pre-release publicity.  Externally, the appearance and standard of finish is similar to that for 1964, except that it is now considerably slimmer and the price has been increase to 14/6 (I wonder if the change in government prompted the change of colour from blue to red?)

What of the content? The index show extensive coverage of subject matter ranging from the Caving Areas to cave fauna, but in general I feel the standard is much below that of the first edition.  At a quick glance one sees that the diary section has been condensed, now getting two weeks on to one page.  The pages for personal notes and addresses have been omitted this year.  Why? Perhaps the answer is purely a financial one, if so, why has so much useless material been included in the reading matter section?

The extraction of the club A.G.M.’s and principal meet dates from the diary section has taken up an additional page and most people will, I feel, want to rewrite them back into the diary section in any case.  Why, oh why must we have THREE useless pages on cave physics?  I would assume that most scientifically minded cavers know the area of a rectangle or how to calculate simple bending moments, further, why must we have NINE pages devoted to a caving glossary when many books are on the market (and in club libraries) which include such glossaries in their appendices?

The news items from the caving areas I would have thought are more suitable matters for the ‘Speleologist’ when it appears.  I was however, pleased to see three photographs, but why must the frontispiece be the only one not to have details of cave and photographer?

These criticisms may seem rather lengthy, but perhaps a yearbook can be produced that can be used as a small pocket sized diary including perhaps C.R.G. survey gradings and symbols, illustrations of shoring cave entrances, descriptions of the common varieties of British bats, details of major British caves with data such as whet to do in the case of flooding etc.  In conclusion, one of the selling features of this year’s diary was that it was slimmer, but a smaller format is surely needed – it will not go all into the average anorak pocket.

Dave Irwin

Belfry Working Weekend.

The Belfry Engineer and the Hut Warden wish to thank those who, in spite of the approach to Christmas, still found time to turn up and work hard so that the Belfry will not fall to pieces through neglect.


 

On the Hill (Nearly)

The Editor is pleased to welcome back – even if only for a ‘flying visit’ – the correspondent whose identity remains the best kept secret of the B.E.C….

by ‘Stalagmite’

The September B.B. really surprised me, not only did I get it in September but there were two references to past articles by your scribe.  I’m sure that it will please you all to know that by my retirement form the Belfry scene is not permanent though I confess I had hoped that a Stalagmite junior might have sprung up into being by now.

This year’s dinner, as you know, saw a change of venue, the Cliff Hotel being declared redundant and the B.E.C. annexing the restaurant of Fairfax House, Bristol – this being only a reasonable stagger from the A.G.M. site.  It was more expensive, but this was easily offset but the more pleasant surroundings, though I did miss the sound of Cheddar rising in the background and having nowhere to sub my fag out.  The bar did not run out of beer and if thus was due to poor drinking on our part, it was not noticeable.

It pleases me considerably to see the old (careworn) faces each year.  People who seem to go into hibernation for a year after the round of dinners is over.  Amongst the representatives for the other odd organisations scattered like snowflakes over Mendip, I noticed Frank Darbon, Mike Thomson, Dave Percival and half the M.C.G. Next year, it might be an idea to find someone who is a member of all clubs and invite him only – free suggestion to the Hon. Treas!

The September B.B. did a (probably factual) report on the candidates for the forthcoming election for this year’s committee.  Maybe it was less inspiring than mine of the year before, but I realise how easy it is to be merely derogatory.  Kevin Abbey was re-elected and at the Dinner presented with an anagram set of the strength of his misspelling of TTENNEB.

Dave Irwin was also elected and Alan Thomas, both of whom are new to the Committee.  Speaking of Alan, one of the highlights of the dinner this year, was his toast to our absent friends.  Unfortunately the radio engineering was not at its best, but we did hear Clare and the New Australian and Tom and Rusty the new ‘dammed colonial’ the sound of their voices contributing greatly as far as I am concerned, in making the 1964 dinner one of the most pleasing for a long time.  I say well done the committee for taking the plunge and changing its siting.

There’s no more now, but who knows?  Once you are all lulled into a false sense of security again – whammo – he’ll be back!

 ‘Stalagmite’

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

The Editor would like to assure the contributors whose articles have not yet appeared, that this has been mainly due to the breakdown in printing arrangements which have resulted in this B.B. being somewhat smaller than had been planned.  Amongst the main articles which will be published as soon as circumstances allow are,

“Bats” by R.E. Ball.

“Some thoughts on the Logistics of Cave Surveying” by Mike Luckwill.

“Exposure” by Steve Grime.

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

The editor would like to thank Steve Grime for his very useful gift of stencils for the B.B.  If any member is in a position to donate paper (duplicating variety) this will also be very useful.

Annual Dinner

Each year, the committee have the unenviable task of trying to please as many club members as possible with arrangements for the annual dinner.  It has been agreed that, while the last dinner was still fresh in people’s minds, an appeal should be made for as many members as possible to send in (to any committee member) their views on dinners generally, so that attention can be paid to all the points raised long before it becomes necessary to make a firm booking for next year.  Below are some suggested questions you might like to answer and send or give to any committee member…

1.                  How many B.E.C. dinners have you attended?

2.                  What, in your opinion was the one you enjoyed the most?

3.                  Where would you prefer the dinner to be held?

4.                  What price do you think is reasonable?

5.                  Are you satisfied in general with the food?

6.                  The service?

7.                  The wine list?

8.                  The drinks generally?

9.                  Do you like entertainments?  If so, what do you prefer?  How much of the evening do you think should be spent this way?

10.              Have you any other comments not already mentioned.

Please use theses questions as a guide and add anything else you wish.

 

Annual Dinner Questionnaire.

So far, the Editor has received ONE written reply.  It would appear that only one member holds any definite views about the Dinner.  The committee will have to start making plans for this year’s dinner quite early in the year and one presumes that, with the exception of one person mentioned any old arrangements will suit the rest of you! In a more serious vein, there will be no use complaining to the committee if you have not told them what sort of dinner YOU prefer.

Notice.

As a result of the Cuthbert’s Leaders Meeting, it was decided that a St. Cuthbert’s Library should be started in which all information on the cave should be collected and a permanent record made.  There seems to be a distinct lack of information about the earlier trips and I would be grateful if all information that YOU have could be given to me, either at the Belfry at weekends; the Waggon & Horses on a Thursday, or by post to 3, Kingsley Road, Eastville, Bristol 5.  Information may also be given to Dave Irwin or Roy Bennett.

This appeal is addressed to EVERYONE – not only the Cuthbert’s Leaders.  The effectiveness of this record depends on YOU.

P.A. Kingston.

Communications

A meeting was held at the Hunters Lodge on Sunday, 7th march to discuss Underground Communications. Briefly, it was concluded that telephones were mainly of use over short distances, where the line could be laid out at the time and the meeting went on to discuss forms of radio communication. A number of trial schemes are under way, and much is available in the way of engineering facilities for the production of models of the finally adopted scheme.  A further meeting will be called in May at which it is hoped that reports on performance of some or all of the trials will be available.

Notes on Exposure

by Steve Grime.

A look at some cave and mountain accident reports shows that, if the person or persons concerned had been better equipped, the incident/accident need never have occurred. The C.R.G. Publication number 7 by D.E. Leitch shows that exposure constitutes 5.7% of cave accidents (in the section taken for this survey this includes one death).  This is a 5.7% which could well be erased.  I do not know the exact percentage of accidents caused by exposure in the mountains, but it is great deal higher than in caves, possibly because there are more mountaineers than there are cavers.

The key to successful survival is to be able to maintain body heat, because when the deep body temperature falls, the cells stop working and after a period of time, death will ensue. The body has an optimum functioning temperature of 37OC and it has to maintain itself within the very narrow limits of plus or minus 1.5OC.  Temperature regulation is normally carried out without the knowledge of the person concerned, but when a great load is imposed, then active steps to maintain body temperature must be taken consciously.

Now the problem of a cold survival situation (caught out by water in Swildons) will be examined. There are a number of variables which have to be considered: -

TIME.  The longer the exposure, the more heat will be lost.  Short exposures at very low temperatures can be tolerated for a few minutes, provided that the man is fully warm beforehand.  On the other hand, very long exposures to only a moderate amount of cold can be highly dangerous.

THE MEDIUM.  Heat transfer away from the body is relatively small in still air.  In water, it is 27 times as much.  Movement of the medium makes matters worse as it keeps presenting new cold air or water to the body and taking way the air or water which the body has began to heat up.

THE EXPOSED AREA.  Heat is lost as a function of the area being exposed.  Most people accept exposure of the face, head, hand and feet.  When all these area are added together they become a sizeable proportion of the body.

THE HEAT GENERATED.  The amount of heat which any man can generate depends on the food he has had, his own physique and the amount of exercise and shivering he can do in order to produce more heat.

Now we must try to find out what all this can mean to the average caver or climber.  First and foremost, common sense must come into play. If a long trip is planned in a cave, it is advisable to have a reasonable meal with high calorific content. (Steak and beans are ideal and easy to prepare).  Warm DRY clothes are essential and a wet suit is advisable.  I personally carry glucose in either powder or tablet form while on a trip and find this ideal for producing a short burst of energy, but a hot drink is worth far more.  Remember, once fatigue sets in on a caving trip, it is cumulative.  Every caver knows, or should know, his capabilities and it is up to him to inform the leader if he starts feeling the strain. One’s mind shrinks from the idea of spoiling a trip, but this is far better than causing a real nuisance later on. No matter what he may think, a good leader will always abandon the trip if a member of the party is fatigued.

Much can be, and has been said about survival under adverse conditions in the mountains.  The same rules apply – a good meal; warm wind and weatherproof clothing and common sense.  The Chill Index reproduced on the next page is for the guidance of mountaineers and a quick glance will show that when wind and cold are working together, the chances of survival in, say, group 4 are very poor unless precautions have been taken and the party are well clothed and have adequate supplies.

The Water Survival Chart is an index for caving leaders and will form a guide.  The lower line is approximate as it is difficult volunteers for this part!

 

 

Still on the subject of exposure, we have received the following letter from Peter Bird which may be of interest

Letter re Exposure

To the Hon. Editor, “Belfry Bulletin”.

The British Mountaineering Council has published some notes on the recognition of symptoms and the treatment of exposure.  In simple language it details the deceptive onset of exposure, which it defines as severe chilling of the body surface leading to a progressive fall in body temperature with risk of death.  The use of water bottles; rubbing the skin or drinking alcohol should at all times be avoided, and the victims’ body must be kept warm.  In the field this may involve putting the patient in a sleeping bag; building a windbreak or erecting a tent and administering sugar (e.g. condensed milk) in easily digested form.

The above is a straight copy from the monthly press bulletin of the council for Nature, No. 58 (for December 1964).  I have omitted one brief bit of guff about it being interesting to naturalists, for that doesn’t concern cavers and climbers.  Since “no hot water bottles” and “no rubbing” are quite contrary to earlier advice, you may wish to put this in the B.B.

It seems to me that frequent, very simple pro-agenda about first aid and safety – aimed at the ordinary caver – is going to save lives.  The B.B. seems a good place for such items.

Editor’s Note:    Looking back through old copies of the B.B., it is surprising how little material on first aid and safety has been published, and it seems a good idea to include this type of article now and again. Another aspect which could well be covered in the B.B. is anyone’s useful hints and tips on dealing with first aid situations underground.  Ed.

Erratic Notes

by ‘Helictite.’

This idea started when Alfie said that if he had been ‘Stalagmite’ he’d have written a more twisted lot of articles and called himself ‘Helictite’.  I don’t want to be twisted.  Not specially, anyway, but I do want to be erratic.  So here I am.  I can’t see myself writing this very often, just now and again, so Helictite seems a good name.

I looked up helictites and found that they used to be called Anemolites because people used to think they were caused by wind or draughts in caves.  So, if you forget the calcite bit, a helictite is all wind and water. I expect that I shall be at times.

I don’t get around as much as Stalagmite must have done and so I can’t write about everything that is going on.  I’m going to pick on something now and again and write what I think about it.  The editor says he wants you to write in if you don’t agree with what I say.  The thing I want to write about now (I think I should start by helping the Editor out) is the club dinner.

It seems to me that most people go to the club dinner once a year and they don’t mind very much where it is or what there is to eat or do afterwards.  A few people think it was marvellous (they’re the ones who can’t quite remember what it was like the next day anyway) and a few people think it was rotten (perhaps they weren’t feeling so good at the time and weren’t in the mood to enjoy themselves).  I think that the editor might get one or two replies from these people but on the whole he’s wasting his time because most people will take whatever the people who arrange the dinner give them.

Some people go to a lot of club dinners.  There is going to be a special dinner for all those people who go to dinners regularly. Most dinners seem to be much the same and the people who go to a lot of them don’t seem to grumble or to say which was best so there doesn’t seem to be much to choose between them.  From all this I would say to the committee that they shouldn’t worry too much about the dinner, but if they want some ideas from me, here are a few.

I don’t mind where the dinner is, but it should be somewhere where the surroundings are nice and where it is easy to park cars.  I don’t expect miracles from the food, but it should be worth the money and served up quickly and hot.  There should be a reasonable choice of wines and it shouldn’t take the whole meal before you get any.  I don’t mind speeches but they should be either short (very) or funny.  Since we’ve all got to be quiet when the speeches are being given, can we have people who can be heard all over the room? Sometimes you hear all the people near the speaker laugh and you haven’t got a clue if you’re up the other end of the room.  It also seems to me that half the people who make speeches don’t seem to have known about it until just before the dinner.  Could we pick better speakers and give them more warning?

Presentations are all right when they’re well done, but we don’t want too many.  One or two are quite enough.  Afterwards, we want a bar where you can get draught beer of the same standard as you would expect in an ordinary pub.

Some entertainment is a good thing, but not too much or for too long.  I liked the sketch last year and Oliver Lloyd’s songs, but please don’t let’s have a sing song at the dinner.  Don’t let’s have a dance either.  A little bit of jiving at the end maybe, but don’t let’s have things that everybody can’t enjoy.

Well, that’s my first go at saying what I think.  I hope to be able to find something else to write about in a few month’s time.

‘Helictite’

Editor’s Note.    We hope that ‘Helictite’ will continue to put over the point of view of the average club member from time to time. Perhaps ‘Stalagmite’ will also find something to say again soon?

 

The Mendip Preservation Society

The following has been submitted for publication in the B.B. by the acting officers of the Mendip Preservation Society.

Although the aim of this society is to gather together all these who are interested in preserving Mendip we, as cavers, have perhaps a stronger reason than most for wanting the character of Mendip to remain unchanged.

Does Mendip mean much to you or would you be content to see it gradually encroached upon and built over? How great is the danger of this happening?  Who knows? It is very difficult for an individual to learn in advance of development plans and once they are under way it is too late for resistance.  The Secretary of a Preservation Society with the backing of a large number of members would, however, be able to make enquiries from official sources.

There is to be a development plan for the South West centred on Bristol.  A motorway is to be built through the valley west of Crooks Peak. Does this mean that Western Mendip, being cut off, will become part of Weston-Super-Mare? There is a West Mendip Society concerned with the problem.

The principle aim of the proposed Mendip Preservation Society is to keep itself informed on all matters affecting the Mendip countryside and offer resistance to any scheme which may be detrimental to the rural amenities of the area.  What action is needed and what form it will take will of course depend on the wishes of the members.  It may be possible to give support to other groups or societies whose aims are similar to our own.  We may be able to encourage development which may embrace the natural beauty of the area. It is felt that the Society may be able to help in other ways.  There are historical and other landmarks neglected and falling into disrepair. The chimney at Harptree and the Buddle House at Horrington Bottom are but two examples.   One of the Deer Leap Stones at Priddy was removed accidentally and a little persuasion on the part of an individual got it replaced.

The Society should be able to bring pressure to bear to prevent rubbish being dumped in local beauty spots.  There is an ever increasing amount of rubbish being dumped on Mendip, particularly old cars. There are cases where formerly open land has been fenced and fences extend across public right of way.  These rights will disappear unless the owners of the land are persuaded that fences across foot paths must have stiles.

What can an individual member do to help?  Firstly, write and tell the Secretary of anything you know that is happening. Send in your suggestions.  Attend the Inaugural General meeting.  Recruit other members.  Distribute copies of this circular.  Have you access to duplicating or printing facilities?  Could you produce, say, one circular per year (or ever?). Can you provide the Society with any publicity?  Could you display a poster?

Since the Society needs members more than money, the minimum subscription is only 2/6 per annum.  As this will only cover the cost of twelve postages per year, it is hoped that those who feel that they could or should pay more at which a draft constitution will be presented and a committee elected. The following persons are acting as officers: -

Mr. S.M. Hobbs.  (Hon. Sec. & Treas.)
Major R.E. Lauder.
Mr. A.R. Thomas.
Mr. M.M. Thompson.

Please join by sending your subscription to S.M. Hobbs, Hokerstone Cottage, Priddy, Somerset.

Mathematical Puzzles

by Sett

Bobby Bagshaw sent in the only answer, a correct one, to last month’s problem.  The problem basically was to determine an exact number of pounds up to 27.  This can be done with three weights of 2, 6 and 18lbs.

This Month’s Problem.  A party of cavers leave the Belfry at exactly 12 mid-day on Saturday for a photographic trip down Cuthbert’s.  They take a large number of pictures of all sorts of subjects and eventually reach the furthest point, where they have a meal.  They suddenly realise that they have been rather a long time and note that, as they set out for the surface, the time is exactly mid-night.  They hurry out and make the return journey in good time. Show that they were at one point in the cave at the same time by the clock on both Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.  (The party used the same route in and out).

Warning !

The Committee have been informed that, once again, Belfry washing up is not being done as it should be; in spite of the better amenities provided (hot water heater, redesigned kitchen etc.)  IF THIS DOES NOT IMPROVE, the Hut Warden will be empowered to REMOVE – for an unspecified period of time – ALL cutlery and crockery from the Belfry and each member will be forced to bring his own out.  If even this does not result in greater tidiness, the removal of saucepans and frying pans could follow.  Nobody WANTS to remove or lessen the facilities at the Belfry.  We have one of the best – and certainly the cheapest to stay in headquarters on Mendip, but funds do not run to employment of servants.  It does not take long to wash up YOUR plates and eating irons AND SAUCEPANS after a meal.  Please let this warning suffice – there will be no others!!

February Committee Meeting.

Again, a very large amount of business was handled at the February meeting, and a very satisfactory amount of progress recorded on those items which had been discussed at the January meeting.  Plans for completion of the Cuthbert’s Drainage Scheme are now well advanced, as is the plan for the showers in the Changing room.  The Annual Dinner was discussed and Norman Downes and Ann Farrington elected as members of the club.  Other subjects dealt with included the sale of carbide at the Belfry; the cleaning of club blankets; the charging bank for Nife cells; the photographs of Ian Dear and Jack Waddon; the scheme for flush toilets at the Belfry; the meeting of the Southern Council of Caving Clubs; the Club Officer’s Reports; surveying the stone workings; membership of the Ramblers Association; ratifications of probationary members; the provision of new membership application forms and the Ian Dear Memorial Fund.

March Committee Meeting.

At the March Committee Meeting, the final phase of the work on St. Cuthbert’s Drainage arrangements was planned.  New members elected were Nicholas Dunn, Paul Williams, David Pole and Cedric Green. The meeting then went own to discuss progress on the showers, arrangements for the 1965 Annual dinner, the sale of carbide at the Belfry, the Nife cell charging bank, progress on the photographs of past members (has any members a good photograph of Ian Dear?) the scheme for flush toilets and a sceptic tank, the collection of refuse and provision of dustbins, the arrangements for surveying at Bradford-on-Avon and the Ian Dear memorial fund.  Kevin Abbey is resigning from the Committee owing to pressure of work and other commitments.

 

January Edition.

The December B.B. having come out (at last) in January, it would only seem natural for the January B.B. to come out in February.  We promised last month to make a resolution not to make rash predictions about the future, so we must hold that, as 1965 goes on, it may be possible for us to catch up.

Caving News.

Apart from meets (which were published in last edition of the B.B.)  There are some additional Caving items as follows: -

St. Cuthbert’s Spring Clean.

This will take place on Saturday, March 13th.

Work in Cuthbert’s

Are you interested in taking part in (or initiating!) a serious project in Cuthbert’s?  Apart from surveying, there are many problems such as the determination of water flows, which could benefit from a serious study.  Why not come to the meeting and air YOUR views.

A meeting on the above will be held at the Belfry at 7.30pm on Saturday 13th.

Why not make March 13th your lucky day

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The Hon. Treasurer wishes to remind members that their Annual Subscriptions fall due on the 31st of January.  We know that it’s a bind having to pay but, apart from keeping Bagshaw’s records up to date and replenishing the Bagshaw Boozing Fund, it does help if subs are paid promptly.  In many cases, it is not known whether the member concerned intends to continue his or her membership and it will help all those who organise club affairs if you pay as soon as possible!

The Logistics of Cave Surveying

The topic of cave surveying can always be relied on to produce intense discussion and serious articles.  Over the last few years, we have had “Thoughts on Survey Grades” (B. Ellis, B.B. 169, 2.) an article on the uses of surveys (S.J. Collins, B.B. 170, 6.) and a Colloquium (31.8.63) which forwarded recommendations to the Cave Research Group. The most important property of a survey is its accuracy and it seems to me, as a result of several factors, as soon as accuracy is mentioned, one thinks of the instruments used and the corresponding C.R.G. grades.  This point of view, which is prevalent on Mendip, is rather limited and results in rather haphazard surveys.  The reasons for it are that firstly, the cave is always available – this enables the survey to be made leisurely and at the caver’s fancy – and secondly, the reasons for making the survey are usually obscure or subconscious.  (One of the points made in the second article referred to above).

Let us suppose that a cave survey has to be made in a limited number of trips, as for instance on an expedition to an unexplored area, and examine how the method of surveying would change.  Once again, accuracy is all important, but I would suggest that the concept of accuracy must change from that of suitable instruments to that of reproducibility. In order to check a normal survey, a second survey has to be compared with it, and if theses do not agree, a third survey must be made and so on until two agree.  The final product will still be only as accurate as the grades claimed for initial surveys; surely an extra expenditure of time should warrant an increase in accuracy.

The following programme for a hypothetical surveying expedition is therefore based on the concept of reproducibility.  When examined in this way, several other advantages arise and these will be commented on later.  The basic requirement of the programme is reproducibility and the practical requisite is the setting up, along the main survey routes, survey stations which will remain in place for the duration of the expedition.  These stations could be made quite simply from a tin lid and three wooden legs, and their sole purpose is to provide a reference point on which a compass and a clinometer can be placed.  The programme, which is very elementary and merely intended as an illustration, assumes that three survey teams are available.  The result of the programme should be a main line survey which is to Grade VI and has been completely checked, and cave detail of this main line to Grade V which has been checked in places of interest.  The flowing advantages arise from the programme: -

The main line can be checked, to the required accuracy at any point.

The most difficult parts of the cave, or the furthest reaches, can be surveyed when the team is fresh and enthusiastic, leaving the earlier parts towards the end of the expedition.

The cave detail can be surveyed to any degree of accuracy, enabling an inexperienced team to contribute valuable work without lowering the accuracy of the completed survey.  Once again, the most inaccessible parts of the cave can still be surveyed when the team is fresh.

The Grade III main line survey enables a rough plan of the cave to be made and any points of interest which arise from exploration can be surveyed before the more routine work.

From the point of view of an expedition, the plan enabled a number of teams to work in the cave at once and not all of these need be survey teams.  For example, the Grade III survey would enable a geologist to start work without waiting for the accurate survey.

Mike Luckwill.

Hypothetical Survey Programme.

Trip

Team I

Team II

Team III

1

Place survey stations throughout the cave.

Grade VI survey of stations

Grade III survey of stations

2

Independent Grade VI survey of stations

“

Finish

3

“

“

Grade Va survey of cave from stations.

4

“

Finish

“

5

Finish

Help team 3

“

6

Check errors in Grade VI survey.

Check errors in Grade VI survey

“

7

Combined teams check any necessary points and finish Grade Va survey of cave detail.

Editor’s Note.    As the author points out, the subject of cave surveying continued to exercise club members, and this is the latest of a number of articles that we have printed on this subject from time to time.  We hope to be able to find space next month for any comments.

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The Hut Engineer would like to remind members that gifts of tools would still be welcome, and would enable the improvements which are being made to the Belfry to go ahead even faster!

Letter to the Editor.

Dear Sir,

Now that Dave Irwin has specified in detail how he would like his yearbook and diary, may I review the 1956 Speleological Yearbook and Diary?

It is a pleasure to see the year’s caving summarised so knowledgeably and concisely (7 lines per inch as against 6 lines per inch for 1964) and I appreciate the size which makes it a decorative part of my bookshelf.  The diary section might make up its mind whether its purpose is to record or inform and thus will influence its future size.

The Cave Physics is, of course, useless.  Empirical data would be of more value, together with suitable references.  A word of warning is necessary about the knot information provided.  The Tarbuck is a slip knot and to use it as a waist loop invites strangulation – better round the neck – quicker!  However, one can only express admiration for the glossary with its 388 entries against British Caving’s 221.  Is this a record?

In conclusion, a worthwhile and thoroughly enjoyable effort which fits into my anorak pocket.

                        Yours, etc.
                                    Kangy.

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Editor’s Note.    We now have two rather opposed views on this book, from which we feel, the average club member should be able to form his own opinions and we feel that further correspondence on this subject is not likely to add significantly. There is, however, one small comment on a point on which both of the reviewers agree – the ‘Caving Formula’ which have been included in this years edition.  It is reproduced below.

Caving Formulae

I must confess (with tongue in cheek!”)
My Caving Maths were rather weak.
I’d gaze on curtains and erratics
Without a thought for mathematics.
No wonder – as I’ve learned to say –
I often went B over A
And hit the bottom hard, I guess
(For v2 = 2gs!)
Now my belaying’s so much neater,
(log T by Tf is uq)
And when on traverse, I would grope
To find some hanging chain more rope
Their whereabouts no longer vex
Now I know y is Acoshx.

So now I cave most perfectly
With help from ‘Caving Formula’
And if you think this isn’t true
4/3 of p r cubed to you!

Mathematical Puzzles

 by Sett

This Month’s Problem.  Two club members arranged to spend their summer holidays at the Belfry.  Amongst other things, they each reckoned to eat 1 pound of potatoes a day for 14 days so they arranged for a 28lb bag to be delivered.  At the last minute, they were prevented from taking their holiday as arranged and had to postpone it for a week.  They agreed with a third member that he could use some of the potatoes provided that he took an exact number of pounds and paid for them later.  When they eventually got to the Belfry they found that the third member had already returned home leaving an opened bag and a crude but efficient balance made from a plank and a knife edged boulder.  There was no record of how many potatoes had been taken.  A quick walk to Priddy Stores and they found that Harry had a complete set of weights going up in single units from 1lb to 28lbs.  “But”, said Mr. Glover, “You don’t need to take all of them.  These will be sufficient to determine how many pounds you have left.”  What would be the values of the minimum number of weights borrowed?

The 20 hour trip round Cuthbert’s can be made with the consumption of 23 containers of Carbide per caver, provided that there is an even number in the party.  Obviously some of the early dumping trips must be made at the previous weekends and the final assault will be quite a marathon. Pairing off, the party make 4 trips to the 18 hour point and return to base.  One of each pair then makes a fifth trip.  On each trip, a container is used and a further one dumped.  Each pair now sets out to the 17 hour point, dump their containers and return to 18.  Each member now takes one container to 16 and returns to 18.  Take another container to 16, return to 17, pick up container dumped there, and back to 16.  Take one container to 14, return to 16 and hence back to the entrance.  This completes all the preliminary laying out for the return part of the trip, leaving one container per caver at the 14 hour point and half a container per caver at the 18 hour point.  Total consumption, 9½ containers per caver.

The caver of each pair which did not make the extra trip previously now makes two trips to the 1 hour point, dumps two containers and returns to the entrance.  All the members of the party now take four containers to 2 and return, then take 1 container to 2, return to 1 to pick up the container at 1, and back to 2.  Take 2 containers from 4 back to 2.  Take 1 container to 5 and return to 4.  Take 1 container to 6, return to 5 and back to 6.  Proceed to 14, proceed to 18, half fill each lamp and back to the entrance. Total consumption 23 containers. I’m reasonably sure that there is a more economical method if all the laying out is done by each pair instead of sharing the job.  An extra pint is offered for the solution to this problem.

“Sett”

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If you are thinking of moving in the near future, don’t forget to let Bob Bagshaw know of your new address.  Unless you do this, you will quite likely stop receiving the B.B.

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Once again, we must point out that, although we still have a two or there long articles in the ‘stockpile’, we have nothing of the size to fill half to three quarters of a page. As a result, it is necessary to attempt to fill up a page of the B.B. with dam silly notices like this one.

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The Mendip Cave Registry could do with VOLUNTEERS to act as REGISTRARS for some of the caving areas into which the registry is divided.  The duties of such registrars are to collect and keep up to date all information on caves, digs, etc. in the area and all published information of them. For any further information on the working of the Mendip Cave Registry contact Bryan Ellis or Alfie.

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Copies of nearly all the B.E.C. Caving Reports and a large number of other publications, including many SURVEYS are available from Bryan Ellis.  Write to him or call at the Shepton Hut for an up to date catalogue and price list.  His address is: - B.M. Ellis, Knockauns, Comwich, Nr. Bridgwater, Somerset.

With the publication of the March B.B. actually in March (by one day!) we shall gradually get back to a normal date of appearance.  We understand that the postal copies were a little late last month, but this was in some part due to the unavoidable absence of our “Postal Department” from their usual haunts.

We welcome a change in the B.B. production arrangements which consists of a volunteer – ‘Kangy’ King, who has agreed to help the editor out by taking over the collating and stapling of the magazine, so with more than the usual amount of luck, a bigger and more regular B.B. may well result.  By the way, we are getting short of articles of reasonable length and standard (gentle hint!)

“Alfie”

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In view of the earnest hope of the editor that the next B.B. (for April) will follow this one closely, most of the space in this B.B. is being taken up by a single article on Bats. It is some time since we have had an article on this aspect of caves, and whilst apologising to all bat-haters, we feel that this is a good opportunity to publish most of this article. The normal type of varied menu will (we hope) appear again next month.

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WHY BOTHER TO PAY YOUR SUB EVERY YEAR??  A life membership only costs five guineas and then you won’t care if they ever put up the cost of subs in future.  Just think of the money you’d save!!

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Bats

by R.E. Ball.

When entering a cave, do you realise that you are invading the home of many living creatures?  Life, though perhaps not obvious, abounds in most underground places and, whilst it takes many forms, the one most likely to be seen is the bat.  This animal, a representation of which is, of course, the club emblem, is familiar to most cavers and in this article I hope to explain a little about the reasons for the presence of bats in caves and something about the general life of a bat.

Caves and mines are used by some species of bat for the purpose of hibernation during a period of from about October to April.  For the rest of the year, few bats are to be found in caves.  Those that are, are usually found to be immature non-breeding individuals.

Bats are mammals and collectively are called Chiroptera meaning ‘hand-winged’.  They are classified into two orders Mega- and Micro-chiroptera.  Megachiroptera comprises the large fruit bats of the tropics, while Microchiroptera contains mostly smaller insectivorous species and includes all the bats found in this country.  A few bats of this second sub-order have developed rather odd tastes, we have all heard of the vampire bat which lives on animal blood, but few people know that some bats catch and eat fish as their principal food.

All British bats are insectivorous so we have no need to fear of having our blood sucked when we enter Mendip caves!  Sub order Microchiroptera has sixteen families, two of which are found in this country, these being Rhinolopidae and Verspertilionidae.  The first family contains the horseshoe bats which are the most common in our caves and I will deal later with identifying these and the bats in the other family.

Bats are found over the whole world except for the Arctic and Antarctic regions, although they are most abundant in the warm regions.  Bats evolved early in the tree of life and fossil remains very similar to modern species have been found in Eocene deposits about sixty million years old in Darmstadt, Germany.  They are thought to be distant relations of the order insectivore, which includes the shrews, moles, and hedgehogs, and to have commenced their evolution some hundred million years ago.

The way in which the skeleton has become modified during evolution is remarkable.  The upper limbs have developed greatly and the lower limbs degenerated as their use diminished.  Across the shoulders, the bat is broad and powerfully built the rib cage and collar bones being large and strong to provide anchorage for the huge muscles needed for flight.  The pelvis, on the other hand, is extremely narrow and light and the legs are slender with half turn twist so that they bend forwards at the knee.  The feet have strong hooked claws and a powerful grip. The arms show the most amazing adaptation.  The humerus is lengthened and the radius, lower arm, is enormous and as long as the body. These long bones of the arms and hand provide the framework over which is spread the membrane of skin which forms the wing.  This membrane stretches from the fingers to the ankle and also fills the space between the legs with the tail helping to support this part of the wing.  This membrane between the legs can be formed into a pouch during flight and used to catch and carry large insects, leaving the mouth free for further prey.

The body is covered with fine silky hair which varies in colour depending upon the species.  It is generally some shade of brown, ranging from pale fawn to a dark, almost black colour.  They are, of course, warm blooded animals, giving birth to live young which are suckled by the female.  Their breeding is interesting because in all British bats, each female produces one young per year, it takes two years for two young to be born to replace the parents.  As the bat will be at least one year old before the first birth and  two at least must be produced from then on to replace natural losses, it follows that the bat must live for about five years at least to avoid extinction of the species.  In fact some bats live longer than this, and a lifespan of fifteen years is not considered unusual.  Mating is entirely promiscuous and the male takes no part in the rearing of the young, in fact the two sexes live apart during the period from before the birth until the independent flying of the young.

After leaving the caves, the breeding females congregate in the roofs of old buildings and form nursing colonies.  Here the young are born late in June or early July.  They are born blind and almost hairless and at birth are almost a third of their mother’s weight.  Initially, the baby clings to the mother and is carried around by her on the nightly flights for food.  The baby grows rapidly and soon becomes so heavy that the mother leaves it behind in the rafters to await her return.  The young bat is able to fly by the fourth week and by the middle of August it is ready to face life on its own.  By the autumn, the young have grown to adult size and are virtually indistinguishable form their parents.

As already mentioned, all British bats are insectivorous and their food consists of flying insects such as moths, flies and beetles.  The prey is caught in flight and the larger insects are often taken to a convenient spot where the bat can deal with them while resting.  Under these places can be found considerable quantities of beetle shells and moth wings and these piles of remains are good clues of a bat’s presence.

As most of the bat’s activity takes place at night or in dark places, it is obvious that some means other than sight must be used to enable them to fly and catch their food. As is now generally known, the bat employs a form of sonic echo location using sound waves of a frequency much higher than the human ear can detect.  This was first suggested by Professor Hartridge in 1920 and confirmed later by Grif in Galambros in the U.S.A.  The exact way the bat uses the sound pulses and reflected echoes to provide a sound picture of its surroundings is still a subject of scientific discussion and experiment.  J.D. Pye of the British workers in this field has taken some interesting films which have recently been shown on television.  The frequencies of sound used vary from 40 to 80 kilocycles per second. This compares with the 20 kilocycles per second which may just be heard by people with exceptionally good hearing in the upper register.  As well as producing the echo locating pulses, the bat has a range of sounds we can hear.  These are sometimes high pitch squeaks uttered in flight, which may themselves be close to the upper limit of audibility and are most likely to be heard by children. Other noises are described as buzzes and shrieks.  These noises are probably a form of communication between individuals or to denote alarm or fright.

As suitable food is scarce in the winter months, the bat is faced with the task of surviving this period with little food.  The alternative solutions are migration or hibernation.  At the moment the evidence points to the fact that some bats do normally migrate to the continent in the autumn, but we should like to learn much more before thinking we know the full story of migration.  The great majority of bats hibernate and this is when they are to be found in our caves.  Hibernation involves a slowing down of all bodily processes.  Pulse rate and breathing slow down and the body temperature falls.  The bat can now exist for a considerable period of time with the expenditure of very little energy.  This is essential as, although a little food may be found at times, the bat has to exist almost entirely on the food stored as fat within its body.  Hibernation is not complete however, and every few days the bat returns to an active state and undertakes a short flight in suitable weather conditions.  Sometimes the bat may even fly outside the cave, or fly several miles to spend its next periods of sleep in a new locality.  This type of movement can be traced by bat ringing schemes which will be mentioned later.

There are fourteen species of British bat, of which about eight occur locally in significant numbers. Those most commonly seen in caves are the Greater and Lesser Horseshoe bats.  These are distinctive in their resting position as they hang freely from the rock surface freely and cover their bodies completely with their wing membrane.  In this position they hang looking like wizened rotting fruit.  All other bats hide in crevices in the rock and are much more difficult to see.  Greater Horseshoes have a wing span of about 14 inches and the Lesser Horseshoes about 9 inches.  The weight is variable being greatest before hibernation and least in the spring.  The range of weights is roughly for the Greater Horseshoe from 28 gram to 15 gram.  (1oz down to ½oz) and for Lesser Horseshoes from 6 gram to 4.5 gram. There is a good deal of individual variation and in general females tend to be a little larger and heavier than the males.

The information obtained by the bat through its ears must be extremely accurate, enabling it to fly with unerring accuracy though and round the passages in the cave and to fly without hesitation through small holes.  When landing in pitch darkness, the bat chooses its exact spot and lands there feet first and head down, already in its upside down position.

When disturbed during hibernation, the bat commences to awaken.  This takes several minutes depending on the degree of torpidity at the time.  When the bat is awake, it does not fly off immediately, but before launching itself, it spend a few minutes building up a picture of its surroundings.  The head is moved from side to side emitting pulses in all directions, while the large ears are scanned rapidly around.  When the bat has ‘seen’ what surrounds it, it drops off the wall and flies powerfully away.  This awakening and flight involves expenditure of energy and the bat cannot let this happen too often during hibernation, hence, every time a bat is disturbed, its chances of surviving the winter are to some extent diminished. For this reason, I would appeal to all who meet bats in caves to disturb them as little as possible.  Bats normally seek secluded places to avoid draughts and it is not normally necessary to approach too closely to a sleeping bat.  Goatchurch is now devoid of bats owing to the many people using this cave and the numbers in Read’s Cavern have fallen recently as this cave is becoming more popular. The motto should always be “Let sleeping bats lie”.

The remainder of the article will appear in the B.B. for April.

Caving Meets.

APRIL 16th – 19th.  YORKSHIRE.

Friday.              Ireby Cavern/Dow Cave.
Saturday.          G.G. via Disappointment, Bar or Main Shaft.
Sunday.            Alum Pot via Main Shaft or Long Churn Cavern.

Camping at Flying Horseshoes, Clapham at 2/6 per person per night. Transport arrangements to be finalised at Club on Thursday.  For further details contact Dave Irwin or Keith Franklin.

May 1st.  ST. CUTHBERT’S.  MOCK RESCUE.

From Catgut Rift to High Chamber.  2.30pm @ Belfry.

May 15th.  ST. CUTHBERT’S.  MOCK RESCUE.

From Pulpit Pitch.  2.30pm @ Belfry.

May 16th.  STOKE LANE.

Meet at Stock’s Farm 11am.  Exposure suits advised.

May 30th.  G.B.

Meet @ Belfry 11am.

June 4/6  DEVON.

Details later.

June 26th.  ST. CUTHBERT’S.  MOCK RESCUE.

Details later.

Cave Communications.

Since the meeting reported in last month’s B.B. we hear that most of the teams concerned are now actively engaged in designing and building equipment.  “Sett” has also done a theoretical analysis based on propagation of radio waves under the conditions which will be met with, and this is being circulated.  Interested people will be advised of the next get together and of further progress.

Personal.

Congratulations to ‘Kangy’ King and Mrs. on the recent addition to their family, a son, Philip born 18th March and weighing 7lbs.  Also to ‘Spike’ and better half (a trifle belatedly) on the birth of their daughter, Stacey Jane, on the 19th February.