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Caving Secretary’s Report

It hardly seems a year since I told Mac there was no way he was ever going to con me into being Caving Sec. I’ve surprised myself and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it though~ and I’ll gladly do it next year if elected.

Since last October the club has had some good meets up in Yorkshire and one or two washouts in South Wales (still there was always the Pub eh!!). But the main news of the year has been the club’s remarkable success in finding a new cave!

Snablet and Tom Chapman found several hundred feet in Swildons 2 before the NCC decided that cave formations damaged their red tape!  A connection between the Boulder Chamber and Ifold Series in Eastwater looked on the cards too, found by J-Rat and Tim Large, until the NCC put a stop to caving, farming and goodwill in Priddy (presumably because it all looks a bit messy to the hordes of tourists they are encouraging to the area).

In Manor Farm.  Quiet John Watson, Wormhole and Chris Castle are working on a very promising rift in the far reaches beyond NHASA Gallery which is currently yielding to Tim Large’s box of tricks!  Blitz Passage at the end of Wigmore has decided its not a terminal choke after all (again thanks to Tim’s bang licence).  Tim, Steve M., Blitz and myself are currently making steady progress in a low, draughting bedding with high hopes of hitting the limestone soon.  Trevor Hughes has been helped in Halloween Rift by Pete Eckford and Trebor is optimistic about reaching Wookey Hole before his beard reaches his baldric.

Andy Sparrow has been busy in Boughs Cave digging in various sites and in the same cave Richard Stevenson and Rob Harper have what must be one of the most significant cave diving discoveries of recent years.

In Daren Cilau, the Rock Steady Crew have found over one and a half kilometres of passage and a connection with Agen Allwedd looks close.  We stand a good chance of getting the longest British cave system in the next year.

In Co. Clare, the BEC were making their presence felt at Easter with Pete Glanville and Martin Grass diving the Green Holes and the LADS finding numerous new sites and pushing Poulnagrinn.

Even New Zealand didn't manage to escape from the BEC influence with the Wilton-Jones's year long caving extravaganza taking in some of the islands finest caves.

Bob and Dany represented the club on the Mexico 86 Expedition with over 20 km of new passage explored including one at -600m.

And finally Austria. J Rat and Trebor dug into Wiesberghohle.  C38 (Titanschacht) was bottomed; numerous other caves found and Jagerhohle pushed down 25 pitches to a point over 600m deep with a possible connection to Hirlatzhohle and a record for the deepest through trip is on the cards.

Mark Lumley, Sept 1986