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Editorial Notes

The Weekes' Crossword Puzzle.

The response to this Competition was not very big. Only two entries being received. Only one of these was correct, so the result reads:-

First; D.A.Coase.
Also ran ; J.D.Pain.

The prize will therefore be presented to the Winner at an early date.


The perpetrator of the above outrage, No. 1853093 Sgt. Weekes will, from 2/9/47 be referred to as Mr. Weekes, and may be found wandering on Mendip at any time. If found without a glassy look, take him to Hunters' Lodge. At all other times, push him into the Mineries.

Annual General Meeting

The A.G.M, will be held early in December. The following, being the 1947 Committee, will resign.

T.H. Stanbury. Hon.Sec.& Hon.Treas.
D.H.Hasell. Hon.Editor,Belfry Bulletin.
D.A,Coase. Hon.Equip.Officer & Hut Warden.
A.M.Innes. Hon.Librarlan.

All nominations for 1948 committee, together with any items for inclusion in the Agenda, must reach me before November 1st,1947.

T.H.Stanbury, Hon.Sec..

The Belfry

The following notice has been posted at the Belfry and members are asked to note that its terms will be strictly enforced by the Hut Warden and that any action taken by him has the full support of the Committee.

To all Members and/or all users of this hut (The Belfry).

As from this date .......... any person or persons are liable to suspension from use of the Belfry for the following offences:-

  1. Any undue noise after 10 pm.
  2. Any refuse, paper, etc, left about outside the hut.
  3. Any action that may cause Mr.Beecham or his family any inconvenience.

The above action to be taken by the Hut Warden as he thinks fit and as approved by the Committee. The length of time being varied to suit the offence.

All caving gear left about the hut will be disposed of if not claimed after 14 days.

All bunks must be tidied by the previous night's user(s) before he or she leaves.

The fee for sleeping must be paid to the Assistant Warden before leaving/unless this is impossible.


We have to thank Miss C.M. York, 9 Goldney Road, Clifton for the gift of a large number of Books ,many of which will be useful additions to the Library. A list will be published as soon as possible. Mrs Lucy for a saucepan for the Belfry. And several friends for other useful articles.

Our versatile Secretary has been doing a lot of talking. He has given two lectures recently, The first at the Crown & Dove to the Old Georgians’ Society. The second to the To H, Knowle Group, at Pengrove. Both talks were very successful, he didn't even .get the Curate's Egg.

Adventures of The Menace.


Episode one. Plymouth Caves.

The Caves in question run up from the sea under Plymouth Hoe in Limestone. They are not just Sea Caves, but caves of outlet. To reach them a boat is needed at high tide but they can be got at normally at low. We explored them at high tide, with a heavy swell running wrecking a boat in the attempt, and getting as wet as we would in Swildons.

The main Cave goes by the name of "Lions' Den", and is a high rift cave. The water remains deep about fifty feet into the cave, when a steep boulder pile slopes down into the water. There are plenty of jagged rocks just below the surface, and as charged for the boulder pile, one came through the bottom of the boat, tipping us both into the water.

Anyhow, having climbed the boulder pile we found a steeply ascending passage,(beautifully muddy) until we were brought up by a creep through rock which looked as though it would fall to bits at any time. After a brief discussion we decided to "have a bash at it".

Then, much to our horror, the roof fell in and we were nearly buried alive. As it continued to collapse, we didn’t wait for any more but bolted for the entrance. There was not much more of interest in the place except what had been some rather fine formation.

The next cave we visited was also a rift cave. (This time with a different boat which had been used to rescue us by some of our pals). It went for a considerable distance until the cave got too narrow, so I decided to get out and walk, but to my disgust, I stepped into about six feet of water, so once again we had to turn back.

The third cave also turned us back, as it was a problem for the CDG even at low tide. We didn’t try diving it, partly because the. water wasn’t warm enough, and partly because we didnt know how long the dive was.

We both returned to Barracks that night looking like cavers, plastered with mud and candle-grease, but as the Officer of the Watch had never heard of Cavers or any such phenomena, we were polishing the brass work at sunrise the next day.



It is with great pleasure that we announce the forthcoming Marriage of Miss M. Akers and Mr J.M. Tompsett at Taunton on Saturday September 20th. We wish them the very best of luck.

Caving above ground


Derbyshire caves had had to be abandoned earlier than I had hoped, and driving North through the appalling traffic of the Lancashire towns on a grilling hot weekend, I envied those left behind, the coolness of Bagshaw Cavern.

did not, I thought, abound in caves, and though I had "Boots, Caving" with me, they were intended more for rooks above ground than below it.

With no definite objects in view, the sight of "Caves" marked on the Ordnance Survey in the roods north of Dunkeld called for early investigation. With the usual perversity of the surveyors, no definite points were marked, and my search would have to cover half a square mile or so. Several hours unsatisfactory walking produced no results; the ground was rough and very wooded and good views were not to be had. Eventually, I had to give it up with no more reward than a "cove"— a largely artificial rock shelter ,well hidden by trees, apparently inhabited by a Lady Charlotte in 1704. No doubt she had been unable to scream louder than the girl in the story.

All this was unsatisfactory. The only other sign of a cave - the map called it the "Thief's Cave"—was again to vague, and too far distant to tempt me.

Loch Leven Castle, on an Island in Loch Leven, and the one time prison of Mary, Queen of Scots was not a likely place, but none the less it contains most of the more desirable features of a cave. The main chimney forms as good an aven as you could want - 40/50 ft. high and 2½ /3ft across with plenty of foot and hand holds in the rough masonry. For the more ambitious and slimmer type there was another, shorter but more difficult, it being fairly tight, perhaps 15”X12”. Since I was wearing " Clothes, Spiv" I did not try it. The remains of a spiral stair formed the basis of a neat traverse requiring caution and good balance. It led nowhere, the upper floor being non-existent, but who cared? - until it came to getting down, which I found a good deal harder than going up.

The dungeon proved that cavers did not .exist in those days. Two windows, neither showing any trace of where there might have been bars, both-provided a means of exit; one to the slimmer and more agile only, since it was a very tight hole, the other easy enough, its extra width giving just that much more room for the shoulders.

I do not pretend to prefer such trifles to Swildons', GB. or what have you, but when caves are absent, don’t despair. Compensations can be found in the most unexpected places if one can only spot them.

A Caving Quiz with particular reference to the Mendips.

By D.A.Coase

  1. Which cave on Mendip contains the Initials "T.W." cut in the wall, whereabouts in the cave is it, and what date were the initials carved?
  2. How many natural show caves in can you Name?
  3. Who named Avelines Hole, and why was it so named?
  4. with which caves do you associate the following:-
    1. Z Alley?
    2. Bames'Loop?
    3. Rumba Alley?
    4. Duck II?
    5. Coal Shute?
    6. Tie Press?
    7. The Grill?
    8. Harris's Passage.
    9. The Speliocord?
  5. The Waterfall with the biggest clear drop in is located in a cave in Yorkshire, what cave is it, and what is the approx. drop?
  6. What two caves on Mendip contain appreciable quantities of Arragonite?
  7. What knot would you normally use for tying yourself to a lifeline?
  8. Two geological terms, used in connection with the formation of caves are- "Rift" and 'Bedding Plane". Give a short definition of each, with two examples of each from Mendip Caves?
  9. What cave on Mendip was excavated by schoolboys, and what School was it?
  10. What cave do you associate the noise of "cymbals" with?
  11. What is the total depth of GB from the surface?
  12. Which cave has recently been sealed by a slab of concrete, and whereabouts is it?
  13. What are Stalagmites and Stalactites composed of chemically?
  14. Which Cave on Mendip bears most resemblance to a Yorkshire Pothole?
  15. What Mendip caves, do the following describe?:-
    1. A four legged herbivorous animal’s home?
    2. Lengthy plus fuel for the Belfry Stove?
    3. A cardinal point plus H20?
    4. The operation of putting the last part of b in the stove, plus a relation of a road?
    5. A corruption of a (generally very wet) Saint?
    6. Seen on the back of cars that have travelled abroad?
    7. Usually associated with South Sea Islands. A book on this subject is in the club Library?
    8. Sometimes kept for milk plus a building found near e?
  16. Which is generally recognised to be the biggest stalagmite on Mendip and where is it found?
  17. What was the first successful cave dig on Mendip, what year was it done in, and who was the person responsible? (By cave dig, an excavation to enter a new cave is meant not an archaeological dig).
  18. Various features in caves have been named. Starting at the entrance to Swildons Hole, and going via the Short Dry Way to Sump I, can you fill in the missing names in their correct order?
    Dry ways,
    Short Dry way
    20ft Pot,
    Barnes Loop,
    Sump One
  19. What Major Archaeological excavation is in progress at the present, and what society is undertaking it?
  20. Recently a new theory on the formation of caves has been publicised in this country. It divides the formation of caves into two sections (a) by means of a free running stream, as in Swildons, and (b) by means of solution of the rock under the water level, as in the submerged parts of Wookey Hole. These two divisions have been given the names "Vadose" and "Phreatic", but not necessarily in this order. Which word means the formation of a cave by a free running stream?

No prize is offered for a correct solution of this quiz. The answers will be published in our next issue.


Since the library lists issued with Belfry Bulletins Nos. 2 & 3, The following books have been presented to the Club Library:-


2nd Edition Mendip—The Great Cave of Wookey Hole. H.E. Balch
3rd Edition. Ditto
Fauna. CRG Publication No.1
Cave Science. No 1 BSA.


The Voyage of the Rattlesnake Huxley
Geographiocal Magazine Vol 18 Nos.9 & 11.
The Cotswolds Murray
Somerset M.Fraser.
Gloucestershire Newth.
The Happy Travellers. Tatchell.
British Ports and Harbours. Walmsley.
Rambles and walking tours in Somerset F.E.Page
Hike Tracks of the West.


Geology and Scripture. Pye Smith
Handbook of British Assoc. 1898.
Principles of Geology. Vols 1 & 2 Lyell.
History of Devonshire Scenery. Clayden.


Excavations at Sea Mills E.K.Tratman.
Handbook of British Asscc. 1898.

guide books

Dartmoor Guide
Wye Valley
The Now Forest Guide.
Ramblers Guide to Lynton and Lynmouth.


The Mechanism cf the Heavens. Olmstead
The Story of the Heavens Ball


The Story of Somersetshire. Richmond.
Marvels of Nature.
The Universe Pouchet.
Wonders of the Volcano,
Wonders of the Ice world.
The World of the Sea Tadon.
Turtons British Shells Gray.
Popular Educator. Vols 1-6.


From Earth to Moon Verne
Five weeks in a Balloon Verne
Around the world in 80 Days Verne
20,000 Leagues under the Sea Verne
Adventures of 3 Englishmen & 3 Russians Verne
Out of the silent Planet Lewis.

Besides these books a number of those presented are duplicates of those already in the library & will help to reduce the waiting time for the more popular books.