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Caving Report. January to June 1954.

By ‘Alfie’

According to the usual custom very little caving was done before Easter, although according to the Log, I should imagine that the amount of activity compared favourably with similar periods in the past. Trips entered before Easter included a G.B.; three Full Swildons; Three top of Swildons; the Burrington Caves and a top of Eastwater.

The main features of the Easter Weekend were two Cuthbert’s trips on Good Friday and Easter Sunday which were the first photographic trips down this cave. Three Swildons trips, two Eastwater and a G.B. completed the weekend. Visitors included bods from Reading University and several Derbyshire types.

Between Easter and Whitsun trips included two Full Swildons, a Goatchurch and an August Hole.

The shocking weather at Whitsun cut down caving considerably, but another Cuthbert’s trip took place, also a Swildons and an Eastwater.

The Redcliffe surveying restarted on 9th of April and has been progressing steadily. Plane tabling of detail is almost complete and final detail sheets are being prepared of most sections of the system. As the overlaying road plan is received, the final map will be started on. This is going to be drawn on a scale of 1:200.

Future caving events include a scheme to dig out Hunters Hole during the last week in July. Also, if anyone feels like a dig immediately after August Bank and would like to contact me, I have details of a very promising Swallet on Eastern Mendip which might go with quite a small amount of digging.


Conversation Place

Present – Mik Jones, Judy Osborn & Dave England.

Jones: -“When we’ve got a place of our own we’ll have a dirty great work-shop in the garden”.

England: - “There’ll be enough dirty work going on without having a special shop for it”.

Change of Address

May we stress to all members that if you change your address it is essential that you inform us as soon as possible. We’re overworked, not paid and we’re not psychic either. Sorting out grouses wastes time that we can’t afford, especially when they are about non-receipt of BB that is solely due to the person concerned forgetting to tell us that he has moved.



A number of young trees have been planted near the Belfry. We hope that in the future they will replace those used to grace the site. May we request that members do not interfere with these trees and exercise care if and when they move amongst them. They are chestnut and pine and are planted mostly near the walls.

Climbing Section

We now have no climbing hut in North Wales. If you require further details or alternative accommodation please contact Pat Ifold.

Additions to Club Library.

B.C. & C.C. Journal Vol. 3. No. 3 Mch. ‘54
B.C. & C.C. Journal Vol. 3. No. 4 Apl. ‘54
B.C. & C.C. Journal Vol. 3. No. 5 May ‘54
N.S.S. Newsletter Vol.12. No.3 Mch. ‘54
N.S.S. Newsletter Vol.12. No.4 Apl. ‘54
Bulletin 15 of N.S.S.
W.S.G. Newsletter No.28. Oct.’53
W.S.G. Newsletter No.30. Dec.’53
W.S.G. Newsletter No.32. Feb.’54
W.S.G. Newsletter No.34. Apl.’54
W.C.C. Newsletter No.44. 1954
S.W.C.C. Newsletter No. 7, Jan 1954

J. Ifold


A ‘Pongo’ Book Review

‘The Darkness Under the Earth’ by Norbert Casteret.

(Dent, 15/-).

The publication of a new book by Casteret is always an event though many people feel that none of his books have come up to the standard of ‘Ten Years under the Earth’.

‘The Darkness under the Earth’ consists of two halves – or rather about 1/5 and 4/5. The first part is called ‘The Joys of Speleology’ and is concerned with the exploration of a number of ice caves on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.

The second part – ‘The Dangers of Speleology’ – is a catalogue of the accidents which have befallen people in caves. It makes rather doleful reading, but the repetition of accident after accident is certainly very effective in making the author’s point that although some accidents are due to bad luck, in most cases they could have been avoided, or the consequences minimised. Casteret does not pretend that he has never done any of the foolish things he writes about – he has merely been lucky in avoiding the worst consequences.

Some of the accidents are almost unbelievably foolish. A party went down a pothole, using ropes to get down the pitches. Being short of rope they pulled the ropes down after them when they were all at the bottom! When they did not return a search party set out and eventually found them. They were most annoyed at being searched for and they said that they were quite capable of looking after themselves, in spite of the fact that had been sitting helpless at the bottom of the cave for 30-odd hours.

I hope that the B.E.C. does not need the warnings Casteret gives, but reading through his book should make all of us conscious that caving is not child’s play and that if we want to get home outside of 6 foot box we had better take reasonable precautions.


Kracks in Klassics for Keener Kavers

By Prof. Krun Spelunk.

After a Full St.Cuthbert’s.

Ah, my bone ache, my limbs be sore, alas I have the sciatica full evil in my hip.

John Skelton.

New Belfry Illuminations

Pendent by subtle magic, many a row of starry blazing lamps fed with naphtha and asphaltus.

John Milton.

Closing Time

The Tuneful voice was heard from high,
Arise ye more that dead.

John Dryden

Sett indulging in Technical Explanation

His listening brethren stood around, and, pondering on the faces fell.


On coming off a bike.

Were it not I have a lucky wooden skin, I had been hurt.

William Butler Yeats.

New system of Jobs at the Belfry.

I am sent with broom before
To sweep the dust behind the door.


Belfry Stew.

Thou comest in such questionable shape.


Waiting to use the stove.

And now about the cauldron sing
Like elves and fairies in a ring.


N.B. Prof. Krun. Spelunk graduated from Nine Barrows College (Prodd) in 1945 with first class honours in Mendip Folklore and Cave economics. He has published several papers, most of which are buried in the field behind the Belfry.


It is a very long time ago that a membership list was published in the BB. There must be a large number of members who have no idea where some of their ‘oppos’ live or if there are other members ‘around the corner’ from them. Consequently I propose to publish each month (providing of course that I receive them) lists of member, their membership numbers and their addresses. Regarding the latter item I would refer you gentle reader, to page one of this issue. These lists will be printed in alphabetical order to avoid any recriminations from anyone who may be tempted to think that his (or her) name should ‘go in’ before anyone else's.

T.H. Stanbury.

Membership list No. 1 1954.

D. Ackland No.301 94, Grittleton Road, Horfield, Bristol. 7.
A. Ball No.295 36, Manchester Road, Stockport, Cheshire.
Roy Bennett No.214 37, Queens Road, Ashley, Nr. Bristol.
J. Buxton No.201 Nr. Ashbourne, Derbyshire
S. Bowden-Lyle No.145 185, Church Road, Redfield, Bristol.
Ray Brain No.36 10, Weston Ave., Cossham Road, St. Georges, Bristol.
Viv. Brown No.270 1, Luccombe Hill, Redland, Bristol. 6.
Don & Clare Coase Nos34 & 211 Batsford, Lower Failand, Nr. Bristol.
Tony Crawford No.71 10, Elm Close, Hendon, London, N.W.4.
R.E. Collier No.302 35, Swiss Drive, Ashton Vale, Bristol. 8.


Although it is only June thoughts are already turning towards the Xmas BB. There is very little for it yet, but I am hoping to produce an even larger one than last year's, providing that I receive suitable material. So start early this time and send in contributions as soon as you can, and anyway not later than the second week in November. If your contribution is especially for the Xmas issue please mark the MSS ‘XMAS ISSUE’ at the top so will not be disappointed.



T.H. Stanbury Hon. Ed. 48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
K.C. Dobbs Esq:, B.B. Distribution, 55 Broadfield Road, Bristol .4.