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Result of Ballot for 1954 Committee.

The following were elected: -

R.J. Bagshaw,          Hon. Sec. & Hon. Treas.

K.C. Dobbs,             Hon. Assit. Sec., BB Printing and Circulation.

D.A. Coase,             Caving Sec., Batsford Road, Lower Failand, Nr. Bristol.

A Collins                  Assist. Caving Sec., 27, Gordon Road, Clifton, Bristol.

R.A. Setterington      Hut Warden, 21, Priorswood Road, Taunton, Somt.

P. Ifold,                    Climbing Sec., 75 Peverel Drive, Henbury, Bristol.

R. Bennett,              Tackle Officer, 57, Queens Road, Ashley Down, Bristol.

Mrs. C. Close,          Lady Rep.

As some doubt has been raised as to the actual number who should serve on the committee, i.e. 8 or 9, it has been decided to co-opt the next person on the list. The matter of deciding the correct number on the committee will be a job for the next Annual General Meeting.

In addition to the above officers J. Ifold of Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol is Librarian.

Additions to Club Library

C.R.G. Newsletters No. 45 & 46, July & August 1953.

N.S.S. Newsletter No. 2 for 1953.

B.C.C. Newsletter No. 1 Vol. 3, Jan 1954.

Result of Photographic Competition.

First:- D. Kemp.

Second: - Pongo Wallis.

Best with cheap Camera:- D. Hunt.


Try Anything Once

By R.J. Bagshaw

Members will, I am sure, be astonished to learn that their Dishonourable Secretary has actually been caving!  After many months (or should this be years?) I was persuaded to go down Cuthberts, but if ever I am again asked my reply will either be a derisive laugh or “Not B****y Likely”.

Going down the very narrow, entrance rift was easier than I anticipated, due to the gravitational effect of 15 stone.  The trip down was comparatively uneventful, but I found it was so long since I had tied on a lifeline that I had to have it done for me.  Of course I carried the largest and heaviest kit, apparently on the basis that as I am Secretary and Treasurer I can do the work of two people.  The only advantage was the fact that I was allowed twice as long as anyone else on the ladder pitches. 

We made the ‘Dinning Room’ our base and between sessions devoted to satisfying the inner man, made exploratory trips of the very extensive system.  The ‘Rabbit Warren’ is a veritable maze of passages, the main ones however, much larger than those required by rabbits.  Unfortunately the passages have large mud deposits, and in some places I sank almost to my knees and had difficulty in removing myself from the clutches of the mud.  It was in these passages that I fully realised that I was in very poor physical condition and my muscles were flabby or non-existent.

I rather feared that I should become a liability to the party, and I knew that certain members (especially those who have not yet paid their annual subs.) would rejoice if I were left down the cave.  My weight would, of course, defy all efforts to hoist me out.  In view of this, I did not go on one of the exploration trips, but remained behind and had about two hours sleep.  I woke up rather cold but soon warmed up in the scrambling exertions of the next trip.

On the way out I managed to climb the fearsome Pulpit Pot but my lack of fitness was shown by the three rests involved on the ascent, to recover a bit more energy for the rest of the climb.  I must also record my thanks for the assistance I received in various other places from the rest of the party.

Unfortunately the hardest climb is left until the end, by which time I felt a complete wreck, I forced my way up the first part of the entrance rift fairly easily, but as I weakened and the rift narrowed progress was practically halted.  I found the tightest part was round my chest as my tummy is soft enough compress.  However, in about the same time as it took all the rest of the party together, I reached the top, and soon afterwards I was thankfully collapsed outside in the fresh air.

A very welcome cup of char and a wash were followed by a visit to the Hunters which concluded the caving trip for the day and, I expect, my caving for the year.

I was very much impressed by the extent and size of the passages, the beauty of the formations and the number of ladder pitches.  However, considering the cave as a whole (no pun intended) I do not think formation is abundant, but it was very beautiful and in some cases very extensive.

P.S.  In the second paragraph for ‘largest and heaviest’ read ‘smallest and lightest’.

P.P.S.  I do consider, in all seriousness, that these 20 hour trips are too long, even for active cavers, unless adequate sleeping arrangements could be made.

R.J. Bagshaw.

Letter to the Hon. Assist. Caving Sec.

The Castle,
         30th. April. 54.

Dear Mr Collins,

            The last time that his Grace requested me to write to you it was to complain of' the accommodation which you were providing.  His Grace has recently been able to inspect for himself the present state of the Belfry and he has now asked me to write and tell you that he is, on the whole, most impressed with the facilities which you have arranged.

            He considered that the provision of a cave on the door-step was most happy but suggested that a hose was taken down to wash off some of the mud from its walls, but he found the catering facilities very adequate.

            With regard to the interior of the Belfry itself he has, however found one thing wanting.  On coming out of the cave he found that it was necessary to deposit his tail coat and top hat on the floor.  His valet has complained that this removed the creases from the trousers and a new suit has therefore had to be obtained.  We hope that this will be remedied within the next few weeks as, His Grace hopes to be honouring the B.E.C. with his company at Whitsuntide, and we are afraid that a recurrence will lead to the valet tendering his resignation.

            Incidentally, His Grace did not approve of the inscriptions which were written on the coachwork of the Bentley.  The chauffeur has, of course, been dismissed for allowing the car to get into a condition where writing on the car was possible.

Yours faithfully,

 (signed)  R.M. Wallis,
Private Secretary to His Grace the Duke of Mendip, Baron Priddy, & c.

New Members

The Club are delighted to welcome the following new members: -

P.E. Williams.                     4, Alison Road, Brislington, Bristol. 4.
R.E. Colyer.  No. 302;          35, Swiss Drive, Ashton Vale, Bristol. 8.
A.C. Williamson.  No. 303;    35, Creswicke Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.

And as Hon. Life Member,

Mr. C.W. Harris.  No. 304;    14, Market Place, Wells, Somt.


Roy and Joan Ifold are now the proud parents of a baby boy, Peter Allen, Born on 26th. April and weighing 61bs 8oss.

Congratulations to you both.


Trips to G.B. Cave organised by U.B.S.S. are as follow: -

Sunday 13th. June.  11.00am at the cave.
Tuesday 3rd. June.  2.30am at the cave.
Saturday 2nd. June.  2.30am at the cave.

All members wishing to attend on either of theses dates MUST inform Bob Bagshaw well in advance of the proposed visit as all names must be in the hands of the U.B.S.S. before the trip commences.

Annual Subs.

So far there are still 36 Annual Subs outstanding.


Northern Doings.

By R.M.W.

Merseyside is becoming a hive of caving activity these days and more and more cavers are coming to join us in the murky north.  Most recent arrival is Johnny Binden who is trying to flog his particular nauseating brand of ‘pop’ around these parts.  He seems to be making the acquaintance - I won’t say ‘friendship’ - of a lot of barmaids.  A recent visitor was our old friend Johnny Menace and a small party was made up for dinner followed by ale.  The Menace’s brakes are still in good order which was just as well, as round about 10.30pm. stone walls seemed to be jumping in front of the car with monotonous regularity.

Another resident is Johnny Pitts (ex U.B.S.S.) who hasn’t yet had the sense to join the B.E.C., although we have hopes that he will come to his senses soon.  Then, of course, there is Les Thompson, but his brother Geoff seems to have taken root in the midlands and is seldom seen.

Les and your correspondent investigated some North Wales minor holes over Whitsun (the latter getting very wet in the process and finding a very dead sheep in one of them) but as the weather suddenly turned most unusually summery the beach was found to be more attractive than underground.  Later on in September a further visit was paid to the Ease Gill – Lancaster region.  The party of 5 included Johnny Pitts and Charles Barker of G.B. Fame.  This time the weather went to the other extreme and Ease Gill was flooded for the early part of the week but a number of interesting trips were made and everyone voted it a very good week.

At the beginning of November your correspondent deserted the north for South Wales but found that he had brought the weather with him.  However, in company with the Coases several trips down OFD were undertaken and the marathon trek up to Pant Mawr was also made.  The London Section came down in force in its Land Rover for the second weekend and they brought some weather with them as well.  OFD was quite wet on Saturday with all this weather!

If any of you blokes from the sunny South are coming up this way don't let us know or you are liable to find yourselves dragged down some pot and we know you wouldn’t like that.