The Bristol Exploration Club, The Belfry, Wells Road, Priddy, Wells, Somerset.
Editor: Dave Turner

My apologises for the lateness of this B.B. - I'll try not to let it happen again!  Dave

1986/1987 Committee

Hon. Sec.                      Bob Cork
Treasurer                       Mike (Trebor)
Caving Sec.                   Mark Lumley
Hut Warden                   Tony Jarratt
Tackle Master                Steve Milner
B.B. Editor                    Dave Turner
Hut Engineer                 Dany Bradshaw
Membership Sec.           Brian Workman
                                    Andy Sparrow
                                    Phil Romford

Cuthbert's Leaders meeting - Sat Jan 17th - 7pm The Hunters






Mendip News

Caves reopened

At a meeting of the Council of Southern caving Clubs held on 29th November, Tim Large made the statement that, as of that afternoon, Swildons, Eastwater and Hunter's Hole would be reopened to cavers.  The usual courtesy visit to the Landowner is still required. This does not apply to either Nine Barrows or Sludge Pit, these caves are still closed - please respect this as negotiations are still in hand.

Shepton Buffet

As in time gone past, the Shepton provided us with the usual evening’s entertainment.  After each mortal had had their fill of the excellent fare they endeavoured to pass on their leftovers to the adjacent tables before the 'holier than thou' "I don't throw food about" Alan Butcher could collect them in black dustbin liners to be distributed amongst the third world people of Upper Pitts.

Bob Cork

St. Cuthbert’s

Following the hive of activity down Cuthbert’s over a year ago to pump out Sump 2, little has been done to clear up the mess.  I have therefore started a number of cleaning up trips to tidy up the cave from Stal pitch to Sump 2 in particular.  Assorted rubbish is in abundance, ranging from plastic bags to asbestos pipes to traffic cones.  The plug to the big dam by Sump 2 is also blocked and further efforts will be made to un-jam it, necessitating ram-rodding under five feet of water. The entrance pipe has also been blocked recently but Pat Cronin and I rodded that through not too long ago. If anyone has a mind to, on a trip to the sump 1 or 2 region could they bring out an article of rubbish.  Even a carry half way out would be a help.


Note: Cuthberts Leaders meeting on 17th January in the back room of The Hunter's at 7pm. (Ed)

Twin Titties

NHASA in their usual thorough way have at last re-entered the chamber discovered and then abandoned 2 years ago.  Working on the principle that it took hundreds of thousands of years for the cave to form, a few years spent in digging and shoring a new shaft is of minor consequence - anyway, if it goes we may have to move our attention to some less desirable site, i.e. further from the Hunter's.  The next task is to remove all the poly bags of spoil carefully stacked out of the way two years ago.

Dave Turner


Provisional Meets List - 1987

Please contact the person mentioned for further details etc.

New Year W/E               Dan-yr-ogof (Mac)
Jan-24                           Agen Allwedd * (Mark)
Feb                               Lakes Week (Tim L)
Mar 14/15                      Wigmore Dig  (Mark)
Easter W/E                   Agen Allwedd * Daren Cilau  (Mark)
May-02                         Penyghent Pot *  (Mark)
May 16/17                     Craig an Ffynnon; OFD 1  (Mark)
May 30/31                     Bowery Corner Swallet; Wigmore W/E  (Mark)
Jun 13/14                      Pippikin Pot * ; Top Sink *  (Mark)
Jun27/28                       Daren Cilau W/E  (Mark)
Jul 4/5                           Lost Johns * ; Birks Fell Cave *  (Mark)
Jul-18                            Bristol Meet (Steve)
August                          Austria  (Mark)
Aug 29/30                     Gower W/E  (Mark)
Sep 12/13                     Members W/E and Brewery Corner or Wigmore  (whichever's gone!)  (Mark)

* Permits applied for though not yet confirmed.

Mark 26/11/86


17/18    Jan Members weekend at the Belfry - Barrel(s) and auction/raffle of Lead Acid Cell and other attractions

17 Jan   Cuthbert’s leaders meeting, back room of The Hunters at 7pm.


Daren Cilau.


There have been two pushing trips down Daren, since the last B.B.  The first on October 4th-5th, resulted in a 70 metre extension off Terrapin North which was tight for most of its length.  We had to dig past about six squeezes.  The routine was generally that Andy Cave and Barbara would dig the passage just big enough to get through then one of them would concentrate on the next obstacle while the other would turn around and help me dig the previous constriction large enough to get myself through; how embarrassing.  This passage terminated in a small chamber with a tight rift taking a strong draught.

On the 8th-9th November, a twelve strong team concentrated in shifts on trying to force a way up through the terminal boulder choke at 12 O'clock High.  This was made a little safer by the use of a 20ft chimney sweeping pole brought in by Tim Allen one of the Naree River Crew.  After a night and day of boulder prodding and ducking (a great 1axative!) we were in 5 metres and up 6m above the constriction into a small boulder chamber draughting strongly upwards.  This will have to be banged.

On the same trip, Andy Cave and I pushed the Terminal Choke in Acupuncture Passage for about 2 metres. This is in an area of shatter with no airspace but a strong draught passing through.  To date we have dug about 15 metres through this, the floor is rising and we hope to be through on our next trip.

The weekend was polished off nicely with a piss-up and firework display at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The personnel of the digging team has changed dramatically.  There were about seven or eight people from Cardiff University, three from the Northern Caving Club. Andy Cave and I were the only representatives of the B.E.C.  A bit of help from club members would be much appreciated before we lose any 1egitmate claim to a Daren-Aggy connection.  Camping trips next year will be on the second weekend of every month.

We also propose to dig the end of Midnight Passage in Agen Allwedd, just off the second boulder choke as this looks like a probable point for a connection from Hard Rock-more details in the next B.B.

Mark Lumley.


(Show) Caving In The Ardeche

This summer the Glanville family decided to take a holiday in France again but without going in the company of others or as part of an expedition.  Initially we had planned to spend a few days near the Ardeche gorge and then move on to the Verdon Gorge which we had visited with Ken Gregory last year.  Rick Stanton had visited the Ardeche area in the past and recommended it.  After a two day drive from Cherbourg we arrived at Vallon Pont d'Arc which lies at the head of the gorge.  We then set about finding a camp site which didn't take very long in fact.

The Ardeche river which has formed the gorge runs west to East debouching into the Rhone near Bourg St. Andeol.   It lies not far to the north of Avignon.  The gorge is around 150 metres deep and has many deep meanders with a gigantic natural arch, the Pont d'Arc, forming a natural gateway to the gorge. The arch was formed when the river cut through the narrow spur on a particular sharp meander.  The river has many rapid sections which makes it an attraction for canoeists of all ages as none of the rough sections are too difficult or dangerous to pass.  In summer the place is literally swarming with canoeists and places to hire them.

The Ardeche has a reputation of being one of the most dramatically flood-responsive rivers in France and tide marks in the gorge testify to this.  At certain times of the year the region is prey to particularly violent thunderstorms which can, make the gorge extremely dangerous.  Apart from the usual above ground feeders the gorge is well provided by resurgence caves which drain the extensive plateaux on each side of the gorge.  Some of the longest cave systems in France lie in the immediate vicinity of the gorge and all the water drains there.  To give you an idea of how many caves there are in the area, it supports a flourishing "have a go at speleology" industry for the tourists.

Apart from the sporting caves there are probably more show caves in this area than in the whole of England.  For most of the rest of this article I will be describing the show caves we visited. As the holiday progressed Sally, my eldest daughter, was heard to moan "not another cave" whilst Philippa, my youngest, seemed to liven up underground and become embarrassingly noisy. The first cave we looked at was right on the road side between Vallon Pont d'Arc and the Pont d'Arc itself. The entrance was in a cafe and looked like the way into the cellar!  Price to get in was 10 francs - about a pound sterling.  The entrance passage generated a strong cold draught but when we descended this proved to be coming from a large electric fan in the centre of the passage!  The descent of an excavated tunnel (the cave was entered originally from above) led under an arch into a chamber with anastomotic channels in the roof.  The cave seemed to consist of several high pheratic rifts, the route ascending one and descending another.  The first grotto we came to was most unimpressive but climbing higher led us to the Niche d'eccentriques where there were some nice helectites and white stal.  A further ascent led to another small chamber containing a big white stal pillar.  The descent carrying a small child in a back pack was a bit hairy.  The steps were constructed in a deep rift being steep and muddy with poor guard rails. Safely at the bottom we noticed that water flow occurs in this area and in fact we were led off down a slope into a final passage with a door in the end where flood debris could be seen all over the roof.  The cave obviously lies close to the gorge here and floods in the winter.  That was the end of the trip - about thirty minutes in length.

On the same side of the gorge as the Grotte des Tunnels is the Grotte des Huguenots which has been taken over by an organisation called CESAME.  They run an educational exhibition on all aspects of cave exploration and I bought the French booklet on cave conservation here.  The price was again 10 francs and, as mentioned, caving books, posters, and leaflets were available.  Amongst exhibits was some of Martel's old caving kit.  Every caving museum in France claims to have some of his gear - it seems a bit like keeping relics of saints.  Can you imagine Britain doing the same to any of our explorers? Other exhibits included a staled over skull, a cave bear skeleton, and a considerable amount of pottery.  The cave itself seemed to draught but how much associated passage there is I do not know.

The cave in the region which nearly everyone has heard of is the Aven d'Orgnac.  It was first entered by Robert de Joly back in the late 1930's and was rapidly turned into a show cave.  The surface buildings are all quite low key and the ticket office looks exactly like a railway station booking hall cum waiting room.  One descends to the cave in a lift which opens into a blasted tunnel.  The first impressions of the Aven d'Orgnac is of immense size.  One first encounters a huge talus cone lying under the 50 metre natural entrance shaft - thankfully well grilled to prevent idiots lobbing rocks in.  All around the chamber are immense stalagmites looking like palm trees or gigantic stacks of plates - many are still active.  The cave gives the feeling of great age and it is in fact thought to be very old indeed.  The stalagmites are standing on a gigantic boulder pile and nowhere can the true floor be seen.  A path meanders around the side of the chamber.  At one point the whole party is photographed for souvenir pictures if required. On a stal bank in the distance is an urn which contains another holy speleological relic, namely the heart of Robert de Joly who died about fifteen years ago.  A steep flight of steps goes down about 60 metres or so to a balcony view into the theatrically lit Salle Rouge - the end of the cave.  Much amusement can then be had watching fat French tourists struggling back out.  The guide did not mind us taking the odd photograph although they had to be small scale of necessity. About twenty years ago a big extension to the system was made comprising several more bigger and better decorated chambers. According to Pierre Minvielle's book (100 Grotte et canyons) it is possible to negotiate trips into this extension although reading between the lines I feel this might be quite difficult. It certainly would be a mind blowing kind of caving trip.

After the Aven d'Orgnac and a picnic lunch we drove off to the Grotte de la Forestiere.  This was not far away at the end of a track seemingly in the middle of nowhere.  The manager has been caving in England but unfortunately was not there the day we visited. His wife spoke poor English so our conversation in a sort of Franglais was somewhat halting.  However we did get a price reduction for being cavers.  A natural entrance leads into a roomy pheratic tunnel which widens into chambers in places.  The whole cave lies close to surface as can be evidenced by the number of large tree roots which pierce the roof, cross the chamber and burrow into the floor.  The management actively encouraged the taking of photographs which was nice because the scale permitted photography.  Just inside the entrance was a feature common to many French caves - a pile of assorted bones.  The terminal grotto was well decorated with many cauliflower concretions and crystal pools. There was also a speleological zoo in the form of several tanks containing cave dwelling creatures such as Niphargus and blind fish.  The cave looked as if it was a dead end but our guide said it was thought possible it might link with the Aven d'Orgnac.  This seemed unlikely to me.

One of the most impressive caves we visited, and an inspiration to any caver who has ever wanted to open his own show cave, was La Cocaliere.  It lies about half an hour's drive from the Ardeche Gorge but is well worth a visit.  The cave has only been open as a show cave for about fifteen years and is still being extended both for the public and in the exploratory sense.  The route through the show cave section was constructed by the original explorer and his team.  He purchased the land over the caves in order to develop it.  Initially, equipment, cement etc. all had to be carried in on back packs and the work was done in the light of caving lamps.  This might explain why the floor detail in most of the cave has been so well preserved - in places it looks as if the concrete floor has been rolled down the centre of a pristine passage.  A flight of steps leads into an abandoned stream passage about the size of the extension passage in Otter Hole. There follows a walk of about a kilometre in some marvellously decorated cave featuring amongst other things, cave pearls and the disc formations for which the system is well known. The lighting is unobtrusive and, as this is a feature of virtually all the caves we visited, there was no fern or moss growth to disfigure the cave.  The walk ends in an ascent to a higher level pheratic passage near the surface where the guide spent ages babbling away in incomprehensible French next to some skulls and broken pottery.  I am told that the first man up into this section had a bit of trouble on the climb.  His light went out at the critical moment and after making it over the lip of the pitch he shakily relit his lamp only to see dozens of grinning skulls surrounding him! After emerging to daylight we had a short train ride back to the main complex.  There is a cafe at the cave - it is a bit of a rip-off.  Price was 25 francs, i.e. average for the trip into the cave.

Lying on the plateau above the gorge is the entrance to Grotte de Marzal.  This is named after a shepherd who was unfortunate enough to be murdered and thrown into the hole.  This was one of the busiest caves we visited and was substantially commercially developed.  Nearby was a prehistoric zoo containing some life size dinosaur models - rather good fun. Aven Marzal was relocated by - yes, you've guessed it - Martel.  There is more of his gear in the caving museum plus some of Robert de Joly's. Underground the cave begins with a steep staircase down the 50 metre entrance pitch which enters a high chamber containing a few nice stal flows and some more bones.  A further descent leads past the (reorganised) bones of Marzel's dog which are lit by UV light for some reason.  Although there are potentially massive fines for damaging stal in French caves the management were taking no chances here and the final section through some grottos was most un-aesthetically caged in.  The climb out proved energetic and we left the cave by a second entrance.  Not a very exciting system really.

About two hours drive from Vallon Pont d'Arc will get you to the Fontaine de Vaucluse.  There is no real cave here but it is well worth a visit - you can always visit the Norbert Casteret caving museum if you are desperate. Vaucluse is another tourist trap and reminded me of a cross between Castleton, Cheddar and Wookey Hole.  A big stream flows down a pretty wooded valley (if you keep eyes right) from the base of a 300 metre high cliff.  At the start of the walk up to the rising is a paper mill and the path is lined with shops and stalls selling all sorts of souvenirs.  However nothing can really detract from the drame of the Fontaine de Vaucluse itself. The summer stream rises amongst boulders in the stream bed 20 metres below the main cave.  At the end of the path is a steep slope down to a massive arched entrance about 20 metres across and 9 metres high.  On either side are graduated iron plates - the sorgometre. This gives a measure of the water level at anyone time.  The cave floor is occupied by a pool of the clearest crystal blue.  Stones thrown in seem to go on down for ever.  This is the deepest known sump in the world, subject of the world cave (and sport) diving record currently held by Jochen Hasenmeyer. It is possible to traverse round one wall of the pool and get a nice view out.  It is staggering to consider the volume of water that must flow out in spring to overflow the top of the entrance slope.  The Fontaine de Vaucluse is certainly very impressive.

Not far away but badly signposted were the Grottes de Thouzon.  These caves are developed in quite a low key fashion.  They were discovered by quarrying and consist of a single passage, reminiscent of a large Devon cave.  The guide spoke very clear French and only after talking to her in French for most of the trip did I discover she was American!  Tree roots were again much in evidence showing how close the cave ran to the surface.  The final chamber contains quite an impressive array of straws.  The caves are worth a visit if you go to the Fontaine de Vaucluse.

Finally I should mention the caves we did not visit and those I examined with simple caving gear (mostly bare feet, bathing trunks and a Petzl lamp) around the sides of the gorge. Near the bottom of the gorge is the famous Grotte St Marcel which is featured twice in Pierre Minvielle's book. To reach it you will need to use the map of the area but it is worth visiting the entrance if only on the way to the nearby beach!  A rough track, passable by vehicles with good suspension, leads steeply down to a parking area.  The path to the Cafe des Grottes leads past Grotte St. Marcel.  There is an archaeological dig in the entrance and the cave has been gated.  This is a shame because it provided an opportunity for some wild caving.  The gorge entrance leads into a huge ancient main drain boring back under the plateau.  A relatively recently discovered upper series drops from the plateau into the main tunnel.  The system can now only be entered from the plateau.  The draught coming out of the holes in the gate can be heard several feet away!  The nearby sandy beach is quiet and secluded and marvellous if you like nudist swimming and sunbathing.  Walks along the gorge just above river level will reveal ancient oxbow caves of varying length and interest.  I had a look at two resurgence caves. One was the Source de Gournier reached by a long walk down a path from the road.  The river at this point enters a narrow canal for 75 metres after some rapids.  On the far bank at the start of the canal was a classic resurgence entrance with a dried moss covered stream bed leading from it. Off I went with my trusty Petzl zoom and bathing trunks.  An icy draught billowed from the cave and after groping my way over razor sharp sculptured limestone I came to an arete above a short pitch.  I packed up and left at this point.  The other entrance was the Event de Fossoubie at the start of the gorge.  This cave has been linked with the Goule de Fossoubie some kilometres away by Belgium cave divers.  The system is notoriously flood prone and contains 55 sumps!  My foray ended in a sump in one direction and, after a wade through glutinous mud, in a pitch in the other.  The system looks rather Otter Holish and uninspiring.

The other cave we looked at was the Goule de Sauvas near and part of La Cocaliere.  This huge rift entrance by the road led into a big semi-active river passage.  Progress was halted by the deep water filled potholes in the floor.  It is in Pierre Minvielle's book.

The Ardeche resion certainly merits a visit.  Some day perhaps I could do some real caving here!

Peter Glanville - October 1986


Risca Lead Mine

Risca lead mine has been worked for many years, documentation goes back to the 18th century.  The ancient entrances have been lost and have grassed over.

A few years ago the mine was bisected by quarrying activities.  Some quarrymen entered the mine and reported roaring streamways, vast lakes and caverns, but their find was quickly lost owing to continued quarrying activities.

This year the new mine entrance was rediscovered, the quarry is now a landfill project and the entrance could soon be lost again.  However, the council hopes to secure access to the mine, either by building a conduit to the present entrance under a growing pile of rubble or to access one of the ancient entrances.

To this end the BEC were invited by Colin Brown of the Engineering Dept. to explore and survey the mine.  The majority of the survey was carried out on the 21st and 29th of June 1986 by a team of enthusiastic explorers, all having heard of vast streamways etc. etc.

On the 29th June, Bob and Dany dived the flooded shafts, negotiating rotting climbing stemples and structural timbers; one shaft was dived to -27m and the second to -14m. The later having a submerged level heading off in the same direction as the main adit.  They also reported that much of the passage between the lake and flooded shafts has a thin floor supported by ancient submerged timbers.

Of interest to industrial archaeologists there is a couple of hundred feet of modern tramway (4x4" timbers, 14" apart).  Of interest to cavers the main adit bisects small pheratic tubes in limestone and that there is a fair flow of water through the system.

It is a pleasure to learn that the local county council is positive in preserving access to the mine in view of the closures we see today albeit for different reasons.

Steve Milner.


Surveyed: AM, SJM, MMcD, AJ, BC, DB, TG, AL.  29/6/86

Drawn:  SJM

GRADE 5C.  10cm = 20m.  Sheet 2


NOTE.               At Entrance      10000E, 10000N, 100 AH

                                                9956.9E, 9937.2N, 98.41 AH

                                                9965.56E, 9933.0N, 107.43 AH


AGM Minutes

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Bristol Exploration Club held at the Belfry on Saturday, 4th October 1986

The meeting was convened by the Hon. Sec. Bob Cork, there being sufficient quorum present at 10.35 hours.


Bob Cork, Dave Turner, Alan Downton, Pat Cronin, Paul Hodgson, Chris Smart, Jeremy Henley, Tim Gould, Tony Jarratt, Mark Lumley, Henry Bennett, Andy Cave, Steve Milner, Tom Chapman, Dany Bradshaw, John Turner, Gill Turner, Brian Prewer, Andy Sparrow, Graham Wilton-Jones, Dave Pike, Mike Jeanmaire, Chris Batstone, Bob Hill, Axel Knutson, Steve Tuck, John Bennett, Nigel Taylor, Alan Thomas,Nick Holstead, John Chew, Lawrence Smith, Alan Turner, Andrew Middleton, Richard Paine, Lisa Taylor, Ian Caldwell, Stuart McManus and John Dukes.

Apologies: Jerry Crick, Richard Clarke, Alan Butcher, Brian Workman, Pete Franklin, John and Lavinia Watson, Rob Harper, Phil Romford, Fiona Lewis, Mike McDonald, Roy Bennett, Bob Bibmead and Georgina Ainsley.

Apologies:- Pete Franklin, Richard Clarke, Edric Hobbs, Mike Wigglesworth, Dave Irwin, Rob Harper, Lavinia Watson, Fiona Lewis and Phil Romford.

Nominations were requested for chairman - Tim Large, proposed by Alan Thomas and seconded by Brian Brewer, was the only nomination and was duly elected as chairman.

The chairman asked for members' resolutions.

Minutes of 1985 A.G.M.  These had previously been published in the B.B.  They were taken as read and accepted by the meeting, proposed John Turner, seconded Andy Sparrow and accepted - unanimously,

Matters Arising. There were no matters arising.

Hon. Sec's. Report. This had been previously published in the BB and was taken as read.  Joan Bennett asked for the present position regarding the Cuthbert's lease, the secretary informed the meeting that we were still awaiting a reply from Inveresk. Joan asked if they could be hurried along, the secretary agreed to pursue this matter.  The acceptance of the report was, proposed by Tony Jarratt and seconded Nigel Taylor and was carried unanimously.

Hon. Treasurer's Report.  This was previously published in the BB and was taken as read.  Jeremy Henley produced the financial accounts which were distributed at the meeting.  Proposed Dany Bradshaw, seconded Paul Hodgson that the report be accepted - carried.  A vote of thanks for Jeremy's efforts on behalf of the club during his stint as treasurer was proposed by Dave Turner and seconded by Chris Smart and was carried unanimously.

Hon. Auditor's Report.  Joan Bennett read her report to the meeting stating that she was impressed by the state of the accounts.  She said that they represented a fair and reasonable record of the club's financial position.  The report was accepted by the meeting, proposed Dany Bradshaw, seconded Mark Lumley, and a vote of thanks given.

Caving Secretary's Report.   This was previously published in the BB and was taken as read.  Proposed Andy Sparrow, seconded Ian Caldwell that the report be accepted.  Carried and a vote of thanks given.

Hut Warden's Report. Tony Jarratt read his report. Proposed - Stuart McManus, seconded Chris Batstone that the report be accepted, and was carried unanimously.

Tackle Master's Report.  Steve Milner read his report to the meeting.  It was proposed by Pat Cronin and seconded by Tim Gould that the report be accepted and it was carried unanimously.

B.B. Editor's Report. Dave Turner had previously published his report in the BB and it was proposed by Greg Villis and seconded by John Chew that the report be accepted and this was carried unanimously.  A vote of thanks was given.

Hut Engineer's Report.  Dany Bradshaw gave an oral report to the meeting.  He informed the meeting that the hut improvements were now finished. Working weekends that he had arranged had been poorly attended and nobody had fallen through the ceiling this year.  Since last year's meeting certain deficiencies had been found in the Belfry regarding fire regulations and he was endeavouring to correct this matter.  The exterior paintwork needs doing again; he also read a further list of outstanding jobs.  Chris Smart complained about the showers.  Dany replied that this was a known problem and he had it in hand. It was proposed by Andy Sparrow and seconded by Pat Cronin that the report be accepted and was carried unanimously.

Librarian's Report. Tony Jarratt read his report to the meeting.  Alan Thomas raised the matter of the mining log, the secretary answered that Harris and Harris were still looking for it.  Andy Sparrow said that the first caving log was missing and he believed it to be in the possession of Mark Brown.  Next years committee were asked to investigate the matter.  It was proposed by Nigel Taylor and seconded by Brian Prewer that the committee look into, and possibly acquire a secure cabinet or safe, preferably fireproof, for the security of club documents.  This was carried.  The acceptance of the report was proposed by Paul Hodgson and seconded by Chris Smart that the report be accepted, this was carried unanimously.

Ian Dear Memorial Fund.  Mark Lumley read his report to the meeting giving the names of this year's beneficiaries. He also recommended acceptance of the proposal relating to the IDMF to be tabled later in the meeting.  The new treasurer was asked to decide on the most beneficial placement of the monies.  It was proposed by Paul Hodgson and seconded by Stuart McManus that the report be accepted and this was carried unanimously.

Members Resolutions. It was proposed by Jeremy Henley and seconded by Dave Turner that £100 per year is transferred from the General Fund to the IDMF to ensure that the club continues to help deserving younger members to join overseas expeditions.  An amendment to this proposal was proposed by John Turner and seconded by Paul Hodgson that the words "on the 1st November providing that it does not embarrass the General Fund" be inserted after "IDMF".  Voting was as follows: for the amendment 26, against 7, no abstentions - carried; for the amended proposal, for 32, against 1, abstentions 1 - carried.

Result of ballet for Committee.  The chairman announced that the following members had been elected in order of votes cast:

Mark Lumley
Tony Jarratt
Bob Cork
Dave Turner
Brian Workman
Dany Bradshaw
Steve Milner
Mike McDonald
Phil Romford
Andy Sparrow

The last two had equal votes - both accepted for committee AGM decision

Election of Officers

Hon. Sec.          Bob Cork
Treasurer           Mike McDonald
Caving Sec.       Mark Lumley
B.B. Editor        Dave Turner
Hut Warden       Tony Jarratt
Hut Engineer     Dany Bradshaw
Tacklemaster     Steve Milner

Ordinary committee members: Brian Workman, Phil Romford and Andy Sparrow.

Non committee post: Hon. Auditor Joan Bennett

Constitutional amendments

Committee Proposals. The proposals as published in the B.B. in accordance with section 7a of the constitution were discussed at length. Some discontent was expressed with the proposals concerning changing the numbers of persons serving on the committee.

Proposals 1 and 4 were voted on respectively and both carried unanimously.

Proposal 3 was taken next; for the proposal 8, against 16, abstentions 8 - defeated.

Proposal 2. An amendment was proposed by Stuart McManus and seconded by Nigel Taylor that the words 'but with the word "nine" replaced by "twelve"' be deleted from the second paragraph of the proposal. This was carried unanimously.  The amended proposal was then carried unanimously.

Additional Amendment

The amendments as proposed by Chris Smart and seconded by Tony Jarratt and published in the B.B. were discussed thoroughly.  Stuart McManus expressed his concern regarding the wording of the accompanying notes.  An amendment was proposed by Stuart McManus and seconded by John Turner that the words "Married Couples" in sections 3a and 3c of the constitution be replaced by "Joint Members".

Voting: amendment for 32, against 0, abstentions 2 carried

            proposal for 32, against 0, abstentions 2 - carried

Any Other Business

1.                  The secretary asked the meeting to ratify the co-options of committee members as directed by last year's AGM in accordance with section 5a of the constitution. Carried

2.                  Tim Large read a statement on the current situation regarding SSSI's.  He also informed the meeting of the access problems concerning Lamb Leer.  A short discussion followed.

3.                  Dave Turner inquired the present position regarding the Cuthbert’s survey.  Bob Cork answered him.

There being no other business the chairman closed the meeting at 14.10 hours.


Hut Wardens Report 1986

Officers Reports

Bed nights, hut fees and relevant figures are obtainable from the treasurer.  The Belfry has had yet another good year and seems to have suffered little from the closure of the Priddy caves due to continued support from a nucleus of members and a series of members weekends and social events which have brought the club together and helped with the spirit of the BEC. Several members and guests owe hut fees which I hope to collect at this AGM.

During the year we lost the Navy and gained the Army.  A great benefit as our more needy and hungry residents will affirm.  In conclusion I should like to thank all those who have done their bit to keep the Belfry (relatively) tidy over the year.

Tony Jarratt.

Librarians Report

Little to report as usual. All exchange publications have been regularly received and several new books purchased at the request of members. This coming year, finances willing, I hope to purchase more relevant material and with the assistance of the club equip the library to enable it to function more efficiently.  The issue of library keys to several more members would help in this.

Tony Jarratt.


Eastwater Cavern

Open again after some 6 months of closure pending negotiations with N.C.C.  A BEC team were given permission to check out the Boulder Ruckle on 30th November and found it to be as stable as usual - no obvious movement on the standard "trade route" but the boulder which had dropped from the roof between the guide line and the short cut to Boulder Chamber appears to have slipped a further couple of inches - take care here.

The only major movement has occurred at the far side of the Boulder Chamber short cut (now widely known as the "Woggle Press").  Two very large boulders have slipped here and some digging was necessary to enable us to return via this route.  More work needs to be done here to stabilise this area.  Take great care here or use the normal route via the Upper Traverse until stabilisation has been completed.

DO NOT use the route over the fields from the Belfry - please walk around via the road!

All smiles at the Belfry

Many thanks to Bob Bagshaw for the donation of a 5 gallon barrel of Smile's Ale to the Belfry regulars on the occasion of his retirement, and best wishes from all the Club.

Thanks also to the Shepton for providing ale and a spontaneously combusting sofa following their annual buffet.  We promise we'll give all the trophies back!



Bristol Exploration Club - Membership List 3/12/86

828 Nicolette Abell                         Faulkland, Bath
1059 Georgina Ainsley                   Redland, Bristol
987 Dave Aubrey                            Park St, Salisbury, Wiltshire.
20 (L) Bobby Bagshaw                   Knowle, Bristol, Avon
392 (L) Mike Baker                         Midsomer Norton, Bath, Avon
818 Chris Batsone                         Tynings, Radstock, Avon
1079 Henry Bennett                       Pilmico, London.
390 (L) Joan Bennett                      Wesbury-on-Trym, Bristol
214 (L) Roy Bennett                       Wesbury-on-Trym, Bristol
998 Crissie Bissett                         Exeter, Devon
731 Bob Bidmead                          East Harpytree,  Bristol
364 (L) Pete Blogg                         Chaldon, Caterham, Surrey
145 (L) Sybil Bowden-Lyle              Calne, Wiltshire
959 Chris Bradshaw                       Cheddar, Somerset
868 Dany Bradshaw                       Haybridge, Wells, Somerset
1005 Jane Brew                             Sutton-in-Craven, Keithley, West Yorkshire
751 (L) T.A. Bookes                       London, SW2
924 Aileen Butcher                         Holt, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
849 Alan Butcher                           Holt, Trowbridge, Wiltshire
956 Ian Caldwell                             13 Buckingham Place, Clifton, Bristol
1014 Chris Castle                          Westlynne, Cheddar, Somerset
1062 Andy Cave                             Splott, Cardiff, Wales
902 (L) Martin Cavender                  Westbury-sub-Mendip, Wells, Somerset.
1048 Tom Chapman                       Barrows Road, Cheddar, Somerset.
1040 John Chew                            Rodney Stoke, Wells, Somerset
1080 Tony Church                          Shepton Mallet, Bath
1030 Richard Clarke                       Normans Green, Plymtree, East Devon
211 (L) Clare Coase                       Berkeley-Vale, New South Wales, 2259, Australia
89 (L) Alfie Collins                          Litton, Somerset
862 Bob Cork                                Stoke St. Michael, Somerset
1042 Mick Corser                           Woodbury, Exeter, Devon
827 Mike Cowlishaw                       Micheldever Station, Winchester, Hants.
1060 Peter Crawley                        West Wickham. Kent
890 Jerry Crick                              Reaseheath, Nantwich, Cheshire
896 Pat Cronin                               Knowle, Bristol
680 Bob Cross                               Knowle, Bristol
405 (L) Frank Darbon                      Vernon, British Columbia, Canada. VIT 6M3
423 (L) Len Dawes                         Main Street, Minster Matlock, Derbyshire
815 Nigel Dibden                            Holmes Chapel, Cheshire
164 (L) Ken Dobbs                         Beacon Heath, Exeter, Devon
829 Angie Dooley                           Harborne, Birmingham
710 Colin Dooley                            Harborne, Birmingham
1000 (L) Roger Dors                       Priddy, Somerset
1038 Alan Downton                        Sundon Park, Luton, Beds
830 John Dukes                             Wells, Somerset
996 Terry Earley                            Wyle, Warmister, Wiltshire
771 Pete Eckford                           Pelting Drove, Priddy, Somerset
322 (L) Bryan Ellis                         Westonzoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset
1064 David Evans                           Didcot, Oxon
1063 Peter Evans                           Abingdon, Oxfordshire
232 Chris Falshaw                         Fulwood, Sheffield
269 (L) Tom Fletcher                      Bramcote, Nottingham.
894 Phil Ford                                 Greenfield, Clwyd, North Wales
949 Geoff Ford                               Broadfield, Crawley, West Sussex
404 (L) Albert Francis                     Wells, Somerset
569 Joyce Franklin                         Stone, Staffs
469 Pete Franklin                           Stone, Staffs
769 Sue Gazzard                           Tynings, Radstock, Nr Bath, Avon
835 Len Gee                                  St. Edgeley, Stockport, Cheshire
1069 Angie Glanville                       Chard, Somerset
1017 Peter Glanville                       Chard, Somerset
648 Dave Glover                             Pamber Green, Basingstoke, Hampshire
1006 Edward Gosden                     Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, Hants
1054 Tim Gould                             Redland, Bristol
860 Glenys Grass                          Sawbridgeworth, Herts
790 Martin Grass                           Sawbridgeworth, Herts
1009 Robin Gray                            East Horrington, Wells, Somerset
1089 Kevin Gurner                          Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex
1088 Nick Gymer                           Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex
432 (L) Nigel Hallet                         Address not known
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
1078 Mike Hearn                            Bagworth, Axbridge, Somerset
974 Jeremy Henley                        Leg Square, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
917 Robin Hervin                            Trowbridge, Wiltshire
952 Bob Hill                                   2441 B6 Wassennaar, The Netherlands
373 Sid Hobbs                               Priddy, Wells Somerset
736 Sylvia Hobbs                           Priddy, Wells Somerset
905 Paul Hodgson                          Pennybatch Lane, Burcott, Wells, Somerset
898 Liz Hollis                                 Batcombe, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
899 Tony Hollis                              Batcombe, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
920 Nick Holstead                          Trowbridge, Wiltshire
387 (L) George Honey                    Address not known
971 Colin Houlden                          Bristol, London, SW2
923 Trevor Hughes                         Bleadney, Wells, Somerset
855 Ted Humphreys                       Moorsite, Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset
73 Angus Innes                              Alveston, Bristol, Aven
540 (L) Dave Irwin                           Townsend, Priddy, Somerset
922 Tony Jarratt                             Pelting Drove, Priddy, Somerset
668 Mike Jeanmaire                       Peak Forest, Buxton, Derbyshire
1026 Ian Jepson                             Beechen Cliff, Bath
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                       Pelting Drove, Priddy, Somerset
1074 Jerry Jones                            Portishead, Bristol
567 (L) Alan Kennett                      Henleaze, Brsitol
316 (L) Kangy King                        Pucklechurch, Bristol, Avon
1007 Jonathan King                        Pucklechurch, Bristol, Avon
542 (L) Phil Kingston                      Brisbane, Queensland, 4122, Australia
413 (L) R. Kitchen                          Horrabridge, Yelverton, Devon
946 Alex Ragnar Knutson               Bedminster, Bristol
874 Dave Lampard                         Horsham, West Sussex
667 (L) Tim Large                           Wells, Somerset
958 Fi Lewis                                  Wells, Somerset
1015 Andrew Lolley                        Kingsdowm, Bristol
1043 Andy Lovell                            Rowan Walk, Keynsham, Bristol
1072 Clive Lovell                            Keynsham, Bristol
1065 Mark Lovell                            Keynsham, Bristol
1057 Mark Lumley                         Clifton, Bristol 8
1022 Kevin Mackin                         Yeovil, Somerset
1071 Michael McDonald                 Knolw, Bristol
1067 Fiona McFall                         Knowle, Bristol
651 Pete MacNab (Sr)                    Cheddar, Somerset
1052 Pete MacNab (Jr)                   Cheddar, Somerset
1090 Robert McNair                       Otley, Yorkshire
550 (L) R A MacGregor                   Baughurst, Basingstoke, Hants
725 Stuart McManus                      Wells Road, Priddy, Somerset
106 (L) E.J. Mason                         Henleaze, Bristol
558 (L) Tony Meaden                      Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset
704 Dave Metcalf                           Long Eaton, Nittingham
1044 Andrew Middleton                  Earlsfield, London.
1053 Steve Milner                          Clifton, Bristol
1073 Tracey Newstead                   Wells, Somerset
936 Dave Nichols                           Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
852 John Noble                              Tennis Courts Rod, Paulton, Bath
624 Jock Orr                                  Sturton-by-Stow, Lincoln
396 (L) Mike Palmer                       Yarley, Wells, Somerset
1045 Richard Payne                       Sidcup , Kent
22 (L) Les Peters                           Knowle Park, Bristol Avon
499 (L) A. Philpott                          Bishopston, Bristol, Avon
1037 Dave Pike                              Yarley, Wells, Somerset
337 Brian Prewer                           West Horrington, Wells, Somerset
481 (L) John Ransom                     Patchway, Bristol, Avon
682 John Riley                               Waramanga, ACT 2611, Australia
1033 Sue Riley                              Waramanga, ACT 2611, Australia
1070 Mary Robertson                     Stonebridge Park, London, NW10
986 Lil Romford                              Coxley, Wells, Somerset
985 Phil Romford                           Coxley, Wells, Somerset
921 Pete Rose                               Crediton, Devon
832 Roger Sabido                          Lawrence Weston, 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 Hnts
78 (L) R Setterington                      Taunton, Somerset
213 (L) Rod Setterington                 Milton Rd., Harpendon, Herts
1046 Dave Shand                           Easton, Bristol
1036 Nicola Slann                          Clifton, Bristol
915J Chris Smart                           Nr. Bradford on Avon, Wilts
911 James Smart                           Clifton, Bristol
1041 Laurence Smith                     West Horrington, Wells, Somerset
823 Andrew Sparrow                      Wells Road, Priddy, Somerset
1 (L) Harry Stanbury                       Bude, Cornwall
38(L) Mrs I Stanbury                       Knowle, Bristol
575 (L) Dermot Statham                 Westcombe, Shepton Mallet, Somerset
365 (L) Roger Stenner                    Weston super Mare, Avon
867 Rich Stevenson                       Wookey, Wells, Somerset, Somerset
583 Derek Targett                          East Horrington, Wells Somerset
1039 Lisa Taylor                            Weston Road, Bath
772 Nigel Taylor                             Langford Lane, Langford, Avon
1035 John Theed                            The Street, Farmborough, Bath
284 (L) Alan Thomas                      Nine Barrows Lane, Priddy, Somerset
348 (L) D Thomas                          Little Birch, Bartlestree, Hereford
571 (L) N Thomas                          Norwich Rd., Salhouse, Norwich, Norfolk.
699 Buckett Tilbury                        High Wycombe, Bucks
700 Anne Tilbury                            High Wycombe, Bucks
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
382 Steve Tuck                              Coxley, Wells, Somerset
1023 Matt Tuck                              Coxley, Wells, Somerset
1066 Alan Turner                            Leigh on Mendip, Bath, Avon
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
175 (L) Mrs. D. Whaddon                Taunton, Somerset
1077 Brian Wafer                           St. Pauls Cray, Orpington, Kent
949 John Watson                           West Horrington, Wells, Somerset
1019 Lavinia Watson                      West Horrington, Wells, Somerset
973 James Wells                           Yorktown Heights, New York, USA
1055 Oliver Wells                           Yorktown Heights, New York, USA
1032 Barry Wharton                       Yatton, Bristol
553 Bob White                               Wells, Somerset.
878 Mne White                              Royal marines Police, Hamworthy, Dorset
1068 John Whiteley                        Holnepark, Ashburton, Devon
1061 Kerry Wiggins                        Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, Hants
1031 Mike Wigglesworth                 St. Cuthbert’s Lodge, Chamberlain Street, Wells, Somerset.
1075 Tony Williams                        Leigh on Mendip, Bath
1076 Roz Williams                         Leigh on Mendip, Bath
559 Barrie Wilton                           Haydon, Nr. Wells, Somerset
568 Brenda Wilton                         Haydon, Nr. Wells, Somerset
850 Annie Wilton-Jones                  Llanlley Hill, Abergavenny, Gwent
813 Ian Wilton-Jones                      Llanlley Hill, Abergavenny, Gwent
721 G Wilton-Jones                        Draycott, Cheddar, Somerset
914 Brian Workman                       Little London, Oakhill,  Bath
477 Ronald Wyncoll                       Holycroft, Hinkley, Leics.