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A brief round-up of some committee decisions and general club doings

from Vince Simmonds. Hon Secretary

In this year of our 70th celebration the club is very fortunate to have been donated items of memorabilia from a well known Mendip and, in particular, records of club business during the late 40’s - early 50’s.. The documents include minutes of early Committee and AGM meetings and some original cartoons. This material is being scanned before binding and placement in the library takes place.  At this time the family have requested privacy.

The resignation of Joan Bennett and the passing away of Alan Thomas meant that two new Trustees of the club were needed.  Dave Irwin and Nigel Taylor have ably filled these positions, the other club Trustees are Barry Wilton and Martin Grass.  The Secretary is in the process of sorting out the Deeds of Appointment with the club solicitors, Harris & Harris in Wells.

The work on the extension has been slowed down this year mainly due to the purchase and installation of a new boiler.  Tyrone has a builder/brickie who owes him a favour and he is going to do some of the building work.  Some materials need to be purchased before work can be continued.

Nigel Taylor has been busy organizing the Annual Dinner for this year.   It is to be a celebration of the Club’s 70th year.

One interesting item the committee had to deal with was an electricity bill in excess of £39,000 (this is not a typing error). Thankfully the bill was revised to a more realistic £267 - both Mike Wilson and Fiona Sandford had prolonged conversations with the electricity company.

I will take this opportunity to remind people that consideration towards next years committee is essential for the smooth running of the Bristol Exploration Club both now and for the future.  As has been said on many occasions it is the membership that make a club.  Members input into the club and its running is paramount to its survival.


The base of the Belfry Extension - Photo: Wig

The reappearance of the original Bertie Bat

Recently Vince has received a batch of archival material from well known Mendip caver. Among the items is the Club’s first committee minute book dating from 1943-1946, a 1950-1952 expedition card and a booklet of cartoons by JAD which it is hoped to reproduce in a later BB.


Of immediate interest during the Club’s 70th Anniversary is the original drawing of Bettie Bat, the club insignia which has mutated somewhat during the 60 years since it was first conceived.

The reappearance of this ink drawing could not have come at a better time for I’ve adapted the 70th anniversary logo incorporating this version of ‘Bettie’. It has been  used throughout this issue as well as being on the front cover. Perhaps the Club will consider adopting this version again as its official logo.  We wait to know the answer …  [Wig]