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Chris and Gwyn (nee Timson) Taylor are to become parents in September.  Must have been a good Christmas!!!

Reminder

Photos are still required for the photoboard at the Belfry and also the Belfry Bulletin.  Slides or prints or pre-scanned files are all more than welcome.  I will return any slides or prints that are sent to me once copies have been made or they have been scanned in - Ed.

BEC Website

Is accessible at the following URL www.mendipnet.co.uk/BEC. (clearly now defunct)

If you try to access it from links from other Websites, you will probably still get the old WebPage. It takes a little while to get other sites to change their links for new addresses.

Stoke Lane Slocker

Further to the article in the last issue, the following information has been confirmed by Dave Irwin:

The Stoke Lane human and animal bones have been found.  After a years searching for them I've seen them and they are being photographed.  Eventually they will be dated - Tratman guessed (1955) that they dated somewhere between late Iron Age to Middle Ages. Dating is important to give date for collapse of entrance into Bone Chamber.  More details in the proposed caving report relating to this cave.  Those who thought that Max Unwin was responsible for the loss of the bones were wrong.

49ers Party

For those of you who are not aware, there are quite a number of BEC members and other regulars from the hill who were born in 1949 and are therefore 49 this year.  They have decided to celebrate in style Midsummer's night (20th June) with a mass party at the Village Hall in Priddy.  Tickets will be available soon from Tony at Bat Products and Quackers in the Hunters Lodge.

Mendip Technical Group

A meeting was held at the Hunters Lodge on Saturday 31st January 1998 to try and hammer out a bolting policy for Mendip.  General conclusions were that re-bolting with resin anchors will generally only be carried out when existing anchors are no longer safe - i.e. no program of systematic bolt replacement although Rhino Rift is an exception as CCC have already approved a complete re-bolt.  The technical group will not have an independent identity (not another caving committee) but will be a loose association of cavers prepared to get involved. Further details from Andy Sparrow.

Speleoscene no. 32

This is available from caving shops (Free - but how about a donation to your local Cave Rescue Service).  This issue contains an article on unsafe maillons, information on karabiner/descender loading, training bulletin on 'Safe Abseiling', also general news and access and conservation issues for all the caving regions.

Thailand 98 Update

Following the stop press in the last BB regarding the recent BEC expedition, "Thailand 98" featuring Rob Harper and Tony Boycott.  It coincided with a very short item in the Sunday Times which also concerned Thailand.  I wondered if there was any connection.  I think we should be told!

The Sunday Times article reads .... "A man who tried to make love to an elephant gave an ingenious explanation to a court in Phuket, Thailand, last week.  Kim Lee Chong, a 61 -year-old chef caught standing semi-naked behind the five-ton colossus, claimed that the animal was a reincarnation of his wife, Wey.  She died 28 years ago.  Chong told the court: "I recognised her immediately ..... by the glint in her eye."  He was given 15 years/jail to expunge his crimes, but they say an elephant never forgets.

BEC Motto - Help

When I was looking at an old BB recently, I noticed the Latin motto "Quodcumque Faciendum Nimis Faciemus".  What does it mean?  When did we adopt it?  When did we drop it?  Where did it come from?  Please contact Blitz (see address for treasurer) if you can enlighten him on this.

Caver Training Facility

A caver training facility for Mendip Wells community education have been successful in their lottery bid to finance a new sports hall which includes a climbing wall and specially designed caver training facility.  This will consist of a balcony with rigging points where SRT, ladder and lifeline or rescue techniques can be practised by local cavers. Completion is due in early 1999.

Digging and Caving News

(mostly courtesy of Andy Sparrow's web site)

Swildons.

Someone has dug out Binney's Link (the direct route into the dry ways in Swildons).  The passage was easy enough as a bit of a wriggle - it is now nearly hands and knees size.  This may be no big deal, but the Mendip principle has always been not to make existing passages easier just for the sake of it - after all where does it stop? Possibly the same persons have tried to open the hole under the hollow tree at the entrance - this will be noticed by the landowner who may not be best pleased at the modification of his property.  Anyone out there who knows the culprits please have a word in their ear!

The Mud Sump. The drain hole was attacked again recently but remains pretty well blocked.  There was a small airspace recently but bailing is still difficult from either side and parties completing a reverse Round Trip or Priddy Green Sink through trip may find exit this way impossible.  Free diving is not recommended as the sump can be as much as 10m long.

Five Buddles Sink

Update - Work continues attempting to follow the stream.  The cave is draughting strongly.

Dave Mitchell's dig

The dig at Charterhouse is progressing well.  This depression was opened with a Hymac and work continues between stal cemented boulders.

Hunters Hole

There is a massive digging operation at the bottom and much equipment left in situ. Several bolts are stripped and replacing these with P hangers will be an early objective of the new Technical Group.

St Luke's

This is a Wessex Cave Club dig at Nordrach (central Mendip).  The dig was hymaced a couple of years ago since when digging has continued steadily.  At -15 metres a small well decorated chamber has been entered.  There is a slight draught and work continues.

Cairo Shaft

This is also in the Nordrach area.  A 17 metre mined shaft enters about 100 metres of partly mined natural passage ending in a sump beyond a tight section.  The sump appears to be a flooded mine level and will be dived soon.

Frog Pot

This is at Chancellors Farm near Priddy.  A surface dig in a depression has revealed a fluted shaft which seems to be exciting everyone who sees it!  Prospects look very good.  Update - a short length of natural passage (10-20 metres) has been entered.

Eastwater Cavern

The bolt in the boulders above Dolphin Pot is very dangerous.  You are advised to use a long tether around a boulder about 8ft back from the head of the pitch.

Flood Alert

Heavy rain earlier in the year produced very high levels; Swildons was up to the second pipe with local flooding in the fields by the pumping station.  At Thrupe the water went straight down the entrance shaft making the Ferret Run and Perseverance impassable.