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It is with regret that we have to announce the loss of one Editor (and typewriter). Unfortunately John Shorthose (Shorty) has been posted to the wilds of and he will not be able to continue the work he has done so well for the past year. We are sure the Club will wish him the best of luck with his work in the wilderness

The ghastly appearance of this issue only goes to prove the necessity for a new Editor as time goes on and issues roll out. It will become even more obvious that a permanent Editor is needed; working on the assumption that one volunteer is worth ten-pressed men. Will volunteers please step smartly forward.

Cave Research Group

A General Mooting will be held at Skipton, Yorkshire, on 26th April, 3rd May, or 10th May, for the presentation of a Speleological Paper. This will be followed by a Caving Expedition on the Sunday. Details will be announced later.

On Saturday 21st June, Mr. P.L.W. Harvey will present a paper on Cave Photography in the lecture room of the Wells Museum at The following day there will be an Expedition to GB arranged by the UBSS.

Mendip Rescue Organisation

We have been asked by the M R O to outline the procedure in the event of an accident.

(1 )       Person having knowledge of accident will go to the nearest call-box, or telephone, and ring the Police, (Wells Police, Tel: Wells 2197.)

(2).       The Police will require the following information:-

Name and address of caller

Number and situation of call-box or telephone

Nature of accident,

Name o  cave

Position of accident in cave (if known)

Number of poop10 in party l

Whether experienced cavers

(3)                 The informant will remain at phone for further instructions

A list of the Wardens and further details of this scheme will be posted at the Belfry. This list will also be available at Thursday Night Club Meetings or on application to the Honorary Secretary.


The first of a series of Thursday Night talks was given by Mr, Peter Bird on 13th March, to an audience of about 30 people, nearly all Club Members. His address o n Bats was s well received, and if the talks continue to be as interesting we have no doubt they will become a popular monthly feature of our Thursday Night meetings.

If you caving to      by Pongo

This £25 racket is a nuisance, of course, but the average caver can’t afford more, if as much on his holiday, so that won’t worry you. You will want your own transport…probably a motorcycle (see Setterington’s article in BB) as this is much cheaper and convenient than railways.

There are a lot of caving areas in France and in a fortnight or so you will, not be able to inspect one closely let alone the whole lot; but you will be able to have a general look round, see a lot of caves, fine country and generally have a grand time.

Dordogne District

This lies East of Bordeaux and is a lovely area of heavily wooded limestone hills. It was one of‘ the haunts of primitive man, and archaeologically the area is very rich. The famous Lascaux cave is in this region and so is the less well known but equally worth visiting Grotto Roch Merle. Padirac is extremely commercialised with a lift down the entrance shaft but is also not to be missed. Only 10 miles from Padirac is the little town of Rocamadour, built on the side of a cliff, one of the few places which is more spectacular than the photographs of it.


There must be literally thousands of caves in Pyrenees, but many are very large and need well organised parties to explore them. But there are suffioient tourist caves to keep you happy for the best part of a week. Many of the proprietors are also very co-operative, and if given prior warning, will arrange a trip around the non-tourist sections….l repeat if given prior warning, and if you put up a good story.

Labouiche ( 2½  kms, under-ground in a boat…otherwise not very exciting).

Mas d‘Azil ( with a Mammoth skull and a large number of cave bears)

Gargas ( of the 200 mutilated-hand prints)

Grottos de Medous ( with good formations and a boat ride for good measure)

     …. and others are all freely open for 150 --200 Francs

La Portel and Niaux can also be visited by private arrangement and the latter is especially worth while as it contains some of the finest cave drawings known.

While in the Pyrenees region, do not miss seeing Carcassonne which is a walled town still in being.

Averyon-Lozere Region

North end east of the Pyrenees contains the famous Gorges due Tarn. These are Cheddar on a large scale…. about 30 miles long and a thousand feet high though not as narrow and vertical as Cheddar. Close to the top of the Gorges is Avon Armand, one of the famous show caves of , and not far off are Dargilan and Bramibiau. This last is (or was) only very slightly commercialised There is a guide, if he happens to be about, but there is no lighting and it is not possible to penetrate very far easily. A little further on is Grotto Demoiselles, which is entered via a funicular railway running up into the mountain from a ledge facing full south; it is hence a tropical garden. On the way from Dargilan to Demoiselles it is possible to free-wheel for 12 miles. Somewhat north again is the world famous Aven Orgnac with the most remarkable formations.

This whole region of the Causse and Cevennes is riddled with caves but again the major proportion require large parties or else are apparently not very interesting,

The Vercours

Just south of Grenoble is a paradise of caves and vertical gorges of incredible depth and steepness. If you do not like driving on the brink of a precipice keep away. To cave here you need a good party as there are few tourist caves, but it is grand country to see.

The Chartreuse

Which is the home of the remarkably potent liqueur is very steep and the caves are off the beaten track. The ‘Subterranean Climbers’ gives the low-down on the district and I offer 5/- is someone can find the Guirs Mort….I cold not and got soaked into the bargain.

By the time you have been to all these places you will be sick of caves and will be wondering why we bother with our Mendip Binders, but you will have had a grand holiday.

Judicious enquiries before you go will greatly assist in finding some of the more out-of-the-way cave, and I or anyone else who has been before will, I am sure, be only to glad to give you any help we can

Further Congratulations

We extend our heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Roger Cantle and Judy Puplett, who have recently announced their engagement.

A little bat whispered in our ear that Gordon and Joan Fenn are now the proud possessors of a Bouncing Baby Boy

Congratulations better late than never to Stan and Mo Herman, on their wedding which took place a few months ago; they are now living in a caravan, aptly named the Swallet, at Whitchurch.

The Impossible Has Happened

We have it on the best authority that the Honorary Secretary and his assistant have at last torn themselves away from their armchairs in an endeavour to conquer the depths of Swildon’s Hole. Having visited the Belfry at the unheard hour of 9 am on Sunday morning and finding most of the inmates still asleep they forged on undaunted. Fortunately they found that Mother Nature had taken a hand (God Bless Her) and the water was pouring over the entrance grating In a mighty torrent of 4”. Photographic evidence is available! However the Hero of the expedition, Ken Dobbs, fought his way to the top of the waterfall (this action was probably duo to the fact that his foot slipped in removing the grating). He returned to report that further progress was impossible and the Honorary Secretary gratefully believed him. The party then returned from their first Caving Expedition in many moons.

R.B.            K.C .D.


Memo to Johnny Ifold:

Have they given you an official report yet?

More Material Please

We are now virtually out of material for the next BB. The next issue is entirely in your hands – you write it, we print it. Until further arrangements are made, willing contributors, budding authors etc,… please send their articles efforts etc to the Honorary Secretary.