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Compiled by ‘Wig’

REMOVAL OF FIXED AIDS FROM SOUTH WALES CAVES

Following the notes on possible liabilities having fixed aids in caves published by NCA (published in the BB) the South Wales Caving Club have reviewed the situation within caves under their control.  Those to be retained is listed below, for other locations with aids should be assumed that they have been removed and tackle taken with you on the trip.

TUNNEL CAVE:

All aids have been removed.

OFD1

Entrance ladders
Maypole chain
Maypole wire
Bolt Traverse wire, bar and ladder
Bolt traverse 2 wire (presumably this is the 'jury Fairy' line.)
Lowe's chain
Poles across the pots.

OFD2

Letterbox handline
Divers Pitch Handline
Skyhook lines to be fitted to Fault Aven Series
Arête rope
Great Oxbow ladder (alternative to be placed)
Maypole Inlet ladder

OFD3

Belay bolt on Crevasse
Maypole bridge

D.Y.O.

Bolt for ladder into G. Platten Hall
Dalis Delight handline
Abyss handline
Rising ladder
Flabbergasm Oxbow handline around pool
Bolt for ladder into Great North Road.

The SWCC state that though they intend to inspect the remaining aids regularly is recommended that all are supplemented by a lifeline.

TYNING'S BARROW - Following the re-opening of the cave and a newly agreed access arrangement with the farmer the Belfryites have been down and have pushed Drunken Horse Passage to its conclusion.  Jay-Rat and Tim Large investigated the ruckle at the upper end of the passage and located a short side rift ending in a sump and on the north side located a sizable chamber above the boulders - Mountbatten Chamber.  Details of the access arrangements and of this chamber is given else where in this BB.

LAMB LEER access is now controlled by the Council of Southern Caving Clubs and the BEC, as a shareholder of the Southern Caving Clubs Ltd has a key.  It should be remembered that all cavers should call at Beaconsfield Farm for permission to park and change in the disused quarry. Anyone finding the lock faulty or that the lock is missing should contact Oliver Lloyd, the director of the company dealing with Lamb Leer access.

Wessex Cave Club Journal reports that on Wednesday 30th May that severe flooding occurred on Eastern Mendip.  Browne's Hole was resurging and the entrance to Stoke Lane Slocker was submerged under a foaming whirlpool.  A minor collapse in the Thrupe Lane depression eased the flooding into the cave itself.

BANWELL BONE CAVE SURVEY

In the last B.B. (Aug/Sept 1979) was the first publication of Chris Richard and Marie Clarke's survey of the Banwell Caves.  A letter has been received by 'Wig' from John Tucker (author of ' Smaller Caves of Mendip', BEC Caving Report No.9) stating that they (John Tucker and Percy Baker) have produced a booklet entitled ‘The Baker Extension to the Banwell Bone Cave’.  John says, “You will notice a marked difference in my cross, section of the entire cave system, but this only an approximate sketch of the system based on lower grade surveys and the smoke tests carried out by the Axbridge Group. If members would like copies they con have one for 20p each, which will just about cover postage and envelope.”

This publication is a nicely produced, type-set, publication, 14 pages including 7 photographs, a plan and elevation with sections of the Baker Extension and a short bibliography.  For those collecting details of Mendip caves through publications this is an extremely interesting and good buy.

Banwell Caves Access –

Whilst on the subject of the Banwell Caves it is as well to give details of the latest position regarding access.  The cave access is vested in the Dundry Caving Group (no longer any connection with the South Bristol S.S.) apparently a club of about two members only.  Access is through Steve Redwood of Banwell but you have to be led down the caves or whether you are able to collect a key is not known.  From some of my usual resources the house is up for sale again in the near future so this will see a change in access arrangements again remains to be seen. Currently there is no restriction on Sunday caving as there was with the previous owner.

WOOKEY HOLE

Recently little stickers have been appearing everywhere on Mendip and some were seen at the BCRA Conference in Manchester stating that the BEC get everywhere, one was even appearing on Oliver Lloyd’s back for a time!  Whether this is true or not they are certainly getting to the far reaches of the Wookey System.  Bob Cork and Danny dived through to Wookey 24 and laid the aerial for a radio transmission on the 29th September.  Duly on the day, ‘Prew’ et al assembled on the hillside above the cave and found as with previous locating exercises that the expected point was ‘miles’ form the actual location.  This time the coil was laid out in Wookey near Sting Corner and from the CDG survey of the area it was expected to find the point above the top end of the large dry passage of Wookey Twenty.  This was not to be – the location was found to be some 400ft to the east.

After switching on the transmitter, Bob and Danny went off to explore the Oxbow above the active river in the far reaches of Wookey 24 and found approximately 250ft of new passage trending to the north-west, ending at a deep rift requiring tackle. M Presumably this will be an additional 250ft for the Digging and finding of new passage Barrel Competition – more of this later.

EASTWATER CAVERN

The notorious ruckle is on the move again and the cave is blocked.  The Wessex have made fruitless attempts art re-entry and all they have succeeded in doing is to upset the farmer and blown in the cliff above the cave.  Very careful negotiations are in hand with the farmer and one or two Mendip cavers in an attempt to recover the political situation and to allow an attempt to re-enter the cave to get under way.  It should never be forgotten that many of the farmers on Mendip let cavers have access to the cave entrances form a friendly basis and anyone doing a foolish and stupid action as at Eastwater could see the caves well and truly closed.