The Bristol Exploration Club, The Belfry, Wells Road, Priddy, Wells, Somerset .Telephone: Wells (0749) 72126.

Editor: G. Wilton-Jones

Bet you thought I'd given up for good!  No such luck - you'll have to put up with my verbiage for another year yet, and, I threaten, more regularly than of late.  The move from Aylesbury is now complete and you'll see that I am now a local.

The printing machine has recently emerged from hibernation beneath cardboard boxes and packing cases, the file of B.B. articles has been found, and we've created enough floor space in one room of the house to sit down and type.  We're in business again, so send in your articles.  There's still time to catch the Christmas B.B.

At this year's A.G.M., which Alan Thomas did a remarkable job of managing, Trev Hughes and the Batswine proposed the creation of a diving section within the Club, together with the new committee post of Diving Secretary, rather like the old climbing section.  Chris kept quiet for most of the discussion and Trev did not argue his case particularly well.  The issue was, to say the least, contentious.  Trev would have done better had his 30 diving members of the B.E.C. all been at the A.G.M., and perhaps he should have published his thoughts in advance. The majority at the A.G.M. were for the proposal.  However, it failed because those at the A.G.M. who were for the proposal did not represent a great enough proportion of the Club membership.  In other words, there were not enough members present at the A.G.M.  Indeed, at one point some members left the room and the meeting became inquorate. That's apathy for you.

In next month's B.B. we have something from the Pope + a South African article on caving and marital breakdown, caving in Canada, by Bolt, (if I can find the article amongst all the chaos) together with some of his cartoons, 1981-82 Officers reports (caving sec., hut engineer, editor), a note about Tynings, more on Wookey, maybe a snippet about Gaping Gill/Ingleborough, a new show cave in Barbados, a list of jobs which YOU could do to help maintain the Belfry, all the latest news from Mendip, plus bits from those other, minor caving regions of Britain and the rest of the world, plus much more, I hope.


Quote of the whateveryoucallfourmonthsoneaftertheother:

by Biffo in Wookey 20.

“Is there any water in this cave?”


Fund Raising

The Belfry Extension will cost £5,600 for materials alone.  £2,000 is in the kitty.  £3,600 is needed.  Just £20 per member, including lifers.

Every member is asked to contribute at least £20 by straight contribution, bankers order, or by running some fund raising activity - a sponsored climb of the north face of Everest or steal a bell from the Mary Rose, or even a sponsored drive home with Alan Thomas after an evening at the Hunters.

Nigel Taylor proposes to con people into "buying blocks for the Belfry" and Trevor Hughes will be selling 7,600 raffle tickets to raise the whole damned lot himself.

Would members be prepared to "Buy a drink for the Belfry" each time they visit.  50p into a pot for the first round of the evening. Forty drinking evenings will raise everybody's £20.

Other ideas for raising money breathtakingly awaited.  The best suggestion will win one free ticket to next year's dinner.

Providers of £20 or more to the fund will have their names published in the B.B.

The best idea yet! Tip the Belfry as well as the barber every time you have a haircut.  The year 2000 will pass before we can afford the roof tiles but catch Trevor quick before he goes for his next interview.

Jeremy Henley.


Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

John Stafford and Kangy King have great satisfaction in reporting the successful completion of their journey over the Roof of Wales.  They climbed over 40 peaks and did 170 miles in 12 days.

Starting at the Roman road near Drum in the Carneidau, North Wales, they successively climbed Snowdon, the Moelwyns, the Rhinogs, Cader Idris, Plynlimon, The Welsh Wilderness, the Eppynt and finished on the Brecon Beacons, crossing the highest point of each range.


24th July to 5th August 1982.

In the last B.B. Kangy asked if any other B.E.C. members had done the full CUILLIN RIDGE.  In 1976 I did it during two glorious days one May, but I was a W.C.C. member then.  Does this count?

Martyn Farr dived in Wookey this weekend, attempting to pass Sump 25, which he had pushed to a depth of 125 feet or so, back in 1977.  On this occasion (29th. to 31st. October) he camped inside the cave in order to reduce the problems of decompression.  He reached a depth of 200 feet where the way on lay through a slot 6 ft. wide and one foot high - not a pleasant prospect at that depth.

He has left it for "the next generation".


Space Filler: When mending wet suits beat hell out of the glued joins whilst the adhesive is setting using a blunt instrument.  This helps to fuse the edges into the adhesive.

J. H.


Headquarters Notes

by Phil Romford.

As your new, democratically elected hut warden, I would like to make a few comments and observations which affect the year's running of the Belfry.

Firstly there is concern by myself and many other members who use the Belfry that squalor has set in. This, unfortunately, is a reflection of the general standards of cleanliness and discipline of a few people. I for one would like to see this change. Over the next few weeks this situation will change with the help of a responsible committee.  This applies not just to the Belfry interior but to the whole site which, frankly, is a tip.  It came to my notice over the A.G.M. weekend that the Royal Navy, who have been using our facilities for some time now and providing a large and welcome income to the club, are not happy.  Due to the normal squalor the R.N. officers are proposing to use the S.M.C.C. hut and have already taken schools there.  This, of course, results in a loss of income to us.  At this time, while we are building our funds for the Belfry extensions, we can ill afford this loss.  So, Belfryite, buck up your ideas or you will be disciplined!

The chief problems appear to be firstly in a lack of direction from a responsible warden; various members are not taking any part in Belfry cleaning and are leaving rubbish in any available free space within the Belfry; there seems to be a general lack of interest in Belfry maintenance; when there are working weekends little seems to be achieved, with many jobs being unfinished.

I have no doubt some people will argue that this is a caving club hut and not a bloody hotel.  While I agree that we are first and foremost a caving club, this provides no excuse or reason for turning it into a scrap yard.

Since I shall be essentially a non-resident warden, only being at the Belfry say on one day over a weekend, I shall enlist the help of resident members, i.e. Trevor Hughes and Nigel Taylor, who are committee members, and any other willing member I choose. However, I will expect my deputy to go along with my philosophy of general cleanliness.

Over the next few months there will be some working weekends where club members are expected to participate. It would also help if members would donate any spare materials they may have, such as paint, ceramic tiles and like materials; any spare plumbing bits and pieces would come in handy.

The next working weekend will be: Friday - Sunday 3rd - 5th December.


  • Working refrigerator in reasonable condition.  Needed at the Belfry. Price negotiable, however, a donation would be even better.
  • Usable single mattresses for Belfry bunkrooms.
  • Ceramic wall tiles.

If you have any spare, can you donate them to the Belfry?

For all of the above, contact the Hut Warden, either at the Belfry or on Wells 75407

Address Changes:

''Wormhole'' (alias Ian Caldwell), University College Cardiff.

Ian & Annie Wilton - Jones, Llanelly Hill, Gwent.

Graham Wilton - Jones & Jane Clarke, Wedmore, Somerset. DS 28 4AX


Austria 1981/82  

(The story they tried not to tell!!)

Since the expeditions of the summers of 1978, 79 & 80 there had been various plans, discussions, Ideas, thoughts, proposals and blueprints of another trip to Austria.  These were mostly conducted in the academic atmosphere of the Hunters, on the back of odd beermats and fuelled mainly on 2 star Badger Beer.  The discussion ran along the lines that the final shaft (Ben Dors Shaft) in the Barrengassewindeschact which was fairly wet in summer ought to be dry in the winter as all available surface water should be frozen.  And this is where the story really starts.

In November 1981 another odd beermat was found and accordingly plans were laid for a reconnaissance party to go out at Christmastide.  Despite several false starts and detours, and the odd misunderstanding or two, plus the Government’s movement of Boxing Day, a strong crack team consisting of Rob (Harpic) Harper and Chris (Blitz) Smart prepared themselves. The initial stages of the expedition i.e. the first four hours were spent repairing the brakes on R.H.’s Renault 5 (and all without any form of sponsorship) so that Joanna could drive back to Bristol. This was then followed by the two expedition superstars packing a 1arge amount of food, ropes and kit into the back of an elastic Renault 5 (another one) much to the amazement of the passers-by and the passengers of the local bus service - it was rumoured that they were infact running special coach tours.  We rushed to make up for lost time and no sooner had the feature film 'Close Encounters of the Turd Kind" finished, we leapt in what space was left in the car and drove like a snail out of hell for the coast and La belle France.  We caught the 3 am ferry from Dover to Boulogne, assumed funny accents and arrived in France at 5:30 having ceaselessly lost an hour somewhere in mid-channel.  (For those of you with a nervous disposition you will no doubt be glad to learn that we did infact find it again on the way back.)

A couple of hours of driving found us bleary-eyed and dangerous to the other road users, did you know they all drive on the wrong side of road!?, so we stopped for a few hours sleep in a 5 star luxury, rustic shelter.  (For the use of any interested parties it is on the V7 next to Windmill Cemetery at a town called Haucourt and is well worth a detour.  It has hot and cold running draughts in all its one rooms and a quite exquisite view of a dead tree.)  The rest of the day was spent motoring to Germany and 10 o'clock that night saw us halted in the Black Forest by frozen roads. During the resultant brew up the road was salted and our intrepid heroes managed to make another 5 miles to a Teutonic bus shelter.  It would be no exaggeration to say that the night was a little on the cold side.

It was the cold that forced us to an early breakfast of cheese and wine which was preceded by Rob entertaining the bus queue and an old lady who was passing on her bike with a traditional BEC dawn chorus six foot length of carpet being rent asunder.  We then continued onward through a Germany which was trying hard to do a series of Christmas car impersonations - and doing them very well!!  The remainder of that day was memorable for its monotony that was only relieved by our two heroes dropping the equivalent of about £10 in loose German coins onto the tiled floor of a Bank and Blitz managing to obtain a complete list of German Bank holidays without really trying.

We arrived in Halstatt in the early evening and began the serious business of the expedition, and this is where the story really starts.  Over a few beers we made the acquaintance of an attitude of mind that was soon to become all too familiar and was to turn up everywhere during our entire stay.  The Austrians are welded to a pair of ski-boots from the moment that the first small flake of snow gently drifts poetically down from the sky; although we did ponder whether they were actually born with a pair, and since we took every opportunity to change into smart but casual shoes for sitting in bars etc., each time we announced our plans and intentions there would be a stunned silence and then the bravest local present would exclaim…”IN THOSE SHOES?!!!”.  Sure enough 'after a couple' of beers and the establishment of language of communication (perm any four of four from English, French, German and Sign) the barman asked us what we were doing in Halstatt and what our plans were.  We said we were cavers and we intended to walk up to the Weisburghaus tomorrow; he seemed stunned and glancing at our footwear gave birth to the phrase. However our first priority was to find overnight accommodation i. e. the nearest bus shelter, but were waylaid by a phone box and a chance to report our progress so far to base camp Bristol.  Blitz then remembered the underground car park that he had used two years before & we thought the accommodation problem was solved.  Two minutes later we were engaged in answering a few Police questions who thought we were a pair of Polish refugees.  As there seemed to be a local panic on regarding these refugees we though tit would be wise to seek '1egal' accommodation and asked the Police about the local Youth Hostel.  N.B. There used to be one in Halstatt but not now and we spent an interesting time following the Police car round the town and watching as they would drive up to some unsuspecting late night reveller and then give him the third degree treatment about accommodation locally.  The Police had been drafted in from outside the area, for the refugee scare, so did not know the town and at one point we ended up backing up a one-way street. Eventually a man was found who admitted that accommodation did exist in Halstatt and he directed the convoy to a house use nearby.  The owner finally, surfaced and answered the door and admitted that he had accommodation available, but that he was going to Canada, the following morning by helicopter.  Now given our somewhat p*ss*d up state and the limitations of 'Teach Yourself German' we think that was his intentions, but any how he lead us around the back streets of Halstatt which consist mainly of wooden walkways apparently super glued to the cliffs, and battered on a door until it was opened to expose the witch from Hansel and Gretel.  She was obviously on holiday from molesting small children and offered us her spare room.  This turned out to be a fairy story eyrie at the top of the house, high overlooking the lake with an enormous double bed (I'm sorry Rob but the truth must be told).  We retired to the car to fetch our kit and returned to gaze at the seemingly vast acreage of the endless bed, before crawling into it and going straight to sleep with only a bolster between us to maintain moral standards.

Over breakfast even Granny, the friendly witch, chided us about our choice of footwear for the day ahead and ensured frequent and regular stops by insisting we both finish a litre of coffee each.  We drove up to the start of the Dachstein cable car to try to make contact with the show cave manager, to get in touch with the local cavers, but the ticket man, a mental defective, denied all knowledge of his employer so we decided to try and walk up to the Weisberghaus by the normal summer path which in winter is a cross country downhill ski-run.  So by 12 noon we were packed and ready to go, anticipating beer and schnapps in two or three hours, and were gratified to be told by a group of small admiring boys that the path was open but might take four or five hours.  Three and a half hours later battling with waist deep and deeper powder snow left us knackered, thirsty, hungry, very tired and with what can only be described as definitely homicidal feelings towards, the small boys.  Blitz managed to add to the atmosphere of the moment when his gloved hand slipped on a frozen pack strap smacking himself on the nose and we had a few panic stricken moments when we thought that he had lost a contact lens in the snow.  (The wound left him with a large black scab, the size of a sixpence, in the middle of his nose that was guaranteed to stop all conversation wherever we went).  At our highest point we were still less than half the way up to the hut and it took us two more hours to get off the mountain leaving nothing but a few footprints…..Blitz and Harpic body sized footprints in the ski-run to trap unwary Austrians.

….And this is where the story really starts….Granny agreed to have us back for the night but as it was New Year's Eve intimated that she would prefer us not to come back too p*ss*d up. She just had to be joking!!  We were so shattered it was unbelievable and only managed few beers each, mind you, had we discovered the special black label export brew before retiring to our bed.  The only good thing to come of the day was that news of our exploits was filtering down the mountainside, mostly from skiers caught in a series of 'mantraps' in their ski-run, and the, locals were immensely impressed with our performance considering we had neither skis nor snow shoes.  We were a force to be reckoned with, Mein Gott!

During the night we were woken regularly by the sound of fireworks, once by the noise of a massive avalanche far across the valley and once by Granny (could this be the answer to a thousand sexual fantasies) who gave Blitz who was snoring happily a thorough telling off for leaving the electric fire on.  (It didn't suit him anyway).

The morning of Few Year's Day dawned miserable and then proceeded to get worse, but Granny in a mood approaching that of humour served our breakfast and because of our success with the coffee the morning before, increased our coffee allocation to two litres each.  We were defeated but only just.  We then sauntered out to see the havoc wrought by the local population on the town - fair to good was the conclusion, and the remains of a once proud sofa would have added the finishing touches to make it indistinguishable from the Belfry on a Sunday morning.

Blitz had had a brainwave the night before over the beers and we struggled to remember it…..then it came again, what we needed were snow shoes…..and this is where the story really starts.  His German, it was thought, probably would not cope with such a request and we decided to call on one Herr Siegfried Mittendorfer, a local rambler who had caved once, who had been more than helpful in the past.  Initial reaction was good after we had managed to wake him, and he made us welcome, and insisted we welcome the New Year in with a couple of glasses of wine (at 9.30am!).  He made a few quick phone calls and tracked down the only pair of snowshoes in Halstatt (remember I said Austrians were born with skis on) and arranged for us to call in at the shop that morning.  We bought them and hurried off to the mountain path eager to try them out, with thoughts of lightly running across the snow.  We found that where there wasn’t any crust or marginal consolidation at all they worked extremely well but on unconsolidated powder snow there was little to choose between them and ordinary boots.  Blitz then had another brainwave and suggested that if we wove some pine twigs on and out of the bindings it might make a difference… did, it meant that you looked as if you had a bush growing out of each boot, and all this in a Nature Reserve, but that they were still not adequate.  We sought solace in a brew-up and were not amused after having spent half an hour melting and boiling snow when Blitz kicked pressure cooker of tea all over the ground.  The resultant yellow stain in the middle of our makeshift kitchen caused some consternation to a passing women skier that she almost lost balance, as she saw us preparing food next to what she assumed was the contents of a large urinal.  It was obvious that after this our reputation could only grow still bigger.

We decided that our standing would only diminish if we sneaked back to Granny, and that we really should be getting rougher and tougher so we headed for the underground car park and a bivouac.  That night saw two foot of snow fall in the valley and it turned out that our ‘bedroom’ was the very place where they kept the spare blades for the snowplough.  If you don't know how much noise a gang of Austrian workmen can make with large sledgehammers changing snowploughs, then contact Harpic or Blitz in the pub some time.

Bad Ischal, being the nearest place of any size was elected as being the only place likely to have another pair of snowshoes, so waved goodbye to the Halstatt commuters who by now were starting their cars and driving them through our bedroom, brewed up (again!) and slid the Renault down the snowy (Where are you, snowy?) roads to the biggest metropolis this side of Priddy.  Blitz did at one stage suggest that we should buy a quantity of sausage while we were there just so that we could say we had gone to Bad for-Wurst, but the sausage shop was closed so the joke doesn't really count.  Buying snowshoes was not as easy as it might first appear and again we came up against the problem that all men, women, children, and probably cats and dogs in Austria are born with skis.  We were reduced to mimes using tennis rackets in one shop and in another the assistant didn't even know the word when shown it in a dictionary! Eventually another pair was purchased and plans were once more laid for storming the strongholds of the Gods and descending caverns measureless to man etc.  (I knew I could get a mention of Wigmore in here somewhere).

On the way back to the underground car park Blitz, he had all the good ideas, suggested we should try to contact the Dachstein Showcave manager, Herr Siegfried Gamsjaeger, at his home mentioning that even if he wasn't then his wife might be and that she was definitely worth seeing.  He wasn't and she was.  It turned out that he was away organizing a cavers cum local peoples type party for that evening at one of the nearby show caves…..but, and this is where the story really starts, were we interested in going to a caving club hut for the afternoon and then going on to the session in the evening.  Can a Duck swim?  At last this was what we had come to Austria to do.

After some complicated car manoeuvring later and a variation on the old phrase, what in those tyres! We found ourselves at an eighteenth century farmhouse on the shores of the lake, which the local cavers were in the process of renovating.  Not only was it incredibly picturesque but every room had a wood burning stove in it and for the first time in days we could be warm again.

We were introduced to the two cavers in residence in the bedroom             and Frau G. left us in their tender care.  We rapidly realized that it was the old one caver + girlfriend arrangement and that we had disturbed them at what I can only describe, with decorum, as a delicate and very intimate stage in their relationship (not to mince words, I think it is number 43 in the book).  However differences were soon put aside, and dress adjusted, as we joined them for some apple tea.  The subject of caving arose and after Rob's revelation that he had done some cave diving in Britain, and Chris's offhand remark that he had caved in the Himalayas they were left open mouthed with awe.  It was obvious that here were two cavers to be reckoned with, men who could stand alongside such superstars as Martel, Casteret, Eyre, Waltham and Wormhole (well after some discussion they decided perhaps not Wormhole).

Fitz's girlfriend Gabby, honest we didn't make these names up, could speak English fairly well and from her we gathered that the evenings festivities were a torchlight procession by the villagers to the show cave, the Koppenbrullerhohle, followed by songs in the snow with a traditional 'oompah' band, and then songs around a camp fire with lashings of 'tee-mit-rum.  Needless to say we couldn't wait to get started, and paused only to eat a tin or two of cold Irish Stew, which served to increase our reputation still further, and attempt to explain that ‘Yes, in those shoes/tyres.’  As with all well organised p*ss ups we had to do a check on a number of bars to find the other cavers and/or their girlfriends but things got underway at about 7:30.  The cave was quite uninteresting but, and this is where the story really starts, the band, the singing, and the witch like cauldron of 'tee-mit-.rum' more than made up for it, as did the cementing of relations with the local speleos. (And not to put too fine a point on it we now had accommodation.)

The following morning we woke late and abandoned all previous thoughts of going up the mountain, the rum had had its usual effect and we were savouring the delights of comfortable surroundings.  At one point the previous evening we had finally made contact with the elusive Herr G. and arranged to go into the Mammethohle which is the major cave of the Dachstein area, but that was for the day after tomorrow.  Blitz at this stage, I felt, disappointed the Austrians by declining to push some of the local risings, clad only in a dash of aftershave (without sponsorship) and a smile.  This was not the lack of activities that one expects from a Himalayan caver.

It was not until the next evening, after yet another day of ‘weather’ that Siggy turned up and confirmed our trip into the Mammethohle for the next day with a trio of Viennese cavers who were doing a photographic trip.  We also managed to discuss and begin to rectify some of the problems that had arisen from the surveys from the summer expeditions.  By 10:30 the next morning we were at the small hut (the Emma Hutte) which serves as a base for cavers going into the Mammethohle.  We were again lucky that all three of the Viennese spoke all too excellent English, which was a great help as Blitz's pocket dictionary had never really recovered from the snowshoes episode and was beginning to look a little the worse for wear and would probably would not have survived a long caving trip.  The trip itself was very good, if indeed a trifle slow by Mendip standards; we were gratified at one point to be asked breathlessly 'Do all English cavers cave so quickly?', actually we been going slowly so that they would keep up!! The cave posed no great technical difficulties or dangers apart from the horrendous fixed aids; it is painfully obvious that they haven’t heard of the words liability or insurance.  In all we spent about 6½ hours going in the main drag as far as the formation, yes that’s right, THE formation and also had a quick look at the head of the pitch into the furtherest reaches of the cave, the Krippensteingang.  If I have forgotten to mention the walk from the Emma Hutte to and from the Mammethohle it is because we are both still trying to erase the horror from our memory, suffice to say that the last 50 or so metres one has to scamper across a powder snow avalanche slope that is in constant use judging by the fact that there is a large accumulation of fresh snow boulders at the bottom, that there is a large unblunted break-off point 100 metres above and also that the locals who had quite happily negotiated previous sections that had reduced us to dry-mouthed whimpering, felt that this stretch was sufficiently serious to cross one at a time in complete silence.  That eve was spent in the hut with them, impressing them with the delights of pressure-cooked tea bags that produced a very thick strong black tea (who are you calling thick ?)

After catching the cable-car back down the next morning we watched the weather get worse and worse and worse and worse as we sat drinking in one of the bars at the foot of the mountain. We felt very depressed and were about to call it a day and go and cook some food (yes real hot food for a change!) when the door of the bar was flung open and, words were spoken that look simple enough on paper, but which struck terror into our hearts.  'Herr Blitz, Herr Bobby' we heard, and we knew the day of reckoning had come early.  The voice belonged to Fritz Platzl, the guardian of the Weisberghaus, our summer base and the object of winter desires, who, insisted we follow him home for a liquid supper just to round the days drinking off.  He and his wife, Mitzi then proceeded to insist that we come for lunch the next day… could we refuse?  Fritz had been impressed by the drinking of the English cavers on the summer trips and we struggled manfully at lunch the next day to maintain the BEC reputation.  He had bought two full crates of beer for us but we had to call a halt when the bootleg schnapps was produced and he suggested we corner the market on the produce within our own stomachs.  Blitz did make a brave attempt to save the day by downing a schnapps in one but was notably quiet for the next few minutes as he decided whether or not it was biologically possible to live without the use of his stomach.

Back at the caving hut, a rational discussion of the situation told us what we should have realised before, that namely we were really achieving very little by staying on. In almost record time the Renault was packed and we headed for the UK, stopping off en route to pay our hut fees to Herr Siegfried Gamsjeager, and to have and last look at wife (stop it! you'll go blind).  We then travelled literally non-stop back to Woking which took just on 24 hours, having managed to refind that missing hour in mid-Channel, but getting back from Woking to Bristol took nearly 2 days, Britain not being in quite the same league as the Continentals for road c1earing …..and this is where the story really starts.

Some Conclusions: - Reading back through this article there seems to be some considerable number of references to drinking in bars, and indeed drinking anywhere, and little on climbing and caving.  This in fact is a very fair representation of the time spent and highlights a problem that we as cavers found in mid-winter but which is familiar to climbers all year round.  The problem is basically that in the Alps or any high mountain range, unless the weather is good and stable there is virtually nothing to be done except sit and wait for a few days more.  On one occasion over a 15 minute period while waiting in one of the car parks we counted 8 major avalanches, and that was on a good day.

Also since we were in receipt of a I.D.M.F. grant, it is valid for the club to ask did we achieve anything; indeed was it worth our while going?  We believe the answer to be yes.

i)                    We ascertained beyond doubt that the tackling of the cave entrances on the plateau, unless one is an exceptionally gifted skier is impractical.  There is between 8 and 30 feet of unconsolidated powder snow making navigation hazardous both by obliterating landmarks and by covering some shafts with fragile snow plugs.  If this was the only positive result I should still maintain that the expedition was valid, at the very least it has ended considerable speculation.

ii)                  We disproved the theory that all the melt water would be frozen into ice, so the caves would be dry and noted that there was little perceptible difference between the risings in winter or summer.

iii)                 A presence was shown out in Austria and valuable contacts were made or extended. If nothing else we now know where the caving hut is!!

iv)                 We bought two pairs of snow shoes with £40 of the £60 of the I.D.M.F. grant, which have been donated to the BEC. The remaining £20 of the ' grant was returned to the fund.

v)                   'The local cavers are very keen to take on the Barrengassewindeschact (although it is not certain that they would find the entrance) and it is essential that the club, continue to show an interest in the area.  At the time of this trip we were pressed very hard by them as to a firm commitment for this summer.  The area is very well worth a visit and the locals are all extremely friendly, even to people in casual shoes; the caving potential is excellent and the Mammethohle, a few kilometres away from Barrengassewindeschact is a1ready the seventh deepest in the world with continuing potential.

vi)                 And this is where the story really starts……The End (until next time).

References to the previous expeditions can be found in the following copies of the BB

Oct 1978, vol 32 no 10 (366); Feb  1979, vol 33 no 2 (370); Nov 1979, vol 33 no 11 (379); Aug/Sept 1980, vol 34 nos 8 & 9 (388 & 389).


Thank you Chris and Rob, for the article, and particularly for having typed it onto a stencil. Typed articles, on stencils or on good quality white paper make my job so much easier.

Thanks also to Fi, who typed the next nine pages of the B.D. Bassett

FUND RAISING: Lil Romford and some of the other women members who regularly stay at The Belfry are planning a Christmas raffle to raise funds for the improvements planned for the hut.  Primarily they aim to raise money towards refitting the women’s room in the new extension, after which any surplus money will go towards the general building fund. There will be a wide variety of prizes which have been donated by other members so when the time comes please support generously. (If you don't then Lil will set about you!!)



By Tim Large

SUBSCRIPTIONS: It’s that time of year again folks. Subscriptions this year are as last £10 single, £15 joint.  Send your money to Fi Lewis, 53 Portway, Wells, Somerset BA5 2BQ by the 31st December 1982.  Those who have not paid by then will find themselves BB less!!

ROSS WHITE:  In recognition of his services to Queen and Country during the Falklands campaign it was decided to award Marine Ross White a years Hon. Membership.  Ross was one of the Marines captured on South Georgia when the Argentineans invaded, later he was amongst the Marines who retook the South Sandwich Islands.  Well done Ross.

BELFRY IMPROVEMENTS: The latest position is that John Gywther has drawn up the plans and these have now been presented for Planning Permission and Building Regulation Consent.  When this has been done an EGM will be called to give members a chance to express any views they may have on the next stage.  I have been in touch with Mendip District Council with regards a grant to help with the costs of building the extension, they have no money available.  The next move is for me to get in touch with Somerset Playing Fields Association and if they give no joy we lastly approach The Sports Council.

ST CUTHBERTS LEASE: Any delays we have recently been faced with in leasing have been caused by reorganisation at The Inveresk Paper Mill from whom we are getting the lease.  At present I am waiting for a date on which to walk the boundaries with a representative of the mill to assert the area of land the lease will cover. When this has been done the lease can then be drawn up.

CAVE DIGS:  The club has its fingers in many pies at the moment, with digs in Dan yr Ogof at the end of Dalis Delight led by Martin Grass, Tim Large, Graham Wilton-Jones and Jane Clarke who say that any help would be welcome.  Eastwater at the bottom of Mortons Pot a very promising dig with much potential here again it involves Tim Large, J'Rat, Graham Wilton-Jones, Jane Clarke, Stu McManus etc.  A’Day at the end of Tynings involving the above group, Wigmore led mainly by J'Rat, Twin Ts where much exploration worlds is still taking place, Trevor Hughes and Ross White have been playing with the boulder ruckle at the end of Swildons 12 and say that on the next visit they should break into new cave!  Finally the dig to crown all digs Goughs Cave, Cheddar, Tim Large, Chris Bradshaw etc assisted by various ex cave guides, electricians, are digging a passage off Heartbreak Hill. Some of the luxuries afforded by this dig include heated changing room with hot and cold running water, boiler suits and lamps curtsey of Longleat Estates laundered after use, electric lighting, power for Hilti drills etc, mobile spoil carrying machines (ex Cheshire Home electric wheelchairs) and access for cars(minivans) right up to the dig. What ever are we going to do if the dig goes!!

AGM AND DINNER: The AGM was well attended.  Alan Thomas chaired the meeting and the food was provided by Fi Lewis, beer by Alan Thomas.  It was a rather long drawn out meeting with several controversial issues discussed.  It is proposed that rather than pick things out and put them in this column that I will try and get the minutes typed up and put them in the next issue.  The Dinner was attended by approx 120 people who sat down to a splendid meal which was enjoyed by all.  As usual there were several presentations to make; Zot presented Graham Wilton-Jones and Jane Clark with a sign ‘The Bassets’ for their new house at Wedmore.  Pete Franklin presented Tony Jarrett with The Driver of The Year Award for writing off his Suzuki Van in Derbyshire, and Chris Batstone on behalf of Bob Hill who is working in Holland presented Trevor Hughes with The Bore of the Year Award.

The 1982/83 Committee

HON. SECRETARY                   Tim Large

HON. TREASURER                   Jeremy Henley

TACKLEMASTER                      John Dukes

HUT WARDEN                          Phil Romford

HUT ENGINEER                        Ian Caldwell

CAVING SECRETARY               Martin Grass

BB EDITOR                               Graham Wilton-Jones

MEMBERS                               Trevor Hughes, Nigel Taylor



LIBRARIAN                               Chris Batsone


Bristol Exploration Club - Membership List October 1982

828 Nicolette Abell Faulkland, Bath 
20 (L) Bobby Bagshaw Knowle, Bristol, Avon
392 (L) Mike Baker Midsomer Norton, Bath, Avon
818 Chris Batsone Bathford, Bath, Avon
390 (L) Joan Bennett Wesbury-on-Trym, Bristol
214 (L) Roy Bennett Wesbury-on-Trym, Bristol
731 Bob Bidmead Middle Street, East Harptree, Bristol
998 Crissie Bissett Exeter, Devon
145 (L) Sybil Bowden-Lyle Calne, Wiltshire
959 Chris Bradshaw Wells, Somerset
868 Dany Bradshaw Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset
967 Michael Brakespeare Dilton Marsh, Westbury. Wiltshire
1004 Brendan Brew Sutton-in-Craven, Keithley, West Yorkshire
751 (L) T.A. Bookes London, SW2
756 Tessie Burt Harpendon, Herts
956 Ian Caldwell Senngenydd House, University College, P.O. Box 8, Cardiff.
955 Jack Calvert Dilton Marsh, Westbury, Wiltshire.
1062 Andy Cave Wells Road, Priddy, Wells, Somerset
902 (L) Martin Cavendar Westbury-sub-Mendip, Wells, Somerset.
983 Jane Clarke Pilcorn Street, Wedmore, Somerset.
1003 Rachael Clarke Pilcorn Street, Wedmore, Somerset.
211 (L) Clare Coase Berkeley-Vale, New South Wales, 2259, Australia
89 (L) Alfie Collins Bishop Sutton, Nr Bristol, Somerset
862 Bob Cork Stoke St. Michael, Somerset
827 Mike Cowlishaw Cleveland Walk Bath, BA2 6JW.
890 Jerry Crick Address unknown
680 Bob Cross Knowle, Bristol
423 (L) Len Dawes Main Street, Minster Matlock, Derbyshire
815 Nigel Dibben Poynton, Cheshire
164 (L) Ken Dobbs Beacon Heath, Exeter, Devon
1000 (L) Roger Dors Priddy, Somerset
972 Mike Duck Bishops Batch, Priddy, Nr Wells, Somerset
830 John Dukes Shepton Mallet, Somerset
937 Sue Dukes Shepton Mallet, Somerset
779 Jim Durston Chard, Somerset
996 Terry Earley Wyle, Warmister, Wiltshire
771 Pete Eckford Itchen, Suton
997 Sandra Eckford Itchen, Suton
322 (L) Bryan Ellis Westonzoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset
269 (L) Tom Fletcher Bramcote, Nottingham.
404 (L) Albert Francis Wells, Somerset
468 Keith Franklin Dandenong, Victoria 3175, Australia
569 Joyce Franklin Stoke Bishop, Bristol
469 Pete Franklin Stoke Bishop, Bristol
769 Sue Gazzard Tynings, Radstock, Nr Bath, Avon
835 Len Gee St. Edgeley, Stockport, Cheshire
459 Keith Gladman Holt, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
1069 Angie Glanville Chard, Somerset
1017 Peter Glanville Chard, Somerset
648 Dave Glover Pamber Green, Basingstoke, Hampshire
1006 Edward Gosden Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, Hants
860 Glenys Grass Luton, Beds
790 Martin Grass Luton, Beds
1009 Robin Gray Frome Somerset
1010 Sue Gray Frome Somerset
432 (L) Nigel Hallet Yate, Bristol
1008 James Hamilton Wells, Somerset
104 (L) Mervyn Hannam St Annes, Lancashire
999 Rob Harper Hanham, Bristol, Avon
4 (L) Dan Hassell Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset
893 Dave Hatherley Cannington, Bridgwater, Somerset
974 Jeremy Henley Leg Square, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
917 Robin Hervin Trowbridge, Wiltshire
952 Bob Hill Chippenham, Wiltshire
373 Sid Hobbs Priddy, Wells Somerset
736 Sylvia Hobbs Priddy, Wells Somerset
905 Paul Hodgson Nailsea, Avon
898 Liz Hollis Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne, Dorset
899 Tony Hollis Milborne Wick, Nr Sherborne, Dorset
920 Nick Holstead Trowbridge, Wiltshire
991 Julie Holstead Trowbridge, Wiltshire
387 (L) George Honey Address not known
971 Colin Houlden Bruton, Somerset
770 Chris Howell Edgebaston, Birmingham
923 Trevor Hughes Wookey Hole, Wells, Somerset
855 Ted Humphreys Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset
73 Angus Innes Alveston, Bristol, Aven
969 Duncan Innes Traherne Hall, Uywn Grant Road, Penlyn Hill, Cardiff
540 (L) Dave Irwin Townsend, Priddy, Somerset
922 Tony Jarratt Station Road, Congresbury, Bristol
51 (L) A Johnson Station Rd., Flax Bourton, Bristol
995 Brian Johnson Ottery St. Mary, Devon
1001 Graeme Johnson East Park Road, Leicester
560 (L) Frank Jones Chilcote, Wells, Somerset
285 Urban Jones Oriental Road, Woking, Surrey
567 (L) Alan Kennett Henleaze, Brsitol
884 John King Cowfold, Sussex
316 (L) Kangy King Pucklechurch, Bristol, Avon
1007 Jonathan King Pucklechurch, Bristol, Avon
542 (L) Phil Kingston St. Mansfield, Brisbane, Queensland, 4122, Australia
413 (L) R. Kitchen Horrabridge, Yelverton, Devon
946 Alex Ragnar Knutson Bedminster, Bristol
874 Dave Lampard Horsham, Sussex
667 (L) Tim Large Wells, Somerset
958 Fi Lewis  Wells, Somerset
930 Stuart Lindsay Address unknown
574 (L) Oliver Lloyd Withey Close West, Westbury-on-Trim, Brisatol
58 George Lucy Long Lane, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks
550 (L) R A MacGregor Baughurst, Basingstoke, Hants
725 Stuart McManus Wells Road, Priddy, Somerset
106 (L) E.J. Mason Henleaze, Bristol
980 J Matthews Clifton, Bristol
979 Richard Matthews Clifton, Bristol
558 (L) Tony Meaden Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset
704 Dave Metcalf Long Eaton, Nottingham
957 Dave Maurison London NW11
1012 Al Mills Shepton Mallet, Somerset
989 A Nash Downend, Bristol
936 Dave Nichols Exeter, Devon
852 John Noble Tennis Courts Rod, Paulton, Bath
938 Kevin O’Neil Melksham, Wiltshire
964 Lawrie O’Neil Melksham, Wiltshire
396 (L) Mike Palmer YarleyHill, Yarley, Wells, Somerset
22 (L) Les Peters Knowle Park, Bristol Avon
499 (L) A. Philpott Bishopston, Bristol, Avon
990 Jem Pague Frogwell, Chippenham, Wiltshire
337 Brian Prewer West Horrington, Wells, Somerset
622 Colin Priddle Wadeville 1422, South Africa
481 (L) John Ransom Patchway, Bristol, Avon
682 John Riley Linton Falls, Skipton, North Yorkshire
945 Steve Robins Knowle, Bristol
1046 Gerard Robinson The Common, Patchway, Bristol
986 Lil Romford Coxley, Wells, Somerset
985 Phil Romford Coxley, Wells, Somerset 
921 Pete Rose Chandlers Ford, Hants
832 Roger Sabido Lawrence Weston, Bristol
941 John Sampson Knowle, Bristol
240 (L) Alan Sandall Nailsea, Avon
359 (L) Carol Sandall Nailsea, Avon
760 Jenny Sandercroft Victoria Park, Bristol
237 (L) Bryan Scott Havestock Road, Winchester Hants
482 Gordon Selby Wells, Somerset
78 (L) R Setterington Taunton, Somerset
213 (L) Rod Setterington Chiswick, London W4
915J Chris Smart Woking, Surrey
823 Andrew Sparrow Bath
984 Dave Speed Dinder, Nr Wells, Somerset
1 (L) Harry Stanbury Bude, Cornwall
38(L) Mrs I Stanbury Knowle, Bristol
575 (L) Dermot Statham Cole Road, Bruton, Somerset
365 (L) Roger Stenner Weston super Mare, Avon
1002 Alan Sutton Alveston, Bristol
284 (L) Alan Thomas Nine Barrows Lane, Priddy, Somerset
348 (L) D Thomas Little Birch, Bartlestree, Hereford
1013 Gwyn Thomas Wells Road, Priddy, Nr Wells, Somerset
571 (L) N Thomas Norwich Rd., Salhouse, Norwich, Norfolk.
994 Martin Thompson Matson. Gloucester
699 Buckett Tilbury High Wycombe, Bucks
700 Anne Tilbury High Wycombe, Bucks
80 Postle Thompsett-Clark Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
74 (L) Dizzie Thompsett-Clark Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
381 (L) Daphne Towler Nyetimber, Bognor Regis, Sussex
157 (L) Jill Tuck Llanfrechfa, Cwmbran, Gwent, Wales
678 Dave Turner Leigh on Mendip, Bath, Avon
912 John Turner Launceston Rd., Tavistock, Devon.
925 Gill Turner Launceston Rd., Tavistock, Devon.
635 (L) Stuart Tuttlebury Boundstone, Farnham, Surrey
887 Greg Villis Banwell, Weston-super-Mare, Avon
982 Christine Villis Banwell, Weston-super-Mare, Avon
175 (L) Mrs. D. Whaddon Taunton, Somerset
949 John Watson Bedminster, Bristol
553 R White Wells, Somerset
878 Marine Ross White RM Detachment, HMS Endurance, BFPO Ships, London
939 K Wilkinson Melksham, Wiltshire
940 V Wilkinson Melksham, Wiltshire
916 Jane Wilson Portswood, Southampton
568 Brenda Wilton Clutton, Bristol
850 Annie Wilton-Jones Llanlley Hill, Abergavenny, Gwent
813 Ian Wilton-Jones Llanlley Hill, Abergavenny, Gwent
943 Simon Woodman Burrington, Nr Bristol, Avon
914 Brian Workman Little London, Oakhill,  Bath
1011 Lucy Workman Little London, Oakhill,  Bath

(L) = Lapsed