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Belfry lockers - all members who have lockers at the Belfry should ensure that they have paid their annual rental by the end of January - 50p per year.  Pay this to Chris Batstone NOW or you'll loose it.  Also make sure that your name is on the locker door.

The Committee are waiting for samples of a new Club tie.   It will be in the current wide fashion and a choice of colours silver/royal blue and gold/maroon.  Cost will be about £3.00ea.  Nigel Taylor will be taking orders if the samples are approved by committee members.

The Constitution is being checked for minor editorial corrections by Bob Bagshaw and will be circulated to members as soon us this task is completed.

Cave keys held at the Belfry.  Guests wishing to borrow any of the keys MUST leave £5.00 deposit.  For the Lamb Leer key a hire fee has been set at £1.00. Members giving out the keys should insist on some sort of identification.

Thanks to Tony Tucker for the gift of O.S. maps to the Library and members.

Letters To The Editor

The following letter has been received by Tim Large and should be noted by all members wishing to descend G. B. Cave….

Wthey House,
Withey Close West,
Bristol 9

University of Bristol Speleological Society

To the Hon. Secretaries, Charterhouse,
C.C. Clubs.
26th October 1978

Dear Tim,

My attention has been drawn to the fact that club secretaries are not being sufficiently strict with their members who use the club key to G.B. Cavern with regard to observation of the access rules, agreed to in November 1975.  In particular the following: -

Rule 5:- “C.C.C. permits must be held by each member of the party going down G.B. Cave.”  In order to get a permit each caver must sign the Indemnity Chit.

Rule 6: - I am still having to replace locks at the rate of about six a year, which is absurd, and it is almost entirely due, so I am told, to the practice of leaving the cave unlocked, with the lock lying around waiting to be pinched.  It must surely be clear that a cave the size of G.B. security of unauthorised entry can only be achieved if each party locks the door behind it both on entering and leaving the cave.  Please could you be strict with your parties about this.

Rule 8: - Reservation of digging and exploration right to the U.B.S.S.  The most gross infringement of this rule was by a certain Villis of Cheddar, who spoilt the squeeze on the dry way out of the first grotto. This chap had his tail adequately twisted by his club secretary.  It should be, noted however, that the rule applies to all fixed tackle in the cave, which is the responsibility of the Society.  With particular reference to the Ladder Dig, the Society, with the agreement of members of the Charterhouse C.C. removed the bolts in the wall, the idea being that parties who wished to visit the Ladder Dig could bring their own bolts and remove them at the end of each trip.  This however, has been abused, and unknown persons have fitted at least two sets of permanent bolts, the latest set quite unsuitable, which the Society has had to deal with.  We have not yet finalised our arrangements, but when we have I will let club secretaries know the size of hangers, nuts and spanners that their parties will need to take with them.  In summary, no fixed aids may be put in.

I would welcome your comments on this and on any other ideas you may have which will help us to preserve the amenities of this fine cave.

            Oliver (Lloyd)
                        Hon. Treas. U.B.S.S.


The following letter has been received by Dave Irwin……

Dear Leader,

I regret to inform you that until further notice Fairy Cave Quarry; except for Fairy Cave, is closed for caving trips.

This restriction is due to the fact that Hobbs have been informed by the authority responsible for quarry safety that some rock faces are insufficiently stable.  The Cerberus committee are currently attempting to organise with Hobbs or by other means the stabilisation of the relevant rock faces.

I will inform you as soon as the situation improves.

Yours, Good Caving,

          Ken Gregory, Caving Secretary, Cerberus Spel. Society. 17th November 1978


Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity, through the Belfry Bulletin, to air my surprise on the new ruling by our committee concerning the locking away of the tackle room key.  It was on Saturday 21st October that I was taking a group of 6th form pupils for a days caving on Mendip.  Needing some tackle and inadvertently leaving my Belfry key at home, a trip to the Hunters was called for to beg, steal or borrow a key. On meeting with Mr. ‘N’ it (this new ruling) was explained to me and the reasons for it being that the club had £400 worth of equipment, stolen (or gone missing).  Unfortunately, he and two other members present, could not unlock the Belfry library due to other commitments.  One had left his key at home!  Luckily, one other had his key and kindly went with me to unlock the library to help me out of my predicament.

I put it to the club that on a Saturday or Sunday a member would have no or little, difficulty in obtaining a library key.  But other B.E.C. members, like myself, who do the majority of their caving during the week, to get easy access to the caves without queuing for hours at the 20ft in Swildons, or other reasons would now have to write to obtain a key or hope that a committee member was there.  The latter would be unlikely.  Whilst I appreciate the predicament that the club is in, they must offer a service of some sort to their members.  The easy access of tackle has always been a selling point of the club and one for which many of us have joined the club.  As it stands now my caving days during the week seem to be over.

One or two points to help the club come to mind.  Firstly that the tackle book should be kept where it belongs - in the tackle store, in so doing being a reminder to members to use it.  Secondly, the Belfry lock should be replaced.  So many people other than BEC members must have keys now that Tom, Dick, or Harry, can take equipment.

As it stands now any member who is lucky enough to get tackle should hang on to it.  You won't get any more.

I would appreciate this letter being published in the Belfry Bulletin to find out and stimulate other member’s views on this subject.

Yours faithfully,

Dave Hatherley.  26th Oct. 1978

From the 1943 Caving Log:

March 20th – first trip after the reorganisation of Club.

A trip to Goatchurch. Party went through Drainpipe and examined lowest chamber thoroughly.  A dog marooned half-way up Rock of Ages was rescued by T.H. Stanbury and C. Drumond.  Members present:-T.H. Stanbury, C. Drumond, D.W. .Jones, G. Tait, T. Ward and T. Charles.

3rd April 1943

A trip by cycle to Swildons Hole.  The Club made its first test of wire and duralumin ladder on 40ft pot and found that the ladders exceeded all expectations.  On return journey met. party of 7 men and 2 girls in Upper Grotto and took them out as they were lost!

Members present: T.H. Stanbury, C. Drumond, D. Hasell.

(Ed. note: Though it is generally believed that it was the UBSS that first built electron ladders in this country about 1945 this entry shows clearly that it was the B.E.C. that were first, as usual).


19 July 1959  Stoke Lane

Roy Bennett, Mo Marriott, Norman Petty, John Attwood, John Etough, John Stafford, Bob Bagshaw and others on a trip intended to be photographic, but which developed into a tourist trip.  Sump cold and miserable – otherwise a very interesting trip.  Throne Room and Bone Chamber very impressive.

J.E. (J. Etough)