A Happy New Year to Members of the Bristol Exploration Club from Caxton, his team of slaves and the Editor.


Thanks to the efforts of several members and to a little ‘Pruning’ here and there, we are able to continue publication of the BB for the time being.  An earnest appeal is made to call to send in material suitable for publication.



We have been asked to print the following:-

To Whom It May Concern.

Notice is herby given that Mr. M. Hannam T.B.C.O.M., has reluctantly decided to relinquish his honorary title of T.B.C.O.M. to Gilbert Gruff Esq., R.I.P. of Mendip.  A close Analysis of Mr. Gruff’s activities, as revealed in the well known bardic legend, shows that he undoubtedly deserves this honour (!) more than any other person on Mendip.  The title of B.F. will be awarded to Mr. Gruff’s kangaroo for services rendered.

Accidents (Concluded)

By J.V. (Menace) Morris.

Having dealt with exposure in the last issue of the BB, I will now dwell on the other kinds of caving or climbing mishaps.

They are:-

Fractures; Contusions; Sprains and Lacerations.

Fractures can be quite common and varied.

The main symptoms of a fracture are usually as follows:- Visual. i.e., bent or misshapen limbs, undue mobility, or complete lack of same, swelling, and lastly the most dangerous, crepitus.  Crepitus is the grating of the broken ends of the bone together. 

I need hardly say that it is most stupid to test for a fracture in this way.  All these symptoms are accompanied by great pain.

If the fracture is compound or complicated, i.e., bone crushed or broken ends piercing the flesh, greatest care should be taken.  The victim should be treated for shock, which is usually extreme with fractures.  The wound should be then dusted with Sulphanilamide powder, a sterile shell dressing lightly bound over it, or if this is not available, any clean and if possible, sterile dressing available.  The limb should then be splinted.  Anything rigid may be used as a splint; a ladders rung, trenching tool handle; and ice axe, in fact, anything that comes to hand.  In the case of a fractured leg the victim’s other leg would serve.

In cases of' severe haemorrhage a pressure bandage should be applied.  A tourniquet should not be used unless other means fail.  Even then it should not be kept on for more than twenty at the outside.  Keeping it applied longer than this leads to gangrene.  (A ‘pressure bandage’ must not be covered by any other dressing.  Ed.)

All bad wounds, especially to limbs, should be treated in this way and immobilised, and the possibility of a fracture should not be ruled out.  Never pour iodine on a wound as it is now out of date, causes increased shock and burning, with resulting scar tissue.

If available, the victim should be given two tablets of Sulphathiozole (M & B) every two hours to minimise infection.

There is always the possibility of a fractured skull.  If the skull is visibly fractured there is not a lot one can do for the victim.  However, a fractured skull need not be fatal.  Other signs of a fractured skull are bleeding from the ears and nose.  The victim will probably have a violent headache, though not always.  He may lose the use of his limbs, and pupils of his eyes be dilated and vacant with little or no reaction to light.  He will not necessarily become unconscious.  As soon as a fractured skull is suspected the victim should be kept as quiet as possible, and expert medical aid obtained at once.

Internal haemorrhage.  This is extremely serious and can be caused by broken bone ends piercing the internal organs; e.g. fractured ribs or pelvis.  There may be no outward sign, although there may be bleeding from the mouth.  Other signs are rapid shallow pulse and respiration, and a sharp drop in body temperature.  The same treatment applies as for a fractured skull.

In any case of serious or suspected serious injury, medical aid should be obtained as soon as possible.  A man’s life may depend on how quickly the rescue can be effected.  Also, of course, you can do a lot to help whilst waiting for assistance.  Don’t panic, keep cheerful, for the victim’s sake, even if you don’t feel it, and get expert medical aid as soon as possible.

I have not written this to try and frighten anyone, but to point out that you, everyone of you, can help in some way in case of emergency.


Committee Notice.

The committee regrets to have to announce that owing to the continued rise in the cost of material, etc., it will be necessary to increase the Annual Subscription by 2/6 per head for 1955.


Change of Address.

Postle & Dizzie Thompsett, 51 Rothmans Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex.
A.J. (Tony) Crawford, 3 Hillside, Harefield, Nr. Uxbridge, Middx.

Additions to Club Library.

The Speleologist No. 8
C.R.G. Newsletter No. 48 May/June 1954.
C.R.G. Newsletter No. 49/50 July/Oct. 1954.
N.S.S. Newsletter Vol. 12 No. 9 Sept. 1954.
N.S.S. Newsletter Vol. 12 No. 11 Oct. 1954.
S.W.C.C. Newsletter No. 10 Oct. 1954.
B.C.C.C. Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 9 Oct. 1954.
B.C.C.C. Newsletter Vol. 3 No. 10 Nov. 1954.


A few notes on French Caves.

By Alan Wrapson of the W.S.G.

During our trip to France we (members of the W.S.G.) had an unlimited choice of terrain, and our main problem was to pick out which systems to investigate in the limited time at our disposal.

Whilst at Rocmadour we visited Padirac - the show portions.  We found the French Authorities most helpful and willing to show the non-tourist sections if they were given a little notice.  We also spent many sporting hours in ‘our’ type of caves - some of the ones known to B.E.C. members and also others pointed out to us by the local speleos.  I regret that I cannot give references as the maps that I marked are not now in my possession, but I can perhaps tell you a little of one system: -

The cave is near the road from Montevidean to Gramat, and the entrance is at the end of a steep sided valley.  A stream joins the passage a few yards inside the cave, and then the passage and stream press on together.  The passage-way is large, but wading up to the waist cannot be avoided.  (The cave has the appearance that in flood time the water level is very high and the flow very fast!)  There is a vast accumulation of debris in the bed of a stream.  The water passage leads into a large inviting chamber with steep muddy walls, the stream by this time having taken a different course.

After one hour from the entrance the stream plunges over the edge of a vertical pot, and I have never seen a pot with such smooth sides.  Progress further without tackle is impossible, and I would say a 10 foot ladder with a thirty foot tether is required at this point.  The water level is some ten feet below the approach passage and this lower level appears to be a small (??) lake which vanished into the darkness on the left.  With a strong torch beam we could not tell the depth of water at the bottom of this pot.

I want to return at some future date to this ‘very sporting’ system and find out a little more about its history, flooding etc.

Whilst at Annecy we visited la Grotte de la Diau, some 15 miles from the town.  The cave is fed by glacic water and was more than a little cold!!!  We had borrowed a rubber boat from a member of the Speleo Club de Lyon, but did not progress far owing to the intense cold.  This cave appears to be very dangerous in flood time; we found a badly mauled and shredded dinghy and a light weight metal ladder that was almost unrecognisable. As such.

When we were in Lyon for a night we were treated to a spectacle one never sees in England: - a showcase full of every conceivable type of cave formation splendidly illuminated by concealed lights.  We were rather taken aback but then, the French seem to have plenty more where they came from.

A. Wrapson.

What About Your Voting Form?

YOUR vote may put YOUR candidates on the Committee.  If you fail to send in your form you have only yourself to blame if your selected candidates lose by a narrow margin.


FILL IN YOUR VOTING FORM - TODAY, Put it in the envelope provided AND MAKE SURE THAT


The above also applies to Resolutions for the A.G.M.  If you have any bright ideas for the betterment of the B.E.C.  Let us hear about it at the A.G.M. as the A.G.M. is the right place for all such brainwaves and also for criticism, if any.



T.H. Stanbury        Hon. Ed. 48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
R.J. Bagshaw,       Hon. Sec.  56, Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol.4.
K.C. Dobbs,           Assist. Hon. Sec., & BB Distribution & printing, 55 Broadfield Road, Bristol .4.

Financial Statement for year to 21st December,1954

Annual Subscriptions


45    8      -

Interest on Post Office account (2 years)


2      9    11

Redcliffe Hall:         Levy
                            Less hire

13     -     6
12     -      -

1       -      6



1      8      9.

Deficiency for year


39    4      8½



89  11    10½

Belfry:                   Expenditure
                            Less Receipts

75   14   -½
35    7     7

40    6      5½

"BB": Stencils paper etc.,

12   14     3
6      6     7½

19     -    10½

Tackle:                  Expenditure
                            Less Levy

13   19     6
3      6      -

10  13      6

Public Liability Insurance


7    19      4

postages & stationery


3    10    10.



2    12      6.

National Speleo Society of America


1    17      1.

Annual Dinner:       Receipts
                            Less cost

22   17     6.
21   13     6

1      4      -

Goods for resale:    Purchases
                            Less sales

7      9     9
6    19     7½

-     10      1½



1    17      2



89  11    10½

Total Club monies 1.1.54


65    8      5½

Less Deficiency for year as above


39    4      8½



26    3      9.

Post Office Savings Bank balance 31.12.54


36  15      5

Cash in hand 31.12.54


9       -      4



45  15      9

Less reserve for Annual Dinner 29.1.55


19  12      -.

Total club monies 31.12.54


£26  3      9

Annual General Meeting 1955

To be held at The Redcliffe Community Centreat 2:15 on Sat 29 Jan


  1. Election of Chairman
  2. Collection of ballot papers
  3. Collection of member resolutions
  4. Election of 3 tellers for ballot
  5. Adoption of minutes of 1954 A.G.M.
  6. Hon Sees Report
  7. Hon Treas Report
  8. Caving Report
  9. Climbing Report
  10. Tackle Report
  11. Belfry Report
  12. Library Report
  13. Members resolutions
  14. A.O.B.

Members Resolutions may be handed in at the start of the A.G.M. but for admin reasons it would be appreciated if they could be passed to The Asst Hon Sec 55 Broadfield Rd Bristol 4, well before this date.

Resolutions so far received .

  1. Proposed.  That the Quorum required for an Annual General Meeting shall be 30 members or one third of the paid up strength of the Club
    D Hasell
  2. Proposed.  That once yearly a complete list of members addresses be circulated as a supplicant to one issue of the "B.B"
    J Waddon
  3. Proposed.  That the number of persons serving on the committee should be made official.
    K C Dobbs.
  4. That some steps be taken to get some younger members on the Committee.
    K C D