Belfry Bulletin

Search Our Site

Report on the Annual General Meeting 1955.

Dan Hasell was elected as Chairman for the meeting.

The Minutes if the 1954 A/G.M. were adopted.

The Hon. Sec’s report was brief; membership had risen by one to 118. The estimated number of 95 people at the dinner was an increase of 40 on last year. The club donated £5 to the Balch Testimonial Fund.  Members had so far subscribed £2/2/-.  He stressed the need of advising change of address.

The Hon. Treas. Report was adopted, subject to a small item being rectified.  The usual Belfry profit this year had been absorbed by the re-felting of the roof.  He did not favour the building of a new Tackle/Changing Room until the matter of site ownership was cleared.

A slight decrease in the number of caving trips was reported.  This seemed due to bad weather.  R. Gardner asked when something was to be published on Cuthberts.  D. Coase replied that this would be done when the Proceedings were published. K. Dobbs was asked why the entry restriction to Cuthberts was continued.  The answer was that the cave was not yet fully explored.  Due to the size of the cave it is impracticable to let people wander around, but parties are catered for.


  It was reported that the club now has 55ft. of wood and wire ladder, 70ft. of dural and 36ft. of ultra-lightweight.  The usual Question ‘Where are the digging implements?’ was asked, and, as usual, was not answered.  The use of the ultra-lightweight tackle was explained that it was not robust enough for general use and that the safety factor of this tackle was low.


Bed nights were down by 84 to 746, possible due to fewer outside clubs visiting Mendip, and a drop off of older regular users.  A vote of thanks was proposed to Sett for his services as Hut Warden.  He will be no longer able to continue in this office.  It was decided to refer the complaint about the locking of the Belfry to the 1955 Committee for action.


As a result of the Library Report it became obvious that even less books were borrowed than last year.  It was suggested that a list of stationery Office publications should be obtained with a view to purchasing relevant books for the library.


  1. The amendment to the first members’ Resolution was carried.  It provides for a quorum for a General Meeting; this is to be 25 p.c. of the paid membership of the club.
  2. It was resolved to publish a complete list of members’ names and addresses as a supplement to the BB.
  3. It was conformed that the number of persons to be elected to the Committee was 9, as laid down in the rules.
  4. No seconder was found for the resolution that steps be taken to get younger members on the Committee as the result of the 1955 Ballot was known.
  5. As a result of the resolution that Rule 3-12 be observed or scrapped the 1955 Committee was requested to look into all rules and bring them up to date.

Any other Business.

  1. It was resolved that a slate be fixed in the Belfry so leaders of trips may show their destination and approximate time of return.
  2. It was agreed that Rule 6 be amended to include affiliated Clubs.
  3. Keith Gardner was elected Club Archaeologist.
  4. The matter of First Aid Kits was referred to the 1955 Committee.

This is not a full report of the A.G.M. and may not be completely accurate.  The full minutes are available on application to the Hon. Sec.

K.C. Dobbs.

February Committee Meeting.

The 1955 Committee elected the following officers: -

Secretary & Treasurer    Bob Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
Committee Chairman      R.A. Setterington, Brookland House, Cannon Street, Taunton, Somt.
Assistant Secretary  Ken Dobbs, 55 Broadfield Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.
Hut Warden & Caving Sec          Alfie Collins, 27 Gordon Road, Clifton, Bristol. 8.
Belfry Maint. Engineer    Mike Jones, 12 Melton Crescent, Horfield, Bristol. 7.
Tackle Officer           Ian Dear, 1 Fairfield Villas, Henrietta Park, Bath, Somt.
Climbing Secretary   John Stafford, 5 Hampden Road, Knowle,Bristol. 4.
Assit. Climbing Sec  Chris Falshaw, 50 Rockside Drive, Henleaze, Bristol.
Ladies Representative    Judy Osborn, 389 Filton, Avenue, Horfield, Bristol. 7.

As Ken Dobbs will be leaving Bristol in the near future, the Committee have co-opted Alan Sandall (35 Beachamp Road, Bristol.7. to act as Assistant Secretary after Ken leaves.

All the matters referred to the Committee at the A.G.M. have been discussed.  A sub-committee has been formed to discuss alterations to the Constitution and rules.

Amongst other business dealt with were First Aid and M.R.O. kits; the provision of a blackboard for Caving Parties; the Belfry sink drainage; water supply; Calor Gas; water tank & lino for the Ladies’ Room; the arrangement of Club caving trips; tackle and digging tools.

Norman Brooks was accepted as a full member.

It is with regret that I had to type one sentence in the above Committee Report.  The item referred to is the one stating that Ken Dobbs will soon be leaving the district.

For many years our Ken has been a hardworking Committee member, and the progress of our organisation in recent years had been aided very considerably by his tireless work in all spheres of Club activity.  His place will be very hard to fill.  I hope that we shall see him often in the future and wish him every luck in his new venture.  Good luck, too, to Alan Sandall who is stepping into his shoes; I have not had the pleasure of yet meeting Alan, but I am told he will be a worthy successor to Ken.




I must apologise for the shortness of Page 2.  This is due to the fact that we are using a new type of stencil which is marked very differently to the old ones; thus ‘one of those things.’

Whilst in an apologising mood I have to again offer my regrets for this issue appearing so late.  Once more I plead that there are only 24 hours in a day, BUT I have been told that there will soon be 36 and acting on this assumption, I feel that I can promise future issues will be ‘on time’.



Annual Subscriptions are now overdue.

The revised subscriptions are as follows: -

Life Membership            £5/5/-
Joint (Man & Wife)         17/6
Full                              12/6
Junior                           7/6

Please send your subscription as soon as possible to: -

Bob Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


We may be allowed to keep a bookcase at Redcliffe.  If anyone has a suitable receptacle for books, or knows of one, would they please get in touch with the Hon. Sec.



Those members who knew Gordon Fenn will be interested to know he has become a father again – another boy.  Congratulations Gordon.


Notes on Cave Surveying Part 2.


It was pointed out in Part 1 of these notes that, to compile a rough survey of a cave, it is not necessary to use instruments, and that the C.R.G. recognise this fact in classifying such surveys as Grades 1 and 2.  However for any more accurate survey, it is necessary to use instruments and before discussing these it is worth while to have a look at the measurements which have to be taken during the survey of a cave.

Most cave surveying is done on the CENTRE-LINE system.  This consists of choosing a number of points in prominent positions in the cave and taking measurements from each point to the next, so that a fixed line can be drawn passing through the centre of the cave system.  Once this line has been fixed, the details of passage and chamber shape may be constructed.

Magnetic Surveying.

As most cave surveying is done using a Centre-Line system, so most Centre-Line surveys are done with Magnetic compasses.  The principle on which a magnetic compass operates is, I am sure, familiar to all cavers, and need not be explained.  Whatever its type, the magnetic compass measures the angle between the line on which the bearing is being taken, and the magnetic north.  Most magnetic compasses divide the circle of direction into degrees, North being taken as the starting point of 0 degrees, East coming next at 90 degrees, South as 180 degrees and West as 270 degrees and final back to North as 360 degrees.  Thus if the compass reads 225 degrees when pointed at a certain object, the object is southwest of you.

We have seen how the direction of one point is measured from another in a magnetic survey, and now we want to know the distance apart they are.  This is normally measured with a cloth surveyor’s tape calibrated in inches and feet on one side, and links and chains on the other, a steel tape of the same design for more accurate work, since it does not stretch, or a surveyor’s chain, which is 22 yards long and is divided into 100 links.

The only other measurement which we must know is the Elevation of one point from another (i.e. the distance vertically up or down one point is from the other).  This can be done using a clinometer, a very simple version of which is sketched below.  The plumb line always remains vertical, so that if the sighting bar is pointed in the direction of the point to be measured, the angle read off one protractor will be the same as the one to be measured.

These then, are the basic instruments normally used on magnetic surveying to measure BEARING (or direction) DISTANCE and ELEVATION, and we are now in a position to discuss grades of surveys using them.  This will be done in Part.3.




T.H. Stanbury, 48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.