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Caving in Derbyshire Part 1.

by  Stan Gee

As there appears to be a growing like of caving in Derbyshire, amongst B.E.C. members, I thought I would write, for the benefit of future visitors, a series of brief articles on Derbyshire and its caves.  So salvaging my pen from the dustbin, I commence my scrawl.

First, let me try to describe Derbyshire without sounding too much like a tourist’s guide book.

Derbyshire is a land of sudden contrasts, from the bleak, grit-stone mountains, to the equally bleak limestone moors.  It offers much scope for practically all outdoor activities, for instance: - in the summer there is mountaineering and rock-climbing, caving, canoeing etc., whilst the winter provides some fine skating and skiing.  Its mountains are high enough to provide the necessary thrill of mountaineering, but they are not high enough to be extremely strenuous.  The only exception to this is Kinder Scout, (2,080ft.) which is high and under winter conditions very dangerous to inexperienced climbers.

At the other extreme Derbyshire possesses caves that are extensive and deep, and which are often arduous.  The cave areas can be divided into a few main groups, though there are smaller areas surrounding them.  The main areas are: - Manifold and Dovedale area; Myam and Stony Middleton area; Matlock area, and, lastly, the main caving areas of Castleton and Bradwell Moor.

The types of caves differ greatly, from extensive horizontal caverns to deep vertical caves.  Derbyshire caves are rather singular in that though many of them possess deep drops, there are only three open potholes of any note.  These are Elden Hole, Nettle Pot and Mountbatten Hole.  I will deal with these in future articles.

Our ‘pot’ occurs underground, and the majority of our caves are entered by nine shafts and passages.  For instance, Oxlow Cavern has a mineshaft entrance of 55 feet, and a second shaft of 40 feet before the first natural cavern of reached.  Thus, many of our caves are if not approached with caution somewhat dangerous due to the age and sometimes loose condition of the mine workings.

Generally speaking however, an explorer entering the caves that I will mention need have no fear, as most of them are quite safe.

Again in contrast, Derbyshire has several fine horizontal caves, of both Debaucher and Engulfment types.

Unfortunately, though our caves possess some large and impressive caverns, they are singularly lacking in formation, and only a pitiful few can compare with the wonderful formations of both Yorkshire and the Mendips.

So much for Derbyshire in general.  In my next article I will attempt to describe some of the caves of the Manifold area and Dovedale area.

Stan Gee.


This is a final reminder that outstanding Annual Subscriptions are now very much overdue.  If these are not paid at once you will receive no further copies of reminders (in the shape of the BB).

The revised Subscriptions are as follows: -

Life Membership            £5/5/-
Joint (Man & Wife)          17/6
Full Membership             12/6
Junior Membership            7/6,

All subscriptions should be sent to Bob Bagshaw, Hon. Treas., 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4


In the Feb. B.B., C. Falshaw was stated as being Climbing Sec.  This is wrong.  It should read C. Falshaw Assistant Caving Sec. & Assistant Tackle Officer.

A. Sandall.

Changes of Address.

A. Thomas,
Kingsdon Manor School,

Mr. & Mrs. Setterington,

Mr. & Mrs. Cantle,
The Dower House,
Barrow Hill,
Nr. Bristol.

Nr. A.J. Crawford.,
3, Hillside,
Nr. Uxbridge,

Additions to Club Library.

Cave Science Vol.3. No 23.  Jan.1955,
Newsletter of W.C.C. No 49.  Feb.1955.
Newsletter of N.S.S. Vol.15. No. l. Jan. 1955.


Members are reminded that the Library is provided for their use.  It contains a vast amount of caving ‘Gen’ and is constantly, at considerable expense, being added to.  If you have any caving questions that want an answer, you will probably find it in the Library.


‘Cloudy Skye’

By M. Hannam & I. Dear.

The epic starts with the authors arriving at Kyle of Loch Alsh in moderate rain.  On crossing the oggin to Skye the change in weather was remarkable.  Moderate rain became p-p-pelting rain while the wind rose violently.  Some thirty miles of motoring in this weather took us to Sligahin, an hotel with a bar and therefore one of the most important places on the island.  From Sligahin to Glen Brittle the road steadily worsened until the last few miles were an apology for a cart track.  The bike carried us gallantly though the rain to the first house in Glen Brittle and then it grunted and gave up, the ghost.  Whilst the engineering half of the party preformed prodigious feats on the machine, the other half set out in the howling gale in search of accommodation and feeling very much like Captain Oakes at the South Pole.  However an hour or so later the bike was restored to health and we were soon drying and feeding our faces.  Perhaps Skye would not be so bad after all.

Next morning we rose brightly, looked out of the window and went back to bed again.  Rain and mist were everywhere.  After a long delay we walked to the Post Office to buy picture cards of the Coolins to see what they looked like.  Then a walk around the coast for some bracing (?) air.  Back at 6pm. For food and kip.  The following day: three cheers, no rain and visibility to 1,500 feet.  The expedition arose and after breakfasting on oats (Scotch variety) assaulted Corrie Lagen.  Weather continued to improve and we climbed Ogurr Pearg.  Good views and magnificent rock scenery were everywhere.  Skye seemed quite a pleasant place.  On the way down the long scree slopes Ian was suddenly and forcibly reminded of Newton’s First law and had to perform a frantic lowering of air flaps and such like things to decelerate before smearing himself on the floor of the corrie.  Monday: another fairly fine day so we joined a party travelling to Loch Coruish in a motor fishing boat.  The skipper was a very picturesque figure with a beard that could be classified as Belfry Grade A.

Soon a shower of walkers, climbers and scouts were landing at Coruish, also a photographer (not specially hired for the occasion.)  This area and the shores of nearby Loch Scavig is famous for its glaciated boulders scoured and grooved by the ice.  After examining some of these the B.E.C. expedition chose an easy way back to Glen Brittle over pass Banadich.  We climbed the long scree slopes to the col while the mist and rain obligingly came down to meet us.  Eventually we descended to glen Brittle in a steady downpour.  A misty and rainy Tuesday was spent touring the island, whilst on Wednesday a very wet ridge walk was carried out on Banadich.

The rest of this article is to be devoted to one of the skilful arts practiced on Skye.  After several days research on the subject we decided to call this the ‘Tourist Deceit Art’.  One of the minor points of this art is that all the locals are organised in a league to deceive tourists about the weather.  The idea is that when talking to a new tourist (sheltering from the rain in a pub or under a tree) remarks are passed on “what a nice day it was yesterday” or “What a nice day it will be tomorrow”.  The innocent is buoyed up day after day with this sort of talk until eventually he leaves the island thinking that he has been unlucky in choosing the only wet week of the year.  Fool!  Little does he know that he has had a sample of typical Skye weather and that it’s going to be exactly the same when he returns the following year.  The idea is carried to further lengths by the shops and Post Offices, which sell beautiful coloured postcards of the Coolins bathed in sunshine.  People buy these cards in dozens as it is often the only way in which people can gain an idea of what the hills should look like.  Fools again!  Since the rain and the mist is perpetual, nobody has ever seen what the Coolin's really look like and the photos are imported from Norway, Switzerland and such places.  Yes, the tourist deceit idea is carried to great lengths and if you don’t believe all this, go to Skye and find out.

Advice for the Motor-cycling fraternity.

Having decided to visit Skye on your motor-cycle - a trusted steed of many winters and not one of the shining new gadgets to be seen at the members’ car park – may we suggest that you a.) take a complete set of spares and tools with you and b.) remember to waterproof your ignition system.  No motor-cycle spares are available on the island, not even pumps.  Petrol is not sold on Sundays in Scotland, although petrol and oil of the Shell/B.P. Group is obtainable even Glen Brittle.

May we also remind you it’s a long way from Bristol to Skye.

M. Hannam.
I. Dear.

A letter to the Caving Sec.

The Castle,
      Nr. Wells.

Dear Mr. Collins,

Following His Grace’s recent visit to his estates, he has, as usual, asked me to pass on to you a few observations.

In previous correspondence, His Grace stressed the desirability of hosing down the Club’s cave.  His recent visit indicated that this had been done, but I am desired to point out that the object of this operation was to remove the mud, and that the use of muddy water has merely aggravated the situation.  The fact that further liberal watering was in progress during His Grace’s exit from the cave was, we trust, entirely fortuitous.

The Hon. Secretary had clearly been warned of His Grace’s visit and had sent a written circular to all members appraising them of the occasion and requesting their absence on that weekend.  The crowded state of the Belfry and the unsullied coachwork of the Bentley clearly bears out your observation on the literacy of members.

His Grace understands that some unkempt fellow from foreign parts has been making quite unauthorised use of his name.  I am desired to make it plain that this practice is most undesirable and must cease forthwith.

                                                I remain, Sir,
                                                   Your obedient servant,
                                                      R.M. Wallis.
                                                Private Secretary
                                    To His Grace the Duke of Mendip,
                                                Baron Priddy, &c.

P.S.  His Grace wishes me to add that he understands the Club’s failure to lay out the red carpet on the occasion of his visit was due to lack of funds for its cleaning.  It is our desire to assist the Club in this matter, but His Grace is, at the moment, having difficulty with his own laundry bills and we must therefore regretfully withhold any direct financial grant.  We should, however be happy to provide a large bar of soap if this would be of assistance.


T.H. Stanbury, Hon. Editor. 48, Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
R.J. Bagshaw Hon. Sec., 56, Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristo1. 4.
A. Sandall, Hon. Assist. Sec. 35, Beauchamp Road, Bishopston, Bristol. 7.


Gower – Pays des Caverns

by  Keith Gardner

Most people, when they think of South Wales and its caves, travel in their mind’s eye northwards up the valleys to Craig-y-Nos, to such caves as Dan yr Ogof of Ffynnon Ddu.  Very few know anything about that prolific hunting ground, Gower, and still fewer even bother to visit this wild and beautiful peninsula.  Perhaps this is because most of these caves lie on the coast and sea caves are never popular with speleos, being the haunt of ‘weegies’.  Gower caves, however, are not all purely formed by the sea – many of them the remains of ancient swallet systems long since dissected by the advancing ocean, and standing now on raised beaches.  The Atlantic breakers have eroded the lower levels of breccia and other filling, leaving us with double-deck caves, one above the other, or with shelves and galleries of stalagmite covered breccia adhering to the walls high above our heads.

For many thousands of years man has made these caves his home, in fact the earliest known burial in Britain was found here.  At Goats Hole, Paviland, in the 1820’s Dean Buckland started an excavation and discovered the headless remains of a young man, smothered in red ochre and laid out in ceremonial fashion.  With the body were found shells, ivory ornaments, the skull of an elephant and flint implements which dated the burial as Aurinnacian.  Cat Hole in Parc le Breos, has also been proved to have sheltered Palaeolithic man of this period, and in Bacon Hole a few years ago was thought to have been made the great discovery of cave art!  Ten wide red bands were noticed on the wall of the inner chamber and l’Abbe Breuil, the world’s famous expert on French and Spanish cave art, likened them to eight similar ones at the Grotte de la Font de Gaume at les Eyzies.  Modern opinion, however, now attributes them to natural causes…?

After the Old Stone Age we find Mesolithic represented on Burry Holmes, an islet on the N.W. coast, although the writer hopes to find traces of cliff top sites similar to Cornish ones, this coming spring.  The Neolithic and Bronze Ages also left their mark in the caves, but are chiefly remembered by megaliths and barrows on the moors.  King Arthur’s Stone on Cefn Bryn and the Parc le Breos tomb being fine examples.

With the age of Iron and the infiltration of Roman cultures we again find surface monuments in the way of hill forts, etc., but many relics of occupation were left in the coastal caves.  Our friend Ted Mason has found traces even of Saxon visitation in Minchin Hole.

Minchin is an impressive site, being a deep and narrow ravine with its landward end roofed in.  Ninety feet above the floor is a hole which once must have borne an active stream, and the presence of passage entrances high up in the side walls suggests that is has cut through and even older system.

Perhaps figures are needed to persuade the Craig-y-Nos fan: in eighteen miles of carboniferous coast line there are over sixty caves – an average of approximately one every five hundred yards!


Additions to Club Library.

British Caver Vol. 25.  1954.
Out of Doors July/August. 1954.
True (U.S.A. Pub.)  July. 1954.
Newsletters S.W.C.C.  No. 9.  July. 1954.

In True there is a report of a cave with the main chamber 1½ miles long, with a photograph of it.

J. Ifold.


Stan Gee is now stationed at Borden, Hants, and would like to know if anyone is interested in organising a trip to Godstone Chalk Workings, or if anyone knows of any archaeological work going on in the area, which is not far from London.  His full address is: -

T23025204 Dvr. Gee S., 13th. Army Fire Brigade, R.A.S.C., Borden, Hants.

A little bird has whispered that Stan is getting married in April and will, he hopes, be on Mendip about this time.

Gazzum’s Brain Child.

By Jill Rollason.

Egbert Ethelred Gilbert Gazzum
Was a caver full of enthusiasm;
As soon as he a grotto found
He raised his heels and went to ground,
And others tried to coax around.
But soon he found, despite his craving,
That Cavers were not made for caving:
Some were too fat, some were too tall,
While some just wouldn’t cave at all.

Now Egbert had an active brain
And friends to whom he could explain.
He spoke to them of caverns which,
Because of squeeze or awkward pitch
Were doomed to say unvisited
While cute types went to Gough’s instead.
The Studious engineers and craftsmen,
And soon produced a marvellous plan
Of a super-mechanised caving-man
(With sketch to show where it began).

They built it up from servo-tabs
And engines whipped in dribs and drabs,
With axial compressor made
To fit the Glyco-cooling blade;
Then so as not to work by halves
They gave it gyroscopic valves.

“I know,” exclaimed young Egbert Gazzum,
“Let’s cover it with ectoplasm”.    And as it looked a chilly job
They threw in a de-icing knob.
They added for his comfort’s sake
Enormous stomach built to take
Beer, cider, gin and Sett’s mistake,
With valves devised by crafty brain
To stop it coming up again.

Their work was done, but how to make
The thing get up and stay awake?
They brought in rocket-fuel inventors
From Harwell and some other centres,
Who settled down in happy glee
Beneath a fog of secrecy,
And finally evolved a cross
Of sprocket-oil and candy floss,
Of Teepol, gelignite and glue
Which made a nauseating brew.
They sprinkled in an ounce of sand,
And fingers from a climber’s hand
Which after long disuse had dropped
When climbs for rug-making were swapped.

The hour had come, grave locks amid,
They raised his centrifugal grid
And peered into his attrody.
“Good Lord”, cried Egbert with a shout,
“They’ve left his ultra-prisms out!”

They nabbed a funnel from the store
And locked and bolted every door,
Then poured the noisome mixture in
To gurgle down his abdomen.

A million volts went through and through,
The robot’s face went mauve and blue –
Then experts pushed with cotter pin
A thermostatic capsule in.

At length our Egbert went in glee
His haunts on Mendip Hills to see,
And showed Stan there a monster place,
The refuge of his fellow race.
He saw their yachts tied up to trees
In circles round the Minories,
And eyed until his head was giddy
The Daimlers parked as far as Priddy.
They entered in the Belfry first
Whose occupants were wondrous versed
In scientific lore and learning
(Like axle jumps and sprocket-turning)
In which they all were most discerning.

But Stanley sniffed: before they knew it
He showed then better ways to do it,
‘Till after blows and protests vocal
They went to sorrow at the local.

Egbert Ethelred Gilbert Gazzum
Had still not lost enthusiasm,
But as his babe and B.E.C.
Could do naught else but disagree,
He felt ‘twas best their paths diverge
When next he felt the caving urge.
Accordingly, one summer’s morn
He grabbed his clothes all ripped and torn,
He went alone, some time to pass
At Hunter’s Lodge with brimming glass.

It so occurred as there he mused
Thinking of caves his friend refused,
That suddenly he saw a girl
 (Of ins and outs and blonde curl)
Who set his whole mind in a whirl.
For she was slim enough a lass
The Devil’s Elbow swift to pass,
Her eyes were long, her ankles neat,
Her eyes a-gleam, her lips a treat.
I short, she was the perfect pip
To take upon a caving trip,
So Egbert thought the little drip.
He told her so, and showed her snaps
Of favourite caves and perhaps
She thought that he intended wrong,
He said he’d bring a friend along.

So once again young Stan he brought
To Mendip where an inn they sought.
Here Egbert filled him up with beer
Which made his antics rather queer,
For liquor on an empty tum
Is not the thing advised by Mum
(Though preferable to drinking rum)
His charming friend he introduced
To Stan, whose eyes turned red and fused,
But having put this detail straight
They got to Swildons, rather late.

Egbert Ethelred Gilbert Gazzum
Pushed friend into the dirty chasm,
And soon here was a Mighty Hall
Were lads had ducked ‘neath waterfall,
For Stan set all his valves in action
To dig away by screw-attraction
His gyroscopic blades grew hot
But made quite double of the Grot,
‘Til soon the blonde and Egberts stood
Gazing upon the icy flood.
The cavers’ chiefest foe is friction
Stan had conquered this affliction,
And now with pre-fabrical spade
Young Stan a super stairway made
And into other caverns strayed.

Our Egbert spoke of rock with zest
The girl friend showed great interest.
He talked of stalagmite formation,
Helictites and their location,
Then, solely to inform his guest
They sat awhile to have a rest.
They did not think of Stan, though he
Still dug his way ecstatically:
This was his life, the sprocket oil
That filled his veins was on the boil
And he could not want no other toil.
But soft! His supercharged leapt –
Upon the air sweet perfume crept,
And ectoplastic nose a quiver
Stan hurried down along the river.
His life was short, his deeds were great,
The robot met a noble fate.
For, though all bods presumed him drowned,
A secret whiskey still he found.
What better prizes underground?

What of the blonde, you ask no doubt –
‘Tis certain she did not come out.
Egbert Ethelred Gilbert Gazzum
Had changed his first enthusiasm.
Ideas had flowered since he’d met her,
Limestone was fine: but girls were better.


The above epic was far too good to be printed a little at a time, and I hope that Jill can supply us with more of a similar nature later.



I should like to thank all those who have been sending in material for the BB since Christmas.  We are ensured of publication for some time to come.  This does not mean, however, that the flow should stop; on the contrary, let it increase into a flood, and then we can increase the size of the BB.  It has been my ambition to double the number of pages for some time, and with the assistance of all, it could be done.



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


A Happy New Year to Members of the Bristol Exploration Club from Caxton, his team of slaves and the Editor.


Thanks to the efforts of several members and to a little ‘Pruning’ here and there, we are able to continue publication of the BB for the time being.  An earnest appeal is made to call to send in material suitable for publication.



We have been asked to print the following:-

To Whom It May Concern.

Notice is herby given that Mr. M. Hannam T.B.C.O.M., has reluctantly decided to relinquish his honorary title of T.B.C.O.M. to Gilbert Gruff Esq., R.I.P. of Mendip.  A close Analysis of Mr. Gruff’s activities, as revealed in the well known bardic legend, shows that he undoubtedly deserves this honour (!) more than any other person on Mendip.  The title of B.F. will be awarded to Mr. Gruff’s kangaroo for services rendered.

Accidents (Concluded)

By J.V. (Menace) Morris.

Having dealt with exposure in the last issue of the BB, I will now dwell on the other kinds of caving or climbing mishaps.

They are:-

Fractures; Contusions; Sprains and Lacerations.

Fractures can be quite common and varied.

The main symptoms of a fracture are usually as follows:- Visual. i.e., bent or misshapen limbs, undue mobility, or complete lack of same, swelling, and lastly the most dangerous, crepitus.  Crepitus is the grating of the broken ends of the bone together. 

I need hardly say that it is most stupid to test for a fracture in this way.  All these symptoms are accompanied by great pain.

If the fracture is compound or complicated, i.e., bone crushed or broken ends piercing the flesh, greatest care should be taken.  The victim should be treated for shock, which is usually extreme with fractures.  The wound should be then dusted with Sulphanilamide powder, a sterile shell dressing lightly bound over it, or if this is not available, any clean and if possible, sterile dressing available.  The limb should then be splinted.  Anything rigid may be used as a splint; a ladders rung, trenching tool handle; and ice axe, in fact, anything that comes to hand.  In the case of a fractured leg the victim’s other leg would serve.

In cases of' severe haemorrhage a pressure bandage should be applied.  A tourniquet should not be used unless other means fail.  Even then it should not be kept on for more than twenty at the outside.  Keeping it applied longer than this leads to gangrene.  (A ‘pressure bandage’ must not be covered by any other dressing.  Ed.)

All bad wounds, especially to limbs, should be treated in this way and immobilised, and the possibility of a fracture should not be ruled out.  Never pour iodine on a wound as it is now out of date, causes increased shock and burning, with resulting scar tissue.

If available, the victim should be given two tablets of Sulphathiozole (M & B) every two hours to minimise infection.

There is always the possibility of a fractured skull.  If the skull is visibly fractured there is not a lot one can do for the victim.  However, a fractured skull need not be fatal.  Other signs of a fractured skull are bleeding from the ears and nose.  The victim will probably have a violent headache, though not always.  He may lose the use of his limbs, and pupils of his eyes be dilated and vacant with little or no reaction to light.  He will not necessarily become unconscious.  As soon as a fractured skull is suspected the victim should be kept as quiet as possible, and expert medical aid obtained at once.

Internal haemorrhage.  This is extremely serious and can be caused by broken bone ends piercing the internal organs; e.g. fractured ribs or pelvis.  There may be no outward sign, although there may be bleeding from the mouth.  Other signs are rapid shallow pulse and respiration, and a sharp drop in body temperature.  The same treatment applies as for a fractured skull.

In any case of serious or suspected serious injury, medical aid should be obtained as soon as possible.  A man’s life may depend on how quickly the rescue can be effected.  Also, of course, you can do a lot to help whilst waiting for assistance.  Don’t panic, keep cheerful, for the victim’s sake, even if you don’t feel it, and get expert medical aid as soon as possible.

I have not written this to try and frighten anyone, but to point out that you, everyone of you, can help in some way in case of emergency.


Committee Notice.

The committee regrets to have to announce that owing to the continued rise in the cost of material, etc., it will be necessary to increase the Annual Subscription by 2/6 per head for 1955.


Change of Address.

Postle & Dizzie Thompsett, 51 Rothmans Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.
A.J. (Tony) Crawford, 3 Hillside, Harefield, Nr. Uxbridge, Middx.

Additions to Club Library.

The Speleologist No. 8
C.R.G. Newsletter No. 48 May/June 1954.
C.R.G. Newsletter No. 49/50 July/Oct. 1954.
N.S.S. Newsletter Vol. 12 No. 9 Sept. 1954.
N.S.S. Newsletter Vol. 12 No. 11 Oct. 1954.
S.W.C.C. Newsletter No. 10 Oct. 1954.
B.C.C.C. Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 9 Oct. 1954.
B.C.C.C. Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 10 Nov. 1954.


A few notes on French Caves.

By Alan Wrapson of the W.S.G.

During our trip to France we (members of the W.S.G.) had an unlimited choice of terrain, and our main problem was to pick out which systems to investigate in the limited time at our disposal.

Whilst at Rocmadour we visited Padirac - the show portions.  We found the French Authorities most helpful and willing to show the non-tourist sections if they were given a little notice.  We also spent many sporting hours in ‘our’ type of caves - some of the ones known to B.E.C. members and also others pointed out to us by the local speleos.  I regret that I cannot give references as the maps that I marked are not now in my possession, but I can perhaps tell you a little of one system: -

The cave is near the road from Montevidean to Gramat, and the entrance is at the end of a steep sided valley.  A stream joins the passage a few yards inside the cave, and then the passage and stream press on together.  The passage-way is large, but wading up to the waist cannot be avoided.  (The cave has the appearance that in flood time the water level is very high and the flow very fast!)  There is a vast accumulation of debris in the bed of a stream.  The water passage leads into a large inviting chamber with steep muddy walls, the stream by this time having taken a different course.

After one hour from the entrance the stream plunges over the edge of a vertical pot, and I have never seen a pot with such smooth sides.  Progress further without tackle is impossible, and I would say a 10 foot ladder with a thirty foot tether is required at this point.  The water level is some ten feet below the approach passage and this lower level appears to be a small (??) lake which vanished into the darkness on the left.  With a strong torch beam we could not tell the depth of water at the bottom of this pot.

I want to return at some future date to this ‘very sporting’ system and find out a little more about its history, flooding etc.

Whilst at Annecy we visited la Grotte de la Diau, some 15 miles from the town.  The cave is fed by glacic water and was more than a little cold!!!  We had borrowed a rubber boat from a member of the Speleo Club de Lyon, but did not progress far owing to the intense cold.  This cave appears to be very dangerous in flood time; we found a badly mauled and shredded dinghy and a light weight metal ladder that was almost unrecognisable. As such.

When we were in Lyon for a night we were treated to a spectacle one never sees in England: - a showcase full of every conceivable type of cave formation splendidly illuminated by concealed lights.  We were rather taken aback but then, the French seem to have plenty more where they came from.

A. Wrapson.

What About Your Voting Form?

YOUR vote may put YOUR candidates on the Committee.  If you fail to send in your form you have only yourself to blame if your selected candidates lose by a narrow margin.


FILL IN YOUR VOTING FORM - TODAY, Put it in the envelope provided AND MAKE SURE THAT


The above also applies to Resolutions for the A.G.M.  If you have any bright ideas for the betterment of the B.E.C.  Let us hear about it at the A.G.M. as the A.G.M. is the right place for all such brainwaves and also for criticism, if any.



T.H. Stanbury        Hon. Ed. 48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
R.J. Bagshaw,       Hon. Sec.  56, Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol.4.
K.C. Dobbs,           Assist. Hon. Sec., & BB Distribution & printing, 55 Broadfield Road, Bristol .4.

Financial Statement for year to 21st December,1954

Annual Subscriptions


45    8      -

Interest on Post Office account (2 years)


2      9    11

Redcliffe Hall:         Levy
                            Less hire

13     -     6
12     -      -

1       -      6



1      8      9.

Deficiency for year


39    4      8½



89  11    10½

Belfry:                   Expenditure
                            Less Receipts

75   14   -½
35    7     7

40    6      5½

"BB": Stencils paper etc.,

12   14     3
6      6     7½

19     -    10½

Tackle:                  Expenditure
                            Less Levy

13   19     6
3      6      -

10  13      6

Public Liability Insurance


7    19      4

postages & stationery


3    10    10.



2    12      6.

National Speleo Society of America


1    17      1.

Annual Dinner:       Receipts
                            Less cost

22   17     6.
21   13     6

1      4      -

Goods for resale:    Purchases
                            Less sales

7      9     9
6    19     7½

-     10      1½



1    17      2



89  11    10½

Total Club monies 1.1.54


65    8      5½

Less Deficiency for year as above


39    4      8½



26    3      9.

Post Office Savings Bank balance 31.12.54


36  15      5

Cash in hand 31.12.54


9       -      4



45  15      9

Less reserve for Annual Dinner 29.1.55


19  12      -.

Total club monies 31.12.54


£26  3      9

Annual General Meeting 1955

To be held at The Redcliffe Community Centreat 2:15 on Sat 29 Jan


  1. Election of Chairman
  2. Collection of ballot papers
  3. Collection of member resolutions
  4. Election of 3 tellers for ballot
  5. Adoption of minutes of 1954 A.G.M.
  6. Hon Sees Report
  7. Hon Treas Report
  8. Caving Report
  9. Climbing Report
  10. Tackle Report
  11. Belfry Report
  12. Library Report
  13. Members resolutions
  14. A.O.B.

Members Resolutions may be handed in at the start of the A.G.M. but for admin reasons it would be appreciated if they could be passed to The Asst Hon Sec 55 Broadfield Rd Bristol 4, well before this date.

Resolutions so far received .

  1. Proposed.  That the Quorum required for an Annual General Meeting shall be 30 members or one third of the paid up strength of the Club
    D Hasell
  2. Proposed.  That once yearly a complete list of members addresses be circulated as a supplicant to one issue of the "B.B"
    J Waddon
  3. Proposed.  That the number of persons serving on the committee should be made official.
    K C Dobbs.
  4. That some steps be taken to get some younger members on the Committee.
    K C D


Report on the Annual General Meeting 1955.

Dan Hasell was elected as Chairman for the meeting.

The Minutes if the 1954 A/G.M. were adopted.

The Hon. Sec’s report was brief; membership had risen by one to 118. The estimated number of 95 people at the dinner was an increase of 40 on last year. The club donated £5 to the Balch Testimonial Fund.  Members had so far subscribed £2/2/-.  He stressed the need of advising change of address.

The Hon. Treas. Report was adopted, subject to a small item being rectified.  The usual Belfry profit this year had been absorbed by the re-felting of the roof.  He did not favour the building of a new Tackle/Changing Room until the matter of site ownership was cleared.

A slight decrease in the number of caving trips was reported.  This seemed due to bad weather.  R. Gardner asked when something was to be published on Cuthberts.  D. Coase replied that this would be done when the Proceedings were published. K. Dobbs was asked why the entry restriction to Cuthberts was continued.  The answer was that the cave was not yet fully explored.  Due to the size of the cave it is impracticable to let people wander around, but parties are catered for.


  It was reported that the club now has 55ft. of wood and wire ladder, 70ft. of dural and 36ft. of ultra-lightweight.  The usual Question ‘Where are the digging implements?’ was asked, and, as usual, was not answered.  The use of the ultra-lightweight tackle was explained that it was not robust enough for general use and that the safety factor of this tackle was low.


Bed nights were down by 84 to 746, possible due to fewer outside clubs visiting Mendip, and a drop off of older regular users.  A vote of thanks was proposed to Sett for his services as Hut Warden.  He will be no longer able to continue in this office.  It was decided to refer the complaint about the locking of the Belfry to the 1955 Committee for action.


As a result of the Library Report it became obvious that even less books were borrowed than last year.  It was suggested that a list of stationery Office publications should be obtained with a view to purchasing relevant books for the library.


  1. The amendment to the first members’ Resolution was carried.  It provides for a quorum for a General Meeting; this is to be 25 p.c. of the paid membership of the club.
  2. It was resolved to publish a complete list of members’ names and addresses as a supplement to the BB.
  3. It was conformed that the number of persons to be elected to the Committee was 9, as laid down in the rules.
  4. No seconder was found for the resolution that steps be taken to get younger members on the Committee as the result of the 1955 Ballot was known.
  5. As a result of the resolution that Rule 3-12 be observed or scrapped the 1955 Committee was requested to look into all rules and bring them up to date.

Any other Business.

  1. It was resolved that a slate be fixed in the Belfry so leaders of trips may show their destination and approximate time of return.
  2. It was agreed that Rule 6 be amended to include affiliated Clubs.
  3. Keith Gardner was elected Club Archaeologist.
  4. The matter of First Aid Kits was referred to the 1955 Committee.

This is not a full report of the A.G.M. and may not be completely accurate.  The full minutes are available on application to the Hon. Sec.

K.C. Dobbs.

February Committee Meeting.

The 1955 Committee elected the following officers: -

Secretary & Treasurer    Bob Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
Committee Chairman      R.A. Setterington, Brookland House, Cannon Street, Taunton, Somt.
Assistant Secretary  Ken Dobbs, 55 Broadfield Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
Hut Warden & Caving Sec          Alfie Collins, 27 Gordon Road, Clifton, Bristol. 8.
Belfry Maint. Engineer    Mike Jones, 12 Melton Crescent, Horfield, Bristol. 7.
Tackle Officer           Ian Dear, 1 Fairfield Villas, Henrietta Park, Bath, Somt.
Climbing Secretary   John Stafford, 5 Hampden Road, Knowle,Bristol. 4.
Assit. Climbing Sec  Chris Falshaw, 50 Rockside Drive, Henleaze, Bristol.
Ladies Representative    Judy Osborn, 389 Filton, Avenue, Horfield, Bristol. 7.

As Ken Dobbs will be leaving Bristol in the near future, the Committee have co-opted Alan Sandall (35 Beachamp Road, Bristol.7. to act as Assistant Secretary after Ken leaves.

All the matters referred to the Committee at the A.G.M. have been discussed.  A sub-committee has been formed to discuss alterations to the Constitution and rules.

Amongst other business dealt with were First Aid and M.R.O. kits; the provision of a blackboard for Caving Parties; the Belfry sink drainage; water supply; Calor Gas; water tank & lino for the Ladies’ Room; the arrangement of Club caving trips; tackle and digging tools.

Norman Brooks was accepted as a full member.

It is with regret that I had to type one sentence in the above Committee Report.  The item referred to is the one stating that Ken Dobbs will soon be leaving the district.

For many years our Ken has been a hardworking Committee member, and the progress of our organisation in recent years had been aided very considerably by his tireless work in all spheres of Club activity.  His place will be very hard to fill.  I hope that we shall see him often in the future and wish him every luck in his new venture.  Good luck, too, to Alan Sandall who is stepping into his shoes; I have not had the pleasure of yet meeting Alan, but I am told he will be a worthy successor to Ken.




I must apologise for the shortness of Page 2.  This is due to the fact that we are using a new type of stencil which is marked very differently to the old ones; thus ‘one of those things.’

Whilst in an apologising mood I have to again offer my regrets for this issue appearing so late.  Once more I plead that there are only 24 hours in a day, BUT I have been told that there will soon be 36 and acting on this assumption, I feel that I can promise future issues will be ‘on time’.



Annual Subscriptions are now overdue.

The revised subscriptions are as follows: -

Life Membership            £5/5/-
Joint (Man & Wife)         17/6
Full                              12/6
Junior                           7/6

Please send your subscription as soon as possible to: -

Bob Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


We may be allowed to keep a bookcase at Redcliffe.  If anyone has a suitable receptacle for books, or knows of one, would they please get in touch with the Hon. Sec.



Those members who knew Gordon Fenn will be interested to know he has become a father again – another boy.  Congratulations Gordon.


Notes on Cave Surveying Part 2.


It was pointed out in Part 1 of these notes that, to compile a rough survey of a cave, it is not necessary to use instruments, and that the C.R.G. recognise this fact in classifying such surveys as Grades 1 and 2.  However for any more accurate survey, it is necessary to use instruments and before discussing these it is worth while to have a look at the measurements which have to be taken during the survey of a cave.

Most cave surveying is done on the CENTRE-LINE system.  This consists of choosing a number of points in prominent positions in the cave and taking measurements from each point to the next, so that a fixed line can be drawn passing through the centre of the cave system.  Once this line has been fixed, the details of passage and chamber shape may be constructed.

Magnetic Surveying.

As most cave surveying is done using a Centre-Line system, so most Centre-Line surveys are done with Magnetic compasses.  The principle on which a magnetic compass operates is, I am sure, familiar to all cavers, and need not be explained.  Whatever its type, the magnetic compass measures the angle between the line on which the bearing is being taken, and the magnetic north.  Most magnetic compasses divide the circle of direction into degrees, North being taken as the starting point of 0 degrees, East coming next at 90 degrees, South as 180 degrees and West as 270 degrees and final back to North as 360 degrees.  Thus if the compass reads 225 degrees when pointed at a certain object, the object is southwest of you.

We have seen how the direction of one point is measured from another in a magnetic survey, and now we want to know the distance apart they are.  This is normally measured with a cloth surveyor’s tape calibrated in inches and feet on one side, and links and chains on the other, a steel tape of the same design for more accurate work, since it does not stretch, or a surveyor’s chain, which is 22 yards long and is divided into 100 links.

The only other measurement which we must know is the Elevation of one point from another (i.e. the distance vertically up or down one point is from the other).  This can be done using a clinometer, a very simple version of which is sketched below.  The plumb line always remains vertical, so that if the sighting bar is pointed in the direction of the point to be measured, the angle read off one protractor will be the same as the one to be measured.

These then, are the basic instruments normally used on magnetic surveying to measure BEARING (or direction) DISTANCE and ELEVATION, and we are now in a position to discuss grades of surveys using them.  This will be done in Part.3.




T.H. Stanbury, 48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


A List of Lantern Slides offered on loan.

By R.M. (Pongo) Wallis.

The following is a complete list of the slides etc., which I posses, up to March 1954, and which are of caving subject. All are 2”x2” size. I am prepared to make these available to club members who wish to borrow them for a specific purpose (other than giving themselves a film-show) provided that they adhere to these conditions: -

  1. They should send me not less than one week in advance a list of slides they which to borrow, the date when they require them and 1/- postage.
  2. The borrower shall be responsible for the slides whilst they are out of my possession and shall pay for broken cover glasses etc.
  3. The slides shall be returned to me by registered post as soon as possible after they have been used.

Colour transparencies are marked in the list by (c). They are mostly of a higher quality than the black-and-white slides which have been made in the main from rather old negatives.


Double Pot Chamber.
Pye Chamber.
The Traverse.
The Cathedral.
Piccadilly Circus.
Formations in Starlight Chamber.
Starlight Chamber.
Stalactite in Toastrack System.
Upper Toastrack.
Gypsum-covered Stalactites.
Rawl Series – Straws (2 slides).
The Rising.
Traverse Passage.
Streamway in low water.
Chain ascent to Lowe’s.
Passage to Eagle’s Nest.
Coral Pool Passage.
Traverse Pass. – Coral Pool Pass Junction.
The Column.
Column off Entrance Series.
Toastrack Passage.
Large Chamber nr, Pillar Chamber.


Entrance Pitch.
Erratics in Meander Pass.
Cascade in Meander Pass.


Dinghy on River.


Dinghy on River.
Stream at end of cave.
Ladder down to stream.


Browne’s Hole (2 slides)
Ife Hole (1 slide)
Rod’s Pot (1 slide)
Eastwater Cave (1 slide)


The Colonnade.
The Graveyard (2 slides).
Bottom of Entrance Pitch.


Dinghy on Third Lake.
Formations in Wigmore Hall.
Formations at end of ‘Tube’.


Upper Grotto (2 slides).
Helectites in Upper Grotto.
Main Gorge (7 slides).
Roof over the Bridge.
Formations over Gallery.
White Way (3 slides).


Old Grotto.
Old Grotto (2 slides).
Ladder down to stream.
Entrance to Water Rift.
End of Wet Way.
Barne’s Loop.
Tratman’s Grotto.


1st. Chamber.
The Witch.
St. Michael’s Mount.
Ditto – Jointing.


Upper Main Drain.
Main Drain.
Forked Pendant at Eureka Junction.
Stream Way at Holbeck Junction.
Gypsum Cavern (4 slides).




1 slide.


Various mines etc.


White Quarry Cave.
Gop Cave (2 slides).
AFM Cave.
Llandulas Cave-mine.


Brant’s Gill Head.
Hull Pot.
Gordale Scar (2 slides).
Malham Cove.
Keld Cove.
Typical Caver.

Various maps, diagrams etc.

A Visit to North Pennine During August.

By Jack Whaddon.

On the Saturday preceding August Bank Holiday Norman Petty and myself set up camp at Bull Pot Farm, Kirby Lonsdale, preparatory to spending a week getting rid of surplus energy beneath the Pennines.

Sunday was spent in viewing the lie of the land in the Leck Fell and Casterton Fell areas. The bed of the stream at Easegill provided numerous interesting examples of the powers of erosion of moor land stream when in flood. Some time was spent exploring the small caves in the vicinity of Witch’s Cave and Leck Beck Head. On the way back to camp, Hidden Pot was descended - a not too difficult rock climb without the 40ft. ladder recommended in ‘Pennine Underground’. Small Cave, which is reputed to connect with Bull Pot of the Witches was next descended, but was found to choke after about 45 feet.

We joined a party from Red Rose Club on Monday, and spent some time in Lancaster Hole. After the 110ft. entrance pitch had been climbed we entered the ‘Graveyard’, a large chamber filled with stalagmite columns, also saw the ‘Colonnades’ – a cluster of beautiful pure white stalagmite pillars 12 feet high. We looked at Fill Pot on the way out; plans were afoot to enter the Master Cave, but excessive rain ruled that out, A very enjoyable evening was had by all at the ‘Wheatsheaf’ at Ingleton afterwards, despite an untimely raid on the premises by ‘the men in blue’.

Having read about Pikedaw Caverns in ‘Underground Adventure’, both Norman and myself decided on Tuesday to visit these caverns, which were discovered during mining operations in the last century. The 70 foot shaft was found in an area of gruffy land above Malham Tarn, which was reached after a long pound up from Stockdale. The caverns consist of a series of very wide, more-or-less co-planar passages, the roofs of which exhibit evidence of pure solutional origin. The calamine (zinc carbonate) was apparently mined beneath a stalagmite floor which overlays a partial clay refill. In the Western end of the system, solutional hollows in the roof were seen to be covered by a stalagtitic deposit of azurite (blue carbonate of copper) this in turn being overlaid by a thin sheet of malachite (the beautiful green basic carbonate of copper). Fragments of calamine adheres to the roof at the joint; thus the whole provided a polychromatic example of successive materialisation within a lode.

Wednesday was an exceedingly fine day, so we operated with the Red Rose boys in the descent of Alum Pot main shaft (165ft.) followed by a severe wetting in the Upper Long Churn and Lower Long Churn, the bare rock floor of these two caves being interesting on account of the scalloping over the entire length. Weathercote Cave, in Chapel-le-Dale, was visited next. Here a large volume of water hurtles down a high waterfall at the bottom of which is a pool and a boulder ruckle. Here two of us found a way into a bedding plane, fairly wide and low, which was obviously subject to frequent flooding. Crawling on hands and knees in the strong current of the powerful stream was necessary here – a painful operation due to the scalloping on the floor. After a couple of hundred feet, during which we had been more or less immersed in icy water, we came to a sump, which is possible of considerable length, and then we returned to the surface.

Steady light rain was falling on Thursday, so plans to descend Jockey Pot (200ft. daylight ladder pitch) were shelved. Instead we had the co-operation of the Red Rose boys in a visit to Gaping Ghyll. We descended via Bar Pot – and awkward 50ft. ladder pitch, followed by a very nice but damp 120ft. ladder pitch. After crawling some considerable distance though a maze of pebbled floored passages reminiscent of Mendip, we finally entered the Main Chamber of G.G. – a most spectacular sight with a line of waterfalls caused by the day’s rain along the length of the roof. We took a look at the East Passage and Mud Hall, but had insufficient tackle to descend into the latter.

Friday and Saturday were spent a look around White Scar Show Cave and numerous resurgences in the Godsbridge area. Yordas Cave was visited, and we viewed Keld Head, a large rising nearby. We summoned up enough energy to walk over to Thornton Force, a large waterfall, where in the exposed cliff we were able to see a well-known unconformity. Here we found a narrow conglomerate bed marking the point at which the lowest beds of the carboniferous series lie unconformably on the eroded strata, believed to be Pre-Cambrian. The pebbles in this conglomerate represent the initial deposit on the bed of the sea which encroached upon the British Isles at the beginning of the Carboniferous era.

At Clapham Cave sometimes known as Ingleborough Cavern, we found the guide most co-operative. Access to the non-tourist sections of the cave is freely available to genuine cavers, providing, of course, a healthy respect for formations is maintained. Both at the entrance to the cave and the nearby Clapham Beck Head are large deposits of tufa from the stream.

We returned to the Mendips on the Sunday, after a thoroughly enjoyable week during which we had the generous co-operation of the Red Rose boys and their excellent electron tackle. It is hoped that in the not too distant future we will be able to arrange another visit to the north.

Jack Waddon.

Accidents Do Happen

By ????????(J.V. Menace Morris I believe Ed.)

To those of you who never have been caving or climbing ‘prang’ the thought of having one yourself seems very remote. However they do happen and your party may be involved.

Most people have a rough idea of what to do in such an emergency, but how many know what NOT to do?

The main thing to remember is whatever the injury or condition, treat for shock. The major point of this treatment is warmth. Therefore as soon as possible the victim should be got into dry clothes and wrapped in blankets with hot water bottles. Warm sweet drinks should be given, if the victim is conscious but on no account should liquids be poured into the mouth of an unconscious or semi-conscious man as the danger of choking is very great. On NO account give alcohol. Most people believe that Whiskey, Brandy or Rum has a beneficial effect on an injured person. This is a fallacy, because although it is a stimulant, it is altogether harmful. It increases shock and lowers body temperature, at the same time giving a false impression of warmth. This is exactly what one is trying to avoid. The best drink to give is hot coffee sweetened with plenty of glucose. While help is being sought and first aid gear obtained do NOT leave the victim alone. Huddle close to him to give him warmth. Apart from this, the mental effect on an injured person left alone is very bad.

If the victim is in great pain and emergency ampoules of morphia are obtainable; one ampoule (Omnopon 1/3 grain) should be injected into the leg or arm every three hours. Those ampoules are simplicity itself to use and are quite safe if used as stated. However if the victim has severe head injuries or suspected internal haemorrhage, morphia should NOT be given without the advice of a doctor.

Now to deal with the commonest of caving dangers – exposure. This is even more dangerous as it is insidious and the victim may not realise that he is suffering from it until it is too late. Before I deal with the symptoms and treatment, I would definitely state that prevention is better than cure.

Our more scientific minded members have done wonders with the perfection of tackle and safety devices; all credit to them, but how many give due consideration to food & clothing? There seems to be a mistaken impression that any old clothes will do for caving!! In every case warm suitable rig should be worn, with wool next to the skin, which even when wet will give a ‘warm water insulation’.

As regards diet, for a long time now the main idea has been to have a good ‘blow-out’ before and after the intended trip. I am quite convinced that this is misguided and dangerous. In both cases the digestion is not given a chance to function correctly, firstly through undue exertion and secondly from fatigue. A light but nourishing meal should be taken before the trip and a supply of food taken down the cave. There are many suitable foods available: - Chocolate; Vita Glucose tablets; Biscuits; Cheese, and even self-heating tins of soup etc.

Should a case of exposure arise the symptoms are manifold. The main ones however are extreme fatigue, and in serious cases a feeling of drowsy warmth under extremely cold conditions. The victim will probably rapidly become worse, showing an inability to move or concentrate. In very severe cases he may drop off to sleep. At all costs he MUST be kept awake, as this sleep will rapidly deteriorate into unconsciousness & maybe death. It is therefore essential that the leader keeps an eye on his party under bad conditions, and keep the weaker members near him.

If this condition does arise the impulse to rush out of the cave should be curbed. Help should be sent for, treat for shock and the victim treated as an accident case also. The death through exposure in A.G. Pot will bear out this statement.

It must also be borne I mind that people in the initial stages of exposure are liable to accidents by falling and carelessness with tackle, owing to their inability to concentrate.

Having dealt with exposure I will continue with the more common injuries, their diagnosis and emergency treatment in the next issue.


(to be continued)



Do YOU know the correct procedure to follow in the event of someone requiring the services of the Mendip Rescue Organisation?


The following article has been culled from ‘World Science Review’ and submitted by C. (Spike) Rees.


The bat is the only mammal that flies. In flight, it has a remarkable ability to avoid obstacles in total darkness.

It has been found by experiments with captured bats that when blindfolded they can avoid obstacles with the same ease as those having full use of their eyes. Bats with plugged ears, however, blunder hopelessly into objects that were easily avoided when their ears are functioning.

Strange Sound in Flight

It is known that bats emit strange cries when in flight. They are inaudible even through an ordinary microphone, and are far beyond the range of the human ear. These cries are not to be confused with other audible cries that are frequently heard by cavers. These cries have been detected by a special high-frequency amplifier tuned to 25,000 cycles per second. A young, sharp, human ear can detect sounds up to about 15,000 cycles per second.

The sound made by a bat is a series of very short clicks, each click being a bundle of ultrasonic energy. Each of these sound pulses last only about 1/100th. of a second. Griffin and Galambos, two Harvard scientists, discovered, a few years ago, that the repetition rate of these pulses is variable. For flight in the open with few obstacles, there might be as few as five pulses per second. As an obstacle is approached, there is a change in rate, increasing to sometimes 60 per second.

The pulses start as a bat prepares for flight, and continues until he lands again. It has also been found that if a bat’s mouth is tied so he cannot emit a sound, he cannot avoid obstacles.

All this is conclusive proof that a bat is guided in flight by echo’s of its own signals. In other words, he has some kind of radar set. Man’s radar takes a great deal of equipment and a crew to operate it; the bat carries it in his very small head.

It is also a remarkable thing that large numbers of bats flying together can operate their’ radars’ without interfering with each other’s. This is especially remarkable in the confined space of a deep cave, such as many bats dwell in. A similar number of radar stations operating together would be in hopeless confusion.

Firstly, it seems that there is some kind of distribution of frequencies amongst a colony of bats. Secondly; this high frequency sound energy is highly directional. Thirdly, the perception of echoes from other bats would not have the order that echoes for any one bat would have with respect to his own outgoing pulses. Fourthly, there is a limited range of effectiveness of this high frequency sound. All these complex factors are involved in the intricate design and effective use of the bat’s echo-locating apparatus.



Included with this issue will be found a ballot form for the 1955 Committee. Please complete this form and return it in the envelope provided, to Assist. Hon. Sec., 55 Broadfield Road, Bristol. 4., to reach him not later than Friday, Jan 26th. Or hand it in at the start of the Annual General Meeting.

No resolutions have yet been received for inclusion on the Agenda for the A.G.M. The final date for handing in resolutions will be Monday 16th. January. These should also be sent to the Assist. Hon. Sec. at the address above. Any resolutions received after this date will have to be raised under A.O.B. at the A.G.M.

Don’t forget to reserve your ticket for the Annual Dinner. Entertainment in the form of a Conjuror and a Comedian will be provided. A coach will be available for up to 30 persons at approx. 3/- a head.

The index to the BB included in this issue of the BB has been complied by R.M. (Pongo) Wallis. Members will find it’s most useful for reference. Very few back numbers of the B.B. are available, but a complete file is in the possession of the Editor and is available for reference at any time, although he regrets that he cannot allow the file to be borrowed. A similar file is in the Club Library and this, of course is readily available to all, under the normal Library rules. John Ifold will be only too pleased to let you have it. Incidentally the Club Library is, without doubt, amongst the finest of it’s kind in the country, and it seem a pity that more club members do not make use of it’s facilities.


John Riley

Members will remember that in the past we have printed, from time to time, various kinds of songs that are popular with cavers and climbers. Here, then, is another: -

If you want a good companion, boys,
John Riley is his name.
In fair or stormy weather, boys,
John Riley’s just the same.
His heart is like a mountain
And his honour you cannot buy,
But when he’s bending his elbow, boys,
John Riley’s always dry

Buys his ale by the pail.
He’ll order Susannah to go out and buy
Dublin Stout,
Then cry out,
Drink Whiskey and never go dry,
Rye Whiskey, wine, gin and lime.
He’ll knock back a double and then he will cry,
Mary Anne. Fill your can,
For your honour John Riley is dry,
Oh so dry.

‘Tis early every morning, boys,
When he gets out of bed,
You’ll find no feather bolster, boys
Lies under Riley’s head.
But when the sun is shining
So eager and yet so shy,
He’ll leap right out for his Dublin Stout,
For your honour John Riley is dry.

Buys his ale by the pail.
He’ll order Susannah to go out and buy
Dublin Stout,
Then cry out,
Drink Whiskey and never go dry,
Rye Whiskey, wine, gin and lime.
He’ll knock back a double and then he will cry,
Mary Anne. Fill your can,
For your honour John Riley is dry,
Oh so dry.

I hold my father said to me, When I was but a youth:
That all the other Riley boys,
They died of Whiskey, truth.
It is a strange misfortune boys,
But a fact you can’t deny,
That when the wine is flowing. Boys,
That Riley’s always dry.

Buys his ale by the pail.
He’ll order Susannah to go out and buy
Dublin Stout,
Then cry out,
Drink Whiskey and never go dry,
Rye Whiskey, wine, gin and lime.
He’ll knock back a double and then he will cry,
Mary Anne. Fill your can,
For your honour John Riley is dry,
Oh so dry.



Hon. Editor T.H. Stanbury, 48, Novers Park Road, Bristol. 4.
Hon. Gen. Sec. R.J. Bagshaw, 56, Ponsford Road, Bristol. 4
Hon. Assist. Sec. K.C. Dobbs, 55, Broadfield Road, Bristol. 4.


In pursuance of the much needed tidying campaign at the Belfry, will all users of this establishment please note that in future, in addition to any duties, the Hut Warden may detail them for, they are also requested and required to do their own tidying up IMMEDIATELY after using the utensils.

The strength of these requests lie in the fact that the double scale of charges allows the Hut Warden the higher price to those who do not do their fair share.


You will find included a leaflet appertaining to ‘The Balch Testimonial Fund’. In view of Mr. Balch’s connections with caving the Committee asks members to support his fund. Donations please to the Hon. Sec., 56, Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


The Coach to Wells for the Annual Dinner will definitely run. Requests for seat reservations and dinner tickets to the above address


In hope of stirring the ‘literary’ type into action for articles for the B.B., the reward for any items printed will be one free Belfry night or two at Redcliffe.


Index to Belfry Bulletin JANUARY 1947 To DECEMBER 1953

Numbers in the index refer to Bulletin Numbers and not to pages.


























January 47

March 47

April 47

May 47

July 47

September 47

October 47

December 47

January 48

March 49

May 48

June 48

July 48

August 48

September 48

October 48

November 48

December 48

January 49

February 49

March 49

April 49

May 49

June 49

July 49


























August 49

September 49

October 49

November 49

December 49

January 50

February 50

March 50

April 50

May 50

June 50

July 50

August 50

September 50

October 50

November 50

December 50

January 51

February 51

March 51

April/May 51

June 51 (Not issued)

July/August 51

November 51

December 51

























January 52

February 52

March 52

April 52

May 52

June 52

July 52

August 52

September 52

October 52

November 52

December 52

January 53

February 53

March 53

April 53

May 53

June 53

July 53

August 53

September 53

October 53

November 53

December 53


The index includes the main articles appearing in the ‘B.B.’ only. All minor items of news &c. are omitted and most nome de plum is omitted from the Author Index.

Prepared by R.M. Wallis, 1954




A.G.M. 1946

-------- 1947

-------- 1948

-------- 1949

-------- 1952


August Hole


Aven d’Orgnac


Aven-Grotte de Marzoll







B.E.C., History of


Belfry, Building a



Black Mountains



Britain Underground ,Thornber


Caves of Adventure, Tazieff


400 Centuries of Cave Art, Breuil


Lascaux, a Commentary, Broderick


My Caves, Casteret ‘Penguin Parade’


Pennine Underground, Thornber


Underground Adventure, Gemmel, Myers


Bournillon, Grotte de


Brambiau, Underground River of


Buckfastleigh Caves


Bude, Caving Area


Burrington Combe area, Caves























3, 27

































Cameroon, Mt.


Caves, Rhodesian


Caving, Above Ground

--------- in Germany

--------- how to talk

--------- Techniques, French

--------- This


Ceriog Caves


Chalk Mine, Springwell


Climbing Section


Crystal Pot





Dating Radio, Carbon


Dewar Stones Climbs





Ease Gill Caves


Eastwater Cavern, New System


Eisreisanwlt, Austria




Exodus, IV. 47


Exploration of Nether Regions





Favet, Grotte de


France, Caving in


France, if you’re going to

-------- Planning a trip to


French Caving Techniques


Formations, Growth of



























































Gargas, Grotte de


Geology for Beginners


Germany, Caving in


Grotte de Bournillon

---------- Favot

---------- Gargas

---------- Niaux




Hill walking






Ife Hole




Lakes, A week in


Llethrid Cave




Magpie Mine, Bakewell


Marzell, Aven-Grotte de


Menace, Adventures of


Mendip Mining




Natterer’s Bat


Niaux, Grotte de




Orgnac, Aven d’




Peak District, Walk in


Photography, Cave

--------------- Colour


Pridhamsleigh Cave





























































Redcliffe Caves

----------- Surveying in


Reed’s Cavern, Buckfastleigh


Rhodesian Caves


Romano-Brit. Lead Smelter, Priddy




Safety Underground


Sauerland Caves


Smelter, Romano-British, Priddy


Smuggler’s Cave, Bude


Springwell Chalk Mine


S.R.L. Reports


Stoke Lane Swallet

------------- Beyond the Cairn Chamber

------------- Theories on


Stretcher, The Club


Swildons Hole, Old Account?




Three Mile Cave, Derbyshire, 1780




Wales, North, Border Caves

--------------- Dicing in

--------------- Speleology in


Wales, South, Weekend in






















































Brain, R.


Browne, P.M.




Cantle, R.G.W.


Coase, B.


Coase, D.A.


Collins, S.J.




Dobbs, K.C.




Fenn, G.


Fletcher, T.E.




Ifold, J.W.


Ifold, R.A.


Ifold, A.M.




Johnson, A.C.




“Menace! See Morris J.V.


Manson, J.


Morris, J.V.























































Newman, R.H.N.






Orren, G.




“Pongo” see Wallis, R.M.




Rhodes, T.C.


Ridyard, G.W.


Rollason, J.





Setterington, R.A.


Stanbury, T.H.



Stewart, P.A.E.




Thompson, L.J.


Treasure, S.C.




Unwin, N.M.




Waddon, J.


Wallis, R.M.