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A Bigger – B.B.?

Plans have now been worked out that will enable us to take advantage of the offer made at the A.G.M. of some additional help with the duplicating of the B.B. and, we hope, satisfy the members who would like to see a larger version of the B.B.

Starting next year, in addition to the large Christmas number, we will be printing an equally large summer number and, if we get enough contributions, a large spring and autumn number as well.  This arrangement will cater for the members who would like to see the B.B. come out every month as at present and also for those who would like a bigger magazine, at less frequent internals.

There is, however, one snag. We stated, when we took the B.B. over that we would not let it lapse below the minimum size and would not make frequent appeals in the B.B. for articles.  This rule we shall have to break on this occasion and point out that we can only have this larger amount of B.B. providing that we get the articles for printing in it.  As an example, apart from a few smaller articles, WE HAVE NO MATERIAL AT ALL FOR THE CHRISTMAS B.B. AT THE MOMENT.  Arrangements for the cover have got to be made during the next fortnight and printing should start shortly after that.  There seems little point in talking about a regular quarterly bumper number of the B.B. under these circumstances!

We have recently done some mathematics on the amount of information printed per annum by the B.B. and a comparative journal which, at first sight, appears to be a lot bigger. We find in fact, that there is practically nothing to choose between them, which means that as far as quantity goes, if the club wants this new arrangement, its members have got to write on an average, more articles than the members of any other local caving club. The sort of thing which could, with advantage, be done on these lines are long write ups of major trips which; although not carried out by the club itself, had some members of the club amongst the party, permission to write such an article as can usually be obtained from the club in question, even if it means delaying the appearance of the article until after the club concerned has published it in their own journal. The B.B.'s main function is to keep those members who are not usually around in touch with all that is going on Mendip, and so articles of this type would be very useful.

Having given this subject a good airing, we hope that it can be retired for another few years at least, while the B.B. grows fatter and more interesting!



There will be a meeting of Cuthbert's Leaders at the Belfry on November 25th at 2.30 pm.  The Caving Secretary requests that all Cuthbert's Leaders will attend and that any ideas on St. Cuthbert's for discussion be given or sent to the Caving Secretary or the B.B. editor.

There will be a slide show on the 9th of December given by the M.C.G. at the Stirrup Cup Garage at 7.30 pm at which will be shown slides of Pine Tree Pot, Ubley Pot etc.  All are cordially invited.

Old picture frames are urgently wanted for mounting photographs for hanging up at the Belfry and the Hunters. They should be of a size to accommodate a 10x8 or a 16x12 print.  Also wanted are photos, loan of negs etc. of historical club interest.  Contact any committee member or the new Hon. Librarian, Sybil Bowden-Lyle.


The Caving Secretary wishes to remind members of the new set of arrangements affecting G.B. cave. Requests for a trip should be sent to him at least three weeks before the trip is required.  There is, unfortunately, no guarantee that the trip can always be arranged, but an early request helps!  YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

On the 18th November, either at the Hunters of afterwards at the Belfry, there will be a slide show on South Africa - its wild life animals; plants and natives.  This will be given by Sybil.

The C.R.G. Annual General Meeting will be held at the Geography Lecture Theatre, University of Bristol under the chairmanship of Dr. E.K. Tratman on Saturday, 11th November at 5.30 pm.  Also in the Geography Theatre, there will be a talk on Caves in Jamaica, by Dr. Read, president of the Jamaica Caving Club on November 27th at 8.15 pm.


Our new Hon. Librarian, Sybil, is in the middle of preparation of a really comprehensive library list.  This list not only names the books, periodicals etc. in the library, but gives a short description of the contents of each and, in the case of periodicals a list of the main articles.  A full copy of this list will come out as a supplement to the B.B. in the near future, but in the meantime, here is an extract of some of the caving books to be found in the library.

Aragonite Spelaeothems as indicators of paleotemperatures.

George W. Moore

Caves, temperatures Fossils, formations and how made.

Au fond des gouffres.

Norbert Casteret

Written in French. Underground adventures. Illustrated.

British Caving.


Manual of caving.

Caves & Caverns of Peakland.

Crichton Porteous

Booklet. Speedwell Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern, Bagshawe Cavern some cave diving.

Cave Hunting (1874).

Boyd Dawkins

Illustrated, factual often archaeological.

Cave men new & old.

Norbert Casteret

Illustrated. Caving adventures.

Mendip - its Swallet Caves and Rock Shelters.

H.E. Balch.

Now out of date but historical, Eastwate, Swildons, G.B., Lamb Leer etc.

My Caves.

Norbert Casteret

Illustrated. Personal adventure underground.

1,000 metres down.

J.Cadoux et al.

Caving adventures in France.

Pennine Underground.

Norman Thornber

Caving guide (1947)

Subterranean Climbers.

Pierre Chevalier

Illustrated. Twelve years in the world's deepest cavern.

The Cave Book.


Booklet.  Formations, Equipment, theories.  Illustrated.

The Falls & Caves of Ingleton.

John L. Hamer

Booklet.  Factual guide.

The Caves of Mendip.

N. Barrington.

Caving guide.

The Caves of Texas.


Illustrated manual.

The Darkness under the earth.

N. Casteret.

Adventures in caves.

Underground Adventure.

A. Gemmell & J.O. Myers.

Illustrated. Ingleton, Clapham & Malham.

Wookey Hole. Its Caves & cave dwellers.


Illustrated - diagrams & photos. Personal yet factual.

Have YOU still got a library book out?  Are you SURE? Why not have a look just in case?

Social Column

At 4 pm, on Saturday October 28th at St. James's Church New Cross, Spike and Pam were wedded,  and three members of the B.E.C. were there (they get around).

The reception was held at Pam's house and, thanks to Pam having a far sighted Mum and Dad there was booze and food aplenty.  Spike was seen sitting in a corner holding his corporation and having histories over "a slow revving bishop".  Frank Darbon, Johnnie Lamb and Nigel were also sitting in a corner - beer in one hand, food in another and cameras in the other.  Every so often one of them moved, but only to get more beer.

Spike had some slight trouble over the car keys and an intended 7.30 pm start became a 9.00 pm false start, and it is rumoured that the car heater was throwing out more than hot air.

After the Bride and Groom had departed to Tonbridge (and High Rocks?) the party continued. Several charming relations (16-20 age group) showed themselves adept at masochistic dancing activities.  At one time, with much protesting, even Frank was seen to be cavorting.

At about 2.00 am three local blokes departed into the wilderness from whence they had come with the score:-

Watneys (0) Trumans (0) Machesons (0) J. Walkers (l/l6) B.E.C. (1/8).

The best of luck to Pam and Spike, especially when they decide who IS the boss.



Congratulations to Merv Hannam and his wife on the birth of a daughter, Edwina Denise on October 2nd. Weight 8 lbs 6 oz. Congratulations also to Jack Waddon and his wife on (if I have got it right) the birth of their second son.

Archaeological Notes

Keith Gardner reports that, during 1959, 1960 and 1961, members of the M.N.R.C. have excavated an interesting and rewarding rock shelter at Tom Tivey's Hole (N.G.R. ST 705445) in Asham Wood, near Leighton.  They have proved continual casual occupation from the Neolithic period to modern times.

In the Neolithic level, the team revealed shards comprising the almost complete profile of a western Neolithic (Windmill Hill) round-based bowl; plain on the body with decoration confined to widely spaced radial notches on the rim.  The bowl is an almost exact duplicate in size, fabric and form and decoration to one specimen along the primary pottery at the Neolithic camp on windmill Hill, Avebury, Wiltshire.  The potsherds have been identified by Dr. Isobel Smith.

A fragment of bone pin or awl was also found which is too small to permit of much comment, but the slight longitudinal hollow on one side suggests that it belongs to a type found from primary contexts at Windmill Hill.  These were made by splitting the metapodials of sheep or goats and rubbing one end down to a sharp point.

The M.N.R.C. say that this season should be their last and when they have finished the Neolithic level, a full report will be published next year.    These finds, they add, indicate a link in the possible trade route from eastern Mendip to the Wessex Chalk.

Caving Log

2nd September. Swildons.  Party Jim Hill, Brenda, Alan & Carol.  Photographic trip.

3rd September. Rod's Pot.  Mike Calvert, R. Stenner, Rosemary plus 3 Lockleaze schoolgirls and 2 ditto schoolboys.  Leader Tony Rich.  Did the 50’ pot. Lamp Pox struck the two nife cells.  Big, clumsy and unreliable means of lighting.  Called it a day.

3rd September. Swildons. Richard Roberts.  G. Owen, B. Llyn, R. Boakes, G. Wolff.  Trip to sump II.  No water going down the forty.

3rd September. St. Cuthbert’s.  Jim Hill, Brenda plus one bod from Wells Cathedral School Caving Club.  Tourist trip.

16th September. St. Cuthbert’s.  M. Thompson and P.M. Giles Esq.  First through trip (old to new entrances).

16th September. Swildons.  Tourist trip to Sump I. R. Stenner + schoolboys and girls.

24th September. St. Cuthbert’s.  M. Palmer, P.M. Giles Esq, D. HASELL, R.A. Setterington and K. Hallet.  Lethargic trip to September Series and first Cuthbert’s trip for Dan Hasell.

30th September. St. Cuthbert’s.  Tourist trip for three members of Chelsea Caving Club. Down to Dining Room and Lake Chamber, out through Rat Run and Everest Passage.  Leader Jim Hill.

30th September. St. Cuthbert’s.  Tourist trip for six members of Chelsea Caving Club. High Chamber
to Gour Hall and out through Rat Run. Leader Alan Sandall.

24th September. St. Cuthbert’s.  Mike Baker + 4 Nottingham Cave Club.  Tourist trip to duck (now a choke).  Mo's dig now takes all the stream.  Chain on Stal Pitch needs attention - be careful to keep the chain as near the rock as possible.

24th September. St. Cuthbert’s.  V. & C. Falshaw, J. Latough and N. Petty.  Digging in passage at downstream end of Bypass Passage removed vast lumps of mud and heaps of gravel.

8th October. St. Cuthbert’s.  M. Baker, J. Eatough,  R. Teagle, M. Calvert, G. Wolfe, J. Cornwell.  Photographic trip to Cascade and Curtain chambers.

8th October. St. Cuthbert’s.  Rocky Boulders Series.   R. Bennett, R.S. King, J. Attwood, P.M. Giles Esq, G. Honey and L. Pritchard.  While Bennett made notes, presumably for the next Cuthbert’s Report, the remainder probed about amongst the many boulders at considerable personal risk, under the directions of Messrs Bennett and King.  During this exercise in stamina and bravery a sixty foot passage - Surprise Passage - was entered.


Surprise passage is like a small edition of Appendix Passage in the Maypole Series - a vadose trench with a bedding plane roof.  It climbs at about 60°

Jim Giles.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle , Bristol 4.
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept. C.A. Marriott, 718, Muller Rd, Eastville, Bristol.