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The Long Term Plan.

After a very well attended Annual general Meeting, the club has passed the Long Term Planning Committee’s Report with a few comparatively minor amendments and reservations.  It is now necessary to swing straight into action, and the following notice from the Hut warden should therefore be carefully noted:

As from the FIRST OF DECEMBER 1967, members’ Belfry dues will be increased to 3/- (THREE SHILLINGS) per night.  Half of this will be allocated to the Hut Fund.  Visitor’s fees will remain as at present for the time being, but will be increase to FIVE SHILLINGS per night when the new Belfry is completed.  The Committee felt that it would be unfair to increase visitor’s fees until we had something to offer them; neither should they be expected to contribute towards the new building at this stage.

Also, as from the FIRST OF DECEMBER 1967, members wishing to book a bunk in advance will be asked to pay in advance and this payment will not be refunded if the bunk is not claimed.  The payment will, however, entitle the bunk to be claimed at any time during the night.  In the event of the Belfry being fully booked, casual visitors will be offered any unclaimed bunks after midnight on Saturdays on the understanding that they may have to move out if the original claimant appears.

Arrangements involving visiting clubs will be made by agreement with the Hut Warden.

The following notice is also of great importance to all club members: -

As from NOW, subscriptions rates have been increased to the following rates: -

Life Membership                               £ 10.10.0.
Full Membership                              £   1.05.0. Annually
Joint Full Membership                       £   1.15.0. Annually
Junior Membership                           £      15.0. Annually
Joint Life membership                       £ 14.14.0

Special arrangements involving the Belfry will be notified as and when applicable as the scheme gets under way.



The 1967 Annual General Meeting opened with a quorum present at 10.45am.  Later, a total of 42 members were present.  It was proposed by Alfie and seconded by Frank Darbon that “Sett” be elected as chairman.  This was carried.  The Chairman then asked for three volunteers for the ballot.  Frank Darbon, Sybil and Pat Ifold came forward.  The Chairman then asked the meeting whether, in view of the business to get through, the minutes of the 1966 meeting should be taken as read.  This was agreed.

The Hon. Secretary’s Report followed.  This was read by the Chairman.  The report described the year past as a Year of Achievement and described briefly the main features which had justified this title.  He finally thanked all who had helped him during his year of office. There was no discussion, and the report was adopted after being proposed and seconded by Alfie and Mike Luckwill.

The Hon. Treasurer’s Report followed.  He said that the accounts showed a healthy position although he would have welcomed a little more expenditure on tackle.  The report was adopted without discussion by a proposal from Dave Irwin seconded by Gordon Tilly.

The Caving Secretary’s Report followed.  A high level of caving activity had been maintained throughout the year, and this included much work of a serious nature as well as plenty of the more usual sporting caving.  The report was adopted without discussion.  The proposal was by Phil Townsend seconded by Dave Irwin.

The Climbing Secretary’s Report came next.  Climbing had been adequately practiced during the year and a number of trips organised. The adoption of the report was moved by Roy Bennett and seconded by Bob Bagshaw.

The Tacklemaster then gave a verbal report.  We now possessed 905 feet of ladder and none had been lost during the year.  We also possessed 1,500 feet of rope and ten karabiners.  There was a good collection of Maypole pieces thanks to Bill Smart.  The Chairman asked whether this amount of tackle was adequate. Alan Thomas thought not, but a general discussion revealed that the meeting thought it was.  Kangy asked if we were in the habit of loaning tackle to other clubs, and if so, on what conditions?  He was against the use of club tackle by cavers who might come to regard this system as an alternative to joining the club.  The Chairman asked Kangy to bring this up later as a member’s resolution.  Dave Irwin asked about the condition of the rope.  This led to a long discussion on the subject of the best type of rope and the conditions under which it should be used and maintained.  Dave Irwin finally proposed “that next year’s committee be asked to look into the problem of ropes and instruct the Tacklemaster to purchase recommended ropes.”  This resolution was seconded by Gordon Tilly and passed.

The Hut Warden then gave his report.  The bed nights were 1,607 – as compared with the last two years of 1,431 and 1,527. The report was adopted after a proposal by Phil Townsend and seconding by Bill Smart.

The B.B. Editor then gave his report.  He said that the year had not been a particularly good one for the B.B., and that on one occasion; two months had to be combined into one issue.  It was mainly this difficulty of getting material which had led him to announce his retirement.  He said that a new Editor had been found – Dave Irwin – and he was sure that members would give him their full support.  Alan Thomas suggested that a vote of thanks be given to the editor for his work over the past years.  Kangy said that in his opinion, regularity was a very important feature of a club magazine, although the editor had often been short of material, he had only slipped two issues during his term of office.  A unanimous vote of thanks was accorded by the meeting.

At this point the Chairma announced the results of the election for the 1976 – 1968 Committee. Votes, in order of numbers cast in favour were as follows: - Dave Irwin, Bob Bagshaw, Alfie Collins, Andy MacGregor, Norman Petty, Gordon Tilly, Alan Thomas, Eddie Welch and Phil Townsend. These were thus the members of the Committee.

The Editor of the Caving Publications then gave his report.  The big job of producing the parts of the Definitive Report on Cuthberts was well under way, with some of the parts out and more in the pipeline. Sales of other reports had done well and more were now completely sold out.  The report was adopted after being proposed by Dave Irwin and seconded by Frank Darbon.

The Librarian then gave his report.  There was, in fact, little to say, since very few borrowings have occurred since the library had been moved to Dolphin Cottage.  The Chairman urged him to attract more members to the library.  The report was adopted after being proposed by Alfie and seconded by Pat Ifold.

The Belfry Engineer’s Report followed.  He said that the new carbide store had been completed and much useful renovation work done. So much, however, depended on the result of the Long Term Planning Report, that it did not seem worth doing a lot of work at this stage.  During the subsequent questions, Roy asked whether it would be worth getting a charging bank from a colliery.  After some discussion, it was agreed that the charging facilities were adequate and they could be got into working order.  The report was adopted after this had been proposed by Gordon Tilly and seconded by Phil Kingston

Members’ resolutions were taken next.  The first was on behalf of the 1966 Committee to the effect that “A period of five consecutive years full membership shall precede any application for life membership. Life members shall hereafter be required to write annually to the Hon. Sec. to confirm their address.”  An amendment by Alan Thomas seconded by Phil Kingston to reduce the proposal to its first half was carried by all except 1 member   A vote on the amended proposal was again carried - only one member voting against. 

A proposal by Dave Irwin “That this meeting accept in principle the extension of the Cuthbert’s Leader system to include members of other clubs was carried 29 – 5.  A third resolution, again by Dave Irwin, that in principle tackle should not be lent was carried unanimously.  The Chairman then adjourned the meeting for lunch.

The afternoon session was concerned with the report of the Long Term Planning Committee – a copy of which had been sent to all members.  After some detailed queries, the plan as a whole was accepted by the meeting on a unanimous vote, with the proviso that the Chairman of the L.T.P.C. convene a meeting within one month of the A.G.M. to listen to queries.  The remainder of the time was taken up with discussion of the finance.  The Hon. Treasurer was not optimistic about the possibility of a mortgage and the problem of raising money therefore remained.  So far, some 10 bankers orders had been taken out with a further ten promised. John Stafford said that it looked as if the club needed to lay its hands on 1,700 – 2,200 pounds.  The Chairman suggested that the sum could be borrowed from members and there had been offers of £100 towards this.  The treasurer said that loans on a goodwill basis were possible. It was finally agreed that if no grant was forthcoming, an E.G.M. should be held but in the meantime, the committee should proceed with the building of a new Belfry.

Club Officers

Once again we have a new Hon. Secretary.  His address is: -

A.R. Thomas, Westahven School, Uphill, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.

The full list of club officers for 1967-1968 is as follows (Members of the committee are in capital letters.)

Hon. Secretary


Hon. Treasurer


Caving Secretary


Climbing Secretary


Belfry Planning Secretary


Hut Warden




Belfry Engineer


Committee Chairman


Minutes Secretary


Editor, Belfry Bulletin


Editor, Caving Publications

B. Ellis

Producer, Caving Publications


Hon. Librarian

D. Searle


The lending of club tackle to cavers other than agreed representatives of caving clubs is NOT ALLOWED. Members are reminded that ONLY CLUB MEMBERS may sign out tackle in future.

Editor’s Note.

A combination of time and space limitations on this B.B. has not permitted the inclusion of the article on Contour Cavern which has been received.  Members may like to be reassured that this will appear in next month’s B.B. and meanwhile we should like to thank the author for his most welcome contribution.

Monthly Notes No 8

by Dave Irwin

Ireby Cavern (Yorks.)

Entrance passage reported to have collapsed above first pitch. The way on is completely blocked (9.10.67.)

Sandpit. (Mendip).

J. Cornwell and members of the B.E.C., W.C.C. and E.S.C.C. have dug various sites in the sides of this huge collapse.  All efforts are now concentrated on one site in the S.E. corner. Partially choked phreatic tube is now being dug.  Length so far is 40 feet approx.

St. Cuthbert’s (Mendip).

Two hundred feet of new passage has been found in the Mud Hall area by Meaden and Priddle. (Sept. ’67).

Little Neath River Cave. ( South Wales)

Off prints of report and survey available from Bryan Ellis.  Price 5/-.  Published by U.B.S.S.

Settle police

Telephone number is Settle 2542 and 2543.  Cavers can still use 999.  Ask for C.R.O. Settle.

C.R.G. Library.

All British periodicals are being transferred to Mr. P.A. Haigh of Halifax.  Enquiries should still be made to Brig. Glennie.

“Aggy Aggy.”

Phil Kingston and other members of the C.D.G. are planning to dive the terminal downstream sump on November 11th 1967.  Sherpas are required to carry equipment to the sump area.  Any volunteers should contact Phil or Barry Lane as soon as possible.

Swildons Hole.

In order to keep the Forty Foot Pot reasonably dry under normal conditions and to reduce the quantity of water on the pitch under near flood conditions, Oliver Lloyd has banged a hole in the stal. at the head of the pitch.  The water is now free to use the rift that runs parallel with the main pot.  It is hoped that this ‘mod’ to the pitch will reduce the number of M.R.O. callouts to the cave.  Whether this re-rerouting of the water will cause further hazards will be seen during the coming winter months.

Nine Barrows Swallet.

The survey made by Warburton and others is published in the September issue of the Wessex Journal.  Also included is Warburton’s sketch survey of (Contour, Boveways, Sludge Pit, etc.)

Port - yr - Ogof.

C. Gilmore has dived the upstream sump.  (Sept. 1967) and explored more submerged passage.  Kingston and Lane (B.E.C.) dived this sump earlier this year.

O.F.D. ( South Wales)

Since the discovery of O.F.D. II, the amount of discovered passage seems limitless.  Recently (Aug. Bank Holiday) some 4 miles of new cave was found at the upstream end of the main streamway which resulted in the opening of another entrance.  The latest news (8.10.67) is that O.F.D. III has been discovered.  It is said to have long passages and is fairly extensive.  O.F.D. is now rumoured to be about 10 miles in length.

Eastwater Cavern.

As many members will already know, the ruckle at the entrance to the cave collapsed earlier this year.  An inter club meeting was held at the Hunters on September 24th and the following agreed. “Shaft to be sunk near the depression to break through to an aven near the Boulderr Chamber.”  Warburton has staked the area.  Phil Romford (S.M.C.C.) has volunteered to organise the dig. Banging to be done by professionals. Mr and Mrs Gibbons were present and said that when the cave was re-opened, all cavers must call at the farm and that 2/- would be charged to all cavers.  Work has commenced on the dig.  (8.10.67.)

Hut Fees.

S.W.C.C. hut fees for visitors are 4/- per day from November 1st 1967.

Council of Northern Caving Clubs. (Address changes.)

Assistant Secretary responsible for meets on Leck Fell, Casterton and Fountains Fell.  J. Morgan, 23 Runnington Ave., Colne, Lancs.  Assistant Secretary for Penyghent, Fountains Fell (except Mr. Coat’s land) and Mongo Gill. J. Rasdell, 6 Monkroyd Ave., Barnoldswick, Colne, Lancs.

M.C.G. Journal (Series 4 No. 3 June 1967.)

This contains useful information including expedition planning and new survey of Holwell Cavern.  Obtainable from Bryan Ellis.


As a result of discussion at the A.G.M., a sub committee has been set up under Norman Petty to decide the best rope of rope the club ought to buy for such purposes as lifelining, hauling etc.

Club Charger.

The charger is out of action.  It is being repaired by Sett and should be back in the Belfry shortly.

Bristol Avon River Authority.

This body has circulated the following letter: -

I am writing to ask the co-operation of your members with regard to a rather ominous problem which has arisen on Mendip.  Oil and other waste liquids are being tipped into swallets, old mine workings and other depressions on the Mendip Hills and if this practice is allowed to go unchecked it will cause irreparable damage to cave systems and, far worse, to the water supplies derived from these rocks.

It is obviously impossible for the water authority to maintain a constant watch over the entire Mendip Hills and so I am hoping that if any of your members sees either oil or other wastes being tipped, or signs that oil has been tipped, they will note the location and telephone the River Authority (Mondays to Fridays 8.45 to 5.30 at BATH 24275).  You may reverse the charges and ask for Mr. Knight of the Pollution and Fisheries Department.”

                                                            Signed R.J. Whittaker, F.G.S. Bath.

Are you any good at Cave Surveying?

The diagram below represents a genuine problem in the surveying of Cuthbert’s, and is given by Roger Stenner to Dave Irwin.  The distance which is required to be worked out is that between survey stations 15 and 4A (the top sloping line on the diagram).  It should be assumed that the lines joining 4A, 14 and 14A and 15 and 15A are both vertical and hence parallel to each other.  The angle of 41 degrees is measured downwards from the horizontal.  Solutions may be sent to the Editor (Alfie at present until the New Year) or to Dave Irwin of Kangy King.  It is understood that there is some form of prize for the best solution.


Caving Reports

Please note that the B.E.C. caving Reports and a wealth of other useful literature of caving, including many surveys are available from: -  

B.M. Ellis,

Send S.A.E. for full list. You may also put your name down for the full quantity of the parts of the Definitive Report on Cuthbert’s and avoid the risk of missing some of these parts as they come out and get snapped up.


YOU OWE THE BELFRY ANY MONEY?  See the Hut Warden if you do.

Financial Statement for the Year to 31st August, 1967.

Annual Subscriptions



£  92. 6.6

Redcliffe levy



£  17. 1.3

Interest: on National Development Bonds



£   11. 3.6

Sales of Car Badges



£    3.10.0

Goods for Resale:





Less Purchases


£    8.  5.1

Annual Dinner:





Less Cost


£    6.15.0


1965-1966 Receipts


£  17.15.10


1966-1967 Recepits




Less exp.

£ 145.6.4

£    4.17.6

Donation etc.



£    9.17.0

New Belfry Fund



£    6. 0.0





Postages and Stationery



£   6.16.9


Paper, etc.

£ 1.2.6

£    1. 2.6



£22. 6.0

£  23. 8.6






Less Fees

£15.  3.3

£   22.14.0



£35.  8.8



Less Sales

£  6.15.0

£   28.13.9

Public Liability Insurance



£    8.10.0

Cave Research Group (two years)



£    6. 0.0

Charterhouse Caving Committee



£    5. 0.0

Upper Wharfedale Rescue Organisation



£    5. 0.0

Council of Southern Cave Clubs (2 years)



£    1. 0.0

Exhibition expenses



£   3.10.6




£ 66.18.2





Total Club monies at 31.8.66


Add surplus as above

£ 66.18.2



Post Office Savings Bank Account

£261. 9.2

Cash Overdraft

£ 38. 4.10




From the Hon. Secretary.

Dear Member,

I have spoken to several people recently who say that they have not been asked to contribute to the Belfry Building Fund.  There is no time like the present.  Please – if the B.E.C. means anything to you – and you can afford it, will you make a gift of money for the fund?  A number of members have already signed Bankers Orders to give the club – specifically for building a new Belfry - £1 per month for three years.  CAN YOU?  If a total of fifty members did this, we would have little to worry about.  Each of these people would, over three years, give the club £36, but each week they would have only parted with the price of twenty fags OR two pints of beer.  Perhaps you can’t afford to do this.  Well, any other gifts, however large or small, will be gladly received.  Three people so far have offered to lend the club £100.  Are there any other offers?

Will anyone who intends to contribute anything towards the new Belfry please get in touch with Bobby Bagshaw before Christmas so that the committee can take vital decisions at the January meeting.

Yours Sincerely,
            Alan Thomas.

P.S.  It would help the club’s cash position if we reduced the stock of club ties (17/6 each plus postage) and car badges (15/- each plus postage).  Postage is 1/6 in each case.  How about treating yourself to a new tie or badge for Christmas?

Letter to the Editor.

Dear Editor

I have very little experience of cave surveying, but the query in the October B.B. seemed to provide an interesting armchair exercise.

However, after being misled by the diagram and wasting much drinking time, I got back to first principles. If my interpretation of the figure in the B.B. is correct, and we are concerned with one side of a triangle whose other two sides are 7.42’ and 0.75’, then the unknown must be between 6.67’ and 8.17’.  This range is only 1.5’ and I would have thought this smaller than the usual errors to be expected in cave surveying.  If, as appears from the diagram, the unknown is greater than 7.42’ then a figure of 7.795’ could be used as the maximum error is only 4.5”


Any comments from cave surveyors?  (Ed)


Would all energetic B.E.C. members who live within the London area, and are willing to partake in the helping of a JUMBLE SALE in aid of B.E.C. funds contact CEDRIC GREEN, 6 SPRING STREET, PADDINGTON, W.2.  TELEPHONE PAD 6941.

Membership List

The annual list of member’s names and addresses follows on the next few pages.  If any member knows of any error in this list, will he please contact PHIL TOWNSEND whose address he will find correctly printed in the lists. Clare Coase’e address is such one wrongly announced.  It should be 5 Mandalay Flats, 10 Elsiemer St., LONG JETTY, N.S.W. 2262, Australia.

K. Abbey

15 Gypsey Patch Lane, Little Stoke, Bristol

P.G.R. Allen

4 St. Lucia Close, Horfield, Bristol 4

T. Andrews

186 Courtlands Avenue, London S.E.12

O.E. Atwell

57 Sandy Leaze, Westbury-n-Trym, Bristol

J. Attwood

64 Main Road, Shortwood, Nr. Mangosfield, Bristol

R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

M.J. Baker

22 Riverside Garden, Midsomer Norton, Somerset

D Balcombe.

49 Shelford Road, Trumpington, Cambridge

J.C. Ball

4 Church Row, Stratton-on-the-Fosse, Bath, Somerset

R. Bater

20 Woodlands Glade, Swiss Valley, Clevedon, Somerset

K. Barnes.

24 Missile Regt., R.A., Padderborn, BFPO 16

R. Bater

40, Thornleigh Road, Horfield, Bristol 7

Mrs. R. Bater

40, Thornleigh Road, Horfield, Bristol 7

R. Bennett

8 Radnor Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

J. Bennett

8 Radnor Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

D. Berry

10 Green Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol

P. Bird

City Museum, Queens Road, Bristol

P. Blogg

Hunters Field, Chaldon Common Road, Chaldon, Surrey

P. Bridges

51 Rockhill, Wellsway, Keynsham, Somerset

B. Britton

108c Cheltenham Road, Bristol 6

A. Bonner

14 Monkseaton Drive, Whiteley Bay, Northumberland

M. Bourne

55 Argyle Road, Fishponds, Bristol

Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

17 Rokeby Avenue, Redland, Bristol 6

R.J. Brook

c/o Cawthorn Institute, P.O. Box 175, Nelson, New Zealand

N. Brooks

9 Martin Grove, Normandale, Lower Hutt, New Zealand

R. Broomhead

The Somme Co., R.M.A. Sandhurst, Camberley, Surrey

G.A. Bull

9 Campden Hill Gardens, London W.8

J.J.. Butler

36 Tothill Street, Minster, Ramsgate, Kent

M. Calvert

Flat 2, Winscombe Court, Winscombe Hill, Winscombe, Somerset

J. Churchward

1 Jamaica Street, Bristol

C. Clark

18 Church Lane, Bedminster, Bristol 3

A. Coase

53 Broughton Road, Croft, Leicestershire

Mrs C. Coase

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

P.M. Coles

32 Derham Park, Yatton, Bristol

S. Collins

c/o Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Bristol

P. Compton

88 Course, Offgicers Mess, RAF Gaydon, Leamington, Warks.

D. Cooke-Yarborough.

Lot 11, McKay Crescent, Orange, New South Wales, Australia

N. Cooper

3 West Terrace, Westbury, Sherborne, Dorset

J. Cornwell

419 Whitehall Road, Street George, Bristol

D. Craig

Flat 4, 78 Milson Road, London W.14

B. Crewe

20 Riveside Gardens, Bath, Somerset.

I.M. Daniels

  3 Oakleigh Ave., Tolworth, Surbiton, Surrey

J. Davey

32 Cheltenham Gardens, Huddersfield Road, Halifax, Yorkshire

F.G. Darbon

43 Arthur Henderson House, Fulham Road, Fulham, London

Mrs A. Davies

Withey Lane, Neighbourne, Oakhill, Bath

Miss P.M. Davies

410 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

L Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, London S.E.10

Mrs L. Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, London S.E.10

G. Dell

23128511 L/Cpl. Dell, Printing Press, 30 BN43, BOD, Singapore

P.L. Derrick

49 Mayfield Park South, Fishponds, Bristol

K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon

N. Downes

18 Coombe Street Lane, Yeovil, Somerset

A.J. Dunn

63 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol


116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol

B.M. Ellis

‘Knowkauns’, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset

C. Falshaw

23 Hallen Grange Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield

P.G. Faulkner

251 Rowah Crescent, Langley, Middleton, Manchester

T. Fletcher

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

A. Francis

22 Hervey Road, Wells, Somerset

K. Franklin

52 Rockingham House, Lawrence Weston, Bristol

P. Franklin

52 Rockingham House, Lawrence Weston, Bristol

M. Gaskell

23663966, Pte. Gaskill M, IOVE H Coy., RAOC, BFPO 56, El-Adem, Lybia.



P.M. Giles

C.P.O.’s Mess, R.N.A.S. Yeovilton, Yeovil, Somerset

K. Gladman

93 Broad Walk, Kidbourne, London, S.E.3

D. Glover

“Leisure”, Green Lane, Pamber Green, Nr. Basingstoke, Hants.

P.R. Godley

10 Hurstwood Avenue, Brentwood, Essex.

C.D. Gooding

43 Monmouth Road, Bishopston, Bristol

D. Greenwood

42 St. david’s Drive, South Anstosn, Sheffield

C. Green

6 Spring Street, Paddington, London W.2

S. Grimes

43 Coates Gardens, Edinburgh 12

D. Gwinnel

Sgts. Mess, 30 Signal Regiment, Blandford, Dorset

C. Hall

375 Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol

N. Hallett

21 Southfield Road, Bristol 6


2 Coleshill Drive, Hartcliffe, Bristol

M. Hannam

c/o Phoenix Grove, Bristol 6

N. Hart

Barberry House, Kingston, Seymour, Somerset

D. Hassell

 ‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset

Hawksford, L/Cpl. A

Depot & TRG Establishment, Deepcut, Camberley, Surrey

J.R. Henderson

8 Oldfields Place, Hotwells, Bristol

Miss A. Henley

23 Maynard Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol

G. Higham

17 Baglyn ave., Kingswood, Bristol

B. Hewitt

21 Clarendon Road, Redland, Bristol 6

J.W. Hill

14C TRhe Orchard, High Street, Lower Cam, Nr Dursley, Glos.

S. Hobbs

Hokerstone Cottage, Townsend, Priddy, Wells, Somerset

T.H. Hogdoon

4 Lansdown Road, Clifton, Bristol 8

Miss D. Holden

Wetherlam, Wooley Green, Bradford-on-Avon, Somerset

G. Honey


Mr. Howe

48 Martins Road, Hanham, Bristol

Mrs Howe

48 Martins Road, Hanham, Bristol

P.G. Hudson

25 Derness Road, Bishop Aukland, Co. Durham

J. Ifold

“Leigh House”, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.

P. Ifold

“The Cedars”, Blackford, Wedmore, Somerset

D.J. Irwin

9 Campden Hill Gardens, London W.8

Miss P. Irwin

c/o White House, West Ashling, Chichester, Sussex

Jackman, SAC A.

c/o M.C.U., R.A.F. Muharrac (Bahrain) B.F.P.O.63

J.M. James

68 Linden Road, Bristol 6

R. Jarman

“Hillside”, Stockton, Nr. Rugby

M. Jeanmaire

375 Fishponds Road, Eastville, Bristol

R.L. Jenkins

18 Camberley Close, Downend, Bristol

Miss J.M. Jewell

Diamond Cottage, Soke Road, Silchester, Nr. Reading, Berks.

A. Johnson

Warren Cottage, Station Road, Flax Bourton, Somerset

F. Jones

c/o 8 York Gardens, Clifton, Bristol

U. Jones

Marsh Farm, Askem In Furness, Lancs.

R. Keeley

4 The Green, Ham Green, Pill, Bristol

A.J. Kennett

9 Belmont Road, Bristol 6

R.S. King

22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Bristol

P.A. Kingston

3 Kingsely Road, Eastville, Bristol 5

R.F. Kitchen

25 Furse Hill Road, Tidworth, Hants.

J. Lamb

‘Broadmeadows’, Padstowe Road, Wadebridge, Cornwall

B.T. Lane

37 Pendennis Park, Brislington, Bristol

T.E. Large

9 Margarets Buildings, Brock Street, Bath, Somerset

Miss A.M. Lester

1 Crowndale Road, Knowle, Bristol

O.C.  Lloyd

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

M. Luckwill

8 Greenslade Road, Sedgley Hall Estate, Sedgley, Dudley, Worcs.


Kimbrose Hotelk, Commercial Road, Gloucester

G.T. Lucy

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

R.A. MacGregor

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

P. Macnab

121 Gilmore Place, Edinburgh 3


3 Woodside Close, Burton Joyce, Notts

Mrs McKee

3 Woodside Close, Burton Joyce, Notts

J. Major

Saint Cross, Green Down, Litton, Bath, Somerset

Mrs. J. Major

Saint Cross, Green Down, Litton, Bath, Somerset

C. Marriott

Brulbergstrasse 15, Apt. 21, 8400 Winterhur, Switzerland

R. Marshall

23 Highbury Villas, Bristol 2

T. Marston

83 Maple Grove, Plympton, Devon

A. Meaden

The Post Office & Stores, Cross in Hand, Nr. Heathfield, Sussex

T.G. Mossman

33 Whateley’s End Road, Winterbourne, Bristol

N.J. Monk

7 Little Stoke Road, Bristol

K. Murray

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

D.W. Musselwhite

143 london Road, Calne, Wilts.

A. Nash

c/o 22 Stuart Lane, Bristol 3

F.L. Newport

43 Swiss Road, Ashton Vale, Bristol 3

H. Oakley

Medical Staff, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol

R. Orr

10 Orchard Gate, Colin Park Road, London N.W.9

D. Palmer

29 John Wesley Road, St. George, Bristol 5

M.A. Palmer

c/o Hooper Avenue, Wells Somerset

Miss J. Parker

68 Delhi Road, Pitsea, Basildon, Essex

Miss S.E. Paul

21 Lovelace Road, Surbiton, Surrey

J.F.W. Pearce

6 Lyveden Road, Blackheath, London S.E.3

R. Pepper

Frenchay Lodge Bungalow, Frenchay, Bristol

L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol

R.A. Philpot

3 Kings Brive, Bishopston, Bristol

G. Platten

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

Miss B. Plummer

2 Hogarth Walk, Lockleaze, Bristol

G. Pointing

10 Green Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol

B. Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Nr. Wells, Somerset

R.J. Price

c/o GPO Kidsgrove, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.

C. Priddle

19 Stottbury Road, Horfield, Bristol 7

J. Ransom

9 Archfield Road, Cotham, Bristol

Mrs Ransom

9 Archfield Road, Cotham, Bristol

I. Rees

30 Ramsey Road, Horfield, Bristol 7

C.H.G. Rees

7 Coberley Road, Footshill, Hanham, Bristol

Mrs Rees

7 Coberley Road, Footshill, Hanham, Bristol

D.L. Rebori

11 Kellaway Avenue, Westbury Park, Bristol

A. Rich

c/o Pox 126, Basham, Alberta, Canada

D. Richards

59 Brook Road, Fishponds, Bristol

A.L. Richards

11 Tenison Road, Soth Norwood, Bristol 7

R.J. Roberts

5 Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset

Mr Robinson

49 Elton Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7

Mrs Robinson

49 Elton Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7

Miss J. Rowlands

115 Eden Grove, Horfield, Bristol

A. Rushton

c/o R.A.F. Post Office, Wittering, Stamford, Lincs

A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset.

Mrs. A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset

P.M. Scragg

5 Randolph Avenue, Westcliff, Bristol

Miss G. Scaplehorn

Pamela Wills Norse Home, Chew Stoke, Somerset

D. Searle

‘Dolphin Cottage’, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset

Mrs. D. Searle

‘Dolphin Cottage’, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset

G. Selby

c/o Prewer, East View, West Horrington, Wells, Somerset

R.J. Sell

51 Swiss Road, Ashton Vale, Bristol 3

A. Selway

15 Street Martin’s Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

R. Setterington.

4 Cavendish House, Cavendish Road, Chiswick, London, W 4

R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset

Mrs R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset

C.J. Slavin

340 Speedwell Road, St. George, Bristol

W.J. Smart

c/o Richard Costain Ltd., Aberthaw (B) Power Station, Aberthaw, Barry, Glam

D. Smith

Flat 15, 193 Welesley Road, Coley Park, Reading, Berks.

J. Stafford

‘Bryher’, Badgworth, Nr. Axbridge, Somerset

Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.

T.H. Stanbury

31, Belvoir Road, Street Andrews, Bristol

J.D. Statham

43 Coates Gardens, Edinburgh 12

R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3

Mrs. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3

P. Sutton

56 Arley Hill, Redland, Bristol 6

B.M. Scott

Crew Reporting Office, BOAC, London Airport, Hounslow, Middlesex

D. Targett

16 Phillis Hill, Midsomer Norton, Bath, Somerset

A. Thomas

Westhaven School, Uphill, Weston s Mare, Somerset

D.M. Thomas

Mantoins, 2 St. Paul Road, Tupsley, Hereford

N.L. Thomas

Holly lofge, Norwich Road, Salhouse, Norwich, Norfolk

S. Thompson

51 Hayward Road, Redfield, Bristol 5

G. Tilly

 ‘Jable’, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset

J. Tompsett

11 Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

Mrs. D. Tompsett

11 Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

E. Towler

5 Boxgrove Gardens, Aldwick, Bognor Regis, Sussex

P. Townsend

154 Sylvia Avenue, Lower Knowle, Bristol 3

Mrs. J. Tuck

48 Wiston Path, Fairwater, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire

S. Tuck

27 Woodbury Avenue, Wells Somerset

P.J. Turner

21 Northfield, Stanshawes Estate, Yate

S.A. Tuttlebury

Flat 1, santakand, Prior Road, Camberley, Surrey

R.J. Voke

8 Pavey Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol 3

Mrs. D. Waddon

32 Laxton Close, Taunton, Somerset

R. Wallis

174 Bryants Hill, Bristol 5

D. Warburton

20 Beverley Court Road, Quinton, Birmingham 32

M.R. Webster

43 Shroud road, Patchway, Bristol

D. Weston

“Maryvale”, 2 Folloton, Totnes, Devon

R. White

The Moorings, Porton Road, Churhdown, Gloucester

M. Wheadon

“Sharlyn, Chilcompton Road, Misomer Norton, Nr. Bath, Somerset

A.J. Whiteman

1 Golden Road, Clifton, Bristol 8

R. Wickens

2 Cherry Garden Road, Canterbury, Kent

P.A. Wilkins

51 Constable Road, Lockleaze, Bristol

A.J. Williams

54 Crossways, Roggiett, Newport, Monmouthshire

B. Wilton

22 Wedmore Vale, Knowle, Bristol 4

E.G. Welch

Frenchay Lodge Bungalow, Frenchay, Bristol

G.S. Watts

59 Southbrow House, Duckmoor Road, Ashton, Bristol 3


(Ogof Agen Allwedd) November 11th, 1967

The object of this dive was the downstream terminal sump, situated at the far end of Southern Stream Passage.  It has been dived once previously by Steve Wynn-Roberts and Fred Davies in March 1963 when they reached a distance of 120’ when progress was halted by a pot in the floor. (Progress was stopped due to the fact that they were weighted for bottom walking and could only follow the floor – also oxygen equipment was used.)  On this dive, however, compressed air equipment and fins were used, which allowed the diver to keep to the roof and have a greater speed and mobility.  As there was only one diver, a duplicate set of breathing apparatus was taken into the cave.


The carry-in (about two miles of hard going) was completed in four hours and the kit was assembled on the mud bank at the junction of the S.S.P. and the Main Stream Passage.  The kits were then carried to a gravel bank near the sump.  The diver, wearing two complete sets of apparatus and carrying a line reel, dived into the sump for about twenty feet until a wall of the sump was reached and followed for 150’ near the roof, crossing over the pot until the sump terminated in a mud bank.  The pot was then descended but no continuation was found and visibility rapidly became nil and an exit was made from the sump.  Despite this disappointment however, several passages were inspected and 40’ of new passage was found in the roof of the Main Stream Passage 300’ upstream of the terminal sump.  The whole party returned to S.S.P. and feasted on hot soup, canned beef, sandwiches and chocolate before leaving the cave.  Times were: - Carry-in, 4 hours.  At sump and eating, 2 hours.  Carry-out, 5 hours.  The diver (P. Kingston) would like to thank the sherpa party consisting of W. Ball, R. Whitlock, D. Everett and G. Woods (W.S.G.) J. Corbett (W.C.C.) P. Cousins and P. Cornelius (C.S.S.) R. Bennett, G. Bull and R. Richards of the B.E.C.

Letter to the Editor

6 Lyveden Road
London S.E.3

Dear Ed.,

A few weeks ago, I had reason to call in the Belfry one midweek evening but alas! on entering I though I had missed the Hut and gone right into Walt’s yard, as the smell was /?%:)’@.

Has all the talk about the new Belfry gone to everyone’s head, so that they have forgotten all about the present hut?  If this is the way that some of our members are going to behave and carry on when all the work is at last done, I think it best to forget it and put the club’s money to better use (e.g. the purchase of AIRWICK).

Now for the complaints. The sink was full of water with a thick layer of grease, and blocked with tea leaves, peas and the contents of the stew pot.  Also in the sink were dirty pots and crockery.  The frying pans had collections of (I would rather not guess) in them which had gone stale.  There was not a single clean cup to be had.  Plates were still on the table, just as the eaters (what was it? food??) had left them on the Sunday, three days before.

Food scraps were everywhere. On the table and cooking bench as well as the floor but the most surprising thing was the way someone had managed to get it into the bowl by the sink.  Tin cans and food packets strewn all over the place, some smelling very high. The floor had not been swept for some time and the dog-ends round the stove do not need a mention.

After feeble attempt to clear it up, it became too much for us.  We made a retreat and found somewhere with a better smell and more pleasant surroundings to spend the night.  Where was the Hut Warden to let it get in such a state?  Or is he also one of the “Don’t Cares?  Or has he lost control over the now too often offending members?  The outlook does not look good.

                        Jack Pearce.


Annual General Meeting and Club Dinner.

This year's Annual Dinner will be held at the Cliff Hotel at Cheddar on Saturday, 7th October at 7 for 7.30 pm.  The Annual General Meeting is at 2 pm at the Redcliffe Church Hall, Guinea Street, Bristol.

Tickets for the dinner are obtainable from Bob Bagshaw either in person or by writing to him at 699 Wells Rd, Knowle Bristol 4.  The price of the tickets is, we understand, 12/6.

Voting forms for the 1962 committee are included with this B.B.  We apologise for their lateness, but remind members that they can be sent in any time up to the opening of the A.G.M.

To enable late entries to be included, the closing date for the photographic competition has now been extended to the day of the A.G.M.  However, the organiser would like to remind members that late entries will increase the difficulty of judging and exhibiting the entries, so members are asked not to leave it until the last moment unless it is absolutely necessary. The entries will be on view at the dinner and the prizes presented.

There is still time to enter for the song competition.  A few members are known to be struggling with a song apiece at the moment, so why not add to the ranks?

Finally, the Caving Sec. has arranged a G.B. trip for the Sunday after the A.G.M. and dinner to round off the weekend.



A full list of names of Cuthbert’s Leaders is now on view at the Belfry.  The list will also be published in next month's B.B. and at intervals afterwards to keep it up to date.

Araldite & Archaeology

It is a known fact that certain members of the B,E.C. have long sworn by Araldite as an A.1. adhesive, it apparently surpassing even the traditional organic adhesive used on blankets etc.  Now, according to CIBA Ltd. (Tech. Service Dept notes No 218) Araldite in one form or another, is proving invaluable to the archaeologist as a medium for preserving and for restoration work in museums.

One of the early examples was the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls where highly corroded copper sheets were reinforced with a coating of Araldite before being dissected for study.

Epoxy resins in general have excellent adhesion to many of the different materials met with in archaeological work and are also extremely durable and resistant to many other chemicals. More important than this, however, is the fact that not only can these resins be persuaded to penetrate an object, but on drying the shrinkage is negligible, ensuring little risk of distortion in the preserved object.

Of the cases quoted by CIBA, the most interesting is that of a wooden boat 14 feet long, found in mud which had formed the bottom of a lake drained one hundred years ago.  Dated by C14 to the 14th Century, the boat had a unique construction, being basically a dug out canoe with clinker built sides and it was decided to preserve it in the National Maritime Museum.  As it dried out slowly over twelve months, the wood became fragile and to consolidate the surface, a type of araldite was brushed on.  Copies of the paper describing this and other work may be obtained from CIBA Ltd. Duxford, Cambridge.

K.S. Gardner.


To the Editor of the B.B.

Dear Sir,

I read Ray Winch’s letter with considerable interest as I felt that it touched on a subject of great importance to a club like the B.E.C.  I have heard complaints of lack of leadership in the club on many occasions, right back to 1945; but, on reflection, most of the complainers have come to realise that not all of the trouble rests with someone else.

The "sitting around in the Belfry waiting for something to happen" theme is an old and all too familiar one.  Some people like to sit around and have a restful time - and who can blame them?  I myself can look back on very many such weekends spent nattering; eating and drinking.  Many, however, want to get out and do things.  The remedy for such people must surely lie in their own hands. If they have any spark of initiative in them they should not have to be led, but will lead themselves (and others) on to new ventures, always remembering their own limitations.  This is how a club grows and thrives, not by people moaning that there is no one to tell them what to do!

If any Belfryite doesn't want to go caving I am certain that he cannot fail to find something crying out to be done around the site.  If some people feel that this is not what they came to Mendip for, or that such jobs are beneath their dignity let me remind them that if the older members had felt the same (and these members included some of the elite cavers of the day who both built and caved) there would be no Belfry now for members to sit around in.  The attitude of mind which does not permit a person to look around for jobs to be done, and to do them for the common good, could well cause the death of the B.E.C.

Turning to the specific complaint of Ray's, I feel that he must either have been very unlucky in his time for sitting in the Belfry or very choosy about his Cuthbert's leaders during the month of May at least.  In that month, the B.B. logs nine trips - adequate scope I should have thought.

Finally let me say that I hope most sincerely that the day will never come when the B.E.C. will only admit active cavers as members.  Other people have done as much for the club in the past as any fanatical explorer to make the club the happy and continued success it has been over the years, and I would claim that it is only by admitting good types of varying interests that this success can be maintained.

Tony Johnson.

Editor’s Note.    This letter of Ray's seems to have stirred up some strong feelings in many quarters.  We print and extract from a further letter on this subject, as so many have been received but after this, we regret that further correspondence will probably have to be left out.  Incidentally, for the benefit of newer members, Tony Johnson was for many years the Belfry Engineer and he, amongst many other things, built the porch, panelled the walls of the living room, and organised the kitchen and women’s room extensions to the Belfry.


Dear Sir,

On reading through my august B.B., I was rather surprised at an entry in the caving log concerning Hillier's Cave.  This entry stated that a party had managed to get into the cave because it had managed to find the only Cerberus caver left.

Access to Hilliers is not difficult.  The Cerberus Cave Club has the sole rights to the cave, but they will provide leaders for most weekends if given about one week’s notice.  Any person wanting a trip down the cave should write to the secretary: - Mr. E.R. Cashen, Laburnum Cottage, Baltonsborough, Glastonbury, Somerset.  Telephone, Baltonsborough 300, who will provide them with a leader.  The club are also willing to let people carry out further work in the cave.  I should also like to point out that there are two members of the Cerberus in the B.E.C., namely G. Selby and B.E. Prewer who are also available.

Yours Faithfully,

B.E. Prewer.


To the Editor, B.B.

Dear Sir,

Since you are throwing open to debate the letter by Ray Winch (who, incidentally I do not know) I shall endeavour to add my comments.  I had no idea that the committee is considering a proposal to admit only active climbers or cavers (it isn't, Ed) but surely this is a bit steep. All the work which is done to the Belfry site is not done by active cavers so much as by those who have had the intelligence to fade gracefully away into the obscurity of a Hunters fog.

Actually, when I first attended Mendip, I met rather the same troubles as Mr. Winch, but by being in the right place at the right time, it is really not too difficult to get trips and with a fair bit of perseverance, become a Cuthbert’s Leader. It is when you reach that exalted position that you realise there is still an awful lot to learn.  As one example, I would quote a trip in which we spent two hours merely travelling beneath Quarry Corner without once sighting a passage familiar to any member of the party.

At this point, I would say that the 'leader system is imperative in Cuthbert’s and definitely rules out the odd bod just nipping down to get on with a dig.  With so many different routes that one may travel by, it is necessary to have someone in each party who is familiar with the geography of the cave as a whole.

I think that is about all I have to say, except that if Mr. Winch has not managed to get his leaders key by the time I get back in January, then perhaps I can help him.  Still, who wants Cuthbert’s as a first trip after about two years, phew!

Mike Wheadon.

Caving Log

2nd August.  Swildons to Sump 4.  Leader Ray Winch.

3rd August.  Nine Barrows.  Digging Party.  Going down between the boulders.

3rd August.  Swildons II.  Leader D. Ford.

3rd August.  Longwood.  Leader Ray Winch.

3rd August.  Cuthbert’s.  Leader Jim Giles.

4th August.  Swildons.  Leader R. Stenner.

4th August.  Swildons. Leader  N. Clarke.

4th August.  Hunters.  Digging in Railway tunnel.  Looks very promising.   Leader I. Dear.

5th August.  August Hole.  Leader Garth.

5th August.  August Hole.  Leader Ray Winch.

6th August.  Rod's, Drunkard's, East Twin, Goatchurch.

6th August.  Cuthbert’s.  Leader Mo.

7th August.  Cuthbert’s.  Water tracing and geological trip.  Leader D. Ford.

7th August.  Swildons.  Leader Garth.

8th August.  Hunters.  Leader Malcolm.

9th August.  Swildons.  Leader Roger Stenner.

9th August.  Priddy Green.  Digging trip.  Leader Malcolm.

9th August.   Gunner Fleet Cave.  Bruntscar area, Whernside.  Lower System.  Leader D.A. Rains  (N.P.C.) K. Ashtom (N.P.C.)  P.M. Giles, B.E. Prewer, R. Roberts.  Typical Yorkshire cave very reminiscent of Stoke Lane, with low crawls through stream and short rift passages.  A few reasonable formations and excellent  scollop markings.  The cave ends in a sump which siphons at intervals of a few minutes making rather odd noises.  Trip marred by dead ram in entrance.

9th August.  Runscar Cave (Ribblehead Area) K. Ashton (N.P.C) and P.M. Giles.  The cave is divided into two sections similar to Long Churn.  Top section entered below scar about half a mile east of Gunnerfleet Cave and can be followed for about 450' whereupon it emerges into daylight again.  Vadose trench with well developed formations and the roof rises from six feet to about thirty feet in places.  In extreme drought, the downstream section can be followed to the Horton-in-Ribblesdale road but when we went there was a sump after some 300' of passage.  This passage is in the same vadose trench with little development and floods easily to roof level.  Much grass was observed on the ceiling.  The downstream section also has a short tortuous oxbow near the entrance.

9th August. Swildons.  Leader Roger Stenner.

10th August. Bull Pot of the Witches.  Leader D.A. Rains (N.P.C.) P.M. Giles, B. Prewer and
R. Roberts.  The stream sinks into a gaping hole 30’ deep and about 30’ wide. It is very much like a small version of Alum Pot.  A small hole in the bank on the south side of the hole gives access to a tunnel leading to a chimney which emerges at the bottom of the pot.  On the north side of the open pot at the bottom, a short
tunnel leads to the top of a 60' pitch which can easily be climbed with a rope although we used a ladder.  Halfway down the pitch, a large boulder chamber can be entered but looked very unsafe.  At the bottom of the pitch, the stream is met with again and this is joined later by the water from Hidden Pot.  Following the stream, a short crawl leads to a series of traverse climbs which are very sporting.  Unfortunately, the majority of the lower series was flooded and consequently little more could be done.  The formations in the upstream part of the lower series are said to be very fine but the rest of the pot is of phreatic origin with little development but extremely rich in scollop markings.  It is believed that an aven, in the upstream siphon will one day be linked up with Lancaster hole but due to the vast scope of the Ease Gill and Leckfell areas, little can be expected of this for some time.  As a point of interest, the Pot gained its rather peculiar name long before any potholer arrived on the scene.  It would appear from N.P.C. records that the pot was once believed to have been inhabited by witches and the like, so perhaps Wookey Hole is not so unique.

11th August.  Swildons.  Leader M. Calvert.

11th August.   Yordas Cave.  (Kingsdale)  D.A. Rains (N.P.C.) K. Ashtomn (N.P.C.) P.M. Giles, B. Prewer, and R. Roberts.  Said to have the largest cave cavern in the dales, Yordas is a showcase which the local farmer runs during the tourist season.  Our visit was in semi flood conditions, and the whole chamber was awash.  Little in the way of formations, but the size of the chamber and the Wet Pitch on the north side easily make up for this.  The main chamber is approx 150' x 50' x 80' high.  The Wet Pitch is about 40' high and is the most, spectacular sight I have ever seen.  The rate and volume of water coming down made the Forty in Swildons under very wet conditions look like a dribble.

12th August.  Cuthbert’s.  Leader R. Roberts.

19th August.  Eastwater.  Leader George Honey.  Took the new taped way down to Dolphin Pot and Pitch.  Did some rock moving at bottom of the pitch nearly through the choke.  Returned to surface.

19th August.  Nine Barrows.  Shoring trip.

20th August.  Nine Barrows.  Digging trip.

20th August.  Eastwater.  Leader George Honey.  Second attempt to get through.  Moved many rocks but found that much more force was required.  Top of Dolphin Pitch appears to be moving.

21st August.  Swildons.  Leader George Honey.

21st August.  Swildons.  Leader Roger Stenner.

24th August.  Swildons II. Leader P. Franklyn.

26th August.  Cuthbert’s.  Photographic trip.  Bryan Ellis.

20th August.  Cuthbert’s.  Leader Jim Hill.

28th August.  Nine Barrows.   Shoring trip.

28th August.  Scrambles Swallet  (Ramspit).


The following poem is displayed on the wall of the M.C.G. hut and we hope they will not mind us reproducing it:-

Caver, O caver, pray where have you been?
I've been down to Mendip because - I am keen.
Caver, O caver, what did you do there?
I slept in a bed and I sat in a chair.

Caving Reports

The next in the series of “Caving Reports" will be No 6, "Some Smaller Mendip Cave's". If any member has details of any club of personal dig that they feel could be included, they are asked to send these details to the editor.  It is hot expected that there will be much to write about unsuccessful digs, but the following information, would be useful:-

 (1) Location and access (2) Grid ref of entrance (3) Altitude of the entrance (4) Total passage length (5) Max. depth reached (6) Tackle required (7) Historical account of work done (8) Description of cave (9)  Survey if any and any other points of interest.   So far reports have been received on Hunters Hole, Fairmans Folly, Alfies Hole and Vole Hole.  It is hoped at least to add Vee and Scrambles Swallet to the list.  It is hoped to publish the report before the end of the year.

B.  Ellis,
Editor, Caving Reports.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle , Bristol 4.
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept. C.A. Marriott, 7'8, Muller Rd, Eastville, Bristol.

Some years ago, a bloke got up at an Annual General Meeting to complain about the existing state of the B.B.  He said that the B.B. needed a face lift, that it was not regular enough, and that the chronic shortages of articles could be overcome by a bit of keenness and thumping all round.  The current editor rather doubted whether all this would have any effect, and the upshot was that the complainer was told to damn well go ahead and do it.

Now – some 120 issues; 1,300 odd pages, nearly half a million words and over half a ton of paper later – the complainer now finds himself in much the same position as the one he originally criticised and so, with this Christmas issue of the B.B., he is bowing out to make room for a new editor.

The fact is that, from time to time, nothing short of a complete change of direction is sufficient to inject a new shot of enthusiasm into a magazine like the B.B.  With the best of intentions, one gets stale and fails to take the extra trouble of breathing life into what otherwise becomes a humdrum monthly exercise.  Looking through older issues of the B.B., it is obvious that this sort of care was once taken.  The whole thing was set out in a readable form and strung together where necessary by suitable comments leading the reader from one feature to the next rather than presenting him with an indigestible mass of print.  More care was taken in getting articles of good standard and printing them speedily.  The record for this, in fact, occurred when a lecture which was held on a Wednesday night at the University was reviewed in the middle of the B.B. which appeared at club the next day.

Of later years, the only thing which could still be said of the B.B. was at least it came out regularly. This year, even this has only just been maintained.  In the last eleven years, the B.B. has missed only two issues.  This is six times as good as the regularity previously but of late it has been only just maintained.  It is high time that somebody else took over!

It is with pleasure that we welcome the new Editor – Dave Irwin – well know to you all as the “wig” – who will be your Editor from next month onwards.  I know you will join with me in wishing him a long and successful career. On second thoughts, it is not probably fair to wish him as long a career as I have had, as this has been rather too long, both for me and the B.B. readers.  It has been longer, in fact, than all the previous editorships combined. On the other hand, we can all wish him a much more successful career, and what is more to the point, resolve to help him make it so.  I don’t suppose he will want much from me, as you all have got rather too much of this in the past, but he will certainly want help from you.  He will have a lot to do as it is, without having the additional worry of where the next article is coming from.  No doubt he will be more methodical than I was, so even if I lost your article, don’t be dismayed, try again with Dave.  Remember…

A B.B. that is thin and small
Is not a lot of use at all
So rally round, and help the Wig
To make it good, and thick, and big.

At this stage, and after that outburst, it should be recorded with thanks that Alan Thomas also volunteered to take on the job of producing the B.B. should this have become necessary. Alan (Mayor of Priddy) Thomas is equally well known to all club members and has since taken over the even more onerous job of being Club Secretary.  A club which can produce two volunteers of this standard to do a job like the B.B. is in a happy position, and we should all be thankful that it is so.

As you know, it has been the policy for many years to attempt to produce the B.B. according to three ‘rules’ which the present editor formulated some time ago and which have guided him (not always successfully) ever since.  These ‘rules’ are as follows: -

  1. The B.B. should have its own distinct personality.  There is little point in attempting to make any caving magazine a copy of some other caving magazine.  One might as well try to make a club exactly like some other club, in which case the sensible thing would to join the club concerned.  Club magazines, like clubs, should be different.  The B.E.C. is a club – or at any rate used to be – which does a lot of good and useful work underground whilst avoiding the too serious approach to life.  Its magazine should thus reflect this point of view.  The danger in attempting to make a club magazine into a pukka scientific periodical is that, inevitably, the material offered will fall short of this aim, and the result will always be worse than the declared ‘image’.  On the other hand, a magazine which does not declare a high standard can usually manage to exceed its targets.
  2. The main function of the B.B. is to keep members in touch with the club’s activities.  Thus, the B.B. should not be aimed at the Belfry or Waggon regular so much as the member who lives in distant parts, but who is keen to be kept up with all that is currently going on in the club and elsewhere on Mendip.  This is best carried out by frequent and regular appearance of the B.B. and the selection of material.
  3. The B.B. should reflect all aspects of club activities.  We are primarily a caving club, but we also climb; walk; visit foreign countries (in addition to Wiltshire, Devon and Gloucestershire); hold dinners; crack jokes etc.  Ideally, each issue of the B.B. should reflect all these activities.  This is not possible, but an attempt has been made to try to make each issue appeal to the member who prefers any one activity at least in part.  Occasionally the importance of a specialist article may interfere with this aim but in general, it has been kept in mind.  The aim here is to include a mixed bag of good quality articles of all types.

I am sure that your new Editor wished to se a continuance of these basic principles, but he will have his own ideas as to how this can best be carried out.  Thus we can expect to see some basic continuity, but with refreshing changes.  I am sure that the innovations which he will introduce will strengthen and rejuvenate the B.B.

Under the present regime (for the last time!) a tradition has grown up whereby the Christmas issue has contained much material of a lighter variety – without sacrificing the more serious article.  I hope that this last issue will continue this tradition – and that it will be a record for the size of the B.B.  On this note, I will wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year and thank you all for putting up with me for so long.


He tossed the boy a ….

……or to be more exact, twelve wrappers.  This is by way of introducing – in an eye catching form – the new scheme for the distribution of the B.B. for 1968.  Phil Townsend will be sending twelve wrappers to each recipient of the B.B. and you are all asked to fill in each wrapper in with you name and address and to post the completed wrappers back to Phil at 154 Sylvia Avenue, Lower Knowle, Bristol 4.  These wrappers will then be used to send out YOUR B.B.’s throughout the coming year.  If you move, it is up to you to send some suitable wrappers to cover the remaining months to Phil.

………...   WRAPPER


Ahnenschacht 1967

Of late, the B.E.C. has been setting a fine tradition for expeditions to foreign caving areas.  This year, the highlight was the expedition to the Ahnenschacht, which is described in the article which follows…..

by Alan Thomas

The Ahnenschacht was discovered in 1956 by Dr. Franz Schernhuber, who spoke of two stone figures there as ancestral heads.  In 1961, a point 350m deep was reached by a small party led by Ottokar Kai.  Here they broke into the side of a huge vertical shaft.  The deepest point measured (and the bottom was not reached) was 436m below the entrance.

In August this year, a party of B.E.C. attempted to bottom it.  That we were not successful is common knowledge.  A few months previously as we had been advises that our chances of success was slender, as the depth of snow in the Tobes Gebirge was greater (by metres) than in previous years.  But as time went on the snow melted, and the luggage-only cable car to the Ebenseer Hochboge Hutte was repaired.  We had intended to manage without this luxury, and would have done so, but we realised how much more difficult it would have been had the repairs not been carried out in time.  The weather when we began our expedition was splendid and we were in high hopes.

Mike Luckwill, Steve Grime, Chris and Colin Dooley and Kevin Barnes arrived at the hut on the 20th of August and bean the monumental task of carrying the forty odd grot sacks of gear to the hole.  They were joined next by Roger Stenner and Dick Wickens.  Each trip to the hole took about an hour and a half in great heat over very rugged terrain.  When I arrived on Tuesday, with Pete McNab, hereinafter referred to as Snab, having had some difficulty with the car (actually the bottom ripped out of the petrol tank) we could only admire the initiative and drive of the advance party, who had all but completed this carry.

We carried five gallons of water each to the hole and learned what had been going on.  Steve, Mike Collin and Kevin had spent two hours in the Ahnenschacht in the morning, and got the bulk of the gear to the bottom of the first pitch.  The first three hundred feet had been laddered for us by a party of the Landesverein fur Hohlenkinde, comprising Helmuth, Frisch, Otto and Hans.  Hans had unfortunately been injured, but had managed to take himself back to civilisation under his own steam.  A further five hour trip was carried out by Steve’s party in the afternoon.  This brought the tackle to the bottom of the fourth pitch.

Dick, Kevin and myself went down in the evening and were very excited to see such a magnificent hole. The part we were in was supposed to be small, yet already the shafts were huge compared with the average Yorkshire pot.  Besides, it was so clean and dry – no need to change – our kind of caving!

On Wednesday, 23rd August, whilst those of us who had been down in the night rested, a party consisting of Mike, Colin, Chris, Steve and Snab spent seven hours getting the gear top appoint about two hundred feet down.  They rigged the first of several aerial ropeways to accomplish this. Photographs and water samples were taken.  In the evening, Snab and Steve returned to the hut for more gear and beer for Roger. We were soon to realise the value of Roger’s arrangements on the surface – in a sense we were never alone.

Roger and I had an interesting trip to a nearby Eishole.  I, unfortunately, had no shirt on and got rather cold while Roger in caving gear, took pictures.

Dick, Kevin and myself went down early in the evening on Wednesday and after we had reached Sinterterrasse Tropfwasser about 490 feet down, we camped for the night.  The ledge was not large, but the luggage made a good insulating layer between ourselves and the rock.  It should be noted that Kevin, having given Dick and myself soup in bed, spilt his own over his feet.  We had been taking altimeter readings at the top and bottom of each pitch. At Sinterterrasse, before we went to bed at 11.15pm on Wednesday, we recorded 405 feet from the surface.  At 9,00am on Thursday when we arose, the altimeter showed 455 feet from the surface.  This should have told us something.  In fact, a tremendous thunderstorm had driven Roger, Colin and Chris off the mountain.  However, in our blissful ignorance, we continued to move our bundles further down the Ahneneschacht.  This proved to be very difficult, and when we eventually reached Sicherungsstufe about 600 feet down, we were very tired and prepared to camp on a small wet ledge. It was now rather wet.  Kevin, Dick and myself squeezed into a tiny shelter. Dick had cramp in his feet and every time he moved, we had as well.

About the time we settled down, the other party arrived, consisting of every one except Roger. They intended to go on laddering past us but by the time they had had their supper (or breakfast or something) on the ledge above us, they decided to turn in as well.  They had laid a telephone line from the surface and were in better touch with Roger than they were with us.  They spent a very wet night on their ledge and, had they known, would have done better to return to Sinterterrasse.  They kept dropping things on us, including a full grot sack, and every time Steve came down to parley, he stepped off the ladder on to Kevin.  When we got up in the morning, we were surprised to find Colin Dooley sleeping on the very edge of our ledge.

Steve rang Roger.  It was now Friday morning.  We learned that it had been raining hard all night and looked like getting worse.  Our sleeping gear was soaked.  At this point, we decided on a strategic withdrawal – lesser men would have cracked. Dick and Kevin joined those on the ledge above and I stayed to tie on the kit so that it could be hauled up. When I joined the others they were cooking, but I went to a higher point without eating in order to start getting the gear up.  This was a mistake, because before long I began to feel somewhat despondent.

However, we reached Sinterterrasse without incident or the gear, and two of the other accompanied me to the surface.  The others made a valiant but unsuccessful attempt to get the gear up to Sinterterrasse and joined us on the surface two hours later.

I was greatly heartened by Steve’s and Snab’s assurance that getting the gear up at a later date would be a piece of cake.  We slept in the hut on Friday night and subsequently as we had no sleeping gear – is was still somewhere in the Ahnenschacht.

The next day the weather was splendid.  It was a rest day.  I went down the mountain for more food.  Snab and Steve climbed the Schonberg.  We decided that if the weather held, Steve and Snab – our two hard men – would life me down the next pitch of about 250’ so that I could at least see the top of the big shaft.  However, Sunday morning found the weather bad again, and we all agreed that the first priority was the removing of the gear.  I think this took approximately three trips of ten hours.  It was an anticlimax and very hard work.  Two full days were spent in getting the gear back to the hut, so it was as well that we had delayed no longer.  To make the trip even more memorable, the entrance began to collapse and our last trip had to be conducted with the greatest care.  At times it was not possible to move without sending rather loose rocks on to those below.  One of the Austrian ladders was broken by a falling boulder.  However, we suffered no damage beyond a few bruises and the loss of two helmets, which we shall recover next year as we need them for Proventina!

I was amazed when I checked the gear – two thousand feet of ladder and rope; winch; telephones etc., that we had lost virtually nothing.

I am sorry that this has been such a square account of what in fact was tremendous fun.  The people at the hut treated us royally.  Although we worked all but a few of our waking hours each day, we still had a terrific time.  Mike said that we hadn’t been caving till we went down there.  Dick said, “We must be mad – we enjoy it.” The Hut Warden said, “Why don’t you come here to live?  You don’t need much money.”

I should like to record grateful thanks to Hans Siegl, who made many arrangements for us – the Austrian cavers, without whose help etc. - all the people and organisations who loaned, gave us or made us gear including W.C.C., W.S.G, the Grampian, Barry Lane, George Pointing, Ken Kelly, Fred Davies, Wally Wilcox, Mike York, Steve Tuck, Pete Turner and a host of others who would fill a whole page of the B.B.

Alan Thomas


Apologies & Clangers Dept.

At this point a diagram of the Ahnenschacht was supposed to follow but the Editor has unfortunately mislaid it.  Perhaps at could be included in a later B.B. 

In addition, readers will find many notces be written rather than typed in their B.B.  This is because the Editor has lent his typewriter to help the Caving Publications department.  Just a thought you might like to know why there is all this writing type writing.


While you are paying your ANNUAL SUB promptly (as you always do) on 31st January, why not sign a Banker’s Order for £1 per month for the new hut?  (think of Bob’s surprise)

Gilbert Weeks

Readers will be sorry to near that Gilbert Weeks died on the Saturday before Christmas.  Another piece of old Mendip has gone with Gilbert and we should to convey our sympathy to his family.


Dan–yr–Ogof and the Riddle of the Sands

If Alan Thomas thinks that his interesting account of the Club’s doings in Austria is somewhat ‘square’ – here, by the way of contrast, is an account that must presumably be described as ‘round’…

by Kangy

And it did come to pass that, arising in the watches of the night, and supping an egg and a piece of bread, Kan did take his great wagon into the place of the Kingston: even unto the place where Kingston dwells, and there did meet him and the Priddle.

After two and a quarters hours of great hazard – The Passage of the Ice, the Trotting of the Sheep and the Loading of the Way – he did carry them safely unto the Ogof of the Dan and there did meet with the MacGregor and sundry others of like mind.

And there they clothed themselves in skins of rubber.  (All except the Kingston, who clothed himself in a skin likened unto a muddy colander) and placed upon their heads caps of great hardness (All save the Kingston who, being unable to find his cap, placed upon his head a cap of the hair of the sheep) and, taking lanterns of great light, placed them upon their caps (All save the Kingston who placed his lantern in his mouth and there gripped it with his teeth, so being unable to Cry Out).

Now the Ogof of the Dan had, since time of old, been strung with lanterns – some of this colour and some of that colour.  And men had come many miles to the halls of this mighty cavity wrought by nature (and by man) in the bottom of the Mountain so that each might say to his neighbour “Oo” and “Ah”.

But the managers of the Ogof of the Dan had from time to time been sorely tried by the Rising of the Waters which had put out the lights and blocked the passages with plenteous sand.

And no man knew whence it had come.

And so, passing the Iron Door, they entered into the darkness.  And, passing the Halls well known to men, they came upon the Lakes, which were not a sump, and they swam them – the Kingston being unable to Cry Out.

And they entered into the Long Crawl, which may be likened unto the interior of a viper, and their elbows were sorely tried.

And they climbed down a ladder wrought of great chains and marvelled at the mighty construction of it, and it did please them, for it was safe.

And they saw the place which is called Flabbergasm Chasm and were displeased at the name and yet were astonished at the profusion and length of the slender rods wrought in calcium carbonate.

And they went upon their way up the stream seeing many beauteous sights and saw the waterfall, which men have said is an hundred feet and passed the abode of the Monk who is Red and came to the awesome halls of the Hanger thereby to contemplate the waters of the Canal that is Green.

And in all these places there was no sand.

And the sadness of them was nothing compared to the sadness of the Priddle who could think of naught save bacon and eggs.

And the Kingston was flung into the waters of the canal which was green and was then brown, and he could not Cry Out.

And again they swam and the waters of the canal which was green and then brown enveloped them in the coldness, and they cried out, all save the Kingston – for he could not.

And they avoided the Abyss and entered the Highway and came to the place where there was no way save by ascending a ladder made of Lesser Chains.  And entering into a high place with diverse climbing, entry was made into the uttermost heights of the place.

The, by subtle sinuosities, a way was made to a new place where a man might fall and not be seen again, and yet they passed and then they could go no further.

But, Lo!  One of their number possessed a ladder of gossamer construction made of hairs of the finest iron and gripped to these hairs were cross rods of exceedingly lightness with the joints thereof seized by mighty pressures which were amazing and this was lowered into the terrible darkness of the Long Hole.

And then this man, shutting his eyes and making various sounds, climbed down and came to the bottom and so did they all.

And in this place there was no sand.

And the way was straight and they followed it through water and over rocky places until they would fain rest and Priddle soothed them with much talk of Bacon and Eggs.

And they went on until they came to another place.

And in this place was sand and they rejoiced and gave thanks and raised mighty castles and dug many holes until it was time.

And they returned and their hearts were light and they heeded not the gossamer ladder nor the steepness nor the waters nor the crawls nor their elbows, for they had seen the sands and knew from whence they had come.

(The actual trip took place on 18.11.67. – Ed.)


The Return of the Natives

by Chris Falshaw

During November, a party of aged enthusiast (John Stafford, Chris Falshaw and Kangy) toured St. Cuthbert’s. The first few hundred feet of cave was covered at an alarming speed but fortunately this was not maintained and, in Upper Traverse Chamber they sank to their knees and regained normal body temperature.  They reached the top of Catgut without event, and the rest of the trip went as follows.

Catgut SqueezeStafford’s years of unbridled boozing led to three interesting attempts.  The first, solo, failed.  The second, with gallant leader pulling on legs, failed.  The third, after removal of traditional ex –W.D. clothing and adjustment of “the finest child bearing hips in the regiment”, was successful.

Cross Legs Squeeze.  Very exciting with Nife cell between legs.

Vertical Vice.  Half Price. How nice.

Duck/Sump Area.  Pause to admire the results of recent Herculean efforts and swim.

The Lake.  Falshaw swam.  Stafford reminisced.  Kangy threw stones at one or the other.

Everest Passage.  Met Dave (‘No F-ing cigarettes’) Irwin and Alan Thomas who waved tapes and tripods and pretended to survey.  A Leaders’ Meeting was held which decided that the resolutions passed by the unofficial meeting the previous weekend were authorised.

Upper Long Chamber.  An attack of Mountain Fever compelled a visit followed by groans of ‘No more, no more, we want out!’

Canyon Series.  The formations were protected by not visiting them.

The Thoughts of Chairman Sid

Older readers may remember the poetic work of Sid Hobbs, which we understood he wrote in those days in between emptying the Detailer Bucket (How times have changed!).  We have persuaded him to have another go – in spite of the fact that his source of inspiration has been replaced by a modern flush arrangement.

A phallic symbol on Pen Hill
Will irk the fates and bring us ill
A poor show which the true art mocks
Pouring forth from goggle box.

‘This planned, approved and does proceed
To our poor cry they’ll pay no heed.
We do not want their rotten mast
Why don’t they stick it somewhere else?

But hark, my heroes, let’s be bold
And emulate those men of old
Who rose and struggled for their rights
Like valiant souls and true-born wights.

So up the pub with beer and gin
And solid thinking will begin
And if all plot a little while
We’ll come up with an outrage vile.

What was it?  Did I hear alright?
A little voice said ‘gelignite’
Oh! What a dreadful thing to think!
Please buy that friend a pint to drink.

It’s good to know, that when we pray,
Some help will; come from M.R.A.
Or Viet Mendip – modern mane –
The land shall sing of their just fame.

From famous clubs come volunteers
Cavers, boozers, mountaineers,
With lots of band and saws and rope
And crates of beer for every bloke.

We’ll read a book by Mao Tse Tung
Which tells how these things should be done
And notes by Fidel Castro’s mate
How sad indeed Guevara’s fate.

Across the fields, one winter’s night
We’ll sally forth to building site
And lay our charge and tamp it down
They’ll hear the crunch in Bristol town.

A thousand feet of wire and tin
Should crash with an amusing din.
Alf light the fuse and rush away
To plan for yet another day.

The editor, of course, takes no responsibility for the course of action suggested in Sid’s epic above!


Sell’s Baptism

Climbing articles have not appeared as often as we might always wish, but we have this one at least for our Christmas number this year.  It has been submitted by Kangy, who has been one of the stoutest supporters of the B.B. throughout the past many years, and who has been responsible for most of the climbing articles over a very long period of time……

by Kangy

This time, we read the guidebook thoroughly.  It’s all there.  “Cwm Silyn can be reached by road.  When coming from the Rhyd Ddu direction, take the road to Llanllyfni branching off the main Pen-y-Groes Road…”  And when we tried it, it worked very well, and when we got to the Greta Slab, we sat and marvelled that we hadn’t read the guidebook thoroughly before previous visits. It was so effortless, with only an easy angled track between the road and the cliff, and contrasted with those earlier approaches that involved long, grass bound slogs which varied only in their compass bearings.

Our day was wild and inclined to squalls.  Our vehicle was the James’ motor caravan, a van with windows and doors and seats that weren’t seats but beds and a cooker and a roof which went up and down – sometimes unexpectedly.  This impressively useful vehicle for a climber was parked off the road by the last gate “PRIVATE.  NO CARS PAST HERE.”

As we stopped a particularly violently squall hit us, and we waited until the slightly surprising calm followed.  Two keen, two reluctant and two don’t knows got out and kitted up.  Plenty of sweaters, a few scarves, a positive check that we all had gloves, and then struggling thickened arms through stiff rucksacks, we passed the gate marked “NO CARS.”

Wonderful weather, big torn clouds racing by, blue sky showing through, and the wild wind hustling us.

The Great Slab is a sheet of rock sweeping for four hundred feet up the right side of Craig-yr-Ogof, the whole height of the cliff.  Mark James chose the outside edge route – a steep clean route following the exposed left edge.  His party was made up of Bob Sell – then new to climbing – and myself (Kangy) who came as third man.  Two ropes were selected, slings apportioned, psychological needs attended to, and them Mark led out on to the large block which formed the first stance.  The rope hung clear.  Bob joined him.

The way on was not obvious. Mark probed left and then with decision pushed right and balanced over a bulge.  The tension of the last move eased and hands automatically checked equipment with quick, subconscious actions as Mark leaned back to puzzle out the next moves.  A grey, sharp edged wall, triangulated by perspective edged by bright sky seemed to become less vertical after thirty feet and offered a route.  Mark picked his way with deliberate continuous movements until, out of sight, his shout beating the wind called for Bob.  I joined Bob who then followed Mark.  The next stance would have been crowded with three so Mark led off again.  As I joined Bob at the second stance, a sudden chill drew attention to the leaden clouds which displaced the earlier vigorous sky.  Rain seemed likely.

The belay was adjusted to mutual satisfaction and the weather became a secondary thought as concentration centred on the climb.  The roped inched out steadily round a corner after Bob as he gained height on an uncomplicated slab.  Then, with a savagery that excluded thought, the storm broke.  The world shrank to a few square feet of rock enclosed by a howling wind-driven sleet.  A six inch crack by the belay became security and I crouched braced against the rock, cramming my head into a crack.  Water poured over all.

Presently the effect became less total and reason returned.  I straightened, relieved to see the rope inch out again.  There was time to relax a little and then again, a tremendous roaring as the wind tore at me.  Once again, the crouching and cramming and hanging on, but not so desperately now.  This time, the assault was not quite so unexpected and the way in which the extra jersey, towel tucked round neck, and gloves insulated as well as protected.

At long last, vague signs suggested that Bob had completed the pitch.  Distastefully, I moved against wet clothing and apprehensively left the safe perch to go out onto the face.  Fortunately, the moves were straightforward and the pitch was climbed steadily and enjoyably with the protection of a firm rope helping me overcome the reality of icy water on the hands.

The arrival of shotgun blasts of hail laden wind was signalled by a wail of sharply increasing in intensity giving time to flatten against the watery slab, cheek to rock, gripping and waiting.  As the tearing pressure lightened, the essential climbing sequence of theory and practice continued.

Grinning James and grinning Bob were joined at a comparatively large ledge.  Home was a shallow cave round the corner.  It dripped, it offered no way on, but it knew no wind and it contained us all.  Mark, luckily had reached this haven before the storm broke and was simply wet.  Bob had been in the most exposed position on the slab and had been blown off in the final blast.  He was able to regain his holds and climb a few more feet before being blown off again. This time, he regained easier ground, giving him an anchorage to weather the brunt of the storm.  Bob was both cold and wet.  We shared chocolate, rubbed hands and hoped for a lull.  We imagined one.

Mark walked back, against wind and rain, along the ledge until it narrowed at the bottom of the last section.  Belays necessarily implied shelter.  Something vestigial was found, and Mark led off, shifting slightly between one drip and another.  Eventually the slack rope was taken in, showing that Bob was now ready.  The belay slings were awkwardly unclipped and I stepped round the corner into an icy swimming bath of a day.

Bob was business like but reluctant.  The rope stretched ahead of him up a slab, them diagonally to the left of an overhang, then to what seemed to be, to waiting eyes, a very steep edge.  Mark was now out of sight and inaudible but the rope tightened and as I crammed against the belay Bob stepped up into the small holes of the slab.  He gained height cautiously against the wind, forced to grip watery, numbing, rock firmly.

The crisis came when the overhang pushed him out on to delicate holds.  For half an hour or more, each time Bob balanced out, a heavier gust threatened to detach him.  The fight with the climbing problem, the wind buffeting, the effect of cold and the strain of maintaining position could be seen from the stance below.  His world was constricted cold and noisy, His movements limited and, as utmost effort and desire to change was frustrated again and again by the force of the wind.  I went to ease my neck and wipe my face.  Peering upwards a few moments later led to a surge of relief because Bob had now accomplished his move and slow upward progress had resumed.  He was soon out of sight, leaving only a long curve of wind whipped rope.

The wait now continued with a different purpose and I sought with impatient indications that Bob had reached what should be the last stance.  There was no real sign but a least the rope was not slack, and had stopped going out, so I hastened to join the other two.

Exuberant chat; a hurried bundling up of the precious rope, and the final coxcomb ridge was followed to the intersection with the Great Stone Shoot.  A pause to demolish Bob’s chocolate and then non-stop with the now helpful wind rushing us back down the track.

The Guidebook was annotated “Outside Edge Route, 22 May 1966.  M. James, R. Sell and R. King spent sometime there in a squall.”


1967 Dinner

The keynote of the dinner must have been culture with a high standard of photography and surveys in the exhibition which included the latest discoveries.  An opportunity to help the St. Cuthbert’s surveyors in their calculations. Historical and physiognometrical photographs of club members.  Film show and slides.  Book Review. Folk singing by Alfie with his new codnogging stick song and of course by demand, his spelaeodes.

The book review of the “History of Mendip Caving” by Johnson can perhaps be enlarged upon, consisting of a floor show with production by Keith Franklin and direction by Kangy. The book was thought to be more of a history of the U.B.S.S. Caving and various episodes were illustrated.

It commenced with a hell scene with two olden day cavers. Roy Bennett and Phil Townsend venturing into the depths of a cave only to be chased out by the devil (Bob Bagshaw) crying ‘On your way’.  Next we had an illustration of what we would have liked to have seen with the introduction of women cavers circa 1919 which featured the Franklin Brothers and Norman Petty dressed as fairies, singing a refrain from Iolanthe and ‘tripping hither, tripping thither’.  This was followed by what was known of the B.E.C. exploits before, during and after the war given by Bagshaw (who, of course can remember all this) complete with pint.

Next was illustrated the first attempts to pass Swildons Sump 1 nearly under Priddy Church.  The scene opened touchingly with the Rev. Townsend about to baptise an infant when Bennett appears from the font saying “I think it goes – we’ll call it Cathedral Chamber.”

This was followed by a scene which showed the innovation which early cavers showed and the difficulties experienced with early caving equipment compared with the present day stuff. Next was illustrated the attempt to determine the height of the gorge in G.G. using a hydrogen filled balloon. The Franklin’s attempt was not so successful as an air cylinder was used.

The final scene was all the cast describing post war exploration and ending with: -

“We are the B.E.C., and this we must confess,
Whatever is worth doing has been done by the U.B.S.S.”


The Early History of the B.E.C.

The next article has been written to fit in with the spirit of the season, and consists of the Editor’s swan song in this lie.  If one is going to write a History of Mendip Caving, it would appear from the book in question – just ‘reviewed’ above – that more fun can be had by the author if he ignores completely the contributions made by some of the Mendip cavers.  Alfie has taken this process one stage further  and allowed his imagination full rein with the somewhat startling results which will be seen on the following article

(An Erudite Exposition)

From time to time, accounts of the early history of the B.E.C. have appeared in these pages.  The serious student of these matters can hardly have failed to notice one sentence common to all of these so-called accounts which is of great significance.  It generally reads ‘early records were, unfortunately lost in the blitz’, and goes on to apologise for the somewhat sketchy record of the early years of the history of our club.

Since, as we all know, the origins of the B.E.C. go back to time immoral and, to give another old joke an airing, are lost – not in the blitz, but in the mists of antiquity – it seemed reasonable that no effort should be spared to reveal the fantastic saga of those early and up until now, unrecorded days.  In our ceaseless and unrewarding efforts to raise the cultural level of our readership (we gave up spelling ‘cultural’ with a ‘k’ after some research into an interesting case which occurred in Bombay involving the mate of a lugger) we are pleased to announce that our Historical Research Department has finally unearthed this missing data, and is now able to present it to a world which awaits this momentous news will ill-concealed apathy.

Scholars may care to note in passing that the research team involved was initially known as the Committee Reading Ancient Publications – until they realised that they were indeed becoming initially known.  However, we digress.  On with this ghastly tale.

The misprint in the ‘official’ accounts which gives the date of founding of the B.E.C. as the year 1935 should, of course, read 935 – for in that year the Witangmot – or committee – published the earliest known document we have.  This copy of the ‘Caunstituccion and Roules’ is signed by the club Scriverer one Rob Beaggshaugh – although whether the first word represents his name or his profession is not at all clear from the records.

Many of the ancient rules proved difficult to interpret; only by dint of much concentration and Ben’s Rough were some problems solved.  For example, the rule….

Iiij  No Hors muste be kept in ye Bellfrie.

….refers to member’s mounts - or horses.  Not, as some suggested, to the practice of gathering haws from the local hedgerows. In a similar vein, we have….

Xij  Ye cleane straw for ye beddynge of ye Hovel Warden muste not be used for ye beddynge down of pigges.

….which throws further light on conditions prevailing at the time.

Remarkable as these glimpses are of life in the B.E.C. in Saxon times, it must not be supposed that this represents the actual origin of the club.  The B.E.C. is so incredibly old a foundation that it will probably never be possible to pin down the actual date of founding.  A scheme for doing radio carbon tests on some of the older members may well improve our knowledge in future ages, but meanwhile it is interesting to note that when Bishop Usher was computing the date of the creation of the world at 4004 B.B., one of the main problems which worried him was how to reconcile this with the age of the B.E.C.

Probably the earliest evidence of the B.E.C. on Mendip which we have are the skeletal remains which were found during the B.E.C.’s rediscovery of Stoke Lane II in 1947. The presence of fire by the remains shows that they were indeed B.E.C. members – the fire being the ‘alternate means of lighting’ insisted on by the club rules for all underground trips.

By the time of the Celts, the B.E.C. was apparently well organised – a state of affairs which has only occurred at spasmodic intervals since those times.  Because of this high degree of organisation, the club prospered and many outstations were established.  At an Annual General Meeting at that time (these meetings were held at midnight on Midsummer’s Eve provided that a quorum could be found and Oliver Lloyd was available to act as Chairman) a vote of thanks was recorded form the entire Gorsedd (or committee) to the Henge Warden of the Club’s Eastern Section at Amesbury, for his efforts in organising his Long Term Planning Committee which resulted in the replacement of the old wooden henge by a stone one.

Many misconceptions of life at the time have been cleared up by our workers.  For example, the practice of making dye out of wood was not, as is popularly supposed, for personal adornment, but for the identification of caving ladders – blue still being the B.E.C. colour for this purpose. Likewise, the club’s practice of construction large underground vats for brewing and storage of mead – originally known as Priddy Nine Barrels – became later confused with the idea of burial mounds owing to the Club’s custom of retiring old committee members by ceremonially drowning them in vats of meads.  It was claimed that this practice was not a cruel one, and legend in support of this claim has it that at least one such victim was seen to climb out of the vat twice for a slash before finally drowning.  It was also claimed that the custom imparted body to the resultant drink.

The Roman Invasion was followed in due course by an increase in club membership.  Caesar’s much misquoted saying of ‘Veni: Vidi; Vici’ was, in fact, a mistranslation.  The last word was actually ‘vincri’, from a little known Latin verb vincrere – to apply for probationary membership.  The Romans proved excellent hut Engineers and constructed a new B.E.C. headquarters a little way up the hill at the back of the present Belfry Site – after successfully obtaining permission form the Rus at Urbs Planning Authority.  Fragments of tablets on which the Villa Warden (Custos Villas) kept his accounts were found by our research workers.  Fees ranged from two denarii for camping near the site to ten denarii for a full weekend’s stay including orgy.  Tablets from this period also use the letters B.E.C. for the first time (The Club, of course, being considerably older than the hamlet of Bridgestow). An inscription which reads ‘Bibemus Ergo Cidrum’ provides the clue to the initials of our club.  It also indicates that the club switched over to cider drinking at this time, the supply of mead (and old committee members) having presumably run out.

Turning once more to Saxon times, the intelligent reader may well wonder why the district was known as the Kingdom of Wessex.  This supposed fact caused our research Department much concern – as the Wessex Cave Club was not founded until the Twentieth Century.  Top priority was given to finding some reasonable explanation – or at least some credible explanation – or failing that, any old explanation however far fetched, to account for this strange occurrence.  It is thus with some pride that our researchers offer the following tale.  It is confidently expected that the Club Secretary will shortly announce this tale to be a dogma, and that all B.E.C. members will, after a certain date, be required to believe it.

It appears that a certain Saxon merchant ran a successful business transporting goods and people from one place to another in what is now Somerset, Wiltshire and the nearby counties.  So successful did this enterprise become that his large carts – painted red and grey – were to be seen as far east as Winchester, at which town he established his registered office on forming his business into a public company under the title Wessex Wains. The whole district thus became known jokingly as the ‘ Kingdom of Wessex’ – and the company is thought to have been the forerunner of the present Wessex Coach Co.  The rest of the story is known to all.  (See ‘The History of the Wessex Cave Club’ – B.E.C. Historical Publications No. 4).

This explanation, whilst satisfying all B.E.C. members, will still leave some people wondering why the B.E.C. obtains no mention in the history books dealing with this period. The answer is amazingly simple. The B.E.C. had gone underground.

The resulting cave discovery – now known as Cheddar Gorge, was, naturally, the largest in the country. This cavern would still be with us but for the fact that, owing to some confusion in the leader system at that time, a party of Wessex nobles, led by one Ethelred the Unsteady (owing to his habit of attempting to out drinking the B.E.C.) became embrangled in a boulder ruckle.  The consequent shifting of a strategic boulder in getting them out caused the whole cave to collapse – amid shout of “Grammercy!” and more typical Anglo-Saxon expressions.

The so-called Norman Conquest (we shall reveal why it was so-called) did not result in much increase of club membership.  This fact presumably stems from the inability of the local baron – Sir Nigel Fitzsidcot – to live up to his name.  It was at this time that the word ‘cave’ became part of the English language since the Normans, having brought over the French word for cellar (which is ‘cave;) became confused between the B.E.C.’s drinking and splaeological activities (a mistake which many have made since, and used the same word for both).

However, the main reason why the Normans and the B.E.C. failed to get on with each other (except for one of the Normans who became Tacklemaster and who, according to tradition, has held the post ever since) lay in the activities of the local rating authorities, who were compiling a Domesday Book at the time.  The B.E.C., having attempted to plead the Scientific Societies Act in order to exempt from rates, but having had this excellent defence rejected by the Normans on the flimsy grounds that Scientific Societies had not yet been thought of (another example of the forward thinking if the B.E.C.) were forced to become adept at misleading the local inspectors as to the exact whereabouts of the Belfry site.

So successful were they at this sport, that the King countered by declaring the whole area a Royal Forest, in which he and subsequent Norma monarchs attempted to hunt the B.E.C.  King John, who was fond of this sport, became known as John Lackland as a result.  The reason for this sobriquet refers to the fact that, by then, the whole of England - with the sole exception of the Belfry site – had been thoroughly mapped and assessed by the planning authorities.  It was this last bit of land the King John, in fact, lacked.  Hence the incomplete nature of the so-called Norman Conquest.

In the Middle Ages, everyone became middle-aged and the indolence set in.  By Henry VIII’s time however, the B.E.C. was again flourishing and the sound of madrigals in the hunt area on a Saturday night became a familiar feature of Mendip life.  It is rumoured that the king himself attended on occasion, although whether he actually became a member of the club or not cannot be confirmed.  Certainly, legend has it that he was fond of a game of spoof in the Hunters and was very good at it – hence his nickname of Bluff King Hal. Rumour also suggest that on one occasion when a member of the club had laid on a butt of malmsey to celebrate his wedding, the king produced the words which later became the club’s motto “Whatever is worth doing we will do it to excess.”

Tudor times also saw Queen Elizabeth in the Women’s Room of the old half timbered Belfry (the other half of its timbers had rotted away by then).  Previous to this episode, she was known as the Virgin Queen.  It was at this period of history that the part played by the B.E.C. in saving these islands from invasion and conquest occurred. This splendid, though little known episode of our club history occurred when – in preparation for the expected invasion by the Spanish Armada off the coast of Devon – a series of beacons was prepared.  The general idea was that, on sighting the armada off Devon, a beacon would be lit and watchers on the next hill, seeing this, would light theirs and so on all the way up to London.  Just what use this information would have been to the bods in London is not clear, but it might have given them a little time to brush up such useful phrases as ‘Café puro por dos con azucar’ or to knock up the old zarzuela.

Unfortunately, when the armada eventually hove into view off the coast of Plymouth, the bloke in charge, one Drake by name, was playing with his bowls and completely failed to see the approaching ships. What might have happened next hardly bears thinking about but, as luck would have it, the B.E.C. were holding their annual barbecue on Mendip and, owing to an excess of enthusiasm, managed to set all the tumps round the mineries alight.  The watchers on the official beacons in both directions at once lit theirs, each thinking that a signal had been sent from the other end. In turn, the next beacons were lt, and so all the way down each side of the chain.

Happily, Mendip is roughly half way between London and Plymouth, and thus the final beacons were lit simultaneously.  Drake, in Plymouth, seeing the beacon, stopped playing with his bowls and went off to rout the armada, while the bods in London were amazed at the speed with which the news had apparently travelled, and were presumably able to devote more time to leaning useful Spanish words like cojones.  The eventual defeat of the armada saw Drake knighted by the queen and granted temporary provisional membership of the B.E.C.

Under the Stuarts, the B.E.C. drank whiskey and learned auld Scottish songs like the Ball of Kirremuir to the skirl of the pipes – the quantities of whiskey having affected their pipes considerably.  During the Civil War, and subsequent stirring times, the club consolidated its position by suitable stirring in the right quarters.

Little caving occurred in Regency times, but the club dinners of that period were a great success, and the spectacle of committee members (including the Mansion Warden) – bewigged and powdered – dancing stately minuets, is one which is still talked about with bated breath in places such as Clifton, Bath and Cheltenham.

In Victorian times, the success of the B.E.C. stand at the Great Exhibition of 1851 led the club to renew its caving activities.  A word of advice to Martel, a little encouragement to the young Balch, and the scene was set for the start of modern caving.

In 1935 – but we have got into the area of ‘official’ club histories now.  Hardly as colourful, we feel, as these few glimpses from the glorious annuls of earlier B.E.C. history.




Another Christmas tradition is the Puzzle.  Here is one which is designed to stretch your mental powers to breaking point – or beyond. There will be a prize of MUCH ALE for the best solution!

The Carblimey Hills in Muckinghamshire are the home of four caving clubs.  The Muckingham Speleological Society (M.S.S.); the Muckinghamshire Exploration Club (M.E.C.); the Carblimey Ciderworks Group (C.C.G.) and the Independent Muckingham Cavers (I.M.C.).  None of these clubs have any badges, ties or other distinguishing marks and, since all are uniformly scruffy, it is damn nigh impossible to tell who belongs to which club.

The Carblimey Council of Caving clubs is attended by one representative of each of the four clubs and is chaired by an independent chairman who does not belong to any club. At one such meeting the Chairman – Bolivar Boyd – found he did not know any of the four representatives personally.

Now Boyd knew that all the Muckinghamshire clubs are noted for their obstructive attitude (Muckinghamshire folk are all like that!) and hence it was no use asking them to which club they each belonged.  After much abuse had been hurled to and fro, it was agreed that Boyd could ask one question only, but that he could ask it to who he liked, and as many times as he liked, providing that the wording was never altered.

Boyd knew that the M.S.S. members always told the truth, the only snag being that they were unable to distinguish between members of the other three clubs – whom they referred to them as ‘those b----y yobos’.

Members of the M.E.C. were also truthful, except that they thought that all members of the M.S.S. members were the C.C.G. in addition to the real members of that club.

Members of the C.C.G. claimed that all members of the M.E.C. were members of their group in addition to their own actual members, but were otherwise truthful.

Members if the I.M.C. consistently and invariably told lies about everybody and everything.

Although Boyd did not know any of the four representatives, he did know that they knew each another and what club each other belonged to.  Assuming that they answered “Yes”, “No”, or “Don’t know” to Boyd’s question, what question did Boyd ask and how many times did he have to ask it to make sure of getting all the cavers associated with their right clubs?

Note:    Whether or not any answers to this are actually published will depend on the new Editor, but in any case, Alfie will be willing to enter into correspondence with any claimants for the prize.  For the more mathematically inclined, it is believed that the problem has a unique solution, but there might be a completely different way of approaching it to that used in its compilation.


Well, there it is then. This B.B. is perhaps somewhat in line with recent issues, as it is late and did not fulfil the promise – or hope – made in the beginning of being the largest B.B. ever.  In fact, time made it necessary to cut what was going to be a 48 page issue down to the 32 you have.  We must leave this sort of record breaking to the new editor.

Apologies to those whose articles did not come out as a result.  The manuscripts will be sent to Dave Irwin and no doubt he will publish them in due course – although we suspect that he will have the January B.B. all set up by now.

Thanks also to those who have sent in replies to the surveying problem.  These will also be passed to Dave who will be well qualified to comment on them, being an active surveyor himself.

Any answers to the Puzzle can be sent to Dave or direct to me.  It will not be feasible to print the complete solution and method of arriving at it, as this takes up too much space and I don’t suppose that Dave will be as hard up for articles as I have been lately.

It had been hoped to include an article by ‘Stalagmite’ in this B.B. but he has been rather busy acting as a ‘pillar’ of society lately.  What was perhaps the best kept secret of my editorship must remain so – although he might write again – who knows?  One thing can be said on this subject – I was not the author of this particular series.

As I said, that’s it then I look forward to receiving the B.B. next year, and to the pleasure of getting my copy in my hands without knowing what it contains until I read it.

Cheers, and once again – belatedly – a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to all…


Once again, in typical B.E.C. fashion, we seem to have got out of the difficulties we were under last month; although this has happened at the last moment.  We have got sufficient articles now not only to be able to publish a big Christmas edition as usual, but to have a go at the record number of pages for a B.B. and to have one long article - of the sort we asked for last month - to start the collection for a large Spring Number next year.  Thanks very much, blokes!

During last year - the one that has nearly ended, that is - there was a suggestion to publish some sort of joint issue of the journals of various caving clubs.  Later on in the year, this got to' be a suggestion to publish a joint edition of the Wessex Journal, The Shepton Mallet Caving Club Journal, and the B.B. for Christmas.  This would have been sent to members of all these clubs and, in the case of the BE.C, would have come out instead of the Christmas edition.

There were many snags of a technical nature which became apparent and which finally led to the cancellation of the idea for this year.  One of these is the fact that enough good articles were not available in time.  If members want a similar venture next year to succeed, we must have articles for use as a 'pool' on which we can draw.

Normally, the Christmas B.B. concentrates on the lighter side of club activities, but you will find that this one has a large proportion of caving news and articles.  We hope you will approve, and take this opportunity to wish all members and all cavers everywhere…

A Very Merry Christmas



The committee wish to record a vote of thanks to John Ifold on his retirement from the position of Hon. Librarian.  John has been the club’s Librarian for many years and at one stage gave the library a home at his house.  The new Hon. Librarian is Sybil Bowden Lyle, as announced in last month's B.B.

A complete list of all books, publications &c held at present in the club library has now been compiled.  Owing to the size of this list (which contains a detailed breakdown of the contents of all books and periodicals) it will not be possible, to give each member a copy.  A limited number of copies are being made and, if you are engaged in some work which entails the use of such a list, please get in touch with the librarian, Miss Sybil Bowden-Lyle at 513 Coronation Road, Southville, Bristol.  A copy of this list will be kept permanently at the Belfry for reference.

The list of back numbers of the B.B. held in the library is incomplete.  Some member's have volunteered to supply back numbers of their own to the library if none can be found, but first we would like to ask whether anyone has any copies, which have been borrowed from the library in the past. Please hunt among your books and return any B.B.'s you may find to the librarian.

December Committee Meeting.

At the December meeting, Gordon Tilley and R.A. Philpot were elected as club members.  Other business dealt with included an agreement for Keith Gardner to form an Archaeological sub-committee; final arrangements for the new drainage scheme; distribution of B.B's and Caving Reports to other clubs and the ordering of a further batch of club ties.           .


Cuthbert's Leader's Meeting

The first Cuthbert's Leader's Meeting was held at the Belfry late in November.  The meeting was chaired by R.A. Setterington.  The following topics represented the main subjects of the meeting:-

Second Report on Cuthbert's.

Bryan Ellis stated that he intended to publish this in January of next year.  He said that he intended to print 75 -100 copies, as this seemed about the right amount, judging from past experience.  This was agreed by the meeting and A. Collins suggested the inclusion of some prints of September Series which he had received for the B.B. from Brian Prewer, but which would not be sufficient for the B.B. This was accepted, and the prints will be included in the report.  After some discussion on the history of the depression prior to the opening of Cuthbert’s, the Chairman suggested a long opening paragraph, giving a short account of this history.


After the present state of the art had been explained by B. Ellis, it was agreed by the meeting to publish what had been surveyed to date in the report, even if this meant that some parts of the survey would have to be of a low grading.  R. Roberts promised to provide a survey of September Series; R. Bennett promised to provide one of the Rocky Boulders and Coral Series and J. Eatough one  of the Cerberus Series.  All this data must be received by Bryan Ellis by the first of January.

A discussion on names of passages followed.  R. Bennett suggested fewer names and said that only important routes, junctions, etc, should be named.  He particularly objected to Surprise Passage.  He suggested that all names be revised, but it was pointed out by P.M. Giles and others that this would throw all past references into confusion.  The meeting agreed that, in general, naming in Cuthbert’s was good and in some cases - such as Oubliette Pitch - excellent and imaginative naming had occurred.

A further suggestion that all names should indicate the part of the cave system in which they were to be found was not considered practicable.

The meeting finally agreed to keep an eye on further naming and warned leaders that this must be done before such names reach the Caving Log and hence the B.B.  It was agreed that the part of the cave sometimes called Cascade Passage should official be known as the Railway Tunnel, and that the passage in September Series is Victory Passage, not Victoria Passage.


A. Collins said that, unless we acted quickly, all the work done in opening the new entrance would be wasted.  The meeting agreed to take urgent action.  M. Baker agreed to contact a source of suitable concrete pipe and B. Prewer agreed to contact Ben Dors as soon as some pipe had been found.  A. Collins said he would prepare the foundations and lay the pipes, but it was not worth starting until the pipes had been delivered.  He would need some assistance with the digging and the Chairman promised to round up some   suitable labour when the time came.  It was decided to fit a chequer plate cover which would be padlocked with the same lock as at present and to install a permanent steel ladder.  After some discussion, it was agreed that, when the new shaft has been satisfactory for some time, the present shaft will be destroyed.

Rescue Arrangements.

P.M. Giles outlined a scheme for a full scale rescue operation in the cave, which should simulate real conditions as far as possible.  The meeting thought this idea was good, but that a first attempt should concentrate in getting a fairly big man, in an unconscious condition, up the entrance pitch.  A. Collins was accordingly chosen and P.M. Giles agreed to make a suitable rescue harness for this operation.


The responsibilities of leaders were discussed at some length.  C.A Marriott announced that his first newsletter was nearly ready and it was agreed that these newsletters should keep all leaders abreast of developments and current problems.  After much discussion on the advisability of removing the names of inactive leaders from the list, it was agreed that the Caving Secretary prepare a rota of all leaders for call on tourist trips.  If a particular leader failed to respond or to give the Caving Secretary a sound reason, this would be brought up to the committee, who would then consider his removal from the list.


It was agreed to purchase plastic tape for taping routes.  M. Baker also agreed to organise a scrubbing party.


The meeting agreed that not enough was being done.  It was felt that the better distribution of information via the leader's News Letters and the publication of a survey in the near future should help here, by highlighting the areas where exploration would be most profitable.

Date of next meeting.

Unless special circumstances intervened, it was proposed to hold Cuthbert's Leader’s Meetings annually, on the Saturday nearest to the Twenty eighth day of November, for easy remembering.


Caving Reports

Caving Report No 6 has now been published, entitled "Some Smaller Mendip Caves." It's contents are Tankard Hole by R.D. Stenner.  Alfie's Hole by S.J. Collins.  Hunter's Hole by B.M. Ellis.  Fairman's Folly by R.D. Stenner.  Vee Swallet by C.A. Marriott and Vole Hole by R.D. Stenner.

Copies are available from B.M. Ellis, 41 Fore St, North Petherton, Bridgwater, Somerset at 2/6 per copy.

Copies are also available of Report No 4 "Shoring of Swallet Cave entrances" and Report No 5" A Survey of Helmets and Lighting Available for Caving." Both these are at 2/6 each.

When ordering by post please include 3d postage (l/- for 2).


The London Mountaineering Club have reserved 12 places for us on the weekend beginning 19th January at  "Fronwydyr" - their hut in Nant Peris.  Although one cannot tell what the weather will be like, we have had some excellent snow climbing in January this year.  Any member who fancies some winter climbing should contact Tony Dunn as soon as possible as 8 places have already been taken.  Transport will be provided and we aim to leave Bristol not later than 6.30 pm on the 19th.

LUD'S CHURCH or the Cavern of Ludchurch.

In the October 1961 issue of 'Country Life' was an article on Lud's Church situated 4½ miles on the eastern side of Axe Edge, Blackbrook Valley, North Staffordshire, two miles N.W. of Swythanley Park and running parallel to a stream 250 yards away.

The entrance is through a natural rock porch, down man made rough steps into the 'cave' - a narrow defile seldom wider than two feet, and sixty feet deep.  At either end are caves.  At the North end, the cave appears to descend almost vertically for "a considerable distance" but, as the article states; there is no record of it ever having been explored.  It recommends that only an experienced potholer equipped with tackle should attempt the venture.  There is a reference to the cave in Vol. 20 of the British Caver.



Pot Bottomer's Delight

by Chris Falshaw.

Having spent two years in Nottingham learning that Bass can be either mild or bitter and that the river Trent contains some of the smallest fish in England, I decided that it was high time I did some caving, Derbyshire being on our doorstep as it were.

Accordingly I have made contact with the Four Days Club here in Nottingham and have been on a couple of trips with them.  Last week we “did” Giant’s Hole together with five B.S.A. chaps from Sheffield.  We entered the cave at 7 pm on Saturday and after a short trudge along the Stream Passage we were forced onto hands and knees, then stomach, into nine inches of water. Two hundred feet from the entrance we came to the first sump, but a short climb up the left hand wall led to the most obnoxious crawl I have met for a long time.  Pillar Crawl is not very tight and not too wet, but there is a series of gours containing the blackest and foulest water imaginable, similar to coal dust soup with a dash of sump oil.  A descending passage then leads to a short crawl - with water - to the infamous "Bypass Passage Sump".  This sump was then transferred by a complex baling operation to a series of three dams leading back up the passage we had just descended and in the process creating a sump in our rear (don’t you mean at our rear? Ed). The baling apparatus consisted in hurling water about in junior oil drums and wetting as many people as possible. After an hour's baling, we were able to pass through a crawl into a fair sized chamber, which contained some fine stal flow of a whiter then whiteness colour.  From the lower edge of the chamber we descended a fifty foot permanent steel ladder - Garland's Pot - singing the praises of Messrs Dunlop and Frankenstein as the main stream was with us once more.  The base of the pitch led into a small chamber where the party stopped for fags.

And this is where the fun really starts.  The Giant's Crab Walk.  'The crabs down here jump six feet high mainly because they can't jump sideways, I suppose.  This passage consists of three thousand feet of “Random Hole Distribution" and this is the main trouble - the constant change of direction.  It is something like an insane eel crossed with a whale’s intestine.  The passage itself is not uncomfortably tight, but it is narrow enough to have to go sideways for the main part.  The walls through the passage show fine scallop marks about two to three inches across and occasionally on the vertical descents there are some fine groovings.

At the end of the Crab Walk we came to a tight bit, the Vice - which, of course, we passed with consummate ease – and which was shortly followed by the second sump, which we bypassed via a series of Rabbit Warren type passages (hence this part becomes a little hazy).  Eventually we reached a sixty foot drop - Geology Pot - which, in contrast to the rest of the cave so far, was dry.  This pot was followed by a twenty five foot drop with the   stream.  The ladder hung in the stream and a right bashing by the water was unavoidable.  So were unable to proceed much further than this, as the rest of the system was flooded.  This meant that there was about eighty feet of flood water in the cave.

He  retraced our  steps to the Bypass Passage  Sump and then climbed up into the roof to have  a look at  some formations and a  high level  sump that  the B.S.A. are working on.  We eventually reached open air at 3 am to a high wind and the sound of snapping guy lines from out tents.


Bottlehead Slocker

by Jill Rollason

Another cave was recently added to the Mendip total when Mite Thompson, Dave Causer and party broke into a new system at Dowhhead, two miles from Stoke Lane.  The cave entrance is novel - a shed is built against a rift in a small cliff, and visitors walk into the front entrance of the shed, and straight out again through the back, where an old oil drum can be seen lying on its side with much other rubbish. This oil drum is the entrance.

The rift lies at one side of a shallow valley which takes a good stream, now diminished by a waterworks reservoir at the head of the valley.  The stream sinks about ten feet, from the rift and is only encountered again at the lowest point of the system known so far.

The cave has been named Bottlehead from the locality and not from the quantity of bottles and tins blocking the entrance - apt though this might be.  It was open (but not explored) until about sixty years ago, but was gradually blocked by rubbish tipped into it.  The local farmer is very keen to have it opened and is very obliging since he is sure that he has a lucrative show cave of the future on his property and cannot be convinced otherwise!

The system consists chiefly of a wide bedding plane at an angle, of approximately forty degrees, and after sliding through the oil drum, progress is made downward through miscellaneous boulders and china for about twenty feet until the bottom, of the rubbish scree is reached.  After this, the bed carries on down in a series of small steps, the height of the roof varying from about ten feet to eighteen inches, and the width of the bedding plane being perhaps thirty feet across, but half blocked by boulders. After gradually working over to the left of the bedding plane, a drop of about six feet leads into a solutional rift chamber with a fine false floor now at waist level and some stalagmitic flow. About twenty feet further along this chamber is a deep pot in the floor, at the bottom of which is a rift where the stream is met approximately forty feet below the chamber.

When the cave was first entered, the top of the pot was blocked by a boulder the size of a piano, which was removed by Mike's special brand of magic.  When the debris had been disposed of, an attack was made on the boulder pile beneath, until a rift was entered.  This was nearly closed at the bottom by a mixture of rocks and a particularly glutinous mud, but there was air¬space to the stream beneath, which could be heard very clearly.  Digging over the following three weekends enabled the diggers to reach the water, where they were disappointed to find that the stream welled up into the passage through a six inch hole in the floor and disappeared after about ten feet into a slot only a few inches high.  Work has stopped temporarily until the next move is decided.

Bottlehead Slocker is approximately 250' long, 100' deep and is well worth a visit, especially by those who fancy a gentle cave the day after an enjoyable evening at the Hunters.


My Search For Bushman Paintings

by Sybil Bowden-Lyle.

When touring this summer in the Kruger National Park, South. Africa, with Afrikaner friends I saw my first Bushman painting.  To Grits and Kowie +Wium, my companions, it was disappointing: a wee reddish daub in a gloomy rock shelter behind an iron grating, put there to prevent tourists from, touching it: but I was very thrilled and pleased. Poking my camera through the grating as far as I could, I aimed at the 'daub' and hoped for the best.  It was fairly successful.

Later we stayed with Kowie's brother in Uniondale, a small township in Cape Province in the Little Karroo, where, from maps I knew the Bushmen had lived in large numbers.  Nobody in the district seemed interested in the possibility of paintings but, with typical South African hospitality, Sonny Wium made enquiries.  As the local doctor, his duties took him over a very extensive area and he knew all the farmers.  One of them twenty miles away, believed that one of his native boys had seen one somewhere on the farm.  We set out, five adults, four children and one native boy.  Fortunately, the rock shelter was easily accessible, although off the beaten track, just up the steep slope of a cactus covered kopie.  This time everybody was pleased for there were twenty five human figures all in the reddish paint, each one different, some; carrying bows, others shields and all nude, about five to six inches high and showing the two noted characteristics of a Bushman - enlarged pear shaped buttocks and a semi-erect penis.  In some places, superimposed at times, were various dots showing the finger prints of the Bushman artist of many years ago.  I tried to puzzle out their design but in the hour that I stayed there alone, making drawings and counting the figures and the 167 dots, I failed to find a reason for the dots being where they were, they did not follow the contours of the rock, and neither did they form any picture, just a maze of large and small finger and thumb prints, mostly black but some in red.  I took several photographs but in the car on the return Journey, the camera slipped to the floor, unnoticed, and lay above the exhaust pipe.  The whole film was completely ruined.

Before I left I returned to the farm, to thank the farmer for his help and for the loan of the native guide.  It was then that he told me that several years ago, an 'archaeologist' had asked to see these paintings.  Permission was given and the man visited the rock shelter.  Hours later he returned carrying a large chunk of rock upon which were the best paintings.  Naturally the farmer had been furious at the theft and the vandalism.  These paintings are now in the homestead and since then no-one has been granted permission to search his land.   I was extremely lucky, for Sonny is one of the most well loved and respected people in the whole area, and, without his introduction, I should never have been allowed to see these works of art.

The next painting was much more difficult to find, but, by this time, though Kowie and Grita had returned to working Cape Town, I was back in my beloved karroo with a now highly interested doctor and his just as interested family, plus another intrigued farmer.  We set out in a truck into the bush, startling wild zebra and springbok on the way.  After five miles of bumping and jolting over soil eroded stream beds and an axle-destroying track, we left the truck and entered the kloof, a kind of ravine.  Pushing our way between thorn bushes, prickly pear, various cacti, over boulders and in and out of the stream, we searched every rock shelter up on the side of the cliffs.  Neither the farmer or his friend, who carried the rifle as a protection against the many leopards which live in the region, knew where to find the painting - they had only heard rumours in their boyhood days.

Gradually the party became separated. Sonn', Juna and-the kids decided to return to the truck as the way became too difficult for the children, and Sonny intended to come again. While we had a brief consultation, the two farmers, thinking that we were all following, disappeared round a bend in the kloof.  For the next half hour I was alone in country where the two leopards had been shot the previous week.  As they attack on sight and not only when hungry, I moved on as quickly as possible to reach the protection of the men and the gun, but my feet refused to go past any rock shelter until my eyes had scanned the walls for tiny bushman paintings. Leopards or no leopards, I was determined to search the cliffs but every time I rounded a bend I expected to see a prowling beast.  I didn't know whether to make as much din as possible with my feet and scare off any would be diner or to move as silently as possible.  That scared me most, as then my ears strained to hear possible animal movements; the whereabouts of distant farmers; the sudden far off bark of the dogs or the echo of a gun shot.  All I did hear was the pounding of my own heart.  At last I caught up with the men and their dogs and we continued down waterfalls and up cliffs.

After a mile and a half we forsook the dogs as we found the shelter.  There were fewer figures but some animal paintings deer of some type. While recovering our breath, as the shelter was about fifty feet up a steep climber's type climb with a traverse of thirty feet over a drop, I started to scratch around in the floor roughly where a possible fire would have been lit by the bushman inhabitants. There, about eighteen inches down, was a charred stone; a largish piece of charred tortoiseshell and a bone. These I brought hack with me.  We just managed to return to the truck before the sun sank in the most unusual sunset I have ever seen.  That has proved successful as a colour print.

The fourth painting was the most difficult to reach, although the rock shelter was plainly visible from the track.  Sonny was by now even more eager to see paintings than I was.  While Juna and the children had a picnic by the car, we tried to cross the river channels of black water of unknown depth, hidden by twelve foot high pampas grass and tangled plants.  Half a mile downstream, I saw willow trees by an outcrop of rock and these I reached fairly easily.  After ten minutes of pushing, shoving and muttering, I managed to make a pathway through the excessive growth near the river.  Eventually I crossed the channels with the aid of the willows and remained dry. Sonny, who was determined to see the paintings before I did, got soaked, but the paintings were worth the effort.

Above several deer were figures forming an ellipse.  They were evidently dancing and were joined together by bows and bow-like instruments similar to those of present day Zulus whom I saw.  Well pleased, we returned via cactus and thorn bushes to the willow trees and home.  Sonny, his interest really roused, has contacted more farmers; heard tell of several more paintings and his telegram delivered at the airport of departure in Jo'burg told me   "Have found more paintings.  Come again."

Unfortunately I had promised to return to school in just over 24 hours - but next time I go to South Africa.......!


Balch's Hole

by Jill Rollason.

A cave was discovered on Mendip on the 3rd of November 1961, by a workman inspecting the rock face of a quarry, and the hole was first entered by members of the Cerberus Club who made arrangements for some-members of the B.E.C. to see and photograph this very beautiful system the following week.

The party made one abortive visit to the cave entrance on the 12th November, working for four hours to get the entrance sufficiently stable without success.  'Gardening', in this case meant touching rocks of many hundredweight with a twelve foot crowbar which then fell out of the roof and crashed terrifyingly to the floor about fifty feet below.  The quarry owners kindly blasted away some of the worst rock for us during the week, and a further three hours gardening on the 19th of November enabled us to face the roof hopefully if not optimistically.  Morale was not improved by the comments of the quarry foreman who said very definitely that we were crazy to risk it; that fifty tons of rock at least had fallen in the day before, and finally went off muttering "Tha's bad rock, mister' - tha's baaaaaaaad rock".

The party, consisting of Gordon Selby, Brian Prewer, Jim Giles, Mike Thompson, Alfie Collins and myself, decided to risk it.  Entry is made by an awkward rope climb up to the entrance, which opens immediately to the Main Chamber which is of almost G.B. proportions except for length and can hardly be more than ten feet below ground level in places.  A fifty foot ladder climb down a steep slope, exposed all the way to any falling rocks, leads to the bottom which is piled up with large newly detached boulders.  A traverse round a pitch in the floor and a scramble over boulders leads into stable cave beginning with a wide, level passage; wonderfully decorated with pure white and transparent stalactites.  Straws, fantastic helictites and fine pillars are abundant and the floor is crystalline with some rimstone pools.  At this point Messrs Giles and Collins decided simultaneously that this was it, and began to set up photographic gear.

The passage ends abruptly in a twenty-foot ladder climb into a small chamber with two exits, one disappearing in a pool of water after about twenty five feet, and the other leading into the further reaches of the cave.  A short scramble up a stalagmite bank brings you to a T-junction and an old stream passage which contains dead water at most times.  The water was motionless and knee deep on this occasion, but must have risen over eighteen inches over the last fortnight, as Brian Prewer said that the Cerberus party he had been on had originally found the passage dry at this point.

The stream passage to the left leads through a series of decorated rifts, mainly of sparkling flowstone, but there is a fine grotto fillet with pure white stalactites and pillars and a magnificent set of organ pipes - also white - about ten feet wide and fifteen feet high.  The main rift in this passage may lead up into another passage but it was not possible to explore without spoiling the formations.  Voice connection was made between the next rift and the photographer's paradise above the twenty foot pitch.  There is at least one bypass and the route ends where the roof meets a stalagmite floor, where a good set of gours can be seen.  A particular feature of the whole cave is the crystal on walls, roof and floor which sparkles in every beam of light.

The stream passage to the right is often only eighteen inches high, but is again a series of rifts richly decorated with, curtains and flowstone, very white.  After a while a large, chamber is entered, about four times as large as the Old Grotto in Swildons - very attractive - with two passages leading off.  One is nearly filled with water and the other is the route down via a mud slide to the true stream passage and the sump.

Mike Thompson made the trip especially to dive the sump and passed it successfully.  Unfortunately, he then encountered a second sump about ten feet beyond which has temporarily halted progress, but this second sump does not appear to be a difficult one and may well be dived in the near future.

Anyone wishing to visit the cave should get in touch with our Cerberus representative, Brian Prewer. Unauthorised visitors to the cave - which is named in honour of "Herby" Balch - will antagonise the quarry owners, who have been more than obliging, and also expose themselves to some danger from loose rocks.

Editor’s Note:    It has been pointed out to me that Balch's Hole is very similar to Stoke Lane Slocker in some respects.  If the entrance to Stoke was at the other end of the cave, and one went through the large chambers to the stream passage and thence to the sump, you would have a state of affairs very much like that in Balch's Hole.


Plantation Stream

(Is it a misnomer?)

by Bryan Ellis.

Throughout this article the following names are used for streams.  Main Stream - the stream flowing through St. Cuthbert's Swallet from the choke to the duck via Sewer Passage.  Plantation Stream - the tributary joining the Main Stream at Plantation Junction in the cave.  St. Cuthbert's Stream - the surface stream sinking in the large depression by the cave entrance.  Plantation Swallet Stream - the surface stream sinking in Plantation Swallet.

During the original exploration of St. Cuthbert's Swallet, a large tributary was found to join the Main Stream at the Eastern end of Sewer Passage; a tributary producing more water than the Main Stream in fact.  The only swallet known in the area of sufficient size was Plantation Swallet and therefore the tributary in the cave was called plantation Stream, but not without a certain amount of misgiving.  Because of the possibility of pollution, and the later agreement between the club and the owners of the cave, the water could not be contaminated by chemicals in sufficient quantity to prove the connection.  Don Coase was against any attempted proof for this reason and considered the point to be in any case only of academic interest.

In October 1957, Norman petty took a series of water temperature readings at various places in the cave and reported the results in the “Belfry Bulletin" No 118.  Those of interest to this article are as follows:-

Plantation Swallet Stream

Plantation Stream

Main Stream Dining Room

Pool of Still water in R. Warren





In recording these readings, Norman boldly assumes that Plantation Swallet Stream and Plantation Stream are the same, flowing via Continuation Chamber, but Coase - in commenting on these readings - thought that as the temperature drop was so small, the water could not be the same.

In the following B.B. (No 119 for December 1957) Don again comments on the water temperature readings and mentions that in November 1955, a few readings taken by Roy Bennett again showed the temperature of Plantation Stream to be different from that of the Main Stream.  On this occasion, Plantation Stream was 2.2o colder, presumably because of the air temperature on the surface being lower than the assumed ambient cave temperature of 8.5oF.  His conclusion was still the same, that Plantation Swallet Stream and Plantation Stream were not connected.

At Coase's suggestion, Norman petty and Paul Burt took a further and more comprehensive series of. readings of water temperatures  in December 1957 and the readings were given in the B.B. for January  1958 No 120.  On this occasion, the relevant temperatures were:-

Plantation Swallet Stream

Plantation Stream

St. Cuthbert's Stream

Main Stream in Sewer Passage





A theory was put forward by Petty and Burt as follows.  The surface air temperature was known to have risen considerably shortly before the surface stream temperatures were taken and therefore they proposed that the slower moving St. Cuthbert's Stream had approached nearer to the new air temperature than had the swiftly flowing water of plantation Swallet Stream.  The Main Stream in the cave had risen still further to reach the ambient cave temperature but Plantation Stream - although it had risen - had not reached the cave temperature.  Now, if the source of Plantation Stream was not Plantation Swallet Stream, then it must be  seepage water because there is nothing else on the surface and any seepage water would be at least at the temperature of the St, Cuthbert's Stream, because  it would be even slower moving.  As St. Cuthbert's Stream had reached cave temperature by the time it had become Main Stream at Plantation Junction, seepage water would also have done so.  But Plantation Stream is colder.  Therefore Plantation Stream must be the continuation of the stream entering plantation Swallet. Q.E.D.!

This theory seemed plausible, even reasonable, but there was still no proof of the connection.  Norman and Paul also took samples of the water from Plantation Swallet Stream and from St. Cuthbert’s Stream and chemical analysis showed the former to contain a considerably concentration of chloride ions than the latter.  Their intention was to analyse samples of the water from Main Stream and Plantation Stream in the hope  that a similar difference would be found, thus adding further weight  to their theory.   Unfortunately, it is not known whether these further samples were ever collected and tested because no further reference to them is found in the B.B.

The possible use of accumulative detectors was then realised.  These would 'add together' the  results of  several very small introductions of chemicals, and each of these introductions on their own could thus be  kept well below the minimum level which could cause contamination of the water.  The next episode in the story - as far as is known - was when in May 1958, the present author assisted Chris Falshaw in an attempt to prove the connection that had been hypothesized by Paul Burt and Norman Petty.  In the Caving Log for May 1958 (published in B.B. No 125) will be found a brief account of the setting up of 'instruments' in Plantation Stream and a negative result is implied.  In a later B.B. (No. 128, September 1958) Chris writes a little more about the experiment and explains that it consisted of adding paper maker's Alum to the water at Plantation Swallet and attempting to collect it on an ion exchange column placed in Plantation Stream.  He states that for a variety of (un-named) reasons, the results are suspect.  He mentions also that further water temperature readings had been taken, but gives no figures.

That, then, was the story as obtained from the "Belfry Bulletin" when the author carried out a further experiment during July 1961.  In Volume 3, Number 3 of the "Bulletin of the Bradford Pothole Club” Terry Marston describes a new method of water tracing that has been developed by members of the B.P.C.  Its application to the Plantation Stream problem was immediately seen.  Very briefly, the method consists of adding a very small quantity of dye to the water and collecting it at the other end of the test on specially treated hanks of cotton placed in the water.  The advantages of this method of water tracing over the more usual methods of using fluorescein are numerous.  The dye used is non-injurious to all known fresh water organisms (even the C.R.G. bug, hunters have approved its use) the small quantities required decrease cost and the danger of contamination at the resurgence; the effect is accumulative; and, most important of all, all the possible places for the re-appearance of the dye do not have to be watched continuously for an unknown length of time - one just collects the hanks of cotton at a later date!

The survey showed that Plantation Swallet lay to the East of most of the known cave and therefore the intention was to place cotton detectors in the following streams: Maypole Series; September Series; Continuation Chamber; Tin Mine and Plantation Stream.  However, when the detectors were being placed in position on the 15th July, the party was not capable of this round trip and as a preliminary experiment it was necessary to make do with these sites: Wire Rift; Maypole Stream; Main Stream at the bottom of Everest Passage and also in Sewer Passage; Plantation Stream and the Duck. After leaving the cave, twenty five grams (less than one, ounce) of the dye was added to Plantation Swallet Stream.

The following weekend, the six cotton hanks were removed from the cave and treated to remove the impurities that also stain them, and sometimes mask the dye coloration.  The results were as follows: Maypole Stream; Wire Rift; Main Stream near Everest Passage and Sewer Passage - all negative. Plantation Stream and Duck - both positive.  Therefore it is now possible to state definitely that Plantation Stream does flow from Plantation Swallet and does not have to be classed with the so-called ‘Priddy Green Stream' in Swildons Hole - as a misnomer.  One must be extremely careful in interpreting negative results in water tracing, but as the result was positive at the Duck as well as Plantation Stream (but nowhere else) it seems safe to say that none of the water from Plantation Swallet reaches the Main Stream before Plantation Junction.


Annual List of Club Member’s’ Names and Addresses

This list, which is published every year, is that which is possessed by the B.B. Postal Department and is the list of members to whom the B.B.’s are currently sent.  If your name is not on this lists or your address is wrong, please get in touch at once with the Postal Department.  C.A. Marriot, 718 Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol.


S.F. Alway

102 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


T Andrews

135 Danson Road, Bexley, Kent


T. Attwood

4 Bridge Road, Shortwood, Nr. Mangotsfield, Bristol


P.J. Badcock

Sarnia House, Coronation Street, Barnstaple, Devon


R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


M.J. Baker

Morello, Ash Lane, Wells, Somerset


D.J. Balcombe

58 Lebanon Road, Croydon, Surrey


R. Bater

108 Memorial Road, Hanam, Bristol


R. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset.


J. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset


D. Berry

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


W.L. Beynon

Bulimba Hostel, Brisbane Street, Bulimba, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


P. Bird

City Museum, Queens Road, Bristol


P.M. Blogg

1 Ridgeway Park, Ridgeway, Bristol


P.J. Borchard

35 Hallstead Road, Harrogate, Yorkshire


Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

51 Coronation Road, Bristol 3


N Brooks

Pine Lodge, Park Avenue, Camberley, Surrey.


P. Burt

3 Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts


Mrs P. Burt

3 Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts


M. Calvert

2 Eden Villas, Larkhill, Bath, Somerset


R Casling

51 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol


B.R. Chamberlain

102 Egerton Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7


D. Causer

19 Kenmore crescent, Filton Park, Bristol 7


Mrs C. Coase

Address to follow


S.J. Collins

33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8


D. Cooke-Yarborough.

The Beeches, St. Briavels, Lydney, Glos


J. Cornwell

26 Russell Road, Fishponds, Bristol


A.J. Crawford

3 Hillside, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middelsex


F.G. Darbon

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


J. Davey

25 Hanson Lane, Halifax, Yorks


Mrs A. Davies

10 Bramley Road, Street, Somerset


R. Davies

Earley Road, Reading, Berkshire


I Dear

B.T.V. Staedy, c/o C.D. Office, Portsmouth Dockyard


G. Dell

5 Millground Road, Withywood, Bristol 3


K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon


J. Downie

Dimlands, Llantwit Major, Glamorgan


A.J. Dunn

63 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol


J.A. Etough

116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol


B.M. Ellis

41 Fore Street, North Petherton, Somerset


D. England

7 Frome Way, Winterbourne, Bristol


C. Falshaw

2 Home Croft, Bramcote, Nottingham


Mrs C. Falshaw

2 Home Croft, Bramcote, Nottingham


P.G. Faulkner

251 Rowah Crescent, Langley, Middleton, Manchester


A. Fincham

Leeds University Union, Leeds 2


T. Fletcher

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


D.C. Ford

Department  of Geography, Hamilton College, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada



77 Kingshill Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


G.A. Fowler

18 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol


K. Franklin

18 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol


P. Franklin

22 Hervey Road, Wells, Somerset


A. Francis

Keedwell Cottage, Providence Lane, Long Ashton, Somerset


K.S. Gardner

Keedwell Cottage, Providence Lane, Long Ashton, Somerset


Mrs K. Gardner

92 The Grampains, Shepherd’s Bush Road, London


M.C. Garton

P.O.’s Mess, R.N.A.S. Yeovilton, Yeovil, Somerset


P.M. Giles

34 Oaklands Avenue, Northrowane, Halifax, Yorks


D. Greenwood

164 St. John’s Lane, Bristol 3


G.H. Griffiths

34 Dodworth Drive, Mettlethorpe, Wakefield, Yorkshire


S.H. Grime

The Spinney, Rickman Hill, Coulsdon, Surrey


M.H. Grimes

34 Gatehouse Close, Withywood, Bristol 3


D. Gwinnel

23673215, H.Q. Eastern Command, AMM. INSP., Mill Hill, London NW7


N.P. Hallett

Myndeep, Westwood Drive, Pill, Somerset


M. Hannam

14 Market Place, Wells, Somerset


C.W. Harris

‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset


D. Hassell

147 Evington Lane, Leicester


C.J. Hawkes

55 Ravenswood Road, Redland, Bristol


R.C. Hawkins

174 Wick Road, Brislington, Bristol 4


M.J. Healey

29 Highbury Road, Horfield, Bristol


J.W. Hill

135 Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol


S.M. Hobbs

Field View, Shepton Mallet, Somerset


M. Holland

The Hive, c/o Mr. Giddings, Boat House, Hemingford Grey, Huntingdon


G. Honey

Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.


J. Ifold

Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin, Somerset


P. Ifold

40 Richmond Street, Totterdown, Bristol


B.J. Isles

89 Broadwalk, Knowle, Bristol 4


M. Isles

50 Acacia Road, Bournville, Birmingham 30


Miss P. Irwin

38 Southdown Road, Emmer Green, Reading, Berkshire


R. Jones

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


U. Jones

1a East Avenue, Cheadle, Cheshire


W.F. Jones

35 Stothard Avenue, Lockleaze, Bristol 7


G.M. Joyner

1 Lynmouth Road, Bristol 2


R.S. King

East Anglia Brigade Depot, Burt Street, St. Edmonds, Suffolk


R. Kitchen

15 St. Martins Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


Miss L. Knight

61 Worton Way, Isleworth, Middlesex


T. Knight

365 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7


J. Lamb

12 St. Aubins Avenue, Broomhill, Brislington, Bristol 4


B.T. Lane

14 Willow View, Bairstow Lane, Sowerby Bridge, Yorks


J.M. Lane

7 Staff Cottages, Farleigh Hospital, Flax Bourton, Nr. Bristol


A.G. Lee

52 Clifton Down Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


M. Luckwill

8 Park Road, Lower Weston, Bath, Somerset


B. Lynn



P. Mack

22 Kingshold Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


C.A. Marriott

718 Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol 5


T.K. Marston

23 Lockyear Road, Mutley, Plymouth, Devon


E.J. Mason

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


P.J. Miller

130 Longmead Avenue, Bishopston, Bristol 7


D.W. Mitchell

2 Selwood Road, Frome, Somerset


G. Mossman

5 Arlington Gardens, Arlington Villas, Clifton, Bristol 8


K. Murray

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


A. Nash

23714348 Pte A.G. (Int) Kahawa Camp, B.F.P.O. 10


T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset


Mrs T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset



Oldfield Park Lodge, Wells Road, Bath, Somerset


M.A. Palmer

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


Miss S.E. Paul

14 Upper Brighton Road, Surbiton, Surrey


L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol


A. Philpot

3 Kings Drive, Bishopston, Bristol


T. Pink

53 Burnthwaite Road, Fulham, London SW6


G. Platten

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


B. Prewer

Greenfields Farm, Upper Coxley, Wells, Somerset


R.J. Price

2 Weeks Road, Bishop Sutton, Somerset


L. Pritchard

58 Belper Road, Derby


J.M. Pullman

Badgers Wood, Brockley, Bristol


D. Radmore

2 Dunkeld Road, Filton, Bristol


J. Ransom

15 South View, Lenthay, Sherborne, Dorset


C.H.G. Rees

10 Clarence Road, Bristol 2


Mrs Rees

10 Clarence Road, Bristol 2


A.L.C. Rice

13 Wades Road, Filton, Bristol


A. Rich

c/o Pox 126, Basham, Alberta, Canada


P.A. Richards

119 Welbeck Road, West Harrow, Middlesex


Mrs P.A. Richards

119 Welbeck Road, West Harrow, Middlesex


R.J. Roberts

5 Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset


Mrs Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6


G. Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6


Miss J.P. Rollason

157 Pen Park Road, Redland, Bristol 6


A. Sandall

35 Beauchamp Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7.


Mrs. A. Sandall

35 Beauchamp Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7.


B.M. Scott

23 Gunter Grove, Chelsea, London SW16


G. Selby

38 Hawkers Lane, Wells, Somerset


R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset


R. Setterington

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


J. Simonds

31 Springfield Lane, Teddington, Middlesex


C. Smith

48 Windsor Road Leyton, London E10


D. Smith

3 Providence Place, Reading, Berks.


J. Stafford

Wern Isaf, Pethel, Cearns


Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


T.H. Stanbury

6 Aubrey Road, Bristol 3


R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


Mrs. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


P.A.E. Stewart

397 Walton Road, West Molesley, Surrey


D.M. Thomas

12 Clarence Road, Bristol 2


M. Thompson

Ashen Hill Cottage, Priddy, Somerset


J. Tierney

Flat 3, 37 Hawley Sq., Margate, Kent


G.E. Todd

Sundayshill Cottage, Falfield, Glos


J. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


Mrs. D. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


E. Towler

11 St. Phillips Road, London E8


S. Tuck

38 Westbury Hill, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


R.M. Wallis

Swildons, 343 Upton Lane, Widnes, Lancs


G.O. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield


Mrs. G. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield


J. Waddon

7 Haydon Road, Taunton, Somerset


C.F.W. Wheadon

237600799 Infantry Workshop R.E.M.E. Rhine Camp, Dhekelia, B.F.P.O. 53


R. Winch

1 Stanley Villa, Crewkerne, Chard, Somerset


R.A. Woodford

80 Torrington Road, Ruislip, Middlesex


E.A. Woodwell

50 Glanfield Road, Beckenham, Kent


R.F. Wyncoll

9 St. Christians Croft, Cheylesmore, Coventry




































































































































































































































































































1 Across:  Trail pew to track down your quarry (8)
5  Across:  More appropriate across than down (8)
9  Across:  The Shepton……(5)
10 Across: 373560 (6)
11 Across: Seen in French caves & until recently near the Belfry (3,3)
12 Across: I do it, being stupid (5)
13 Across: Water may in ground or you in water (4)
16 Across: There is a singular version of 41 across having this 30 across in G.B. (4)
17 Across: Found in static layer (4)
18 Across: Not normally found in 5 down (4)
23 Across: A contribution to a pillar eventually (11,6)
24 Across: Let tool shed back'er (describes it’s situation nicely!) (10,7)
29 Across: Dear’s is curtailed here.  (4)
30 Across: 1 and 10 across are examples of this   (4)
32 Across: Common to Chamber, Wood or Hole on Mendip.   (4)
33 Across: Do this and you may make a 25 down (or find trouble)   (4)
35 Across: a 34 down in Cuthbert’s.  (5)
37 Across: ‘Tis sex – and with us now. (6)
38 Across: A 29 across.  (6)
39 Across: Runs on twacks.  (5)
40 Across: Morton's Pot has them and Swildons has the middle Part.  (8)
41 Across: See 14 down (8)

1   Down:  Three cubed from Bristol (5,3)
2   Down:  Poisons (6)
3   Down:  36 down may not have it, but 18 across does (4)
4   Down:  Wine drips on dry bar - One over the eight, presumably!  (6,4,7)
5   Down:  18 across is not-normally encountered here(3,2,8,4)
6   Down:  This hole has recently been reported. (4)
7   Down:  Not possessed by 12 across. (6)
8   Down:  Dig in. (8)
14 Down:  You could wear this caving or 17 across could this a 41 across   (4)      
15 Down:  Only mugs are this, presumably (4)
19 Down:  Bend to put nothing in 34 or 36 down. (5)
20 Down:  You might have beer on this, but don't put beer on it.  (5)
21 Down:  A form of 26 down. (5)
22 Down:  Inclined.   (5)
24 Down:  They are painted in many colours in song.  (8)
25 Down:  Water movement in Red Dye.   (4)
26 Down:  The 21 down type of this may use a part of this beheaded   (4)
27 Down:  Concerning photographs (or second hand articles)  (8)
28 Down:  Describes the start of no caving trip   (2,4)
31 Down:  4 or 6 are heard in the Hunter's   (6)
34 Down:  35 across means this   (4)
36 Down:  See 3 down or 19 down. (4)


by the Editor

That's all for this issue - a new record number pf pages for the B-B.  We must apologise to those who sent in articles which did not get printed. Especially to Jim Giles, who has sent in an excellent review of the year's digging activities which will be printed very shortly.  Observant readers will also note that, in addition to all the usual typing errors, two new forms of typewriter pox have struck.  One is sticking of letters due to the damp and is being remedied by taking all the keys out and washing them in "omo" and "the other is carriage sticking - causing printing like the 'and' being squashed.  If any member knows the cure for this, we shall be mosy obliged.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle , Bristol 4.
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept. C.A. Marriott, 718, Muller Rd, Eastville, Bristol.