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Report of Annual General Meeting 1949.

The AGM for 1949 was held at Redcatch Road Co-operative Hall, Bristol on Saturday, 14th. January 1950, there being present 36 members.

The following is a brief precis of the meeting:-

1. Mr D.H. Hasell was elected as Chairman for the meeting.

2. Hon Sec. read the minutes of the 1948 AGM

3. Hon Sec’s Report for 1949. He-said that on Dec 31st the club membership was 120 of which 48 were new members. We had during the year unfortunately lost 25 members, the majority of which had been forces members. He explained that this was the first year that forces members had to “rebook” their membership which would account for the large number of defaulters, as some of these had not been heard of for some considerable time. He touched on the Trip to Valence, and reported that the Stoke Lane Survey was complete as far as the Sump. The Climbing section was progressing and had had one very successful trip to N. Wales. Other points mentioned were the number of lectures given to outside organisations, the work at Cross Swallet and the staggering number of caving trips undertaken during the year.

4. Mr. Geoff Ridyard gave a report on the London Section. He said that regular meetings had been arranged in Tooting, that excursions had been arranged to Swallow Holes in Herts, climbing trips had been organised, and that a very fine week had been spent on Mendip. He said that another Mendip week was being arranged and that he had brought a copy of the S/L survery for examination.

5. Mr Setterington as hut warden gave the Annual Belfry report, he said that during the last year there had been a lot of work done at the huts. He gave a resume of the progress made and said that over August Bank Holiday over 30 different persons slept there. Over 1,000 men-nights had been spent there during the year. A calor-gas cooker had been purchased and there were now three good primusses available.

6. The financial report was read. This has been circulated to every member. It was proposed by R.M. Wallis and sec by G. Ridyard that the reports be adopted.

7. The list of Basic Committee for 1949 was read this is :-
Hon Sec & Treas TH Stanbury
Hon Hut Warden RA Setterington
Hon Librarian AM Innes
DH Hassell
JC Weekes,

8. The proposal that “the committee be increased to 9 members, and should include one lady member to represent the ladies, and one member to represent the London Section. The other two new committee members being a Tackle Officer and an Assist. Lon. Sec.” Was carried.

9. The second part “If the motion be carried that an election for these posts be held on the spot” was discussed and three different proposals were made. After the withdrawal of one of these the original proposal was carried by eighteen votes to 14.
Nominations were then called for and the following were nominated:-
Ladies Miss Sybil Bowden-Lyle & Miss Jill Rollason
Tackle Officer G.T. Lucy; R Cantle; A.C. Johnson
Asst. Hon Sec A.C. Johnson; F Young, R.J. Bagshaw
When voting took place Miss Bowden-Lyle was elected as lady member by 19 votes to 11,
F Young was elected Asst. Hon Sec. with 25 votes.
G.T. Lucy was elected Tackle Officer with 19 votes.
The Hon Sec was directed to ask the London Section to consider the matter of Committee at their earliest convenience.

9b. The motion of A.C. Johnson re the new belfry comittee as stated in the Agenda was defeated.
It was proposed by H. Shelton and sec. by R. Brain that the whole business of Belfry Committee be left to the General Committee. This was carried.

9c. A proposal by A.C. Johnson “there shall be at least 7 members present before a committee meeting can be held” was withdrawn. R. Woodbridge proposed that this be amended to read 15 members and not 7 as in the withdrawn proposal. This was sec by R. Brain and carried.

10. It was proposed by T.H. Stanbury that a Chairman be elected annually to preside when necessary. This was sec by J. Steer & carried.

11. It was proposed by T.H. Stanbury that “and Extra-Ordinary General Meeting can be called within one month, by submitting a request in writing signed by as least 15 members, to the Hon. Sec.” this was sec by H Perry.
An amendment by R.A. Setterington and sec by Miss Richards, proposed that 15 per cent be inserted instead of 15 persons. When voted on, the original proposal by T.H. Stanbury was carried.

12. A proposal that in Rule 5 be inserted ”Subscription for Life Members to be £5/5/-“ by T.H. Stanbury was sec by R.M. Wallis and carried.

13. It was proposed by R.J. Bagshaw that the club take advantage of the Scientific Societies Act, which would make the Belfry exempt from rates. This was sec by G.T. Lucy. Mr Bagshaw explained the Act and it was agreed that the Committee revise the rules as necessary so that the constitution of the Club would conform to the conditions laid down. So that if required advantage could be taken of it.

14. It was proposed by R. Cantle and sec by J. Bindon

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The Magnetism of Caving and Climbing, with special reference to the BEC. by Observer

Caves and cliffs are like magnets - they either attract or repel! The investigator either shuns them after his first visit or gets bitten by the germ of enthusiasm which is almost impossible to cure.

Persons of all ages, from all walks of life are attracted, chemists, clerks, engineers, students, very few trades or professions have members who are not interested in this “Kin Of Sports” in one form or another.

What is the reason for this strange fascination? It may be any one (or more) of quite a considerable number of things. In the case of the B.E.C. - The club itself has such a varied appeal that a person would have to be dull or extremely narrow-minded not to find amongst the many different paths to be trodden, one that would suit his own temperament and desires.

To enumerate a few :-

1. Caving itself can be subdivided into very many headings - sporting caving; digging in and for caves; surveying; photographing; biological and archaeological work to name only a few.

2. Archaeological and antiquarian work other than in caves. –This gives those members who so desire, the opportunities, (although, alas, few), of adding to the knowledge of the past.

3. Rock-climbing, which is indulged in by a growing number of our members, is a sport, (and a very exact one, too) that requires steady hands and nerves and like caving an absolute trust in one’s companions.

4. On the social side, many members enjoy the free and easy and easy meetings both during the week and especially at the Belfry. For those who like a friendly pint at the Hunters Lodge or other hostelry, or those, who do not partake of the “strong waters”, there is an equal welcome. - A friendly hand is outstretched to all, irrespective of age or status, and this can doubtless be regarded as one of the main reasons for the strange “magnetism” that we as club members find so noticeable.

Of course, like every large organisation, many different temperaments can be found, but we as a club have always been free from those “rifts in the lute” that so frequently seem to split other organisations of a similar nature. Why is this? The writer believes that it is due to the intimacy and understanding between all the members, which has always been a basic point in the unwritten code of Club conduct.

Let us always be sure, therefore, that our club, the BEC shall not only keep its place amongst the foremost clubs of England, but shall be an outstanding example of that Club spirit and co-operation for which we have for so long been noted.

Caving Programme

In accordance with the decision taken at the AGM, the Caving programme will not in future be printed here in the BB. Each member will receive a card for his pocket with the trips for the next three months in it. This is a reversion to the system in use a few years ago. The cards are awaited from the printers and will be distributed to each member when they arrive. Until you receive them, turn up on Thursdays at St Matthew’s Hall or at the Weekend at the Belfry – there is usually a trip of some sort being run.

Editor’s Note

The Editor thanks all those who have so nobly responded to his call for material for the BB, but would remind members that the rate of usage exceeds that of receipt, so churn up your horrible part and let us know about it.

From the Hon. Sec’s. Post Bag:-

From Pongo Wallis, Caving in North Wales

------ Last weekend I went out having a look at some North Wales caves.- Ones in the region of Nidd in Flintshire, near the village of Maeshafn. It is wonderful limestone country and rather unexpectedly heavily wooded. Very few of the holes are named which makes identification awkward. I had a look at one normally called “Maeshafn Cave”. It starts off as a fine passage, about 4-6 ft wide and 10-12 feet high, with a lot of dripstone - but as is so common in that region, it is all dead and so looks very poor. After about 150 feet or so, a mine passage leads off, and the rest of the cave is filled with the spoil from the mining. A band of unknown heroes has cleared the top part of the passage for a very considerable distance so that one can penetrate further than one could a year ago, though progress is slow and painful. It really is an amazing effort at digging, as they have just about doubled the length of the cave. My party had a sporadic effort at continuing the good work, for the cave still goes on, but unfortunately we didn’t get far enough to be able to go on ourselves.

After this we went on to the hamlet of Pothole, where there are a number of mines and shafts - some very deep. We went down one mine, which was a straight passage - still with the rails in place for a lot of the way, connecting up a series of natural caves.

The mine passages in themselves were dull and formed caving in comfort - strolling along with one’s hands in one’s pockets. There were however several things of interest. Firstly some extremely good calcite veins with large crystals. Unfortunately, we had nothing with which to get any out.

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