On several occasions we have been asked – mainly by editors of other caving journals – whether it would be permissible for them to reprint or to quote from articles appearing in the B.B. and enquiring whether such articles are in any sense copyright.

For the benefit of any others who may be about to ask the same questions, there is no form of copyright whatever claimed for any article appearing in this magazine.  We rely, of course, on the good manners of anyone who reproduces material from the B.B. to acknowledge the fact in the accepted manner.

Whilst on this subject, perhaps we should also state that the views of any contributor as expressed in the B.B. are not necessarily those of the editor, and that his views are not necessarily to be taken as representing those of the club ass a whole. In general, any material of a controversial nature is normally discussed with the committee before being published in the B.B.

We note that some other caving journals are subject to copyright restrictions.  No doubt they have their reasons.  In some of them, there is a little we should like to copy. However, we like to feel that others may, if they wish, feel free to copy from the B.B.



Dear Sir,

I keep receiving a copy of your Belfry Bulletin.  Obviously something has gone astray with your addressing system as I have no knowledge of caving.  Perhaps the real recipient of my copy means to you and points out that he does not receive his Bulletin.  I hope, for the clubs sake, that he pays his subscription.  If not, then you must find his correct address and do the necessary. Perhaps he will ‘astound the secretary and send in his subscriptions.’

I’m afraid that I must admit to reading your Bulletin.  I have found them very interesting – though not to the extent of wishing to become a pot-holer or cave man or whatever you call yourselves.  You must have some very interesting tales and experiences to tell.

Thank you for increasing my general knowledge.  A speleological society would certainly have me stumped in any quiz.  Congratulations on your new cover; good luck to you cave men, and may you find many interesting things in your most unusual hobby.

                        Yours sincerely
                                    A.J. Cornish

P.S. I hand your Bulleting round the office where nobody has heard of Speleology.  Poor ignoramuses!

Editor’s Note.    Mr Cornish has been receiving the W.S.G. copy of the B.B. in error.  He seems the sporty type, however, and we have written to acknowledge his letter. It isn’t often we get a layman writing in the B.B.


The report of the April Committee meeting will be found on a later page of this B.B.  The Caving Log will be published next month.

This Or That?

Members will no doubt have come across magazines such as “Which”.  We have receive the following article on the same lines from the cavers Advisory Bureau.

Although members of the B.E.C. are well aware of the quality of the B.B., it is rumoured that some cavers are so unfamiliar with this popular publication that they have sometimes joined other clubs in order to receive a copy of other caving magazines. The Cavers Advisory Bureau has now conducted a series of tests between two caving magazines, and hopes that readers will be interested inn the results that follow.  Two dissimilar magazines were tested.  One, a monthly issue (The Belfry Bulletin) and the other issue less frequently and referred to as the Other Journal.

General Information

Both magazines were tested for wedging properties and here the O.J. scored heavily as its thickness enabled the most decrepit table to be steadied easily.  It could also be left longer in such a position than the B.B., as it was needed less frequently as a reference.

Neither of the magazines were likely to explode when placed in a draught of less than 45 feet per second.

Both periodicals could be used for cleaning purposes, the absorbency of each being similar.  Here, 99% of the users said that they preferred the O.J., as it has less staples proportionally to the number of pages available.  (The other user was eccentric).

Crease Resistivity

Tests were made as follows. 60 copies of the O.J. and 220 copies of the B.B. were placed evenly under the bunk of Mr. Colin Rees under his sleeping bag, on which he was invited to rest his body for a period of eight hours.  No satisfactory result was obtained as Mr Rees fell asleep while smoking, reducing mattress, sleeping bag and magazines to indistinguishable carbonated matter. It is hoped to repeat this experiment when the Belfry has been rebuilt.

Washing Tests.

These were equally inconclusive.  35 copies of each magazine were placed in Lady Well for 1 hour after the spring had been swollen by 1.035 inches of rain.  All the magazines began to fade after 6.7 minutes and after 30 minutes of immersion, it was found that 95% of the pages had disappeared.  A similar test was conducted in anti-freeze, but the samples corroded.  A crowd of members were seen later crouching by the streamway and panning for the gold washed out of the covers, actually recovering enough to plate a large wooden spoon.

Reading Material

Analysis showed that the O.J. contained more full stops than the B.B.   Testers complained that, because of this, more breathing was required when reading the B.B. aloud, and in this respect it appeared that the B.B. was more breathtaking than its rival.  On enquiry, it was discovered that regular readers of the O.J. tended to improve their breathing by lung exercises at tap-room level, so that this difference may not be significant.

The O.J. was found to contain less consciously humorous articles than the B.B.  Neither magazine contained a picture of Marilyn Monroe.


The Caver’s Advisory Bureau therefore finds the O.J. more suitable for practical purposes, and its choice in the matter of reading material was found to be a question of taste.  For Caving News; accuracy; topically; wit; intelligence and economy, the Best Buy was found to be the BELFRY BULLETIN – 12/6 per year.

Cuthbert’ Survey

In last month’s B.B., we suggested a write-up on the present position, and future prospects of the high grade Cuthbert’s survey started by Don Coase. The article which follows is the result: -

In the article on this subject written last month by Bryan Ellis, the Grade 6 survey started by Don Coase was referred to.  I am in the position of being able to throw a little more light on this work, and this seems a good time to do so.  After the cessation of work caused by Don’s death, very little has been done; but recently, interested seems to have revived.  As a result, this article will also include some suggestions for the future.

The Grade 6 survey was started at what was then the sump, and Don intended to complete a continuous open traverse all the way to the entrance as a first stop.  From point, he intended to complete a series of closing traverses, which would fill in the reminder of the main routes through the cave and fill the remainder of the main routes through the cave and also check the accuracy of the original traverse.  Where small loops could be incorporated into the main traverse on the way, this would be done to avoid too much going over the same ground twice.

The first three trips were occupied in going along the relatively straightforward route from the sump to Plantation Junction.  We took a lot of detail measurements, as Don wished the survey to be as detailed as possible.  This passage may always be an open traverse, and so extra care was taken to ensure that errors did not crop into the results.  On some of the stations, more than one of us read the astrocompass and agreed on the angles as recorded.

The fourth trip brought the survey up to the junction of Everest Passage and the fifth trip did the first closed loop between the Fingers and Cascade Passage. Unfortunately, this traverse did not close by as much as eleven degrees and several feet.  The next trip (and last, as it happened) spent the whole time re-surveying this loop, which now closes exactly.

Since then, Jill and myself have spent two short trips in showing that it will not be possible to run a line from the entrance to the bottom of the entrance pitch.  This then is the work which has already been done in the cave.

The results obtained to date have, of course, been plotted and a survey of that portion of the cave so far covered has been on the Belfry wall for some time now.  The data book is, at present, in my possession.

One of the things which needed alteration was the station numbering system, and I have rewritten the data using the system adopted by Bendall and Crickmay in their survey of G.B. in which such a traverse has a reference letter; each main station has a number; and each subsidiary substation has a final small letter. Thus a particular traverse might be called ‘B’ traverse and stations would be numbered B1, B2, B3, etc.  A small side passage running off at the point B2 would then have stations along its length labelled B2a, B2b, B2c, etc. The traverse to date has thus been labelled ‘M’ traverse (For Master) and main stations up to M245 exist.

Work is in hand to copy data into two new books, which may then be added to by any team of surveyors who want to add to the Grade 6 length.  This length, incidentally, is just over 1,000 feet at present.  The idea of two books is merely to guard against loss.

The results for M traverse will give all the stations positions and details, all the inter-station detail and the calculated Eastings and Northings of each station.  Thus any other surveying teams can pick up from any of the stations already covered and can draw their own version of the survey from the data already in the book, and go on from there.  It will not be necessary into have anyone “in charge” and, if all surveyors calculate their own Latitudes and Departures, a master drawing can be produce by anyone from the data without drawing errors becoming cumulative.

I hope to be able to do some more myself before I am very much older, but if indolence should get the better of me, I am sure that the book will gradually get filled up until all the system has been recorded.

It is at this point that I feel the club will have a great opportunity.  Cuthbert’s is probably the most complex cave system in this country, and no ordinary method of presentation is going to do justice to such a complicated undertaking as the completed survey will have become.  It would be a fine memorial to the work of Don Coase if the survey was presented in book form – a Cuthbert’s Atlas – in which pages of maps alternated with the description of the part of the cave.


Lady Chatterbox’s Column

Risking dismembering and subsequent other diverting and friendly overtures by the chief participant, here is a somewhat hackneyed and bleary-eyed account of a wedding.

Those on parade were: -

Maurice Iles – Marijeanne Ashby
Best man?  Sid Obbs.
Husher Upper.  K.S. Gardner.
Large Blonde Bridesmaid (old enough)
2 same ditto (not old enough)

Maurice Iles wore his suit and Mr. Hobbs his sporting outfit.  Contrary to public belief, caving boots were not worn.  The Bride wore cream figured brocade with an Anne Boleyn type headdress and carried a bucket of mixed freesias.  The large bridesmaid wore mauve and the two small ones turquoise and they carried buckets of anymoles.  A reception was given by the Bride’s mum and was held at Keenes on the Wells Road.  Much sherry was then consumed (especially by the B.E.C.)  The Bride and Groom went away in a red Dauphine car.  (Undecorated – as we had been threatened).  They left for parts unknown to us and themselves, on the theory that no ruse telegrams could be sent.  Sid Hobbs was last seen in full cry after that large bridesmaid.

Digging News

Priddy Green Swallet

Enthusiasm is rising fast as the dig progresses and gets quite rapidly longer and deeper.  Apart form the smell (which is quite unlike any other cave, but which you get used to) it is now possible to go quite a decent distance from the shaft.  After climbing down the rock face below the shaft, a drop of a few feet leads to a passage which doubles back beneath the entrance.  A turn to the left at the end of this brings you to a downward sloping passage which is the present scene of work.  An enlargement of this passage can be seen at its lower end.  Prospects look very good.

Cooper’s Hole

The Mendip Cave Group, when contacted a few weeks ago, tell us that they are continuing excavation.  When last inspected, this dig had a mechanised mud removal device working!  They are certainly shifting a vast amount of infill from the hole.

No further reports from Nine Barrow Swallet, Emborough or Alfie’s Hole.


If you consult the O.E.D., you’ll find an entry strange
An editor is therefore defined as one who does arrange
Or annotates another’s work – another’s you will note
I wonder if the bloke who wrote that realised what he wrote!
I’d like to meet the gentlemen who wrote the O.E.D.
And get them all to have a bash at editing B.B.


Have you left any old caving or personnel gear at the Belfry? Check with the Hut Warden if you value it.  He may throw it out if he considers it is of no use!


Secretary, R.J. Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept, B. Prewer, 14 Egerton Road,, Bath, Somerset.