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Apologies and thanks.

Apologies are due to all for the mess that was made of the last page of the July issue. A different type of stencil was used, and I made no allowance for it. Sorry, gents (& ladies). I hope that this issue will be more reliable.

A very big "thank you" to all those persons who have so far sent in contributions for publication." Thank you", too, all those of you who have sent me letters of congratulation and good wishes. I do appreciate them very much and such things makes the effort worth while.

A letter of apology has been received from the person whose ire was raised against me, and who sent me the letter mentioned in the last issue. In view of this I shall not publish the original as promised, and as far as I am concerned the matter is now closed. I should like to say, though, that any future letters of a similar nature will be handed to the Committee so that appropriate action can be taken.

Personal

To Henry and Jo Shelton, on July 13th, a second daughter, Hilary Clare.

Notice

We very much regret to announce that we have had to vacate our room at St. Mary's Community Centre. On 4th and 11th of September, we shall be meeting in the FOLK HOUSE, College Green. Members will be notified regarding further arrangements as soon as possible, but in the mean time the scouts are out looking for another hall that will be suitable.

Club Library

There are two new books in the Club Library. They are:-

West Virginia theological Survey Vol. XIX by - W.E. Davies, and
Transactions of the C.R.G. Vol.2-;. No.1.

J. Ifold.

Caving Report. June - July.

Although there has not been a great deal of original activity, a number of trips have been undertaken.

One party entertained some B.E.C. types in Swildons and several "Full" and "Top" of Swildons were carried out.

Eastwater was descended on several occasions by various parties and Stoke Lane was enjoyed by some people.

M.H

Climbing Section News

Roger Cantle has resigned from the position of Climbing Sec., and his place has been taken by Pat Ifold. I haven't a clue about Pat's address as yet, but you can reach him via John Ifold at Nempnett.

For the last two Christmases the Climbing Section have had a most enjoyable time at the Holly-How Youth Hostel at Coniston, Lakeland. It is proposed to repeat the dose this year and since booking is open three months in advance, will members who wish to attend please send in their names and dates to the Hut Warden. This meet will be open to all club members who are, or who become, members of the Youth Hostel Association.

It is proposed to start an organised training programme for members interested in climbing. A weekend or two on Churchill Rocks and some of the cleaner climbs in Cheddar. The climbers can then graduate to a weekend on the Dewarstone near Plymouth ,and then to North Wales. Will members who are interested send their names to the Hut Warden who will notify those interested when the dates have been arranged.

R, A Setterington

Belfry News

The old Belfry js now locked. The key to the New Belfry is kept in the Old Belfry. Anyone who “breaks in” will be severely dealt with.

R .A.S.

Motor-cycle and Car Rally.

If sufficient members are interested a rally for cars and motor-cycles will be run probably sometime late in August. It will consist of about 100 miles entirely on metalled roads at an average speed of 28 mph and will have some simple driving tests involved. Details to be worked out later. Names to Tony Johnson or the Hut Warden.

(Ed’s note. This seems a bit late for August, but send in your names anyway doubtless the date will be put forward. Put down my name anyway, Sett. Plus The ancient Ford Ten.)

We Also Suffer who only Stand and Shiver (with Apologies)

The recent article by Trevor Rhodes re his first caving trip, has brought the following article from another member of that same party:-

I .feel I must correct the false impression which may have been created by the account of Trevor Rhodes of his first caving trip. (A full Top Swildon’s described in the July BB). Be

warned, Readers !! Mr. Rhodes is only trying to make others make the same mistake (of going caving) in order that he can enjoy a good laugh. I speak not as the Scribes and Pharisees, but us one who also made the same trip.

Mr. Rhodes said nothing changing of the draught in the barn used for changing. These icy blasts cut one in half. I am glad he admitted that the walk from the barn to the cave is a cross-country trek; it is! He did not, however, mention the hazards of the walk, which included a field full of bulls which were only prevented from attacking us by the fact that they had already exhausted themselves chasing a previous party,

The average caver says Mr. Rhodes, has an amazing number of positions at his disposal. Lies !! He is forced to adopt many painful and ungainly postures, in addition to some which are actually impossible, Mr. Rhodes was fortunate to be able to recuperate in the Old Grotto. I had to sit on a cold, wet, hard rock, and try to enjoy a damp, battered cigarette. The bright lights used for photography merely showed up exactly how unstable the roof is.

The leader of the trip and Mr. Rhodes returned the wet way. A nice way of putting it!! They deserted us to avoid helping to get the photographic equipment out of the cave. Slackers ! Our hazardous return to the surface was at last ended, only to find that the grating which covers the entrance (or exit) had been carefully placed to ensure that we tripped over it. We duly changed in the draughty barn only to find that the pub was closed. a tragic ending to a ghastly trip.

Signed in haste. In Vino Veritas (or, the truth MUST be told)

PS Dear Editor,

I think that “scrofulous” should have been spelt with a final “e” as in louse.

A Continental Master Cave System

by Jill Rollason,

Having nothing better to do recently, I have been reading Lyell’s “Principles of Geology”, an came on some very interesting information. He said that during the boring of artesian wells in , the drills often slipped down through vertical cavities at depths of more than 150 feet, and brought up shells and vegetation which had not been more than 3 to 4 months in the water. He mentioned that the same thing happened in , and also in , where fish were spouted up, and puts this forward as a proof that water travels tremendous distances through the rock. The vegetation in was supposed to come from mountains 150 miles away.

I found more examples of these cavities in C.R.G. Newsletter no. 4.. Drills making a well 10,000 feet deep in Florida, slipped through open spaces of 18, 5, and 13 feet between depths of 2,000 to 3,000 feet.

But what surprised me were the numerous cases of fish spouted up from over 175 feet in the Sahara Desert. They were alive and possessed eyes in perfect working order. This so far, is fact, but on reading it I remembered a story told to me by a reliable person some years ago, to the effect that some fish found under the Sahara had no living relatives, except some caught in Loch Ness. Nobody knew how they got in such peculiar places, but it was suggested that there was an underground passage from to Africa.

Jill Rollason.

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It is to be assumed that the Saharan fish must have been the lonely Kipper. I believe that they are Scottish, and is about the only fish that could be spouted up in cases from under the desert.

In Bello Kipperas. I wot!

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There seems to have been a large bright spotlight focussed on caves and caving recently, occasioned by the peculiar spate of accidents both here and. on the continent. Let us all, as members of one of the oldest and largest Mendip Clubs, do our bit to make sure that there are no accidents in any party that we go underground with. To the younger members I say, “be careful” don’t do foolish things; make sure your tackle is adequate and safe, don’t show off to your novice pals!.' To the older hands I say “Keep your eye on the youngsters and encourage then to take care”. As an organisation we have always been remarkably accident free. Let us remain that way.

Oldtimer.

A Large Austrian Cave.

by John Monson.

One of the largest cave systems in the Western Zones of is the Eisriesenwelt, which lies in the Tennenge birge near the village of Werfen, which is some 40 kilometres south of Salzburg on the main railway to Innsbruck. There is a Youth Hostel in the village.

The entrance lies 5000 feet above the valley floor on the east side. The guidebooks recommend about 3 ½ hours for the climb up to it. We did it in just under 2 hours and 20 minutes, being hotly pursued by an American speaking Viennese who claimed to have just bettered two hours! There is – oh joy – a mountain hut well stocked with excellent food, about half a mile below the entrance, from which the expedition starts.

The system comprises in all, some 25 km of chambers, which were first explored about 1920 though the existence of the cave was known some years previously. The entrance itself is about twenty feet square, forming a cold gash at the bottom of a cliff. Just inside the entrance and still well in the daylight the floor is covered by a dirty grey material which on close inspection is seen to be ice. The terminal moraine of the glacier which in fact runs the full length of the main series. The reason for the late exploration of the cave soon became apparent, as at about 100 yards from the entrance and in a chamber of the order of the size of GB one comes to the foot of an ice-fall. This must be some 80 ft. high and not far off the vertical - such as would be a feat in step-cutting for the experienced in daylight, let alone in the dark. However, there is a wooden ladder up it today.

Once the top is reached the glacier continues only slightly upwards, and one is surrounded by grottoes of red-stained rock, through which rush frozen torrents and many stalagmites and the things that hang down - all in the finest greeny-blues, and which look superb against the browns and the pure white of the floor. In one place one walks beside the bottom of the glacier with it towering up 30 ft. and showing year lines every 8 inches or so in the blue ice. In another place there is a narrowing, so that the cave is only 4 ft by 6 ft; the draught blowing through so strongly as to put out a lamp The place where this current of air enters the cave has not yet been found. The main series extends some two miles from the entrance, the rest being made up of upper passages.

To those unused to large quantities of’ ice in caves, and those used to being unable to walk upright this cave offers something - if only a stiff neck.

The guide only allows the taking of photographs if h e doesn‘t see one take them; interesting thought that!

John Monson