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Anecdote from Bassett

While staying at Awatiro, the Auckland Speleological Group hut at Waitomo, for a search and rescue seminar last weekend, I heard the following tale:

A member of the Cerberus was visiting New Zealand, and he spent a week down at Waitomo doing a spot of caving. He stayed with A.S.G. at Waitomo, which is an old farmhouse occupying a windswept spot right on the top of the Waitomo limestone block.  There are magnificent views from the hut, particularly to the south, where the volcanoes of Tongariro are visible on clear days, and to the east, where the village of Waitomo nestles in the valley far below.

Now Kiwi tramping huts often have a loo with a view, and Awatiro is no exception.  A large ceramic pipe is set in concrete above a deep-dug pit, and this is topped off with standard loo-seat and cover.  A brightly-painted, wooden sentry-box affair, open to a somewhat lesser view to the north, but thus sheltering the user from prevailing winds and frequent rain, completes this dunny.

The Cerberus bod arrived at the hut in the dark, wind howling bitterly across the open plateau, and rain driving horizontally.  Very soon he asked directions for the toilet:

"Just follow that little path there - you can't miss it."

A few minutes later he returned. soaked and dishevelled, and proclaimed: -

"I'd heard you Kiwi cavers were tough, but that bog some takes beating."

The locals were a little puzzled by the remark, but thought little of it except, perhaps, to take him for another whingeing porn - until the morning, that is.  In the calm after the storm, morning light revealed all. At the edge of the paddock a ceramic pipe emerged from a concrete plinth in the grass.  The strong winds had ripped the sentry-box from its mountings and had blown it, along with the seat and cover, away down the hill.  Hard Kiwi cavers indeed!


Caving Songs

I received the following plea from Nick (see Editorial)

Oldland Common

I am interested in hearing from any member who has details or copies of caving songs.  The aim is to collect together as many as possible from all over the country to form the basis of a national caving song collection. Eventually I hope to be able to arrange for them to be published with the profits going back into caving in some way, and not for personal gain.  To date I have approximately 170 songs and thanks must go to those who have helped me so far.  I am looking for any song that concerns caving, cavers, caves or clubs. If anyone has details, please contact me either at home, The Hunters or The Belfry. Thanks.

Nick Cornwell-Smith