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Once again we go to press with the same two overworked Editors, cum Hon Sec, cum Asst Hon Sec, cum Treasurer, cum BB printers, cum BB circulating officers....won't someone please step forward to take over the editing and stencil cutting of the BB and so help to take some of the weight from our shoulders.


In the past there have been many complaints regarding the condition o f the tackle and storeroom. In an attempt to remove the sources of complaint the committee has, after some consideration, has decided to create a tackle Sub Committee to assist Mike Jones in his duty as Tackle Officer. This Sub Committee consists of 3 or 4 people interested either in using or making tackle; at present it includes Mike Jones, Mervyn Hannam and Ken Dobbs. If any members feel they would like to do any work in this direction, will they please get in touch with any of the above.

If any one does volunteer they will be welcomed with open arms.


Further to the above. The reorganisation of the tackle store does not leave room for personal equipment. Anything found there a fortnight after this BB is circulated (other than tackle or junk that has Mike Jones personal blessing) WILL BE BURNT OR OTHERWISE DESTROYED.

Inspection Of Minutes.

The Minutes of committee meetings are available for inspection on application to the Hon. Sec.

Final Reminders of Annual Subscriptions.

Although final reminders have now gene out for 1952 subscriptions there are a few people who have contributions paid for a part of this year. These people will still receive Club benefits until the renewal date is reached. They will however receive no future notice regarding further payment.

A “POME” In reply to “ The Olden Days”.

Dear Sir with reference (in a late edition) to “pome” entitled “In the Olden Days”. I have, if you will give your kind permission, a comment here which I should like to raise. The authoress who, in stanzas stirring the ‘olden days’ so easily recall, were not (unless my memory be erring) then members o f the B EC at all! I can’t recall that D. and I had met, Sir when cavers washed and changed on Priddy Green. And I am certain I should not forget Sir If S. had used the door as her latrine! Please do not think to carp is my intention to criticise unduly -- or to nag --- but one last point I really ought to mention In those days we were nearly always “stag”


Congratulations Column

Congratulations to Don Coase & Clare Ainsworth, Pat Ifold & Beryl Wild on their recent marriages.

Round the S Bend Or the Saga of the Sewers.

Members o f party, Alma Serle, Colin O’Toole, Mike Jones, Raymond Brain, Mervyn Hannam, Roy Bennett, hordes of rats and H.Line,Esq. One afternoon last year the above party was conducted on a tour the Bristol Sewers and Castle Moat. We went underground at a point near Broad Weir and a moment later masses of bods were pilling into two boats (rowing for the use of). We firstly circumnavigated the Moat, parts of which date back to the twelfth century. The passage is a low arched tunnel with several side openings leading to the blitzed sites in the Castle Street area. Progress was made by pushing on the roof with a pole, Mike Jones providing illumination with a filthy great tilley lamp. (his own words).

Eventually we drifted out into daylight opposite Georges Brewery, at which longing eyes were cast. Through desperate attempts to assault the brewery the boat containing Messrs. Jones and Hannam was stranded in the river. We literally up the creek without a paddle to our name. However with the help of a locker door and a bottom board a return was made to the tunnel.

An interesting point was the fact that many small stalactites were observed hanging from the roof in several places The party returned to embarkation point where we transferred to our own flat feet. Several pairs of thigh boots ware obtained from the Port of Bristol Authority by a few types who seemed to have considerable knowledge of sewers and the next part of the trip was started.

We stepped into the River Frome, the waters of which came half way up our thigh boots, and waded upstream. The passages is about fifteen feet high by twenty five feet wide with a slightly arched roof. The river bed is of concrete. Just before the Newfoundland Road point of engulfment the party forked left into a high level culvert, which our guide said was only active in times of flood. It might here be mentioned that Messrs O’Toole and Jones were seen to be wearing gas masks (which improved their appearances considerably).

A short distance along the passage an indefinable odour began to make its presence felt. Within a few yards the odour had become a solid wall of pong and certain weak stomachs were behaving in a manner reminiscent of eleven p.m. on Saturday. Piled high on either side of the bank were mounds of festering muck on which gambled large rats. The passage led us into the main culvert below the Horsefair. The waters here ward deep and swift and hopes of someone slipping in ran high.

This culvert led us back to the River Frome near the Co-op Education Centre, but in order to get into this passage a dicey and thrutch-nations traverse had to be made in water that nearly reached the tops of thigh boots. At this Junction the thigh boots loudly lamented their fate in the usual BEC manner. From then on easy progress was made back to our point of entry. It is hoped that another of these pleasant jaunts will be arranged soon.

M. Hannam

Temporary Library Service

An emergency Library Service is being put into action. Enquires for books should be sent to H. Shelton, c/o Leigh House, Nepett, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol or to Ken Dobbs on Thursday nights. Books will be returnable by registered post only to H. Shelton. Undoubtedly this service will not be as efficient as in the past but we hope this inconvenience will be of very short duration.

Caving Programme for May

May 3rd             Axbridge Ochre Cave

                        Meet 3pm Axbridge Church         Leader M Hannam

May 10th            Sandford Levy

                        Meet Sandford School 2.30pm    Leader R Bennett

May 17th            Lamb Leer

                        Meet Belfry                                Leader R Setterington

May 24th            Bath Stone Workings

                        For meeting place contact M Hannam or M Jones.

May 31st            Reads Cavern

                        Meet at Belfry (with transport) or 2.30pm at Mendip cafe Burrington.

            Leader R Setterington

Sales Dept

Mike Jones has now taken over this department If you wan t any spares, helmets etc chase him on Thursday nights.

John Ifold

Many members will no doubt of heard of the unfortunate accident John had when he was in collision with a cow. He is still in hospital with serious head injuries. We are sure that Club members will wish to join us in wishing him a speedy recovery.


Caving Coach Trip

It might be possible to arrange some coach trips for a days caving in such areas as South Wales, Devonshire and even Derbyshire is enough enthusiast can be mustered. Anyone interested please give their names to the caving Sec.

Useful addresses:-

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

Caving Sec.                   M Hannam, 14 Vyvyan Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8

Climbing Sec                 R. Cantle, 46 Cherrington Rd, Henleaze, Bristol 9

Sales Officer                  M Jones, 12 Melton Cres., Horfield, Bristol 7

Editor BB                      C Dobbs, 55 Broadfield Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

Acting Librarian              H. Shelton, c/o Leigh House, Nepett, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol

Hut Warden                   A Setterington 2 1 Priorswood Rd . Taunton Somerset


It is with regret that we have to announce the loss of one Editor (and typewriter). Unfortunately John Shorthose (Shorty) has been posted to the wilds of and he will not be able to continue the work he has done so well for the past year. We are sure the Club will wish him the best of luck with his work in the wilderness

The ghastly appearance of this issue only goes to prove the necessity for a new Editor as time goes on and issues roll out. It will become even more obvious that a permanent Editor is needed; working on the assumption that one volunteer is worth ten-pressed men. Will volunteers please step smartly forward.

Cave Research Group

A General Mooting will be held at Skipton, Yorkshire, on 26th April, 3rd May, or 10th May, for the presentation of a Speleological Paper. This will be followed by a Caving Expedition on the Sunday. Details will be announced later.

On Saturday 21st June, Mr. P.L.W. Harvey will present a paper on Cave Photography in the lecture room of the Wells Museum at The following day there will be an Expedition to GB arranged by the UBSS.

Mendip Rescue Organisation

We have been asked by the M R O to outline the procedure in the event of an accident.

(1 )       Person having knowledge of accident will go to the nearest call-box, or telephone, and ring the Police, (Wells Police, Tel: Wells 2197.)

(2).       The Police will require the following information:-

Name and address of caller

Number and situation of call-box or telephone

Nature of accident,

Name o  cave

Position of accident in cave (if known)

Number of poop10 in party l

Whether experienced cavers

(3)                 The informant will remain at phone for further instructions

A list of the Wardens and further details of this scheme will be posted at the Belfry. This list will also be available at Thursday Night Club Meetings or on application to the Honorary Secretary.


The first of a series of Thursday Night talks was given by Mr, Peter Bird on 13th March, to an audience of about 30 people, nearly all Club Members. His address o n Bats was s well received, and if the talks continue to be as interesting we have no doubt they will become a popular monthly feature of our Thursday Night meetings.

If you caving to      by Pongo

This £25 racket is a nuisance, of course, but the average caver can’t afford more, if as much on his holiday, so that won’t worry you. You will want your own transport…probably a motorcycle (see Setterington’s article in BB) as this is much cheaper and convenient than railways.

There are a lot of caving areas in France and in a fortnight or so you will, not be able to inspect one closely let alone the whole lot; but you will be able to have a general look round, see a lot of caves, fine country and generally have a grand time.

Dordogne District

This lies East of Bordeaux and is a lovely area of heavily wooded limestone hills. It was one of‘ the haunts of primitive man, and archaeologically the area is very rich. The famous Lascaux cave is in this region and so is the less well known but equally worth visiting Grotto Roch Merle. Padirac is extremely commercialised with a lift down the entrance shaft but is also not to be missed. Only 10 miles from Padirac is the little town of Rocamadour, built on the side of a cliff, one of the few places which is more spectacular than the photographs of it.


There must be literally thousands of caves in Pyrenees, but many are very large and need well organised parties to explore them. But there are suffioient tourist caves to keep you happy for the best part of a week. Many of the proprietors are also very co-operative, and if given prior warning, will arrange a trip around the non-tourist sections….l repeat if given prior warning, and if you put up a good story.

Labouiche ( 2½  kms, under-ground in a boat…otherwise not very exciting).

Mas d‘Azil ( with a Mammoth skull and a large number of cave bears)

Gargas ( of the 200 mutilated-hand prints)

Grottos de Medous ( with good formations and a boat ride for good measure)

     …. and others are all freely open for 150 --200 Francs

La Portel and Niaux can also be visited by private arrangement and the latter is especially worth while as it contains some of the finest cave drawings known.

While in the Pyrenees region, do not miss seeing Carcassonne which is a walled town still in being.

Averyon-Lozere Region

North end east of the Pyrenees contains the famous Gorges due Tarn. These are Cheddar on a large scale…. about 30 miles long and a thousand feet high though not as narrow and vertical as Cheddar. Close to the top of the Gorges is Avon Armand, one of the famous show caves of , and not far off are Dargilan and Bramibiau. This last is (or was) only very slightly commercialised There is a guide, if he happens to be about, but there is no lighting and it is not possible to penetrate very far easily. A little further on is Grotto Demoiselles, which is entered via a funicular railway running up into the mountain from a ledge facing full south; it is hence a tropical garden. On the way from Dargilan to Demoiselles it is possible to free-wheel for 12 miles. Somewhat north again is the world famous Aven Orgnac with the most remarkable formations.

This whole region of the Causse and Cevennes is riddled with caves but again the major proportion require large parties or else are apparently not very interesting,

The Vercours

Just south of Grenoble is a paradise of caves and vertical gorges of incredible depth and steepness. If you do not like driving on the brink of a precipice keep away. To cave here you need a good party as there are few tourist caves, but it is grand country to see.

The Chartreuse

Which is the home of the remarkably potent liqueur is very steep and the caves are off the beaten track. The ‘Subterranean Climbers’ gives the low-down on the district and I offer 5/- is someone can find the Guirs Mort….I cold not and got soaked into the bargain.

By the time you have been to all these places you will be sick of caves and will be wondering why we bother with our Mendip Binders, but you will have had a grand holiday.

Judicious enquiries before you go will greatly assist in finding some of the more out-of-the-way cave, and I or anyone else who has been before will, I am sure, be only to glad to give you any help we can

Further Congratulations

We extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Roger Cantle and Judy Puplett, who have recently announced their engagement.

A little bat whispered in our ear that Gordon and Joan Fenn are now the proud possessors of a Bouncing Baby Boy

Congratulations better late than never to Stan and Mo Herman, on their wedding which took place a few months ago; they are now living in a caravan, aptly named the Swallet, at Whitchurch.

The Impossible Has Happened

We have it on the best authority that the Honorary Secretary and his assistant have at last torn themselves away from their armchairs in an endeavour to conquer the depths of Swildon’s Hole. Having visited the Belfry at the unheard hour of 9 am on Sunday morning and finding most of the inmates still asleep they forged on undaunted. Fortunately they found that Mother Nature had taken a hand (God Bless Her) and the water was pouring over the entrance grating In a mighty torrent of 4”. Photographic evidence is available! However the Hero of the expedition, Ken Dobbs, fought his way to the top of the waterfall (this action was probably duo to the fact that his foot slipped in removing the grating). He returned to report that further progress was impossible and the Honorary Secretary gratefully believed him. The party then returned from their first Caving Expedition in many moons.

R.B.            K.C .D.


Memo to Johnny Ifold:

Have they given you an official report yet?

More Material Please

We are now virtually out of material for the next BB. The next issue is entirely in your hands – you write it, we print it. Until further arrangements are made, willing contributors, budding authors etc,… please send their articles efforts etc to the Honorary Secretary.

Annual Dinner

The Hon. Sec. has still a few tickets left for the next Annual Dinner, to be held on Saturday, January 26th, at the Whiteladies Cinema Restaurant, at 7 for 7.30pm. Tickets are,7/6 each, cash with order. Those who were there last year will no doubt already have booked tickets, and will be ready to assure others that a very good time was had by all. The backsliders will now, no doubt, rush to get the few remaining tickets from Bob Bagshaw, whose address appears, if we still remember it, at the end of this Bulletin.

Those who have already applied should receive their tickets within a week, otherwise, panic is in order, and the Hon. Sec should be, to put it mildly, informed.

Annual General Meeting

Owing to ill-health Miss Jill Rollason has asked that her name should not go forward for election to the Committee for 1952. All members should therefore amend their ballot papers accordingly. We wish Jill a very speedy and complete recovery.

Members who have items or resolutions which they wish to be discussed, at the AGM should hand these, in writing to the Hon Sec. before the start of the meeting, As time is strictly limited, these should be kept as short and as few as possible.

London Section Meeting

The next meeting of the London Section will be held on Sunday, 24th February 1952 at 26, Gateside Road, S.W.17. All the usual arrangements will apply. This is by way of being the London Section Sec's farewell party, and he hopes that as many as possible of the exiles will help him to celebrate.

Photographic Competition

As it is now after the closing date, and no entries have been received for the 1952 Photographic Competition, this has been abandoned.

Equipment Sales

Roy Ifold reports that there is still plenty of equipment particularly lamps and spares available. Helmets cannot be kept in stock but can be obtained to order in about three or four weeks. Members needing caving gear should get in touch with Roy.

For Sale

One standard cap lamp and 3-volt NIFE cell complete, in working order,... £2

Apply D. Radmore, 3, Gloucester Road, Old Patchway, near Bristol.

Christmas Greetings

The club received a message of Christmas Greetings from Pierre Ageron, Vice President of the Socete Speleologique de France. Pierre will be remembered by those who attended the conference at Valence in 1949 for the immense amount of work he put in to ensure the success of the trip.

Greetings were received also from the Westminster Speleo Group, of Ilford,

Club Library

The Club Library has recently suffered from an attack of additions, including the following:-British Caver, Vol. 22

Cave Science, Nos. 17 and 18

Teach Yourself Geology.,. E.U.P.

Climbing Section Meet - Xmas 1951 - Coniston Westmorland

The following attended the Climbing Section's Christmas meet at Coniston, Westmorland:- R.A. Setterington, A. Rice G.T. Lucy, D. Bindon, M. Yea, A. Searle, D.P. Puplett, R.W.G. Cantle, and J.R. Crabtree. The following note on the expedition has been provided by the Climbing Secretary.

Weather. Very Indifferent, rain, snow in the air.

The party assembled at Holly How Youth hostel on Saturday evening 22nd December, 1951 for dinner and a drink at the Black Bull.

Sunday 23rd December The party decided as the weather was too bad for serious rock climbing, ridge-walking would be preferable. The track up past the Old Copper Mines was taken, and the party ascended to the summit of the Old Man Of Coniston after having passed round Levens Water. On the summit, Christmas cake, Australian wine (Women! Beware! It will make you hop like kangaroos), French wine, chocolates, oranges and the other good things of Christmas were consumed with relish. After partaking of this meal a rapid descent was made down the side to the track leading to Goats Water and thence back to the Hostel, Altogether a good energetic walk, although the mist had prevented the fine views being seen. The evening was spent at the festivities at the Black Bull where Hot Lips (Crabtree) entertained the party by pulling faces

Monday 24th December. All but two of the party motored into Ambleside where shopping and general sight-setting took place, followed by drinks and lunch. It had by now come on to rain, but nevertheless the party's original intention was carried out, namely a general tour round the lakes. The road for Keswick was taken, and then on to Cockermouth, through the fine mountain scenery could only be seen at intervals as the mountaintops peeped through the mist. Prom Cockermouth round by the Honister pass, where bottom gear is useful. and cyclists are advised to walk... YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED then on to Buttermere and thence back to Keswick (Don't mention the place to Sett, unless you also tell him where to get a straight "Duggy" frame). Then on to Ambleside and back to Coniston, dinner, and a quiet sing-song round the fire.

Tuesday, Christmas Day. The day dawned clear and the party in general set off for Dow Crag and Goats Water after a lazy but very enjoyable walk, lunch was had at the foot of, Dow Crag. Here the party split up, half going up on to the ridge in the snow while the tires, lazy and crippled hobbled off back to Coniston for tea. (Sorry, no tea to be had). Christmas dinner was had, a merry evening at the Black Bull and much jollification In the Common Room till the early hours of the morning,..., a very good party.

Wednesday December 26th Dawned clear, but not for long.  At 10.00 am the party left, splitting up for their various destinations after a very happy Christmas.

Mendip Caves                     J. Ifold,

I           August Hole

August Hole is one of the five largest systems in the Mendip area, but for some reason is just about as popular as Stoke Lane. The entrance is in Longwood, close to Lower Farm Charterhouse, and admission is obtained on paying a small fee to the owner of the farm, Mr. Young. Cavers may change in the barn a t the farm. Then, proceeding down the valley, fill carbide lamps at the cattle trough, if the weather is dry. If it is wet, ample opportunity will be found at the cave entrance, which is. opposite the sewer bed.

The entrance is a tight vertical rift about forty feet deep. On reaching the bottom it is followed for a further twenty feet and into a small bedding chamber on the left.  A BEC member once broke two ribs going through this part of the cave, but since that time some patient person has chipped away the tight piece. Follow the passage until the head of the double ten-foot vertical is reached. A twenty-foot rope is needed at this point. At the foot, the left hand passage leads to Long Wood, and the Right hand one to August Hole. Following the right-hand one, we come to the Water Chamber, where there is usually a waterfall dropping from the roof and disappearing into a small passage, down which we proceed to the top of a thirty foot chimney At the bottom of this chimney is a small tunnel. If by any chance one has stayed dry to this point, and wishes to remain so, one takes the opening to the left of this tunnel and turning right almost immediately wriggles down a tight squeeze leading to the other end of the tunnel, This is known as the "By-pass".

Soon after this, one reaches a high rift passage with formations, ending in a drop of about ten feet, which requires a twenty foot rope. This is the last point at which a rope is required. One is now in the top of a fault which slopes at about 30 degrees for a hundred feet or so. It is twenty to thirty feet wide and about ten feet high, and there are two grottos a short way down on the right hand side, one I of which I consider to be the prettiest on Mendip This is a good time and place to stop for a breather.

(To be continued)

Useful addresses:-

Hon. Secretary              R.J. Bagshaw,

56, Ponsford Road,



Librarian                        J.W. Ifold,

Leigh House,

Nempnett Thrubwell

Chew Stoke,

Near Bristol

Hut Warden                   R.A. Setterington,

21, Priorswood Road,



B.B.Editors                   D.A. Coase and W.J. Shorthose,

26, Gateside Road,.

Upper Tooting,

London, SW,17

Bristol Exploration Club -- AGM

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING to be held at REDCLIFFE Community Centre at 2pm on Saturday, 26th January, 1952.


1          Election of Chairman,

2          Collection of resolutions to be raised by members.

3          Collection of voting papers.        

4          Election of three tellers for the ballot,

5          Hon. Secretary's report.

6                     Treasurer's report. (See statement on back of thls agenda)

7                     Caving report,

8                     Climbing report.

9                     Library report.

10                 Archaeological report.

11                 Tackle officer's report,

12                 Hut Warden's report.

13                 London Section report,

14                 Members’ resolutions (from item 2)

15                 Photographic competition report,

16                 Any other business,

Financial Statement for 1951


Annual subscriptions                                                                                     37     0     0

Belfry:   Income                                                                42    12                 

Less expenditure                                                  17    12              24    19     8

Calor gas: Income                                                              9     9      3

                  Less cost                                                        4    18      6             4    10     9

Goods for resale: Receipts                                                16    13      7

                             Less Cost                                           14    10      4             2     3    

Redcliffe Hall: Income                                                       25     3      6

                       Less hire                                                  12    10      0           12    13     6

Sundries P.O.S.B. Interest, etc.                                                                      2     9     7

                                                                                                                 £83    16    


Belfry Bulletin: Stencils, paper, etc,                                   10    19    11

                        Postage                                                    2    16      9           13    16     8

Hut loan repayment                                                                                       10     0     0

Insurance                                                                                                       7    10     0

Telephones                                                                                                    7    12     0

Postage                                                                                                         6     5     1

Festival expenses                                                                                           4    19     9

Library                                                                                                           4    18    10

British mountaineering council entrance

                                fee and subscription                                                        3    10     0

Stationery and printing                                                                                    3     4     3

Deposit for Annual Dinner                                                                                2     2     0

Climbing hut: Expenditure                                                   4    11      8

                      Less income                                                2    16      0             1    15     8

Rent of field                                                                                                    1     0     0

Cave research group subscription                                                                          10     8

Sundries                                                                                                        1    16     8

Surplus for year                                                                                            14    15    

                                                                                                                 £83    16    

Total club moneys 1st January, 1951                                                               29     1     7

Surplus for year                                                                                            14     5    

                                                                                                                 £43    16    

Deposit in P.0,S.B. 31st December, 1951.                                                       32    17     4

Cash in hand                   do.                                                                        10    19    

Total club moneys           do                                                                        £43    16    

There is a balance of £15 still owing in respect of the hut fund,

His Late Majesty King George VI.

As we go to press with this issue, the nation mourns, the loss of a well loved monarch. It is fitting that we, too, should add our humble tribute to those that have already been paid to his memory, and express our sympathy with H,M, Queen Elizabeth II The Queen Mother, and the other members of his family in the grievous loss they have sustained. We express the hope that our young Queen will long be spared to rule over a happy and united people, free from the anxieties and fears which beset her Father's reign in such doleful measure, GOD SAVE THE QUEEN

Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting was held at the Redcliffe Community Centre on 26th January 1952, under the Chairmanship of D. Hasell. Reports by the various officers showed steady, if unspectacular, progress in all of the major Club activities, though some dissatisfaction was expressed regarding the present state of Club tackle. These reports and the subsequent discussion on them are fully recorded in the Minute Book, and need not, therefore, be dealt with here. Those members who were not able to be present will however, be interested to learn of some of the decisions reached.

At the Hon. Secretary's suggestion, all Subscriptions will be payable on the same date, 1st February from now on. An adjustment will be made so that members who have already paid a sub, to cover part of the year from 1st February 1952 to 1st February 1953 will receive a proportionate adjustment.

The Club has applied for representation on the Bristol Youth Council, and the Committee will also look into the desirability of affiliating to the Bristol Naturalist's Society,

The surcharge of 3d on all belfry fees, originally imposed to cover the cost of Calor gas equipment it has been merged with the Belfry fees, are now therefore, 1/3 for members

The Committee was asked to see how far the weekly meetings at the Redcliffe Community Centre could be more efficiently organised, and in particular what could be done to secure a warmer welcome for newcomers, and whether a talk on a subject of interest to the Club could be arranged at monthly intervals.

The following members were elected to serve on the Club Committee for the ensuing year;- Miss C. Ainsworth, R. Bagshaw, R. Cantle, K. Dobbs, M. Hannam, J. Ifold, G. Lucy, and R.A. Setterington. It was left to this Committee to appoint officers as necessary.

Officers for 1952

The committee has appointed the following officers for the year;-

Hon.Secretary and Treasurer. R. Bagshaw

Assistant Hon. Secretary, responsible also for printing and despatch of "BB". K. Dobbs

Caving Secretary M. Hannam

Climbing Secretary R. Cantle

Hut Warden R.A. Setterington

Assistant Hut Warden and Engineer G. Lucy

Librarian, J. Ifold

Tackle Officer M. Jones.

Editors, B.B. D. A Coase and W.J. Shorthose.


To:- Pat Ifold and Beryl Wild; Mike Yon and Alma Searle; and Hal Perry and Pat..,,.? All on their recently announced engagements. We extend to them all our sincerest good wishes,

Talk - Thursday, March 13th, 1952,

Make a note of this date, as the first of the monthly talks has been booked for that night, at the weekly Club meeting. The talk, which will be illustrated by lantern slides, will be by Mr P. Bird. Mr. Bird's subject will be "Bats". The Committee hopes that as many members as possible will support this innovation by turning up to hear what Mr. Bird has to say.

London Section

Members of the London Section are reminded of the meeting of the Section to be held at 26, Gateside Road, S W1 7 on Sunday, 24th February. Those who wish to attend are asked to inform the L.S.Sec at that address,

Mendip Caves J. Ifold

I - August Hole Part II

At the bottom of the fault is the main stream passage, and it is advisable to explore the upstream passage first, as it .is the drier. This is part of the master cave. The floor is strewn with huge masses of limestone blocks. About 150 feet up on the right hand side a small stream enters, through a passage which opens into a larger one known as Stream Gallery. A short .way up this passage, on the left is a large deposit- of rock-milk. The stream enters this passage from, the roof, and umbrellas are therefore advised, The passage ends in a very insecure pile of boulders.

Returning to the main stream passage once more, one can go upstream until the passage forks The right fork, leads to the Wet Gallery, and the left to the Dry Gallery, which is above the cave entrance; and full of loose rocks. Very great care is needed in this part pf the cave. The downstream passage is very similar to Swildon’s Hole. In fact, the entire system seems to me to be a combination of Swildon’s, GB, and Eastwater. It is easy going in this stretch, and the walls of the passage are covered with formations. Shortly the roof becomes lower, and it is necessary to crawl in the water, while there are also several small pots to be negotiated. After the last of these there is a high rift with, the stream running along the bottom. It is better to traverse along this rift than to walk in the stream.

There are some very fine stalactites hanging from the roof, which can best be examined from the Ox-Bow., The entrance to this is reached by a small climb just round a bend on the left, which brings one out at the top of the rift. A little further on, the stream sinks through the floor.

Anyone energetic enough can continue by taking the low passage on the right, down a twenty foot rift. From here it takes about an hour to do the next two hundred feet, and about as long to return, At the end of this passage the roar of an inaccessible stream can be heard through a small fissure. This point is about 440 feet below the entrance.

In my view, when wet, August Hole is one of the most severe caves on Mendip, but one of the best.

NOTE BY Librarian August Hole is described in the following all of which are in the Club Library:

Cave Science, Vol. I, No. 3

U.B.S.S. Proceedings, Vol. 6, No.1.

British Caver, Vols. 15, 19, and 22

Department of obscure information

Do you know how many known caves there are on Mendip? Or how many there are in Burrington Combe? To check your memory, see below.

Useful addresses:-

Hon. Secretary R.J. Bagshaw,

56, Ponsford Road,



Librarian J.W. Ifold,

Leigh House,

Nempnett Thrubwell

Chew Stoke,

Near Bristol

Hut Warden R.A. Setterington,

21, Priorswood Road,



B.B.Editors D.A. Coase and W.J. Shorthose,

26, Gateside Road,.

Upper Tooting,

London, SW,17

Department of Etc.

The Librarian after considerable search and research has come to the conclusion that the total of known caves on Mendip exceeds 120. In Burrington Combe there are twenty one: -

Aveline’s Hole, Bath Swallet, Bos Swallet, Drunkard's Hole, East Twin Brook Swallet, Frog's Hole, Fox's Hole, Goatchurch Cavern, Plumley's Hole; Read's Cavern, Rod's Pot, Rowberrow Cavern, Sidcot Swallet, Pigs Hole, Twin Brook, Whitcombe's Hole and Toad’s Hole, together with four other caves which do not appear to have been given names.

So now you know.

Special Appeal By The Editors

All contributions will: be thankfully received.

Annual General Meeting

Don't forget that the AGM will be held, as announced in the last BB at the Redcliffe Community Centre at 2pm on Saturday 26th January, 1952, and will be followed at 7pm by the Annual Dinner. All members are asked to note this date, and to try to attend. A ballot form; to be used in connection with the election of the new Committee is enclosed w it h this issue. It carries full instructions on how to vote. If you can't read, then ask your Dad what it says, but VOTE

Mike Foxwell

Those members who knew Mike Foxwell will be sorry to learn that he was shot in the back at Suez a week ago, and killed. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his parents and friends in their sad bereavement.

Caving Section.

Mervyn Hannam when sending the following trip card, added the following remark... "but I'm afraid it's a **** of a job to bully anyone into leading a trip these days". We refrain from comment, and leave the matter with the consciences of the more experienced members of the Club.

Forthcoming Trips

22nd December 1951       August Hole      Leader J.Ifold;    Meet at Lower Farm 2pm.

30th December, 1951,     Burrington Caves  Leader C. Foulshaw. Meet at Mendip Cafe at 2pm.

13th January, 1952...       Eastwater.         Leader  M. Jones. Meet at Belfry, 11am

29th January, 1952...       Swildon's,..        Leader M. Hannam. Meet at Belfry, 11a m

Caving Report

Despite the excessive lubrication in most caves during the past few weeks, plenty of caving has been taking place. The ritual of Swildon’s and Eastwater has been carried out, and congrats are due to Len Findley for varying the monotony of Swildon's by suspending himself base over apex on the twenty foot ladder, This pastime is not recommended, however.

There were also a few trips to Burrington, and one party set out to plumb the "bottomless gulf" in Sandford Levy, but found it no longer bottomless, in fact it wasn't there,

The only journey to foreign parts was a trip, or rather two trips to South Devon on the night after the Election. No doubt some of the party remembered the last post-Election night in South Devon!

One of these parties, comprising Johnny Ifold, Johnny Morris, Johnny Bindon, Roger Cantle and one or two others did Pixie Hole at Chudleigh. The other party, Ian Dear and Mervyn Hannam did Read's Cave and Baker's Pit including Geoff Ridyard's new series, which is a very nice bit of caving, even if it is largely through mud guaranteed to block up any acetylene lamp in existence; (Mention of Geoff. reminds us that he is now back in London for a spell Ed.).

The Caving Secretary will be very glad to receive suggestions concerning what caves should be included in the trip cards and what, if any, special exploration and surveying activities should be undertaken by the Section.

Apart from the main cave index, the Section is trying to compile a detailed index of the small caves on Mendip and near Bristol. If any members have a sound knowledge of these little known holes, they are asked to pass it on to Mervyn Hannam.

London Section Dinner

The London Section held its Second Annual Dinner at the Atlas Hotel on Saturday, December 8th, and a good time was had by all. All fourteen members and guests arrived in good time and condition, and, in due course, left.... also in good condition.

The least important part of the Dinner - the dinner – was suitably up to standard and met with general approval. The President (D.A.C.) then proposed "The King” after which “our energetic and hard-working Secretary" sprang his usual surprise and called on R. Setterington to propose "The B.E.C.", to which Johnny Payne replied. Bill Mack then proposed "The London Section" W.J.S. took it upon himself to reply to this, thereby being at a great advantage as the only speaker who had been warned of his fate. Pongo Wallis proposed "The Caving Fraternity", taking a poor view of the serious outbreak of matrimony in the Club, and the future Mrs. Coase replied.

The serious business of the evening then began, but regrettably desire outran performance. It was concluded that this was due to the large quantity of food consumed; at all events, a considerable quantity of assorted refreshment was still unconsumed at 10.45 when we were finally flung out,

We hope that another function will be held in twelve month's time and will be equally successful


1951 Photograph Competition

The rules for the 1951 photographic competition have now been drawn up, and are set out below. Prizes will be awarded in each of the groups A) and B), at the discretion of the Committee, The actual value of the prizes will depend on the total number of entries received, but will probably be about the same in value as last year.


l),         The Competition will be in two sections:

a)  Cave Photographs

b) Club Activities

2)         The Competition is open to all members of the B.E.C., except the Judges.

3)         Prints must be of postcard size or larger, and may be mounted or unmounted. Each print must have the Entrant's name and the title on the back, together with any technical details that are available.

4)         An entry fee of 6p (sixpence) must accompany each print. Any competitor may enter as many prints as he likes.

5)         Prints may be either the entrant’s own work, or may have been processed professionally. They must, of course, have been taken by the entrant.

6)         Each print must be accompanied by an addressed label for return to the entrant.

7)         Entries may be handed in at the Club meetings on Thursday evenings , up to and including Thursday, 10th January, 1952 or may be posted to reach W.J. Shorthose 26, Gateside Road, Upper Tooting, London, SW 17 not later than Saturday 12th January.

8)         The Judges will be D.A. Coase and W.J. Shorthose.

9)                   The result will be announced and the prints will be on view, at the Annual General Meeting and the Annual Dinner on 26th January.

Forthcoming Marriage

Hearty Congratulations to Stan Herman and M. Pillinger two more members who have decided to take the plunge

While on this subject, Bobby Bagshaw and his "Dark Horse" wife wish to thank members very sincerely for the handsome wall clock given to them as a consolation prize.

Planning A Motor-Cycling Trip In - Part 2       by R.A. Setterington

Make arrangements to pick up your companions and get to the AA or RAC port office in good time to collect your boat tickets. Drive down to the customs shed, filling up with petrol, on the way, and get the bike examined and all the necessary forms stamped and handed in. Drive down to the ship and close your eyes while they load the bike. Once on board, wait for the public address system to announce that landing tickets can be collected, do so and fill them in. If you smoke, buy some English cigarettes, though if you run out later "Balto's" make quite a smokeable substitute.

When you dock, go through the customs and get your passport stamped. Your motoring organisation will look after the customs of the bike, but you will probably have to pay a dock landing charge.

As you leave the dock you will be reminded to drive on the right. This is a bit queer at first but you soon get used to it. It is a good system to park the bike always on the right side of the road, then you don't forget as you start up. The majority of the road signs are self-explanatory, but it can cause a few hectic moments when a sign saying "Virage Dangereus" looms up, and after a quick hunt in the dictionary you find it means dangerous double bend.

The best method of eating is to have a snack at mid-day, say of bread and cheese and fruit purchased somewhere en route and a slap up dinner in the evening. Avoid Paris and the big cities and eat in a restaurant in a small village somewhere. Since the evenings are not very long, even at midsummer (it is quite dark by nine o'clock) it is best to start looking for a camping site at about six o' clock. When you find a good spot (the locals can be helpful here) pitch the tent and have a wash and brush up. Then motor into the nearest village and pick an average looking restaurant, probably the only one, and ask if you can have dinner, and at what time, They will almost certainly say "Yes, what do you want?" The best answer is “We're hungry, but we leave the details to you" Some of the motor-cycling books on the subject recommend you to enquire the price first, but this smacks of mistrust and is not necessary in

the smaller restaurants, By the way, when choosing an eating place, Hotel means hotel, Restaurant means restaurant, but a cafe supplies only drinks and snacks,

You will find that the French are all for tourists, but you won't get anything on the cheap from them. Even when you announce that you are English speleologists particularly interested in that cave’s speciality they may make the cave more interesting and show you some of the non-tourist parts, but they will still charge you the full entrance-fee.

Don't bank on the weather being good all the time although in summer it will be reasonably warm even if wet. The best wear is normal clothes and flying suit, gloves and goggles. A pair of sunglasses is a “must” when the sun is shining. For wet weather carry a lightweight anti-gas suit, or equivalent, and a pair of oilskin boots. Don't forgot to put trousers outside boots and jacket outside trousers and gloves.

Always use “Super Carburant” petrol and a heavy oil. Mobiloil “B” in is an S.A.E. 50 oil. Don't be afraid to speak French as soon as you land. You will have to sooner or later, so you may as well start then.

Never, if you can possibly avoid it, drink water, especially, from a stream. Coffee and tartins for breakfast, Citronade glace at midday, and wine with the evening is a good routine. Don't drink wine at midday if you are driving during the afternoon, and don't drink vintage wines, they can be as expensive as in .

Don't leave too many miles for the last day or part day. Get back to your port of embarkation with an hour or two to spare, have a good meal and get rid of as much coin money as possible. You should have no trouble with the French customs or with getting aboard. Once the ship has sailed you can change paper money into English money. Make out a list of all things bought abroad to give to the English customs when you land. The Customs are very

searching, but treat genuine trippers with cordiality.

Finally, don't forget to drive on the left in .

Song - In The Olden Days            by C.D.S.

1.         In the olden days

            When we lived in the Barn

            And there was no Belfry new

            Everything that everyone had

            Was slung in the cavers' stew.


2,         In the olden days

            We never washed

            And the place was never clean

            No washing up, and no-one cared

            If the door was our latrine.

3.         In the olden days

            We boozed all night

            And sang our filthy songs.

            The girls were wooed by each in turn,

            and no-one shouted his wrongs.


4.         In the olden days

            We always caved

            Come sun, come snow, come rain;

            We cycled here, we cycled back

            Determined to do them again.


5.         In the olden days

            We all were young,

            And our numbers then were small

            We brought our grub, no need for Wells.

            No-one at our beck and call.


6,         In the olden days

            We all were pals

            Content to talk together.

            We had no need of radio

            Whatever the beastly weather


7.         Gone, gone are the olden days

            And ne'er will they return.

            We’ve grown up now (or we should have done)

            But still for those days we yearn.


8,         In days to come

            When our bones are-laid

            And our yarns of the past are stale

            The B EC will be flourishing still

            With the young, and hearty, and hale,



That concludes our Christmas Number, apart from conveying to all members and their families and friends, and to all cavers every-where, our very best wishes for the coming festive season, and the hope that in the year to come they will find all happiness and peace to indulge their crazy hobby to their heart's content.

Ballot Form For BEC Committee 1952

The following members have been nominated for the 1952 Committee;- Miss C. Ainsworth Miss J. Rollason, Mrs G. Ifold, Miss A. Searle, Messrs R. Bagshaw,  R, Bennett, R. Cantle D. Coase, K, Dobbs, M. Hannam, D.Hasell, J, Ifold, P, Ifold, M. Jones, G. Lucy, A. Rice, A. Setterington, and T.H. Stanbury.

Will members please note:-

1.         That the number of votes cast,(up to eight) is optional, but if eight votes are cast, at least one must be for a lady members

2.         This form must be signed and must bear the membership number which will be found on your membership card. (If not please mark the form accordingly).

3.                   This form sealed in the envelope provided must reach the Secretary not later than 25th January 1952, or be handed to him at the start of the AG M on the following day.


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

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

7 ………………………….            8 ………………………….

The above names are my choice for the 1952 Committee.


Membership No.

NOTE. The Hon. Secretary's address is as follows;

R. J. Bagshaw, 56, Ponsford Road, Knowle, BRISTOL. 4   ,