The Editor's Notes

As most of you know, Mr. Beecham has asked us to move the Belfry and has considerably reduced our rent. We want to complete this work as soon as possible and the job was started the first weekend after Whitsun. Mr. Beecham has given us a new site and promised to lay on transport, we need lots of labour to complete the job, so let the Hon. Sec know if you can come, if not turn up anyway there's plenty for all to do.

Caving at Bude II by T.H.S.

Since my article published recently in Belfry Bulletin Vol.3. No.9. was written, I have been asked to increase the area covered by it. I intend to cover the coast southwards from Wheelbarrow Rock to Millhook Cove. Although the area is singularly barren of caves, there are ample compensations in the form of climbing and the scenery is as fine as any that I know of the same type.

To the BEC the area is of particular interest, as the cliff at Upton is the nearest point to the club camp site at South Lynstone Farm, from which the sea can be seen. The camp site is about ¼ mile from Upton Cliff, and until the cliff is actually reached there is no sign of the sea except its roar and the fact that the trees, such as they are, all lean landwards at an acute angle.

Upon reaching the cliff a really wonderful view can be seen of the southern end of Bude Bay; Millhook, with its Trials Hills and water splash, already tasted by certain club members; Crackington Haven; Boscastle and Trevena, (known generally as Tintagel, although Tintagel is the headland, and not the village), with their sea caves and seals; with Trevose in the far distance with its lighthouse showing a red flash at night. To the north the view of the bay is curtailed by Efford Beacon, but Lundy Island can be seen lying low on the horizon.

The Coast Road as its name implies, runs parallel to the cliff as far as the south of Widemouth Bay, and then becomes a 'Mountain Track' along the edge of the cliff to Millhook Cove. Cliff falls on the higher land has caused the road to be moved inland some time ago, and on the low lying land at Widemouth Bay the sand has completely covered the old road, the new one making a considerable detour.

The beaches are readily accessible from this road, along which runs the bus from Bude to Widemouth. Numerous paths run down over the cliffs, which hereabouts are usually steep grassy slopes for the greater part of their height. At low water there are sandy tongues running in towards the cliff, but when the tide is in the seas beat against the bases of the cliffs.

Following our previous plan, we will follow the cliff base to the southward.

From Wheelbarrow Rock to Upton there is good climbing and just before Upton is reached, a hole through the rock gives access to Upton Beach itself. Upton Cliffs are sloping and grassy and we pass on to one or two tiny depressions in the cliff face that one can hardly dignify by the name of Cave.

Beyond this the cliffs heighten and run out to a small headland, the outstanding characteristic of which is the contortion of the strata (Fig.1).Image

Past this headland the shattered cliffs are clothed in turf almost to the sea, and shale beds form the major part of the next headland, the point of which is so broken and contorted as to make it almost impossible to describe or draw. Fig. 2 shows only a few of the contortions).Image

Below this point the character of the cliff changes and vertical cliffs rise from the beach. Here are isolated fingers of vertical rock 60-80 feet high that will defy the best of climbers to scale them. In contrast to the previous cliff, this rock is both hard and strong and can be trusted- not to break when weight is placed upon it.

The next headland is broken up, but passing it and also the little cove adjacent to it, we see that the next one stands out in a totally different manner to its predecessors. This headland, too, has been broken up, but instead of becoming a mass of tiny fragments, has become a colossal mass of huge boulders, some as large as a house. Excellent sport can be had here climbing over and through them. The writer visited these boulders the day before writing this article. The passages are of a satisfactory tightness, but the boulders themselves are so much larger than anything seen by him underground that the familiar "Ant in the stone-pile" feeling of the boulder ruckle of Eastwater is considerably magnified.

As we pass along the various benches, the remains of sea mines washed ashore during two wars are often to be seen, reminding the explorer of the risks taken in, travelling these same beaches not so very long ago.

A long point of rock, undercut and polished by the sea next stands as a barrier against further progress. This can only be circumnavigated at low water during spring tides, and at other times a really sticky time can be had here unless the key to the ridge is known. The overhang averages 2 feet and is from 8 to 10 feet above the beach, the rocks being in places slippery with slime as well as polished by the sea. The writer is keeping the secret of this climb as he feels that a lot more sport is had in hunting out ones own routes than by following in someone else's footsteps. The climb is easy when the secret is known.

More boulders pave the way to another shingle beach where once again the rocks are shattered and the green of the cliffs dip to the sea. The next small headland shows more of the strangeness of the strata usual in the area. (Fig. 3.)Image

The next beach shows a cliff with horizontal strata at the top, contorted in the centre, and horizontal again at the bottom.

A long lowish headland is next reached and another climb over boulders gives access to Widemouth Bay with its mile of sands and popular camping sites. Here the cliffs sink to sea level and a broad, clay bedded valley extends as far as the Tea Rooms. Salt House, at the northern end of the bay is the eldest house in the vicinity, and from it generations in the past have purchased their salt, obtained by the evaporation of salt water in shallow pans.

In Widemouth Bay, generally flat, Black Rock stands out and catches the eye. Legend surrounds it, a man, whom I have no idea, has been imprisoned under it for many centuries, and he will stay there until he can make a rope of sand. A similar story exists about the legendary Cornishman Tregeagle, but whether they are connected I cannot say.

Beyond the Tea Rooms, the cliffs again rise from the sand, this time of soft clay and stones. This cliff is being eroded tremendously every year, the 'old road' in places being completely eaten away.

Penhalt stream enters the sea from its little valley just beyond this, and then the cliffs shoot up again to tremendous heights, albeit sloping ones, and rounding the headland, the high vertical cliffs descend abruptly to the Millhook stream. There is here I am told a cave of some size, although I have never been able to find it.

The shattering and weathering of the cliffs is due to the fact that the area is situated in the Culm, with beds of Shale becoming increasingly predominant to the southwards. Because of this the cliffs would show signs of shrinkage absent from the secondary beds, with the erosion of the softer shale causing the undermining and collapse of the surrounding strata. The area around Bude abounds in excellent examples of the of the tremendous pressure and shrinkage that the original surface of the earth was subject to before the sedimentary rocks were laid down.

Chalk Mine, Near Springwell, Mill End, Herts


Ode to a “Beeza”

By “Ariels".

Don Stripped Rasputin's engine to see what he could do
To increase his brake horse power from 1.5 to 2.
With a clanking from the con-rod and a rattling from the chains,
And 80 thou of clearance in the big end and the mains.

He put rubber on the piston and polished up the bore
But 1.5 brake horse power was all he got, no more.

So he opened out his crankcase and filled it with oildag
Then he tried the timing and tuning up his mag..

Then he polished his exhaust port and fixed the carburettor
But 1.5 brake horse power was all he got, no better.

So he reset his tappets and ground his valves in well
But did it make a difference, did it ---- hell.

Then he filled his gearbox and relined his clutch
This made a slight improvement although it wasn’t much.

His valve guides were non-existent, his main jet was too small
and as for his main bearings they only had one ball.

He straightened out his con-rod, he put his big-end back
And then he bent his piston to take up any slack.

His engine once stopped firing and set his cart on fire,
And this burnt all the string off, so he tied it up with wire.

That engine failed one weekend, far out among the hills,
Out came a rescue party, equipped with headache pills.

The moral of this story, is if you buy a bike,
Make sure its not Rasputin, Dan goes faster on his trike.

List of Members. No. 3

44 K.S. Hawkins, 6.Melbourne Terrace, Little Horton Lane, Bradford. Yorks.
48 C.H. Kenney, 5.Vicars Close, Wells, Somerset
51 A. Johnson, 46.The Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol
53 J.D, Pain, Bibury, Old West Town Lane, Brsiliongton, Bristol 4
54 D.A. Coase, 18 Headington Road, Wandsworth London SWl8.
56 G. Platten, Rotherfield, Fernhill Lane, New Milton, Hants
57 E.J. Steer, c/o 23 Andover Road. Knowle Park,Bristol.4
58 G.T. Lucy, 28 Bibury Creasent, Henleeaze, Bristol 7
60 P.A.E. Stewart, 11 Fairhaven Road, Redland, Bristol 6
61 T. White, 107 Creswicke Road, Filwood Park, Bristol 4.

Programme for June, July and August 1948

JUNE. All this month will be devoted to Belfry moving; All hands on deck theres plenty for all to do!!

JULY. Sat. 3rd Burrington.
Sun.18th Eastwater.
24th - 2nd August. Club Camp at Bude, Cornwall. Subject to confirmation. Will all members who intend to go to Bude please inform Hon. Sec, as .soon as possible.

AUGUST. Sat.17th Longwood *and August Hole.
Sun.25th Stoke Lane.

Anyone with any spare time is asked to contact Jiim Weekes or Woodbridge who have plenty of digging on hand.