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Future Supplies.

The B.B. is only produced in the size and shape it is by talking advantage of any cheap sources of paper, printing, etc, as they appear.  The latest move to safeguard future supplies of covers is the receipt from a new printer - connected with the club - of five thousand covers for the magazine.  This will keep us going for some time to come.  The next crisis will be a shortage of paper and this will hit us soon.  If any member can help with gifts or cheap sources of foolscap duplicating paper, this will, be greatly appreciated.

Emborough.

The farmer has asked us not to dig until the weather has improved and suggests we see him again ‘later in the year.'  This is fair enough, although disappointing.  It is interesting to note, though, that he has heard all about accidents which happen down caves and, again understandably, doesn't want that sort of publicity to be connected with him.  All of which goes to show that the adverse effects of caving accidents have unfortunate repercussions which keep on going for many moons afterwards. We hope that the Emborough team will be able to help on the Cuthbert’s Culvert in the meantime, and decrease the water danger in this cave.

Contributions.

The state of affairs is very healthy.  So many members have written articles recently that a bigger B.B. seems called for. We are afraid, that this will have to wait, at least until next month, as the, editor is being worked rather hard at his job at present (dammed-.shame!) but, meanwhile, keep it up! One member -   'Sett' has sent in almost enough stuff for a complete B.B. this month, and so the magazine which fellows is largely the work of our guest-editor-for-the-month.  To others, we will print your articles just as soon as we can and we do thank you very much for sending then in.

“Alfie”

Personal

Congratulations to “Spike” and Pam on their engagement.  Also thanks on behalf of club members for the celebration at the Hunters.

We are sorry to report that our Hon. Sec. & Treas. has boon recently laid low with the dreaded appendicitis.  However, he has had the offending organ removed and is now well on the way to recovery. We hope he will be amongst again soon. Incidentally, we hope he won't mind if we note that this is probably the first time that anyone has ever got anything out of him'.

Most members will have heard of Ian Dear’s unlucky accident over the Christmas.  We are pleased to be able to report that ho is also doing well and we have received the following from him. ....

Ian Dear, who until recently had a cracked head, wishes to thank all those members who visited him in hospital.  He is on the road to recovery and return to Mendip.  This latter event will serve as an excuse for a barrel.

Unnecessary Facts Department.

All the printed pages of last year’s B.B. would, if placed end to end, stretch from the Hillgrove to the Hunters.  The covers would reach from the Hunters to the Belfry.  You do not wish to know this, but we hate wasting these odd spaces which appear in the B.B.

A Visit to La Cueva De Nerja

by "Sett"

The cave is about two miles east of the village of Nerja, which is a village, on the south coast of Spain some thirty miles east of Malaga which is, in turn, about a hundred miles east of Gibraltar.  I first heard of the existence of the cave from an article in one of the British Sunday papers.  This claimed that the cave contained a profusion of prehistoric paintings and that it would be opened to the general public in October 1960.  As I would be in Malaga towards the end of September, I decided to make a serious attempt, even pulling a few strings if necessary, to visit the place.

We arrived in Malaga for late lunch on the Sunday, and after the usual, heavy meal and subsequent siesta, went in search of the tourist office. As we night have guessed, had we thought, the office was shut.  Not because it was Sunday, but because it was the afternoon of the day they opened in the evening.  This, in fact, was not so, and we eventually called on them at 9 am the next morning. ''Yes, the cave is open from 10 am to 1 pm and 5 pm to 8 pm.”  “Yes,  the local bus leaves the terminus in Malaga at 8 am and 1 pm each day,   returning at 12.30 and 5.30 pm.”  This would only give me half an hour, but it would be enough and anyway, I’d come nearly a thousand miles and wasn't going to be discouraged very easily.  Next, down to the bus office to book a seat, then back to the hotel to pick up a camera and tape recorder and dump towel and costume and then back to the bus stop. There were two buses waiting at the stop and I soon found out that the seat I had booked - No 2 - was a single seat right up in the front next to the driver.  The rest of the bus was filled mainly with locals and the whole of the corridor was full of large shopping baskets.  Dead on time the driver and conductor got on and we started round the harbour and out along the tram route.  They have a very good parking rule on the tram route - that is, if you happen to know it.  Since the lines run very close to the pavement, you park on the centre line of the road.  Very awkward for overtaking.

It was a very hot sunny day, and as soon as we got out into the country it started to become obvious why the bus was going to take two and three quarter hours for a thirty odd mile journey.  The road surface was awful.  We bounced along quite happily.  The driver, who was a big strong man, wrestling with the wheel and occasionally sounding one of the loudest horns I have ever heard, right under my foot. About half way,   the bus stops for twenty minutes or so, to give the driver a breather and allow everybody to got out for a quick drink and buns. Locals also got onto the bus to sell you pasties and other delicacies to keep your strength and morale up for the rest of the journey.

During the summer, the rainfall is extremely low; it doesn't rain for months on end.  However, by careful irrigation, it is amazing how great a profusion of fruits and other crops are grown in this area.  I saw grapes, oranges, tomatoes, peppers and prickly pear and I learnt that potatoes were the third crop of the year.  Other crops wore tobacco, all sorts of citrus fruits, peaches, apricots and literally hundreds of square miles of olives.

The bus finally drew up at the cave entrance and after confirming the time of the return journey. I checked on the time of the cave opening – a nominal 4.30, but it could be earlier if there were enough visitors.  It was now nearly four o’clock and I made for the futuristic cafe opposite the cave.  On my way I was stopped by an elderly woman with a thick American accent.

"Say!  Do you speak English?"

"I AM English."

"What is this here?"

"It’s a cave with prehistoric paintings."

"Hey Elmer!” – Elmer was having trouble trying to make the locals understand American English.  This wasn't surprising as there was only one who spoke any language other than his native Spanish and he wasn't there at the time and the other language was French anyway. "It’s only some old cave; we don't want to see an old cave."  Whereupon Elmer explained to me that they had to be in Grenada that night and couldn't spare the time. They had a large travelling sex palace and probably toured Europe in a fortnight.

I didn’t have to wait long for the opening of the cave, and in we all went.  There was no guide attached to the party, you just wander through with guides at strategic points to direct you and answer questions.  After an artificial entrance shaft there is a few tens of foot of passage which brings you out well up the wall of a chamber of the same sort of shape and size as Lamb Leer.  A flight of concrete steps load down the side to a flat floor which has a small stage and auditorium.  I hurried through this and into two more chambers roughly the same size as the first and well decorated with formations.  I suspect that the rock is Triassic Limestone, which appears to be more soluble than the carboniferous variety, but it could be the higher temperature of the water.

There was no sign of the paintings, so I made my way back to the first chamber and collared a group of three guides.  I finally got it over to them, and one of them led me back to the far end of the furthest chamber where he showed me a traverse leading on.  I was quite willing to have a go, but he said it got tight and muddy and promptly called my bluff.  Since most of the conversation was by sign language, we got on very well. He told me that there were a large number of  relics which had been taken to Madrid,  including some  stuff called ' Trigo' which I couldn't get until he showed me some in the sand bank near the entrance.  It was wheat - something I've never seen in any natural cave site before.  He was really most patient and explained that the paintings would be open to the public sometime next year (l96l) and then led me outside to have a chat with the cashier the one who spoke French.  He explained that all the artifacts and remains were in a museum in Malaga.  In view of this conflicting information, I decided to give these a miss.  During the whole time I was underground, I was entertained by Hi-Fi sound from hidden loudspeakers playing popular classics. The “Ride of the Valkyrie" was the only one I recognised.

Some postcards from the cafe, and back to the bus for the return journey.  I finally got back to Malaga in time for a wash and aperitifs before dinner.  We were delighted to hear the B.B.C. announce frost as we sweltered.

Belfry Water Supply.

The sixpenny surcharge which was imposed to pay for the installation of mains water has now raised the sum of £41 and the Belfry fee reverted to 1/- on January 27th.  It was originally intended to continue the charge for a few weeks to build up a stock of tea and sugar, but the Hut Warden has suggested that a system of fines for failing to do a fair share of the Belfry chores will be started instead and we’ll see how it works.

B.E.C.  1961 Continental Tour.

At both the 1959 and I960 A.G.M.'s the possibility of running a B.E.C. trip to the continent was considered.  Last year it fell through, but it is still a possibility for this year.  We can either run an organised trip for all the interested members or, if there are only a few members who want to visit the continent but who have not the experience or the knowledge of the language to travel on their own, we could probably find members who have been before and would be willing to act as guides or couriers to other members.  Would  anybody who is interested in guiding or being guided please contact Sett, either at the Belfry or at his home  address giving brief details of country, standard of accommodation, subjects of interest and number in the party.

Problem

A caver had a bright idea to order a container of beer from Ben; carry it down to the Belfry, and spend a week drinking it.  Unfortunately, he was just leaving the Hunters when he bumped into another caver. They agreed to share the beer on condition that an equal quantity was bought by the second caver when the original container ran out.  When they got back to the Belfry, they found three more cavers already in residence, and agreed to drink the beer that night, the originator of the idea claiming the odd pint.  They were just drawing the first round when two more bods walked in.  A conference ensued and they agreed each to supply an equal quantity of beer every night for a week, the purchaser to get the odd pint. How much beer was there in the original container?

 (Answer to be published next month.)

Pen Park Hole

by Garth,

The cave is situated, as its name suggests, at Pen Park Road, Bristol about a hundred yards from the 8 and 6A bus termini.  The entrance is enclosed by a eight foot high fence.  A cunningly constructed wooden platform covers the actual entrance which, when removed, reveals a twenty foot deep shaft.  This shaft is man made (Largely by the B.E.C. - Ed) and is negotiated by moans of a kind of stemples forming a sort of ladder, which the mud makes rather dicey to use.

The route to the top of the Main Chamber is most interesting inasmuch as it is lined with calcite crystals which line the walls and roof to a depth of about four inches.  I do not know of any other cave where so great a thickness and an area of this sort of crystal can be seen.  It's quite an easy walk and scramble along this route, but there is one place where the rock must be treated with some respect as you scramble through.

When one first encounters the Main Chamber it seems to be one vast expanse of blackness reaching down to infinity, but means of descent is in fact by eighty feet of ladder - which every good caver always carries about with him - plus a hundred of feet of nylon rope and a forty foot tether.  The descent is made, in two stages.  The first is to a convenient lodge about thirty feet down.  From this vantage point one can obtain an impressive view of the lake and the surrounding mud.  This ledge may also be used as a respite after climbing a strenuous thirty feet of swaying, slippery and extremely muddy ladder.  A further forty feet of ladder may then be climbed (downwards, naturally) but I this may prove uncomfortable if the water is at the same level as I saw it - fifty feet from the top of the climb.

The size of the chamber can only be fully appreciated when one is at water level.  Depending on this level, it is over two hundred feet high, about eighty foot long and about fifty foot wide.  There are side passages leading off from the chamber.  The largest of these extends about a hundred and twenty feet in a south easterly direction.  It is approximately a hundred feet up from the floor of the chamber. When I last saw it, however, the dammed thing was flooded within a few inches of its roof.  (The water in the lake at the time was thus about a hundred feet deep.)

This passage is about nine feet high with large lumps jutting out of the roof.  The width varies from five to fifteen feet, I can’t comment on the other passages as I have not been into them.

The lake in this cave is not fed, as you might expect it to be, by a stream.  It is part of the water table and is filled by seepage.  This, I think, tends to make the water just that little bit colder than that in a normal stream underground.  Knowing very little about water tables, I should think that the rates of rise and fall in this cave, together with the very large difference between "high and low tide" would form an interesting subject for research on the behaviour of water tables with relation to the rainfall.

More Personal News

Congratulations (if a little belated) to Steve Tuck and Linda Knight on their engagement.

Desperate Appeal!!

We have received a very good letter from a Mr. A Crutch (Secretary to the Minister without Port Oleo) which we have LOST with our usual efficiency.  If Mr Crutch reads this, perhaps he wouldn’t mind having another go? Editor.

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Editor,   S.J. Collins,   33, Richmond Terrace,   Clifton,   Bristol  8.
Secretary.   R. J. Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road,  Knowle, Bristol 4.
Postal Department.   C.A. Marriott,  718, Muller Road,   Eastville,   Bristol.