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Caving Secretary’s Report

Well, this our 50th anniversary has certainly brought a busy year for caving in the BEC.

Digging has continued throughout the year in Westend in Eastwater but not without mishap with diggers getting trapped the other side of the duck.  It looks like further work will have to wait until next year - don't forget the 50p tackle fee (we'll all get pissed).

Some of our younger members, Snablet and Tom Chapman have discovered quite a lot of passage in Swildons and promising digs continuing there.  Good luck to them - as usual caving activity has been going on amongst individuals of the club.

The two major works have been digging/pumping in St Cuthbert's with over 100 cavers spending >1,000 hours in attempting to pass the sump, as you are aware we did not succeed, but there again; caves are where you hid them!  But it did show that you can take a 2" hose pipe >3,000 ft and pump water at 500 galls/min.!  Our thanks should go to not only club members but to the Shepton (who brewed tea for us!) and to the Wessex who supplied teams, in fact during the height of activity over 20 different clubs were helping and my thanks go to all of them.

The other major event has been the club’s expedition to the Gouffre Berger.  I think I should say that without Tim Large's particular efforts here, we probably wouldn't have succeeded in achieving the level of success (over 25 out of 60 people to the bottom) and to Phil Romford in organising the tackle.  This trip was particularly successful bearing in mind other regions attitudes to Mendip and pitches!

Again, trips to st Cuthbert's have been busy as usual and the same old people have come up to lead. We have 4 new keen leaders and more cavers have shown keen interest in becoming one.  Perhaps its time to modernise the leadership system to enable members to obtain it and the form being updated to take consideration that we are now in 1985.  Perhaps a general form taking in the cave generally as opposed to step-by-step route by route.  And a proposer and seconder system - something to think about in the next year.

The only problem with the general activity is that the monthly trips have disappeared, and as I stated last year, its important that these trips shall be carried on since this is the only time that some members will actually meet others and with a club of 200 you can be excused if you miss one or two people!

Finally, when I took this job over I did it because somebody had to do it - but funny, I actually grew to enjoy it, organising trips to Cuthbert's etc. but I always knew that the job should be done by somebody who has more personal commitment to ensure that the monthly trips can be organised.

My personal circumstances have recently changed (I'm now working for myself) and because of that I can't guarantee that I shall be available to organise Cuthbert's trips etc. and therefore it's with regret that I shall have to stand down from the committee. The good news is I think we have found a younger (well about years 6 younger - he's 24 years) who'll be ideal in taking over the post.

Well all again I'd like to thank all members who have made my job easier to carry out.

Stuart McManus