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Change of Address.

Johnny (Menace) Morris; - The Green, Three Cocks, Breconshire.
Dizzy and Postle Tompsett: - 77, S. Court Ave., Dorchester, Dorset.
Pat Ifold: - 60, Ashley Down Road, Horfield, Bristol. 7.


Members are reminded that it is in their own interests to inform the Hon. Sec. of changes in address so that the BB and other communications can reach them with the minimum of delay.

Committee for 1953.

Nominations are now due for the 1953 Committee.  A form for this purpose is enclosed with this B.B.  The Committee consists of eight persons, at least one of these a lady member and one London Representative.  You are therefore requested to nominate up to 8 persons.  Please remember, you must get the consent of the people you wish to nominate before you do so.


Recent Cave Books

By Pongo.

The “Plume of Smoke” by Edward Morris.

Occasionally novelists turn to caves as ‘original’ subjects for their books, and when they do the characters seem invariably to get trapped below ground and only escape after incredible difficulties and improbable luck in finding another way out.

This happens again in The Plume of Smoke, when the explorers are trapped by a flood beyond two traps in ‘Pilgrim’s Hole’ in Derbyshire.  It is a somewhat wild and woolly tale involving treasure hunting down the cave, plus – a gang of bandits also out for the loot.  There are gun battles galore both above and below ground, but in the end, of course, the righteous are victorious, escaping with a hoard of diamonds, all the bandits are killed, and the hero gets his girl.

Mr. Morris has clearly done some caving, but not, I think, very much.  Pilgrim’s Hole is meant to be a very difficult cave, but I do not think the difficulties would be very great to any reasonably experienced party, although they appear to have been considerable to the inexperienced treasure hunters.  For example: - they each took half an hour to climb a 70ft. clear ladder pitch – but no life line was used!

Rather silly and exaggerated, but not unamusing if you like blood and thunder.

“Underground Adventure” by A. Gemmel and J.C. Myers

If Mr. Morris has not done much caving, Messrs, Gemmel and Myers have certainly done a great deal.  Their adventures are, perhaps, less hair-raising than Mr. Morris’s’ but at least they did happen.  The book is, in fact, the story of the exploration of a number of Yorkshire caves and pot-holes.  It is clearly told and well illustrated by Mr. Meyers’ photographs, and by the surveys of the caves.

The cave dealt with are Hull and Little Hull Pots; Simpson Pot; Gaping Ghyll and Disappointment Pot; Notts Pot; Lancaster Hole, and the Easegill Series.  There are also chapters on some mines and other odds and ends.

Altogether to be thoroughly recommended.

“400 Centuries of Cave Art”  by Henri Breuil.

This is a massive students’ work recently published in in English and French.  It deals with an extremely large number of decorated caves.  It is not easily digested and although I have now had it about a month and I have by no means finished it.  A proper review will appear later on.


The following account of Climbing in has recently reached us.  Ed.

Record of Mountain Activities in the Austrian Tyrol.

By Jack Waddon.

The Village of Ehrwald was used a headquarters

23rd. June.

Starting from Ehrwald at 10am and climbing by the route known as the Hohen Gorg, we came to the Seeben Dee which is 30 metres deep and at an altitude of 1630 metres.  Frequent rain showers made visibility poor and slowed us down, but we climbed on as far as the Coburger Hut, where after a glass of beer, we returned by a quicker route to Ehrwald.

24th June

Leaving Ehrwald at 9.0am in warm weather we walked to the village of Sarmoos, and there began the ascent of Grubigstein (2218m).  Except for the last 100m, which involved a spot of scrambling it was just a good walk, most of the way through pine woods, as far as the Wolprathausere Hut, owned by the D.O.A.V., which is at a height of 1761m.  Having reached the summit we spent some time taking photographs and then returned the way we had come.

25th June.

We decided to climb Davidspitze (2242m).  It consists of a strenuous scamble up steep pine clad slopes until Hermeeser Alm is reached at a height of 1405m.  From here onwards we were climbing through cloud up a steep scree slope until we arrived at the summit of Upspitze (2234m).  From here a simple traverse along a knife-edge ridge brought us to the summit of the Davidspitze.  We had been assured that on a fine day a magnificent view can be had from here, but the cloud prevented us from seeing much, except a pair of ptarmigan which flapped past; and so we returned to our Hotel with unexposed films in our cameras.

28th June

As the weather was very hot we decided to go to the top of Lugspitze (2165m) and take photographs.  A cable car goes to the Austrian frontier, which is only a matter of 20m from the top, and since the heat made a scramble up through a scree sound unattractive, we decided to use it.  From the Austrian cable car station everyone has to go via a tunnel to the German cable car station about half a mile distant on the other side of the mountain.  From here another cable car takes one to the top, but as soon as we had completed all the formalities at the border, we climbed straight up.  Before we could get to the actual rock face, we had to climb up through a lot of loose snow which we found even more dicey when we descended later in the day.  We had a few very welcome beers in the hotel at the summit and then returned the way we had come.

1st July

We went by the way of Seeben See to the Esburger Hut (1920m), another pleasant D.O.A.V. hut on the edge of the Drachen See, a 90m deep lake fed from the melting snow.  The afternoon was spent on a couple of climbs on the western face of the Sonnerspitze, and then we returned to the Coburger Hut for the night.

2nd July

We awoke early and began the ascent of the Sonnerspitze (2214m).  For about 100m it was a scramble up a steep scree, but from then on it was bare rock all the way to the summit.  After reaching the top we began to climb down by the same route, but by this time the sun was higher in the sky and the heat was unbearable.  Apart from a bit of trouble with brittle rock (all the mountains in this area are a form of limestone) the return to the hut was uneventful though slow.  We returned to our hotel via the ridge known as Shrwalder Alm.

NOTE.  The Deutche und Osterreiche Alpen Veraein (D.O.A.V.) is divided into sections each of which is composed of members living in the same area.  Each section is responsible for the maintenance of a climbing hut and signposts in the immediate vicinity.  The huts are excellent and bunks and blankets are provide at 7sch. (about 2/-) per night.


The Monthly Appeal.

Your Editor once again asks for contributions of all kinds for inclusion in future issues of' the B.B.  It is so very easy to sit back and read your B.B. and comment on it; I wonder how many of those who are dissatisfied with it as stands at present have ever bothered to do anything but comment about it.  If each member of the club would send in only one article a year the B.B. would become truly representative of all the club and Editing would become a pleasure.  Besides, if there are plenty of articles for selection the B.B. can grow from its present six pages.  The great majority of material is the work of, at the most, a dozen individuals whose continual work keeps the journal alive.  Let me have reports of trips, both climbing, and caving, and notes about the hundred and one facets of club life that you have found interesting.  If you are afraid to write to me hand in material to any committee man, who will see that it reaches me.

By the way notifications of change of address etc., should be sent to the Hon. Sec., as also should queries re-circulation of BB.  I only edit and cut stencils, others do the donkey work, i.e. printing, addressing and despatching.



The following is the first part of a history of a very important part of our Club Life.  I have been waiting for a second episode to reach me from the author and hope that the realisation that the first part has appeared will make him send on the next one in time for the continuity to be maintained.


Building a Belfry

By Tony Johnson

Part 1.

Resume of a paper read before the Amalgamated Society of Gerry-builders at their first unbelievable General Meeting.

This paper should be taken as setting out the procedure to be adopted by all future Belfry builders.  With suitable refinements it could be used as a specification for building a hygienic pig-sty or large dog-kennel.

First one must search around for an excuse to build.  In our case this was easy to find.  The club’s Mendip Residence was Mains’ Barn, not a bad place, but!!!  This has several disadvantages.  It had to be shared with other cavers, and all cooking had an overpowering smell of paraffin and tractor oil (which still persists).  Also sleeping accommodation was rather sketchy, bunks – hay – were all right, but one was liable to be awakened by (a) rat sniffing at snitch; (b) cow chewing socks; or (c) pitchfork nonchalantly placed in vicinity of gizzard.  Finally, a most serious drawback – it was much too near Swildons Hole and other such inventions of the devil.

Having convinced oneself that a hut is required, the next thing is a site.  The composition of this should be: - slag 30 p.c.; rubbish 30 p.c.; mud 30 p.c.; cowsh two splatters, and hard rock a trace.  A plentiful supply of cows and their accessories should also be assured.  Our site had the advantage of being 1 mile nearer the bus route than the barn and only a mile from a delectable hostelry B.E.C. rating b----- good, R.A.C. little known.  A further advantage was its vast distance from Swildons, although a gaunt orifice known as Eastwater was uncomfortably close.

Now one is ready to seek a hut.  This may seem simple, but oh! No!  First one requires the Stanbury Detective Agency, Inc., who will discover a bankrupt tennis club willing to sell their palatial pavilion for a song.  When the song has been sung, a large throng descends on Purdown, the home of this desirable residence, brandishing house-breaking implements, in the use of which they are acknowledged masters.  At the word of command both nails are removed and the hut is dismantled.  If Guy Fawkes day is in the offing, as will be the case, an armed guard must now be provided to dissuade small boys with smaller bonfires.  Application to the North Somerset Yeomanry c/o Sgt. Sago Rice should result in the loan of guns – anti-tank 17 pdr.  One, small boys for the scaring of, which should fill the bill.

The afore mentioned detective agency will then proved a ‘lorry’ to remove the wreckage to Mendip.  The fact that the lorry will be devoid of springs matters not a jot, and provided that the least steep route to Mendip is used, the journey should be made in two days.  Old tennis balls found under the hut may be used to repel boarders.

Having arrived on site, the next trick is to creosote the floors and lay them on the two boulders of the foundation.  This may be enlivened by the introduction of Dan Hasell to remove the prop when somebody is creosoting underneath the floor.  After tying up the walls and glueing on the roof, the great day has arrived – the official opening! – This is done by one Don Coase (now presumably accompanied by his better half) who becomes stormbound with Rasputin and is daringly rescued by the club at great expense.

Everything now lies dormant for a decade or so, but wait! – the exterior gets painted a catching shade of roofing felt, and numerous panes of glass are put into THE window.  About this time the first bit of pamperament arrived with the acquisition of a self-willed petrol-electric generator, transport for which will be in the hands of one George ‘Sparks’ Lucy hindered by an ex – W.D. Ariel motor-cycle.  This godsend/nuisance leads to the acquisition of an even more cussed radio set which will serenade all and sundry with the news in woggish.

Due to the increasing volume of our far-flung empire about this time, the accommodation becomes increasingly crowded, which necessitates the nailing of a number of picturesque notices to the walls to relieve stress concentrations especially round certain bunks.  Overloading showed itself in a number of other ways, one of which was the delectable shear buckle pattern on one side of the hut which warranted investigation by both the W.P.L. and the Lesser Snoring Science Guild.  Accommodation matters came to a head one day when Don Coase was to be seen asleep (?) on a slag heap and someone hung their hat on a hook that materialised into a cow which promptly filled two carburettors and an oil tank and departed.  Thus a new site was obviously required.

 (to be continued)

Part 2 of this account on Belfry History will appear in the November B.B.  ED.


R.J. Bagshaw, Hon. Sec. 58, Pensford Road, Bristol. 4.
T.H. Stanbury, Hon, Editor, 74, Woodleigh Gardens, Whitchurch, Brisol. 4.

Nomination Form for 1953 Committee

(see instructions in “BB”)

N.B. The Consent of the Nominee Must Be Obtained

1 ………………………….            2 ………………………….            3 ………………………….

4 ………………………….            5 ………………………….            6 ………………………….

7 ………………………….            8 ………………………….            9 London Representative

Please return this form to The Asst Sec. 55 Broadfield Rd. Knowle Bristol 4. Before 1/12/52.


Membership No.

Caustic Comment

At the time that I am writing this brief note for inclusion in the BB we are lucky to have a very fine meeting place in Old Market. But there is some doubt as to the future. I should like to point out to certain persons that it is totally unneccessary for them to prove that they can walk on the newly painted walls; that we are all aware that the peculiar protuberance in the stairs will, if moved control the stairs lights, and that acting like a ten, year old child is not in the best interests of the club. It is no doubt amusing to do these things, but why not keep them for home or would Mummy smack ?

It is indeed a pity that so much of the comment that I send to the BB is of this nature but I feel that it is in the best interests of the organisation that such things are nipped in the bud, and we still keep our room, than the childishness of a very small minority closes the place to us.

Old Timer

Good News comes from Penguin Books

They have published “Ten Years under the Earth”, Casteret’s classic.  The number is 846T and the price is 2/6.  This places the book within the reach of all and, for those who haven’t read it, I advise you to dive into your pocket and invest in a copy.


Whilst on the subject, there are three more books in the Club Library.

Cave Science No. 20.  April 1952.

Underground Adventure by Gemmel and Myers (Recently reviewed by Pongo).

Cave Hunting by Boyd Dawkins.



No!  You’re wrong!  It’s the ‘British Caver’.  Vol. 23 of this unique cave Journal is to be published this month.  The cost is 7/6 or a ream of 10x8 paper.  From: - G. Platten, Rotherfield, Fernhill Lane, New Milton, Hants.

Committee Ballot.

All nomination forms MUST reach Assist. Hon. Sec. BEFORE Dec. 1st. 1952.  Items for inclusion in the Agenda for the Annual General Meeting are asked for.  This is the time that the lads with bright ideas usually fold their tents and steal away.  This year let the club have the benefit of your ideas.  It is your club and welcomes any ideas that you may have for its betterment.

Heard in Swildons Old Grotto!

Lady Caver, (Novice): ‘This is the first time I’ve had such a wet backside since I was four years old’.

Noises Off

I was sitting in the Hunters the other Friday Night having a nogging and chatting with a few locals when I commented that I was surprised that nobody had ever complained about motor transport arriving noisily and late at the Belfry and other such noisy goings-on.  To which one of the locals replied that he, maintain that a nod is as good as a wink, and Belfry users would do well to respect the tolerance with which we get treated.


More Belfry Birds

By Unknown Observer.

Though I am not exactly an authority on the subject of wild bird life, there are a few varieties of the semi-domesticated birds which I feel have escaped the notice of Mr. Hannam.  This being so, I will endeavour to bring these interesting fact to the wandering attention of the long-suffering readers of the Belfry bulletin.

As with Mr. Hannam, I find that these birds can roughly be divided into four groups.  i.e.:-

·         Permanent Residents;

·         Summer Residents;

·         Winter Residents;

·         Passage Migrants;

Having the least to say about the Passage Migrants (and the least said, the better) I will start with this group.

Passage Migrants generally arrive in hordes or droves usually about the months of June to August, and are easily identified by their shrill chatter and their exceedingly industrious habits.  One very prominent part in the life of these birds is the strange way in which they march in single file to the Mineries Pool, where they display their ungainly bodies with contortions quite unbelievable to most people, and at the same time utter short sharp barks of utter joy.

They are often to be found making great preparations for underground explorations, sport of which they seem inordinately fond.  They always take enormous quantities of equipment with them on these journeys; one family of these birds was even suspected of taking a calor-gas stove, but I am not prepared to corroborate this statement.

Now to Summer Residents.  There is a charming and bewildering assortment of birds in this category.

Number one on our list is the Hairy-Legged Horror, which is notable for its habit of standing on the edge of the Mineries Pool and thrusting one foot into the water, at the same time emitting a particular raucous scream.  These birds have even been known to get into the water and swim.

There is also a species known as the Rosy-Rumped Snooper, which only comes out when there is no one around and discards all its plumage whilst in the water.  Several well known varieties in this group are the Observant Stroller and the Watcher-from-the-Bushes.  This last named has a peculiar whistle easily mistaken for that of the Lone-wolf, which is also a Summer Resident.  There is no need to be more explicit about this bird!

There are not so many Winter Residents for obvious reasons.  One of these, however, which is of great interest, is the Mountain Messer.  This bird migrates during the summer to more mountainous districts, but comes home to the Belfry during most of the winter.  It sometimes gets an urge to see another mountain about Christmas time, and usually a small school of these birds disappear for about a week and return refreshed in time for the New Year.  This bird can easily be recognised by his extremely large feet, which have nail-like protuberances on the soles.  He likes to smoke a pipe, and often has a furry collar about his neck like a vulture.

Another Winter Resident is the Huddle-Bird.  This bird has a complaining, high-pitched whine, and screams continuously if the door is left open.

The last bird I would like to name in this category is the Brimstone-Heller.  This is an inquisitive bird.  As no-one, has ever seen it, I cannot describe it; neither can I repeat the other names I have heard it called by less particular bird-watchers.  Its main fault lies in the habit it has of transferring blankets from one nest to another.  (Usually its own).

Permanent Residents.  At last we come to that noble though oft despised bird the Speed Fiend.  This naturally ugly bird is always to be found at any time of the year, in and around the Belfry area of the Mendips.  He has an uncommonly hard head, a terrifically thick skin, and belongs to the same family as the Mountain Messer previously mentioned.  He flies at a tremendous speed around the countryside with a predatory gleam in his large glassy eyes.  His arm always spread out motionless before him, the ragged ends of which resemble outstretched hands.  (On closer inspection it will be observed that they are outstretched hands).  These birds have been described as a menace to the community; they don’t mean any harm, however, they just like to scare the lives out of people for a bit of fun.

The Snogger is the next bird I will describe.  The habits of the Snogger are well known to you all.  These birds roam in pairs, especially on dark nights, and, like the Stonechat in Mr. Hannam’s article, frequently nest among the gorse bushes on North Hill.

Two kinds of bird who are very well known in the Hunters Lodge area are the Late Songster and the Tippler; the harsh but not untuneful call of these birds is probably familiar to all visitors to the Hunters Lodge Inn.

The Songster, once heard, is quite unforgettable; his songs, however are quite unrepeatable.  The Tippler sits quietly and morosely, hovering over his beer, alternating the songs of the Late Songster with a low-pitched rumble of appreciation.  These fine specimens are to be found around the Belfry.

Being a coward as well as a bird watcher, I prefer to remain anonymous, therefore I sign myself,

Unknown Observer.

Building a Belfry

By Tony Johnson.

Part 2.

In searching for a new site one is always after something more convenient than the last, but compromises are inevitable.  In our case a fine new site is found 100 yards from the old one as the crow flies, but in the wrong direction, i.e. towards Eastwater and away from the Hunters Lodge.  As the journey appears to be about 10 miles by road, a tractor and trailer are wooed with pint pots and the thing becomes a practical proposition practically.  But, before moving house, the constitution of the new site must be explored. Careful analysis showed this to be: -tufts of grass 20 p.c.; mud, ditto; bog 40 p.c., with one ditch – tractors, for the falling in of, and a population of 2.5 frogs per sq. yard.

As the bulk transport and assembly of pre-fab. homes was then all the rage, it was decided to move with the times, and, accordingly, the hut was sawn into lengths for easy transport.  Unfortunately, the large mobile crane did not materialise and the sections were loaded with dexterous use of oil drums and scaffold poles.  We were blessed the day with a lady driver which probably accounts for the valiant attempts by two motor coaches from John O’Groats via Abermule, to climb the roadside wall in their excitement. Of the re-erection, suffice it to say that the three sections were slid off and shunted into position, to be tied together temporarily with wire, as will be seen to the present day.

About this time a calor-gas cooker appears slowly on the scene, prompted by an alarming increase in fatalities due to primus explosions as a rate of 2.68 fires a week.  But, the more spacious site didn’t really ease our overcrowding difficulties, and a large abode was really needed.  So what did we do?  No!  We didn’t buy the Skylon.  Instead we bribed the Stanbury Spy Service with petrol coupons, and an unwanted army hut appeared at Plymouth.  Here some bright bod covered himself in glory, for the first report was so detailed that it was possible for the foundations to be ready for the hut before it was even bought.  (That was Angus.  Ed,).  If I may digress a moment on the subject of foundations; the initial requirements are for a series of symmetrical pillars built level on concrete bases.  Actually what one gets is a series of haphazard dollops of ‘concrete’ puddled into place by George Lucy and our venerable Hut Warden, who were both in their element.  On these dollops are erected a series of rough towers a la Pisa, built of bricks from derelict and not so derelict buildings.

The actual dismantling and transport of the new hut is a closed book to yours truly, but one hears rumours of a certain person falling into a water tank 50ft. in the air, plus a lot of glib talk about sheep and pressurised stoves, so perhaps the truth may leak out yet.  Suffice to say that the thing was tipped in bits on to the site along with certain bodies.

(to be continued)

Part three will be included in the Xmas number if it is received in time.  Ed.


R.J. BAGSHAW,        Hon. Gen. Sec. 56, Ponsford  Road, Bristol. 4.
K. DOBBS,                Hon. Assist. Gen. Sec. 55, Broadfield Road, Bristol. 4.
J.W. Ifold,                   Hon. Librarian, Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol.
M. Hamam,                Caving Sec. 14. Vyvyan Terrace, Bristo1.8.
A. Setterington,          Hut Warden, 21, Priorswood Road, Taunton, Somt.
P. Ifold,                      Climbing Sec., 60, Ashley Down Road, Bristol. 7.
T.H. Stanbury,            Hon, Editor, B.B.  74, Woodleigh Gardens, Whitchurch, Bristol.


Please send contributions, large of small, to the Hon. Editor at the address above, or hand them in to any committee man.



List of Members No.4.

T. Reed 53 Dongola road, Bristol.7.
R.G. Bellamy 5 Heron Road, Easton, Bristol.
P. Brown 5 Trinity Parade, Frome, Somerset.
A.J. Crawford 10 Elm Close, Hendon London N.W.4.
A.M. Innes 248 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7
Mrs. M. Tompsett 6 Peter Street, Taunton, Somerset.
R. Cantle 46 Cherington Road, Henleaze, Bristol 7
J.A. Dwyer 255 Wellington Hill West, Henleaze, Bristol 7
R.A. Setterington 21 Priorswood Road, Taunton, Somerset
R,M. WaIlis “Briarcroft”, Marlborough Crescent, Latchford. Without Warrington, Lances. '

A different method is being used in this issue to cut the stencils for the duplicator. If the method is successful and a better print is the result it will be adopted for all future issues; if the results are worse than usual please bear with the Hon. Sec. who is at his wits end to im prove the quality of each issue. You will see, too, that the format is altered. This is partly dictated by the supply of paper and partly by urge to improve. Let the Hon Sec. know which type of BB you prefer.

Safety Underground

By “oldtimer”

This article is intended for younger members of the club and their friends. It is hoped that it will assist them in enjoying in safety the deepest and dirtiest of our caves.

Cavers, although they are reputed otherwise, are, in general mindful of their safety underground. Some of the younger of the fraternity, and occasionally one or two old enough to know better sometimes let their valour, (or shall we say, sense of bravado) outweigh their discretion, and do things that, make the seasoned caver, throw up his hands in despair.

Even before going underground there are certain things that should be done, and when you are there, there are of course more.

Before leaving home tell someone where you are going so that in the unlikely event of your non-return, we shall at least have some idea of where you may be. Mendip is a large place, and if no indication of your whereabouts is given, a search party may spend precious hours in fruitless endeavour before you are found,. The same applies in other caving areas ALWAYS tell someone where you are going, and remember, you experts, you too, are liable to accident!

In the event of an accident, do your best to make the unfortunate one comfortable and then follow the procedure laid down by the Mendip Rescue Organisation (or equivalent body in , other areas), If through faulty equipment or other cause, none of your party can reach the surface, conserve your lights and food make yourselves comfortable, DON’T PANIC and wait. This wait will seem endless, but, remember, if you have left word of your whereabouts, you will be rescued in a reasonable time, (Rescue parties have to be called out, and this takes time). If no one knows where you are, you've only yourself to blame.

The next point is in every way intimately connected with the above. Never go underground by yourself. Solitary caving is both foolhardy and senseless. Although the lone wanderer may experience a thrill of achievement out of such a trip he is rightly looked upon by others as a constant source of worry and trouble. Underground, a slip that in a party would be of little consequence, may easily prove fatal to the solitary man, a sprained ankle anchoring him there indefinitely. He has no-one to help him or go for aid, and I should imagine that one accident under such circumstances would cure him of all desire to repeat it.

Also linked with the first item is clothing. It is essential that all cavers should be adequately clad. To some this seems ridiculous, as they remember visions of swarms of cavers clad in filthy and fast decomposing rags. These rags, however are warm, and warmth underground is essential. Of course, common sense has to be used in dressing, as anyone dressing for Swildons would be prepared for a wait in the chilly depths of the 40' pot, and would consequently wear far warmer clothing than for a trip down Goatchurch. Don’t be like the party encountered in Swildons Old Grotto some time ago. This party of 8 were clad in shorts and singlets and were already bruised and shivering.

A great point of failing with novices is their unwillingness to turn back when tired. It is far better to 'Call it a day' and return to the surface in good order, than to go to the bottom and have to be hauled out by main force. Novices are thought more of if they do not over-reach themselves in their first sallies underground, and are honest enough to admit that they've had enough. Don’t forget, you have a return journey that will be worse than the downward one.

The greatest source of trouble amongst beginners is the entire lack of common sense concerning lighting. The writer once met a party of 10 in Swildons, who only had one miniature torch between them. They were not impressed by the cave and considered caving a dead loss. Always take plenty of light underground, and always have alternative means of lighting, and this doesn't mean two boxes of matches. Two main types of lighting are in general use, Acetylene and electric, the ideal being a combination of these. Lighting is a subject of argument amongst cavers and this statement will probably bring down howls of derision on the writer's head from those of other schools of thought. Nevertheless, I have used this combination for many years and found it unbeatable. The acetylene lamps give both a 'spread' and a 'spot' beam, the position of the flame along the axis of the reflector ensuring maximum lighting effect. A gas lamp is unfortunately easily extinguished, and I have filled an auxiliary electric spot lamp with switch and battery to my helmet. By the way, always carry a spare jet and a pricker, so that you may readily clean or replace the jet if it chokes. An acetylene lamp is much cheaper to run than a battery lamp, and it will run for 4 hours on one charge of carbide. A candle too, carried inside the socks, together with waterproof matches is very handy in an emergency. Matches can be rough and readily waterproofed by dipping the heads of 'Swan' or similar into candle grease.

A word about electric light and batteries. A No.800 cycle battery is ideal both for size and endurance, but some plutocratic cavers prefer the more elaborate proprietary kit of NiFe accumulator, flexible lead and head-lamp. The writer has found that NiFe cells are bulky and a great nuisance in constricted passages, but, here again, there is a great divergence of opinion. I have spent quite a time on lighting, as without lights there would be no caving.

The next item is tackle. This of course varies with the cave, some needing none and others a large amount. Although a nuisance on both the downward and return journeys, a sufficiency of tackle is essential to the safe descent (and return) of any cave. By this I don’t mean that the party should be bowed down and encumbered with a mass of useless gear, but that every item should be carefully selected for the job it has to do. Examine all gear before going underground, as although all club equipment is tested at regular intervals, a rope may have frayed since the last test. Any tackle that has frayed or otherwise become dangerous *should be scrapped at once. This is done most easily by cutting the offending ladder or rope in several places thus rendering it useless. If it is ever necessary to do this, don’t forget to notify either the Hon. Sec. or the Equipment Officer, so that the article may be replaced with the minimum of delay. Do not leave equipment underground for long periods. This is a common failing of certain types of individuals who are either too lazy or careless of other peoples welfare to remove it, and is one of the cardinal sins of caving. After using tackle return it to its proper place and hang it up to dry; don’t throw it on the floor for someone else to clear up. It isn’t good for the ropes or the temper of the chappie who has the clearing up to do.

If you haven’t enough gear don’t attempt a descent. ALWAYS use a life-line, only fools go without. The cave will wait until tomorrow or next week, why risk an accident? If an accident should happen below a pitch normally laddered that has only a rope what then?

“Odd” caving is to be discouraged. By this I mean parties of Cavers unattached to any club or society. The clubs are in existence solely to help cavers and it is to their advantage to join them. They then reap the benefits of the experiences of others and are able to use the adequate facilities offered by these organisations.

Each Club trip is under the control of an experienced member, and his instructions should always be followed. Remember, he knows more than you, and it is his responsibility to bring you back in safety to the surface. If you disagree with his decisions, and you want to argue about it, leave it until you return to surface, and you will find that, usually, before surfacing, the reason for his action has become obvious.

Don’t think that the writer advocates that all trips should be "official" ones. By no means so; but for other trips chose a cave within your capabilities, and as your experience increases, so also should your field of endeavour increase.

Don’t hesitate to ask the "Old Sweats" advice, it will always be gladly given.

If those to whom these notes are addressed study AND absorb them caving will, become easier and safer for them and those in control of the sport would have less reason to worry about them.


We are delighted to welcome back into circulation again, D. Bessell, R.A. Crocker, and R.J. Bagshaw all recently demobbed.


The Club has purchased a tent which is available, subject to committee approval to members for a small cover charge.

Club Library

Both the Librarian and the Hon Sec. are seriously disturbed by the lack of care taken of the club books. These books which cost the club a considerable amount every year are being treated disgustingly and at a recent committee meeting it was decided that anyone returning books in a worse condition than they were issued would become liable for the damage, up to the full replacement value of the book, depending of course upon the amount of damage. A growing practice, too is the passing of books from member to member indiscriminately with the result that the Librarian has no idea who has the book and the consequent repudiation of responsibility by the person to whom the book was issued. In future would all members so passing books on please notify the Librarians that the necessary adjustments may be made in the records. In future the responsibility for any fine incurred will rest with the last person to whom the volume is booked out.

Club Records.

Jim Weekes has been appointed Club Recorder. Will members please send reports of trips etc. to him so that they may entered into the club records. You may reach him c/o Hon, Sec..

Owing to the distance that D.A.Coase has to travel to attend committee meetings and the curtailment of the travelling facilities of last summer it was decided at a recent committee meeting to co-opt R.A. Setterington on to the committee. His large experience and knowledge of the sport will strengthen considerably the working of the committee.

Members probably saw recently in the paper that a watch was found in Longwood. We are glad to say that this watch is the property of our member Terry Reed who lost it at Easter this year. As he is in it has beam claimed on his behalf by his father. Thanks to all those whose information helped to identify the owner.

The Belfry,

Since the last issue of the BB a great amount of work has been done at the Belfry. At the time of writing this there is still plenty for all to do so still roll up in your thousands. The response to the last call for volunteers was very good, but those who turned out were those who always can be depended to turn out when there is work to be done. Come on you slackers, what about it? The new site is very near the old one. The Belfry is now situated up the next track towards Priddy from the Hunters Lodge. So that instead of turning into Mr. Beecham's gate the next turning is taken. The hut is on a site facing the exit from the quarry. The hut is temporarily 'reconstituted' in its old shape pending the purchase of a larger and more suitable H.Q.. No stone is being left unturned to obtain one and it is hoped that within a short time a really 'spiv' hut will be reared on the new site.

They have a castle on a hill

Whilst browsing through an old book our Hon. Sec. has found the following, which except for the replacement of the word Lydford by Belfry in stanza 3 is as written. For the information of those who have not taken part in the removal operations, the hut has been moved by dividing it into three sections and moving each bodily on a farm wagon.

1. They have a castle on a hill;
I took it for an old windmill,
The vanes blown off by the weather:
To lye therein one night, 'tis guessed,
'Twer better to be stoned and pressed,
Or hanged, now choose you wether.

2. Ten men less room within this cave,
Than five mice in a lanthorn have,
The keepers they are sly ones.
If any could devise by art
To get it up into a cart,
'Twer fit to carry lyons.

3. When I beheld it, Lord! Thought I,
From this place all sane men would fly
This Belfry, when I saw it all.
I know none gladly there would stay;
But rather hang out of the way,
Than tarry for a tryal.

4. The prince an hundred pounds has sent,
To mend the leads, and planchens rent,
Within this living tomb:
Some forty-five pounds more had paid,
The debts of all that shall be laid
There till the day of doom,

5. The people all within this clime
Are frozen in the winter time,
For sure I do not fain:
And when the summer is begun,
They lye like silkworms in the sun,
And come to life again.

6. One glass of drink I got by chance,
'Twas claret when it was in :
But now from it much wider:
I think a man might make as good
With green crabs boyl'd, and wood,
And half a pint of syder.

7. At six a clock I came away,
And prayed for those that were to stay
Within a place so arrant:
Wide and ope, the winds so-roar,
By God's grace I'll come there no more,
Unless by some Tyn Warrant.

William Brown 1590.


Annual General Meeting and Dinner

The Annual General Meting will be held in our room in Old Market Street, Bristol on January 31st. 1952. It will be followed by the Annual Dinner; this will be held at the Whiteladies Restaurant, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, and the tickets are 7/6 each. You are advised to apply as soon as possible for Dinner tickets as there is always a rush for them.

The Postal Ballot Form which you will receive with this BB must arrive by post not later than 30th. Jan. BUT forms may be handed in up to the start of the A.G.M.

The Committee will be pleased to receive any further resolutions to be included in the Agenda for the A.G.M.

Club Library

The Club Library his had the following additions since the last BB: -

National Speleological Society Bulletin No. 13.

W.C.C. Journals for 8ept & Oct.

Caves of the Sauerland

By Jack Waddon.

Although caves are to be found in several parts of , the most important area is the extensive limestone uplands of the Sauerland, in South Germany, which contains also some of the most picturesque scenery in the country.

Since the limestones which I had seen elsewhere in Westphalia had been in a ‘Muschelkalk’ (a Triassic limestone not found in ) I expected to find the same situation in the Sauerland. However, it became apparent that here the rock was much older, and as far as I could see from fossils which I found in the area, the limestone was laid during the Devonian or Early Carboniferous era. I subsequently found my conclusions verified by a local guide, which stated that the local rock was ‘Devonian Kelkstein’.

The caves of the Sauerland do not differ greatly from those of South-West . The air temperature inside the caves is constant at 12 deg. C. The average rate of stalactite growth is about 7mm in 10 years.

The Dechenhohle

Situated amongst steep, pine-clad hills, 6½ km. west of Iserlohn, near the village of Letnatha, is the Dechenhohle, probably the best known cave in .

The cave was discovered in 1863, during the construction of the railway which runs outside the cave. Since then it has been highly commercialised. There are 15 medium sized chambers to the cave, which is about 400 metres long. The cave contains a large amount of stalactite formations, much of which is stained by various other minerals. Some of the stalagmite pillars which adorn the cave are over 3 metres high and 30 cm. thick. Straws are to be found in some parts of the cave, but most appear to have been broken off. I found some small amounts of aragonite in various parts of the cave, but not in large quantities. There are one or two examples of stalagmites growing on the tops of others which have toppled over, thus producing qeerly shaped formations.

Remains of cave bear, cave hyena, early horse, and various kinds of deer were found in the cave, mainly in the ‘Konigshalle’ chamber of the cave.

The Dechenhohle is worth a visit, if one is prepared to overlook the excess of commercialisation.


This is a very interesting, semi-commercialised cave in the village of Sundwig, 6 km. due east of Iserlohn. Admission is granted on application at the ‘Gasthaus’ behind which the cave is conveniently situated.

Heinrichshohle is of about the same length as the Dechenhohle, but here the similarity end, for it contains many high rift chambers. Although there is a fair amount of formation in this cave, its main interest lies in the large number of animal remains which have been found there, of which the most prolific are cave bear. One cave bear thigh-bone can be seen in situ, projecting form the cave wall in one place, and an almost complete cave bear skeleton, together with the remains of other animals, is preserved in a large show-case outside the cave. Mammoth teeth and tusks are among another large display of bones, which is on show in one of the chambers.

An interesting feature of the cave is a copper wire which was stretched across one of the chambers beneath a large stalagmite. This wire has been there for 50 years, and a small stalactite is now suspended from it, while a one inch curtains runs along its length: a useful measure of rate of deposition.


A couple of hundred meters north of Heinrichshohle, up a steep hill, is Felsenmeer (literally ‘rock-sea’). It consists of a series of large shake-holes, forming a depression about ½ km. long, edged by sheer cliffs. In the depression are large, jammed limestone masses, full of deep cracks and fissures. The average depth of the depression is about 25 metres, but many of the rifts are considerably deeper than this, and a 100ft. climbing line is useful when descending these.

Many specimens of ‘ramshorn coral’ are to be seen protruding the boulders, due to the action of weathering, and I found various other fossils, mainly of brachiopods, in the area.

Jack Wadden

Dating of Archaeological Specimens

By Scientist

To the best of my knowledge, almost all the estimates of the age of archaeological specimens are made from the associated pieces of tools, household utensils, and other bric-a-brac which are found with human and other bone remains. However, there are available at least two other methods for the determination of the age of specimens; one, a chemical method, will give the relative age of bone remains found in the same deposit. The other method, a physical one, will give the absolute age of any organic (animal or vegetable) remains, up to about 20,000 years, a limit which will probably be extended as the techniques improve.

The chemical method is based on the fact that bones and teeth contain a compound known as hydroxyapatite, which will react with fluorine to produce fluera patite. Since fluorine is present in all soil water, although only as a few parts per million, and the reaction can continue until the fluorine content of the bone gets down to about 3 per cent, it will appreciated that the fluorine content of bones taken from a series of layers in an archaeological site can be used to determine the relative age of the layers; the greater the fluorine content, the greater the age of the specimen. (British Dental Journal. June 2nd 1950. pp 292-299 and references)

The physical method depends on the determination of the C14 content of the specimen.

Carbon 14 (usually written C14) is a form of carbon which is radioactive; it is formed in the earth’s atmosphere by the sun’s radiation and disappears by its own spontaneous radioactive decay. It will be seen that, provided the sun’s radiation has remained the same rate for a period rather longer than 20,000 years in which we are interested, then the C14 in the atmosphere will be at a constant proportion throughout that time. The formation of C14 by the sun will balance that lost by radioactive decay and a steady state will be reached.

All animals and plants carry out a continuous exchange of body carbon with the carbon in the atmosphere so that; the percentage of C14 in their bodies remains the same as that in the atmosphere, until the moments when the organism dies, when the C14 content of the body starts to decrease.

Carbon 14 decays radioactively at such a rate that half of it will have disappeared in 5589 plus or minus 75 years. This is known as its half life and is completely independent of all normal and physical conditions. Thus is will be seen that an accurate determination of the C14 content of nay organic specimen will give its absolute age in years. For example, if the C14 content of a specimen is exactly ¼ of the content of the earth’s atmosphere, then its age will be 11,178, plus or minus 300 years. The error is quadrupled because two half life periods are involved, and because the same errors will occur in the measurement of the radioactive activity of the specimen as occurred in the original experiments for the measurement of the half life of C14.

Trip to Upper Ease Gill

A party of club members joined the meet organised by the Craven Pothole Club in the last week of July at Bullpot Farm, above Kirby Lonsdale, to explore the newly opened Upper Ease Gill system.

Don and Clare Coase and Pongo Wallis arrived on the Saturday night, after struggling up the atrocious track and pitched camp. It was very gratifying to hear that B.S.A. had abandoned Lancaster Hole and that as C.P.C. had laddered it, it would be possible to explore it. Sunday morning accordingly saw a party of 12 depart down Lancaster, to appear 5 hours alter at Rosy Sink – the entrance to the Ease Gill Caverns, a matter of a mile or so as the crow flies. This must be the finest underground traverse in the country, including as it does, a series of vast chambers. (Don got a blister from walking too far). The formations are not numerous, but there are a number of quite fine collections.

The next trip was on Tuesday, by which time the B.E.C. party was complete – Sett, Mike Jones, Mervyn Hannam and Norman Petty. A fine trip was enjoyed and a number of photographs taken. The day was spent in exploring Ease Gill. This is very different from Lancaster, being wet in a number of places, and a certain amount of crawling being required. The whole party went in as far as Gypsum Cavern, where there are some very fine formations. Most people then returned to daylight, but Don and Pongo continued upstream for a very easy ¼ mile or so and got to Master Grotto - the showpiece of the system, where the formations are the finest in the country - alas – they hadn’t taken their cameras.

The last trip took place on Thursday, when parts of Lancaster Hole were visited. The main object of the exercise was to get to the Graveyard, but unfortunately we were mis-directed and found Sand Cavern instead - a poor substitute.

The party began to break up on Friday, but all felt that a most enjoyable time has been had and were most grateful to the C.P.C. for organising it.

Many of the older members will no doubt be interested to hear that Pongo and the Coases then went to Appelby where our old friends from the days of the barn, Esme and Freida were met (we camped in the formers barn like old times, but in distinction to them, has an Aga to cook on). Both appeared to be in fine fettle, Esme still knocking back her pint in no uncertain manner.



As this is the Xmas number, all those readers who have waded through this issue so far, will find that it is larger than usual. For this larger BB thanks must go to all those members who so valiantly did their bit and send in articles for publication. If more members would do likewise the BB would always be as large as this.


A Letter of Lamentation

by U.O.

Oh, I joined a caving club to get my weight down, Mrs. Peacock,
And I can’t think why the thought occurred to me:
But I’d tried the firmest diet,
Even Ballet (Keep it quiet)
Yet I’d tyres upon my torso – only more so, Mrs. P.

It was at a social evening that I met her, Mrs. Peacock,
Her figure was a slim as slim could be,
She mentioned then a word
I confess I’d never heard
For she said she was a caver, (but she’s braver far than me).

She took me to a place they call the Belfry, Mrs.Peacock,
Where I stayed all night for quite a moderate fee;
The place is not bad looking,
But there’s such a smell of cooking!
And the people that I meet there aren’t elite there; Mrs. P.

There is a hole on Mendip called Eastwater, Mrs. Peacock,
Where all the swallets run down to meet the sea,
And a shocking cold I caught
When I found – just as I thought,
That when I sit I travel better, (But its wetter) Mrs. P.

Oh, they got me in a pot they call Dolphin, Mrs. Peacock,
And my hips jammed in tight as they could be;
I decided mid’st my raving
That I’d never more go caving
For I really can’t pretend, it was the end I could see.

I suppose you’d say I’m back now where I started, Mrs. Peacock,
Though I knew you wouldn’t mean it unkindly,
You really shouldn’t snigger
Now I’ve told you of the rigour
That I’ve gone through for my figure, for I’m BIGGER; Mrs. P.



The following article has appeared in a slightly different disguise before this, but for the benefit of the younger members, who have probably not seen it, and to whom it should be of interest, it is here reprinted. To the author – Pro Bono B.E.Co. (who is a hard worker for the B.B.) apologies are due if this is the first time that HIS rendering of the article is printed, but as my taking over the Editorship is comparatively recent and the ‘Master File’ of the BB is now quite a volume I am sure that my clanger that I have dropped will be understood. Anyway he knows my address and expect to see him lurking on my doorstep one night.


A Report on the Caves of Burrington 1829.

By Pro Bono BECo

John Rutter in his ‘Delineations of Somerset’ describes Burington Coombe as being remarkable for ‘two curious natural caverns’ but actually elaborates on three. The first, Aveline’s Hole, he calls an ancient catacomb, and says: -

This was discovered accidentally in the year 1795 and contained nearly 50 skeletons, surrounded by black mould, placed regularly close under the north side of the rock, and their feet extending towards the centre. The mouth of the cavern was evidently secreted by a mound of loose stones and earth, mixed with bones of sheep and deer. Within the entrance the cavern expands into a broad natural arch, below which, and inclined plane descends about one hundred yards; the floor afterwards extends horizontally for some distance, and in one place, some immense flat stones had been placed over a crack or fissure which traversed the floor.

At all events the state of the bones affords a presumption of high antiquity; some of which were encrusted with a coating of stalagmite, particularly a skull, the inside of which had been so covered with this substance as to form casts of the channels of the veins.

A note at the bottom of the page suggests that the ‘High antiquity’ dated from the fourth century A.D. and points out that the people probably fled from religious persecution, but in view of the recent finds that is obviously not correct.

But the most interesting part of this description continues: -

About half a mile distant, another of these curious places of sepulture was discovered; which was calculated to contain not less than one hundred skeletons; and higher up the Coombe, not far from Goatchurch, is an extensive and intricate cavern but ‘little known’. He then goes on to describe Goatchurch Cavern.

Although many people have searched for this ‘place of sepulture’ it has been completely lost. The phrase’ higher up the Coombe’ is misleading because it could mean that either the lost cave or Aveline’s was in the gorge below Goatchurch. I personally think that the cave was not in the Coombe at all as it is certainly much less than half a mile from Aveline’s to Goatchurch, also, Rutter states that there were ‘two caverns’ in the Coombe, these being Goatchurch and Aveline’s.

So if anybody feels like doing a bit of digging, or wants a skeleton to hang behind his bedroom door to frighten nasty burglars, there is a cave ready to be found somewhere in a mile diameter circle of Aveline’s Hole. How about it B.E.C.?

Editor’s Note

From time to time the ‘Bright Ideas Dept.’ turns up with different ideas to solve the mystery, one such put forward quite seriously, was to remove all the scree and loose rock from the Coombe; but don’t let failure deter you, who knows? YOU may be the lucky one.

Oh for a skylark. (with apologies to Shelley)

By Ray Brain

Hail to thee, black spirit!
Sane thou never wert,
That from Hell, or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
(get yer ***** foot out of my earhole, you ******).

Lower still and lower
From the top, thou wrigglest
Like a slimy worm.
The black mud thou stirrest
And stirring, ever crawlest, and crawling ever stir.

In the golden lighting
Of Acetylene.
O’er which fumes are gathering
Thou dost rave and scream
Like a maniac, certified, (or one who should have been).

The all prevailing silence
At thy approach is rent,
By shouts of ‘Mind that Stalagmite’,
Or ‘That’s the way they went’.
‘Who tipped that – carbide out?
Cor blimey, what a scent’.

What thou art we know not;
What is most like thee?
From primeval swamp there crawled not
Creatures half so wild,
As from Mendip’s cavern crawl, near to opening time.

Building a Belfry

By Tony Johnson

Part 3.

Ah! this is great. Your budding Belfry builder now has an area of Mendip akin to the Acropolis, except that the pillars are even more erratic, and are couched in a marsh instead, of on a hilltop. To add to this he has a large untidy pile of bits and pieces which are the Bigger and Better Belfry’s for the Boys Committee assure him are the total equivalent of one hut.

His next step is to whip up enthusiasm - promising lifts from the bus at Hillgrove and even more improbable things. As the B.E.C. as a race, are immune to such bribery and cajoling, he has to resort to the big whip. This – one Saturday afternoon - produces a most impressive lot of bods; they all arrive wearing costume, each bent on being the very model of a modern building foreman. Alas, it is not to be, for all are sent thither and hither; for all, it is, fetch that plank, find that roof, get a little stitch and you’ll land in the ditch.

Still, there is much to be done. In order to avoid getting them in through the door later, the floor sections are laid first. With persuasion, they are made to fit their piers or betters, some of, which have unavoidably to be ballasted with roofing felt in layers as a make-height. Discouraging numerous attempts to slope off, the gable ends are erected in all their glory, and various bods are told off to guard them and keep them upright whilst the rest of the gathered intelligentsia adjourn for char in the old Belfry out of the rain that is now falling.

After a respectable, time lapse (two cups, to be precise) the assault on the walls commences. Due to the rain the floor soon becomes a clay skating rink, and things slide along quite merely. But something is amiss! The door is now at the back and there is a five foot gap in the front wall. Visions of draught homes, but no, the missing section is found hiding and is pushed into position.

Here science rears its ugly head, with two wall and two ends, there is only one thing missing. Ah! You already know, the roof. A hunt around the site produced the startling discovery that a wigwam of wood has sprung up under which sundry foremen are sheltering from the rain. It seemed cruel to remove their shelter, so by common consent the meeting was adjourned to the delectable hostelry mentioned in Part 1 or Part 2 of this epic. This ended phase 3 of erecting the new Belfry. (I’ve forgotten what 1 & 2 were).

(to be continued)

(Part 4 of this epic will appear next month. Ed.)

The Decadence

On Nov. 1st last Tony Setterington and Alfie Collins celebrated their decadence – ten years of caving – albeit rather spasmodic. A feast such as has seldom seen before in the Belfry was laid with the invaluable help of Dora and Maisie. This feast, partaken with great relish, was assisted on its way with much Vino and a penalty bottle of sherry. The whole affair was a most pleasant and satisfying one, although it must be said that Ben Dors was rather mystified at the influx of merry men at opening time on a Saturday evening. My grateful thanks to the organisers, and let this serve as a reminder to those who have anything to celebrate in the future, from,

An Imbiber.

Are Rock Climbers Lazy or Hill Walking Makes A Change.

By John (Menace Morris)

Having been one of these somewhat peculiar creatures for some years now, I feel qualified in saying a very definite YES.

In our weekend trips to North Wales, admittedly, we wanted to get as much time on the rock as possible, but even then the time spent ‘in the pub’, as against time ‘on the rock’ was still very high.

This brings me to another point. Do rock climbers get the best out of mountains? My answer again is in the negative. A good part of one’s time on the rock is spent in working out the next horrible move, and being scared stiff. (and anyone who says he hasn’t been scared quite a bit on the rock is a liar, a fool, or both, and unfortunately we all know what happens to people who ignore these feelings).

I will ask any of ‘the boys’ to recall some of the really red latter days, and I think they will find that it was an easy climb, or ridge walk, that provided such a day, rather than a death or glory rock climb.

I remember a chap saying to me that any climb under severe standard was not worth doing. It were better for him that he was never introduced to climbing, for such a person is purely an exhibitionist and not a mountaineer.

It is all the little things that happen on a climb, funny and serious alike, that makes the day, not the climb itself. That is why guide books, with their mass of intricate detail and instruction are a bane as well as a help. The guide book really comes into its own after the climb, when it is a joy to recall some of these details, and agree or disagree with some of the things stated.

For personal reasons I now have given up rock climbing, but have not lost touch with the mountains; in fact, living in Breconshire, I have mountains on my doorstep, and next month I will describe to you some of the things they have to offer.

J.V. Morris


R.J. Bagshaw, Hon. Gen. Sec. 56, Ponsford Road, Bristol. 4.
K. Dobbs, Hon. Assist. Gen. Sec. 55, Broadfield Road, Bristol. 4.
J.W. Ifold, Hon. Librarian, Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol.
M. Hamam, Caving Sec. 14. Vyvyan Terrace, Bristo1.8.
A. Setterington, Hut Warden, 21, Priorswood Road, Taunton, Somt.
P. Ifold, Climbing Sec., 60, Ashley Down Road, Bristol. 7.
T.H. Stanbury, Hon, Editor, B.B. 74, Woodleigh Gdns, Whitchurch, Bristol.




List of Members. No.5.

J.M. Tompsett               6.Peter Street, Taunton, Somt
E.H. Cole                     "Sunny-side" Clarendon Roadt, Kenilworth, Warwickshire
W.W. Hucker                14 Dean Lane, Southville, Bristol.
J.K. Bindon                   19 Morse Road, Redfield, Bristol
P. Daymond                 15 Cheddon Road, Taunton, Somt
F. Seward                     32 Uxbridge Road, Slough, Bucks
S.J. Collins                   33 Valentine Ave, Bexley,
P. Woodroffe                 296 Cooden Drive, Beechill-on-sea, Sussex
Miss K. Hartnell            14 Endsleigh Street, London, WC1
J.L. Hull                        137 Filton Ave, Horfield, Bristol 7

The Belfry Bulletin.

The change in style of the BEB for July has been acclaimed as a great improvement, so it has been decided to continue with it as long as the paper situation permits.

Belfry Charges

It has been decided by the committee, that in view of the popularity of the Belfry, a 'rebate' system be instituted whereby those Members using the hut most frequently will pay a reduced charge. Although' this announcement is rather late for this year, there are plenty of members who will even now reap a benefit from it.  The rates decided on were:- The first 20 nights 1/- per night; the next 20 nights 9d per night; the next 20 nights 6d per night; all subsequent nights free. A season ticket for 40/ can also be obtained! The Season Ticket being available from 1st Jan. to 31st Dec., these dates also being applicable for the reduced rates, viz; On the 1st January any member who is paying reduced rate will again 1/- a night for 20 nights and so on.


A translation by Pipistrelle and Vesperugo

And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of George, at the Feast of Easter, that Beecham, a wealthy man and owner of the land whereon the tribe of the Bat had chosen to dwell, gave audience to one of the Head Men of that tribe.  And said unto him: "Behold, I like thee not, nigh unto my house, neither thee, nor thy tribe.  Here on every seventh night can no man sleep, and my servants are weary from their labour in the fields." And he further said: "Get thee gone, thou, thy tribe, and thy dwelling, unto the furthest part of my land."

And he of the Bat said:" It shall be even so."

But he went away sore troubled, for the dwelling was large, and seemed more than the tribe could move.

Then came unto a maiden of the people, a huntress of great renown, one Pamela, so fair that all marvelled at her beauty. And she said unto them:" Lo, my father's brother hath many men and horses the sound of whose hoofs is as the thunder of the sea. For the love that I bear ye' all, I will persuade him to lend ye a cohort of these horses; with these and a great wagon shall ye move your dwelling."

And they said;'' Yea, it shall be oven so.^

So, on the twelfth day of the month of midsummer, a great number of the tribe gathered at that place. And there came unto them the maiden, as she had promised, driving a cohort of horses.

Then did the tribe heave mightily to lift the dwelling, in three pieces, on to the wagon.  But it moved not. Then said they: "Let us appoint a leader, one that shall say unto this one, “go”, and he goeth, and unto this one, “Come”, and he cometh.  And they chose one Sett from among them, a man not of Royal Blood, but skilled in the making of devices withal, and of piercing voice. And he called unto him all they of the tribe that were likewise skilled in the arts of making engines of war, and, they that were miners in the earth, and said unto them:* How shall this thing be done?"

And one said:" This and even this should we do," and mother said: "Nay, I would do this, and this." Raving heard their counsel, Sett then said unto them:" So shall we do."

And behold, men came running with great bars wrought of iron, so great that one man could scarcely lift with both hands, and these they placed under the divers parts of the duelling.

Then said Sett unto them: “Lift,” and they lifted as one man, and placed a piece of the dwelling upon the great wagon.

Swiftly then were the horses that the maiden had brought harnessed to the wagon, and the tribe said unto her “Take it away.” And she called unto the horses, in the tongue of the people of that place:" Yur! Giddap!" which are the words those people use to drive horses. And they strained mightily, and did bring the dwelling unto its new place.

There were those present, they that had the power of making likenesses on pieces of papyrus, without a pen. And these exercised, their power, and made many likenesses. Which likenesses pleased them greatly, and they did shew them unto all men.

This then was done with all the pieces of the dwelling. And they were upon the ground in their new place, but were not joined in one. And the tribe were weary and said:" Let us break the dwelling into smaller pieces that we may carry them with less labour.

Then came one Weekes, a man that flew even as a bird, and, calling aloud on strange Gods, said: “Nay, let us shift them now.”

And the tribe, likewise calling on other strange Gods, did labour mightily, and did place the dwelling on its proper pillars, and by the eighteenth hour it was done.

Then went they to an Inn, and drank of the wine of that place which they needed sorely, for they were athirst. After that went they their several ways, in carriages drawn by many horses*, to their dwellings, many thousand paces distant.

And in the morning Beecham looked from his window, and said unto his wife and his servants: “It is well.”

*           'Tis said, though I believe it not, that in sundry parts of the world beyond the Pillars of Hercules, men have made carriages to move at great speeds, without horses, oxen or elephants. If so, it is grossly impious.

Club Library

Following up the note printed in the last BB, the Hon. Sec,, and Librarian have been checking up further on the library. As a result of this examination the following books are found to be missing:-

British Caver, Vol. 14. Copy. C.
British Caver, Vol. 15. Copy. A.
Cave Science. No.1.
U.B.S.S. Proceedings 1943. Copy C
U.B.S.S. Proceedings Vol.5. No.3., 1944-46.

The library has always been made available for reference on Thursday evenings, and these books must have been taken home for reference without notifying the Librarian: will all members with books at home please check that they have none of these listed above amongst them: if so please send them, to the Librarian as soon as possible.

From the Hon. Sec's Postbag.

As you all know the Hon. Sec. has a considerable amount of mail from members and others. Some of these letters are from 'Furrln' Parts and are of general interest, others contain items that are worth passing on to members but would not in themselves be worthy of a special article. The Editor will browse through these letters from time to time and anything worth while will be printed under the above heading.

From Tony Crawford, now serving with the Royal Navy. He has been stationed near Porthleven.:-

----—There is a pool called Loe Pool and on the east side of it there is a boarded up opening that leads to an extensive and dangerous lead mine. These caves are noted for their stinking rotten sea-weed, dead fish, crabs and lobster-pots which rather sullies the pure Cornish air.—---------Our Naval Engineers pumped oil fuel through our fire water pipes system, so the fire fighting practice team pumped oil on to a fire, much to their surprise.--------

From Terry Reed, then in Rio:-

Report on Rio is disappointing. "All this coast line is igneous and eruptive. Every minor hill meriting the description of mountain.------- I found nothing even giving me a hope of a 'dirty great hole' and my attention was somewhat diverted when two girls sitting behind me started to squirt scent into my ear, and later into the 3rd. mate's beard--------

From John (Menace) Morris.:-

There is another cave in Plymouth itself; it starts in the limestones down by the Hoe and is supposed to run far a considerable distance. There are supposed to be some very good formations.—--------


We are pleased to announce that S.J. (Alfie) Collins was married on Sat. 19th June to Miss Jean Hill at Dartford.  Pat Woodroofe was the best man.


Back Numbers of this Bulletin are obtainable, when in print, from the Hon. Sec. 3d. each; post free, 4d each.

Programme, for September. October and November, 1948


Saturday 4th              Digging. Vicinity of Belfry
Sunday 35th       Ditto.
Sunday 19th       Swildons 1 & 2


Saturday 9th       Bath Freestone Workings
Sunday 24th       Muddy Mendip Mine Shafts.


Saturday 6th       Lamb Leer.
Sunday 21st       Eastwater, Both Routes.

Will all members intending to go on any of these trips please notify Hon. Sec so that arrangements may be made.


The following poem has been sent down by Don Coase. It was written in the 1935 diving days by, I believe, Mossy Powell to whom we give due acknowledgement; Club members who have been on CDG Ops. at Wookey, will I am sure enjoy it. Ed.

On Saturday nights the Diving Gang,
A wild and lawless crew,
With pumps, and ropes, and scarlet hats,
And shirts of navy blue,
Come roaring down from Mendip's heights
In Wookey Hole to pitch-
So call the Wing-Co. quickly Boys,
To chaperone the Witch!

Begob! They are the toughest crowd
That ever filled the Cave,
The Celtics and Romano- Brits
Lie shaking in their grave.
They'd use a pound of gelignite,
To open any niche
So call the Wing-Co, quickly Boys,
To chaperone the Witch!

The Diver takes some holding down,
It's done with leaden weights,
His frightful boots are made of brass,
As Safety First dictates.
His range is quite four hundred feet,
Before there comes a hitch-
So call the Wing-Co, quickly Boys,
To chaperone the Witch!

Before they go, on Sunday Morn,
They take a last look round,
And anything they may have missed
Will now be surely found;
The mermaids of the river Axe
Lie swooning in the ditch,-
So call the Wing-Co, quickly Boys,
To chaperone the Witch!

Will all those stalwarts who are interested in digging please Contact Jim Weekes or Dick Woodbridge, when they will find that there is plenty of work at hand for them to do.

The Belfry

The new hut is still being chased but there has, at the time of to press, been no purchase made as yet. The old Hut had been reared phoenix like from its own ashes and is being used until the great day.


Those members who attend our Thursday evening meetings will remember out American friend Albert Eccles, "Ek" to the gang. He has now returned to and has sent over a cartoon cut from a newspaper in his home town.  This cartoon shows two mountain goats.  One of those has fallen off its mountain top, and is lying rather the worst for wear on .a pile of boulders at its foot. The caption reads:-“A family tradition of sure-footedness for ten thousand years, and you have to bust it!” He has added: “Dedicated to all the B.E.C. Cavers. It may not be Stoke Lane, but—-----!!!”

Ek had his first experience of Caving in Stoke Lane.

More news from is from Joan Fountain in Texas. She sends her love to all the gang and Happy Caving!!


One Belfry Tent, Property of B.E.C.,
One Ground Sheet, Property of Pongo Wallis,
One Sleeping Bag, Property of R.A. Setterington,
& One Folding Primus, Property of B.E.C.

The above have been borrowed from the Belfry. Would the person who did the dirty deed please return them as soon as possible. If gear is wanted please ask any committee man, who will willingly explain who owns the various kit and if it is borrowable.


In these days of inflation & what have you, the costs of developing and printing has also risen. Members will be pleased to hear that if they contact Bob Bagshaw they can obtain films and get developing, printing and enlarging done at about 2/3 of normal shop prices.


T.H. Stanbury,   Hon. Sec, 74. Redcatch Read, Bristol.4.
J.C. Weekes,    Recorder & Assist. Sec, 376 Wells Road, Bristol.4.
D.H. Hasell        Hon. Editor, Belfry Bulletin, 1.Stoke Hill Cottage, Chew Stoke, Somt.
A.M. Innes        Hon. Librarian, 246, Filton Ave., Bristol.7.
G.Platten,         Hon. Editor, British Caver, Rotherfield Fernhill Lane, New Milton Hants..