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The account the Annual General Meeting printed in this B.B. was compiled from notes taken at the time, mainly of points which it was felt might interest those members who were unable to attend.  It is not a complete record, so don't be surprised if some items have been missed out – we want to leave room for the rest of the B.B.!

You will see from the report of the A.G.M. that it appears that the waterworks situation is not going to cover anything like the amount of caves that a lot of us thought it might. The article last month thus becomes rather out of date.  Has anyone got a good crystal ball he can lend to the Editor?

" Alfie."

Report of the A.G.M.

The proceedings opened by the unanimous election of "Sett" as chairman.  The Hon. Sec’s Report followed.  Bob said that the total membership was now 119 and also announced that a further meeting was to be held to set up a governing committee to administer caves owned by the Waterworks.  The meeting agreed to elect representatives to attend this, and Bob Bagshaw and Sett were elected.

During questions arising from his report, the Hon. Sec. explained that only the Charterhouse area would be involved and that it was likely that the Waterworks might dispose of the land eventually.  The Hon Treasurer's report followed.  In reply to questions, he agreed that the club could afford to complete the new hut and doubted the necessity for holding a large bank balance.  The club's money was there to be used for the benefit of club members.  He hoped to see more of it spent on tackle.

The Caving Secretary announced that a large total of trips had been recorded.  Of these, 42 trips had been to Swildons; 37 to Cuthbert' and 14 to Eastwater.  The club had assisted in two diving operations and the rescue trip in Swildons. The highlight of discovery this year had been that of the September Series in Cuthbert's.  No new caves had been opened, although digging members were active.  There had been little progress in the surveying of Cuthbert's.  Trips to other areas had been organised, and the Caving Sec. felt that notices of future trips should continue to be published in the B.B.

The Climbing Secretary regretted that he had been out of touch, but assured the meeting that climbing activities were still going on at the usual rate.

The Tackle Officer said that there was little to report.  Three ladders had been made this year and we now have 120’ of standard ladder. The Chairman asked if this was enough. The meeting felt that it probably was. Geoff Mossman asked how much lifeline we had.  We have 120’ of full weight nylon.  Ian Dear asked about tethers.  One spreader has been permanently attached to a ladder.  There should be about three others.  In reply to the question about tools, the Tackle Officer said that some tools were available.  Ian proposed the purchase of a pick.

The Hut Warden gave his report.  The total bed-nights for the year were 1,160.  No comparison can be made with last year as the dates have been altered. He thought that, as long as we kept over a thousand a year, there was nothing to cause alarm.  A lot of work had been done on the Belfry.  He mentioned the new hut; the renovations and cleaning of the Belfry; the blanket laundering; the new steps and the drinking pool.  Questions cantered on the laying in of water by the local council.  Prew explained that mains water had been promised by October 1st, but had not yet been installed.  A vote of thanks to the Hut Warden, who is retiring from this position, was proposed by Keith Gardner.

The Belfry Bulletin report followed.  The Editor pointed out that he welcomed suggestions, explained that plans for the new style B.B. and hoped that it would be well supported.  The new cover, which was passed round, aroused mainly favourable comment.  Terry Marston said that the B.P.C. were thinking of copying the present style cover.

The Hon. Librarian in a brief speech pointed out that not a single book had been borrowed or returned since the last A.G.M.  It was agreed to try to stimulate member’s interest in the club library.

Under "Any other business", the subject of advertising climbing trips in advance was raised.  Geoff agreed to look into it and fixed a date for the first such trip.

New proposed that all rubbish should be removed from the Belfry site, and possibly destroyed at the Hut Warden's discretion.  Food should be destroyed in any case. The meeting agreed with the sentiments expressed, but agreed to leave it to the Hut Warden.

Terry Marston pointed out the seriousness of leaving wet caving gear stored in a hut.  Spontaneous combustion could easily occur.

Ian mentioned the recent M.R.O. appeal.  It was agreed to leave this matter to the committee.  Keith Gardner volunteered to act as M.R.O. Warden.  This was agreed to by the meeting. .

Mike Jones announced that he and Judy are renovating the Belfry First Aid box.

Roger Stenner raised the question of club surveying equipment.  He suggested that the purchase of a theolodite which could measure angles to 6 minutes of arc.  The Chairman asked for views.  Alfie pointed out that angles tend to close better than distances on present astrocompass surveys in his experience.  Prew thought that most surveyors would prefer to buy their own instruments and this was generally agreed.  Ian pointed out that the setting up of the sort of instrument Roger had in mind would be a complicated business and Alfie said that the scale of the average cave survey was not large enough for such an instrument to be worth while.

A suggestion was made by Daphne that articles printed in the B.B. should include the date such articles were originally sent in.  Alfie replied that if the authors included such dates, he would print them.

A vote on whether a yearly index to the B.B. should be printed was defeated by 7 votes to 6."

Prew mentioned that he had an offer of a hot water heater.  It was agreed to use an immersion heater.

The meeting ended with a discussion on possible B.E.C. trips abroad next year.

1960 Committee and Club Officers.

A complete list of club officers is given below.  Main posts as required by the constitution are in capitals.  Committee members also in capitals.

Committee Chairman                        R.A. SETTERINGTON
HON. SECRETARY                          R.J. BAGSHAW
HON. TREASURER                          R.J. BAGSHAW
CAVING SECRETARY                     C.A. MARRIOTT
TACKLE OFFICER                           N. PETTY
HUT ENGINEER                              B. PREWER
Deputy Hut Wardens                        B. PREWER and A. COLLINS
Editor, Belfry Bulletin                        A. COLLINS
Postal Department, Belfry Bulletin     B. PREWER and Brenda
Printing, Belfry Bulletin                     A. SANDALL and C.A. Gardner
M.R.O. Representative                      K. Gardner
Hon. Librarian                                  J. Ifold
Assitant Librarian                             S.M. HOBBS
Spares sales                                   C.A. MARRIOTT
Hon. Specialist                                S.M. HOBBS
HUT WARDEN                                 R.A. SETTERINGTON


The Club Library, containing many interesting books, is open to members on the FIRST THURSDAY of every month at the clubroom in REDCLIFFE HALL.  During the other three weeks, the Assistant Librarian, SID HOBBS will be in the club and you can make arrangements to borrow books with him. We have some very good books on CAVING, CLIMBING, TRAVEL and many other subjects in the library.  Have YOU ever borrowed a book??  You have paid your sub.  Why not get your moneys worth??


The Climbing Secretary, Geoff Mossman is going to get up a trip to North Wales on the 21st NOVEMBER.  Contact him for further information.  He is at club most Thursdays or write to Bob Bagshaw.


Have you got any old Caving clothes, food, sleeping bags and that you don’t see very often??  If you have, BEWARE!  The Hut Warden may dispose of them if in bad condition or they may be used by others at his discretion.  In case of doubt, see or write to Sett or either of his deputies.

A Preliminary Survey of the Caves of the Isle of Wight

by P.A.E. Stewart.

General Geological Features.

The detailed geology of the island is obtainable from the Ordnance Survey One Inch Geological and also from the Regional Handbook, “The Hampshire Basin."  Other sources are, “A Short Account of the Geology of the Isle of Wight” in memoirs of the Geological Survey, 1931, page 149 by H.J. Osborne White.

In general, the area to the North of a line drawn from the Needles to Bambridge is Oligocene and Eocene and the North coast from Headon towards Cowes has the occurrence of a great deal of clay known locally as 'Blue Slipper'.  There appears to be various well known Oligocene occurrences in the Headon beds, Osborne beds, Bambridge beds and their age is 50 to 35 million years. In this northern area, a synclinal axis (the Bouldner axis) enters from the mainland at Halstead, traverses to Newport, and leaves at St. Helens.  The adjacent anticline into the south begins at Totland, traverses the island almost due east and leaves at Sandown, lying mostly in a belt of chalk and Selbornian.

Below this belt, the island is mainly composed of Lower Greensand with local patches of Wealden from Compton Bay to Brightstone in the west and locally at Sandown in the east.

From Chale to Luccombe Bay in an irregular shape, lies a lower patch of chalk.  The Brixton Anticline lies across this lower section.

Caves in the Isle of Wight.

Hermit’s Hole.                    In the Bembridge limestone near Culver Cliffs is a small cave.  This may be reached from the cliff top by a steep and tortuous route.

Nostril Caves.                     These sea caves lie at the base of Culver Cliffs.

Barnes Hole.                      A sea cave.

Dutchman’s Hole.               This cave, I am informed, is more of an indentation in the cliff face than a cave.  It lies near Grange Chine and was named after the ‘Diana Japs’, a Dutch ship wrecked there in February 1830.

The Afton Down Caverns    These caverns lie on the anticline running east from Freshwater Bay, but although mentioned by Barker in a picturesque Illustrations of the Isle of Wight’ c.1831, they have not yet been re-identified.

Freshwater Cave (No 1)      This is a small sea cave with two entrances as shown on the plan below.  It lies in chalk beds.

Freshwater Cave (No 2)      This sea cave is the one generally known as Freshwater Cave and lies below the redoubt fort.  It has a length of sixty feet and a height of twenty feet.

Watcombe Bay Caves.       Two small caves.

Neptunes Caves.                These lie at the base of East High Down, the 800 foot high chalk cliffs.  The larger is 200 feet deep and the smaller is 90 feet deep.  In the earlier part of the nineteenth century, it was the practice to discharge a pistol in the larger cave to show the strength of the echo.

Bar Cave.                           This lies just below Tennyson’s Monument and is ninety feet in depth.

Frenchman’s Hole.             This cave lies to the west of ‘The Nodes’ and ‘New Dutch Point’ and so the story goes was named from an escaped prisoner of war who uselessly concealed himself here until starvation killed him.  The cave is about ninety feet in depth.

Lord Holmes Parlour Kitchen and Cellar.        These are three scenic features of the coast but whether they are actual caves is not very clear.

Ree’s Hole.                         This comes under the same category.

Needles Cave.                    This cave lies below the High Down rocket site, and appears to be quite extensive. Reports give the depth as 300 feet. Unfortunately, it is difficult of access and the cliffs above are very unsafe with frequent falls.

Needles Rock Cave.           There are reports of a cave in one of the Needles rocks used as a store by the lighthouse keepers.

Other Caves.                      Artificial caves exist in the ground below the rocket site where there are many galleries, including an eighty foot lift shaft and an underground fresh water reservoir.

The caves of the Isle of Wight are mostly chalk sea caves, but provide a Mendip exile with a few happy hours.


The Belfry Bulletin. S.J. Collins, 33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Secretary.  R.J. Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.