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Brickbats Dept.

The notice at the bottom of this page we find a trifle disturbing.  While nobody would suggest that cavers deliberately try to avoid paying what nowadays is a small sum to the farmer, it is evident that many members tend to forget this item when changing to go underground.  It would be a bad thing if we got a reputation of dodging this sort of thing, and we hope that readers will take the Caving Secretary's notice seriously.

Censorship Dept.

Having told our anonymous correspondent 'Stalagmite' to be as forthright as he likes, we have had to delete a passage from his contribution this month, as we feel that - however justified his comment might be - it is hardly in the best interests of our sport, all this is not intended to make a mystery out of this subject, but to make clear to any contributors to the B.B. that criticism of other organisations are best dealt with by a  direct approach, and not through the medium of the club magazine.


In spite of everything, we are still living very much from hand to mouth.  If you have done anything worthwhile, which you feel would interest other club members (especially original caving) PLEASE send it along.


Finally, apologies for the lateness and lack of 'finish' of this B.B.  This is due to 'pressure of work'!



Would all club members PLEASE NOTE that a fee of ONE SHILLING is payable for each person going down G.B. cave and that this should be paid to the leader of the trip or some other person nominated to collect the money ON THE DAY OF THE TRIP.  On each of the last four occasions when the club has visited G.B., there has been a considerable discrepancy between the number of people on the trip and the amount of money collected and this has resulted in either the Caving Secretary or the leader of the party being OUT OF POCKET. At the time of writing, the discrepancy for the latest trip is £1.12.0!!  In addition, the leader of the party should ensure that some paper and a pencil are left at the entrance and ALL members should sign their names when entering the cave and cross them off when leaving.

C.A. Marriott,
Caving Secretary.

New Discoveries in Stoke Lane

by Mike Thompson.

Previous to the recent dive in Stoke Lane, there have been two attempts to pass the final sump.  On the 10th Septembers 1956, John Buxton ran into technical difficulties and was not able to do more than probe the sump without equipment.  He found what appeared to be the way on at a depth of about eight feet and to the right of where the stream entered the final pool.  On the 9th May, 1959, Phil Davies carried out a solo dive.  Passing through the opening discovered by John, he emerged into a chamber with a small air space.  Beyond, he entered what seems to be a submerged bedding plane four feet wile and eighteen inches high at a depth of five feet.  This sump was penetrated for about eighteen inches.

In 1960, those of us who dive in Somerset prepared a diving programme.  Stoke Lane was included more to make weight than because we had any real hope of making progress.  Never¬theless, on the 16th September, we met at the farm, "we" being a large party of Wessex, Shepton and B.E.C. members.  We made our way to Bone Chamber where diving commenced without delay. Steve Wyne-Roberts took first turn and vanished for an unconscionable length of time.  We got to the point of wondering whether to send in second divers when he returned, and, with a splendidly dead-pan expression, announced that he had passed the sump and that Stoke Lane III went “marching on". The sump was approximately twenty five feet long and contained a ferocious underground squeeze at presumably just beyond the point where Phil had turned back.  His consolation for having been so near must be that, with the type of equipment that he was wearing, it would have been impossible for him to have passed the squeeze.  Fred Davies then dived towing a line, and I followed.  Steve had not underestimated the squeeze, which would be tight above water, let alone below it.  Once past it, we emerged into a small pool, the commencement of a tunnel ten feet high and about as wide.  As soon as Steve rejoined us, we set out to explore.  This part of III is very similar to II.  At two points there are great piles of boulders similar to the Main Chamber, holding out promise of a high level system.  Further on, in a big passage entered on the left, are magnificent stalactites.  All this was too good to last, and after about four hundred feet, we found ourselves ruefully gazing at another sump.  The passage had become very tortuous and low, the sump occupying its full width, about twelve feet.  We turned back, but within a few feet I noticed an ascending tunnel.  We found ourselves in a complex of passages about four feet high, their floors covered in orange gours.  More by luck than judgement, we took the right turnings, passed a very low duck, and dropped back into the stream, having bypassed the sump. Once again the passage was big enough to walk along, but this time it rapidly decreased in height, developing into a wide bedding plane half full of water.  We crawled along this for about two hundred feet until we suddenly entered a cross rift.  Our combined electric lights were unable to show us the top, which must be seventy or eighty feet above the stream.  The continuation of the waterway now entered a waterlogged fissure, reminiscent of Buxton's Horror in Swildons V.  We penetrated this for about thirty feet before calling it a day.  We still had not reached another sump, but, judging from the quantities of foam on the water it was not far away.  The passage appears to widen below the surface, so we still have another diving prospect.

"And there" as Balch would have said, "the matter rests." and I would add “but not for long!"  We hope to be back in III this year, our first task being to open the sump for non-divers, or even create a new entrance.   There will be plenty of work for everyone if we are to explore, photograph and survey the new series.

Changes of Addresses

Jill Rollason is now at 141, North Road, St. Andrews Park, Bristol.

Noel McSharry's present address is 4267236 J/T N. McSharry, 303 S.U., R.A.F. Khormaksar, B.P.P.0.69.


With the advent of the lighter evenings, climbing has been recommenced in the Avon Gorge and it is hoped to meet every Thursday between 6 and 7 pm.  Information about any particular Thursday can be obtained at the Waggon & Horses the previous Thursday or by telephoning Roy Bennett during working hours at Avonmouth 3631, Ext 208.  New members are very welcome.

On the Hill

(or T.W.T.M.T.W.)

The spring has sprung; the grass is riz, I know where some weegees is.  They’re down in Burrington Coombe, in Goatchurch.  Scouts combined with the Bristol Cine Club are doing a film on a rescue in a Mendip cave.  Can Goatchurch be flooded?

Judging by the water which was going down Pete Bird's dig the other day, it could be.  This dig was taking an impressive amount of water. Pete certainly deserves to be right about this dig, and it would be nice to see this sort of persistence rewarded.

The M.R.O., in the shape of Luke, arranged for some cavers to appear on T.V. sometime in the future. A suspense film, provisionally called ‘Operation Mole’ supposed to be taking place in Derbyshire, actually filmed at Wookey by the Glasgow studios.

Leaders nowadays are getting to be an ever increasing problem, from our own elaborate St. Cuthbert’s Leader System (I wonder how many actually know the system?) to the question of who is qualified to lead trips down most Mendip caves.  Surely not anyone or we merely repeat the latest Longwood debacle.  Unfortunately, I have no constructive ideas, so I will leave it to those who have. Comments please.

Clubs are having a comparatively quiet time, only a few gems of information have reached my shell like ears. The Shepton brood have appeared in a new type of caving headgear, which has also spread rapidly to some parts of our own club - Firemen's helmets, reminding me 'for arl the whorld of an old rhyme'.  With additional accessories, this could be the ideal equipment to deal with Firemen's Hole.

Nothing new has come from Wessex, although seeing one of the older 'empire builders' visiting again, I thought that maybe a new empire was in the offing, but no.  Wessex still chilly.  A bit more digging has been going on, it is rumoured, on Eastern Mendip by Cerberus and their minions, Border and H.M.S. Ariel, at St. Dunstan's Rising.  Working upstream from a rising has not so far proved very successful on Mendip   (C.D.G. at Wookey excepted).   I wish them the best of luck.

The M.N.R.C. nowadays leaves a big query.  No one seems to know what they are doing and, apart from a few members to be seen at the T.V. audition, they seem to be dead or at least dormant.

Axbridge are still doing their odd digging (I can find out nothing specific) and not only in caves. I see recently that they corrected the B.B. thinking that IT was the only monthly caving magazine on Mendip. Shocking!

News from our own club is by far the most startling this month.  Garth has taken leave of his senses (about the only sort of leave he'll get! - Ed) and has decided that 22 years in the army will help him recover them. Maybe it will.  It took me about two days in the service to find out that I'd had enough, and two years compulsory is more than enough for anyone. My spy reveals that there is a movement afoot which will put caving before drinking.  Surely the last possible thing to happen in a caving club of such repute.

In accordance with the B.B. article on writing an article it seems that on average already I should have retired and YOU should be writing this article.  This could be a good idea.

Thought for this month: Ponder on how difficult it is to think of a thought that will last a month.

P.S.  Can anyone tell me via the B.B. whether any work has been done at Cross Swallet since Fincham had his bang?


Climbing in North Wales

The North Wales snow had gone, at least the snow in our area had, and so the ice axes were left behind.  Instead of the anticipated snow climbs it was decided to walk to the cwm on the North side of the Carnedds, from the Manchester University Club hut at Tyn-y-Maes and attempt a roped climb.  Though the snow had melted and gone from the peaks and ridges, the cliff, being a North Face, was covered in unstable ice and a moderate route to the ridge was decided the safest.  The day was completed by some members of the party ‘bagging’ the peak of Carnedd Dafydd and following the ridge parallel to the Capel Curig-Bethesda road and dropping down to the hut.

Saturday evening was spent at the local pub where four members of the party gave a demonstration of snooker (“What’s the purple ball for?") while another two of the party took on a team from the local populace.

Tryfan, being convenient, was the obvious choice for Sunday's climbing and after some hair raising situations due to the intensity of the wind plucking climbers from the rock face, Gashed Crag and the First Pinnacle Rib were climbed.  Up to the moment when the two parties rendezvoused by Llyn Ogwen following the climb of Tryfan, the weekend had been conventional enough with numbers of the party remarking that the weather, apart from the wind, being extremely pleasant; but a minor drama was to follow.  Noreen. Crockford, who had declined to climb either of the two routes, walked to the summit to wait, but after an hour of intense cold, moved off the summit to the wall on the saddle between Tryfan and Glyder Fach.  The first party to the summit, Tony Dunn, Peter Scott and ‘Mo’ Marriott, descended to the wall, not finding Noreen and returned to Llyn Ogwen.  The second party, Geoff Mossman,  Steve Tuck and Lionel Williams, unaware of the events, returned to Llyn Ogwen without going to the summit.  When it was confirmed that Noreen was not with any party, Peter Scott and ‘Mo’ Marriott returned to Tryfan.  However, soon after their departure, Noreen returned and after ascertaining that she was safe and well, the rest of the party departed.  The weather on Tryfan had meanwhile closed in with snow and freezing rain on the saddle and summit and the cloud base had lowered to almost road level, making conditions fatiguing.  After two hours on the mountain, the search party returned to Llyn Ogwen.  It was then decided to spend another night at Tyn-y-Maes and return to Bristol on the Monday.

Caving Log

The only trip of note in January was the caving meet to Lamb Leer which has already been reported in the B.B.  On February 10th, John Cornwall, Kevin Abbey and Garth did some further pushing in the Long Chamber extension, and also removed some more of the telephone wire.

Various trips were done to Swildons, Eastwater, St. Cuthbert’s, August and Goatchurch during February and March.  These were of a routine or a photographic type except one quick look at the Cuthbert’s entrance situation on the 10th March to examine the effects of the cold spell with particular reference to the new subsidence at the top of the old entrance shaft.

P.S. Kevin Abbey (9th March) wishes to point out to Val Jones that he has also done Swildons Sump I twice!


Readers will, no doubt, have read in the national press that another fatal accident had occurred in a Mendip cave.  This time in Longwood, where a member of a Bristol College of Technology party, Miss Heather Muirhead, died at the bottom of the entrance pitch in flood conditions. This sad occasion once more highlights the effects of sudden and abnormal weather conditions.  The plan to bring the Cuthbert’s water under control is now well advanced and we as a club would do well to intensify our efforts to complete this job and thus remove any similar danger from our own doorstep. This is possibly the best way we can help M.R.O. and Mendip caving as a whole.


Once again, the B.B. is being published late in the month, again owing to a shortage of material. We realise that, in spite of the effort made recently to find out what members wanted to read about, the B.B. is not making the grade.  Lack of caving due to the weather may be partly to blame, but apart from this, the remedy is in YOUR hands.


Apologies are due to the Axbridge Caving Club & Archaeological society for the statement in the Christmas B.B. that the B.B. was the only monthly caving magazine on Mendip. The Axbridge monthly News letter also shares this distinction.

Club News - A Monthly Review of Club Activities

Caving Meets 1963.

The second Caving Meet - a tour round Redcliffe Caves in Bristol, was rather disappointing.  A very large number of members and friends attended, but we were all put in our place very soon by the guide who told us that this was not a caving trip!  Unfortunately, we were only shown over about half the area of caves that is accessible without going through the second doorway - about a third of the area previously mapped by club members.  The guide, incidentally, seemed to view the copy of the survey produced during the trip with some doubt as to its accuracy and usefulness, and proceeded to enliven what would otherwise have been a boring trip with some “facts" about the caves.  The first fact, he explained, was that nobody knew how old the caves were.  He then came out with the remark which still has us baffled that the caves were 'built by hand but nothing was dug out' - a remarkable achievement.  We later learned that no one knows how the air gets into the caves.  The door through which we entered is presumably ruled out for some reason.  Possibly the air has hot obtained the permission of the City Engineer's Department to enter by this means!  In spite of the frustration however, the trip was an interesting, if short, re-acquaintance of the B.E.C. and Redcliffe Caves.

The next on the list of 'official' meets is one to Fairy Cave Quarry on Sunday, 28th April.  The meeting time has now been altered to 1200 hrs at the Belfry.

After this, a trip to Agen Allwedd is planned for the weekend 24-26 May, and the Meet will be held in the Crickhowell area.  It is hoped to take several parties into 'Aggy Aggy' with members of the Chelsea Speleological Society acting as guides.  Will the interested members contact the caving secretary as soon as possible and in any event, not less than three weeks before the date of the trip, in order that ‘blood chits’ can be sent in.  Any people requiring transport, or with space for passengers in their own transport please inform the caving sec.  More details in the April B.B.

Skiing '63

Although not wishing to be quoted as saying so, it does appear that the snow has gone.  What has been variously described as the worst winter since 1740 or the coldest since 1823 has also proved to be a considerable trial to the mountaineers amongst us.  Weekend after weekend we've had to go to suitable slopes and ski.  Weekend after weekend we've discovered that the local ski runs were still with us and have been obliged to go out, often in conditions of bright sunshine, and spend whole days dragging our weary selves and skis to the top of slopes, only to slide down again.

The result of this excessivity has been to polish the competence of those who could ski and provide an opportunity to learn to others.  It can be claimed, I think, that "Mo" Marriott, John Eatough and I have learned to slide and turn with some degree of certainty, certainly enough to be able to enjoy a good downhill run, while at the other extreme, the Bennetts and Attwoods have had enough concentrated practice to take any combination of snow and slope with vigour.  Regulars at the various sites have been Tony Dunn indoctrinating his daughter and Audrey Attwood snatching runs-in between rescuing young Simon from a conviction that snow equals sand.

Even among this small company, every opportunity has been seized to further the downhill versus ski-mountaineering controversy with the exponents of each about equally divided. The argument was never resolved, and we hope never will be but it was interesting to the last weekend of perfect snow that the down pull hitches were fully exploited and to hell with broken legs. Incidentally, the only casualty recorded was Dave Radmore who sprained a knee on Pat Ifold's home made skis.  A downhill accident.

The most useful ski runs to come to light were at Burrington (Sheet 165 488580) at Swainswich (Sheet 156 753695) below the garage and at Lansdown (Sheet 156 722705).  There were several other runs (including one in my back garden) but the ones given above proved the most consistent.  The Burrington course had a suit suitable nursery slope while on one weekend at least, a, cross-country course was enjoyed on top.  This particular site (I'm afraid it was the weekend of the Lamb Leer Meet) saw an impromptu ski meet of at least a dozen B.E.C, members.  The Eatough stop was demonstrated at this meet, I remember.  A sort of slow, graceful, vee movement of the planks culminating in a pushing of the face in the snow.  Charming.

About this time Marriott reported good snow at Swainswick and it is here, perhaps, that the best local runs will be found in future.  Very conveniently situated next to the road is a varied slope dipping for about 250 feet. The slope is wide and dotted with trees making a most interesting run.  The whole valley in fact has possibilities.  It is one of the few places, where, within seconds of leaving a road, you can have a skiing accident cheaply.

Lansdown for skiing was discovered at the end of the season.  We had decided that, now our favourite spots were bare of snow, we would look around.  We came across a first class undulating field with snow in perfect condition.  The club got what may be its best runs for 1963 on this when Attwood avoided a Monday morning feeling by skiing instead.

R.S. King.


A very well attended lecture at the Museum Lecture theatre was given by John Eatough on Wednesday, March 20th.  A reasonably large section of the audience were found to be wearing the right tie, and forgathered in the Museum after the lecture for coffee.  Apart from a spot of bad work on the projector in the early stages, when the general level of illumination was somewhat low, John's slides came out extremely well on the mammoth screen.  The talk went down very well with the public and the questions were varied at "question time" after the lecture.  A point for other lecturers to note - John was completely audible in the large; hall with no amplification system.

Thoughts of a Claustrophobic Mum.

We are particularly pleased to print the following poem, as we think it is a completely new departure in opening up a new source of contributors to the B.B.!  It has been sent to us by the mother of one of our younger members, and is entitled

Can someone' PLEASE explain to me
The 'joys' of speleology?
Where is the pleasure to be found
In crawling, mole like, underground?
Better far see flowers bloom
Than burrow midst the stygian gloom.

When sun is shining, blue the sky,
And sweet the lark sings up on high,
What is the dark compelling urge
That in these cavers bosoms surge
Which takes them groping, slipping, sliding,
To where nocturnal bats are hiding?

Lit only by a tiny lamp
Into the earth, grave like and damp,
Amid the mud, through hidden stream,
Without, the daylight's heartening gleam,
Entombed in deep-red Mendip clay.
They scorn God's precious gift of day.

Exploring the dark Orpheus state
To deepest cavern, where may wait
The soul of Palaeolithic man
Dead scion of cave-dwelling clan,
Inhabitants of constant night
Eyes catlike, un-attuned to light.

And in the end, what have they gained?
When, muscles aching, sinews strained,
Emerges the weird troglodyte
Blinking owl-like in the light
To live again, as normal men
That curious, earthbound denizen.

For mothers yet, the aftermath.
Mud clogged sink and dirt rimmed bath.
Rucksack and helmet in the hall
And Mendip dirt thick over all
But calm for a while, the worry past,
Our caving son's safe home at last!


P.S. Will some troglodyte take up the challenge and write a poem extolling the virtues of his pastime?

Well, how about it, blokes?     (Ed.)


Congratulations to Brian ("Prew") and Brenda Prewer on the birth of their son, Steven. Also to Ron ("Kangy") and Ann King on the birth of their son, Jonathan.


Have you paid your sub yet?        You HAVE?  Then it can't be you we're knocking at!

On the Hill

(or T.W.T.M.T.W.)

Another of the regular 'features' suggested in the Christmas B.B. starts this month.  We hope that this survey of what is going on Mendip will contain a good proportion of caving news and-keep members up to date on what is going on....

Reading club journals the other day, I came across an article on page 156 of the Wessex Journal which suggests that a suicide cult has developed on Mendip - abseiling. Unfortunately, the writer could not know what was to be actually printed since, on page 161, a further article appeared extolling the virtues of abseiling.  It seems that the practice is to abseil quite longish pitches, which, if one can trust the rope, seems quite a fair idea, but to me leaves one major question unanswered.  How the hell do you get back up?  If abseiling in caving is to become a general practice, I think the time has come for me to change my address, conveniently omitting to tell M.R.O.

I hear that some of the Cerberus members made a trip to Blakes Farm Slocker (U.H.?) in an attempt to re-open and extend same, but have given up because of water and too much work involved.  However, at their cottage great efforts have been made and a garden wall knocked down to make a gate for a car park.  Now they needn't bother with parking meters!

There is a rumour about the Stoke Lane area that some fine, upstanding quarryman is going to blow the top off Bone Chamber.  This is the best by-pass to the sump that I could think of.  There is obviously an opening for this chap to deal with some other Mendip caves.  A counter rumour is that the quarry is up for sale.  Apply Treasure, Stoke Lane.

Chelsea Speleos are still going great guns in South Wales, braving snowdrifts on the tram road to get to their Sunday school, and underground in Aggy Aggy, braving the rigours of what now appears an excessively long trip to find and explore ever more and more passage.  They're certainly doing a grand job.

The Charterhouse Caving Committee also seem to be doing their best to ensure that access is maintained to caves in their area.  I hear that they are trying to produce the be-all and end-all of blood chits.  A very difficult task, and surely, even when accomplished, no more legal than any other?

Border Caving Group are beginning to appear on Eastern Mendip nowadays. These lads from the Aldershot area are at Cerberus Cottage, affiliated I gather. Maybe they will come up with something new in that area.  Someone should.

The Shepton brood are still alive, rather involved in electro survey equipment but I'm sure willing to entertain guests with suitable T.  Of other clubs, very little has been heard this month.  Axbridge is doing a bit of digging in odd places; M.C.G. and the Marquess have gone very quiet and so have the University of Bristol Splinter groups.

There are some unusual happenings in the B.E.C.  Someone went caving?  An editor was plainly heard to shout out loud, "I'm not writing the entire ruddy thing!" and someone was seen in the Belfry marking exam papers!

With the advance of the year into spring, the usual queue of weegees should re-appear at Maines Barn. I shall be pleased to be able once-more to get to the Hunters and enjoy the fine choral masterpieces, though even this seems to be one of Mendip's dying arts.



Some of you will only now be receiving the Christmas B.B. with this one.  Apart from the lateness of the Christmas B.B., due to the lack of material sent in until the last minute, over fifty B.B.'s have been stuck in a snowdrift at Hillgrove for a week and have only just been ‘rescued’. One consolation.  Those who have only just got their Christmas B.B. can be assured that the B.B. they now have has been a jolly sight colder then they have over the last week or so!

There is still an ACUTE SHORTAGE of articles etc. for the B.B.  In consequence, this B.B. - although on the lines suggested in the Christmas B.B - is way out on amount of space devoted to various subjects.

Notice.  There will be a talk in Priddy Hall by David Causer on MARCH 2ND, 1963.

The subject being on the recent African expedition including slides of native women.

Club News - A Monthly Review of Club Activities

Caving Meets - 1963.

Following the notice in the November issue of the B.B., the following meet programme has been arranged for the first half of 1963.

All four of the meets are relatively ‘easy’ - this has been done to ensure that the scheme gets off to a good starts and to cater for the less experienced members of club.

1.         Sunday, 20th January.

Lamb Leer.  Meet in Lamb Leer quarry at 1.00 pm, N.G.R. 543550. Bus from Bristol at 11.32 am No 139.

2.         Thursday 7th March.

Redcliffe Caves.  Meet in Redcliffe Way, outside St. Mary Redcliffe at 7.15 pm.  Caving clothes not essential for this trip.

3.         Sunday, 23rd April. 

Fairy Cave Quarry Area.  Meet at Belfry at 1.45 pm.  Bus from Bristol at 12.05 pm No27.  Exact details of this trip will be announced later, but it is hoped that parties will be able to enter Balch's Hole, Hillier's Hole, Fernhill and Fairy caves.

4.         Friday, 14th June.

Coombe Down Stone Workings. Meet in main courtyard outside Bath Abbey, near Roman Baths; at 7.45 pm.  Buses from Bristol at 6.25, 6.35, 6.45 No 33.

In the case of the Lamb Leer and Fairy Cave Quarry meets, it would be useful if those interested in going would contact the Caving Sec, about two weeks before the date, so that some idea of the total number of people likely to attend the meet will be known beforehand, and in addition, for the Fairy Cave Quarry and Coombe Down meets, any spare seats in cars, vans, or on motorbikes will be greatly appreciated by those who have no transport.  Once again, those who have transport could contact the Caving Secretary the week before the meet and let him know what will be available.

C.A. Marriott, Caving Secretary.

Committee Meeting.

Owing, as they say, to the inclement weather (of which more later) there was no committee meeting for January.

Christmas at the Belfry.

As the winter held the Mendip in its icy grip, a small party gathered at the Belfry to celebrate Christmas. Christmas day was b***** cold and all in the Belfry were glad to gather round the stove, all waiting for the time to pass until dinner.  At about a quarter to twelve, the scene had changed - white shirts and suits were seen in fantastic numbers as their owners dashed about dressing for dinner.

The dinner was to be held at the Star Hotel in Wells, all arranged by Spike and Pam.  The time came to depart and there was quite a job squeezing 12+ bodies into 3 small cars, but it was done and off we went.  First stop Hunters (naturally) to wish our favourite landlord the season's greetings (crafty move for a drink on the house) and then on to the Star.

Fifteen and a half sat down to a damn good dinner, with Frank Darbon, Prew and Brenda and their relations hiding in another corner of the room.  (Frank had two of everything).  The crowd at our table were Spike and Pam, Graham and Julie, Alan Thomas, Rosemary, Alfie, Nigel, Garth, Roger Jarman, Len, Phil and baby Steven, Gordon, Jim Hill and Rotten.  It took about an hour and a half to stuff ourselves, drink cur wine, and get thrown out (we left sober).  Then back to the Belfry to give certain people time to rest their large corporations.

In the evening, several more people braved the cold and joined us, each bringing a bottle of course. Noel was already there, then came John Lamb and Jane, Ron and Pat, Sally and Bob Price.

Everything started off quietly, a glorious spread of food provided by Spike and Pam, who really worked hard at it, was followed by plenty of wines and beer - especially home made wines (ugh?)  Food and drink vanished rapidly and as the evening went on things became lively. Various games were played such as bottle walking, and then came the final trick of the evening.  Three brave climbers traversed round the inside of the Belfry, starting off at the Men’s Room.  Our intrepid three set off, roped at the neck, Noel leading, Garth seconding and Alfie bring up the rear.  They climbed steadily until the main door was reached when alas! a piton broke (Coathanger) under Alfie.  Quick thinking saved him and on they went, passing large prickly trees en route (Holly) until, after traversing across a bread ledge, they cant; to a rather dicey bit. Tragedy struck!  The third man slipped and fell (about three feet). Saddened by the loss, the leader and second pressed on until they reached the volcanic part of the climb (Stove). Noel, by using pressure holds, got across but Garth, suddenly finding himself un-roped, made a quick dash for safety across the top of the stove and made it & good display of climbing by all.

Eventually all went to kip, except the four who stayed up and cleaned up the mess.  My thanks to them and to Pam and Spike for their splendid efforts which made the party go with a swing.

John (Rotten) Ransom.

New Year at the Belfry.

For many years now, whenever snow has fallen at the Belfry, we have joked about it and wished that it would get too deep for us to be able to get back to work.  On Saturday, 29th of December, it happened at last!

By Sunday morning, the neighbourhood was sufficiently different that you had a job to recognise any familiar landmarks, and exploration parties were sent out through almost continuous waist high snow in search of essential supplies.  These were obtained as the parties managed to reach both the New Inn and the Hunters.  The New Inn party even managed to bring bad some luxury items, such as food, from the stores which had a snowdrift over the roof.  This party, consisting of John Cornwell, Alfie and Tony Baker, also took photographs on the way.

By Sunday evening, the weather forecast promised a thaw and said that all the snow would be gone by Monday. However, on Monday it was even colder and the high winds had made the drifts much deeper although in between them, most of the snow was blown, away.   Monday was spent shovelling - some of the walkers decided to leave - and the rest concentrated, on getting a way clear for the transport to get out.

A bulldozer had a go from the Hillgrove, but the road was only open for an hour or so just before dark. Nobody fancied getting stuck in the dark, although, Alfie drove up to the Hunters to enable him to get a good start on the 'Tuesday.

The Dozer had another go on Tuesday and Alfie got to the Hillgrove, but was defeated by Hedge, the  party reassembled at the Belfry with one vehicle less, and was joined by Roger Stenner who came out to join in the pantomime.  By this time, the Belfry was organised on a communal basis, and very well it worked too. All food was pooled and cooked together and we were all treated to the most amazing tea which we would otherwise never have sampled!

On the Wednesday, the party crammed into the remaining vehicles and went out together.  Spike had to dismantle, de-ice, and reassemble his bike and Roger and Gordon's car got ignition trouble but eventually we all got back to Bristol, a most unusual weekend.


P.S.  The Belfry was 'inhabited' during both the weekends following this incident, maintaining its unbroken record of 'never closing'

Trips from the Caving Log

On the 2nd of August, during a beginner's trip down Swildons, Mike Baker noted that once more, not a single drop of water was going down the Forty.  Also on the 2nd, Roger Stenner continued the survey of Wet and Waterfall pitches in Cuthbert’s.  They spent twelve hours in the cave without going past Mud Hall!  On the 4th August, Roger and his brother Derek brought out the remains of the telephone wire from Cuthbert’s.  It was Derek's second trip.  On the previous one, he helped to bring in the phone wire in 1966.

The survey of Wet and Waterfall pitches was continued on the 15/16 August by Roger Stenner and party, when a closed traverse was completed.  Jim Hill, on the 18th August, also down Cuthbert’s, reports that the Primus stove in the Dining Room is in A1 working order.

One notes that the removal of the telephone wire from Cuthbert’s is also claimed by a party led by Mikes Wheadon and Palmer on the 19th August.  Perhaps a little man takes it back in again in the meantime!

More surveying in Cuthbert’s on the 19th and 21st August by Roger and Pat Takle filling in detail. On the 28th of the month, a Cuthbert’s trip, with Maurice Iles, Joyce Searle, Gerald, and Roger Stenner had as its object to bring out the telephone wire.  Perhaps it would help this (by now bewildered) reader of the log, if all future trips of this nature would report the measure of success they had!

Mike Calvert reports that the Strand is filthy because of people not sticking to the usual route.  It would be a pity for September Series to meet the fate of so many of the better parts of other Mendip caves.

Not a drop of water running. Z Alley in Reads, another place seldom visited by the B.E.C. was, done by Roger Stenner and party on the 16th September.

Noel spent some time in Priddy Green on the 16th September, but much work unfortunately produced no advance except, an excellent view into mud passage!  He had another go on the 26th September, and reckons that the passage will go eventually.

More work in Heale Cave was carried out on the 13th October.  Mike Thompson’s chemical persuader plus Alfie’s patent tamping goo shattered several boulders in the 380 inch way.  On the 20th October a trip of a rather different type was undertaken by some members.  Gough's was done in best clothes with beer and cigars.  Our guide was Bob Pyke.

More discoveries in Cuthbert’s on the 21st October when a party consisting of Eatough, Attwood and Kangy went probing in the line of the Great Fault between Lake Chamber and Rocky Boulders.  A well decorated passage some 200’ in length was found.

A call out occurred in Swildons on the 28th October, which luckily proved unnecessary.  Alert occurred at 7 pm concerning a party which were supposed to be finding it heavy going at the twin pots at about 2 pm and had not been seen since.  They had apparently taken in some rather dicey ladders.  The dicey ladders were still in place at 8 pm, so a preliminary recce was made, and their empty tent and caravan found at 9.30.  Into gear and Garth, Pat Irwin and Roger went to the cave but found they had just come out.  The party had not told anyone where they were going, or how long they were going to be.  Some method of checking in and out of the cave is needed if this kind of alarm is not to be repeated.

On the 29th October, a further survey trip to complete closed traverses under Mud Hall was conducted by Roger.

Cuthberts Photograph

THE PHOTOGRAPH, on the next page is one of what we hope may develop into a series during the year. It is a view of stalagmite flow taken by John Cornwall in G.B. in the Main Chamber above the false floor arrangement sometimes known as the Rhinoceros.

Notes of interest to Some

by Garth.

On Saturday, 19th January 1963, the caving fraternity of Mendip achieved a major moral victory by having a delegation of no less than twenty cavers present in the Hunters. The point of this remark is that they were the only customers present, there being no locals except for the landlord.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary, R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept. R.S. King, 22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Nr .Bristol.

Once again we have no material for the B.B. from members, as suggested in the Christmas B.B., the answer to this state of affairs was going to be a four page B.B. but, as this is the first time this has happened, we thought perhaps a gentle hint in the shape of a reprint of the article appearing in B.B. No 126 (August 1958) might be in order.

Cuthbert’s, notice.

The tackle on Stalagmite Pitch is shortly to be removed for renovation.  Leaders wishing to do this pitch must take tackle with them while renovation is in progress.

Annual subs.

These are due on the 31st January.    Bob Bagshaw will be delighted to receive same.

Club News - A Monthly Review of Club Activities

February Committee Meeting.

Despite the continuing bad conditions, the meeting was well attended.  The following new members were admitted to the club - Lionel James; Mike Turner; Albert Charwood; Kevin Abbey; Donald Weston and Valerie Jones.

Other subjects dealt with included a mention of skiing having been taken up by the climbing section (books on the subject are available in the club library!) the first caving meet, Cuthbert’s new entrance, the Charterhouse Caving Committee and Belfry arrangements.


The first caving meet for 1963 (Lamb Leer) went off very successfully with twenty seven people attending the meet.  The trip was a week later than planned due to the cave entrance being blocked with snow. During the trip, an attempt was made to reach a high level fissure in the chamber.  It was not reached, but a feasible route to it (involving artificial techniques) has been planned by Noel McSharry.  There will probably be one or more trips in the near future to make a concerted effort to reach this fissure.

The second meet will be on the evening of Thursday, 20th March to Redcliffe Caves.  I have been negotiating with the night watchman on the corporation site, and we may be able to have the run of the place without the usual weegee guide.

C.A. Marriott, Caving Sec.


The three week's removal of the cutlery and crockery which was announced in earlier B.B.'s is now complete and, the experiment being over, it has now been restored.  It has been agreed to buy a new set of plates to assist in tidiness.  A new stove set of parts will be purchased later in the year and another £50 budget for continuing the renovations and redecoration of the Belfry in the coming year has been approved, a temporary levy to cover this may be added to the Belfry charge, if this should be necessary.

Trips from the Caving Log

A Cuthbert’s trip on November 3rd found the 'dogs' on stal pitch too far apart and the leader - Pat Irwin - asks whether a closer spacing could be employed.  A trip in the same cave led by Roy Bennett ran on the 17th of November took a small passage from Cascade to Everest chambers not marked on the survey.

A working trip to Sugar Bowl Chamber was run by Mikes Wheadon and Palmer on the 25th November. They report 'Each ton of sand moved out, moves back in rapidly from another direction so only two halves of rope were recovered, less about six feet.'

A further trip by the same leader on the first of December reports 'Short trip into the extension behind Long Chamber.  Entered new bedding plane, also found new passage following the big fault.'

Roger Stenner, on a G.B. trip on the 2nd of December, reports that 'formations in the Ladder Dig extension are badly damaged but still worth seeing'

John Cornwell, Noel and Norman Brooks had a working trip in the new Cuthbert’s Extension on the 8th of December.  The nature of the work was presumably exploratory.

An unusual trip on the 16th December was run to the caves at Draycott by Roy Bennett and the Franklyn brothers who report.  'Two caves in rocky escarpment overlooking Drayoott.  One four feet long, the other found to be about ten feet long and not worth digging.  Several natural depressions noted on Draycott and Cheddar head road.'

A trip of an even more unusual nature was undertaken by the terrible trio consisting of G. Tilley, Esq., J. Ransom Esq., and R. Jarman (Gent.) who were invited to Digby School, Sherborne to investigate a long underground passage, and report as follows:-

‘The entrance was discovered by the caretaker a few weeks ago.  After getting fully kitted out, we entered the passage, which seemed to be a drainaway between two stone walls.  We were met by a loosely cemented brick wall, and after removing a brick, we thought we could see a continuation on the other side, so we asked if we could remove part of the wall to enable us to continue.  Permission was given, so we started to hack the wall down.  A hole big enough for a head was made, then putting a large head through, a prehistoric dustbin was found situated in an adjoining cellar.  The passage measured nearly thirty feet long, and is continued on the other side of the cellar.  This will be followed when the caretaker has removed five tons of coke.  Very interesting, but people should build passages slightly larger!''

End of Caving Log for 1962

How To Write An Article For The B.B.

It is a fact most wonderful and strange to contemplate that our club consists of some hundred and twenty members, most of whom can read and write.  It can further be shown (as Euclid, no doubt would have put it) that it requires two articles of average length to complete the usual eight page B.B.

We are now in the happy position of being able to draw a conclusion.  If every member wrote an article every four and a half years, this would be sufficient to fill the B.B. ad inf.

The next move in this erudite argument is one of extreme subtlety.  Each member must be persuaded to write an article.  At this point, a snag arises.  One can imagine the reader - aghast at this suggestion - pointing out that it is inhuman to expect each member to produce one article every four and a half years.  "No man," one can imagine him saying "could work at such a feverish rate and still retain his sanity."  This is, of course, agreed.  Fortunately, a solution is at hand.  Owing to the average stay in club per member being of the same order as the frequency, with which he should write an article, each member need only write one article during his entire stay in club.  It is generally conceded that this effort, though still severe, is intellectually possible.

At this stage, the reader has, one hopes, been fired with enthusiasm to take up this fearsome challenge, only to have his aspirations dashed once more to the ground by the next obstacle.  "What" he asks, quite reasonably, "can I write the article about?"

Agreed, this is something of a facer.  The equipment needed at this stage by the intending author is known as an IDEA.  An idea is not easily come by.  In this respect it resembles a clue, and people have been known to go for years without either.

But don't despair! You too can have an idea, and remember, you have four and a half years to have it in!  A widely held believe asserts that the average bloke is capable, under very favourable circumstances, of producing an idea every two years and these have been cases of individuals, by sheer concentrated

effort, reducing even this fast time.  However, this applies to what we call in the trade a spontaneous idea.  That is to say, an idea which occurs without the benefit, or even in spite of, our AMAZING SYSTEM.  With this system, an idea is guaranteed to occur.  To obtain the full benefit from this system (send no money; you have only to peruse the following, and pick out the group most suitable to your circumstances: -


You fall into this group if you are a keen, active fit and energetic young caver/climber at the peak of your enthusiasm and vigour - as distinct, of course, from a senile old dodderer (see groups "B" and “C".)


You fall into this, group if you are a mature, experienced caver/climber at the peak, or at any rate approaching it, of your judgement and wisdom - as distinct, of course, from a brash young upstart  (see group  “A” or an old has been - see group   "C")


You fall into this group if the increasing responsibilities of your successful career have meant that you have either had to move far away or can no longer spare the time.  Now read on.

If you are in Group “A” in your activities, you MUST have been on a trip in which something  interesting or unusual or amusing happened - just one at least!   Listen to the lines shot at the Belfry, Hunters Etc.  YOU probably shot one last weekend, why not write it down!

In group "B", all the remarks of group “A” still apply, on the principle that, if anything, lines get bigger with time.  In addition, you know that things are not what they were (they never are).  The poor blokes, who go caving/climbing/drinking/&c now, never knew what it was really like etc, etc, etc.  Tell them.

If in group "C", when you do come to Mendip, what's it like?  Has it changed?  Any new caves?  Come to that; are there any caves your way?  Etc, ad nauseam.

Now let us rashly assume that you have something to write, about.  The next question is what form you are going to write it in.  The table, of weights and measures below might be of use here.


2 entries in log = 1 letter
2 letters = 1 poem
2 poems = 1 article
2 articles = 1 screed

Poetry requires fewer words per line than prose and also makes you appear cleverer than you really are. This is obviously worth looking into. A letter, on the other hand, is easily written and can always be padded out by praising the editor, thus ensuring publication.  Only the advanced writer should attempt a screed.

Older readers may remember at this stage, the imaginary efforts of Bert Bodge, our shining example of the system in action.  Alas, time has shown that Bert has let us down and so we now consider the career of one B. Wynden-Water.  Young Basil (he was born on the Shetlands) joined the club in 1965 and, on his second weekend at the Belfry (the first was spent emptying the detailer) he was persuaded to go on a beginners trip down Swildons, on which trip a ladder rung slipped as he was climbing back up the twenty.  The next day, owing to a misunderstanding caused by the amount and specific gravity of the beer drunk on the Saturday night, he found himself taking part on a trip to Stoke Lane.

After this energetic weekend, young Wynden-Water remained for many years a keen and active club member, regularly attending the Hunters on ''barrel" nights and taking his full share in the running of the club at Annual General Meetings, even after a change of employment forced him to move to Kerrimuir in April 1966, where he is now employed by a firm of ball manufacturers.

Naturally, this keen all-rounder has never neglected to write for the B.B.  Anxious as he is, even now,  to take part in all club activities, he has made the most of his one weekend underground, as the following list of his published work shows:-

(Extract from the classified index of authors, issued with B.B. No 250, Christmas 1968)


B.B. 185 (July '63) “My first Caving Trip - A novices impression of Swildons Hole (Article).
B.B. 187 (Sept '63)  "A visit to Stoke Lane Slocker" (Article).
B.B. 191 (Jan '64)  Letter replying to ‘geologist’ pointing out that Swildons is different to Stoke.
B.B. 195 (Mar '64)  Letter replying to ‘hydrologist’ pointing out ' that Stoke is different to Swildons.
B.B. 202 (Xmas ‘64)  Poem.  "When you're climbing up a ladder"
B.B. 204 (Feb ‘65)  Letter replying to author of article on tackle about the slipping of ladder rungs.
B.B. 210 (Aug '65)  Poem. "Going through the sump in Stoke"
B.B. 234 (Aug '67)  "Mendip revisited"  (Article)
B.B. 236 (Oct  '67)  Recollections of some caves of central and Eastern Mendip.  (Article).

It is, as you will no doubt agree, surprising to see what a lot can be written about practically nothing. This article has been written on the same principle.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol. 
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept. R.S. King,22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Nr .Bristol.

In accordance with tradition, an attempt each year to make the Christmas edition of the B.B. larger than normal.  Equally in accordance with tradition, this page is written long before it is know whether or not we   shall have succeeded.  It only remains to hope that we have and to wish all club members and all readers:-

A Very Happy Christmas


The B.B. questionnaire was filled in and returned by a gratifyingly large number of members. The editor would like to thank all those who replied.  In view of this, no apology is made for taking up an amount of space in this B.B. to explain what your views were; how they differed from what is published now, and what we are going to do about this in the future.


DON'T FORGET the removal of cutlery & crockery from the Belfry on January 1st.  Also the removal of unwanted gear from the Belfry and site.

Questions Department.

What is Priddy Round House? It is marked on the six inch O.S. map in the middle of a field to the left of and almost at the top of Nine Barrows Lane. N.G.R.532524.   It is marked as a building and, as its name suggests, is circular in shape.  If one visits the spot (or as near to it as can be judged from the map without taking measurements, there is a roughly circular patch of stinging nettles which may mark the spot.  Perhaps some of our archeologically minded readers may know the answer?  It certainly had me slightly intrigued when I saw it on the map, as I could not imagine the use to which a rather small round building could be put, sited in the middle of a field and apparently not connected with any other buildings.  If anyone knows the answer we shall be pleased to print a reply in next month's B.B. as, even if it is unconnected with caving or archaeological activities, it is good to know as much as possible about the area in which we spend so much of our time.


A fund is being organised for Jack Waddon's widow, Dorothy and the children. Similar funds are being organised by various other caving clubs and the aim is to collect a really respectable sum of money. All donations should be sent or given to R.J. Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.   We are sure that members of the club will give generously to this fund.

The Belfry Bulletin in 1963

As explained at the time, the B.B. Questionnaire was produced to give the editor a chance to find out whether the B.B differed from what the club wanted in the way of a magazine, and to stop him having constantly to refer to the B.B. in the B.B.

Response was quite good, and much useful information was collected, for which the editor would like to thank all who filled in the forms.  These forms have been studied and averages worked out.  From this, it is possible to see what the majority of readers would like in future.

Starting next month, the requests and suggestions made by the members who filled in the forms will be put into effect and it was felt, that readers might like to know what changes in the B.B. are contemplated.

The Cover will remain as at present.  When present stocks run out, the bat's face will be improved and the blocks redesigned for better registration.  The date and serial number will not appear, as this proved wasteful and also expensive in the past.  Only one member asked for them this time.  It may be possible to include the odd 'special' cover from time to time as requested by some, if a suitable excuse arises.

The Format will also remain unchanged.  Members were unanimous on this point.  It also saves stencils, and enables us to use easily available paper.

Publication will remain monthly as at present.  A few members preferred every other month, but in addition to pleasing the majority here, it was felt that as the B.B. is the only Mendip caving journal to appear monthly, it would be a good thing to continue the practice.  It would not do to make every journal too similar.

Contents.  It is here that the changes will occur.  The system of relying entirely on articles sent in by members is not working as well as it did.  The new system is based on a number of 'features' which, we hope, will be collected by a number of volunteers and which will appear at different intervals - some nearly every month and some only now and again.  These will form the 'backbone' of the B.B. to which articles will be added.

It was interesting to compare the percentages of space which members wanted with the amount each subject regularly gets in the B.B.  The biggest discrepancy was under the heading of club news.  If we include all matter pertaining to the club, rather than to caving, climbing etc which appears in the B.B., we find that it has been as high as 41% of the entire year's contents (1951) and that it averages over the years at about 30%.  In case it is felt that this percentage has been getting worse of late, it is interesting to find that the reverse is the case.  Last year it was 27% and the year before 21%.  The amount the club want is 9%.  Part of the reason for this discrepancy is that it has been the policy since 1957 to produce a minimum size B.B. every month.  If not enough articles are available, space has been filled up with 'padding' of various forms.  By removing this padding, the percentage drops considerably.

It will not be possible to get the amount down to what has been asked for, however, since one of the main functions of the B.B. is to distribute club news.  In future, this will collected up into one 'feature' and notices will be tucked into odd spaces.  In addition, all 'padding' will be dropped, and this should bring the total down considerably.

The percentage of caving asked for was 26%.  In the past, this figure has varied considerably, from a minimum of 8% in 1951 to the present record amount of 42% in 1961.  By pruning the caving log, and restricting it to trips having an unusual feature or reporting work or a discovery, it should be possible to comply with members wishes and still include all the caving articles offered.

A new subject put into the questionnaire was that of news of the activities of other clubs.  The surprising answer obtained was that the club wanted 14% of the B.B. to be used on this subject - nearly twice as much as was wanted of news of the B.E.C.!  Again, this type of news will form the subject of a feature which will appear in most of the B.B.'s.  Volunteers have already agreed to provide the material for such a feature.

Normal articles will, of course, still be needed just as much as ever, as a guide to the subjects which are most popular, the club want more articles of a scientific or informative nature (18% is wanted as against 9% in 1961 and a maximum of 17.5% in I951). More articles on archaeology are wanted (6% as against a maximum of 4.5% in 1961).  In contrast to this, the club are not keen on articles describing member’s travels or personal news of members.  3% on each of these subjects is considered by most members to be ample.

Climbing has been erratically reported in the past.  It has varied from 17% of the B.B. for 1951 to nil in a number of years.  The amount required is 8%.  Humour is in a similar position, with a maximum of 22% in 1952 and a minimum of 2.5% in 1961.  The club want 6% but many members make the proviso that a really good humorous article will always be welcome.  It is now down to the club humorists to see what they can produce in the way of really good stuff!

As a result of further requests, an occasional feature commenting on some aspect of caving or club life will appear.  It should be understood that any opinions in such articles may not necessarily be those of either the editor of the committee.  Manuscripts for this feature should contain constructive comment and be designed to stimulate discussion rather than to ' stir' for the sake of stirring.

All this may mean that the minimum size of the B.B. may occasionally be reduced.  At present, it is never less than 8 pages, although sometimes this has only been achieved by the liberal use of 'padding'.  However, we hope that the size may be kept up, and that it will be possible to print the odd 'special number' now and again - possibly with a special cover.

The only minority which it has not been found possible to cater for are those few members who would like to see the B.B. come out much less often, and have the appearance of a “big" journal.  Some of those members did make the point that they realized that the caving reports performed this function in the B.E.C.  to some extent and we would like to emphasise that, while we are proposing to copy some of the ideas contained in other caving club journals, it is not intended to make the B.B. a carbon copy of any other journal.  However, it may prove possible to go some way towards satisfying members who would like to see a large, less frequent B.B. without altering the B.B. as it stands.  If this scheme proves workable, a suitable announcement will be made in a future B.B.

It now remains to be seen whether the new layout of the B.B. proves popular in practice.  Time will tell!

Notice of Jollification

There will be a "bring your own bottle" party at the Belfry on Christmas day.  All members and friends are welcome. The party will be held in the evening.

Note; The Belfry has been specially enlarged for this function.

Caving Log

(Trips of interest extracted from the B.E.C. Caving Log by Mike Luckwill.)

On the 27th of June, John Cornwell led a trip of 11 people down Stoke Lane.  This is a record for recent times.  He reports, 'A nice wet trip with lots of brown things in the stream!'

Also on the 27th, Mikes Palmer & Wheadon, with Albert Francis and John Swift investigated, ‘Lots of disappointing rifts in Victory Passage which we were rather optimistic about.’ They report the result of this investigation in September Series as being 'lots of loops'.  Again on the 27th, John Ransom did a trip as a weegee to Kent's Cavern.  He describes it as 'very interesting and colourful'.

Mike Holland and three visitors report from Cuthbert’s on Whit Monday descended to Dining Room and out via Rat Run.  On the way out of the Wire Rift, the wire finally gave way under the weight of El Grosso and was coiled up in a tangled mass at the top of the rift.’

On June 12th, Mike Baker, Mike Boon, John Cornwell plus two others did a photographic trip to Cascade Chamber, while Mike Boon investigated the sump.  When lying full length in it, he couldn't get his boot upright.

The Swildons Diving Op on the second of June consisted of divers Mike Thompson, Fred Davies, Mike Boon and Steve Wynn-Roberts with a support party of - Mike Holland, Bob Pyke, Ron Teagle, Jim Giles, B. Johnson, D. Turner and several M.N.R.C. types.  The support party entered the cave and rigged the pitches and proceeded to sump IV.  A second support party and the divers went to sump II when the divers continued downstream and were, met by the support party in Series IV. Marriott, Holland, Pyke and Turner assisted the divers to sump VI while the remainder left the cave.  Holland and Marriott left shortly after leaving Pyke and Turner to operate the kitchen for the divers.  The divers succeeded in passing sump VI and entering Series VII (with the exception of-Davies whose equipment snagged up in sump VI at a constriction).  In Series VII, preliminary exploration was carried out and a rough survey made.  Sump VII was inspected and reported to be 'tightish'.  For further details see’ S.M.C.C. Journal.

A working party in Priddy Green was held on the 19th of June and consisted of Mike Boon, D.A. "Grassy" Greenwood and B.T. Taylor.  The party removed debris produced by Mike Thompson's recent banging.

A Cuthbert's party of Jim Giles, Grassy Greenwood and D. Smith wrote 'Taking advantage of M. Boon's good work in clearing the duck, a further examination of the terminal sump was carried out.  Conclusions reached: Sump and side passages very unpromising.’  J. Eatough's Maypole: Three sections moved to the bottom of the Entrance Rift while remaining section left at Kanchenjunga.  Found the boulder wedged in top of rift to be an interesting addition to the sport of the ‘Entrance Rift’.

On the First of July, a very large party went down G.B. on a photographic trip.  J. Cornwell, A. Collins, T. Philpott, A. Sandall, J. Lamb, J. Wathen, Graham & Julie Robinson, Mike Baker, R. Jarman, G. Tilley, D. Smith, N. Petty, B. Robins, N. White, C. King, D. Ager, P. Board, T. Blanchard and four others.  The aim was to take photographs for the photographic competition.

On the 6th of July, Richard Roberts and R. Croft did a trip to the Maypole Series and Main Stream Passage in Cuthbert’s collecting water Samples and bugs.  The next day, Mikes Wheadon and Palmer with Albert Francis and Dave Stevenson went dawn to Sugar Bowl Chamber after moving the boulder in the Entrance Rift.  They report that they ‘managed to bring walls of Sugar Bowl Chamber down (literally) around our ears.  There is no longer a hole in the floor but through ruckle leads back to Quarry Corner.’ The same day, Mike Luckwill, John Cornwell, Sally Featherstone did a tourist trip round Cascade, Fingers, Cerberus and Rat Run.  John Cornwell reports shattered after early morning exercise with some athletic types.

On the 11th of July, during a tourist trip to September Series, consisting of P.M. Giles, R. Williams and  G. Bell, the telephone line between Kanchenjunga and Pillar Chamber was removed and left coiled at the entrance to Pillar Chamber.  The same day a well in Flax Bourton was investigated by R. Bennett, N. Petty, K. & P. Franklyn and S. Tuck.  The well proved to be some twenty feet deep with five feet of water in the bottom and no apparent way through.  Ten feet down, a passage was revealed after removing deading.  R. Bennett explored it for some fifteen to twenty feet.  The air was bad and it ended in a tight rift.  The first part of the passage appeared to be mined and not natural.

On the 29th July, M. Baker, N. Petty, J. Cornwell and R. Bagshaw went down Cuthbert’s.  M. Baker and J. Cornwell went digging in Cerberus Series in a small solutional passage and reported easy digging but an awful large amount of 'sand'.  R. Bagshaw and N. Petty fixed up a new rawlbolt on the Water Chute to secure the chain.

The September issue of " Cuba", which was sent to most of our members contained an article entitled "Estalagmitas de Geiser" written by Professor Antonio Nunez Jimenez and was accompanied by some excellent photographs and drawings.  The article which follows attempts to provide a partial summary and report of Professor Jimenez's findings.

Geyser Stalagmites

(Translated by M. Luckwill)

The Gran Caverna de Santo Thomas is situated in the Sierra de Quemado, in the province of Pinar del Rio and its ten and a half miles of passages make it the largest underground system in Latin America.  In 1955, Professor Antonio Nunez Jimenez and his party were exploring the system when they came across an unusual formation ‘never before reported in the New World’.  Over the rock floor they saw several stalagmites, conical in shape, and in whose tops appeared craters similar in shape to those of volcanoes.  These were a notable discovery in the field of speleology for they were not at all like the solid structures formed from water drops falling from the roof and slowly building up a large deposit.

At first they thought their discovery would have the following explanation: after the formation of a normal stalagmite by the drop process, the solution, having lost its carbonate content, would be acid and this acid solution, when dropping onto the stalagmite, would produce a hollow crater in them.  However, this hypothesis was rejected for, of the 234 stalagmites studied, the immense majority had neither stalactites nor water drops above. Also a few of the formations had a crater, not at the top, but on the side the side of the stalagmite which clearly indicated that they had not been formed by any falling water.

Their curiosity grew when they observed new characteristics in the formations which also compared with the big volcanoes on the earth's surface, a  more careful examination of the stalagmites showed them that the edge of the little craters possessed marks which seemed to indicate that the force which made them came from the inside of the stalagmite and proceeded outwards.  A microscopic analysis showed that the cones were formed from a porous mass of calcite very different in structure from that associated with the normal process of stalagmite construction.  They also found together with the Calcite, intrusions of Limonite and clay impurities.

It seemed, therefore, that the solution which had formed these deposits had been in the form of geysers and jets of water which had opened up fissures in the cave floor and left sediment of cones of calcite around the water vents, a process similar to that of volcanoes.

A search of the caving literature of the world over a period of years verified that only in the Grotto of Arragonite in Zbrasov, Czechoslovakia had such formations been reported.  There is no doubt that Cuba is the second country in the world to possess these geyser stalagmites.

As in the Czechoslovakian caves, the geyser stalagmites are aligned above a clearly visible fissure in the passage floor known as the Salon y del Abono.  The largest of them is nearly five feet in height, with an inner circumference of over a foot and a crater depth of some fifteen inches.

All photographs and drawings which accompany Prof. Jimenez's article on these formations are well worth looking at.  A copy may be seen in the club library.  It is interesting to note that the carbonate occurs as Calcite. The idea of geysers usually brings to mind hot solutions and under these conditions one would have expected the carbonate to have been deposited as aragonite.

Report Of A New Discovery In Cuthbert’s

by R. Bennett & J.A. Eatough.

On the  6th,May, 1962, Roy Bennett and I were making a thorough investigation into Coral Series, when we came to the conclusion that ...further passages probably lay above the then known limits of Coral Series, and so a systematic search was made.  During this search, many, small holes were probed.  In Long Chamber, I managed to find a way into a boulder ruckle, and pushed through into what was obviously a very large chamber.  I immediately went back for Roy and together we made a preliminary investigation.  This large chamber was found to lie along the fault which forms the western limit of the St. Cuthbert’s system, in a position between Curtain Chamber and Coral Series and thus fills a gap in the survey.  We soon found that the chamber was of considerable size and in places was divided into smaller chambers by a tremendous confusion of boulders lying against the hanging wall of the fault as shown below....


We went into the boulders at the north end of the chamber into a further large chamber, then into more boulders which have so far halted progress to the north.  We left a cairn at this point.

Back in the second boulder ruckle we entered, we found a pile of stones which, after much discussion, we decided might be a cairn left by a previous party, but a very careful search revealed that no previous party had entered the system by the way that we had entered it.  We decided that further investigations were required.

On the way out of this chamber we had a quick look at the boulder ruckle at the south end of the chamber, noting a small passage which was not entered, but we did see a very fine nest of cave pearls and quite a lot of good formations.  Following the discovery of this chamber I made two more trips to the area, this time accompanied by John Attwood and Kangy. During these trips, we pushed on in several directions and found quite a lot more passage including a finely formed and finely decorated solutional passage which ascended steeply to a stal barrier as shown below.....


This was some sixty feet up. While Kangy was having a look at the barrier and the chamber visible beyond, I managed to find a parallel passage and bypass the obstruction.  After a flat out squeeze, I got into the richly decorated chamber.  On my fourth trip, John Attwood and I took some photographs in this last discovery and of the pearls.

On the 28th October 1962, a party of eight of us went down to push downwards through the boulders, in an effort to find a way on and solve the mystery of the cairn.  We pushed on downwards, past the cairn and suddenly came to a large passage which was discovered to be Fracture Rift, above the way into Coral Series.  Due to the extremely dangerous state of the boulders here, we did not push through into the passage, but left a lighted candle, then beat a hasty retreat and went to look for the candle from the Annexe Chamber end of the passage, from which the candle could be seen.

This, then, is a preliminary description of the latest St. Cuthbert’s discovery, which can be safely said to be the most important since the discovery of September Series, and one which has added some five to six hundred feet to the total length of the cave.

Much remains to be done here, but would be explorers are warned, of the extremely dangerous nature of the huge piles of boulders, many of which have no visible means of support. This is most certainly the diciest part of the cave system so far found.

We have decided that the cairn was probably left, in the early Cuthbert’s days, by a party who climbed into the boulders from the Annexe Chamber end, noted the danger built a cairn and then left, having come within a hairs breadth of finding the new chamber, which is probably the second largest in the cave and may well prove to be the largest.

We have named this chamber Upper Long Chamber provisionally.  Exploration, photography and surveying are continuing.


All of which goes to show, amongst other things, the importance of WRITING UP trips where future exploration parties can read them and compare notes!   Ed.



Weekend in North Wales

(19th – 21st October, 1962)

by Roy Bennett.

In spite of last minute changes in plan, fifteen people ascended into the Peterborough and Wellingborough Mountaineering Clubs jointly owned hut at Yefnant near Bethesda.  Difficulty was experienced by some in locating this, but the hut, which was comfortable and commodious, was worth the trouble and coped reasonably well with the influx plus about a half a dozen of the owner members.

Saturday dawned clear, tempting some members out of bed at the unusual hour of eight am and eventually the entire expedition assembled in Ogwen for various purposes.  Messrs Turner, Keys, Bater, Petty and Sybil went walking, Mike and Lourie ascending Tryfan and Crib Goch with intermediate motor transport, while the Tucks and Bennetts ascended Glyder Fawr via the (I can't read Roy's writing! Ed).

Meanwhile, Messrs Marriott, Mossman, Sandall with Mrs's Bater and Sandall led by the invincible Anthony J. Dunn attacked chasm route on Glyder Fach.  Some difficulty was experienced by some on a little obstacle known as the Vertical Vice, but after considerable effort all appeared on the summit. At this point Tony, Alan and Mo decided to walk back to the hut via Y Garn etc as the way appeared easy and the map distance insignificant.  When the remainder of the party returned to the hut, an enquiry from one of the owner members indicated that darkness would fall ere they returned.  Consternation almost reigned and it was wondered if the B.E.C. could stand the simultaneous loss of three committee members.  The Tucks and Bennetts rapidly departed to the house of Stafford in case a rescue party should be required and John undertook to ring up the Mountain Rescue first thing Monday morning if necessary.  However, all was well and the summit party returned to base under their own steam after traversing numerous bogs (vegetable) and other obstacles with consummate ease.


Sunday also proved rainless and was again spent in Cgwen.  Some traversed Tryfan South to North and Sybil had a bad moment on the mountain.  The climbers did various routes on Bochnydd Buttress of increasing difficulty but no one actually fell off and the assembled company made for home after a very enjoyable weekend.

What happened to the Mammoth?

by K.S. Gardner.

Every one is acquainted with the hairy long tusked mammoth that was part of this country's fauna during the last Ice Age.  A tooth of one was found in St. Cuthbert’s Swallet a few years ago by Jack Waddon.

That the mammoth was contemporary with man we know from the lifelike representations on the walls of the French caves, paintings and engravings ten to twenty thousand years old. But what happened to this great beast when the polar front retreated from the British Isles to its present position?  Of his contemporary companions many remain accepted as present day occupants of this earth; the reindeer the arctic fox and the lemming did not become extinct, they merely moved north, as must the mammoth have done initially.

It is widely known that some years ago, a frozen carcase of a mammoth came into the hands of a scientific institution in Russia and that much was learned from its study.  The general impression was that this was a stroke of luck - one mammoth preserved by chance and fortuitously delivered into the hands of science.  This is not quite the case, however, for "superstitious peasants" and people who "must be mistaken" had been taking such happenings for common place for centuries previously.

The word ‘mammoth’ is alleged to have been derived from ‘mammantu’ meaning ‘the underground giant’. Throughout all of Lapp and Siberian folklore are legends of a monstrous hairy beast who sleeps beneath the snow and slowly emerges when it melts.  A more material form of evidence is the long established trade in ivory carried out by Siberian peasants.  At the beginning of this century the province of Yakutsk is alleged to have exported 150 pairs of mammoth tusks per year.  The trade is not new either; both pre-Christian Chinese chronicles and Pliny the elder refer to ivory being dug from the ground in Siberia.

In 1611 in London a certain J. Logan exhibited a huge “elephant's Tusk” from Russia.  In 1692 a Dutchman named Ides reported the discovery of carcases and the legends of burrowing elephants.  In 1724, Peter the Great sent a representative to investigate and he found a putrefying carcase.  In 1802, another was seen by Prof Adams and at last in 1901, the Imperial Academy of Science at St Petersburg announced the recovery for scientific study of an almost whole carcase.

A study of the stomach contents revealed that, far from being a tundra beast, this hairy elephant fed on lush forest plants.  Its remains were found when the forest had retreated - perhaps been stripped even by the vast hordes of mammoth, more and more of whom must have been slowly concentrating on N. Siberia ten thousand years ago.   But did they all drop dead with no descendants, even though the Siberian environment of the time must have been ideal for them?

Three million square miles of Siberia is covered with the world's largest and least known forest - the Taiga.  A forest which could hide Great Britain thirty times over, a forest almost the size of the U.S.A.  Could it be logically possible that a few mammoth still survive?  How old were the ice preserved corpses - ten thousand years? - a thousand years? - a hundred years?

In 1580 a Don Cossack reported having seen a large hairy elephant beyond the Ural Mountains.  In 1918 an illiterate Siberian hunter followed tracks into the Taiga for several weeks.  His quarry eluded him but not before he had seen them.  Shown pictures of the mammoth, he had no difficulty in identifying them!

After the discovery of the so-called extinct coelacanth, who knows what other 'extinct' fauna may prove one day not to be so.

The Ghosts of Rookham Hill

by P.A.E. Stewart.

It is the custom, my masters, on a winters evening when the lamps are trimmed, the wind is moaning in the chimney and the snow lies crisp outside that the talk turns to things supernatural and strange.

As you sip your ale in the "Hunters" and read your Christmas B.B., here is a little tale for your entertainment.  A true account of a rather weird experience on Mendip top (an experience which I hope never to have again!) and its interesting sequel.

In the autumn of the year 1956, I had been to Wells for a meeting and was returning late at night by the old Bristol road in my ford popular car.  I had taken a coffee at the museum - nothing stronger - and was quite cheerful, thinking of a future caving programme and the prospects for some digs that were in progress.

I came round the bend at the bottom of Rookham Hill and had just changed down for the long slope up to the top when I felt a prickly feeling on the nape of my neck.  This sensation gradually intruded itself on my thoughts until I became fully aware of it.  My first thought was of a draught so I automatically felt for the side window and it was closed.  This perplexed me rather and by this time the effect had become more intense - I realised that all my hair was standing on end!  The next stage is difficult, to describe and consisted of: -

(a)                Trying to control rising nervous tension.

(b)                Driving the car.

(c)                Looking for the cause of "all this ‘ere".

The answer to part (c) was even worse.  I realised that there was someone (or something) in the nearside back seat!  By this time I had reached the top of the hill and was passing Bishop’s Lot Swallet on the run down to the Hunters. I don't quite know how if realised that there, was something in the back, but I was completely certain.

By this time, things were beginning to get a bit tough and the over-riding impulse was to stop the car and get to heck cut of it!  However, I realised that this would not solve any problems, as I would have to get back in again and drive on to Bristol, and that would be much harder.  Mendip at 11 pm in the middle of the week is not particularly over populated.  I was stuck with it!

There was only one way to resolve this and this was to look in the rear view mirror and check the back seat.  However I could not bring myself to do this as I knew it would only confirm the situation and most certainly would mean a crash stop with all anchors out.  By this time I had my foot hard down and was going like the clappers past the Hunters, over the cross roads and up towards the Mineries.  I was hoping that if I drove on whatever it was would eventually disappear.

At the forestry houses I must have been touching 55 and at the last moment remembered the wicked right hander ahead.  Brakes, two wheels, grass verge and I was round, but only just!  Foot hard down again past Waldegrave Pool, the Miners and the Castle until just at Land Leer it wasn't there any more and the tension suddenly lifted.  I coasted down to the top of Harptree Hill and mopped a dripping forehead. I quite happily looked in the back seat and of course there was nothing there. Everything was quite normal.

The whole thing was not subjective, of that I am quite sure.  I have been in worse situations without any trace of the "heebies" and I sincerely hope it never happens again.  The nest day, I mentioned the episode to an acquaintance from Wells and he told me this story.  A friend of his was in a combination and had just passed the Hunters going towards Wells. He saw what he took to be the weak headlights of a car at some distance.  The sudden appearance of a coach with four black horses and two sidelights going towards the Hunters put him in the ditch.

When you leave the Hunters these dark evenings, cast a glance towards the top of Rookham - you never know what you may see!

That is just how it happened, my masters, anything in the car that night?  I will never know.

Cuthbert’s Crossword



































































































































































































































As many Cuthbert’s names as possible have been incorporated in (ignoring all two letter words where they occur).  The clues are in the form of a trip description which should prove very m simple to Cuthbert’s experts.  The trip description starts below.

THE TRIP.  The entrance shaft goes straight down, not like a 34 down and leads to the entrance pitch.  This doesn't require much CARE and you could make a 4 down of it.  When you get to the 19 down go to the last part of it and down the ladder.  You are now are 14 across 19 down pitch and should keep 21 across dry unless a lot of 9 across has fallen lately.  On through the Wire Rift and down the 24 across to Upper Mud Hall.  Past the 7 down to Quarry 10 across. From there to Upper Traverse Chamber to visit 18 down Series where 22 down Chamber is visited on the way to the 36 across.  Back in Upper Traverse Chamber; go through a hole in the floor and past 8 down to Bypass Passage in the 14 across Series and on down the stream to Everest Passage.  This stream is not the 18 across.  From there, go through the 39 across to the 1 across Series and so into the Dining Room.  Here, a meal can be cooked and the 17 down thrown into a hole which acts as a 3 down.  Go on, when ready, through the 26 down 17 across taking care not to finish up in the 2 down by mistake or to get to Plantation Junction the hard way via 5 down.  Now to the 32 across Hive Chamber, up the stal bank to see the 36 across. An impressive 31 down.  On to the duck, where anyone wishing to go on would be advised to consider a 28 down suit.  Coming back, 38 down the 26 down 17 across extension pass some mere 30 across on the way to Chain Chamber.  Ahead is the 37 down 23 down from which no 12 down has been extracted!  Coming up through Catgut, rather than down to see the 33 across flake you pass through the 38 across and have to 11 across in many places, sometimes on your 16 down!  Finally, staggering out, you reflect, that you are suffering from 29 across 27 across and it seems a long time 15 across that the trip started.  The Wire Rift and the Ledge Pitches prove 23 across but you take time at Arête Pitch to go and 6 down through the window and see 7 down pitch as well.  Finally, come up the 40 across pitch in the last part of it in time for 13 across (especially the leader who has collected several 35 across!)

What of 1 down and 20 across?  They didn't fit into the trip but, if you want to finish the puzzle, 1 across was not a 20 across and 1 down without its middle letter comes from a 23 down.


Jug’s Journeyings

by "Jug" Jones.

During the few occasions that I attended Mendip, I did very little caving (whatever that is). However, recently I'm proud to say, I've done even less.  Nevertheless, I've decided to contact you and let you know how I am wasting time and the taxpayer’s money in just travelling around.

After finishing our refit period at Portsmouth we left for the Scilly Isles.  Arriving there we found the seas too rough to allow the landing of a motor boat, so regrettably we had to leave.  We were all very sorry about this as the flower picking season had just begun. For those who have never heard of this cult - let me explain - that English, French and possibly young ladies from other places of repute gather here to pick tulips: etc.  As one may well imagine, this causes great festivities, being the only, place in the world where the foreman shouts "Come into the garden, Maud".

However, we sadly slipped anchor and shot through to Portland Bill.  Here we did our Working Up exercises for the beginning of the commission.  This includes exercising every dingle piece of equipment and sailor (even me) on board. To give you some idea, I will list a few that come to mind.

Firstly, landing parties (a mild form of assault party).  Men were landed with 24 hour packs, weapons and shovels etc. and fought the Marines the possession of a cliff top.  As the poem goes "Bootneck, Bootneck, can't catch me,” "Who can't?", "You can't!" EEEEEEEE!  Then we took part in an exercise called "Aid to civil power".  We practiced landing complete field kitchens and stores in anticipation of an earth quake or other such civil disaster (such big words!)

We chased submarines. They chased us.  We fired at aircraft and vice versa.  We chased surface raiders and had star shell illumination at night until we were sick of the sound of gunfire.  Abandon ship exercises followed and a team of wreckers joined the ship, throwing smoke bombs around and writing FLOOD on the bulkheads and generally making nuisances of themselves.  My mate got DEAD chalked on his back twice, but still drew his tot of rum.

We exercised with the French fleet (a cowardly bunch in my opinion) and sped on to Plymouth.  We left, escorting a convoy to Scotland, where we were "sunk" by subs four times en route.  We arrived at Rosyth and everyone enjoyed the break and took the chance to visit such notorious places as "The Thistle", "The Black Bull" and the infamous "Fairlies" in Edinburgh.  Incidentally, I organised a caving trip (most foolish; to visit CHARLESTON LIME CAVES, but enough of caving!  We visited Loch Glass where I chased and caught a lamb, but being a lamb and not a sheep, I let it go.  We left here and went further north to the county of Sutherland.  Here we practised bombarding the mainland with live ammunition (to the Englishmen’s delight).  Durness was quite near, so I asked permission to go and have a look at SMOO cave. Permission was refused.  As simple as that.  Two of us then promised to do a caving trip during the middle watch and return on board at 1630, so help us, but permission was again refused.  This time, we demanded a reason (through the official channels and all that).  The reason - "We are afraid you will use this expeditionary training period as a convenient excuse for a pub crawl"

Our next port of call was Aarhus, Denmark.  We found the cost of living quite high here.  Beer was a half to one kroner per half pint bottle, but I averaged twenty bottles a night for the next four nights, then finally slipped into a Horrible state of suspended animation.  (For non Biospeleologist this means a deep kip).  Places of interest to visit in Aarhus are Folkes Park - a sort of glorified Belle Vue or Battersea and a tiny section called the Old City.  Leaving Denmark, we passed on to Sweden ( Sundsvall).

Now, if the cost of living in Denmark was high, in Sweden it leapt to Skyscraper proportions. However, the girls who were tall and blonde, crowded around our ship for all of our four day stay (day and-night). I have seen the midnight sun before, up in the Arctic Circle, but this is the first time I have actually been ashore and found daylight for four days and nights.  As a matter of interest, one finds one finds it very difficult to sleep, yet looking back on it, nobody seemed to feel tired!

After a short break at home for pre-overseas leave we sailed for Gibraltar. Here, Hooray!  Beer was approximately 6d a bottle.  Viva España.  We visited the bullring and I had my first glimpse of the "leetile Spanish donkee" (50cc) fully equipped with double pannier bags and smelly boy.

After Gib and many adventures (did fail to visit St. Michaels mount or grotto) the ship headed for Ajaccio. This is about the largest town on the island of Corsica.  What was it Corsicans were famous for?   Anyway, all the bandits I met were ordinary bandits.  The bandit’s wives (so a naval officer tells me) spend all day making lace. The place was generally filthy - the water had to be analysed before being shipped inboard - and the French were as filthy as ever!  All the sewers were of the open disposal type (they just ran down on to the beaches).

Italy seemed an improvement on France, but here again, the cost of living seemed to have risen considerably (sailor's wages remain stable).  The port we put into was Rapello.  This is a sort of toned down Monte Carlo and Geoff Duke lived here when he rode for M.V.’s.  For my money, it was more like a glorified, souped-up, sunlit Southsea.  The beaches however, were perfect and swimming was the order of the day (nothing more than a delicate paddle for yours truly!)

I actually managed to pack my rucksack and get some leave here.  For potential campers, the water is supposed to be dangerous for English stomachs, but I gulped gallons of it and remained O.K.  Still, that doesn't prove anything, does it?

The sunshine faded so did we, and the seas were once more crashing beneath our bows.  Great schools of dolphins seemed to be racing us beneath the beautiful blue sky.  The flying fish also entertained us with their graceful leaps from wave to wave. Trouble overtook us here.  A sailor went down with appendix trouble. The doc decided not to operate, but make for port.  Majorca was the nearest place, so the victim was landed here.  No leave was granted, but from what I could see of the harbour, the Isle of Love is garbage.

The Education of H.M. Forces

On Tuesday, 13th of November, a team of speleologists, all experts comprising of John Cornwell, Sybil Bowden-Lyle and myself, undertook the arduous journey into Wogland accompanied by stout hearts, unwavering devotion to duty and a good supply of cigarettes.

The object of this expedition was to educate the uninitiated wogs (i.e. those stationed at Compton Bassett doing penance for the queen) in the arts of caving and the like.

The ceremony was held in an establishment known as "The Tenants Club" which is in effect a luxurious type of N.A.A.F.I.  A slide show and lecture were presented by John Cornwell and were received with great enthusiasm.  The slides were of the highest possible standard whilst the lecture was most enlightening

Sandwiches, and the always sought after beer were provided by our hosts afterwards.  The expedition made a slight detour on the way home to partake of some of "Gaff" Fowler's coffee.


Annual List of Club Member’s’ Names and Addresses

This list is the one currently used by the B.B. Postal Department and is the ‘official’ list of member’s addresses.  If yours address is not correct, please get in touch with Bob Bagshaw or ‘Kangy’ as otherwise your B.B. is likely to be sent to the wrong address.


S.F. Alway

102 Whiteladies Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


T Andrews

135 Danson Road, Bexley, Kent


T. Attwood

4 Bridge Road, Shortwood, Nr. Mangotsfield, Bristol


P.J. Badcock

Sarnia House, Coronation Street, Barnstaple, Devon


R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


M.J. Baker

Morello, Ash Lane, Wells, Somerset


D.J. Balcombe

58 Lebanon Road, Croydon, Surrey


R. Bater

108 Memorial Road, Hanam, Bristol


R. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset.


J. Bennett

3 Russets Cottages, Backwell Common, Somerset


D. Berry

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


W.L. Beynon

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


J. Binden

Tyan, Victoria Roiad, Freshfiled, Nr. Liverpool


P. Bird

City Museum, Queens Road, Bristol


P.M. Blogg

1 Ridgeway Park, Ridgeway, Bristol


A. Bonner

54 Lawson Street, Maryport, Cumberland


J.M. Boon

9 Landsdown Close, Garston, Watford, Herts


P.J. Borchard

35 Hallstead Road, Harrogate, Yorkshire


Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

Garden Flat, 36 Lower Oldfield Park, Bath, Somerset


N Brooks

Falloden, Pierrefondes Avenue, Farnborough, Hants


Miss R. Burnett

51 Bath Road, Brislington, Bristol 4


P. Burt

3 Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts


Mrs P. Burt

3 Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts


M. Calvert

2 Eden Villas, Larkhill, Bath, Somerset


R Casling

51 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol


B.R. Chamberlain

102 Egerton Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7


D. Causer

19 Kenmore crescent, Filton Park, Bristol 7


Mrs C. Coase

Box 1, Eiffel Flats, Southern Rhodesia


S.J. Collins

33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8


D. Cooke-Yarborough.

The Beeches, St. Briavels, Lydney, Glos


J. Cornwell

26 Russell Road, Fishponds, Bristol


Miss M. Counsell

39 Hayford Avenue, Eastville, Bristol 5


A.J. Crawford

3 Hillside, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middelsex


F.G. Darbon

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


J. Davey

25 Hanson Lane, Halifax, Yorks


Mrs A. Davies

10 Bramley Road, Street, Somerset


R. Davies

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


L. Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, London ES16


Mrs L. Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, London ES16


I Dear

Tudor Cottage, Vicarage Lane, Studdington, Hampshire


G. Dell

6 Victoria Square, Clifton, Bristol 8


J. Dennis

Hut 376 W, ‘A’ Sqdn, R.A.F. Compton Bassett, Calne, Wilts


K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon


J. Downie

Dimlands, Llantwit Major, Glamorgan


D.P. Drew

24 Merynton Avenue, Cannon Hill, Coventry


A.J. Dunn

63 Oakdale Road, Downend, Bristol


J.A. Etough

116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol


B.M. Ellis

41 Fore Street, North Petherton, Somerset


D. England

7 Frome Way, Winterbourne, Bristol


C. Falshaw

57 Hallen Grange Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield 10


Mrs C. Falshaw

57 Hallen Grange Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield 10


P.G. Faulkner

251 Rowah Crescent, Langley, Middleton, Manchester


A. Fincham

Leeds University Union, Leeds 2


T. Fletcher

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


D.C. Ford

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



77 Kinshill Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


G.A. Fowler

18 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol


K. Franklin

18 Clayton Street, Avonmouth, Bristol


P. Franklin

22 Hervey Road, Wells, Somerset


A. Francis

Keedwell Cottage, Providence Lane, Long Ashton, Somerset


K.S. Gardner

The Grampains, Shepherd’s Bush Road, London


M.C. Garton

H.M.S. Brave Swordsman, G.P.O., London


P.M. Giles

Hut 350, ‘A; Sqdn, R.A.F. Compton Bassett, Calne, Wiltshire


A.P. Godfrey

21 Reynolds Close, Meadow Park, Keynsham, Bristol


D. Gommo

11 Glenarm Walk, Brislington, Bristol 4


J.W. Goodwin

34 Oaklands Avenue, Northrowane, Halifax, Yorks


D. Greenwood

164 St. John’s Lane, Bristol 3


G.H. Griffiths

34 Dodworth Drive, Mettlethorpe, Wakefield, Yorkshire


S.H. Grime

The Spinney, Rickman Hill, Coulsdon, Surrey


M.H. Grimes

34 Gatehouse Close, Withywood, Bristol 3


D. Gwinnel

13 Bridge Street, Frome, Somerset


N.P. Hallett

Myndeep, Westwood Drive, Pill, Somerset


M. Hannam

14 Market Place, Wells, Somerset


C.W. Harris

23 Frobisher Road, Ashton, Bristol 3


R.P. Harte

 ‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset


D. Hassell

147 Evington Lane, Leicester


C.J. Hawkes

29 Highbury Road, Horfield, Bristol


J.W. Hill

135 Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol


S.M. Hobbs

13 Lauriston Road, Preston Park, Brighton 6, Sussex


M. Holland

128 Woodland Gardens, Isleworth, Middlesex


D.W. Hoskyns

Apt 21, 1 Superior, Mimico, Toronto14, Ontario, Canada


D. Hunt

Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.


J. Ifold

Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin, Somerset


P. Ifold

40 Richmond Street, Totterdown, Bristol


B.J. Isles

89 Broadwalk, Knowle, Bristol 4


M. Isles

50 Acacia Road, Bournville, Birmingham 30


Miss P. Irwin

‘Jable’, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset


R. Jarman

78 Winterstoke Road, Ashton, Bristol 3


V. Jewell

Warren Cottage, Station Road, Flax Bourton, Somerset


A. Johnson

38 Southdown Road, Emmer Green, Reading, Berkshire


R. Jones

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


U. Jones

1a East Avenue, Cheadle, Cheshire


W.F. Jones

35 Stothard Avenue, Lockleaze, Bristol 7


G.M. Joyner

22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Bristol


R.S. King

1st Batt. 2 E. Anglican Reg., Mercer Barracks, Osnabruck, B.F.P.O. 36


R. Kitchen

61 Worton Way, Isleworth, Middlesex


T. Knight

365 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7


J. Lamb

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


B.T. Lane

14 Willow View, Bairstow Lane, Sowerby Bridge, Yorks


J.M. Lane

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


A.G. Lee

52 Clifton Down Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


M. Luckwill

8 Park Road, Lower Weston, Bath, Somerset


B. Lynn



P. Mack

31 Cornwallis Crescent, Clifton, Bristol 8.


N. McSharry

C.S.D.F., R.A.F. Compton Bassett, Calne, Wiltshire


C.A. Marriott

718 Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol 5


T.K. Marston

33 Greenbank Avenue, St. Judes, Plymouth, Devon


E.J. Mason

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


P.J. Miller

130 Longmead Avenue, Bishopston, Bristol 7


D.W. Mitchell

2 Selwood Road, Frome, Somerset


K. Murray

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


A. Nash

23714348 Pte A.G. (Int) H.Q. East African Command, B.F.P.O. 10


T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset


Mrs T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset



Oldfield Park Lodge, Wells Road, Bath, Somerset


M.A. Palmer

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


Miss S.E. Paul

Flat H, 21 Lovelace Road, Surbiton, Surrey


J. Pegram

333, 5th S.E., Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada


L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol


A. Philpot

3 Kings Drive, Bishopston, Bristol


T. Pink

53 Burnthwaite Road, Fulham, London SW6


G. Platten

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


G. Pointing

10 Green Lane, Avonmouth, Bristol


B. Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Nr. Wells, Somerset


R.J. Price

2 Weeks Road, Bishop Sutton, Somerset


L. Pritchard

58 Belper Road, Derby


J.M. Pullman

Badgers Wood, Brockley, Bristol


D. Quicke

Kingsway Caravan Park, Cuckoo Lane, Winterbourne, Bristol


Mrs D. Quicke

Kingsway Caravan Park, Cuckoo Lane, Winterbourne, Bristol


D. Radmore

2 Dunkeld Road, Filton, Bristol


J. Ransom

15 South View, Lenthay, Sherborne, Dorset


C.H.G. Rees

10 Clarence Road, Bristol 2


Mrs Rees

10 Clarence Road, Bristol 2



13 Wades Road, Filton, Bristol


A. Rich

c/o Pox 126, Basham, Alberta, Canada


P.A. Richards

119 Welbeck Road, West Harrow, Middlesex


Mrs P.A. Richards

119 Welbeck Road, West Harrow, Middlesex


R.J. Roberts

5 Bennett Street, Bath, Somerset


Mrs Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6


G. Robinson

10 Linden Road, Redland, Bristol 6


Miss J.P. Rollason

157 Pen Park Road, Redland, Bristol 6


A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset.


Mrs. A. Sandall

43, Meadway Avenue, Nailsea, Somerset


B.M. Scott

14 Devon Close, Tottenham, London N17


P. Scott

16 Pembroke Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


G. Selby

38 Hawkers Lane, Wells, Somerset


A. Selway

59 Talbot Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset


R. Setterington

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


J. Simonds

31 Springfield Lane, Teddington, Middlesex


C. Smith

48 Windsor Road Leyton, London E10


D. Smith

3 Providence Place, Reading, Berks.


J. Stafford

Wern Isaf, Pethel, Cearns


Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


T.H. Stanbury

6 Aubrey Road, Bristol 3


R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


Mrs. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


P.A.E. Stewart

11 Fairhaven Road, Redland, Bristol 6


E.P. Tackle

29 Haydon Gardens, Romey Gardens, Lockleaze, Bristol 7


A. Thomas

Westhaven School, Uphill, Weston s Mare, Somerset


D.M. Thomas

12 Clarence Road, Bristol 2


M. Thompson

Ashen Hill Cottage, Priddy, Somerset


J. Tierney

Flat 3, 37 Hawley Sq., Margate, Kent


G. Tilley

Jable, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset


G.E. Todd

Sundayshill Cottage, Falfield, Glos


J. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


Mrs. D. Tompsett

Mallins, Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


E. Towler

11 St. Phillips Road, London E8


N. Tuck

33 St. Arvans Road, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire


S. Tuck

13 Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


Mrs. S. Tuck

13 Hanbury Road, Clifton, Bristol 8


Miss J. Wathen

Theresa Cottage, Passage Road, Saul, Glos


R.M. Wallis

55 Fluin Lane, Frodsham, Warrington, Lancs


G.O. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield


Mrs. G. Weston

126 Woodside Road, Beaumont Park, Huddersfield


M. Wheadon

2 Hubert Place, St. Thomas St., Wells, Somerset


C. Wildgoose

18 Baileybrook Drive, Langley Mill, Notts


R. Wilmut

36 Rudthorpe Road, Horfield, Bristol 7


R. Winch

1 Stanley Villa, Crewkerne, Chard, Somerset


J.G. Wolff

83 Newbridge Hill, Walk, Bath, Somerset


R.A. Woodford

80 Torrington Road, Ruislip, Middlesex


E.A. Woodwell

127 Welsford Avenue, Wells, Somerset


A.M. Wring

11 Harrowden Ct., Harrowden Road, Luton, Beds


R.F. Wyncoll

9 St. Christians Croft, Cheylesmore, Coventry

Excuses Reasons for Not Caving

by Jug Jones.

We shall deal first with the medical section, because it the first that springs to my mind, and this class of reason is almost always a good one.

BROKEN ARM.  Here, the crafty use of plaster of Paris is very helpful, or perhaps a sister, mother or daughter who is a trained nurse.  Male nurses can be useful but cavers usually find more important work for these people to do.

SEPTICAEMIA.  This is always good for the indolents, as the failure to wash or bath will help nature considerably by breeding the necessary germs, e.g.  "I've got a boil on my sitting down machine and I can't crawl very well!" (but note how these types always manage to crawl painlessly into someone's transport to get to the Hunters!) Another version of this is the sceptic thumb.  This is cleverly bound in a variety of pink lints, white cotton wools, four 4" bandages and other more subtle forms of disguise such as little leather pockets, pouches or, even more clinical, a rubber glove.  But here one must be careful not to get trapped for .a dig in Priddy Green by passing Shepton Malletiers.  On one occasion, I used a simple sling, carefully knotted   ( St. John’s style) and claimed a sceptic elbow.  Failing this, water on the joint is good but care must again be taken or one of the more aspiring docs of the B.E.C. may diagnose lack of exercise and prescribe a dry cave.

PULLED MUSCLE.  This one is excellent, as it invariably attracts sympathy from older members of club a strong smelling balsam or liniment is recommended, and the colours brown, green and purple give the best effects.

SLIPPED JOINT.  (Or dislocated bone – any will do!)  Is to be acted on as for pulled muscle, but care must be taken NOT to let the phizziotherapists take charge of the limb in question (pun intended).  Then we come to such other forms of bluff as “Internal” or '"Off colour" or “Overworked" (/weight) and some others that I can't write about as I intend to keep them for further use.

TRANSPORT. This section is, of necessity, a brief one, as only lately have I had transport.  To begin with, you must be careful that no one lives near you, or offers of help will begin pouring in:  "Big ends gone" or "Chains snapped" or simply "No transport".  A popular, but much overworked one, at the Belfry is “I pranged!"  (Crafty use of R.A.F. jargon here makes it sound authentic, doesn’t it?)

GEAR.  This chapter too is rather short, but there are endless opportunities for types who like to get screaming shattered in the Hunters but who wish to avoid anything unpleasant connected with caving SUCH AS CAVES! Some good ones are "Lamps duff", -"Somebody's pinched my goon suit", "Lamp pox" "No lamp" etc. (sorry, no more room:  Ed.)


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8
Postal Dept. R.S. King, 22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Nr. Bristol.