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Just Like Old Times

By John (Menace) Morris

The other afternoon we received a surprise visit from Ron & Jean Newman, complete with their “Private Army”.  Our “Private Army” having been introduced to theirs we settled down to tea & Ron and I talked of Old Times of Caving & Climbing (Punctuated by much horrid laughter).

Ron then mentioned Haytor which is only about two miles from “Morris Towers” & there & then we decided to go & look at it, leaving the Private Armies engaged in battle, with our ever loving wives acting as umpires we pushed off over the murky moor.

In arriving at the foot of the hill we couldn’t see a thing for fog, so up to the rocks we pounded, at this point I should mention that Ron was attired in very natty gabardine trousers & sweater complete with highly polished leather soled shoes & myself in not so natty trousers & sweater & crepe soled sandals.

We battled up the rock via the easy way (severe in our rig) amid much sliding & the appropriate horrid language, to be nearly blown off the top by the gale, although the mist was as thick as ever.

Haytor I may add has several dozen routes from 15’ to 60’ & from easy to V.S. Standard.

Having scrambled down again I tool Ron off through the murk to see another cliff about 200ft. high consisting of overhanging boiler plates.  We worked out an improbable route (for suicidal maniacs) which was an ascending girdle traverse under all the overhangs.  Needless to say we didn’t attempt this, but left it for other B.E.C. lunatics well supplied with pitons.

We reached the top by the easiest route, just in time for some typical August weather.  Rain & hail lashed down & after deciding which way to run into the mist we tore off back to the car, to arrive drenched to the skin.

On arriving back at home we had a slight dispute with our ever loving wives as to whether we had been gone about half an hour which we said, or over two hours, which they said (Someone must have been wrong).

However after a long spell away from anything to do with caving or climbing I thought it was definitely quite like old times.



It isn’t very often that we can see two articles about the same trip.  Here is Ron Newman’s account.

A Climb on Dartmoor

By Ron Newman

In order to enhance the festive spirit during the Regatta, the pubs in Dartmoor remain open until 11.30pm.

For this reason, the returning traveller must be excused if he feels, to say the least, slightly jaded and ready to welcome any opportunity to break the long journey.  Add to this the desire to look up an old friend, and it is not surprising that the Newman ménage (without an ‘rie on the end) jolted to a halt outside Johnny Morris’ house (the use of the word ‘jolt’ is no reflection on my car – the road is still unmade).

Talk inevitable shifted to climbing and cars.  Regarding the former, it seems that the Menace still keeps his hand on Hay Tor, a few minutes drive away, and has discovered a new face on which no climbs yet exist.  With regard to the latter, we were soon in his new car and roaring off down narrow Derbyshire lanes.

Seemingly of its won volition, the car took us to the road at the foot of Hay Tor.  There was a really thick mist and the threat of rain, and in open-neck shirts and slacks we were obviously not dresses for excursions on the moor.  In view of the Menace’s estimation of the distance at about two hundred yards, we were soon out of the car and swallowed up in the mist.

One or two more cars were parked in the same spot, and their occupants’ hearts must have beat a little faster as they perceived what must have seemed to them two desperate convicts continuing their flight on foot.

Visibility was down to about fifteen feet, if that, but Johnny led on unerringly and soon a large lump of granite loomed up out of the mist.  We gained the summit by one of the easier routes without ropes.  The fact that the rock was streaming and that we were wearing leather soled shoes and crepe soled sandals respectively, made the ascent rather amusing.  On arrival at the summit we met a gale that all but blew us off again so we descended, vanished in the mist again and soon stood before another granite face which Johnny located unerringly.  I might add that, after being able to lose a whole mountain in Wales for some hours in a mist, I have the most profound respect for the Menace’s navigation, twice admirably demonstrated not on whole mountains but comparatively insignificant outcrops.  This was the new face, as yet untried by climbers’ boot.  As far as I could make out in the mist, it is some 60’ high by 100’ long, though I may be sadly out.  It looks severe and above, the few existing holds being mainly in the wrong direction, so that progress will depend on leaning out on the arms on undercut holds with the feet supported by friction only – definitely for rubbers.  It might make a pleasant change from Wales and the local climbs, so I suggest anyone interested should contact Johnny Morris.

While pottering about on the lower part of this cliff such a rain and hailstorm began that even Wales would be hard put to equal it.  We fled, the Menace again finding the way back to the car with uncanny accuracy.

We returned rather sheepishly, absolutely soaked, to face the domestic storm.  We confessed to the crime of getting ourselves stupidly wet, then endeavoured to attend for our sin by pointing out that, although they had been left with four little girls – who were growing somewhat fractious by now – we had at least been away for a short time, certainly less than an hour.

“What,” they shrieked in unison, “You’ve been gone two and a half hours!”

R. Newman.

Future of the BB

In this, the first issue of 1957, I feel the time is appropriate to discuss the B.B. its past, its present & its future.  When the Belfry Bulletin was first published in Jan 1947, just 10 years ago – we set out to make it amongst the foremost club periodical in the country.  As our field of interest widened so did the B.B.’s, and I would refer you to the issues of 1950 to 1955, when both material & reproduction were good, some copies, naturally were not so good as others from both respects but in general although there was a singular lack of local caving news (a tradition of the B.E.C.!!!) there was something of interest in each issue.

Today the picture has radically changed – the amount of copy arriving is small & the reproduction standard has gone to hell.  In the past it was always possible to hold a “buffer” stock of variegated material from which a selection could be made to ensure that there was variety in each and every issue.  Now, as readers are aware, the situation is such that at times we have had to suspend issues altogether owing to a complete lack of material.

The fall in reproductive quality is very worrying – the Stencils are being cut in the same manner & on the same machine as in the past & so it can be assured that unless there is a variant in the Stencils themselves, they are the same as always.  This leaves two possible causes of trouble – the machine or the slaves that work it.  The machine, an Ellams Rotary Duplicator was purchased in 1947, but has actually done very little work (the B.B. is 99% of its job) compared with the use it would get commercially, but like a child it needs coaxing & looking after.

Alan who is the master slave, spent some considerable time with K. Dobbs on B.B. production before he left Bristol, so it again can be assured that the work he does is up to standard, especially as quite a percentage of the prints are excellent.  He has overhauled the machine & can find nothing wrong.  For some time he has been complaining about “Blue” on the Stencil & and this blue seems to be the root of the trouble – it started with the last batch of Stencils & it appears that the carbon supplied is of a softer nature than heretofore – leaving a thick deposit on the back of the Stencil.  This deposit is oily, would inhibit the passing of ink through the Stencil & could be the cause of the trouble we have been experiencing.  I have now scrapped all the blue Carbon Paper & we shall see what happens next.  If the matter is settled in this way all blue Carbon Paper will be avoided like the plague in future.

I recently had the opportunity of chatting with several members about the B.B. and found that in a number of cases it quickly found its way into the waste paper basket as being unreadable (literally) or uninteresting, or both, members feel that it is a waste of time sending articles to anyone that cannot be deciphered, or even if it can be reads is of very low literary standard.  I was told that in the past members went to a lot of trouble to ensure that their articles were of a high standard, but nowadays “anything” is printed.

What of the future?  The B.B. is the only link between many members & the club.  As it is at present it is a liability & not an asset – it consumes an amazing amount of the club income & as such should be worthy of us.  There are several solutions.  The easiest one, closing down, is the last one we should take.  We could have the B.B. duplicated commercially, but this would put up the cost a lot – we could have a printed cover like certain other clubs, again at a higher cost – BUT all these things will not put up our literary standards.  Only the members can do that.  The present method is a “snob” one – “My article is too good for the B.B.” – such an outlook is deplorable & indefensible.  How on earth can we improve if those capable of improving it won’t help? – once we can get a steady flow of good material coming in, I can afford to reject, as in the past, those that do not “measure up”.  If members will co-operate, I can promise an improvement in literary quality very quickly, although it must be appreciated that miracles cannot happen overnight.

I have already been noted for my plain speaking and if this article will lift the B.B. from its present all time low, the coals of fire that will be heaped on my head will burn quite painlessly.

Finally I would like to issue a special appeal for articles to start the process of rebirth – news items from Mendip – news of members – articles of a technical & non-technical nature & so on, & I would like to thank that very small band of writers whose efforts have helped us along in the past.  I would like too, to receive suggestions as to how we can progress, and also criticism.  If an issue is bloody tells us so – we shall know that you are reading it.

T.H. Stanbury    (Hon. Editor).

Why I’m Glad I’m Thin

By R.S. “Kangy” King

As the traffic in St. Cuthbert’s Swallet thickens, the likelihood of someone of portly dimensions, sticking in the entrance pitch increases.

Not to worry.  The following method of extraction was used at Whitsun.

  1. First wedge your victim.

  2. Fasten a lifeline under their armpits.
    This pitch is usually climbed without a lifeline because it is tight but in a case of exhaustion it is probably of help to safeguard the reluctant cork.  Climbing to the victim should be done, using the ladder as little as possible as possible to avoid overloading it.  While the line is being tied, advantage can be taken of one’s proximity to the cork to mutter encouraging words, such as Beer of Percentage Proof.  (Though these were found to engender frustration).

  3. The ladder can then be drawn up with the victim on it.

  4. We were amazed how easy it was.  Two could just manage to raise the ladder while three hauling brought it up like a lift.

The ideal number at the top of the pitch is four, one manipulating the lifeline and three hauling the ladder.

Someone in a fainting condition was extracted in this way while morale was boosted by shouting the seventeen stone bloke wot we pulled out last Micklemas.

The method could be extended to rescuing unconscious victims by tying them to the ladder; in this case guides in the pitch would probably be necessary.  This we haven’t tried.

R.S. “Kangy” King.


T.H. Stanbury.  Hon. Editor B.B.  48, Novers Park Road, Bristol 4.


Editor’s Note

A most members will already know, it was decided at the last A.G.M. that the Belfry Bulletin should be run by an Editorial Board.  This board consists of “Spike” Rees, Alan Sandall and myself and since the A.G.M., we have been joined by Bob Price.

Having introduced ourselves, we should like to explain what we have done so far and what we hope to do in the future.  The printed cover will be standard from now on, and older readers may recognise the title styling.  This first appeared on B.B. number 3.  I believe that we have Don Coase to thank for the design.  The large print headings are designed to assist those who, through failing eyesight or insufficient practice, have difficulty in reading small print.

Failing some dire catastrophe occurring, we will have each month’s B.B. ready for stapling on the first Thursday of the month regularly.  (We’ve got to do this in any case, as we’ve had all the dates printed on the covers in advance!).  We shall not appeal for articles, but will amongst you with big sticks.

Seriously though – we have made a start, we hope in the right direction.  There is still a lot of improving to be done.  Any suggestions will be very welcome, including any offers of help, materials of work.


Report of the Annual General Meeting 

----- A personal account of the main items of interest – by Bob Bagshaw.

The A.G.M. started a little late and the attendance reached a total of 37.

The Hon. Secretary reported that the total membership had fallen slightly to 117.  The drop from 98 to 82 for the Annual Dinner was attributed to the petrol, situation.  It was hoped that the purchase of the Belfry site, the installation of mains electricity and water and the provision of a new Tackle Store would soon be completed.

The Hon. Treasurer reported that, in view of the proposed expenditure, the outstanding loans should not be repaid yet and he appealed for donations or more Life Memberships and also for the prompt payment or subs.

The Caving Secretary reported the continuance of work on most of the caves discovered by the club.  A very small cave had been entered during the year.  The participation by the club in the Pen Park Hole project had not gone smoothly.  He deplored the attitude taken by some members of the group set  up by Professor Palmer and suggested that club abandon its share in the work.  After some discussion, it was agreed not to do this.

The Climbing Secretary reported another successful year, which included several trips to the Pyrenees and Skye.  There have been several trips for novices to the nearby climbs as well as trips to the regular climbs throughout the county.

The Tackle Officer reported the loss of one 20’ ladder.  (This has subsequently been found with the Wessex tackle).  Three more 20’ ladders have been rebuilt during the year.  The new tackle store will ease the storage position and enable a better check to be kept on tackle.

The Hut Warden reported a total of 1,062 bed-nights in spite of the loss of some regulars to the Shepton Hut.  A Bank Holiday record of 115 bed nights was set up over Easter.  The redecoration of the Belfry was continuing.

The Hon. Librarian reported that there had been less borrowing of books in spite of the purchase of 16 new books.  The use of a cupboard at Redcliffe Hall has been offered and when books are there perhaps the borrowing, and also the attendance at the Hall may increase.

There were several resolutions regarding improvements to the B.B. and after some discussion, an Editorial Board was elected.  A vote of thanks to Harry Stanbury for his work was carried unanimously.

Following some argument, a resolution to delete the words “one of whom shall be a lady member” from clause 5 of the club Constitution was carried by 18 votes to 6.

The meeting closed at 5.45 after a vote of thanks to the chair.

February Committee Meeting.

The 1957 committee held their first meeting at the Belfry on February 3rd.  The following jobs were allocated: -

Hon. Secretary and Treasurer         R.J. Bagshaw
Chairman                                      R.A. Setterington
Caving Secretary                           D. Coase
Climbing Secretary                        R. King
Hut Warden                                   A. Collins
Tackle Warden                              N. Petty
Hut Engineer                                 C. Rees
Assistant Hon. Secretary               A. Sandall
Ladies Representative                    J. Osborn

Other business dealt with included the provision of a larger notice board and a chalk box (both of which have been promised) the production of certificates for Hon. Life members, the plans for the new hut (which are to be submitted to the Town and Country Planning) and the progress on obtaining mains water and electricity.

Notices & Reminders

New Members.

We welcome the following new members to the club: -

Peter Graham (375)  6, Lawrence Mansions, Chelsea, London S.W.1.
John Jenkins (374)  126 Bridge Lane, Golders Green, London N.W.2.

List of Members

To keep the recently published list of members up to date, the following should be added: -

74/80    Tompsett (Mr.  & Mrs.) 51 Rotham Ave, Gt. Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.
245       Pembry, J.S.  Grove View, Hambrook, Nr. Bristol.
270       Brown, V.  79 Ingleside Rd., Kingswood, Bristol.
273       Hampton, Mrs. L.J.  Gesling Hill, Thorner, Nr. Leeds, Yorks.
372       Healy, M.J.  25 Water Lane, Bristlington, Bristol 4.
373       Hobbs, S.M.  135 Doncaster, Rd. Southmead, Bristol.

-----and the following amendments should be made: -

237       Scott, B.  should read 39, Colbrook Ave, Hayes, Middx.
348       Thomas, D.M.  should read 1 Ashburton Rd., Southmead, Bristol.

Caving Reports.

There are still some copies of the Cuthbert’s report left.  Price 2/6 or 3/- post free.  Apply to the Hon. Sec.

Library Books and Lamp Spares.

These are now available every Thursday night at Redcliffe Hall.

Annual Subs.

The Treasurer would like to remind those who have not yet paid their subs. for 1957.

Scrambles Swallet

Miss Jean Campbell, Geoff Fowler and Kangy King beg to announce the existence of a natural cavity which they have discovered on Sunday, January 27th, 1957.

The swallet, the presence of which had been known for some time, had defeated earlier attempts at digging by continually refilling any excavation with mud – so it had been abandoned.  However, a storm altered things.  It blew down a tree at the site, and the hole which appeared drained a small pond, thus removing the mud menace.  This was the situation when our heroic trio began their investigation.

The first stage in the dig was to remove a selection of large boulders which at once revealed a narrow sloping passage ending after about six feet.  Wriggling in we found one bat and a loose floor.  Wriggling out and then wriggling in head first, steady work was began on the loose large stones and fine-earth floor, which was banished form the immediate scene by ingeniously pushing it upwards and backwards between the legs.  This brought us to more boulders.  These were removed by much strenuous pulling upon a rope which was too short, and frantic pushing from below.  A particular bulky rock was pulled out and through the hole and to the left is was possible to see a large, indeterminate open space.  The hole was big enough to squeeze through.  We lit more lamps, and with considerable excitement squeezed through the hole, dropping into a passage the floor of which sloped steeply and was of loose stones and earth.  We moved easily on until the passage ended after about twenty five feet, in another choke.  This looked as it would take a longer time to clear, so we retreated.  Once outside, the discovery was named Scrambles Swallet and photographs were taken.  We are particularly pleased that the cavity is inhabited by no less than eight Lesser Horseshoe bats, all un-ringed.

For those interested in viewing the Swallet, it is situated (I digress here to ask the Editor to make sure he places the commas correctly) and please don’t knock down any more of the dry stone wall as you leave.  In accordance with current Bristol practice, Mr. Fowler insists that, before anyone is allowed to explore, the entrance shaft must be enlarged considerably and made safe for him to enter comfortably.  No photographs to be taken without his permission.  Miss Campbell insists that no-one is to enter until the botanists and geologists have had their fill.  Mr. King insists that he’s never seen such treacherous looking clay and would like some corporative shoring.

The possibility of extending the system seems good.  One is able to see a rift on the left of the entrance and the stream flows vigorously to the right.  We think that the bats used the steam course as their entrance and exit.

With due modesty, we suggest that this discovery might be classified as B.E.C.’s first for 1957.

Odd Items

A trip has been arranged down LAMB LEER for Sunday, March 24th, at 3pm.  Names should be given to the Caving Sec. (D.A. Coase) to reach him by or on Thursday, 21st March.

Poem to fill up an odd space.

At Hunter’s Lodge – a certain bloke
Occasionally gets slightly tight.
While showing all the lads a joke
He met his “match” the other night!

Climbing - Weekend in North Wales.

For some time now, it has been the practice of mountaineering members of the club to hire a brake for the purpose of travelling to North Wales.  With a certain amount of imagination it is possible to fit eight people plus gear into a brake.  We aim to leave Bristol, after picking up the excursionists at strategic points, at about 6.30pm on the Friday evening, arriving at a suitable farm after midnight.  Naturally, we do as little as possible while we are there, and with profound relief we start back late on Sunday afternoon.  Each person makes his own arrangements for food, entertainment and bed.  Bed is usually in a barn or a tent.

The total cost of the whole weekend (excluding beer money) seems to be of the order of twenty five shillings per head.  (Does this include the cost of overturning vehicles as well? – Ed.)  This cost was before petrol rationing, and the increased cost of petrol is expected to add five shillings per head to the bill.

If anyone would like to be given notice of such trips, I suggest they contact me.  I regret that it is not possible to give notice in the B.B., as they are usually arranged on the spur of the moment.

Ron King. – “Kangy.”
Climbing Sec.


The following has been extracted from a letter recently sent out by the U.B.S.S. concerning their new regulations about G.B. Cave: -

The “In” and “Out” notice board at the entrance to the cave has been altered as the former arrangement was unsatisfactory.  It is now an indicator board with date, club, and “In” and “Out” tabs, which should be used instead of writing on the board.  The board will only show the club down the cave and not the individual names of cavers.

This Society (the U.B.S.S.) acting agents for the owners wish to remind clubs, and through them, individual members, that it is still the policy of the owners to restrict entry to the cave, and that a “free-for-all” type of entry has never been envisaged or sanctioned.  Nevertheless, there is evidence from several difference sources that members of clubs are not observing the spirit of the rules, even if they manage to stick to the letter…..they have been granted considerable privileges by the owners and these should not be abused for if they are the owners are likely to withdraw them.

The guest rule is only intended to cover two groups of persons either members of a visiting club in another caving area, or a distinguished visitor of friend of a member.  Such persons should never exceed three in any one trip.

…….If a club party is large; there must be an adequate number of experienced cavers in it.  The total number of the party, including any guests, must not exceed 20.

…….Where more than one day is allocated at a weekend; the club may use either day but NOT both.

 (A special supply of application forms was sent with this letter.  These have now been given to the Caving Secretary to whom members should apply).

B.E.C. Dates for G.B. Trips.

March 30/31
May 11/12
June 29/30
August 3/5


Any articles of information may be given or sent to any member of the Editorial Board, or sent direct to the secretary.

Secretary.    R.J. Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.
Editor           S.J. Collins, 1 Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol 8.


Editor’s Note

We must start this month by apologising for the standard of duplication of some of the pages of last month’s B.B.  As we explained last month, our great need at the moment is paper, and we were given some last month.  Unfortunately that paper had a slight glaze on the surface, leading to the rather mucky result which some of you had to put up with in the April number.  We now have found a source of cheap but suitable stuff which should help in the future, but gifts of paper still will be very useful.  It must be the “blotting paper” type – otherwise it cannot be used.

This month we again have eight pages and we hope that this will prove to be the future minimum size!  The articles this month are mainly a continuation of last month’s topics.  The article of desilverisation of lead has cause some comment outside the club, and we have received a gift of some money as a result to help the B.B..

We are hoping to inaugurate further improvements to the Belfry Bulletin next month.


April Committee Meeting

Arrangements concerning the Belfry site were again discussed.  It was agreed to proceed with the redecoration of the women’s room.  Rawlbolts have been laid in the Wire Rift and at the top of the Maypole Pitch in Cuthbert’s.

Report of the Lamb Leer Trip

by Don Coase.

A good response was had to the announcement in the March B.B. of a visit to Lamb Leer; 12 members and 3 visitors going underground for an easy trip.  In actual fact, some of the party found the climb back up the 65’ pitch from the main chamber rather a sweat.  (Rather an alcoholic sweat from the previous night’s celebration of Mike Jones’ forthcoming wedding).  It was felt that some of the party might still be in the cave, but for the strong arms of the lifeline party.  Jack Waddon’s wife, Dorothy represented the fair sex, it being her first cave pitch and afterwards she was heard to remark that it was easier than a 20’ mineshaft Jack had taken her down the previous day for practice.

Roger Stenner provided the remark of the day.  He didn’t like the pitch.  “The opposite wall was too far away”.  A word of warning for any future trip – the timber floor at the head of the pitch is getting rotten, so mind your step!

Most of the party visited the ‘Cave of Falling Waters’ and found the inscription ‘T.W. – 1864’ was still carved in the stalagmite bank.  Incidentally, how many people know that the inscription was not carved by Thomas Wilcox, but by H.E. Balch in 1895.

Back in daylight once more, several of the more mud plastered members were greeted by a most emphatic ‘UGH – DIRTY!’ from Coase junior.

Climbing News

We have no news from the Climbing Section this month, but climbing types will find a fair amount of climbing type writing elsewhere in the B.B. – Editor.

Notices & Reminders

New Members.

We should like to welcome Dick Yarborough and John Barnes to our ranks.  Addresses will follow later.

Grim and Dreadful Warning!

The Hon. Sec. wishes to remind members of Rule No. 18.  “The membership of any individual who fails to pay his or her subscription by the 30th of April shall be deemed to have ceased.”  Or, in the words of the poet: -

“Annual subs must all be in
Ere the month of May begin
Any bloke who fails to pay
Doesn’t get B.B. in May”

Redcliffe Hall.

Many members are going straight to the ‘Waggon’ on Thursdays and it is becoming difficult to keep Redcliffe Hall going.  In view of this, the committee have authorised the Hon. Sec. collect money from members at the ‘Waggon’ on a voluntary basis.


To remind members that the collection of books now kept at Redcliffe Hall and are available for borrowing any Thursday, also lamp spares and caving reports.

Desilverisation Again

Further Comments - by Keith Gardner.

The method of desilverisation of lead by cuplellation must have come to this country somewhere near the beginning of the Christian Era.  Caesar, in ‘De Bello Gallico’ makes no comment of silver when referring to the economic values of Britain, and indeed Cicero, when writing to a friend says, “It is well known that there is not a pennyweight of silver in the whole of the island.”  Nevertheless, according to Strabo, silver was one of the main exports of Britain by the time of Augustus.

On Mendip, lead was mined for its own value in early Iron Age times, and it was common enough for it to be used as fishing net sinkers in Glastonbury Lake Village.  This was not desilverised.  I believe that Dr. H. Taylor found a small amount of lead in a Bronze Age barrow outside the U.B.S.S. hut, but it took the Roman brain to organise the Mendip mines into a really large concern.  These were under imperial control within a few years of the Claudian invasion of 43 A.D.

Whether the practice of extracting silver was a common or widespread one in Roman times is not yet known, much smelting having been carried out in villas and other sites.  Gaff and I are hoping to carry out a survey of dateable lead samples from such sites in order to get a clearer picture of the situation.  Lead occurs in the Feilena – Clevedon ridge and it is hoped to reveal whether there was a minor industry there too.

For the ‘iggerunt:            Cicero – Roman orator. 106 – 43 B.C.
                                    Strabo – Greek Geographer b.63 B.C.
                                    Augustus – 27 B.B. –

G.B. Trip.

The G.B. guest day trip during May, as announced in B.B. No. 110 is being organised by Alfie to whom names should be given at least one week in advance.  A form will be sent to the U.B.S.S. in plenty of time and last minute names will probably be acceptable up to the day of the trip.  Members are advised to give their names to Alfie in case the total gets too big, as it will have to become “first come – first served.”

Jehu’s  Welsh  Journey

..the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimishi: for he driveth furiously.

                                                                                                II Kings 9, 20.

Sooner or later in every aspiring mountaineer’s life – if his home is in the West Country – comes the ordeal by hired brake.  Beside this fearful initiation rite, even “brain-washing” recedes into insignificance for savage efficiency in breaking a strong man’s nerves.

A hired brake is a four wheeled vehicle.  It has an engine and van type body.  That is all.  Such refinements as brakes, steering and lights exist in token form only.  To nurse such a vehicle along deserted roads in broad daylight at 20mph for short distances, would give sporting odds of reaching one’s destination without mishap.  On a climbing weekend, however, something like four hundred miles has to be covered at an average speed of over 30mph if one hopes to have time for climbing at all, and all this by night.  Furthermore, to make the proposition an economic one, the more bodies carried the better, up to a maximum of eight.  (Breathe it not on Lawrence Hill!).  In short, an eight berth coffin, piloted by some Jehu or other, hurtles through the night towards Wales.

On this particular occasion, we were running light:  there were only six occupants together with sleeping bags and other gear.  For a short while the driver takes the measure of his vehicle, getting the feel of her; how many turns of the wheel before the slack is taken up; is it better to drive with the lights dipped or not, and so on.  The sparring is over; the driver gets down to the job in hand.  Gingerly speed is increased.  With the jubilant exultation of completely reckless maniac, he attempts to overtake a large lorry.  He makes it, with thumping heart, and the passengers begin to sing; in hope or in desperation the diver muses.

Some hours, some miles, some pints later, and the brake is really motoring.  The passengers doze off – all nervous energy spent, and the harsh grinding of an engine worn out some fifty thousand miles to go produces a strange soporific numbness.  In such a state we roared on towards the “First in England”, the hairpin bridge over the river Ceirriog, Wales………and destruction!

The “First in England” flashed by on the left, unseen by anyone including the driver.  A split second later and we were round the hairpin and on the bridge.  Then, for some unknown reason instead of straightening out, we carried on turning to the right in an ever decreasing circle, with the same disastrous result as a similar manoeuvre executed by the notorious bird.  Dozers awoke with a jerk as we slid broadside on along the bridge – tyres screaming.  The offside wheels lifted oh so s-l-o-w-l-y while crew and equipment floated gently off the floor into midair.  There was a horrible grind and a shower of sparks, and we were there – completely over onto the roof, nose facing back towards Bristol and on the wrong side of the road.

Deadly silence followed for a short time, then we begun to stir.  One of the occupants only was hurt – temporarily stunned by a blow on the forehead.  Unfortunately nothing was known of this, so that when the door was opened he fell out and hit the back of his head on the road.  He was then deposited on a heap of gravel, revived, and left while salvage operations were carried out.  During these operations, he must have lost consciousness again, for he found on recovering that he had a mouthful of gravel.

The next step was to get the rake upright again: a step considerably accelerated when we saw our precious petrol dripping onto the road.  The five fit members of the party performed this feat, assisted by an airman believed to be hitchhiking.  When offered a lift in return for his services, he insisted that he lived a short distance up the road and vanished at the double!  One heave and she was back on her side, with a loud crash and a tinkling of broken glass.  Another heave, and she was upright again and pushed onto the verge.

The situation was now as follows: - The roof and one side of the brake were smashed in; all the windows were gone on this side and the door was solidly welded in.  The rear doors, having stubbornly refused to open till now, refused with equal stubbornness to close.  The windscreen was badly cracked and the nearside wheel badly buckled.  Much oil and water had been lost, but mercifully, very little petrol.  Last but not least, two bottles of beer loose within were still intact and were later consumed.

Peering over the parapet of the bridge, one saw a deep murky abyss, from which sounds of swiftly flowing water rose.  The parapet was quite low and the thought that we could have easily gone through or over it was a disturbing one.  A few yards up the road a sign read “Welcome to Wales”!

The weekend’s climbing came something of an anticlimax after this and the rest of our motoring proved draughty.  It could have been worse.  It might have rained!

The owner of the brake was very annoyed when it was returned despite the inside having been swept out in an attempt to mollify him.  Before any reader endeavours to hire out a brake for a climbing trip, there is one good firm not to approach!

Firms willing to hire brakes to climbers are rapidly becoming extinct, so get your excuses ready – sick aunts in Anglesey, ships to meet at Holyhead, bridge repairs at Menai, sign painting at Llanfair P.G. etc.

Ron Newman.


Small “snippets” to fill up spaces such as this one.  A brief verse, a limerick (providing it is printable!) or any witty type writing.  Send it to any member of the Board.

It’s Easy to Ski!
…Or “How to get an extra three week’s holiday.”

By Norman Brooks.

Having long felt that need to learn to ski, I at last got down to it during the final two weeks of February.  The result was one of the best holidays from some time – so enjoyable that I should like to recommend any other members of the club who can afford the time to have a go themselves.

Karl Fuchs, an ex-Olympic skier and expert instructor, has been running his “Austrian” ski school in the Cairngorms, based on his hotel in Carrbridge, Invernesshire, for a few years now; but this is the first time that the hotel proprietors at Carrbridge have got together to enlarge the scheme, together with the Scottish Council for Physical Recreation.  They have ambitious plans for the future, but at the moment all they have to offer is the snow, the skis and the instructor plus plenty of good company good food and good beer: and what more can any thinking person desire?

Physical dexterity not being my strong point, I did rather better when learning to ski that I expected; which leads me to suggest that if I can do it, anyone can though possibly the miles I have ridden on icy roads on a motorcycle with defective steering may not have been wasted.  Of course there were those who developed a technique of skiing based on a sort of untidy laying down posture early on and then found great difficulty in changing over to the more conventional stance, but I shouldn’t think that any B.E.C. member would do a thing like that!

The sun shone from a blue sky five days running the first week, though the weather was not quite so good the second week.  The effect was almost alpine and the active part of the holiday worked out very well, in spite of the fact that the snowfall was less than at any time for the last 25 years.

When we arrived at the hotel of our choice, Rowan Lea, the proprietor said, a little severely I thought in case we should disagree with him.  “We use Christian Names here, I’m Jimmy.”  And we were treated in many ways like friends of the proprietor.  Sometimes it was difficult to realise that there would be the need to pay the bill eventually.  As residents, you are not troubled by that blight of a pleasant evening, the call of “Time!”, so things used to go on and on, with one or other of the guests occasionally giving a little hand behind the bar.

There is a most fiendish and dangerous method used for loosening up after skiing, a sort of barbaric ritual known as Scottish Dancing.  It is encouraged of course, to enhance the bar takings, since it introduces a powerful thirst for beer, also a need for something stronger to steady the nerves.  Don’t think you can avoid it.  If you had seen my 13 stone being whirled round the floor by one of the girls, and seen the dazed amazed look of an innocent being passes around like a parcel in a party game by the experts, then you might think it better to stay out – but don’t; it’s better to come quietly!  Indeed, you may even get keen.  When my companion – a staunch member of the Bar Propper’s Union, whom I had never before seen enticed onto a dance floor, led a party of the local amazons into the bar to rout out more men for dancing; he delivered a shock to my system from which I have not yet recovered.

It may appear obvious to even the moist initiated novice that rocks do not make satisfactory skiing surface, but I am afraid that I underwent an enforced absence from work and Mendip as a result of trying to utilise such a surface!

Odds  &  Ends

Hot Rocking at High Rocks

It is reported that B.E.C. members were present when a large quantity of food and alcohol was consumed one Saturday evening at the High Rocks Hotel near Tunbridge Wells.

It is suspected that this accounted for the sounds of revelry issuing from this place until the early hours, and the unusual sight of frenzied figures clambering and swinging on the masses of ropes and ladders the following day.  Could this most enjoyable weekend have been the Westminster Speleological Group’s Annual Dinner?


From our Social Correspondent.

A goodly collection of B.E.C. members turned up to Horfield Parish Church to see Mike and Judy get married, and to add their high social tone to the excellent reception which followed.  Several members went down to Temple Meads to see the happy couple off to their honeymoon while others repaired to a local café and consumed black coffee.  Alfie had to be restrained from drinking his champagne immediately on receipt of the same, and at one stage the bridegroom was heard to remark, “I think the drinks must have run out – John’s hands are empty!”   ……a very enjoyable time was had by all.

Easter on Mendip

This Easter was a quiet one compared with the usual Easter weekend.  This was partly due to the fact that many members spent Easter on Exmoor, although when one member of the club was asked where he was going by one of the “stay at home” types outside the Hunter’s, he said, “Dartmoor!” – Well, it could be!  Saturday night was spent in the Hunter’s as usual, and afterwards most of the types repaired to the Shepton Hut where music and tea were provided by the inhabitants.  Among the skiffle tunes played was one which was thought to be the S.M.C.C. club song – it was called, “There’s a Crack in this old Building.”

A largish party went down August Hole, and others worked in Hunter’s and Alfie’s.  A certain amount of creosoting was done by club types and local lads to the outside of the Belfry.

A new innovation is the slab of concrete provided by Messrs Rich and Thomas on which it is possible to park one motorbike.  It is also the right size for laying out any members who happens to feel unwell and should prove very useful.

Caves of Mendip.

Nick Barrington’s new book is now out.  It is written on the same lines as “Britain Underground” but contains a much fuller and more up to date description of Mendip Caves.  It is hoped to be able to make a review of this book shortly, but meanwhile it is a good buy and a useful addition to the Caver’s bookshelf.

Useful Addresses.

R.J. Bagshaw,            Hon. Secretary and Treasurer.  56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.
D.A. Coase,               Caving Secretary.  “Batsford”, Lower Failand, Nr. Bristol.
S.J. Collins,                Hut Warden and Editor, B.B.  I Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol 8.
R. King,                     Climbing Secretary.  1 Lynmouth Road, Bristol 2.
Mrs. Jones,                Ladies’ Representative, 389 Filton Ave, Horfield, Bristol 7.
N.J. Petty,                  Tackle Officer.  12, Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol 4.
R.J. Price,                  B.B. Editorial Board.  70 Somermead, Bedminster, Bristol 3.
C. Rees,                    B.B. Editorial Board.  2 Burghill Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.
A.J.E. Sandall,           Assistant secretary. And B.B. Editorial Board.  35 Beauchamp Rd., Bristol 7.
R.A. Setterington,       Chairman.  69, Kingston Road, Taunton, Somerset.

(C. Rees is also assistant Hut Warden and Belfry Engineer).


Editor’s Note

Since the publication of last month’s Belfry Bulletin, we have received a lot of articles, offers of assistance and help in obtaining materials and favourable comments from club members.  We would like to thank all concerned both for their help and for the encouragement that this has given us.

As a result of this, we have been able to increase the size of the B.B. and to provide a back cover.

We how have a goodly stock of articles for future use, but although we must keep a few back as reserve, we will try to print each article as soon as possible.  We think that authors would prefer this and that it may lead to authors writing more often.  The limitation to the size of the B.B. at the moment is governed by the supply of paper and gifts of this will be uncommonly useful.


March Committee Meeting

The 1957 committee held their second meeting at the Belfry on Sunday, March 3rd.

Business dealt with included the new hut (Town and Country Planning permission has now been granted) electricity, water, and the provisioning of trees from the Forestry Commission.

A formal resolution was proposed by R.A. Setterington to amend the names required for signature on the club Post Office account.  The new list consists of: - R.J. Bagshaw, A. Collins, D. Coase and N. Petty.  This resolution was seconded by R. King and carried.


The Caving secretary reports the discovery of a new series in Cuthbert’s.  This is called the Maypole Series, and is entered from Upper Traverse Chamber by means of a maypole.  The series is an upstream one and contains three pitches.  The first Maypole Pitch is 20’, the second Maypole Pitch is 15’ and the third Maypole Pitch is also 15’.  These pitches now bring the total of pitches in Cuthbert’s up to 18.  There is some very nice stal. of various colours in the series which is well worth seeing.  The series has been penetrated for 300’ to date and the prospects of further penetration are good.  It is hoped to persuade  the committee to provide fixed steel ladders for this series.


There is not much news from the Climbing Section this month, but the following letter has been received from the Climbing Secretary: -

To the Editor, B.B.

Dear Sir,

In the March issue of B.B., I see that you have added a comment to my notice on transport to North Wales.  While it is perfectly true that we do tend to overturn shooting brakes, I feel I should make it clear that the cost of this exhilarating experience is comparatively slight, and those who have participated in it agree it is good value for eight shillings a head.

I wonder if I might describe a typical crash?  On our last trip our cruising speed was rising steadily from an existing thirty five to a dicey forty when we skidded, toppled sideways and ended the slide upside down facing the way we had come.  From the rear came a cry of “What did the King say?”  We lay there for a moment quietly enjoying the experience before we crawled out.  We had been packed so tightly that no personal damage was done while individual reactions to the event were quite varied and unprintable!   Once out, we heaved the thing back onto its wheels, stuck on odd bits and finally drove off to Wales with only a few dents and new draughts to remind us of what had happened.

Afterwards, when the reckoning came, the driver was reluctant to fork out his crash fee because he claims he missed all the fun - he was asleep at the time!

Notices & Reminders

New Members.

We welcome the following new members to the club: -

J.J. Jacobs (374)            126 Bridge Lane, Golders Green, London N.W.2.
Peter Graham (375)        6, Lawrence Mansions, Chelsea, London S.W.1.
F.M. Piper (376) 2, Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8.

Change of Address.

From May 1st, Alan Thomas’s address will be: -

Sandall Park Special Residential School,
Bishop’s Lydeard,
Nr. Taunton,

Scandinavian Trip.

Tom Fletcher is going to Lyngen in Norway this June/July for several weeks, returning via Sweden.  There will be climbing and the lion’s share of the expenses will be paid by Tom.

Anyone interested should write to Tom by Air Mail to: -

T. Fletcher,
East African Malarial Institute,
Nr. Tanga,

From Tom & Rusty

Herewith the latest report from two members in “Furren Parts”.

Firstly, tour of the States is off.  The reason being my lack of enthusiasm about serving a two year stretch in the Yankee army.  Three of my friends who left Avro for the States are now in uniform! and on enquiry to the U.S. Consulate informed me that in my case call up was very likely!  Imagine the ‘Michael’ that would be extracted if I got posted to Limey Land and walked into the Hunter’s clad in Yankee khaki!  Not for me.

It was a terrible disappointment as you can well imagine, literally the opportunity of a lifetime wasted.  However, as a consolation Rusty and I trotted down to Toronto and booked our passage home.  We sail on the ‘Tresnia’ from Montreal on July 26th so we should be down at the club some time in August.  If all goes well of course.

I hope the National Geographic mags have started arriving.  The thought of being swindled on this side of the Atlantic is more than English blood can stand!  (Tom has taken out a subscription as a present to the club – Ed.)

The roads over here are pretty nearly impossible.  The Toronto area is not so bad, but out where we are living the snow is really deep.  I know what it feels like to have to walk four miles in over two feet of snow.  I got the car stuck last week and had to call out the tractor from the local garage.  God, what a country!  I used to love the snow in England but since being over here I hope never see another snowflake as long as I live.

                                                            See you soon.
                                                                        Tom and Rusty.

I’m sure that Tom and Rusty will have some wonderful yarns to tell us when we see them……….Editor.

Caves Of Malaya

by Brian Prewer.

Towards the end of July last year, I found myself, rather unexpectedly, flying over the Syrian Desert on my way to Malaya – the land of rubber plantations, tin mines, coconut palms and dense jungle.  One might add to this list ‘Land of the Caves’ for Malaya is a caver’s paradise.  To the north of Kuala Lumpur exceptionally large caves abound, while between Ipoh and the Siamese border – a distance of over 250 miles – limestone outcrops stretch continuously.

It was to a range of limestone hills, on the border with Siam that I paid a visit during February.  This trip was more or less a search for any caves that might be worth a visit in the near future.  A journey of 130 miles by car through rubber plantations and jungle, brought me to a small village called Kaki Bukit which is surrounded by limestone hills over 2,000 feet high.

Most of the caves in this area are unexplored except for one or two which have been explored by a group of Europeans who call themselves the ‘Selanger Speleological association’.  A short search along the base of one hill revealed openings of various sizes all showing promise of fairly large passages beyond.  One such opening – a large resurgence – was over twenty five feet high at the entrance and had an extremely large stream flowing from it.  Lack of equipment on this occasion prevented any exploration.

A further search brought to light a sheer rock face with several small openings at various heights.  The angle of the bedding was about 45 degreees.  After a long climb up a thickly wooded hill, I found numerous openings most of which swallowed small streams.

About 50 miles south of Kaku Bukit lies the small town of Jintra.  The town is surrounded by many strange limestone outcrops.  The land surrounding these outcrops is absolutely flat and yet they rise up to a height of well over two hundred and fifty feet.  The sides – either sheer or extremely steep.

Caves in these outcrops are many, most of them being true pot holes as the bedding here is horizontal.  Exploration of these is out of the question without a fair amount of tackle.  With this in mind, my attention will now be focused on the caves in the north and also those near Kuala Lumpur.

On the geology of Malaya, I know little except for some information obtained from a small book on the country.

The formation of limestone in Malaya seems a little unusual.  About two hundred million years ago, Malaya was beneath the sea and during that time the usual process of the formation of limestone took place.  At some later period, great earth movements took place and the limestone was pushed up to form the present mountain chains.  These mountains apparently had a core of granite.  Today, erosion has proceeded very far and the mountains are little more than residual stumps with their cores of granite widely exposed, but on their flanks here and there are preserved relics of the old limestone – discontinuous on account of the crumbling and fracturing that it suffered when the mountains rose.

“Prew” has also sent the following note: -

If any further information comes my way regarding the caves of, or speleology in Malaya, I’ll let you know.  In the next month or so we hope to explore some of the caves mentioned above.  We are obviously limited by tackle, but we will do as much as we can.

Desilverisation of Mendip Lead

by “Gaff” Fowler.

In a field south west of fair Lady Well, the plough has turned up many fragments of Samian Ware, and several lumps of a heavy, pink, crystalline material together with a few pieces of weathered lead and Galena.

X-ray diffraction showed this pink substance to be mainly composed of crystalline litharge.  (Lead Monoxide – PbO.)

Further examination spectroscopically showed that it contained fairly high percentage of other substances – notably Manganese, Aluminium, Iron, Calcium and traces of a variety of other metals (see note 1)

Crystalline Litharge can only be formed by the cooling of a Litharge melt (melting point 879oC) and this temperature is greater than is usual in the smelting of galena.  Silver was conspicuous by its complete absence (see note 2.).  These two points, plus the fact that the material contained no sulphate or sulphide (see note 3.)  indicated that the material was not a normal slag from the smelting of galena.  In any case, it would have been a very inefficient process to leave a third of the lead behind the stage.

CUPELLATION. – The early method of desilverisation lead (see note 5.) was to allow the molten metal – which contained all the silver from the ore – to cool slowly.  The first crystals to appear were pure lead and these were removed, usually with a perforated iron ladle.  This process was repeated until about seven eighths of the lead had been removed.  This alloy – rich in silver – was then melted on a flat “cupel” or hearth, usually made of limestone clay or a Barytes/clay mixture (see note 6.) in a blast of air.  As the temperature obtained was greater than 900oC, the litharge formed, flowed away, and took with it some of the Calcium, Manganese, Aluminium and other metals present in the hearth, as impurities.  On cooling, it crystallised in pink hexagon crystals.  The remaining litharge was absorbed by the porous cupel, leaving a globule of metallic silver about 99.9% pure.

The analysis of the material found shows that it is probably the residue from a desilverisation process and considering that it was found on a roman site, near to a known roman lead works, it is probable that it is of roman origin.

Lead from Galena found there also (see note 2,) would contain about 0.0006%.  Thus the sample found was a lump of DESILVERISED LEAD.

G. Fowler
15.1 57.

Note 1.

Analysis: - Specific gravity          6.4 – 6.9
                 Chemical Analysis    mainly PbO
                 Spectrographic Analysis:
                        Fe……..5 – 10%
                        Mn..…..2 – 5%
                        Ca….....2 – 5%
 Cu, Ni, Si……..0.1%
       Sb, Ti……..0.01%

The following elements were not detected within the limits of the analysis indicated:

AS, Zn, U         less than 0.1%
Cr, W, Bi, Sn, Cc           less than 0.01%
Ag, Tl, V, Mo    less than 0.001%

Note 2.

The silver content of a lump of galena found on the site was 0.0005%

Note 3.

The smelting of Galena is carried out by oxidation at a low temperature, when the mineral is partially oxidised to sulphate and oxide: -

                        PbS + 2O2 – PbSO
                        2PbS + 3O2 – PbO4 + 2SO2

A little lime is added and the temperature is raised, when the remaining Galena reacts with the partially oxidised products to give lead:

                        PbSO4 + PbS – 2Pb + 2SO2
                        2PbO + PbS – 3Pb + SO2

The slag from this process contains about 10% Pb present as oxide, sulphate and sulphide.  In modern process the lead is recovered from the slag in a blast furnace.

Note 4.

A “Pig” of lead found near Greenore bore the inscription ‘EX ARG.VERB.’ which could be translated as either ‘From the silver mines’ or ‘Desilverised lead’.

Note 5.

Cupellation was mentioned by PLINY.  The process was ‘Rediscovered’ in 1833 by Patterson.

Note 6.

Samples of barites containing Fe, Al, &c as impurities were also found on the site.

Editor’s note on the above.

I know that this is all rather heavy going for the ordinary, or non-chemical member of which I am definitely one myself!  I am told that this work by Gaff is definitely an original contribution to the story of Mendip lead and that more will be heard about it in the learned circles which Gaff frequents.

A series of three articles on lead mining on Mendip will shortly be published in the Belfry Bulletin.  These are being prepared by another of out tame chemists – Merv. Hannam, but will be of a less technical nature than the article above.


As most of our Bristol members will know, Mike Jones and Judy Osborn will be getting married on the 30th of March.  By the time that this issue comes out they will be married, but there will not be time to include a note on the wedding.  The club have been given them a wedding present of some cutlery and we have received the following letter from Judy: -

Dear B.E.C. Members,

            On behalf of my husband and myself I should like to thank you all for the present you gave us on the occasion of our wedding.  Also for all your good wishes for our future happiness.

            Yours sincerely
                        Judith M. Jones

Two more candidates for the matrimonial stakes are Alan Sandall and Carol Venn, who are getting married on the 3rd of April.  We should like to offer them our bets wishes for their future happiness.


The Hut Warden would like to thank Ian Dear for his gift of four new mattresses for the Belfry.  They will come in very useful over Easter.


It haz bene pointed owt too me that i kan’t spel thee naim ov thee mountanes between France and Spain inn last month’s B.B.

I amm sorry fore this and I wil try to improve my speling inn thee futyour.



All contributions for the B.B. may be given or sent to any members of the Editorial Board.  These are Spike Rees, Alan Sandall, Bob Price and Alfie.  Material for the B.B. may also be included in letters to the Secretary.

Secretary.             R.J. Bagshaw, 56 Pensford Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.
Editor.                   S.J. Collins, I Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol 8.




It is a tradition of the Belfry Bulletin to produce a “Bigger and Better” version of the magazine for Christmas.  The pages following are our attempt to keep this going.  We hope that this Christmas issue will prove to be bigger – if not better – than ever, but, owing to the need to produce as many of the stencils as early as possible, we don’t know at the time of writing this, exactly what will be in this Christmas B.B.

We shall be trying this month to concentrate more on the lighter side, without excluding any articles of a more serious nature that may come along – with what success we must leave you to judge.



November Committee Meeting

The local Rural District Council has now been contacted about the plans for the new stone hut, and we are now waiting to see if they will be passed.  We are still waiting for a suitable water meter before the mains water can be installed.  The Hon. Secretary was asked to finalise arrangements for the Annual Dinner with the Cliff Hotel, Cheddar – this being the only one which will book us at this stage.  The “official” letter to be sent out in answer to enquiries by the Caving Secretary explaining the situation re-access to St. Cuthbert’s and the reasons for it was agreed to by the committee.

Other business dealt with included the provisioning of trees for the Belfry site; the disposal of the old nickel-iron accumulators; certificates for Honorary Life Members and the progress on the renovation of the club lantern and slides..

M.N.R.C.  Lectures

The notice on this subject in last month’s B.B. has been clarified by the Caving secretary of the M.N.R.C., who has kindly pointed out that any member of the B.E.C. will be very welcome at any of these lectures whether he knows an M.N.R.C. member or not.  He continues by saying ‘We believe that this is still maintaining the letter of the rules of our parent society and also the spirit, as we believe that a spirit of friendliness exists between the two clubs.”

Unfortunately, a charge of 1/6 is still necessary for two reasons.  Firstly to comply with the rules of the parent society and secondly as one of the benefits of M.N.R.C. membership.

Thanks, Pete Stewart

Annual Dinner and 1958 Committee Nomination Forms.

These will be found attached to the back of the B.B.  Please fill them in if applicable and give or send them to the Hon. Sec.

U.B.S.S.  Sessional Meetings, 1957 - 1958.

January 20th  Mr L. Railton.  “Stereoscopic Photography of Caves.”
February 3rd.  B.R. Collingridge and G. Witts.  “Ireland, 1956 and 1957.”
March 3rd.  Annual General Meeting.  Presidential Address, “The Lost Stone Circles of North Somerset.”  E.K. Tratman, O.B.E., M.D.S., F.S.A.


Climbing News

October 11th – 12th.

The Climbing Section enjoyed its weekend in North Wales.  The journey was uneventful, and the weather wonderfully fine and warm for the time of year.  The party stayed at the Oread M.C. hut, and after initial difficulties with a bad-tempered party in possession, settled in quite well.

Several climbs were made in Cwm Silyn and on Craig y Bera, and the views and general scenery of this part of Wales are greatly to be recommended.


Editor’s Note.  We have since received an apology, on behalf of the Oread Mountaineering Club for the bad behaviour of the member referred to in this report.  They hope that this odd incident will not deter B.E.C. members from visiting their hut again.

October 6th.

Chris Falshaw, Vivien Hudson, Steve Tuck and Kangy led an appreciative party from Westminster Speleological Group into St. Cuthbert’s Swallet and up Maypole Series.  The party enjoyed climbing up the succession of pots and noted the very fine set of black-edged stal. at the top of the final pulley pitch.  Time was spent examining numerous side passages, some of which showed distinct characteristics; such as Escalator Passage, where large boulders move downwards when trodden on, and Appendix Passage, which trundles on – high, wide and handsome – until it abruptly finishes.  This part of the cave system must be very near the surface.

It is suggested to leaders that the “thin string” (nylon line) which is left permanently in position and used to pull a lightweight ladder up to the top of Pulley Pitch should be cautiously examined for abrasion every time it is to be used.  Acceleration due to gravity (even in a cave) is 32.2ft/sec2.

R. King.

November 2nd.

Ian Dear and Arthur Cochrane went down Hunter’s Hole to start a survey.  As a result of this trip, Ian is able to state quite definitely that when surveying in a muddy cave, it is not advisable to use a brown pencil!  Also on this date, Alfie and Jill started to put some temporary shoring into the dig at Vole Hole.  It should now be possible to dig down and recover the club bucket!


November 3rd.

Fireworks in Caves

On a Cuthbert’s trip with a party from B.O.A.C. led by Norman, one of the party produced some 3d. “Silver Rain” fireworks.  Rather to the leader’s surprise, when the Blue Touch Paper was suitably ignited in Cascade chamber, a really outstanding blaze of light, far surpassing that of mag. ribbon, resulted.  Further experiments in Curtain Chamber and Gour hall confirmed the brilliance of this new type of cave illuminant.  It is reported that Norman, as soon as he emerged from the cave, hastily changed and made a record run back to Bristol where he bought up the entire stock of “Silver rain” from the local firework retailers.

It is hoped, however, that this experiment will not lead to the rash use of pyrotechnics in Cuthbert’s.  The writer can remember the effect of Very Light cartridges in the main chamber of Lamb Leer during the war years.  Unfortunately, there was no indication of the colour of the cartridges.  The first one was green – very depressing it looked, but the next one to be ignited was red.  Talk about Dante’s inferno!  When viewed through the smoke of the first flare from the top of the ladder pitch the effect was most realistic.  As for getting out of the cave afterwards, flash powder smoke was merely a thin mist in comparison.  The party had to link hands and stumble, coughing and choking, back to the entrance ladder.  On the surface, any passer on the road must have thought that Mendip was erupting, as there was a column of smoke just like a volcano.  But to revert to Cuthbert’s; it is hoped that no one will try the effect of a ‘thunder flash’ by Quarry Corner, or equally it would be disconcerting to be chased by a cracker all around the Rabbit Warren.

Water Temperatures

Firstly, an apology by the Editor.  Owing to a mistake at the last moment, I missed out a few words of the report on this subject with the result that a sentence read ‘both wet and dry bulb.’  This should obviously gone something like, ‘Both wet and dry bulb readings should be taken.’  Judging by this, and other queries, this report seems to have made a number of club members think.  The following letter on the subject has been received, for instance, from Paul Burt: -

 “Got the November B.B. yesterday and was interested to hear about the new work in Cuthbert’s, particularly the stream tracing.  As regards instruments, there is a psychometer at the lab. which should be suitable for humidity measurements and which I could probably borrow for a weekend.  I don’t know much about this, but isn’t identification of stream water by temperature somewhat liable to error?  For instance, assuming that the final temperature attained by a stream in a cave is the ambient cave temperature, the point at which this occurs might be affected by other factors besides the total horizontal and vertical distances from the point where the stream leaves the surface.  The volume of flow and the efficiency of mixing with the air in the cave will have considerable influence and may vary according to the nature of the steam bed.  Also, may not heat stored in, or withdrawn from, the rock in the stream bed on recent occasions have some influence, so that the temperature of the stream at any time may be the result of its recent history?  This may have all been discussed already and allowed for, but I am not conversant enough with caving literature to know if it is so.

Tess and I would like a trip to Mendip some time between now and Christmas.  If there should be anything doing in Cuthbert’s in which we could co-operate, perhaps you could let us know?  I will produce the psychometer and a thermometer or two for temperature measurements.

You mention doing analysis of water to prove connection.  I know that the usual fluorescein tests are out of order at Cuthbert’s, but wouldn’t it be O.K. to introduce some relatively innocuous contaminant, such as chlorine ions, say, as common salt.  I would have thought that, in the sort of concentration necessary for chemical tests it would have no conceivable effect on the water at Wookey Hole.  There are a number of suitable and reasonably sensitive reactions which could be used to test samples containing chloride.  In fact, as a purely qualitative test, it could be done on the spot.”

We will certainly take advantage of this offer of a sling psychometer and a trip has been arranged for Saturday, the 7th of December.  Some comment is called for on the text of Paul’s letter.  It is agreed that the tracing of water by the measurement of temperature is liable to be influenced by many factors such as those mentioned, but it still seems unlikely that Plantation water would drop only 0.5oF in such a distance.  Some further information has come from Roy Bennett and it is to be found in Caving Report No.2, page 6, where it is stated that in November 1955, Plantation water was 1o colder than the main stream.  The actual figures were – Main Stream 9oC (48.2oF) and the Plantation Junction Stream 8oC (46.4oF).  The surface water temperatures were not taken but were lower in the cave.  In this case, Cuthbert’s water had warmed up to ambient temperature but Plantation Junction Water was nearly 2oF below this figure.

The suggestion of water analysis is that if there are marked differences of physical or chemical composition in the respective streams, it might be possible to correlate this underground.  Possibly a pathological examination might be better, particularly if Plantation Stream is contaminated by the same unpleasant bugs as the Ladywell Stream, close by.

Various members have made suggestions about the introduction of a chemical or dyestuff into Plantation Stream put into the main; they seem to think that the time of travel would be in the order of half an hour.  In British Caving, page 156 are quoted times of flow for distances not greater than 400 yards which vary from 5 minutes up to 2 hours in Upper Easegill,  while in Penyghent, a distance of 400 yards took 1 hour 40m. over a vertical drop of nearly 200 feet and nearby took 3½ days for the dye to travel 90 yards, the difference of level being negligible.  Thus it would be necessary to watch the Plantation Junction Stream for at least 6 hours to be certain that the tracer was not missed.  Using a salt test, it would be necessary to make a chemical test of the water every five minutes or so – a tedious procedure.  If one used longer intervals, you could never be sure that the chemical had been missed or that the connection was absent.

However, deliberate introduction of a chemical or dyestuff into Plantation Stream, even in the small quantities required could lead to the closing of the cave, just to prove a water connection which has no real application. It is therefore best left alone.

For those interested in the subject generally, I recommend British Caving, pages 151 onwards and the bibliography on page 169.

D.A. Coase.

Whimsey In Wales

Jayne Mansfield. – Well, that’s an interesting way to start an article, and having started, I might as well tell you how Alan and I thought of another way of making money.

It started with the assumption that people are paying good money to the Central Council of Physical Recreation, North Wales Branch (the Royal) for the privilege of spending a fairly gruelling two weeks bashing around the local mountains.  They are paying good money for the privilege of being taught something which anyone with enthusiasm and practicable ability, combined with a certain amount of literacy, can teach themselves.  It seemed to us that some people are on to a good thing.  Some people have discovered how to organise mountaineering and turn it into a profit.  Is there nothing, we wondered which is untainted by commerce?  Only caving perhaps?  But even this we felt, was bound to follow the lead of the Mountaineering Association and the C.C.P.R.  Thank heavens it hasn’t yet.

It hasn’t yet!  The clue to our achieving our first million pounds lay here!  If someone is, one day, going to organise caving and access fees for training novices, then why not us?  How simple we thought; we have the caves (free); the accommodation (by arrangement with the B.E.C. committee who are always keen to earn the odd crafty bob or two – and the staff B.E.C. members, also keen on the O.C.B.O.S.).  On the other hand, ranged against our simple project would be the academic might of speleologists better qualified to deal in caving activities than ourselves, and the frosty reception it would have from other caving clubs.  We decided that opposition would only spice our plan.

The idea was born and we amused ourselves with a more detailed examination of it.  We conceived a typical fortnight’s training.  The charge we fixed at fifteen guineas for twelve days.  Guineas because they contain more shillings than the plebeian pound, and twelve days because we could call it a fortnight.  The next step was to make sure that we conserved as much of the fifteen guineas as possible, and accommodation of course would be at cut price, by arrangement with the B.E.C. committee who would receive the cut.  Food was different.  It was likely to take a fair proportion of the sum per head – at least one and a half guineas.  Then we brilliantly saw a solution – cavers need to be thin!  This fact solved our last problem – we would put them on a diet of orange juice and porridge and make sure that we were underground during the usual conventional luncheon hour and only emerge when we were sure it was opening time (ascribing this to tradition).  We imagined our fond students buying us beer (more tradition) as we counted our ten pounds per student per fortnight profit.  It was very pleasant.



Our cover, which depicts some cavers enjoying the Christmas spirit, was produced from a lino cut by Daphne Clogue, who we should like to thank.


Since the preparation of the caving news this month, we have received letters from Sett and Jack Waddon on the subject of water temperature measurement in Cuthbert’s.  These letter and comments will be published next month.

Return to Mendip

By Russ

This is just a few lines to show how glad I am to be back amongst the people who frequent “the hill”.  It would take a dozen B.B.’s to relate all the experiences one encounters in a new land.

The main contributory factor of my return is the influx of labour which has been arriving so consistently and so overwhelming as to swamp completely the ‘Situations Vacant’ columns.  Also, the comparatively recent import of refugee Hungarians has taken care of the smaller temporary jobs which would have been steady, if slight, source of income until better work could be found.  A recent change in government, with its cut in spending, has also contributed to the unemployment problem.

Therefore it was in Calgary, four weeks after our arrival at Vancouver and thirty pounds lighter in pocket, that the first inkling of a job was forthcoming.  At this stage we (Tony Rich, John Lamb and myself) were walking a mile to breakfast because there was a cheaper café than others a block or so away.

Soon the tide was to turn, and within two days we were all permanently employed.  It was at this stage that I made the second greatest mistake (the other was coming to Canada in the first place) and I turned down a steady job for one with a commission which involved selling magazine subscriptions.

Three weeks, three thousand miles, one pair of shoes and minus five dollars later, I thought it was time to try something of a different nature.  One advantage of selling magazines was that it enabled me to travel and see some of this country.  I saw most of Northern Alberta, British Columbia and some of the Yukon.  Damn those mosquitoes!

Back in Calgary, I had become friendly with a radio announcer and a newspaper reporter.  They were very decent blokes and helped me out a bit with a few dollars here and there.  It seemed, however, that there were no prospects of a job in Calgary so I thought it was better to run up a debt home than amongst my friends, and made arrangements for my return to Mendip.

During my wanderings, I came across some very nice Canadians, but on the other hand, I also met some of the other types!  I gather that on the Eastern side they are much more unfriendly.  Canada is a place where money can be made very quickly if you can acquire a reasonable job.  My advice to anyone contemplating emigration is to make sure of a guaranteed job before you leave England and not to pay a lot of attention to what the emigration authorities say.  Try to correspond with an Englishman already residing in the area you intend to visit.

Book Review

By Bryan Ellis.

One Thousand Metres Down” by J. Cadoux and others (Allen & Unwin) 21/-.

International Expedition to the Goufre Berger, 1956.  The exploits of the British members, Nick Pratchett and Bob Powell” (Cave Research Group) 3/6.

The Caves of the Great Hunters” by Hans Baumann” (Hutchinson) 10/-.

The Caving Clubs of Mendip.”  by A. Cider (Hunter’s Book Co.).

A number of books have been published for the armchair caver in the last year, and three of them are reviewed here.  Taking them in the order given above, I can sum up my impressions of the first “One Thousand Metres Down” in a few words – it is the most enjoyable book on cave exploration that I have yet read.  It is a similar book to “Subterranean Climber” by Pierre Chevalier but it is of greater interest than the older book because it has been written as a story rather than a straight forward account of expeditions. 

The story starts with the exploration of Vat of Sassonage, some well-known caves near Grenoble in which the team in its infant days as a club discovered a considerable length of new passage, then goes on to the making of a caving film by the same people.  The purpose of these fifty pages appears to be to show how the team was built into a closely knit group of friends having complete trust in each other.  After these first few chapters, we come to the beginning of the story proper – the discovery and exploration of the Gouffre Berger that was to become the deepest pothole in the world.

Jean Cadoux writes the majority of the book, some of the chapters having been contributed by other members of the team, but this does not introduce any lack of continuity as the writer’s styles are very similar.  It may be that we gain here in having a translation from another language, as the style throughout the book may well be that of the translator, R.L.G. Irving.  The story of the exploration is gripping and this was definitely one of the books which I found very difficult to put down once I had started.  I started on a Friday morning and was most annoyed when I had not finished by that evening as I was going away for the weekend and knew that I would not be able to pick it up again until the Monday evening!  The story unfolds as they make their way deeper and deeper in the cave, overcoming the difficulties as they come across them – a succession of ladder pitches, great chambers, excessively wet sections and tight winding passages.  The exploration was started in 1953 and as it proceeded they passed the depth of the then deepest pothole in France, and on down to 900 metres (2,950 feet).  It was about this time that they realised the very definite possibility of their going lower than 1.000 metres (3,280’) and so named the explorations “Operation 1,000”, the title given to the original book when it was published in France.  The book ends with the expedition of 1955 when they attained a depth of 985 metres without reaching the end of the cave, but there is a very short postscript to say that in the next year the end of the cave was finally reached at 1,130 metres (just over 3,700 feet).

In 1956, the Speleo-Group of the French Alpine club who had been exploring the Gouffre Berger, invited clubs from other countries to send members for a further expedition.  My second review is of the first of the “Occasional Publications” to be published by the Cave Research Group of Great Britain and consists of accounts by the two British members of the exploratory team.  Nick Pratchett was a member of one of the supporting parties, while Bob Powell was in the international team that went to the very bottom of the cave.  These stories, which are interesting, written, inaugurate a new series of C.R.G. publications that are designed to cover topics not coming under the heading of research topics or research aids.  This issue is priced at 3/6 but it is available from the C.R.G. librarian at 2/6 for members or members clubs (e.g. the B.E.C.).

 “The Caves of the Great Hunters” is one of several books published recently about the cave drawings that are to be found on the continent.  The exact date of publication of this book is unknown to the reviewer but it has only recently come to his notice – it tells the story of how four boys accidentally discovered an ice-age cave containing rock art.  (Anyone wanting to read about “Britain’s painted Cave” should see the article of this title by G. Grogson that appeared in the issue of “County Life” dated 27th December 1956).  It won’t tell you very much!

Three books about caving – or more correctly two books and a paper, have been reviewed here, but both of the books were published originally abroad.  If translations of these books are published in this country, there must be sufficient sale for them to be economically sound for the publisher and yet there has only been one book, as far as I can remember, about caving expeditions in Great Britain.  Why do we have to rely almost entirely on books about foreign caves?  Which are we short of, caving authors or the caves for them to write about?

Dealing with the last book, such comments as the one stating that one of the Mendip caving clubs has the policy of ‘tasting as many brands of beer as possible’ while another has that of ‘seeing how many cavers it can provide with cups of tea on a Saturday evening after closing time’ makes one wonder if this book is not a light-hearted satire on the state of affairs to be found in the area.  Whether it is or not, I am not quite sure, but the book is very amusing in places and certainly seems to have an authentic ring about it.

The author states that there are only two clubs worthy of note in the area – one chapter of the book is devoted to each of these clubs while the remainder are dealt with in two further chapters one dealing with caving clubs which appear to be more interested in other subjects and one dealing with clubs whose interests are obscure, non-existent or completely inexplicable.

One can learn a great deal from the reading of this book; how to prevent the democratic functioning of a club with special references on losing unwanted motions for A.G.M.’s; how to influence members of other clubs; how to restrict access to caves and caving literature and how to obtain more material for a club magazine.

From the book we also learn how to fill in applications for club membership for the various local clubs in such a way as to ensure that (a) you become elected; (b) you are refused politely or (c) you stir up trouble and are flung out on your neck.  As an example the answer of “Wine, Women and Song” to the question of “Main interests” fill find you welcomed with open arms by one club and thrown out on your neck by another.  We are also told that no answer will fulfil condition (b) with some clubs.

Different clubs provide different amenities for members and guests staying at their Mendip Headquarters.  One club provided a scrambles track outside its hut; another caters for lovers of old buildings and yet another for budding housebreakers.

This review should have given readers an idea of the type of book that this is, and I leave it to you to decide whether it is fact or fiction.

B.M. Ellis

Xmas  Xword

By “Sett”




































































































































































































































1. and 6. method of transferring metal.
9. Compounds sometimes added to drinking water
10. Formerly the Gold Coast.
11.  Away (3,4.).
12. As leaves but not a lasso.
13.  What the Brandy connoisseur does before he drinks it (7,3,5.).
15. These rocket occur at irregular intervals in the B.B. (10,5.).
16.  Flag or Crest.
19. Camels from the Andes.
22. Flower or Stringer Instrument.
23. Depose.
24. Owned by Fishermen, done by Irishmen and a caver often does.
25. Not a thin caver, but a seamstress.


1. Pixie-like.
2. German M.T.B. (1,4.).
3. The Hunter’s at Time.
4. Rock formation underlying Limestone (3,3,9.).
5. Before Cuthbert’s was discovered, this was the nearest real cave to the Belfry. (9,6.).
6. Roman military units.
7. Not worth considering, especially to the caver. (5,4.).
8. A lesser variety of slander.
14. Hard water?
15. Butcher’s chopper or Slate splitter.
16. These made a box for Brian Baru. (3,4.).
17. Device for measuring small volumes of liquid.
20. A girl found on a reef.
21. They moved father’s grave to build this.

The Rubaiyat of Omar ‘Obbs

Awake! You cavers from the Mendip night.
I’ll tell a gruesome tale to give you fright
So listen to me, lo! And be well taught
Or Orang Utang’s grim and deadly plight.

At a tavern high upon the hill,
A voice was heard without that sounded ill
And cried, “Our Orang’s gone and all is lost!
His merry roving spirit now is still.”

This sorry news did sour all the wine
And many caving bods began to pine
Oh, Mendip! Could such awful tidings be?
I fear thou shootest us a shocking line.

A bachelor was he, who often raved,
“I’ll never be by pretty girl enslaved”
How long since he was seen upon the hill
With helm and lamp about to be encaved.

Thomas is gone – with all his caving clothes
And Fanny Barnett bike – where no one knows.
And still the fruit its deadly acid yields
And still an orchard ‘neath old Mendip blows.

There is but little time for us to stay
Until we all are likewise called away
So now, my brothers, join me ere we go
Another cup of wine to cheer the way.

Remember how he spake beneath the bough
‘This merry life is paradise enow’
While singing gleeful in the wilderness
A Fanny B., some Hunter’s rough, and thou.

While many other blokes have met their doom
Without such grim and universal gloom
Who else but Orang in such dreadful straits
Could bring to silence all the caver’s room?

Think, in this battered caravanserai,
Where many lads have drunk by night and day
How caver after caver took a cup
Before, encrumpeted, he went away.

But come with Omar ‘Ooos and leave the lot
Of Belfry and of Hunter’s be forgot
Let Alfie glare around him as he will
Or Maurice Iles roars “Binder!” heed them not.

Night comes; and all too soon the end is near
Where are the stalwart Men of yesteryear?
So raise your foaming tankards while you may
For we at least can be of goodly cheer.

Editor’s Note


We are pleased to have been able to publish some of the rubaiyat, or verses, of this old Persian poet, Omar ‘Obbs.  We hope that from time to time, it may be possible to persuade our translator, Sid Hobbs, to provide us with some further examples.

Puzzle Corner

This being the Christmas number of the B.B., we are including a few puzzles to while away the odd hour before opening time.  In addition to the crossword on page nine, we have here one of the ‘logical’ type of puzzle, and have persuaded our Hon. Sec., Mr. Bagshaw, to give us a demonstration of his mental powers by solving it for us.  There were originally two of these problems, but space has prevented us from including both.  Mr. Bagshaw’s answer – being slightly different in approach from the generally accepted solution – will not spoil the puzzle for those readers who have not met it before, and will – we feel – provide all members with a unique opportunity to peer, as it were, into the recesses of our Hon. Sec.’s mind.

The Problem.

Three men imprisoned.  The prison governor, who sets great store on intelligence, promises to free the most intelligent, and devises a test.  He has three black and two white discs made, and fixes a disc on each man’s back.  None is allowed to see the discs left over, and no man can see his own disc.  No talking or signals are allowed, and the man who can first work out the colour of his disc correctly will be freed.  In fact, all there were given black discs.  By what reasoning did the winner arrive at the correct answer?

                                                ……..over to Bagshaw……..

This problem is very difficult because, after the problem is set nobody speaks until the winner says, “I’ve got a black disc on my back” and the governor says, “Tell us how you know”.  At this point we may have found ourselves going round in circles – and not the best of circles either – if we are not careful and so the wary puzzler will therefore quickly deduce that this is a thinking type puzzle and that the only way to solve it is to put yourself into the part without reservation and to work out the sequence of thinking type thoughts amongst the people concerned.

 (Silence while puzzler mentally slips from dismal office/workshop/factory/kitchen/pothole* surroundings)  (Strike out words not required in own case) into dismal prison/jug/gaol/clink/stir/ chokey/pothole* surroundings).


*What’s the difference anyway?


No.1. Thinks: I wonder if the governor’s missed his wallet yet?

No.2. Thinks: I wonder No.1’s missed the governor’s wallet yet?

No.3. Thinks: You’d think the governor would carry a wallet on him.

Governor thinks: Fancy them having £23/19/8 on them!

No.1. Thinks: Nothing.

No.2. Thinks: I’ve got a white/black card on my back.

No.3. Thinks: I’ve got a black/white card on my back.

No.1. Says:  Nothing.

No.2. Says:  Nothing.

No.3. Says:  Nothing.  (Remember cunning silence in problem.)

No.1. Thinks: Nothing.

No.2. Thinks: No.1 has got a black card.

No.3. Thinks: No.1 and No.2 have both got black cards.

No.1. Thinks: Nothing.

No.2. Thinks: If No.3 is thinking what I think he thinks, he thinks he’s got a black/white card on his back.

No.3. Thinks: No.1 & No.2 have both got black cards on their backs, therefore I must have a white/black card

No.1. Thinks: Look at that wasp crawling up the wall!

No.2. Thinks: No.1 has said nothing so I know he is puzzled, and thinks he’s got a black/white card, whereas if he knew he would shout the answer therefore he has probably got a black/white card.

No.3. Thinks: On the other hand, I could have a black/white card.

No.1. Thinks: He’s crawling higher!

No.2. Thinks: I know that No.1 has a black card, but where does that get me? (shifts weary body onto other leg)

No.3. Thinks: Wish he would stand still.

No.1. Thinks: (all in a flash like): I see he’s started flying now I wonder why he’s circling my nose like That?  It’s almost as if he’s looking for a landing place BLINDING FLASH OF PAIN (prison Type) AND HE SAYS (reverting in moment of crisis to native Ivor Novello type ruritainian Language).


“Eyewego   Tawhai     Skar     Dommit     Achkt!”

(cor)         (stone)     (the)     (flipping)   (crows!)


Governor says: “Wonderful!  But you must tell us how you know.”  And No.1, though bewildered had sense to say “But you say cleverest man goes free and surely you would want these ignorant and stupid fellow to have something to think about for the next twenty years or so?


(In ensuing silence, claps on green-pork-pie-release-free-issue-type hat on head and goes.)


The more usual solution to this problem, also the solution to the Xmas Xword, will appear in next month’s B.B.  (Ed.)





List of Members 1957


T.O. Andrew

135, Danson Road, Bexley, Kent.


T. Attwood

4, Bridge Road, Shortwood, Nr, Mangostfield, Bristol.


R.J. Bagshaw

56, Ponsford Road, Knwole, Bristol. 4.


R.G. Balch

8, Davies Terrace, Wells, Som.


D.J. Balcombe

26, Bennett Gardens, Norbury, London, S.W.16.



35, Park Avenue, South Shields, Co. Durham


N. Barrington

7, Pickhurst Lane, Hayes, Bromley, Kent.


R. Bater

2, Upper Perry Hill, Southville, Bristol. 3.


R. Bennett

37, Queens Road, Ashley Down, Bristol. 7.


W.L. Beynon

Lower Lodge, Weston Park House, Weston Park, Bath.


P.M. Blogg

1, Ridgeway Park, Ridgeway, Gols..


A. Bonner.

45, St. Albans Road, Westbury Park, Brisol. 6.


Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

51, Coronation Road, Bristol. 3.


R. Brain

10, Weston Avenue, Cosham Road, St. George, Bristol. 5.


N. Brooks

392, Victoria Road, Ruislip, Middlesex.


R.G. Brown

91a, Oxford Road, Kensington Gardens, London W.10.


P. Burt

3, Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts.


Mrs. Burt

3, Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts.


Buxton J.

Coppington Farm, Wellesbourne, Nr. Warwick.


Buxton Mrs.

Coppington Farm, Wellesbourne, Nr. Warwick.


Carter R.

19, Churchill Road, Wells, Somerset.


Cassell L.C.

50, Elmdale Road, Bedminster, Bristol. 3.


B.R. Chamberlain

102, Egerton Road Bishopston, Bristol. 7.


Miss D.A. Clague

38, Paulton Road, Victoria Park, Bristol .3.


D.A. Coase

Batsford, Lower Failand, Nr. Bristol.


Mrs. Coase

Batsford, Lower Failand, Nr. Bristol.


S.J. Collins

1, Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol.


D. Cooke-Yarborough

Craiglea, Fellside Road, Shietham, Newcastle.


A.J. Crawford

3, Hillside, Harefield, Nr, Uxbridge, Middlesex.


M.B. Dale

57, Kingsway Avenue, Kingswood, Bristol. 5.


T. Davies

154, Boston Manor Road, Brentford, Middlesex.


I.A. Dear

Sowter Lodge, North Quay, Weymouth, Dorset.


K.C. Dobbs

84, Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter.


A.J. Dunn

70, The Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol.


J.A. Etough

116, Newbridge Road, St. Annes Park, Bristol. 4.


B. Ellis

3, Marlborough Avenue, Fishponds, Bristol. 5.


D. England

114, West Street, Bedminster, Bristol. 3.


Miss D. Fairman

Cranmore View, Priddy, Nr. Wells.


C.P. Falshaw

50, Rockside Drive, Henleaze, Bristol.


A. Fincham

Leeds University Union, Leeds. 2.


T.E. Fletcher

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


G.A. Fowler

77, Kingshill Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


R. RFrancis

91a, Oxford Gardens, Kensington, London W.0.


K.S. Gardner

10a, Royal Park, Clifton, Bristol. 8.


Miss A.F. George

“Beeches”, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset.


P.E. Graham.

6, Lawrence Mansions, Chelsea, London S.W.1.


G.H. Griffiths

164, St. Johns Lane, Bedminster, Bristol. 3.


N. Groves

6, Woodchester Road, Henleaze, Bristol.


D. Gwinnel

22569720, Cpl. Gwinnel, 2 Air Support Sigs Unit, ‘A’ Troop, 1 Sqdrn. 1oth Air Signals Regt., B.F.P.O.S.F.


Mrs. L. Hampton

Lulworth Cottage, Church Lane, E. Keswick, Leeds.


M. Hannam

14B, Vyvyan Terrace, Clifton, Bristol. 8.


C.W. Harris

14, Market Place, Wells, Somerset.


D. Hasell

Hill House, Moorlynch, Nr. Bridgwater, Somerset.


M.J. Healey.

24, Water Lane, Brislington, Bristol. 4.


S.M. Hobbs.

135, Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol.


J. Ifold

Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.


P. Ifold

Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin.


M. Isles

33, Greenleaze, Knowle Park, Bristol. 4.


J.J. Jacobs

126, Bridge Lane, Golders Green, London N.W. 11.


J. Jenkins

251, Bishopsworth Road, Bedminster Down, Bristol. 3.


R.L. Jenkins

5, North Street, Downend, Bristol.


A.C. Johnson

46, The Cesrcent, Henleaze, Bristol. 7


M. Jones

389, Filton Avenue, Horfields, Bristol. 7.


Mrs. M. Jones

389, Filton Avenue, Horfields, Bristol. 7.


U. Jones

3, Durham Street, Elswich Road, Newcastle-on-Tyne.


D. Kemp

17, Becmead Avenue, Streatham, London, S.W.16.


R.S. King

1, Lynmouth Road, Bristol. 2.


A.J. Knibbs

18, River Walk, Walton-on-Thames, Surrey.


D.J. Lacy

31, Devon Grove, Whitehall, Bristol.5.


J. Lamb

365, Filton Avenue, Bristol. 7.


A.W. Lewis

 ‘Llandaff House’, Earl Road, Penarth, Glam.


C.A. Marriott.

718, Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol. 5.


E.J. Mason.

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


J. Miller

130, Longmead Avenue, Bishopston, Bristol. 7.


D. Mitchell

18, Brookside, Combwick, Bridgwater, Somerset.


T.G. Mossman

c/o Y.M.C.A. Colston Street, Bristol.


K. Murray

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


A. Nash

60, Marmion Crescent, Henbury, Bristol


T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset.


Mrs. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset.


R. Newman

63, Sandling Avenue, Horfield, Bristol. 7.


F. Nicholson

60, Christchurch Street, East Frome, Somerset.


J. Pegram

4, Moffats Lane, Brookmans Park, Hatfield, Herts.


J.S. Pemoury

Grove View, Hambrook, Nr Bristol.


L. Peters

21, Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


N. Petty

12, Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol. 4.


T. Pink

53, Burnthwaite Road, Fulham, London, S.W.6.



2, Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol, 8.


G. Platten

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


A. Preston

43, West Town Lane, Brislington, Bristol. 4.


B.E. Prewer

14, Egerton Road, Bath, Somerset.


R.J. Price

70, Somermead, Bedminster, Bristol.3.


D. Radmore

22, St. Michaels Park, Bristol. 2.


T. Ratcliffe

12, Magfield Road, Dagham, Essex.


C. Rees

2, Burghill Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol.


A.L.C. Rice

20, Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol. 7.


A. Rich

Frontier geophysical Ltd., Acme, Alberta, Canada.


Miss J. Rollason

157, Pen Park Road, Southmead, Bristol.


J. Rowley

52, Granby Hill, Clifton, Bristol. 8.


A. Sandall

35, Beauchamp Road, Bristol. 7.


Mrs. Sandall

35, Beauchamp Road, Bristol. 7.


B. Scott

39, Colerook Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex.


R. Setterington

86, Grand Drive, Raynes Park, London, S.W. 20.


R.A. Setterington

4, Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset.


Mrs. Setterington

4, Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset.


J. Skinner

12, Hurst Walk, Filwood Park, Bristol. 4.


Stafford J.M.

2/LR, Officers mess, 3.Q.O.N.R. Enugu, E. Nigeria.


Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


T.H. Stanbury

48, Novers Park Road, Knowle. Bristol. 4.


R.D. Stenner

38, Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol. 3.


P.A.E. Stewart

131, St. Peters Rise, Bishopsworth, Bristol. 3.


A. Thomas

Sandhill Park Manor School, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset.


D. Thomas

55, New Road, Llandovery, Carns.


E. Towler

11, St. Philips Road, London, E.8.


J.M. Thompsett

51, Rothman’s Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.


Mrs. Thompsett

51, Rothman’s Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.


S.D.J. Tuck

‘Getley’, East Knoyle, Salisbury, Wilts.


J. Waddon

7, Haydon Road, Taunton, Somerset.


R.M. Wallis

“Swildons”, 343, Upton Lane, Widnes, Lancs.


D. Willis

‘Miner’s Cottage, Priddy, Nr.  Wells Somerset.


Mrs. Willis

‘Miner’s Cottage, Priddy, Nr.  Wells Somerset.


Belfry Bulletin Index

No 109.  January 1957.

“Just like Old Times”

A Climb on Dartmoor

Article on the Position of the B.B.

“Why I’m glad I’m this Thin”

J. Morris

R. Newman

T.H. Stanbury

R. King

Page. 1.

Page. 2.

Page. 4.

Page. 6.

No 110.  March 1957.

Report on the Annual General Meeting

Scramble Swallet

R.J. Bagshaw

R. King

Page. 1.

Page. 4.

No 111.  April 1957

The Caves of Malaya

Desilverisation of Mendip Lead

B. Prewer

G. Fowler

Page. 4.

Page. 5.

No 112.  May 1957.

Jehu’s Welsh Journey

It’s easy to Ski!

R. Newman

N. Brooks

Page. 4.

Page. 5.

No 113.  June 1957.

Letters to the Editor

Book Review

Mendip Mining. I

Waddon, Mossman

B. Ellis

M. Hannam

Page. 3.

Page. 4.

Page. 6.

No 114.  July 1957.

St. Cuthbert’s Report

Mendip Mining. II.

Book Review

Snow and Ice in Scotland

D.A. Coase

M. Hannam

B. Ellis

E. Houghton

Page. 3.

Page. 6.

Page. 8.

Page. 9.

No 115.  August 1957.

Caving News

A New Roman Road near Bristol

Letter about Swildon’s IV

Stereoscopic Photography

Coase, Falshaw

K. Gardiner

D. Kemp

R.M. Wallis

Page. 1.

Page. 4.

Page. 5.

Page. 6.

No 116.  September 1957.

St. Cuthbert’s Report

Stereoscopic Photography

Coase, Falshaw

R.M. Wallis

Page. 3.

Page. 11.

No 117.  October 1957.

Mendip Mining. III.

Caving in South Wales

M. Hannam

R. Stenner

Page. 3.

Page. 5.

No 118.  November 1957.

Caving in Malaya

St. Cuthbert’s Report

Letters to the Editor

B. Prewer

N. Petty, D. Coase

Oldtimer, Jonah, Ellis

Page. 2.

Page. 3.

Page. 6.

No 119.  December 1957.

Caving News

Whimsy in Wales

Return to Mendip

Book Review

Xmas Xword

The Rubaiyat of Omar ‘Obbs

Puzzle Corner

List of Members


R. King

R. Jenkins

B. Ellis


S. Hobbs

R. Bagshaw

Page. 4.

Page. 7.

Page. 8.

Page. 9.

Page. 12

Page. 13.

Page. 14.

Page. 16.


Will members whose names are not on the list of members on pages 12, 13 and 14 or whose addresses are not correct please get in touch with the Hon. Sec.  The address as printed is the one to which your Belfry Bulletin is sent.


That’s it blokes!  As we hoped, in our few words at the beginning of this Christmas number, we have managed to stagger through the biggest B.B. which has yet been printed.  Particularly gratifying is the fact that, even with so many pages, articles have had to be left over or ‘pruned down’ slightly due to lack of space!  It is only the price of paper and the shocking load on the printing department, who have worked dammed hard, which has limited us to sixteen pages.

This completes our first year on the Editorial Board which was set up at the last A.G.M. and whatever measure of success we may have had has been due to the many members who have kept us supplied with a steady flow of articles, letters and reports.  Thanks very much, blokes and let’s make it bigger and better in 1958.



Hon. Sec. 
            R.J. Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.

            S.J. Collins, 1 Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol 8.

Printers and Distributors.
            C. Rees, 2 Burghill Road, Westbury-on-Trym:
            D. England, 114 West St., Bedminster, Bristol 3: 
            B. Price, 70 Somerfield Road, Bedminster, Bristol 3.