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Secretary's Report

It's been quite a quiet year, Secretary-wise.  I've had a lot of written enquiries from various people about the Club, asking what the joining arrangements are, but as soon as I tell them itÂ’s primarily a caving club they can't be seen for dust.  Our title as an "Exploration" club is obviously quite enticing but nobody seems to like the caving element.  I had one young lady who came down from Oxford by train via Weston to try her hand and she took one look at the Swildon's entrance and legged it back over the fields.  I don't know what people expect?  However, quite a few new members - mostly perhaps from other Mendip Clubs.

We've had some sad deaths, one of which is documented in the recent B.B.  Enough has been said and I feel and there is no need to expound it further here.  Bennett will be sorely missed.

The Poll Tax rears its ugly head in 1990 and I fear we may be hit very badly.  The Rating Department are unable to provide any figures or indications of the likely damage as even they don't know what they're doing, but I think it will be considerable.  This leads onto another point, that of charity status as a means of obtaining exemption from the Tax.  I've done some preliminary enquiries and am having discussions with the MNRC and Shepton who are charities I believe.  This can be taken on by the next committee.

Morale in the Club I sense has been a little down of late, for whatever reason.  It seems a lot more fragmented with small groups going separate ways at weekends and hut occupation down quite a bit.  There doesn't seem to be that active, busy and rowdy crowd around the hut at weekends.  I know Clubs all have little gangs that go off to do their own thing; ours just seems more pronounced and isolated to me.  Perhaps it's just a phase, with Mendip seeming a little quieter over the summer.

The Cuthbert's Lease is now close to completion and should be signed and sealed soon.  This will give us a 10 year tenancy of a roughly triangular piece of land between the Snake Pit and the Mineries pond closest to us. It obviously includes Cuthbert's Swallet itself.  Basically we are responsible for the well-being of this area.

Politics has thankfully laid low this year and the few CSCC meetings that I've attended have been quite tame compared to a few years ago at the height of the Nature Conservancy arguments. Long may this continue.  Down with politics, up with caving I say.