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Thanks are due to Tony Johnson for the cover of the Xmas number; A very fine effort, Tony.

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Thursday Meeting are now being held at St. Mary Redcliffe Community Centre, Guinea Street, Redcliffe Hill, in room 2.  Thus we have returned to our old meeting place.

NOTE

The A.G.M. will be held in Old Market as previously announced, and NOT at Redcliffe.

Dinner tickets will be available until 22nd. Jan., and if you have any resolutions for the A.G.M. you may hand them in at any time before the start of the meeting.

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Les Peters has written in and requested that a page be reserved for ‘Home’ snippets of news.  This is an excellent idea, Les, and I wish that I could have such a page each month, but the snag is that there would be precious little to go on it.  There seems to be an almost complete absence of ‘Local’ news, due, no doubt, to the fact that very little DOES happen, and those things that may be of interest are very seldom reported to me.  I am quite willing to have a bash, so come on you ‘Locals! and let me know your news items!!

Building a Belfry

by  Tony Johnson

Part 4.

The following weekend it was the mixture as before, but lo, there is a difference.  A 350cc Triumph leans against the hut and its owner is to be seen prowling around the ruins.  Mush wrangling finally evolves a way of getting the roof on by hand.  The ends of opposing sections are laid on the top of the walls with the centres held up to the correct height on poles.  People on oil drums are detailed to swipe in nails as each section passes to its correct position.  This causes great good fun with squashed fingers lying about the place as thick as sprats.  All goes well – much too well – until the last sections are all that remains - then- Calamity.  First they slide out over the walls and then when they have been fished back there seems to be a gap all round.  Who said this lot of bits made a complete hut??  However, there is a genius abroad, Angus Innes du Triumph has just passed his Lower national and is raring to go.  Before you can sing ‘The Barley Mow’ all the precious lifeline is roped into service and threaded loops the length and breath of the hut.  Crowbars are put into loops and to the strains of such as ‘Avast ye lubbers’, they are twirled until the hut is tourniqueted in a manner that wouldn’t disgrace a District Nurse.  In no time the hut pulls itself together, the windows more so, and nails are hammered home.

At this, an impromptu war dance is executed in the wide open spaces until a plaintive cry disclosed Angus still holding on to the crowbars.  Let go, Angus, and join in!  What a silly remark!!  Crash Bash! Smash! - - - - Splash!!  One is through the window, and, oh well, we were going to have a chimney there anyway, but ‘tis a pity about the bar, useful pranging iron that.

(The concluding part of this saga will be in next month’s issue.  Ed.)

It would be nice to be able to print some caving reports, but, alas, those strong, silent types who venture underground, cloak their doings in secrecy, and only vague stories reach me.

T.H.S.

The Black Mountains

By John (Menace) Morris

In front of my cottage stretch the long ridges of the Black Mountains, without a doubt, the best ‘Hill-walking’ region in .

I intend to give you some ides of what they have to offer.  First, I will deal with the Eastern Group, of which the highest, Waun Fach (2660ft.) lies directly opposite a few miles from where I live.  This group is bounded on one side by the Usk Valley and on the other by the Wye.  At one end is the Hereford plain and the other is bounded by the sharp and shapely peak of Mynydd Troed (2010ft.) and the Brecon Valley.

There is no real rock climbing on these mountains, but one side is a scarp and extremely steep, with some immense gullies splitting it.  The rock in these gullies is not reliable, being sandstone, but under snow conditions, they can give the mountaineer something to think about.  The high tops are an immense windswept area giving wonderful views, and it is easier than one would think to get lost.

The Western Range is usually known as the Brecon Beacons and Fforest Fawr.  The highest and most sensational section contains Pen-y-Fan (2906ft.) Corn Du (2868ft.) and the very striking Cribyn (2612ft.).  The walk to there from Brecon is rather tedious, but from the Youth Hostel at Storey Arms, on the Brecon – Merthyr road is quite short and easy.

The view from the top of Pen-y-Fan is wonderful, from Bristol on one side and Cader Idris on the other.  The most fascinating part of these mountains is the great Cwm below Pen-y-Fan and the Cribyn with its great N.E. face, and the black lake of Llyb Cwm Llwch at the base of it.

The whole face is extremely steep and seamed with gullies.  There is a lot of climbing of a very high and delicate standard on this face, and under snow and ice conditions it demands rather advanced technique with ice pitons etc.  Belays in the 900ft. of climbing are conspicuous by their absence.

I would like to arrange, early this year – with the help of some of the ‘old team’, some courses for beginners in ice and snow-craft.  The best time for weather conditions is usually in Feb. and March.

One of the best recommendations that the Black Mountains can have is that they are the nearest real mountains to Bristol.  That they are real mountains there is no doubt, and they give one the impression of being twice their height.  I only hope that some of you that read this will find yourselves able to come and try these mountains and judge them for what they are worth.

J.V.M.

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DON’T FORGET to send in your Ballot forms so that they arrive by post not later than Jan. 30th or BRING them with you to the A.G.M.

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Notice from the Committee

After the January Committee Meeting the 1952  Committee will be dissolved and they will only meet again in the event of an emergency.

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There is, in the Amateur Photographer No. 3541, dated 19th. Nov. 1952 on page 512 et seq. a very interesting article on Cave Photography.  We too, have one up our sleeves for the next month (I hope).

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Ruthless Rhymes for Callous Cavers.

By ‘ALFIE’

Down a pitch poor Willie Stocks
Got pulverised by falling rocks.
Cavers looking down said, “Blimey,
That’ll make the rock face slimy”.

In a rift poor Bertie Bright
Got himself stuck good and tight.
One day we must go and shift
Bertie – ‘cos he blocks the rift.

Little Albert had his lot
Falling off a laddered pot.
Nothing makes us cavers madder
‘Cos we’ve got to mend the ladder.

O’er a ledge young Frances Hope
Clambered with a ten foot rope.
His disappearance makes us sure
The drop is thirty feet or more.

Diving through unknown sump
Robert hit his head a bump.
Everyone his death regrets,
He had got the cigarettes.

Basil Billings bashed his head
On a curtain – stained it red.
You’d think he’d show consideration
For such a beautiful formation.

 ‘Alfie’

Change of Address

Mr. and Mrs. H. Shelton, 5, Sunny Side, Clutton Hill, Clutton, Somt.
Mr. (Postle) and Mrs. (Dizzie) Tompsett, 57, Rothman Ave., Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.

Letters to the Editor

Sir

With reference to the article in the Xmas Issue of the BB regarding the dating of Archaeological specimens, may I draw your attention to the following articles: -

‘The Dating of Cave Deposits’, Archaeological News Letter Vol. 2, No.9 Feb. 1950 Page 141.

There are also references to palynology, Varve-Clay Layer counts and Tree-ring Counts.

‘The Measurement of Radioactivity in Solution’ by George K. Sclweitzer.  Journal of the Tennessee Academy of Science, Viol XXIV No. 2.  dated April 1949.

Yours faithfully
            ‘Another Scientist’

 

To: -

The Problem Page, Belfry Bulletin.

 

Dear Auntie Prudence

                                    I wrote to you before, as I was very lonesome, and you invited me to join a Wholesome Youth Club.  I have joined an Exploration Club and I do hope you can help me as I am in rather a predicament, though please don’t think I have done anything I shouldn’t ---Yet.

At this club I met a man who I do not think my mother would quite approve of.  I know he is not all that could be desired, but I trust him and I think I can reform him.

He has asked me to go caving with him, and has offered to supply all the equipment we shall need.  Do you think I should take advantage of this offer?  I am rather dubious, because on several occasions he has mentioned that we shall not need lights.

Please reply quickly before he loses interest and I am eagerly awaiting your guidance.

Young and Innocent,
            Bristol.

Auntie Prudence replies: -

 

My dear ‘Y & I’

                                    I am indeed gratified that you have followed my advice in the past and am only too pleased to help you once more.  If you will send me a stamped addressed envelope I will be only too pleased to explain the best course of action privately to you.  There are certain things that all intending lady cavers should know before venturing underground, such as the application of luminous paint etc., so just send along an s.a.e. and I will send you full instructions.  My love to you dear,

Aunt Prudence.

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There is STILL room for YOUR article in the BB.

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R.J. Bagshaw.  Hon. Sec.  56, Ponsford Road, Bristol. 4.
T.H.Stanbury.  Hon. Editort B.B.  74, Woodleigh Grds., Bristol. 4.