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QUODCUMQUE  FACIENDUM : NIMIS  FACIEMUS

The Bristol Exploration Club, The Belfry, Wells Road, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Som.  Telephone: Wells 72126.

The views expressed by contributors to the Belfry Bulletin, including those of club officers, are not necessarily the views of the committee of the Bristol Exploration Club or the Editor, unless so stated.  The Editor cannot guarantee that the accuracy of information contained in the contributed matter, as it cannot normally be checked in the time at his disposal.

EDITOR: D.J. Irwin, Townsend Cottage, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset. Tel: Priddy 369

don't forget the MID-SUMMER BUFFET at the Hunters (in the side room) on 23rd June, Saturday at 7.30p.m. (extension applied for)  buffet food (cost £2.50) is limited to 70.

Members and their Guests only.  Tickets from Martin Bishop, The Batch, Priddy, Somerset.  Telephone: Priddy 370

..so don't forget set your tickets now.  Members not wanting food can come along and partake in the boozing.  This event is the only other wholly club event other than the dinner to be held in Cheddar on October 6th 1979 – make a note of this date.

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The EGM Minutes have been included with the issue of the BB so don't forget to bring them along with you for discussion for the EGM for acceptance by the meeting.

The AGM Minutes will appear in the July issue of the B.B.

Next issue of the B.B. will include details of two NEW caves – one in S. Wales and other here on Mendip.

Thanks from our Hon. Treasurer - Sue Tucker.  The subs have come in so well this year, that only 15 members on last years list have not yet paid.  Club membership stands at 220 and is rising.  The figure at the AGM could be as high as 250 the highest ever!


 

Lifeline

Tim Large’s regular feature…

This year marches on all too quickly.  Don’t forget the 23rd June for our Midsummer buffet at the Hunters.  Book your tickets with Martin Bishop (Tele Priddy 370) – price £2.50ea.

Jonah was on one of his now regular trips to Mendip; still as active as ever, recounting a winter motorbike excursion to the Lake District.  He found it a bit cold!  Garth tells me that he recently visited Sybil and found her well and the same as ever!  When are we going to see you on Mendip?

Dave Glover was down recently and has rejoined the club.  The LAMB LEER key is now available at the Belfry and can be obtained by contacting a committee member as it is kept at the Belfry.

The CSCC AGM was held on 19th May at the Hunters.  The new Hon. Sec. is Dave Mockford of South Bristol S.S.  ‘Butch’ is Chairman and Roger Gosling remains as Treasurer.  Some concern was expressed at the meeting over the new access arrangements for Shatter cave.  The Cerberus S.S. have cancelled the guest leadership system. All trips have now to be arranged via Cerberus via Ken Gregory, 30 Kennedy Ave., Sawley, Long Eaton, Notts (Tele Long Eaton 60742 (home); Long Eaton 68511 (work))

On 20th May a meeting was held between the Club Committee and the Cuthbert’s leaders to discuss the question of insurance.  Bob White was present and advised on various insurance aspects.  Many thanks Bob for coming along, it was much appreciated. Various alternatives were suggested from having no insurance at all to insuring every member of the club.  The leaders passed a recommendation for the Club Committee to submit to the next AGM.  It reads, ‘That the Club again considers the possibility of obtaining comprehensive insurance to cover all club members and Cuthbert’s leaders.’ So, perhaps you could all put a little thought to that ready for the AGM.  Other facts and information has already been published in previous BB’s on the matter.

The leaders also passed a resolution that the club seeks reciprocal rights of access, similar to Cuthbert’s Guest Leader system with other clubs who control access to Mendip caves. It’s obvious who that’s aimed at!

It is hoped to complete the tackle store-cum-workshop in the old Belfry, a new door is ready for installation.  With a little help to complete this and the final waterproofing of the roof should make it operational before the AGM.

We still have a few caving boots in stock – sizes 5-8.  Price £8.75ea.  Contact me at 53 Portway, Wells, Somerset.

That’s all folks!


 

Club Notes

compiled by ‘Wig’

CLUB TIES - new stocks available

New stocks of club ties, in the modern wide fashion, are available from Nigel Taylor (c/o The Belfry, Wells Rd., Priddy, Nr. Wells; Somerset).  The material is similar to the old stock and the colours are the well known gold bat on a maroon background or silver bat on a navy blue background.  There are limited stocks and they are selling well here on Mendip.  To make sure YOU get your order send off NOW with the P.O. or cheque made out to the B.E.C.

The price is very reasonable at £3.50 each or £6.00 a pair (one of each colour).  The ties will be available at the Mid Sumner Buffet. Please add 25p for p & p.  So don’t forget send off now.

CLUB SWEAT SHIRTS - a note from the committee.

Several members have placed orders for the BEC sweat shirt and are probably wondering what has happened to them.  There have been difficulties with the printers and the sample that they claim to have sent has not arrived either at the Belfry or at John Duke’s address. Tim Large has been in contact with the printers and is trying to sort things out.  Our apologies to all concerned for the apparent cock-up.

REPRINTING OF ARTICLES FROM THE B.B.

There have been a number of articles and notes reprinted in the British Caver without any reference their source.  The latest issue has included the Wigmore article by Tony Jarrett together with 'Wig's' survey.  It is published as though the article and survey was written solely for Tony Oldham - they were not.  Any publisher is welcome to reprint any article or note published in, the B.B. providing that an acknowledgement to the B.B. is given, unless stated otherwise.

TYNING'S BARROWS SWALLET - new access arrangements

An access agreement has now been arranged with the new owner of Tynings Farm and it is as follows:

A stile will be built across the hedge and as near the cave as possible with a fenced path leading from the stile to the cave (and around it).  The material for this work has kindly been donated by the farmer.  Keys will be distributed to 4 or 5 of the major clubs on Mendip.  There will be no need to call at the farm and no changing facilities will be available.

WARNING

It was noted on a recent trip into the cave that parts of the streamway just beyond the Aardvark Trap are in a very loose condition with various large blocks seemingly held up with nothing but faith.

            (Martin Bishop)

RECENT VISITORS TO MENDIP

During the May Day weekend Jon and Val Ransome were on Mendip and after a visit to the Hunters and hours ‘gas’ of the days of the old wooden shed over coffee (what else!) at the Wigs.  Dave Glover also made a welcome re-appearance and has since rejoined the club.

A NOTE FROM THE HUT ENGINEER…

The Club Secretary, Tim Large and hut Engineer, Nigel Taylor are taking their holidays from July 18th to August 16th this year and staying at the Belfry to enable outstanding work to be done on the Belfry.  They would welcome any member that comes along and gives a hand. 

    (Nigel Taylor)

P.S. Martin Grass said he would travel 140 miles to the Belfry if there was someone there to work with - anyone else willing to come along to give a hand?

BCRA NATIONAL CAVING CONFERENCE

This annual conference of BCRA is to be held as usual in Manchester at the Renold Building, UMIST, Manchester between 14 – 16 September 1979.  Accommodation is available at £4.00 per night.  Entry tickets £1.50 for members and £2.00 for non-members.  Note BCRA membership cards must be shown. Send booking to Bob Picknett, 28 Potters Way, Laverstock, Salisbury, Wilts, SP1 1PX and cheques should be made payable to R.G. Picknett – Conference Account.

It is hoped that the club will take one of the commercial stands to sell caving reports and surveys as well as highlighting the activities of the club in general.

Anyone willing to give a lecture should make their offer to the Lecture Secretary, Keith Plumb, 55 Firwood Ave., Urmston, Manchester. Tele. 061 865 6726.,

WHERE ARE THEY?

Many may know that Ross White has joined the Royal Marines and has now passed in basic training making him a fully fledged commando.  God help anyone caught in a squeeze with Ross on the wrong side!  Also on army matters, Tony Tucker is living it up in Canada furthering his career in the T.A. and no doubt wishing he could buy a pint of Hunters bitter.

               (Tim Large & Wig)

NEW MEMBERS – to all a warm welcome

958       Fiona Lewis, 53 Portway, Wells, Somerset.
959       Alisa Hodgson, 15 Cromwell Terrace, Chatham, Kent
960       Michael Phinister, 4 Old Hill Lane, Inverness, Scotland.

….and those members on the move …… their new addresses

959/960 Paul & Alisa Hodgson, 15 Cromwell Terrace, Chatham, Kent
823 Any Sparrow, Hekellan 4, Shertogenbosch, Holland
878 Ross White, PO3838PY, Recruit White, 125 Alpha Troop, Chatham Company, Limpstone Camp, Devon

Club Notes….

As you will realise, this is a new column for the BB for the odd note dealing with the Club and Club Members.  If you have anything to contribute let your editor have it, in writing please.  Where you are going for a holiday; your next planned caving trip; whose been seen on Mendip; any small item of gossip and news. For example two small items – the Bennett’s on their holiday in Scotland stayed with John Stafford for a few days and Steve Grime was on Mendip recently threatening to punch everybody up, as usual! Following the skirmish in the Belfry last year, Garth and Bob X have patched things up even though the beak put them on probation for a year!


 

Peak Cavern Again

 a report of sorts by Graham Wilton-Jones.

In the midst of the Winter snow Wilton-Jones and Grass fought their way to Derbyshire while ‘Wig;’ and Dukes played safe by staying in comfort here on Mendip!

Traffic news.  Friday March 16th.  1830 hrs - The following roads are now blocked due to drifting snow; Derbyshire - A6, A57, A61, …… Ashbourne and Buxton are completely cut off. Artic blizzards and gale force winds are making driving conditions treacherous.  Drivers are advised to stay at home unless their journey is absolutely essential…..

Since Peak Cavern is not in our part of the world, and was booked for the 18th, it was necessary, nay essential, to go to Derbyshire.  Journey justified.  Besides, some of us have more respect for BEC tradition (everything to excess) than for our necks.

The, Squire of Yarley, having had his fill of snow in the Lakes, proffered the feeble excuse that he was saving for a day’s to trip to Malta.  Rumour has it that he has given up caving unless the cave is brought to his doorstep. However his worthy chauffeur, Greg, set out alone in the Midget at 5 pm.

Martin, Glenys and Graham (hereinafter we) sped up almost empty M1, when Glenys speed watching and the partially blocked carb allowed.  Through the incessant blizzard we watched huge cornices forming on the edge of the motorway cuttings.  Deepening snow on the road surface began to force us over towards the hard shoulder, where a snow plough crept along (did you realise that snow ploughs cannot clear motorways except. in convoy?)  Think about it.  In spite of every thing we reached the Chesterfield Junction at 10.55pm. Unfortunately the snow really began there - and we missed the pub.  Great drifts above us and any tarmac was deep beneath the snow.  We passed the Stags at midnight and ran straight into deep, drifting snow.  On with the instant snow chains and we were away again, passing abandoned lorries and weaving around half buried cars.  Less than four miles from the Pegasus Hut at Peak Forest someone had abandoned a truck right in the middle of the road making it impossible to all but high clearance vehicles. After freezing to death helping a Derbyshire Mr. 'N' and his sergeant push someone out we parked ourselves, in the Stags car park, shifted all the gear to the front seats and settled down for the night.

A cry from Glen, 'I can’t find my contact lens box'.  We rooted though all the buried gear and Martin found a film cassette tin to use instead.  Settled down again.  Then another cry, 'I dropped them again'.  Glenys is always doing this – I believe she enjoys the thrill of the search. Dig for a torch, find the lenses, and beck to repose posture.  Martin spent his waking hours chasing drips of condensation or burying his head in his sleeping bag hoping he’d wake up in one of his villas.  Graham, sandwiched between Glenys and a shock absorber, wiled away the hours watching snow flakes on the window (they’re not all different you know) and commenting on the progress of the snow ploughs.  Glen dreamt she was still in a 5 star hotel and she slept like an inebriated log.

We thought of Greg, either with his car creeping along the drifts or marooned at the Pegasus, and felt it was our duty to try and reach the hut.  A gaggle of snowploughs and various other vehicles passed by so we reckoned it had to be OK to reach Peak Forest.  A few hundred yards up the road we ran into deep snow again – no one had been through that way.  The snowploughs had come up a side road from Tideswell (they breed) where they must have been stuck over night.  We turned round (those snow chains are wonderful).  Thank you, Buckett, and decided to head for home, abandoning Greg to his fate.  In fact he reached Birmingham the previous night, but decided that the snow was too bad to warrant his continuing.  Turning back on a motorway in drifts and blizzards is not that easy.  Greg took an hour and a half to negotiate a roundabout from one carriageway to the other.

Back to the heroes, now struggling through the wastes of Stoney Middleton.  'Ah, Eyam,' muttered Martin, 'John Beck lives there.  I had to write to him to book the trip.  Let’s scrounge some coffee (we had no cooker for breakfast) and tell him we will not be here on Sunday for the Peak trip.'  John Beck is a Derbyshire version of Wig.  His house is a magnet for cavers.  In short we were easily persuaded, over hot soup and beer in the Miner's Arms, to stay, in the house next to the Miner's Arms, home of Mark Noble - his address, The Cottage, Eyam!  It is amazing how many cavers can be crammed into a minute 17th century cottage.  We spent the rest of the day depleting the alcoholic stocks of the village, seeing the historic sites of Eyam, tramping through 12ft high drifts, visiting Waterfall Hole, avoiding catching the Plague and learning barbaric Derbyshire games and customs.

A warm mist crept in overnight and destroyed the Christmas card beauty of trees weighed down by ton of snow.  The combined effect of the mist and snowploughs meant that most of the major roads were now clear, and it was easily possible for us to reach Castleton. The only worry was that the cave would now be flooding.  Arriving in Castleton we went in search of Wig and John Dukes, who were coming up that morning.  However a quick recce of the village revealed sign of them.  Could it be that we were the only representatives of the BEC to reach the place?  Come to think of it, where has Wig been caving of late (carry on thinking -Ed). But we must not be too hard on Wig. Coronation Street, cats, cacti and knitting take up much of his time these days we should not have to expect him to make a special caving trip just to Peak Cavern.  After all, he has not been there before.  John has no excuse though.  He could have stolen, Wig’s car (no comment – Ed.)

I realise that the whole point of this article was to slate the others, but we should mention the cave. Half the TSG (who control Peak) had been with us at Eyam and the other half waited at Castleton.  Glen made for the hotel/pub while Martin and I followed the others up to the cave, where small avalanches were cascading down the cliffs, and the Jackdaws were unleashing lethal icicle missiles which came stabbing down from the heights above.  The cave floor was muddy but the water-level seemed unaffected the thaw. We quickly made our way to the Treasury. Just beyond this, below an aven to one side of the main passage, the TSG have a dig in progress, presently involving the removal of tons of large boulders which are then rolled into the main passage.  Martin and I did not like to interfere with their, dig so we carried on towards the roar of water at Surprise View.   Making a note of the water level, we quickly followed the water down to Buxton Water Sump. This undoubtedly ranks among the finest stream passages in the country.  Today the water was icy cold and we rapidly made our way back upstream to the Far Sump, where one optimist has made an enormously long trench stretching way downstream in an attempt to pass the sump.  It has been reported that it used to be a draughting gravel choke. Back downstream, we entered Lake Passage as far as Lake Sump, which is actually a duck.  Disliking anywhere with less than six feet of airspace I began to remove various boulders and lowered the water somewhat, but it was very cold, so I dissuaded my impetuous companion from continuing. Back at the dig we helped for a while and then carried on outwards till we heard sounds of digging in another passage off to the left.  This hitherto ignored passage is similar to Pickering’s though slightly larger.  It is totally blocked with mud, but I was surprised that more effort has not been made to pass the choke at the end of Wind Tunnel.  Perhaps we should visit Peak more often – those of us that get there, that is.

Back in the main cave we washed off the mud of the chilling stream.  Ours was the penultimate trip before the cave was closed for the tourist season.  Unlike Wookey or DYO apartheid is practised at Peak, but it seems that the present management may be more enlightened.  Who knows; maybe even diving will be allowed again before long.  Treasury Sump, the backdoor to Speedwell, may be old hat but Ink is reputedly to lead into an enormous cross passage, while Far Sump must lead to the continuation of the original main passage.


 

Viaduct Sink – the opening campaign

After their success at Thrupe Lane the Thrupe digging team turned their attention to Windsor Hill an area always thought to be of great promise by older members of the B.E.C.  Simon Meade-King (WSG & Wxxxxx) has sent the following report for publication in the Belfry Bulletin.

Some two miles north of Shepton Mallet lies an area of limestone scarred by the complex of the Windsor Hill quarries, now disused, and pierced by the track bed of the old Somerset and Dorset Railway on its solitary path over the Mendips from Shepton Mallet to Radstock.

The quarrying operations have revealed various small caves which have attracted the attentions of cavers over the years.  Though small in themselves these caves hinted at the possibility of a large cave system taking the considerable drainage which sinks in the area.

Just beyond the quarries the railway crossed the deep wooded ravine of the Ham Woods Valley by an impressive viaduct.  Almost in the shadow of this viaduct a sizeable stream sinks in the floor of the valley, to re-emerge three miles to the west at St. Andrews Wells after dropping nearly 300ft via the limestone.  Viaduct Sink, as this swallet is known, together with Windsor Hill Sink a few hundred yards away, form the most easterly of the ten Sat. Andrews feeders.  These feeders stretch from Biddlecombe Swallet, just to the north east of Wells to Windsor Hill in the east, and include Thrupe Lane, the only sink to have yielded a major system to date.

The principle geological feature of the Windsor Hill area is the sandstone ridge of Maesbury, a mile to the north.  This provides a catchment area for the streams running off its southern flank. Below the Maesbury ridge is a superficial layer of head, Thrupemarsh, which gathers the surface water before it crosses the Lower Limestone Shales and sinks at the limestone boundary.

Viaduct sink has been known for many years, the stream disappearing in its bed 45yds up valley from the viaduct, and in wet conditions running on down the valley to sink in an intermediate swampy area in the woods.  However, although geologically the top sink is in a textbook situation, the immediate surface area did not encourage digging with an absence of solid rock against which to construct the shoring of a shaft.

The first trial excavations began in January 1976 and brought up sandstone cobbles, shale and finally Black Rock Limestone, until at a depth of 3ft a boulder ruckle was encountered.  Work continued through the boulders and until a buried cliff gradually emerged.  This discovery was of importance if only because it solved the shoring problem.

By the spring of 1976, when Atlas (the digging team) were invited to join forces with the West London Caving Club on the site, a large if unsupported pit has been opened up with on all sides but one, a jumble of mud and rock.  At its maximum depth the cliff was undercut, and as we excavated the down dip end of the pit, a rift was exposed choked with tons of rocky material.

At this point with things beginning to look interesting a halt was called to the digging to enable a proper shaft to be constructed.  This was built entirely of wood using sleepers from the nearby quarry siding and unlike that at Thrupe was built to rather more economical design and with the ends interlocking to provided more strength.

As material was brought up it was dumped behind the shoring to give extra stability and at 18ft depth we fixed the last rungs in place and digging then recommenced at the mouth of the choked rift.  It was down this rift that the most promising point of attack appeared to be.  The left wall gave a feeling of security although on the right a low chamber needed walling up to support the unstable roof.

We then moved forwards and downwards against the solid wall, uncovering evidence of a major stream sink in the form of a huge sandstone cobble.  Large quantities of stal were brought up.  As we deepened the area beyond the grouted wall more grouting and consolidating became necessary.  We concreted in a sleeper at roof level to give additional support to the roof and prevent boulders dropping on us from the rift above.  The instability of the roof made progress rather slow, and several boulders had to be banged – the fumes clearing slowly in the absence of a noticeable draught.  An interesting discovery was a small round tube going off to the left, probably an abandoned oxbow.  Beyond this passage, our way forward was unexpectedly barred by a solid wall, and we diverted out attack to the right.

It was now the sweltering days of August at the height of the heat wave, and the stream had completely dried up making conditions very pleasant.  However, as we probed forward into a mass of loose material we began to undermine our second grouted wall, and another sleeper was cast across to prevent collapse.  The main priority had to be to leave the shaky conditions of the entrance rift and getting something a good deal more solid and here we were lucky.  A few feet ahead lay a small chamber almost filled with rubble and with a roof if not absolutely solid very nearly so, and all our effort could now return to digging.

The following day, with a bit of clearing back we were able to crawl up and have a careful look at the chamber.  Up dip to the right, were two obvious stream inlets – one at least coming direct from the surface.  To the left, at its lowest point, the wall was undercut along its whole length and probing revealed a promising black hole which we enlarged revealing a definite way on. An awkward jammed rock barred access to what appeared to be a more roomy passage below – it looked as if we could be nearly in.  The roof was banged and with hopes of a breakthrough running high we forced our way through.  But alas, this turned out to be a space hardly enough room to admit a body – merely a tiny breakdown chamber with no obvious continuations.  On the east wall was much evidence of botyoidal stal and the place had a generally dry fossilised look about it similar to some of the small caves in Windsor Hill Quarry.  The south wall was of a semi-circular shape indicating erosion by the swirly motion of a descending stream.  The floor consisted of a massive slab, fallen from the roof.

So, with no immediate prospects in that direction we resorted to clearing out the first chamber we had entered.  The numerous cobbles that emerged were a constant source of encouragement and after a few hours digging we uncovered the mouth of a bedding plane under the right wall, draughting slightly, and floored with stream debris.

During the Bank Holiday weekend that followed, this bedding plane, some three feet across by eighteen inches high, was cleared out and was soon roomy enough for one of us crawl in to the edge of a six foot drop where a cross-rift cut across at right angles. To the left and right this rift petered out, but straight ahead a flat out gravel lined crawl was forced to an awkward constricted right hand bend.  By squeezing flat out a man sized space could be seen to the right with apparently stal covered walls.  Stones thrown through made promisingly resonant noises and a crowbar pushed through indicated 3ft of width.  Furthermore, one of the team reported the sound of a distant roar – the omens looked good.

TO BE CONTINUED


 

A.G.M. MINUTES will be published in the July B.B.

DON’T FORGET THE B.E.C. ANNUAL DINNER to be held on SATURDAY 6th OCTOBER 1979.

7.00pm for 8.00pm, an hour pre-dinner boozing and a free drink will be included in the bargain. The price hasn’t been fixed yet but it will be about £3.50 each.  Tim will be giving all the details in the next B.B.

EGM Minutes

Minutes of EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING held at the Belfry on Saturday 7th October 1978 to discuss the Committee Resolution: -

That this meeting accepts the re-drafted B.E.C. Constitution in view of the resolution passed by the 1977 A.G.M. and Martin Cavender’s comments regarding recent changes in legislation.  Further the committee believe that it is essential that the indemnity and trustee clauses be included in the new constitution, the former to protect the club against any potential claim and the latter to ensure that the trustees be brought under the control of the Annual General Meeting of the club.

The meeting was convened at 10.15am by the Hon. Secretary Tim Large, the necessary quorum being present. He then asked for nominations for a chairman.  Colin Dooley and Sett were nominated from the: floor.  The Hon. Secretary called for a vote and Sett was elected by a large majority.

The chairman then read the committee resolution and then suggested that the proposed constitution be discussed section by section.

Dave Irwin suggested adding to the Presents the definition of member, as it, was, not made clear in the new proposals.  Also adding the definition of a probationary member.  Martin Cavender suggested that the probationary member’s clause was not necessary.  Alan Thomas felt that the probationary member’s clause should be left in.  Nigel Taylor proposed, seconded by Tom Temple that the probationary member’s clause be included in the new constitution.  A vote was called for, 25 in favour 8 against, motion carried.

John Dukes expressed concern over the time lapse for some probationary members before they are ratified. Barrie Wilton said that the new clause 3f was intended to prevent this, every probationary member being ratified 12 months after the date of acceptance.

Alan Thomas suggested that the E.G.M., instruct the Committee to publish a list of probationary members in the B.B.

The meeting accepted that clause 3f has added ‘and has not been ratified.’

Roy Bennett proposed an amendment to the existing clause 1, that it be deleted and a new clause inserted (copy attached).  He felt that the new proposal needed much more clarification.  Nigel Taylor said the purpose of the sub-committee was to simplify it from the load of rubbish it has been.  On a point of order Alan Thomas asked the chairman for Nigel Taylor’s comments to be minuted and that he apologise for the comments.  Nigel without prompting retracted his statement and apologised.  A vote was taken 9 being in favour with 32 against, motion defeated.

Bob Bagshaw suggested that there was need for clarification of 'permanently salaried member of the club'. Martin Cavender suggested that the new proposal covered the meaning adequately.  The meeting agreed to delete the last line of clause 1.

Joan Bennett expressed concern ever the exclusion of anyone under the age of 18 from joining the club. Kangy explained that the reasons for excluding minors was connected with the question of indemnity, also that the age of new members has risen.  Bob Bagshaw said that if we were worried about indemnity then perhaps guests under 18 should not be allowed to use the Belfry or, join in club activities.  Dave Irwin said that the problem regarding minors had arisen from the insurance claim over the lamb Leer accident and the problems of taking minors caving.  Tom Temple said that the exclusion of minors from the club activities and the Belfry would prevent many youngsters from using the club who do so as guests at present.  Steve Tuck said that by excluding minors then those who became interested in caving when in the scouts, youth clubs etc. would be unable to join the club during the period of usually leaving these groups at 16 and attaining the age of 18. Martin Bishop suggested that minors could be include by providing member to member insurance cover, but that this would possibly raise the club subscription.  Joan Bennett said that this was not necessary so as we could accept this risk as we always have done without radically changing the club. Alan Thomas proposed, seconded by Joan Bennett that the lower age limit for the club be 16.  18 in favour, 11 against – motion carried.

Kangy proposed, seconded by Steve Tuck that there be no lower age limit for the club.  The motion was substantially defeated with only 3 in favour.  Martin Cavendar suggested that 3(a)A be amended to read ‘Members shall be over the age of 16 years and sub-divided into:-‘  The meeting agreed with a murmur of concern.

Joan Bennett suggested an amendment to 3c so that the financial club year runs from September 1st to give the treasurer time to produce a statement of accounts before the A.G.M.  Joan Bennett and Dave Irwin said that the reason was to rationalise the club finances. Dave Turner proposed, seconded by Martin Bishop that the club year runs from September 1st.  19 in favour, 22 against, motion defeated.  Joan Bennett proposed, seconded by Martin Cavender that the club year runs from October 1st.  Motion carried with a large majority.

Bob Bagshaw said that 3g of the new constitution gave powers to expel any member, but no power to fine – despite the Hut Wardens power to fine.  Roy Bennett suggested adding ‘suspend’ to 3g line 6, after ‘expel’. The meeting accepted this unanimously. The meeting agreed to delete also by majority pass a resolution in line 6 of 3g.  Alan Thomas proposed, seconded by Martin Cavendar that the expelled or suspended person has the right of appeal to a general meeting.  Carried unanimously.

Bob Bagshaw said that 3h could be revised to read ‘sent in the ordinary course of post or delivered by hand’.  The meeting agreed.

Joan Bennett suggested an amendment to 4e line 5 as in its present reading a poll could be held up by 2 members.  Martin Cavendar suggested amending 4e line 4 after seconding – adding ‘supported by vote’.

Bob Bagshaw suggested that 4a needed clarification over the word ‘sent’, but the meeting felt that the clause adequately said what was intended.  4(b) to include ‘at least’ on line 4 after give.  4(d) to include ‘lesser’ to be inserted instead of ‘least’ line 2.  Alan Thomas proposed deleting 4e from ‘unless’ onwards, seconded by Colin Dooley. 30 in favour, 3 against, motion carried.

Bob Bagshaw said re-4h, delete ‘non present’.  The meeting agreed by general consent to insert in 4h ‘whether or’ in line 1 after member.  Dave Irwin pointed out that 4g could be deleted as 4h now covered the point.  The meeting agreed.

Bob Bagshaw said that in 5a some words could be deleted as they were not necessary.  Line 1, delete ‘unless otherwise determined by a general meeting’.  Line 3, delete ‘whatever the circumstances’.  Line 5, delete ‘or reversed’.  The meeting murmured its approval.  Martin Bishop expressed concern over 5a with regard to the membership of committees of clubs of similar aims being eligible to hold office, and whether this included the Cave Diving Group.  Discussion took place and the meeting agreed that the C.D.G. was a national body and not a club.  Martin Bishop proposed, seconded by Dave Turner that the following be added to 5a. This shall not apply to committee members of national and regional clubs and bodies of like aims.  In favour 40, 0 against.  Motion carried.  Dave Turner proposed, seconded by Alan Thomas that 5b line 5 be changed to read ‘the first week of’ after ‘by the end of’.  12 in favour, 0 against motion carried.  Dave Turner proposed seconded by Alan Thomas that line 5b line 2 be altered to read – committee during July.  The members - .  The meeting agreed.  Dave Irwin proposed, seconded by Joan Bennett that the present clause 63 be substituted for 5c.  The meeting agreed unanimously.

Joan Bennett felt that in view of the A.G.M. of 1977’s precedent, the B.B. editor being elected by the A.G.M. that the B.B. editor should be a committee member.  Joan Bennett proposed, seconded by Martin Bishop that 5d have added B.B. editor after engineer.  40 in favour, 1 against, motion carried.

The meeting discussed the question of 5d in respect of the number of posts a committee member should be allowed to hold.  Some felt, that one post was to restricting and that individuals could do more than one job as shown in the past.  Alan Thomas proposed, seconded by Dave Irwin that 5d be changed from ‘not more than one’ to ‘not more than two’.  34 on favour, 4 against, motion carried.

Bob Bagshaw pointed out that the word ‘Honorary’ should be added between ‘following and offices – (5d line 2).  The meeting agreed.

The meeting discussed 5g and generally agreed that ‘Chairman’ should be changed to chairman – as the club has no formal chairman.  Also in 5g from ‘If notice’ to end of clause br deleted.  Joan Bennett proposed, seconded by Martin Cavendar that 5h be amended to include: - Line 2 ‘An audited annual income and expenditure account shall be present at the Annual general meeting’ --- Agreed unanimously. 5h Line 2 reasonable inserted before ‘time’.  5c add ‘members are entitled to attend committee meetings’ – agreed.  The meeting agreed to accept 5j as it stood.

Alan Thomas suggested that 6c should be included on the application form.  The meeting agreed and considered it should be actioned by the new committee.

Bob Bagshaw said regarding 6c that in line 5 from ‘save’ to the end of the line could be deleted as it was unnecessary.  The meeting agreed.

Martin Cavendar suggested that in 6a line 3 be amended – after period – ‘at the discretion of the Hut Warden, subject to ratification by the committee’.

Bob Bagshaw suggested that 6b be deleted – the meeting agreed.

Some discussion took place regarding 7a and Dave Turner, seconded by Alan Thomas said that it should be amended to reads from 60% to 75% of registered members present at the A.G.M. Dave Irwin seconded by Joan Bennett said that 7a should be changed from poll to A.G.M.  In favour 34, against 2, motion carried.

The meeting agreed to accept 7b/c without alteration.

Martin Cavendar and Bob Bagshaw, being experts in the field of Trustees discussed clause 8 clarifying points for the meeting.  The meeting agreed following their advice to: - delete ‘be’ – last line.  That line 2 ‘a general meeting’ shall elect the Trustees. That line 8 from ‘who’ to line 14 ‘Trustees’ be deleted.  The meeting agreed.

Bob Bagshaw pointed out that there were several grammatical errors which needed tidying up.  The meeting agreed that Bob should check it through at a later date to correct such errors, but without altering meanings.

It was proposed by Martin Bishop and seconded by Tom Temple that the new constitution as amended and agreed upon at this meeting, be accepted as the clubs constitution and be effective as of the end of this meeting.  Motion carried with a large majority.

There being no other business the meeting was closed by the chairman at 1.20pm.

Ed. Note:  Our thanks to Fiona for typing the minutes of the E.G.M.