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As members will readily understand, there has been some delay in getting the new set up fully into top gear. We are therefore combining the April and May numbers of the Belfry Bulletin, and hope that members will bear with us in our difficulties, and look with a tolerant eye on our shortcomings. There is one other way in which members can help in the present circumstances. When this edition has been put to bed, there will be nothing at all awaiting publication. It follows therefore, that unless Club members get to work with their pens or pencils, the Belfry Bulletin is going to get very thin in the next month or two. . . ..The remedy is in your hands.

Warning “GB”

On Sunday, 23rd April 1951, a serious accident was narrowly averted in “G.B.”. The chain holding the ladder into the boulder chamber below the Devil’s Elbow was found to be rotten. All members visiting the cave should therefore exercise great care at this point.

London Section Meet

It appears that the next organised activity by the London Section will be the Annual Meet over the August Bank Holiday. At present, there has been no final decision whether this will be at the Belfry or in South Wales. Members of the Section are asked to let W.J. Shorthose know as soon as possible what preferences they have if any. It is hoped to give final details in the next issue.

Sack-cloth and Ashes Department

Sorry, we omitted to mention in the list that we published last time that the club Treasurer is now Mr. R. Bagshaw, 11 Hill Crest, Knowle, Bristol, 4. Please correct your list accordingly.

A Mr Caxton has also asked that we should express his regrets that somme off ye pagef of ye laste issue were pryntedewithe ye fronte side where ye backe did properly ought to have bin, and vice versa.

Motor Cycle Enthusiasts

There is a suggestion that a Motor-cycling Section should be formed. Those interested are invited to write to Tony Setterington, who is acting as Secretary of the proposed Section until it gets properly under way. At present there are three events in mind, as follows:-

1.       Don’s Derby, Sunday June 10th, a main road trial run by the Dulwich M.C.C.

2.       A.C.U. National Rally, Saturday-Sunday July 14th - 15th. This again is all main road work, and involves covering as many miles as possible, up to 702 between 9 am on Saturday and 11 am on Sunday. If the B.E.C. can enter a team, there is a chance of its winning a team award.

3.       A hill climb is proposed to be run somewhere on Mendip later in August, for standard motor cycles in standard trim. The course will be chosen so that it will not damage the machine in any way. Dan Hasell has already promised to act as chief timekeeper and handicapper.

In connection with Item 1 above, it is hoped to run a club trip to London for the festival exhibition, travelling up on Friday June 8th, and returning after the Derby on the Sunday. Those members entered for Don’s Derby will be provided with Sleeping accommodation by the Dulwich club, provided they carry fug-bags with them, and the first three others to write to the Hon Sec, London Section can be accommodated in Tooting. A Trip to Stone Farm Rocks or something similar might be arranged for, those not interested in motor cycle trials, if they wish.

The Club Library

The Club Librarian is very concerned that his set of Belfry Bulletins is far from complete. He appeals to those members who may have back numbers that they do not really need to send them to him to help complete the Club records. The missing numbers are as follows:-2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 31.

He has asked also that we should reproduce the conditions on which books are loaned to mcmbers:-

1.       Books will be issued for a period of one month.

2.       Books may be obtained either by Registered post from Librarian, or personally on the first Thursday of each month at Club, provided that prior notice is given to the Librarian of the titles required.

3.       Books must be returned to the Librarian either by Registered post or by handing them in personally.

4.       The person to whom the book is issued will be personally responsible for it, and must not transfer it to any other person.

5.       The person to whom the book is issued must make good any loss or damage occurring before it is returned to the Librarian.

For the benefit of those who did not read the last “BB”, the Librarian is Johnny Ifold, and his address Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Nr Bristol, and Phone number, Blagdon 432.

A New System in Eastwater Cavern,    J.W IfoId

If Harris’s passage is followed up-stream, the canyon formation merges into a steeply inclined bedding plane, which is sectioned off by loose and dangerous boulder chokes. During Easter 1951, the author removed a small boulder choke and penetrated into further extensions. Whether these extensions are of the same bedding plane or not can only be settled by a survey. At present the system appears to penetrate for about four hundred feet, and there are possibilities that it may be further extended.

An interesting observation is the presence of two streams which seem to disappear in a North Westerly direction. Another feature unusual to Eastwater is the presence of large eroded stalagmite sheeting. This is eroded not only on its upper surface, but at many points is completely hollowed out from beneath. Its markings include scalloping and several concentric circles, which are possibly the remains of completely eroded stalagmites. This discovery led to a discussion of the complete absence of stalagmitic formations in Eastwater as compared with the abundance in nearby Swildon’s. An interesting point is the phreatic sponge-work, smaller that that in Ffynnon Ddu, but otherwise very similar.

One member of the party advanced the theory that at one time Eastwater had taken a very much larger proportion of the North Hill drainage than it now does, while near-by Swildons was left comparatively dry. This heavy flow might have caused very rapid and complete erosion, thus explaining the almost complete absence of formations in Eastwater, and these strangely eroded sheets.

The direction of the system leads to the belief that it is under the boulder maze, but it is possible that the two small streams at the end of the series may come from the 380 foot way.

This system may yield to further exploration.

Caving News

The new extension to Eastwater, described above was visited by four members of a party of twelve Club members and three visitors from Birmingham. After a routine trip to the end of the cave via Dolphin’s Pot, these members explored about four to five feet of passage and bedding plane…..

A number of caving trips have been undertaken during the last few weeks, including an expedition to Steep holm with members of the South Wales Cave Club and a number of archaeologists. Although nothing spectacular was discovered, a good time was had by all concerned. Meets were also held at Swildon’s Hole and Axbridge Ochre Cave. Two “digs” are in (active) progress near Bristol but at least two Mendip digs are mouldering. THERE IS PLENTY OF SCOPE FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN CAVE DIGGING. Will members willing to help please give their names to the caving section secretary.

Log Sheets

An attempt is being made to keep a log of caving activities. A number of log sheets is to be kept at the Belfry, John Ifold’s house and at Redcliffe. Trip leaders are asked to take one or more of the sheets and enter an account of the expedition , passing this to the caving secretary.

Caving Trip Card     June - August

June 2nd                      TOP of Swildon’s                  Leader J, Rollason, 3pm at Barn.

June 16th                    August Hole                         Leader J.Ifold

June 22nd..24th             Caving trip to Buckfast          details from M. Hannam

June 31st                    Long Wood                          Leader R.Bennett 3 p m at Lower Farm.

July 15th                     G.B.                                    Leader M. Hannam 2.30 p m at Barn

July 28th-August 6th      Caving meet in Yorkshire.

August 19th                 Eastwater                            Leader M. Hannam 1 2 noon at Belfry

August 26th                 Bath Stone Workings,

All members intending to join any of the above trips should notify the caving secretary. Numerous trips are arranged on an ad hoc basis on Thursdays.