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The Bristol Exploration Club, The Belfry, Wells Road, Priddy, Wells, Somerset.
Editor: John Williams

1994 - 1995 Committee

Hon. Sec.                Nigel Taylor
Treasurer                 Chris Smart
Caving Sec.             Jeff Price
Hut Warden             Angie Cave
Tackle Master          Mike Wilson
Hut Engineer            Andy Cave
Membership Sec.     Richard Stephens
B.B. Editor               John Williams



Hello everyone.  This is the first BB of the 'Club Year' and is the Christmas issue.  My apologies for not having produced one earlier, this is due to ongoing computer problems and my thanks go to Dick Fred for his continuing patience and help in this area.

I've put it together as quickly as I can, as per request of certain Honorary Life Members (see elsewhere in this journal for details) and consequently have not necessarily included articles that certain individuals may have been expecting to see.  It also means that I have not had time to retype some of the contents, so please excuse the different typefaces etc.  My thanks go to those of you who have written articles in the past year as do my pleas to anyone who feels like writing something; I can always use extra material.

Some club business ..... Firstly from Mike Wilson ......

Some of the more observant members who frequent the shed may have noticed a strange looking metal tower 8'6" high residing next to the tackle store.  This is not a catenary tower for the next BEC space launch but the promised rope testing rig!  All the vital parts are locked in the inner sanctum of aforementioned tackle store. We hope to test all the expedition ropes and date tag them - giving us some kind of datum point to work from in the future - in the interests of safety!  Also the rig will be available for personal testing at prearranged dates/times and a nominal fee will be charged to help towards tackle replenishment. At the time of writing the rig is only good for factor 1 tests but we will have the components for factor 2 tests shortly.  Thanks go to the lads who have shown interest and support in this project and special thanks to the member who supplied the Avro Vulcan bomb release mechanism.  I hope the rig is well used. M.W.

Further on the matter of tackle, from the committee .....

The current tackle situation is that out of 22 club ladders there are only 3 booked out in the log and NONE in the tackle store!!!  This means that members have been repeatedly unable to have access to kit.  There has been little response to requests to return ladders, indeed some non-BEC and sub standard ladders were brought in instead of the original kit borrowed.

Would any member holding any club kit please return it to the tackle store or to any committee member by the February committee meeting so that a proper check and inventory can be done.

And from Jeff Price-(Caving Secretary).

St Cuthbert’s Swallet Tackle Fees.  If trips are arranged through the caving secretary, the club/group requesting a trip will have to pay the fees at the time of booking, otherwise leaders will still collect fees at the time of the trip.

O.F.D. Permit.

The OFD II (top) Cwm Dwr permit has been renewed.  Anyone visiting the above must have a permit with them (and have filled it in). Permits are kept at the Belfry and by Jeff and if anyone needs one urgently they can contact him on his home number 0272-499299 and a permit will be posted.  Please note these are only available to paid up members.

As was agreed at the last committee meeting, completed membership forms for prospective new members must be handed to either the proposer or seconder and presented to the committee by them.  This is to ensure that the applicant and his/her proposer/seconder are present at the committee meeting ..... .DF.

And Finally ............ SUBSCRIPTIONS DUE ....

As you will see elsewhere in this ish subs for 94/95 are now due and are ...

£20.00 single and £30.00 joint if paid by 31.12.94

£24.00 single and £36.00 joint if paid after 1.1.95


A Letter to the Editor

Dear Ed,

Reading last years article on the successes of people despite them being cavers, I was suitably amused with the subject lateral to caving activity, so here's a bit more ...

This then concerning the subtle criteria for choosing names for caves and parts therein being different to that used by climbers for routes and parts thereof, I suspect the last word in each case has something to do with it.

The trends in cave names appear to be dominated by geographical detail or locations whilst points therein are referred to more often than not by hydrological or descriptive attributes.  For the most part names of climbs follow the same rules.  The main exceptions in each case appear to be 1. a strong vein of humour both blasphemous and tongue in cheek for cave systems and 2. fictional futuristic and fantastic for climbing routes.  A dodgy speculation here may be that while the climbing fraternity are more often than not performing in pairs, caving is undertaken (pun intended) by larger groups which leads to a more prolific dissemination of humour in the socialising 'après descendre'.  Further dodgy speculation leads to the three Fs in route names of climbs pandering to spectator attention, their public is suitably awed as it were, this is something that caving, by its very nature, cannot enjoy.

I accept that several other factors are at work here, for instance cave names have the opportunity to describe more dimensions rather than being dominated by verticality, individual moves on climbs can be bloody desperate but not very different from the stamina sapping characteristics of a long caving trip, the terminology must therefore spring from some other source.  This leads to a most dodgy speculation that the lack of an audience in caving has been instrumental in the generation of aforementioned blasphemous annotation.

In conclusion then, it appears to be the public's fault.. .. as was thought all along!! Any more ideas anyone ... ???

            John King.


"From the Belfry Table"

This is just a brief note from Herr "Hon Sec," which hopefully Jingles 'The Ed' will see fit to publish.  The committee will try to keep a regular 'First Friday of the month' plan for meetings, so here is your official notification for all of you ardent waffle followers of the set dates ....   Nov 4, Dec 2, Jan 6, Feb 3, Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, Jun 2 Jul 7, Aug 4, Sep 1.

My apologies in advance for missing the December meeting, the 2nd is my wedding anniversary and as it was good enough for the last sec, I will be on holiday in one of his hotels in Jamaica until Dec 14th, only trouble is he has threatened to turn up as well and take me caving!




COME IN NO 4 YOUR TIME IS UP .... Dan Hasell (Member No 4) was honoured at the AGM when the meeting supported the outgoing committee's proposal to give honorary life membership to 'No 4' for his long standing support of the BEC and Caving and Cave Diving over many years, indeed many of us were touched and humbled by Dan's acceptance speech.

Martin Grass was also honoured by the AGM and awarded one year’s honorary membership in gratitude for the sterling work over 14 years on the committee.  He has thankfully also offered to make a donation, not, I think, a bad idea ... do you?


The AGM further advised me to contact all life members and determine their current interest, if any, in the BEC, as rising costs and insurance premiums levied on each member, now lay heavily upon the paying membership of the club. This in no way detracts from the fact that these people made the club and the Belfry what it is today. We must never lose sight of that, however when they were called upon, they stood to be counted.  I also personally believe that they would not now want to be a drain upon the club. Unfortunately, this is the current position due to circumstances beyond our control. There is no intention for them to renounce their category of membership, but rather now we hope that they might consider making a contribution towards their BB, insurance etc., no one can deny that for the most part they have had an average minimum twenty five years membership for their respective contributions.  The club does not forget its debt, but must have due regard to the membership as a whole.

Anyway, hope to keep you all briefed, as long as there is food on the table.

Regards to all.    'Mr ‘N’ Hon. Sec.



Nr Billingshurst
West Sussex

5 October 1994

Dear Jingles,

A word is required on the BEC club dinner - Excellent.  What more could be said? Unfortunately - there is more!  From the moment we arrived back at the Belfry, our ears and stomachs were subjected to loud unexpected music over which conversation was difficult in the extreme.  Even this could have been tolerated if the volume was lower and the balance was not pure bass.

Knowing the general high spirits of the well oiled caver we had set our tent up in the snake pit so that when we retired for the night we could be well out of the way for a peaceful nights sleep, so that the party could continue until the last person dropped. Without disturbing us.  Even in our tent however the penetrating qualities of the music intruded.  Hence a disturbed nights sleep and the ruination of an otherwise enjoyable event.

On talking with various people in the morning we gather that the music was a ploy by a minority to wind some of the other members up.  This we think they managed to do extremely well, but we do not regard this within the context of high spirits.

But apart from that please keep up with the high standard of entertainment and good food that constitutes a BEC club dinner.

Congratulations to Nigel Taylor and The Belfry Boys.

            Yours sincerely

                        Dave Ball & Ruth Baxter.

PS So if after publishing this letter you would pass it on to the committee so they could look into this complaint we would be grateful and hopefully much relieved in the future.


Bristol Exploration Club 1994 AGM held at the Belfry 1st October 1994

Meeting Opened 1045 Hours

The secretary asked for nominations for Chairman.

Bob Cork Chairman.  No other nominations (30 For: 1 Against)

Jingles proposed 1993 AGM minutes taken as read and ratified.  Seconded Rob Harper.  Unanimously accepted.

Matters Arising

Chris Batstone asked if we ever got a Hut Warden's report for 1993 .. asking we never got one.  D. Turner said if we knew where the survey kits were.  M. Wilson reported all 3 kits were now in his possession.  B. Wilton reported the books had now been audited for 1993.

1994 Secretary's report

No matters arising.

Brian Prewer proposed a sincere vote of thanks to M. Grass for his efforts over the last 5 years. Seconded Mac. Report accepted. Proposed D. Turner.  Seconded R. Harper.  Carried Unanimously.

Caving Secretary's Report

Taken as read.   No matters arising.  Carried Unanimously.  Proposed Blitz.  Seconded C. Batstone.

Hut Wardens Report

Taken as read - no questions.  M. Grass proposed a vote of thanks as Estelle had taken more money than ever before mainly due to her collection technique.  Proposed R. Harper.  Seconded N. Taylor.

Hut Engineer

Tim sent his apologies. Report taken as read.  Ron Wyncole sent a report on the fire extinguishers (see attached).  Brian and Nigel voiced major concern that some of our fire extinguishers had been "loaned" to the Shepton Mallet C.C.  Although high spirits set off extinguishers our insurance would be invalid if we had a fire.  Setting off extinguishers should be dealt with severely by the Hut Warden. Proposed Jingles.  Seconded Mike Wilson.  Carried Unanimously.

Membership Secretary

Ted Humphreys asked why a membership list had not been published.  Nigel said it had taken a long time to get the records straight. One would be published in the next B.B. D. Turner asked about Nigel's proposal of getting contribution from Life Members.  Dan Hasell said we should write and ask if Life Members wished to remain members and still receive the B.B.  D. Turner asked that Nigel write to all Life Members as suggested at last years AGM.  Nigel said he had spoken to members rather than written.  Nigel agreed to write to selected Life Members.  C. Batstone asked how many members we had.  Nigel said he could not give an exact figure.  Proposed acceptance D. Turner.  Seconded Ted Humphreys.  All for one abstention.

Tackle Masters Report

Published.  As usual ladders were missing.  Bob Cork said should we not have ladders but hire them from someone.  The meeting said no.  Struen said we should try non-compatible c. links.  Brian Prewer said this wouldn't work as MRD may need to mix club ladders on a rescue.  It was decided to try and ensure ladders are tagged and are logged out.  Proposed C. Batstone.  Seconded Greg Villis.  Carried Unanimously.

B.B. Editor

Dan Hasell said could we have more B.B's Nigel Taylor said that since Jingles had edited the B.B. it had been excellent.  He said cost meant we could only have a B.B. every 2 months plus if he had enough articles he could do a monthly one.  Proposed Nigel Taylor.  Seconded Rob Harper.  Carried Unanimously.  1 Abstention.

Treasurers Report - Blitz read it out.

Members said we should have remained in the BMC.  Dave Glover said now there was a joining fee plus about £3.50 per member per year fee. M. Grass suggested next years' committee look at rejoining if it is not to costly.  D. Turner had proposed this at the 1993 AGM.  It was agreed to continue.  The telephone was not making money and we were about £52 per year down. Mr. N. said should we charge MRO for some line rental.  M. Grass said no as this was our contribution to MRD.  It was agreed to not put up charges but to continue subsidising the line rental.

Dave Turner was told by the Chairman that he could make the final statement.  He said he had said enough.  £250 was given to Trebor for the publication of the Wigmore report. Trebor reported that it would be published within the next 2 months.

Oil and electricity after much discussion about heating costs, Jingles Proposed, Seconded Mac that next years' committee put a locked box over the frost stat to stop people turning up the heating mid week.  Keys to committee members.  Brian Prewer Proposed.  Seconded Nigel.  That we go to a cheap Electricity plan for nights and weekdays.  Brian had done this at the village hall.  He will advise next year’s committee.

R. Harper asked why we had spent so much on cleaning materials etc.  Blitz said the previous Hut Warden had not always accurately accounted for all cleaning product expense.

St. Cuthbert’s loans - Blitz said we had made a profit on hut fees and that we could pay off some of the pledge money.

Auditors Report

Barry Wilton reported that the accounts were becoming more complicated and 4 weeks was not long enough to audit the accounts by the AGM.  D. Turner proposed that next years' committee is instructed to look at a constitutional change to the financial year.  Seconded Mac: 0 Against: 4 abstentions.  Carried.

The auditor will audit the accounts and report back to the next committee meeting and they will be published in the B.B.

Ian Dear Memorial Fund Proposed

Report published in the B.B. Proposed Mac.  Seconded Jingles. 0 Against:  2 Abstention.  Carried.

Librarians Report

Dave asked for a membership list to be put in the library. Blitz asked if any books had gone missing. He said he knew of none.  Proposed Estelle.  Seconded Andy Cave.  1 Against. 1 Abstention.

St. Cuthbert’s report selling slowly but steadily.

Nigel Taylor Proposed. Seconded BEC committee that due to his support of the BEC member No.4 Dan Hasell is accepted as an Honorary Life Member.  All carried Unanimously.

Election of committee

Nigel Taylor, Chris Smart, Mike Wilson, Jingles, Jeff Price, Andy Cave *, Angie Cave *, Dick Fred *, Estelle Sandford, had all said they would like to stand. All were voted on, on block.

* those marked * are new to the committee.








Hon Sec

Nigel Taylor

D. Turner

A. Cave





Chris Smart


N. Taylor




Caving Sec.

Jeff Price


C. Batstone





Mike Wilson






Hut Warden

Angie Cave


Rob Harper




Hut Engineer

Andy Cave






Membership Sec

Dick Fred


Angie Cave






D. Turner





The meeting understand and agreed that Estelle would take over as assistant treasurer.

Non committee posts:




D. Turner

Alan Thomas

B. Wilton

B. Prewer

T. Humphries

C. Batstone


M. Gr4ass

D. Turner




Proposed: Jingles Seconded Blitz that the librarian is instructed to find out from the Archivist what archives we have and where they are kept.

M. Grass was given Hon. Membership for one year as acknowledgement of his services to the club. Proposed N. Taylor.  That club has a position of President.  Much conversation continued: 9 For: 15 Against: 0 Abstentions.  Not carried.

Proposed R. Harper. Seconded Nigel that we have a Member to Excess which can only be awarded by the AGM.  26 For: 1 Against: 1 Abstention.  The committee to be instructed to look at a suitable award.

Any Other Business

A          Report from BEC rescue team leader. Read out by the Chairman.  Blitz asked Brian Prewer to comment.  Brian said all real rescues are insured by police, now practices are also insured.  The practice organised by P. Romford was not OK'd by the BEC committee.  Mac said Phil's report was wrong in saying it was for experienced SRT cavers only.  Mac asked that it is minuted that Phil is an experienced caver and has a lot to offer.

Brian Prewer said that the original purpose of Club team leaders is that they are generally young members who hopefully will become MRO Wardens.

Andy Cave proposed a vote of censure of no confidence in the current team leader as there was a deliberate intent not to inform the Club of the practice. 20 For.  9 Abstention.  0 Against.

M. Grass proposed that the position reverts back to Caving Sec. to appoint team leaders as and when required.  Seconded Estelle.  25 For: 2 Against: 2 Abstention.  D. Turner proposed that the next committee are instructed to issue a set of guidelines for Practice Club rescues.  25 For: 0 Against: 1 Abstentions.

Nigel Taylor said Kevin Fisher who stole Trebor’s car had now admitted the crime and will probably receive a custodial sentence.

Blitz said do we need a full balance sheet or partial.  A partial one was a good idea.

Next years' dinner and AGM 7 October 1995.

Meeting Closed 1555 hours.

1994 BEC AGM Present

M. Grass, B. Cork, Jingles, Stuan, Helen Harper, Rob Harper, Estelle Sandford, Mike Wilson, Any Cave, Angie Cave, Hilary Wilson, Babs Williams, Pete Hellier, Kevin Gurmer, Dave Glover, Ruth Baxter, John Freeman, B.J. Wilton, Ted Humphreys, Chas, Nigel Taylor, Chris Batstone, Chris Smart, Dave Turner, S.J. McManus, Dan Hasell, B. Prewer, Greg Villas, Emma Porter, Nick Gymer, Dave Ball, Rich Long.

Late Arrival, John Buxton.


The Case of the Corduroy Trouser

by Dave Irwin

Investigation Into the history of cave exploration can lead the speleological researcher into many unexpected dele avenues.  None more so than the 'Case of the Corduroy Trouser.' To lay the least this is the most unusual the writer has yet come across to establish the date of cave

The standard references to this cave all imply that interest in Lamb Leer Cavern waned after Beaumont's initial exploration.  Though 18th century county historians knew of the site none had visited it and the information they gave came from Lowthorpe's, 1705 edition of the Royal Society's Philosophical Transactions and Collections, 1700. 1 By 1823 both Conybeare and Buckland commented that the cave was no longer open and by 1868, Woodward wrote that the location of the entrance had been lost and even the local inhabitants of the Harptree villages did not know of the cave's existence. 2 3 The train of events that followed the original exploration and mining activity in the cave, during the period 1675 - 1680, is one of great interest.  If the cave was not accessible in the 1820s when was it last visited?  A chance remark by the mining 'Captain' during the visit to the cave in July 1880 gives a clue to the answer.

The twenty-five year old John Beaumont of Ston Easton, near Chewton Mendip, first explored the cave about 1675 and fortunately he wrote of his experiences in the publications of the Royal Society 4 leaving detailed accounts of the cave including his study of the stalactite formations and the crinoid fossils that abound at the site. In addition to his descriptions he outlined his activities during his search for galena in the Main Chamber. He excavated a high rift passage. Beamnont's Drive. leading to what is now known today as the Cave of the Falling Waters.  The clay deposits also interested him as the red ochre mud was of use to him in his medical practice.

1                    Lowthorpe, J., 1705. Philosophical Transactions & Collections. To the End of ... 1100. Abridg'd, Vo1.2, 369-370. [Other editions published 1716, 1722 and 1731]

2                    Woodward, Horace B., 1876, Geology of East Somerset and the Bristol Coal-fields.  Memoirs of the Geological Survey. London. x + 271pp, maps :

p. 187-189- descriptive summary of caves at Westbury [ Bristol]. Durdham Down: Clifton ­Ghyston's or Giant's cave; Lamb Cavern, near East Harptree

 ... The lamb Cavern was a very lofty and spacious vault containing stalactites. The descent to it was by a shaft 70 fathoms deep.

No knowledge of it was possessed by any inhabitants of whom I inquired in 1868.  Messrs Buckland and Conybeare write in 1823, “1t is not now open, but appears from the description of it given in MATON'S WESTERN TOUR (see vol. ii p. 132) to be rather an old mine than a natural cave. 8 ... '

3                    Maton, William G., 1797, Observations relative chiefly to the Natural History ... of the Western Counties of England ... Salisbury: J. Sutton. 2 Volumes.

4                    The references and transcripts of the Beaumont papers are fuRly discussed in Shaw, T.R., 1962, Lamb Leer in the 17th Century.  UBSS Proceedings, Volume 9, No.3, pp.183-187

The limited value to the miners caused the site to be abandoned - hence its name - a Leer - an open cavity that was empty of ore.  During the next century the cave was often referred to by topographical writers, though most appeared not to have visited the site but simply plagiarised material from earlier writers.  At least one thought it to be an old mine.  Benjamin Martin, in his book.  The Natural History of Somerset, 5 included an erroneous transcript of Beaumont's account based on the abridged reprint of the Royal Society Philosophical Transactions and Collections, published various editions between 1705 and 1731.  Martin was not alone.  Collinson 6 and Woodward both state that the entrance shaft is 70 fathoms deep - a typographical error - the actual depth of the shaft was 70 feet. 7

At the time Woodward was preparing his book on the coalfields of East Somerset and Bristol, published in 1876 the mining company Bolton and Partners 8 took a lease from the Waldegrave Estates.  Between 1873 and c. 1886, extending from Compton Martin to Chewton Mendip in the hope that they might revive the flagging Mendip industry.  On Lamb Hill they set their operations in the search for iron ore, miners were employed under the experience of, Captain' Nicholls and his team.  During this time Bolton became aware of Beaumont's account of a great cavern in the vicinity and after careful research they unearthed his 17th accounts of the cave.  The detail they had available to them was vague and as Woodward had stated, local information would be of little help.  In 1879 the company decided that it would repay them to concentrate on the relocation of the cave and excavations began.  However by the autumn little progress had been made and hopes of finding the cave were wilting.  A shareholder in the Bolton Company, one Charles Algernon Moreing visited the workings becoming interested in the lost cavern.  Winter was now upon them but Moreing swotted the subject but gained nothing new that was not already known about the cave.  In the spring and early summer months Nicholls and his men continued searching encouraged by the reward of £2 and 3 shillings a day for the man who re-entered the cave - not as Balch claims in his well-known books that it was Waldegrave Estates who had offered £100 as a reward for the caves re-discovery.  Drilling and excavating continued apace hut again to no avail.  However, according to one of the miners working at the site, Andrew Lyon, one of the miners working at the site had had a grandfather who had told him of the location of the cave entrance.  Whether this is true or mere fabrication we shall never know but during June, 1879, a shaft had been sunk and at the depth of about 60ft found a hole that led them into a parallel shaft- known today as the Beaumont Shaft.  They had found the entrance passages to the cave. The Wells Journal and other local newspapers published an account of the re-discovery alerting the mining expert James McMurtrie to their discovery.  In addition to his responsibilities to the coal mines of the Radstock area, McMurtrie was also Agent for the Waldegrave Estates and one of his responsibilities was to ensure that the mining activity did not interfere with the other interests of the landowner, Earl Waldegrave.

This note has been re-printed from the latest newsletter of the BCRA Special Interest Group's Newsletter No.6 (with permission).

Many readers of the BB may not have heard of these specialist groups that cater for cavers interested in Communications, surveying, hydrology, explosives and Speleo-history.  Membership of the groups is open to all cavers including non-BCRA members.  There is a subscription differential of about 30% for non-members.  Further information can be obtained from Bryan Ellis, 20 Woodland Ave., Westonzoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset. TA7 0LQ Tel.: (0278) 691539

5                    Martin, Benjamin, 1759.  The Natural History of Somersetshire. Pub: W. Owen, London.  (The section given is from a collection of county descriptions published under the collective title of The Natural History of England: or, a description of each particular county. in regard to the curious productions of nature and art. For fun details refer to tv1endip Cave Bibliography. Part II, Books, Pamphlets. Manuscripts and Maps. 3rd Century to December 1968 by T.R. Shaw.  Pub.: Transactions of Cave Research Group of Great Britain, Vol. 14 No.3, July 1972 ~tem number 495]

Re-exploration of the cave took place.  A winch was installed at the entrance together with a wooden ladder.  At the top of the pitch into the Main Chamber, a pulley system was installed enabling a team of about five men to control to paying out of the rope at the top lowering the visitor down the 70ft pitch.  One has only to reflect on their difficulties; indeed not only these men but the achievement on the young John Beaumont. None of these men had the advantage of approaching the top of the pitch into the Main Chamber by creeping under the aragonite floor.  The approach was over the top through the awkward hole that would cause problems for today's SRT or laddering experts.

The Bath Field Club 9 heard or read of the re-discovery and applied to be able to visit the cave. So, within a month of the caves' rediscovery, they paid a visit on July 13th. 1880.  It was also to be James McMurtie’s first visit to the cave. Prior to the descent of the cave Nicholls outlined the work involved in the relocating of the cave - in fact some 37 borings had been made - indicating the considerable effort afforded by him and his men.  Nicholls stated that one of the first points of interest he noted was the mark of a corduroy trouser in the mud.  This then was the all important clue to when the cave was last visited.  When did men begin wearing trousers made of the corduroy weave.  Some searching took place and eventually with the help of individuals associated with the Wells Museum, it transpired that the weave had been invented in 1789 and was patented in 1795.  Here was the all important answer.  For it meant that the entrance to the cave was accessible in the post-1795 period.  For manufacture and marketing of trousers made of this material would have taken some time to become readily available in the clothing outlets and implies that the cave was still open, probably as late as 1800.  Thus the comment that the entrance was no longer open in 1873 meant that the site was sealed within the first two decades of the 19th century.  The lack of interest in the cave from the date actually coincides with the down-turn in mining activity on Mendip during the early 19th century and this may well have been the cause of the entrance slumping and eventually becoming blocked.  The Speleo-historian has to question every little statement and leave nothing to chance. Such is life!

6                    Colinson, John, 1791, The History and Antiquities of the County of Somerset, ... Bath: R. Cruttwell, 3 volumes. [Lamb Leer reference Vol 3, page 587]

7                    Balch also used this erroneous transcript, refer to

Balch, H.E., 1937, Mendip. Its Swallet Caves ... , Wells, Clare, Son & Co., ltd. p.74-75. [19.(8 2nd edition, London: Simpkin, Marshall, (1941) Ltd. p.38-39]

8                    The company underwent several name changes during its activities on Mendip.

9                    Anon, 1881, Secretaries Notes and Excursion Report. Proceedings of the Bath Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club, Vol. 4, p. 363-365 and 316-382



BFPO 344

At Sea - Off West Falkland

16 March 1994

I am currently serving onboard HMS NORFOLK.  One of the Royal Navy’s Type 23 Frigates.  During our South Atlantic patrol we visited Punta Arenas in Chile for a short stand off.

In the course of this visit I was able to take a two day expedition to the Torres del Paine National Park, an area of outstanding natural beauty the Patagonian Andes (famous world-wide for the imposing Towers which the park its name).

During the visit to the park I made a brief visit to the Cueva del Milodon (Caves of Milodon) a show cave which I found to contain a number of fascinating speleological features.

The cave was formed by the erosive action of glacial melt-water on the conglomerate which forms the side wall of a deep U-shaped glacial valley.

As shown on the sketch map below the cave is situated on the side wall of the valley at the point where the glacier snout formed the terminal moraines.  The entrance is about 100 m across and about 30 m high.  The cave floor rises at an angle of about is degrees and two distinct "bedding planes can be seen.  The outermost being the lower (and presumably the more recent watercourse).  Both bedding planes are now choked with loose boulders.   The inner section of the cave is filled with a fine glacial silt which still bears the traces of Ion Age habitation in the form of hut foundations.

Unfortunately the caves touristic value has been 'enhanced' by the addition of a ten foot high fibre-glass Milodon (a prehistoric bear) which has become the focus of the cave with little in the wav of speleological explanation being available from the park wardens.

The cave ceiling has a number of eroded formations.  Most of which have been badly damaged by the smoke from the fires of the caves early inhabitants.

Sketch showing the general topography of the valley.


Sketch of plan and elevation views of cave




Caving In The Falkland Islands

On Saturday 23 April a team of six cavers from HMS NORFOLK conducted a reconnaissance expedition to the Paloma Sand Beach area of East Falkland.

This area is reputed by local legend to have been the hideout for eighteenth century smugglers and as such is well recognised to have a number of caves.

Paloma beach is a remote bay located at the North-westerly extremity of East Falkland (position South 51,25,40 West 059,01,30).  Bordered by sandstone and shale cliffs on both sides the beach is a flat expanse of white sand stretching for 3 km (see map).

Locally obtained information suggested the presence of at least one cave entrance in the rocky outcrop at the centre of the bay.

Using the ship's Linx helicopter (361, Pilot Duncan Matthews, Observer Sean Rowley), an aerial reconnaissance of the cliffs surrounding the bay was undertaken; a number of small cave entrances were noted along the base of the cliffs, but unfortunately time and tide did not allow for these to be explored.

After landing on the beach a search was made of the outcrop; two caves were identified.  One cave fitted obtained from the locals of a cave known locally as Beach Cave, the other cave was later established to central rocky the descriptions Paloma Sand be a new discovery.

Geological Features

The rock in the area is a metamorphic sandstone with a very high silica content (a full geological analysis of specimens taken by the expedition is currently awaited).

Paloma Sand Beach Cave

The cave entrance is an angled rift which slopes at about 45 degrees for a distance of 25 meters into a thirty meter bedding plane.


New Cave (named Sandy Hole by the expedition).

The cave entrance is a small (1 x 0.75 meter) opening in the left hand side of the rocky outcrop at the centre of the beach.  The cave consists of a single passageway which slopes down at an angle of 30 degrees for 25 meters.  The cave is partially filled with wind blown sand.





Although it is unlikely that any major speleological challenges visited are certainly of geological of a visit by cavers who find themselves

Permission to visit the caves should be sought from the landowners at San Carlos Settlement.

Andrew Newton
Duncan Matthews
Sean Rowley
Andy Whitehouse
Jan Portwood
Garry Langler






In February '94, I was fortunate enough to spend a month in Meghalaya, North East India, with seven other cavers.  After several days spent negotiating restricted area permits and establishing where we could and could not visit we decided to explore in three main areas. Firstly Cherrapunjee / Mawsynram (East Khasi Hills), secondly Siju (South Garo Hills) and lastly Balpakram (South Garo Hills).  It was also decided to separate into two teams of four; this would help with the logistics of transport and give us more freedom to cover our chosen areas.

17th. Feb.

The sun was already well up when our two jeeps set off from Lower Siju to Baghmara on route to Balpakram.  We were leaving Siju a day earlier than had been planned due to a collapsed bridge on our route (most bridges in Meghalaya are not recommended for those with a nervous disposition or any imagination).  The bridge over the Chibe Nala ( Chihe River), a complex of latticed timbers, could still be crossed on foot by balancing on remaining beams.  However, the jeeps had to ford the river.  We had heard reports that upstream of the bridge were two caves, so having crossed the river we set off up a 'seriously' rutted track to investigate. Four kilometres of bone jarring, body bruising travel brought us to a point where the other team could walk in to their site.  Unfortunately we had another four kilometres to drive before we could escape the ordeal of off road travel.  At the end of the track we arrived at the village of Nengkong and before we had time to extricate our battered dusty selves from the jeep we were surrounded by dozens of villagers all eager to see and maybe touch the strangers in their midst.  It appears that we were the first Europeans to have visited the village in living memory and the eight kilometres we had travelled from the road had, somehow, changed us from interesting curiosities to very important people.

Despite our desire to get changed and head off to explore caverns measureless etc., we had to observe the rituals of social niceties.  A meeting with Hemason M. Sangma, the village head man (Noc-Ma), regarding the caves, involved several glasses of tea and offers of beetle nut. Eventually it was agreed that the Noc-Ma would lead us up river to the cave.  The walk-in takes about an hour, the route at first crosses paddy fields and then enters the jungle following the Chibe Nala gorge.  The Noc-Ma, a short wiry man dressed in flip flops, shapeless trousers rolled up to the knees, ill fitting jacket and carrying an ancient single barrel shot gun tied to a piece of string over his shoulder, lead us up the river.  We followed over large banks of sand and shingle, the river soon narrowing into a gorge, its steep, craggy, limestone walls, jungle clad, alive with birds and monkeys.  We passed two hot springs (32 and 35 degrees Celsius) before the river became a succession of isolated pools as it started to play that exciting game of hide and seek that quickens the pulse of any cave explorer.  Eventually we arrived at a spectacular stretch of the Chibe Nala, the river here runs in a series of deep, blue-green pools, liberally decorated with huge blocks of limestone and pure white sand banks.  The eastern side of the gorge consists of massive slabs of rock rising almost vertically and set with impenetrable jungle; the western side is a continuous wall of rock in which the almost round 'Hobbit’ hole entrance of Tetengkol is to be found.

TETENGKOL : Alternatively interpreted as " Dwarf Cave", " Earth Spirit Cave" or " Elf Cave".

At the entrance we hurriedly kitted up and as I was ready first I rushed in to have a quick look around. The entrance passage, clean washed, finely scalloped and approximately 1.6 by 1m reached a small stream after about 10m.  I set off upstream in slightly larger passage traversing about 150m of joint controlled development, stopping when it diminished to less than 1 m high, then rushing back to meet the others.  On my return the rest of the team had not arrived so I pushed on downstream.  The passage runs almost parallel to the Chibe Nala, slowly diminishing in size, until after 130m, I, having been reduced to flat out crawling in the stream, returned.  When I met Jenny, Shoon and Daniel, they were already busy with the survey and as there was not enough room for more than three to work I went off to push the upstream passage.  Passing several side passages I soon arrived at the previous limit and pausing just long enough to check on the local young man who decided to accompany me (dressed in white shirt, slacks, slip on shoes and no light) we pushed on.  Some twenty or thirty metres of stooping later, the passage began to enlarge and we were soon trolling along a two metre tube. This fine passage ended suddenly at a junction with a superb river-passage ( Brook Street).  This jocking piece of cave, 8 to 10m high and 5m wide zoomed off into the darkness. Now completely gripped with exploration fever I rushed up stream, closely followed by my loyal companion whose lack of light and inappropriate clothing seemed to present no problem. We covered about half a kilometre, passing many side passages, some of them beautiful 3m tubes.  Deep pools had developed wherever the passage changed direction and it was while negotiating one of these that I decided that we ought to go back and let the others into the good news.  My companion (standing chest. deep in water, broad grin splitting his face) was still keen to go on but I could not wait to share this exploration with the rest of the team.  On returning and passing on the news, we all had to keep our exploration fever under control while we got down to surveying the complexities of the entrance series (Daniel's Topo Teaser Series).  Slowly, leg by leg, the survey progressed up to the point already reached.  Jenny, who was now scouting ahead reported that 30 or 40m ahead the passage ended at a 6m waterfall which had a big black space above it. At the base of the fall a break was taken to allow for lamp "fettling", survey leg additions, Bombay mix consumption and any other of those underground rituals cavers get up to. During the break I tried to climb up to the higher level.  Having negotiated a route I found myself in a very large chamber (The Planetarium) some 60m long, 30m wide and 30m high.  With a quick shout over my shoulder of "I'm up", I gave in to exploration madness and set off across the chaotic mass of boulders which was the chamber floor.  The boulder pile proved to be "interesting", for at one point whilst descending the unstable 50 degree slope I found myself "surfing" a table sized slab into the unknown.  On the far side of the chamber a huge passage ( Upper Brooks Street) 20m wide and 10m high curved away into the distance, this was followed for about 60m before a return was made.  The cave was surveyed to just beyond this point, before, with great reluctance, we had to return to the entrance.  The only way we could bring ourselves to leave such impressive ongoing passage was to keep telling each other that we would return the next day.

The journey out of the cave and back to the village passed in a euphoric haze, dreaming of caverns as yet unseen.  The excitement however was not over for the day, as on our return to the village we were to be treated as honoured guests and invited to eat at the home of the Noc-Ma. After a superb meal, lots of tea and several Biries (a small cigar, hand made out of Birie leaves with dubious effects) we were ready to leave.  As it was now late and we had 8 kilometres off road and 20 kilometres of appalling road to drive before we could sleep, we were keen to be going, but, the Noc-Ma had other ideas.  Apparently one of the village hunters had just returned with a Barking Deer and we, as honoured guests, must have a share of the kill.  Simon and I were taken to a house where the deer was skinned and jointed using nothing but a razor blade and an old bamboo knife.  Later, after shaking hands (yet again) with what seemed like the population of a medium sized city we set off, very tired, very happy and with about 2 kilos of fresh meat.

18th. Feb.

After an all too short night (at the Circuit House in Backmara) and a breakfast of Puries and Channa Dhal we were again heading for Nengkong.  The twenty eight kilometre journey was uneventful but: uncomfortable and by mid morning we were engaged in the elaborate game of trying to change in front of 30 or 40 villagers who were all desperate to find out if we were white all over.  During these gymnastics we were in conversation with the Noc-Ma who gave us information regarding other caves in the area: - Matchakol ( Tiger Cave), Balwakol ( Wind Cave), Dobhakol ( Bat Cave) and Matrongkol ( Goat Cave).  Resisting the temptation to rush off and examine the new leads, we returned to Tetengkol.  On entering the system Simon and I set off to have a quick look at some of the side passages leading off Brooks Street.  Taking separate routes Simon and I met in a series of large passages and breakdown chambers running parallel to the streamway.  We were soon back in Brooks Street with the rest of the team and heading for the previous days limit.  As we moved through the cave I remember thinking how quickly familiarity changes one's perception, the Planetarium which only yesterday had seemed awe inspiring was passed as “just" on the way to somewhere else.  The final survey station was reached and the now familiar sequence began, however I must admit that I find exploring and surveying at the same time very hard, to be on the end of a tape with unexplored passage calling you on is difficult to resist.  The ongoing passage was followed until it suddenly ended in a complex area of cross rifts and smaller passages.  We all set about looking for the way on, unfortunately many of the passages ended in "hanging death" boulder problems.  However Simon followed one through an area of breakdown to reach a clean washed vertical rift about 10m deep; having no rope we were unable to descend and had to reluctantly abandon this lead.  Whilst poking around above the rift 1 found a route through the boulders and after a short crawl entered another large chamber. Following one of the passages leading off of the chamber Daniel walked into a massive passage (Paula's Parallel Universe) running parallel to ( Upper Brooks Street).  We surveyed down this passage clicking off 30m legs until it bifurcated.  To the right was a smaller, clean washed and descending passage, to the left it continued large but partially choked with banks of sand.  We followed the left hand passage for a few metres until the in-fill forced us to crawl, leaving it ongoing, we returned to the junction.  The right hand route continued in fine style, passing one major junction and finally opening into an impressive chamber high in the roof of Brooks Street. Having no means of descending from this point we returned to the last junction and tried the alternative route, this led eventually to the Planetarium.  Time again was getting late and as an hour's walk down a jungle river in the dark is not a healthy pastime we had to start heading for the entrance.  As we were due to head for Balpakram the next day it was with great reluctance that we left the cave.

19th. 20th. 21st. 22nd. Feb.

The next four days were spent in the Balpakram area where our team was singularly unsuccessful in discovering significant new cave, despite close encounters with vanishing rivers, moving boulder chokes and large spiders.  However, that, as they say, is another story.

23 Feb.

We returned to Nengkong with the intention of staying in the village for the next few days thereby saving on travelling and having more time for caving.  The villagers were very pleased at our return and soon found us a place to sleep (the mustard seed store).  We soon dispensed with the necessary niceties (several glasses of tea and endless hand shakes) and were once again tramping up the Chibe Nala. This time we stopped to examine Matrongkol ( Goat Cave).  The entrance is to be found some 8m above the western bank of the river at the end of a rocky, jungle clad gully.  By the look of this gully a sizable stream must resurge in wet weather.  The walking sized entrance was found to be blowing a gale and was well decorated with dry calcite formations.  I followed the passage for about 40m to where it descended into what must be a sump in wet conditions.  I went for another 20m in sandy passage before deciding to postpone further exploration until I had more than a head torch.  We never got enough time to return and the picture of that ongoing passage lives on in my dream.

On our return to Tetengkol we first surveyed the maze of joint controlled passage in Daniel's Topo Teaser Series, before moving on to Brooks Street.  The next task was to examine the complex of un-entered passages running off the upper end of Paula's Parallel Universe.  On the way we decided to have a closer look at the passages running parallel to down stream Brooks Street, we quickly passed through the area already visited and dropped down through breakdown to a 2 by 3m ongoing passage.  This fine passage was followed until standing water was encountered; we pushed on in a deepening canal, when on rounding a bend we saw daylight through a wide arch.  This entrance fitted the description we had been given of Balwakol ( Wind Cave).  As this turned out to be the case, the complex of passages just traversed became known as the Balwakol Series.  Returning to Brooks Street, we paused only to climb into the two high breakdown chambers either side of the stream way (Toad Hall) and confirm that they closed down, before pushing on to our objective for the day.  From the head of Paula's Parallel Universe (P.P.D.) all of the large rift passages soon ended in massive boulder problems and although big black voids could be seen it proved impossible to reach them.  Next we turned our attention to a passage that Simon was keen to explore; it was a 4m tube entering P.P.D. 2m above a blue-green lake. Having gained entry we rushed off for about 60m to confirm it was "going", before returning to start surveying (Simon's Series).  The fine tube continued past inlets before becoming a wide bedding plane with an uncomfortable quantity of cobbles partially filling the passage.  After a few metres of crawling we entered a complex of high rift passages, mostly ending in the now all too familiar boulders. One rift however continued to where one huge boulder seemed to be blocking the passage, closer examination revealed a low space beneath the boulder.  It's amazing when passing a massive boulder with no visible means of support, how one can negotiate a 6m crawl without disturbing a pebble (or even breathing).  We were now at a T-junction- to the left was about 20m of fine cave to a partial calcite fill almost blocking the passage.  As further progress would have required "proper" caving, we tried the other direction.  This soon developed into a lovely little streamway (Hidden Streamway) about 3m high by 1m wide, waist height ledges well decorated with columns added to its appeal. We followed for about 120m until further progress would have required crawling before returning to Simon's Series to look at some of the wide open (walking sized) leads.  The first passage we tried soon became partially blocked with gravel reducing it to 1.5 by 3m.  Following gently down slope we encountered standing water and although the passage size remained the same the air space slowly diminished.  Expecting the passage to sump at any moment, I cautiously pushed on; after about 60m the air space had reduced to 10cm and I was about to give up when the roof started to rise.  Unfortunately it was only a junction chamber, to my left an uninviting passage lead back towards Simon's Series (later confirmed) and on the far side of a deep pool a low wide passage lead on.  Retuning through the low air space canal, my lamp started to play up.  Just when I was beginning to feel a little bit lonely, a VERY LARGE white fish, panicked by my presence, rushed straight at me like something out of "The Black Lagoon".  This generated some colourful expletives and a name for the passage (Brian's "biggest white fish ever" Passage).

Again time had beaten us so we returned to the village, happy that we still had more leads than you could throw a stick at.

24th. Feb.

The tasks for the day were to survey the Balwakol Series and to examine all the un-entered leads off Brooks Street.  The survey of Balwakol Series turned up two 'unnoticed passages.  One lead through a joint controlled maze to a fine passage ending in the roof of Daniel's Topo Teaser Series and the second one, discovered by Jenny, lead through a chamber, well decorated with multi-faceted calcite formations (Jenny's Jewel Box) to two other daylight entrances.  A low, wide passage, completely lined with sharp calcite crystals was found heading north from Jenny's Jewel Box but it was only pushed for 20 painful metres.

Having finished the survey of the Balwakol Series we moved up Brooks Street; several impressive inlets were entered, all, however, closed down within 30 or 40m.  One, uninspiring passage was entered and surprisingly went on to yield 200+ metres of new cave.  This passage (Hole in the Roof Passage) runs parallel to and in several places connecting with Brooks Street; it also possesses a frustratingly un-entered passage at the top of a smooth 4m aven.  Having surveyed all the new stuff we had again run out of time, without even going beyond the lower cave; we had, however, discovered over 500m of new cave.

25th. Feb.

We spent the day going to look at another cave Dobhakol, ( Bat Cave) further up the Chibe Nala.  The difficulty experienced in reaching this site led us with just enough time to survey the main passage. However, in the short time available, we did manage to clock up over 1.5 kilometres of new cave.

26th. Feb.

This was to be our last day in the Nengkong area, so despite many passages not pushed to conclusion in Tetengkol, we decided on the following plan: one, to try to descend the rift found by Simon, two, to tie up several survey loops in the upper end of the cave and three, to spend what remained of the day photographing the cave. We had just failed to achieve our first objective and were starting on our second when I looked under a low arch at the side of the passage, and there between easily movable boulders was a big black space.  Having dispatched the boulders and ascended an easy climb I found myself in another huge chamber (Brian's "I'm sorry I think I've found a way through the boulders" Series).  With the floor of this chamber consisting of huge slabs some 5m across and the roof a large unsupported malevolent presence, it is not surprising that conversations were carried out in whispers.  We commenced surveying the new-chamber but the sound of falling water enticed us into a side chamber where a small stream was found tumbling into a shaft which occupied most of the floor area.  Traversing around the unstable lip we entered a fine stream passage, this was followed passing several (un-entered) side passages for about 200m.  At this point the passage had diminished to a high, narrow, inclined rift, requiring sideways travel.  Just when we were about to give up we popped out at the base of a clean washed, elliptical shaft, its fluted walls rose sheer for at least 20 m, the stream reduced to fine spray by its fall from passages as yet unseen. Returning to the big chamber (Agoraphobia Chamber) we continued our survey only to be seduced yet again by the sound of a stream.  This time the stream passage only went for 30m to a wide, high rift, with the water cascading from an obvious large passage about 10m above. Completing the line survey of Agoraphobia Chamber we found ourselves in an impressive passage about 10 to 12m square, this was followed to where it split into several smaller passages, none of which were pushed to conclusion.  As we were fast running out of time and, as yet, had not taken a single photograph in the cave, we made the difficult decision to leave many ongoing passages unexplored.  We photographed back to the entrance wishing we had more time to do the job properly and it was with great reluctance that we finally left the cave.


Tetengkol is now the longest cave in the Indian subcontinent, having over 5 kilometres of surveyed passage, it has at least 27 ongoing leads so the possibility of doubling its length is quite high.

The Chibe Nala area also offers Matrongkol (not fully explored), Dobhakol (not fully explored), several cave entrances seen but not entered, a massive resurgence (not closely examined) and a 3 kilometre totally unexplored limestone gorge.  Needless to say, I for one wish to return.

Expedition members involved in the Tetengkol exploration were Jenny Brooks, Simon Brooks, Daniel Gehauer and Brian Johnson.

The other members of the Meghalaya '91 expedition were Tony Boycott, Helen Harper, Rob Harper and Chris Smart.


02 February to 02 March 1994:

Simon BROOKS, Tony BOYCOTT, Jennifer BROOKS, Herbert Daniel GEBAUER, Helen HARPER, Rob HARPER, Brian JOHNSON & Chris SMART












Alt +

State of mapping

Text print










Mahadeo Chirenkol


17.29 (-0.88, 16.41)







18.30 (-2.81. 15.54)







16.54 (0.00, 16.54)












Krem Phyllut


29.21 (-8.54,20.67)





Mawnluh-Aven (30,21)


11.42 (0.00, 11.42)





Mawnluh-b (598,35)


15.05 (-11.24, 3.l81)





Mawnluh-Fossil (265,82)


23.27 (-23.27, 0.00)





Adds to Mawnluh (3607,3)


Total length: 4501.7m












Bok Bak Dobhakol


31.64 )-13.74, 17.90)







14.66 (-3.73, 10.93)







45.32 (-0.51, 44.81)












Krem Dram


13.98 (-





Krem Phusjasim


13.82 (0.00, 13.82)





Krem Lumsymper


3.28 (-0.98, 2.30)












Shit Pot


18.49 (-18.49, 0.00)





Dobhakol-a (131,85)


1.80 (0.00, 1.80)





Dobhakol-b (517,57)


26.38 (-5.04, 21.34)





Dobhakol-c (49.24)


9.02 (-6.66, 2.36)





Adds to Dobhakol (2900)


Total length: 3198.8m














2.2 (-0.00, 2.2)














Metres surveyed length






Membership Matters!

Mem Sec:- Dick-Fred, Cheddar. Somerset.

When Jingles asked me to write this for the next issue of the B.B. I must admit I sat staring at an empty screen for a while.  Finally the words began to flow .......

Having recently taken over the job of Membership Secretary for the B.E.C. I suppose I ought to direct my comments in that direction.  Firstly I would like to thank Mr. N. for the job he has done over the past few years, he has managed to get the membership details in such a well organised state that has made it easy for me to slide gently into the role.

Then I would like to thank Jingles for actually having the patience and time to enter onto computer the complete list of paid up members as at the A.G.M. this year.

Now seems the time to remind the membership, myself included, that subs are due and to remind you that up to the 31st of December 1994 subs are £20 single, £30 joint. After that the subs rise to £24 single, £36 joint.

There is always a period of grace for those who do not pay their subs, as they will receive only one or two further B.B. 's after the start of the next year before they are then removed from the distribution list.  (This is normally at the discretion of the B.B. Editor and the Membership Secretary.)

On the following pages you will see the current membership list.  Inclusion on this list does not mean you have paid your subs!  If your details are wrong, or you know that somebody else's are wrong, please let me know.  I feel it is very important that your details are kept as up to date as possible and I will try to publish updates in every B.B.

Please send your subs and information to either the Belfry, for my attention, or my home address at the top of the page.

Ciao for now,



Bristol Exploration Club Membership List ’94 – ‘95

987 Dave Aubrey                       Salisbury, Wiltshire.
20 (L) Bobby Bagshaw               Knowle, Bristol, Avon
392 (L) Mike Baker                    Henton, Wells, Somerset
1150 David Ball                         ConeyHurst, Billinhurst, West Sussex.
1151 Ruth Baxter                      ConeyHurst, Billinhurst, West Sussex
1145 Roz Bateman                    East Harptree, Bristol Avon.
818 Chris Batsone                     Tynings, radstock, Avon
1079 Henry Bennett                   London.
390 (L) Joan Bennett                 Draycott, Somerset
1122 Clive Betts                        Clapham, Bedfordshire.
1125 Rich Blake                        Priddy, Somerset
731 Bob Bidmead                      West harptree, Bristol
364 (L) Pete Blogg                    Chaldon, Caterham, Surrey
1114 Pete Bolt                          Cardiff, S. Gamorgan
145 (L) Sybil Bowden-Lyle          Calne, Wiltshire
1104 Tony Boycott                    Westbury on Trim, Bristol, Avon
868 Dany Bradshaw                  Haybridge, Wells, Somerset
751 (L) T.A. Bookes                  London
1140 D Bromhead                     Worlse, Avon
1196 Dave Bryant                      Salford, Bristol, Avon
201 John Buxton                       Flitwick, Beds.
956 Ian Caldwell                        Redland, Bristol, Avon
1091 A Curruthers                     Whitehole Hill, Holcombe, Bath
1014 Chris Castle                      Axbridge, Somerset
902 L M Cavender                     Westbury-sub-Mendip, wells, Somerset.
1184 Sean Chaffey                    Banwell, Avon.
1197 John Christie                     Brompton, North Allerton, North Yorks
211 (L) Clare Coase                   Berkeley-Vale, New South Wales, 2259, Australia
620 Phil Coles                          Totterdown, Bristol
89 (L) Alfie Collins                     Draycott, Somerset
1175 Ali Cooper                        Goring on Thames, Treading, Berks
727 Bill Cooper                         Totterdown, Bristol
862 Bob Cork                            Pen Hill, Wells, Somerset
1062 (J) Andy Cave                   Priddy, Somerset
1142 (J) Ange Cave                   Priddy, Somerset
680 Bob Cross                          Knowle, Bristol
870 Gary Cullen                        Southwater, Nr Horsham, West Sussex.
1165 D Cunningham                  Windlock Beach, East Sussex.
405 (L) Frank Darbon                 British Columbia, Canada.
1166 Arron Davies                     Shepton Mallet, Somerset
1167 Malcolm Davies                 Shepton Mallet, Somerset
423 (L) Len Dawes                    Minster Matlock, Derbyshire
815 Nigel Dibden                       Holmes, Chapel, Cheshire
164 (L) Ken Dobbs                    Beacon Heath, Exeter, Devon
829 (L) Angie Dooley                 Harborne, Birmingham
710 (J) Colin Dooley                  Harborne, Birmingham
1000 (L) Roger Dors                  Priddy, Somerset
830 John Dukes                        Street, Somerset
322 (L) Bryan Ellis                     Westonzoyland, Bridgwater, Somerset
232 Chris Falshaw                     Crosspool, Sheffield
269 (L) Tom Fletcher                 Bramcote, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
404 (L) Albert Francis                Wells, Somerset
1159 John Freeman                   Upper Radford, Paulton, Bristol, Avon
1182 Alex Gee                          Swindon, Wilts
835 Len Gee                             St. Edgeley, Stockport, Cheshire
1098 Brian Gilbert                     Chingford, London
1069 (J) Angie Glanvill               Chard, Somerset
1017 (J) Peter Glanvill                Chard, Somerset
647 Dave Glover                        Basingstoke, Hampshire
790 (J) Martin Grass                  Wookey, Somerset
1009 Robin Gray                       Draycott, Somerset
1123 Ian Gregory                       Bedford
1089 Kevin Gurner                     Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex
1088 Nick Gymer                      Theydon Bois, Epping, Essex
104 (L) Mervyn Hannam             St Annes, Lancs
1156 Brian Hansford                  Weeke, Winchester, Hants
1186 (J) Helen Harper                Wells, Somerset
999 (J) Rob Harper                    Wells, Somerset
581 Chris Harvey                       Paulton, Somerset
4 (L) Dan Hassell                      Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset
1160 Nick Hawkes                    Nempnett Thrubwell, Chew Stoke, Bristol
1078 Mike Hearn                      
1117 Pete Hellier                       Nempnett Thrubwell, Chew Stoke, Bristol, Avon
974 Jeremy Henley                    Shepton Mallet, Somerset
952 Bob Hill                              PO Box 82, Sultanate of Oman
691 Dudley Herbert                   
1174 Kevin Hissey                     Twerton, Bath, Avon
905 Paul Hodgson                     Burcott, Wells, Somerset
923 Trevor Hughes                     Bleadney, Wells, Somerset
855 Ted Humphreys                  Wells, Somerset
73 Angus Innes                         Alveston, Bristol, Aven
540 (L) Dave Irwin                      Priddy, Somerset
922 Tony Jarratt                        Priddy, Somerset
668 Mike Jeanmaire                  Paek Forest, Buxton, Derbyshire
51 (L) A Johnson                       Flax Bourton, Bristol
995 Brian Johnson                     Ottery St. Mary, Devon
1111 Graham Johnson               Wells, Somerset
560 (L) Frank Jones                   Priddy, Somerset
567 (L) Alan Kennett                  Charlton Musgrove, Wincanton, Somerset
884 John King                           Wisborough Green, West Sussex
1105 Jo Hills                             Wisborough Green, West Sussex
316 (L) Kangy King                    Pucklechurch, Bristol, Aven
542 (L) Phil Kingston                 St. Mansfield, Brisbane, Queensland, 4122, Australia
413 (L) R. Kitchen                     Horrabridge, Yelverton, Devon
667 (L) Tim Large                      Shepton Mallet
1162 Joc Large                         Shepton Mallet
1171 Rich Lewis                        Weston-super-Mare, Avon
1129 Dave Lennard                   
1137 Bob Lewis                        Odd Down, Bath, Avon
1180 Rich Long                         Stoke St. Michael, Somerset
651 Pete MacNab (Sr)               Cheddar, Somerset
1052 (J) Pete MacNab (Jr)          Cheddar, Somerset
1071 Mike McDonald                 Knowle, Bristol, Avon
550 (L) R A MacGregor              Baughurst, Basingstoke, Hants
725 Stuart McManus                 Priddy, Somerset
558 (L) Tony Meaden                 Westbury, Bradford Abbas, Sherborne, Dorset
704 Dave Metcalfe                     Whitwick, Leicestershire
1044 Any Middleton                   Hardington-Mandeville, Somerset
1172 (J) Sean Morgan                Clevedon, Avon
1191 (J) Lorna Berrie                 Clevedon, Avon
1053 Steve Milner                      Broadview, S.A., Australia
1194 Nick Mitchell                     Ash, Aldershot, Hants.
1195 Struan McDonald              Waterbrook Mews, Devizes, Wilts
1183 Andy Newton                    Worle, WSM, Avon
936 Dave Nichols                      Camborne, Cornwall
396 (L) Mike Palmer                  Yarley, Wells, Somerset
1045 Rich Payne                       Orpington, Kent
22 (L) Les Peters                      Knowle Park, Bristol Avon
1134 Martin Peters                    Chew Stoke, Avon.
1107 Terry Phillips                     Denmead, Hants.
499 (L) A. Philpot                      Bishopston, Bristol, Avon
944 Steve Plumley                    Burrington, Bristol
337 Brian Prewer                       Priddy, Wells, Somerset
886 Jeff Price                            Knowle, Bristol, Avon
481 (L) John Ransom                 Patchway, Bristol, Avon
1126 Steve Redwood                 Draycott, Somerset
662 (J) John Riley                      Chapel le Dale, Ingleton, Via Carnforth, Lancs.
1033 (J) Sue Riley                     Chapel le Dale, Ingleton, Via Carnforth, Lancs
985 (J) Phil Romford                  Shepton Mallet, Somerset
986 (J) Lil Romford                    Shepton Mallet, Somerset
921 Pete Rose                          Crediton, Devon
240 (L) Alan Sandall                  Nailsea, Avon
359 (L) Carol Sandall                 Nailsea, Avon
1170 Andy Sanders                   Peasdown St. John, Bath, Avon
1173 Estelle Sandford                Wells, Somerset
1178 Ivan Sandford                   
237 (L) Bryan Scott                   St. Jean Cap, Ferrat 06230, Cote D’Azur, France
78 (L) R Setterington                 Taunton, Somerset
213 (L) Rod Setterington            Harpendon, Herts
1128 Vince Simmonds               Wells, Somerset
915 Chris Smart                        Nr. Bradford on Avon, Wilts
911 Jim Smart                          c/o The Belfry
1041 Laurence Smith                 Priddy
823 Andy Sparrow                     Priddy, Somerset
1 (L) Harry Stanbury                  Bude, Cornwall
1192 Carmen Smith                   Sherborne, Dorset
575 (L) Dermot Statham             Warkworth, Northumberland
365 (L) Roger Stenner                Weston super Mare, Avon
1084 Richard Stephens              Wookey, Somerset
1187 Mark Tanner                     Fishponds, Bristol, Avon
583 Derek Targett                      East Horrington, Wells Somerset
772 Nigel Taylor                        Langford, Avon
284 (L) Alan Thomas                 Priddy, Somerset
348 (L) D Thomas                      Bartlestree, Hereford
571 (L) N Thomas                      Salhouse, Norwich, Norfolk.
699 (J) Buckett Tilbury               High Wycombe, Bucks
700 (J) Anne Tilbury                   High Wycombe, Bucks
74 (L) Dizzie Thompsett-Clark    Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex
381 (L) Daphne Towler               Bognor Regis, Sussex
1177 C R Tozer                         Worle, W-S-M, Avon
382 Steve Tuck                         Dousland, Yelverton, Devon
1023 Matt Tuck                         Eastfield, Edingburgh.
678 Dave Turner                        Leigh on Mendip, Bath, Avon
912 John Turner                        Tavistock, Devon.
1154 Karen Turvey                     Welloington, Somerset.
635 (L) S. Tuttlebury                  Boundstone, Farnham, Surrey.
1096 Brian van Luipen                Wick, Littlehampton, West sussex
887 Greg Villis                          Weston super Mare, North Somerset
175 (L) D. Whaddon                  Taunton, Somerset.
949 (J) John Watson                  Wells, Somerset
1019 (J) Lavinia Watson             Wells, Somerset
973 James Wells                      Loisville, Kentucky, USA
1055 Oliver Wells                      Yorktown Heights, New York, USA
1185 Chas Wethered                 Welling, Kent.
1118 Carol White                      Castlehead, Pately Bridge, N. Yorks.
1092 Babs Williams                  Knowle, Bristol, Avon
1068 John Whiteley                   Heathfiled, Newton Abbot, S. Devon.
1087 John Williams                   W-S-M, Avon
1146 Les Williams                    
1075 Tony Williams                   Temple Cloud, Bristol, Avon.
1164 (J) Hilary Wilson                Keynsham, Avon
1130 (J) Mike Wilson (snr)         Keynsham, Avon
1153 Mike Wilson (jnr)               Whitchurch, Bristol
559 (J) Barrie Wilton                  Haydon, Nr. Wells, Somerset
568 (J) Brenda Wilton                Haydon, Nr. Wells, Somerset
721 G Wilton-Jones                   Watton, Thetford, Norfolk
914 Brian Workman                   Catcott, Bridgwater, Somerset
477 Ronald Wyncoll                  Holycroft, Hinkley, Leics.
683 Dave Yeandle                     Greenbank, Eastville, Bristol.
1169 Chris York                        Kettering, Northants


Alternative Glossary Of Caving, Mining & Underground Rescue Terms

ABSEIL                                    Hand & bollock warming technique

ADIT                                        Smug look on caver's face on Sunday morning

ANCHOR                                  Act of fancying a Casualty Bag (see below)

AMMO BOXES                         Large cigarette carriers

ASCENDER.                            Opposite to Headender

AVEN                                      Light-swallowing phenomena which goes nowhere

BANDMASK                             Hi-tec euthanasia device

BATTERY BELT                        Technical term for switching on light

BEDDING PLANE                     Conjugal accommodation for dwarfs

BELAY                                     What students hang their tackle on having previously ascertained its instability

BELAY BELT                            The act of kicking a belay to check its strength

BLACKDAMP                           Found on inside walls of caving huts.

BLUEWATER                           Only thing certain Cave Divers will be seen in

BODY HARNESS                     Used to remain upright at bar

BOLT                                       As in "Last Orders!"

BOULDER CHOKE                   Any inorganic matter rammed & tamped into inquisitive reporters oesophagus

CARBIDE LAMP                       Device used to extract jammed cavers

CARRYING SHEET                   What you have to do when its your turn to empty the Elsan

CARTGATE                              Rustic door

CASUALTY BAG                      CRO groupie

CAVE                                      Something not to be seen dead in

CAVE DIVER                            Something not to be seen alive in

CAVERN                                  Posh name to rhyme with "Tavern" in caving songs

CEAG                                      Celebrated Electrical Activity Generator

CHAMBER                               Receptacle in which to store spectacles, teeth, spare d iced carrot, etc under bed

CHEST HARNESS                    Ring Miss Smotherem for details

CHIMNEY                                 Play equipment for cavers supplied in most pubs

CHOKE                                    Realisation that its your round

C-LINKS                                   What walls hold up

CLINT                                       Ethnic Yorkshire ankle-breaker

CLOG                                      Anti-squitter medicine

COE                                        Pratt in running shorts

COFFIN LEVEL                        Scale of noise made by smoking cavers

CONTROLLER                          Receptacle for abuse, car keys, reporters bribes, etc

COW'S TAIL                             Grip for use whilst keeping arm warm in bovine heat-pack

CRAWL                                    Saturday night auto-pilot

CROSS CUT                             Very annoyed bleeder

CURTAIN                                  Device to prevent Constabulary observing after-hours activities

D-RING                                    Noise D-phone makes

DEADS                                    Retired Controllers

DESCENDER                           Person sending letter from .Jamaica

DOLINE                                    Queue at DHSS Off ice

DRAG SHEET                          Crap found in bottom of Mexican stretcher

DRIFT                                      Course brain steers on Saturday evening

DRY SUIT                                 Clothing for first 10 minutes in bar

DUCK                                      Sheep substitute

EDGE ROLLER                        Go-faster device for lowering stretcher

ELECTRON LADDER                Detumescent ascending device

EXIDE                                      Elephant's-foot waste paper basket

EXPOSURE BAG                      Heat-pack with big tits

FAULT                                     Something a Controller never, ever has

FIREDAMP                               Found in cavers sleeping bags

FIGURE OF 8 DESCENDER      Large bottle opener

FLAT                                        Pre-pubescent female speleologist

FLUORESCENCE                     Adrenaline rush induced by realisation that you forgot to ring the Weather

FLOWSTONE                           Whiteboard for caver’s graffiti

FLOURESCEIN                         St. Patrick’s Day Guinness dye

FLYGT                                     Service offered on Soho notice boards

FOREFIELD                             Just behind the foreshore in the Goddam Isles

FORMATION                            Underground clothes pegs

FURRY SUIT                            Last year's club dinner suit Centre

GALENA                                  Irish ABLJ filling

GATE                                       Part of dry-stone wall to avoid

GINGING                                  What the Gang do with their Goolies

GROTTO                                  Disreputable Spanish caver

GROVE or GROOVE Caver listens to "Leonard Cohen sings AC/DC"

HADE                                      What Goon keeps falling on

HAND JAMMER                        Person who runs out of Andrex

HANGER                                  Irate Hut Warden

HARNESS                                Fluorescent purple/green Petzl truss

HEADING                                 Bit at the bottom of rescue report in

HILLOCKS/HILLOCKING            Guardian misprint

KARABlNER                             West Indian jet-setter

KARST                                     Term used to describe limestone area when applying for grant for foreign holiday/booze-up

KEYHOLE PASSAGE               Double-deck passage - lower level for Wessex

KIBBLE                                    80g food

KRAB                                      Krustacian

LEG LOOPS                             For use in cases of extreme constipation

LEVEL                                     Most East Anglian caves

LIFELINE                                  A four- pack carry-out during rescue

LITTER                                     What you put rubbish cavers on

LITTLE DRAGON                      Opposite to Fucking Big Aardvark

MAILLON RAPIDE                    Device for slowing down rigging

MASTER CAVE                       Any NHASA-found cave over 2' high

MOLEFONE                             What Jasper Carrot should have had

NElL ROBERTSON                   Inventor by Appointment to Spanish Inquisition

NICAD LAMP                            Hidden bit of an FX2

OGOFONE                               Downstream from Ogoftwo

OLDHAM                                  Book vendor from the wilds of Wales

OLD MAN                                 Anyone who remembers the Swildon's Forty

OPEN                                      Passage that someone else always finds

OPEN RAKE                            What Vietnamese do - Open rakeaway

OX-BOW                                  Humane killer for club barbecues

PARAGUARD STRETCHER       Pretty stretcher for use when TV cameras

PETZL                                      French manufacturer of bespoke bondage gear

PIPE or PIPE VEIN                   Where cavers store exotic vegetation

PITCH                                      Always lacking in singing cavers

PITON                                      Recycled cut-down hangers

POT                                         Most important caving accessory

POTHOLE                                Groove worn in bar counter

PRUSIK                                   Heaven for rope fetishists

RACK                                      Wessex ladder

RAKE                                      Shit-stirring at committee meeting

RAFPEL                                   Frenchman with hot hands & bollocks

RESURGENCE                         Wrong end of Swildons

RIG                                          Dave Irwin (Wig) in China

RISE                                        That early morning feeling

RISING                                     What a gentleman cavers does before 4 pm

ROCKET TUBE                         Bit they kick you up when you get a rocket

ROOF TUBE                             Concrete tube sticking into dig

ROPE WALKER                       Twatt with big boots at pitch head

RUCKLE                                  Crowded bar

SERIES                                   What happens when Sid Perou makes a half hour film which runs for 105 minutes

SHAFT                                     Saturday night horizontal clogg dancing

SHAKE or SHAKEHOLE           Farmers waste bin

SHUNT                                     Wizard prang chaps

SINK or SINKHOLE                   Diced carrot & tomato skin receptacle

SHUNT                                     What happens if you puke whilst pissing in bath

SIT HARNESS                          Truss designed by Barbara Woodhouse

SKED                                      Decoration with in Y fronts

SLING                                      What to do with hook after farting in pub

SOLE                                       Arse

SOUGH                                    Flat wet bit of mine

SPAR                                      Late Nite pie & booze vendor

SPREADER                             Conjugal stemple

SQUEEZE                                Bit of cave that keeps shrinking

SRT                                         Sexual Relief Technique

SRT HARNESS                        Rubber band and pipe cleaner

SRT RIG                                   Rubber band and pipe cleaner with feather

STARDRILL                              Famous divers parade for the Media

STEMPLE                                Conjugal knee stretcher

STITCH PLATE                         Used by students as pulley

STOP (PETZL)                          Heartfelt plea by other equipment manufacturers

STOPE                                    Olde Englishe for above

STRIKE                                    Geological feature that buggers up cave passage

SUMP                                      No room for any more beer

SURVEY                                  Caving very, very slowly

SWALLET                                Baby swallow

SWALLOW                              At least 9 pints

SYSTEM                                  Any NHASA dig over 50’ long

TACKLE                                   Any important equipment - as in Wedding Tackle

TAILINGS                                 Bits left in trap when mouse gets away

TALKING ROPE                        Warning you've had too much Strong Ale

TAPE                                       Flat string

TETHER                                   Bit that Controllers are always at end of

TIRFOR                                    Stretching device for trapped cavers

TRAVERSE                              Wasting time at top of pitch

TROLL                                     Wessex member

TUBE                                       Shaft lying on its side

VADOSE TRENCH                    Scar left by burst vadose veins

VEIN                                        Famous caver/diver

WARDEN                                 Failed rat-catcher and lobotomized caver

WATER GATE                          Flat bit of water over sump with no key hole

WATER TABLE                        Theory without a leg to stand on

WAY BOARD                           Committee of cavers who decide on dig's direction

WETSUIT                                 Drinking kit at end of evening



Snab has recently come into possession of some 600 odd buckets!!  All these buckets have a hole drilled in the bottom of them (Dear Liza Dear Liza ... ) and there is in fact a Bona Fide reason for this.  If anyone knows the true reason for this they can tell Snab and he might buy them a pint, although he is far more likely to have a two word conversation the second word being ‘off!’

The competition prize, however, will go to the most original, inane, insane, inventive, innovative, idiotic, idiosyncratic or incredible idea for possible usage of aforementioned articles (not necessarily all 600 at once).  Anyone daft enough to want to enter should post their entries to the editor (address inside front page) to arrive no later than January 31st 1995. Winner of the 'Mystery Prize' will be chosen at the editor's discretion (though some would say there is nothing discreet about your beloved editor).

Also on the following page is a crossword compiled by Angie Cave.  The first person to get a correct solution to Angie or Jingles will win one of Snabs Buckets and if they are lucky a free pint!  (Wow ... how can you resist such an offer.)

Crossword on Next Page



2          (&3) UDDER [3,4]

3          THE ENTIRE CAVE WE HEAR. [4]

6          (& 38) BLACKHEAD?  NO. THE REVERSE [5,3]

7          SEE 41A

8          (&3) TRENCH [8,4]

11         CALL YOURSELF A CAVER? [3,6,9]

12         PURE CAVER?  [6]

13         (& 35A) GUANO [3,8]

14         (&3) EARTH [5,4]

16         SEE 41A

18         GOES INTO GROTTO, RIGHT? [5]

20         SEE 32A

22         (&33D) A SORT OF NOVICE? [8,4]

24         (&3) DISOWNS, BUT LEFT INSIDE [8,4]

26         SEE 41A

29         SEE 17D

32         (& 20A, 37A) 20 PAST 11 [8,2,4]


35         SEE 13A

37         SEE 32A

39         SEE 41A


41         (&7A, 39A) GO IN 3 DIRECTIONS BEFORE PUB [3,3,3]

            (&16A, 26A) SHOT OF THE BATS HERE FIRST

            (&15D, 38D) ASK THIN PETE IF IT’S OK TO CAMP HERE [3,5,3]

42         3 IF YOU’VE GOT THE RUNS? [7,4]

43         3 THAT YOU SEE IN 42 AFTER 32? [4]




4   CHINA SEA? [9]

5   SEE 11A



10  (&3) WHICH 3 DID YOU SAY? [6,4]


15  SEE 41A


19  SEE 36D

21  SEE 8D

23  SINK 3 [7]

25  SEE 30D



30 (&25D, 3) ‘E GOT NO EARS APPARENTLY [5,5,4]

31 (&3) 3+13D=) 31DE+3 PERHAPS [7,4]

33  SEE 22A

36 (&19) EXERCISE WITH NO ROPE? [8,5]

38  SEE 6A, 41A