Silver Jubilee

This month, the B.E.C. becomes twenty five years old – a quarter of a century; or, if you prefer to express it another way, the B.E.C. has been in existence for 3% of the time which has elapsed since the Norman Conquest!

It is now reasonably safe to say that the average bloke joining the club was not born when the club was founded, and this, we feel, entitles us to have a history of our own. You will find a little of this history in this copy of the B.B.

As well as being sent to club members in the ordinary way, an attempt is being made to send each past member – where we still have his or her address – a copy of this issue.  We hope that it will bring back some pleasant memories of your days in the club.  We send you greetings from all our present members and assure you that we are still batting on.  (Note the clever B.E.C. type pun).

We should also like to send greetings in advance to the Editor of the Golden Jubilee Number and warn him that, as we sit in our bath chairs, we expect to receive a magnificent bound volume all covered in gold leaf!

 “Alfie”

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This month notices will be found somewhat nearer the back of the B.B. – that is if we remember to type them.

The recent M.R.O. experiment in the use of sump rescue apparatus was successful.  Donations are required now to equip the M.R.O. with apparatus of this type.  Send them to Bob.

The Climbing Section are arranging meets during the summer inn the Avon Gorge on Thursday evenings.  Get in touch with Geoff.

March Committee Meeting

What must be a record number of nine new members were elected at this meeting.  They are: -

George Pointing; David Berry; George Blankhorne; R.G. Grace; David Smith; Robert Jones; Trevor Knight and John Flook.

It was suggested by the Hut Warden that large parties should always book bunks before coming, and that very large parties (greater than 10) should, in general, be discouraged.  The Belfry finances are going very well and the first six months of this club year have resulted in 601 bed-nights.  The meeting closed after discussing damaged formations in Stoke Lane.

May Committee Meeting

The May Committee Meeting elected Pam Russell and Derek Ford as full members of the club.  It was decided that all non-members would have to book at the Belfry; that visitor’s fees would be increased to 3/6 with a remission of 1/- if they had done some work; and that the lights out rules should be more rigidly enforced in the future.  The Caving Secretary announced that the memorial to Dan Coase is now cemented in place and the Climbing Secretary announced the start of Thursday meets in the Avon George before club.

A Short History of the Bristol Exploration Club

Based on an account by T.H. Stanbury and others

Since the early records of the club were lost in the blitz during the last war, and since there are very few club members who are accessible and whose association with the club goes back to those days; accounts of the very early years of the club bound to be a little hazy.

The story of the founding of the club is an established part of Mendip folklore by now, but, like most folklore, it is probably greatly embellished.  At any rate, a small group of fellow employees of our founder, “Harry” Stanbury, formed themselves into a caving party in 1953 and visited Goatchurch. The trip was a success, and, after acquainting themselves with the procedures of existing societies; they decided to form a new club.

Initial membership was about a dozen, and an inaugural meeting was called later in the same year at which a set of rules were drawn up and the bat adopted and the emblem of the new Bristol Exploration Club.  The basic phraseology of our present constitution come straight from the initial rules, and it is flattering to think that at least one other caving group – The Westminster – has drawn heavily upon it in formulating their own constitution over twenty years later.

The few years between the founding of the club and the outbreak of war in 1939 found the club constructing tackle – rather differently from the methods we use today – and running trips to most of the caves which existed on Mendip at the time.  The membership remained small and steady, as the club made little attempt to persuade others to join until they felt they had acquired enough experience on Mendip Caves to be able to offer new members a reasonable standard of caving knowledge.

At the outbreak of war, club membership was 15 – a figure which the subsequent call up soon began to reduce, until it was hardly possible to get a caving trip together.  The Emplex Caving Club, composed of employees from the Bristol Employment Exchange, found themselves in a very similar position, and in 1940, the two clubs combined.

Matters continued to get worse, even with the extra manpower provided by the merger and by 1943; the club existed in little more than name.  All its forces members were naturally not available for caving, and the few left behind found it almost impossible to get caving trips organised.

However, at this time, one or two other cavers contacted Harry Stanbury and a meeting was held at which it was decided to renew caving activities.  The club membership numbers date from this meeting, at which “Dan” Hasell, who usually presides over our A.G.M.’s and dinners, was present – his membership number being 4.

The end of the war in 1945 found the club shaky, but still functioning.  On most trips, since most of the early members lived in the Knowle area of Bristol, trips were organised from the Stanbury’s house in Redcatch Road; but on occasion, members would change at Maine’s Barn at Priddy.  It was those visits to “The Barn” which were mainly responsible for the dramatic growth of the club during the next two years from a handful of cavers to one of the major caving clubs of Mendip.

Maine’s Barn in 1945 was the home of a collection of cavers from a variety of sources.  The only club represented was the Bridgwater Caving Club, who were mainly employees of the Puritan Explosive Factory. Don Coase was one of these. Another of the organised groups was a small band of ex-U.B.S.S. cavers which had found the Burrington hut too far from caves of the Priddy district.  This group provided members like “Sett”, “Pongo” Wallis and myself.

As these cavers got to know each other, it became obvious that it would be a good thing if all banded together in one club.  The B.C.C. members realised that, now that the war had ended, their works, and hence their club, must eventually close down.  In the end, all these cavers joined the B.E.C., and this increase in membership was further swelled by returning forces members, some of whom brought friends along with them.  At about this time, the Mendip Speleological Group were also absorbed into the B.E.C. and by the end of 1946, the membership had risen to 80.

The need for a permanent Mendip Headquarters was now becoming of great importance, and accordingly money was lent to the club by some members and a hut purchased.  This was the old Belfry, which started life as a sports pavilion on Purdown and was erected by the club next to what is now the S.M.C.C. tackle shed.  On Saturday 1st of February 1947, Doan Coase spent the first night in the Belfry. Exact records have not been kept, but something approaching 10,000 bed nights have been spent at the Belfries by club members and guests since.

In January 1947, the first issue of the Belfry Bulletin was published – edited by Dan Hasell.  This is number 147, which seems to need no comment.

With the possession of a hut, the club continued to attract more members.  An active group from Nottingham University were among these.  The club now began to play an active part in the discovery of new caves on Mendip.  In 1947, Stoke Lane Slocker was transformed into a large cave by the discovery of Browne’s Passage by Pat Browne, and by the subsequent forcing of the sump by Don Coase, Pat Browne and “Sett”.  In addition to this, club members assisted Les Browne in the digging out of Browne’s Hole, and Withybrook Swallet, in the same area, was entered by the club.

At about this time, the Bridgwater Caving Club was formally incorporated into the B.E.C.  For many years, a B.C.C. membership card and a key hung in the Old Belfry to commemorate this event.

By 1948, membership had risen to 98 and to the club’s activities grew in proportion.  A survey of Stoke Lane was exhibited at a caving exhibition held in Bristol Museum; the Clifton Caving Club were absorbed; a London Section of the club was formed and a new loan amongst members resulted in the purchase of a new and bigger hut.  The original hut was moved and re-erected on the present site and the “New Belfry” built nearby.  Meanwhile the club’s interests continued to expand.  An active climbing section spent most weekends in North Wales and elsewhere; the club supplied most of the Somerset Section of the C.D.G. and club trips began to be organised to France and other European countries.

By 1949, the membership had reached 120 and the original weekly meetings at Redcatch Road had begun to suffer from some overcrowding. The idea of holding meetings on Thursdays was to organise the next weekend.  A room was therefore hired at Redcliffe Church Hall, to which we have now returned after meeting at St. Matthews Hall and the Education Centre in Old Market.

In 1950, the first Club Annual Dinner was held at the Hawthorns Hotel in Bristol.  This year also saw a porch added to the Belfry by the then Belfry Engineer – Tony Jackson.

In 1951, the club ran a stand in the “Our Way of Life” exhibition in Bristol which was held as part of the Festival of Britain arrangements.  The stand aroused considerable interest and members obtained a great deal of fun answering some of the questions asked by weegeees.  In this same year, some changes in the running of the club occurred with the object of distributing the work of running the club amongst a greater number of people.  The present system of club officers and the constitution of the club committee date from this time.

From 1949 to 1952, the membership remained steady at 120.  This period marks the end of the rapid post war expansion of the club.  In 1953 it dropped to 117.  Membership has remained at about this figure ever since, although it looks as if we are in for a further expansion at the moment.

In 1953, accommodation on Mendip was again improved by the addition of a six foot length to the New Belfry, which was used to enlarge the kitchen and the ladies room.  This year also saw the most important discovery the club has yet made.  By permission of Mr. T.C. Cunane, excavation was started during the early part of the summer, and, after a few months continuous work, a cave system was entered in October of that year.  St. Cuthbert’s is too well known to need any further comment.

In 1953 and 1954, the club surveyed the Redcliffe caves in Bristol, presenting a copy of the survey to the City Engineer. In 1954, Hunters Hole was opened.

During 1955, the land on which the Belfries stand came into the market and was purchased by the club in 1956.  The future of the Belfries had been worrying members since the Town & Country Planning Act had come into force, but now the land was the club’s all was well and the redecoration of the New Belfry was put in hand.

During 1957, the ladies room and the men’s room were redecorated, and mains electricity connected to the New Belfry.  A sad event of this year was the demolition of the Old Belfry, to make room for a new building to be built of stone.  Also during this year, the management of the Belfry Bulletin passed into the hands of the present editorial staff; a printed cover was first introduced and the size of the magazine increased.  The club assisted during the digging out stages of the re-opening of Pen Park Hole in Bristol, doing, in fact, about three quarters of the digging required to get in.  After running one tourist trip, the club abandoned its co-operation with the other societies owing to disagreements with “The Management”.  This however was offset by the new discoveries of the Maypole Series, Rabbit Warren Extension etc. in Cuthbert’s.

On January 31st 1958, Don Coase died after an operation.  On the Whit Monday of the same year, “Herby” Balch also died.  He was an Honorary Life Member of the B.E.C. and the father of caving on Mendip.

Much work continued to be done in Cuthbert’s and on the Belfry.  The kitchen was completely remodelled and, later in the year, permission for the new stone hut was granted and the foundations dug.  In the September of this year, the beautiful September Series was discovered in Cuthbert’s.

In 1959, mains water was connected to the Belfry; the new stone hut was half completed, and work was done on Tankard’s Hole and other caves.

This brings us to 1960 and the present day.  The new stone hut might be finished this year; the car park will be extended and the site tidied up; the club’s finances are sound; membership is increasing; we still lots of work to do in Cuthbert’s and we will shortly be combining with the S.M.C.C. in digging out Emborough Swallet.  Our own land and the Belfry is the busiest caving hut on Mendip.

In this account a few people’s names have been mentioned from time to time.  This should not be taken to mean that only those listed have played an exceptional part in the formation and prosperity of our club.  To list all those members whose efforts have made the club what it is today and who have produced by their hard work, the facilities which members now enjoy, would be impossible.  All have helped in some way or other and a full list would have to include items like the writing of the club song – which curiously enough was composed by Hal Perry, a teetotaller!

Chiefly, we owe more still to all those members who have helped to maintain the free and easy democratic good fellowship for which the B.E.C. has always been noted, and in this connection the words of our founder, Harry Stanbury, although written in 1947, are still, we hope, true today.

“We look to the future with every confidence, and we still claim, as we did in 1935, that the Bristol Exploration Club is unique in that it is a personal club, wherein everyone, whatever their age and standing is welcomed and encouraged to take an active part in the running of their club”.

Personal

Congratulations to Daphne and Roger Stenner on the birth of their second son on the 19th December. He has been christened Roger Anthony Dunning Stenner and Norman petty is a Godfather.

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Future topics to appear in the B.B. will include more on the use of barometers in cave surveying – an article on the formations in Cuthbert’s.  The trip to East Devon at Easter and more of the “Building a Belfry” Series.

Caving Log

For March and April

5th March.  St. Cuthbert’s.  Norman Petty, R. Stenner, Jim Hill, Garth and Pat Irwin. Start made with new wire in the           Wire Rift.  More cement taken to Dining Room.  Also tourist trip via Lake Chamber.  Out by normal route.

Swildons.  An excellent 5½ hour trip to Swildons IV. Uncertain of the way beyond St. Pauls, the party visited the stimulating, unfrequented dead ends that are common, obvious and misleading but convincingly appear to be the way on. The last section from Blue Pencil to IV caused chaos.  The change from head first to foot first in a confined space gave us unexpected joy. The trip was ill-timed.  We got out at 10.10.

              Priddy Green.  Worked for an hour or so removing assorted stones ready for the next bang.  Sybil.

6th March.  Swildons to Sump I.  Geoff Mossman, Pat Irwin, Garth and Sybil.  Long wait above the forty and even longer wait on return journey due to other cavers.  Clinkered boots are fine for caving but hell on ladders.  Geoff and Garth out via Wet Way and it was!

12th March.  Eastwater.  Colin Knight, Trevor, George and Garth.  Trip to top of Twin Verticals.  Returned and went to top of Dolphin Pot.  Wandered around the bedding plane on way out.

              St. Cuthbert’s.  “Mo” and O.W.S.S. party.  Trip to sump via Cascade Chamber and Railway Tunnel.  Returned via the Cerberus Series.

13th March.  Longwood Swallet.  Colin Knight, Trevor, George and Pat Irwin plus two Wessex members did Longwood to Great Chamber and followed the stream until it became too tight.

19th March.  Swildons I.  Leader R. Roberts plus party of 5 B.C.S.S. members.  Collected insects in White Way.

              Goatchurch.  Beginners trip.  Leader Sybil and seven members of Kingston sub-aqua club.  Main entrance so many holes from Boulder Chamber that rocks seem to have grown in many new places since last trip 8 years ago.  Drainpipe for the very few.  Three ‘fatties’ caused much amusement in ‘Bloody Tight’.  Must go down again to inspect the numerous extra holes. Out via the tradesman’s entrance where each member was duly christened with dollop of face mud.

20th March.  Swildons.  Beginner’s trip to top of Forty and out via the Long Dry Way.  Frank Darbon and members of the Kingston sub-aqua club.

              Goatchurch.  Anthony O’Flaherty, Prew, and large party down small cave.  Little purpose was seen by some in thrutching through the Drainpipe only to have to return on discovering the dead end.  Prew’s guidance was appreciated.

26th March.  St. Cuthbert’s.  Bryan Ellis, Nigel and Pat Irwin.  Surveyed from Cascade Passage through Rabbit Warren to Dining Room including all side passages.  A satisfying trip from the surveyor’s point of view.

              Swildons.  Garth Dell, John Flook, and three bods from Leeds went to the Mud Sump but found the way on flooded.  Went on to Sump I and out.

              Heron Pot, Yorkshire.  Trip with small N.P.C./Liverpool U.M.C. party.  Not a large system but interesting sink to resurgence trip.  One flake removed would give a nice through trip. Roger Stenner.

27th March.  Cuthbert’s.  Leader B. Ellis.  Rapid trip to sump via Cerberus Series.  Much enjoyed. Even surveyors can get lost at times!

28th March.  Swildons.  M. Budd, A. Fincham.  Visit to inspect Sump I.  This was found to be functioning very well despite warning notice from Brecknock County Council to the effect that ‘Bathing is not advisable’.

2nd April.  Rod’s Pot & Read’s Cavern.  Garth Dell, Rowena, Richard Roberts, Caroline and 4 theological students.  Trip to bottom of Rods.  Changed in rain at cave entrance.  Walked to Reads in rain.

              Eastwater.  George Honey. The Dolphin Pot is very much shattered. The rest of the cave appears to be stable.

9th April.  Eastwater.  To Terminal Rift via Twin Verticals.  R.O’F, Roger Latimer and Terry King on a laddering trip.  This was the first vertical descent for Terry.  He survived.  Seems to thrive on them.  There is a rope belay at the first vertical.  It will probably be easier to take the rock belay out of the cave than untie the rope belay.  Rawlbolts embedded in rock are the thing.

              Swildons.  Frank Darbon, Terry King and Garth Dell caught up with M.N.R.C. chaps at the forty and continued down to Sump I.  Retuurned to have a look at Trat’s Temple and then out.  Fourth ladder pitch in twelve hours for Terry!

              St. Cuthbert’s.  R. Stenner with four Liverpool University M.C. members and Richard Roberts.  Tourist trip with many diversions for photography.  Enjoyed by all.

10th April.  St. Cuthbert’s.  Photographic trip with Kangy; John E. and John Attwood.  Water in Lake Chamber looks the right height to enable one to float into the passage opposite.

              Swildons.  Photographic and specimen collecting trip to lower series.  Richard Roberts and four.

16th April.  Swildons.  Roger Stenner and Tony Johnston.  Short trip to the forty owing to lighting troubles.

              Eastwater.  Party, Garth Dell, Richard Roberts. Bruce Lynn and Martin Longford.  Down to the top of Primrose Pot after begging an extra ten feet of ladder from the Shepton (thank you!)  Kit was “/-+: heavy.  Descended to the bottom of the pot in three stages leaving Bruce at the top of the “.’): tight squeeze because he was too big.  We all express real thanks to the thoughtful persons who fixed the horizontal bar and eye bolts in the rock.  On arrival at the bottom of the ladder, I found that the ladder was approximately 15 feet too short so finished the pitch on rope.  Whilst climbing back, snatches of vile songs floated down from the squeeze. On the way out, everyone was rather tired.  Note 3 out of 4 went all the way to the bottom.

              Swildons.  Trevor Knight, Norman Brooks.  Photographic Upper Swildons.  Rather wet but well worth it.

18th April.  Eastwater.  Terminal Rift via Twin Verticals.  Nigel Clarke, J. Coote, H. Williams, C. Llewellyn and R. Horton.  Started to go into Beechams Series but the approach of opening time stopped us.

              Swildons.  To Sump I, same party as above.

              Sandford Levvy.  Super Severe trip for the Stenner Family.  Roger, Daphne and Edwin.

              Eastwater.  Terminal Rift via Twin Verticals.  Leader Richard Roberts.

              Reads.  Rowena Lewis and David Kinsman.  General potter around.

              August-Longwood.  Rowena Lewis and David Kinsman.  Bottomed Longwood and August.  Comprehensive trip in Longwood.  Direct Route to water sink in stream passage in August Hole.  Water moderate.

              Swildons.  Sump I and Paradise Regained.  Water lower than Sunday.  Nigel Clarke.

18th August.  Hawkes Hole, Raider’s Rift and New Dig – East Devon.  Party, Sett, Alfie, Jill and Spike.  The party paid a visit to the E.D.S.G. meet at Eastleigh. All these caves are in or near Perry’s Quarry, and have to be approached via a back entrance to the quarry cos the owners don’t like cavers.  Sett, Alfie and Jill visited Hawkes Hole guided by Chris.  This is a small cave by Mendip standards, about half the size of Sidcot including 3 squeezes, some nice salmon pink stal and a bat.  Spike did a dicey climb up the active quarry face for about 40’ to the entrance to Raider’s Rift.  Jill went down it with some E.D.S.G. members and reports a very large entrance and a cave about the same length as Rod’s Pot.  It has a reasonably big main chamber and some bright red stal. Alfie and Jill finally went down the new dig at the east end of the quarry.  It might prove interesting.  R.A. Setterington.

23rd April.  Hunters Hole.  Ian Dear, George Honey and Jim Hill had a general look around and did a little work in Dear’s Ideal which still looks very promising.

30th April.  Black Hole Series – Swildons.  A trip to the second Boulder Ruckle.  Part of it fell nearby.  Carl and Roger Luttmer, A. O’F.  Started down 2 am and came out in the sunshine at 8 am.

              Eastwater.  Primrose Pot. Unsuccessful attempt.  Pam Russell and Pat Irwin the only people to get past the squeeze.  Got so far down and backside wedged firmly.  Peter Smith got further wedging his shoulders at the same point.  Roger Luttmer (42” chest) could not pass the squeeze entrance.  Other members became interested in the Hunters and went out.  Party A. O’Flaherty, Pat Irwin, Pam Russell, Peter Smith, Derek Edge, Ted Smith and R and C. Luttmer.

The Night We Heard The Wild Goose Cry

We always try to include an account of any rescue trip as soon as possible after the event.  Especially one which involves the press, so that members and others can receive a reasonable account of what really happened.  This one has been sent in by our M.R.O. Warden, Keith Gardner.

It is not unknown for false alarms to be sounded in the field of cave rescues but when the Trumpet of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, sounds the alarm, one might perhaps be excused for thinking that it is genuine.

About midday on Monday 2nd May 1960, the RMA at Sandhurst contacted the Somerset Constabulary with a request that they be put in touch with the M.R.O.  Two officers cadets were absent from the academy and it was thought that they had left on Saturday for a weekend’s caving on Mendip.

Howard Kenny, the first warden to be contacted, organised a surface check to see if any clothes or other gear had been left in such places as Maine’s Barn or near the entrances to some of the more popular caves.  When this search failed to produce any results; other parties, including local B.E.C. members, were sent from Wells to Swildons, Eastwater, Stoke Lane and other caves.  The Burrington caves were checked by the U.B.S.S. and the Axbridge Caving Group covered the western extremities of Mendip.

At 8 pm, the B.E.C. were alerted and an initial party of ten warned to stand by.  St. Cuthbert’s had been left open during Sunday and it was considered possible that the two men could have got in without anyone noticing.  Sandhurst gave little useful information in the matter and it was uncertain whether the two men, Barnard and Humble, were experienced or not.

At 1am, the alerted B.E.C. party was awakened and left for Priddy.  The only signs of activity to greet them were a number of police officers looking for Swildons with miniature searchlights.  Having assisted them, and with a growing party, K. Gardner joined B. Prewer and L. Devenish at Howard Kenny’s H.Q. in Wells.  A party consisting of A. Sandall, N. Petty, J. Stafford and R. King were despatched to St. Cuthbert’s, while G. Mossman waited in the Belfry for Ken Dawe and Derek Ford.  This party was to check the verticals in Eastwater.

With the large caves taken care of, H.Q. started to organise parties to check the numerous small swallets and at 5.30 am rang Spike Rees to wish him a bright and breezy “Good Morning”. Spikes reply was unprintable, but was no doubt similar to that he himself received on hammering at Sod ‘Obbs door a few minutes later.  Keith Gardner joined these at the Belfry with a police patrol car and with Dick Hartley, checked over a dozen small caves and some mineshafts between the Belfry and Chewton, radioing the results back to H.Q.

With Tuesday dawning bright and sunny, Anne Gardner got in touch with other B.E.C. members in and around Bristol and members of them, including our secretary, joined the parties at Priddy.  Some of the ex-Cuthbert’s team now centred their attentions on Ebbor, while a Sump IV team entered Swildons.  Support parties were waiting on call in Bristol.  Alfie had ten at the B.A.C. – while offers of help were coming in from our friends in Yorkshire, London, etc.

All over Mendip, every club was co-operating.  By 1pm, ninety of the most likely caves had been searched.  Police radios were humming with reports to and from the new H.Q. set up in Wells Police Station – the biggest ever Mendip Rescue search was on – with no results whatsoever.

Two potential officers from England’s finest O.C.T.U. had disappeared into this air.  Schoolboys could play truant; lesser soldiery desert; but officer cadets!  They would surely have the integrity to contact their unit if humanly possible if they were still alive….if….!

Meanwhile, at H.Q. reports were coming in that they had been seen everywhere from Land’s End to John O’Groats.  Even, said one rumour, in the Channel Islands. But everything had to be checked and so it was eventually learned that a Mrs. Le Masurier of St. Helier who knew Barnard, had seen him in the streets of that town, and had invited him to tea with his friend Humble of Sunday afternoon. At Sandhurst, it eventually transpired that neither of them had drawn caving kit – a fact that could surely have been asserted earlier – and that the suggestion that they had gone to Mendip had been based on the flimsiest of “evidence.” At 1.30 pm, the message was relayed. “Emergency over.”  M.R.O. stand down.

So all that energy – all that lost sleep – all that money was wasted on a wild goose chase.  But perhaps not altogether wasted.  For the first time, a full scale search of Mendip Caves had been made by the M.R.O.  Next time it might be genuine and lessons learned on May 2nd and 3rd may well save someone’s life.

Easter in Cornwall

By “Kangy” King

Roy Bennett and Geoff Mossman combined to hire a chariot of exceeding splendour and infinite capacity in which eleven of them hurtled through the night to Cornwall for Easter.  Numbers at the rendezvous, Porthgwarra, were increased to the unprecedented total of 15.5 by the arrival of Attwood and family, Kangy and Alan and Carol Sandall.

The aristocracy has recently caused to be erected at this cave large “Thou-shalt-not-camp-or-bring-Mossman-again” type notices.  These may be safely ignored as the land is not owned by the local lord, who only hopes to save the peasantry from what he considers to be bad sanitary arrangements. The notices did not engender a gay atmosphere when viewed from the flap of a tent and so the party adjourned to a farm near St. Ives containing the mostest barn it has ever been their pleasure to live in.  It was superb.  Long, large, light, clean and airy and never the sight of a rat.  Sandall has been congratulated and thanked and allowed to throw a few members from one to the other.

Living arrangements completed, recreation began.  The majority were intent on climbing on the sea cliffs.  Inactivity included sunbathing and photography – enjoyed by most, and not exploring tin mines – enjoyed by Norman Petty mostly.  The party got enthusiastically wet on the rainy first day, and sunburnt and fit doing climbs on the other days.  It was nice climbing on granite, which surprisingly required to be treated with care, as Bennett clutching teeteringly at a large loose lump of seagull enwhitened smelly seacliff can testify.

Mention must regrettably be made of an enterprising climb planned and executed by Bennett near Wicca Pillar.  A good looking route of about 800 feet making use of a natural line up a slab.  The climb starts at the right of the dirty black looking slabs behind the pillar.  The first leads to an open corner and belay 15’ horizontally from this corner is a ledge which easily leads to about twenty feet of open slab work, rising on the right to a chimney on the edge of the slab.  The step into the chimney is somewhat similar to the step across on knight’s climb at Cheddar.  Alan Bonner took a couple of photographs which show the route well. 

Attempts to climb at Land’s End were frustrated by the scenery – blonde, mostly.  Cornwall is beautiful at the edge.