The B.B. Questionnaire.

This B.B. is mainly concerned, as is usual with the October number, with reports and news of the A.G.M. and dinner.  One of the subjects arising from this was a suggestion made in the A.G.M. report on the B.B. by the editor that a questionnaire be sent out so that it could be seen just what changes, if any, the majority of club members would like to see in the B.B.

This questionnaire, which will come out during the next month and be attached to the next B.B. for the benefit of members who have their B.B. by post, will contain a series of questions designed to let members specify their ideas of the ideal form of the B.B.  Some of these suggestions may not be easily implemented.  For instance, if someone says that he would like to see a B.B. with at least one long, serious caving article each month, there remains the problem of persuading someone to write such articles.  Thus, when you get the form and, as we hope, fill it in, remember that we should also like YOUR suggestions as to how the state of affairs you would like to see can be brought about in practice.

A.G.M. Attendance.

This was the highest for many years, as was also the number of members voting.  We hope this may have been due in some measure to the appeal in the B.B. last month.  In any case, it was a good show and very encouraging.



Cave Research Group of Great Britain.

The Annual General Meeting will be held at the training college, Matlock, Derbyshire on November 10th at 5 pm.  For further details of this meeting see the circular which will be on the Belfry Notice Board, or communicate direct with the secretary, A.W. Ashwell, "Cuilcagh", Stanyeld Rd, Church Stretton, Salop.

University of Bristol Speleological Society.

The Sessional Meetings for the 1962-63 Session will be held at 8.15 pm in the Geography Lecture theatre. Subjects are as follows:-

Monday, Oct 8th.  "How old is the Sahara?"
Monday, October 29th.  Films on Anthropology & Archaeology.
Monday, November 19th.  A Caving lecture.
Monday, December 3rd.  "The changing face of Neolithic Britian.
Monday, January 21st.  "The caves of N.L. Clare"
Monday, February 4th.  "The mineralisation of the Mendip Hills"
Monday, February 18th.  Title not yet known.
Monday, March 4th.  A.G.M.  Presidential address at 9pm.  "The mythical massacre at Glastonbury Lake Village"

The Annual General Meeting.

(This account is a description of the main events, but it not the official minutes of the meeting. Ed).

The 1962 Annual General Meeting opened at 2.55 pm with 45 members present and began with the election of a Chairman.  Dan Hasell was elected and he started by remarking that it was very gratifying to see so many members present.  The collection of member’s resolutions and ballot forms followed.  The Chairman then asked for volunteers to act as tellers and Brian Prewer, Gordon Selby and John Eatough volunteered.

While the counting of voted went on, the chairman asked the meeting whether they wanted the minutes of the last A.G.M. to be read.  A vote taken produced 14 in favour and 14 against.  The Chairman then exercised his casting vote and decided to read the minutes. The minutes were then read and adopted.

The Hon. Secretary's report followed.  He reported that a total of 31 new members had been accepted this year, as against 27 last year and 34 for the year before that.  The paid up membership had increased to 138, but in fact was probably higher as he confidently expected to collect some more membership subs before the night was out.  Some of those assembled were seen to pale visibly at this stage; attendance at the dinner was expected to be 116.  The dinner, he felt, was proving more popular amongst members of other clubs, as he had had a number of applications from such people.  The attendance at Redcliffe Hall was slowly improving, although he hoped that further improvement would be made in this direction.  The Charterhouse Caving Committee was in process of negotiating a final form of agreement.  He felt that the result of this would be satisfactory from the club's point of view. There were no questions, and the report was adopted.

This was followed by the Hon. Treasurer's report, with the usual remark from someone of "It’s the same bloke!"  He stated that the substantial surplus was mainly due to the higher membership figures and the preference for life membership.  The expenditure on tackle was still not as great as he had hoped. The profits on lamps and caving reports were the results of last year's efforts and off set the losses which occurred then.  The report was adopted.

Another vain attempt was made at this point to catch the Hon. Treas. out.  He was asked why the difference between the cost of ties and the sales figure was not a multiple of the cost of a tie.  The questioner was demolished by being told that the apparent discrepancy was due to money sent by members, very properly, to cover postage.

The Caving Secretary then gave his report.  The B.E.C. had been very active, but there had been a change in the pattern of caving this year.  Cuthbert's - not Swildons - was now the most popular cave nearby and there had been a dramatic interest shown by B.E.C., members in Eastern Mendip.  Bottlehead Slocker, Heale Cave, Heale Slocker and Newman Strret Slocker were all dug with the assistance of members.  In addition, a large number of tourist trips for other clubs had been run and a fair number of beginner’s trips.  The B.E.C. had turned out on a number of small rescues, but luckily, nothing serious had occurred this year.  The Cuthbert's Leaders Meetings had been a success, and interest in the cave had been further aroused by the publication of Caving Reports on the subject and by the work on the new entrance.  The report was adopted and a vote of thanks proposed for Bryan Ellis and Alfie for their work.

Arising from the report, Garth asked why there had been no mention of the recent discoveries in Stoke Lane, as B.E.C. members had been present.  The Caving Secretary rectified this omission which was due to the recent nature of this discovery.

This was followed by the Climbing Report.  The Climbing Secretary stated that there had been a slight decline in the climbing activity this year, but climbing in the Avon Gorge had proved popular and had attracted some cavers including the Caving Secretary!  A trip to St. Ives at Easter had been well supported and Cader Idris visited at Whitsun and August.  The report was adopted.

Question time provided a fine example of repartee.  Kangy asked the Climbing Sec. if he would define a meet.  Tony, suspecting this question, immediately replied that a meet consisted of at least two male club members.  Kangy then announced with glee that his meet had not been mentioned. The Climbing Sec. then reminded him that no report of it had been received.  At this stage Kangy declared himself to be speechless!

At this stage, the results of the committee election were known and the Chairman read them out.  In the order on the ballot form they were:- Bob Bagshaw, 59 votes; Alfie, 57 votes; John Cornwell, 35 votes;  Garth, 42 votes; Tony Dunn, 36 votes; Mike Luckwill, 20 votes; "Mo", 58 votes; Mike Palmer, 35 votes; Norman Petty, 56 votes; Alan Sandall, 4l votes; "Sett", 47 votes and Jim Hill 29 votes.  The Chairman pointed out the tie for last place to the meeting.  It was agreed to follow the precedent of allowing both to stand. The 1963 committee thus consists of ten members.

The Tackle Officer then gave his report.  We have made 140’ of new ladder during the year and scrapped 65’.  This gives the club a total of 230' of ladder.  We have lost a 120’ extra weight nylon rope in Swildons and the 80’ three quarter weight rope is stuck in Cuthbert’s.  We therefore need more rope.  At once in true B.E.C. fashion, members announced that they were in various positions to supply free rope and over 600' of rope was promised.  These offers were accepted and the report adopted.

The Hut Warden announced in his report that the bed-nights this year totalled 1,267.  This was a slight drop on last year's all time record and was due to the loss of some regular members.  The increase of tidiness in the Belfry had not been maintained. He had plans to improve this next year. The stone hut's main fabric had been completed and the new extension was well advanced.  When the extension had been completed, the whole Belfry will be re-roofed.  The report was adopted.

A large number of questions designed in increase the tidiness of the Belfry were then raised. As result, the committee was instructed to look into a number of schemes designed to improve the Belfry facilities and to increase the standards of cleanliness and tidiness of the Belfry. The report was adopted.

The Belfry Bulletin report followed.  The Editor stated that, for a variety of reasons, the B.B. had remained similar in shape, size, contents etc for about three years.  He wondered if present feeling in the club was in favour of any changes and suggested the circulation of a questionnaire which he had prepared if the meeting should so wish.  It was agreed that this was a good idea.  The need for a new volunteer to deal with the postal side of the B.B. was brought up at this stage, and "Kangy" bravely volunteered for this job.  The report was adopted.

The Hon. Librarian then gave her report.  The library had been catalogued.  One copy of this catalogue was in the library itself and the other copy at the Belfry. Some new books had been published and a list of the main contents of the library was read out.  Clare Coase has donated all of Don's books to the library. The librarian then appealed for some back numbers of the B.B. which she heeded to bring her list to completion. These are 1-5 inclusive, 7, 8, 9, 12, 21, 42, 49, 84 and 97.  She would be grateful to any member who could donate any of these B.B's.

John Ifold asked where the remaining books were, as he had counted 152 books during his term as Librarian. The Librarian replied that she had no idea of the whereabouts of these books, and that they did not form part of the library as handed on to her.  'Gaff' Fowler suggested that we write to Bristol Public Library, as they sold cheaply any slightly soiled books at regular intervals.  Alan Sandall then got the biggest laugh of the afternoon, by suggesting that, in that case, we send a team to the library to slightly soil all the caving books (later information suggests that the library have given up this scheme).  The Library report was then adopted.

Member’s resolutions then followed.  The Chairman read out the first resolution by Jim Giles that "The B.B. be reduced to a monthly news sheet and that the club publish an Annual Journal". Before asking for a seconder, the Chairman invited comments from the Editor, who replied that this point would be covered by the forthcoming questionnaire.  There was no seconder and thus the resolution could not be put to the meeting.

The second, resolution, also by Jim Giles, was 'That something be done about Emborough'. Before putting this to the meeting for a seconder, the Chairman asked for information on this resolution.  This was provided, and the Chairman, although he thought that this was a subject more properly dealt with by the Caving Secretary, asked for a seconder.  None was forthcoming and so this; resolution could not be put to the meeting.

The third resolution - by Jim Giles - was that the club constitution be amended to article 7 to read ‘four weeks before the Annual General Meeting'.  Again, no seconder could be found and the resolution could not be put to the meeting.

The fourth resolution was put in by Jim Giles.  This was that in the event of the third resolution being vetoed, the Annual General Meeting be declared invalid unless all voting forms were received at least a fortnight beforehand, as required by the present constitution.  The Chairman ruled that this resolution was out of order, since the breaking of Article 7, although this might result in the postponement of the committee election, did not invalidate the Annual General Meeting. In any case, the A.G.M. could, if it so desired,   adopt a different method of electing the committee, as was done, a few years ago when the committee was elected by a direct vote at the A.G.M.

The fifth resolution - submitted by Jim Giles - was then read.  This resolved that ‘the date of the A.G.M. be published' and found no seconder. A similar situation occurred when the sixth resolution, which came   from Jim Giles, was read out.  This resolved that the visitor’s fee be increased to 3/-.  A seventh resolution by Jim Giles was not put to the meeting.

A resolution by 'Mo' that the Club Rules should be more rigidly enforced, particularly as regards the Belfry' was discussed and an amendment to remove all crockery and cutlery for an experimental period was  first voted on.  This was carried by 19 votes to 13 - it being noted that the top five regulars all voted against the amendment.  The amended resolution was then carried nem. con.

Under any other business, Kangy raised the point of the desirability of removing broken stal from caves.  It was generally agreed that, unless the circumstances were exceptional and the stal was required fur some approved scientific purpose and could not be obtained from other sources, such as quarries, it should not be brought from caves.  Under no circumstances, the meeting felt, should stal be removed by breaking and the Chairman reminded all that the club rules were very specific on this point and that any breach of them would be regarded as a serious offence.

On the subject of the Caving Log, Mike Luckwill volunteered to provide a monthly summary for the B.B. A few words were also said on the subject of the Mendip Cave Registry when Alfie explained briefly what had been done to date.

The meeting closed in plenty of time for the dinner.


In order to improve the tidiness of the Belfry, as from JANUARY 1ST I963 for an experimental period of THREE WEEKS, all cutlery and crockery will be removed.  If this proves to be very inconvenient, but only providing that there is a marked improvement in the washing up during the rest of 1962, the crockery and cutlery will be put back by replacing it with stuff of a uniform nature.  If, on the other hand, washing up is still not done, it may become necessary to remove saucepans, etc. as well. PLEASE TAKE NOTE!!

In other words: -

If you wish to find a cup,
Plate or spoon in '63
We must all co washing up,
Tidy cavers we must be!


Publication of the New Style Caving Log will start in next month's B.B.  Articles for the Christmas B.B. should be sent in soon.  These are needed urgently.

Financial Statement for the year to the 31st August 1962.

Annual Subscriptions




Redcliffe Hall:


£19- 16-1



Less Hire

£10-  0-0

£  9- 16-1

Post Office Savings Bank Interest:



£    1-  9-6

Goods for Resale:


£   11-10- 0



Less Cost

£    6-  8- 9

£    5- 1-3

Car badges:


£    9- 2-  6



Less Cost

£    6-11- 0

£    2-11-6




£    6-11-1

Caving Reports


£   64-11-10



Less Expenses

£   51-  0-4

£   13-11-6



£     2- 2-3



Less Expenses

£    1-  8-0

£     -14-3




£143- 7-2



£109-  3-0



Less Receipts


£    - 12-1

Belfry Bulletin:

Printing, etc

£  6- 14- 6




£  20- 4- 0

£  26-18-6

Concrete Pipes



£  12-  0-0



£  20- 11-10



Less Receipts

£    6- 19-6

£  13-12- 4

Postages and Stationery



£    0-  3- 12

British Mountaineering Club Subscription.



£    1-    -

Club Ties


£  31-   6-0



Less Sales

£  30-   0-0

£    1-  6-0




£    3- 11-4

Printing Rule Sheets



£    5-    -

Annual Dinner:


£67- 0  -  9



Less Receipts

£66- 16 -  0

£  33- 0 -0

Public Liability Insurance (two years)



£  17- 0 -0

Photographic competition prizes



£    6- 0- 0

Langdale Mountain Rescue Team



£    2- 2- 0




£    1- 2- 5




£  49-18- 1




£143-  7- 2





Total Club monies @ 31st August, 1961



£  87- 9 - 7

Add Surplus as above



£  49-18- 1




£ 137- 7- 8





Post Office Savings Bank Balance 31.8.62



£131-13- 1

Cash in hand 31.8.61



£    5-14- 7

Total Club Monies 31.8.62

£ 137- 7- 8

Second Warning!

Further to the notice on page four of this B.B., and as part of the campaign to tidy up the Belfry the Hut Warden wishes to announce that, after two warning notices in consecutive B.B.’s (of which this is the first) all personal gear left at the Belfry, other than that in the regular's lockers or placed tidily on regular's bunks, will be got rid of.  This will be done by throwing away any objects which appear to be of no value, and auctioning anything else on the spot for club funds.  THIS PURGE WILL OCCUR SOME TIME IN DECEMBER and will be followed by similar purges WITHOUT FURTHER WARNING.  If in any doubt, consult or get in touch with the Hut Warden. R.A. Setterington, 4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset.

Annual Dinner

by "Kangy" King.

The club dinner succeeded in that extraordinary difficult thing and managed yet again to be "better then last year".  Roll on next year's!  To be better than Annual Din. '62 it will need more than 116 diners; a monster hall for the photographic competition, and a choral society of distinction to sing a number of original and uproarious songs.

An enjoyable chicken or beef din. was followed rapidly by the after dinner speakers who were Fred Davies of S.M.C.C., Dan Hasell, Dr. Cannicott of Axbridge and Pete Blogg. Their common theme was, as far as could be discerned through the usual haze, concerned with a black and white Axbridge ostrich which boarded a Bermondsey bound bus and refused to sit down because its trousers were now fitted with zip fasteners.  I think.

Several presentations were made, attention was drawn to Bob Bagshaw's consistent success as our club officers and he received a large pink cuddly piggy bank.   Sett was presented with a new mug (beer mug).

An adjourn was made to the bar and to the barrels of Charrington Ale kindly provided by Bob Bagshaw, Alfie, Postle and Sett on the occasion of their duo-decadence or Twentieth Anniversary of first caving trip.

Relief and vigorous nattering was interrupted by the slide show.  This, which is the crown of the photographic competition organised by Mike Baker, was presented by John Eatough.  John, who acted as one of the judges, must be thanked and congratulated on having the courage to be projectionist and to express the controversial yet helpful comments of the judges in a forthright manner.  Of course, not everyone agreed with him, but it must be remembered that the main thing is to enter so that the photographs may cause interest and give pleasure.

Photographic stimulus gave way to the hilarity of a series of very funny and highly original songs, rendered for their creators by the singing of Gaff, Mo, the brothers Franklyn and Alfie.  The accompaniment was played in a professional manner by Mike Luckwill. Now booking.  The best of an impressive set of songs was adjudged with great acclamation to be a seductive 18th Century style ballad conceived by Alfie Collins.  It is to be hoped that we shall have the pleasure of adding these songs to the club repertoire.

So, once again the din. was an outstanding success.  No one knows quite why, of course, but it may be fairly guessed that the skill and imagination of all the organisers had some thing to do with it and we heartily thank them.

The Mendip Cave Registry

The purpose, of this article is to explain briefly what the registry is, what it is setting out to do, how much it has already done, and why more support is needed.

The Registry was set up a few years ago with the support of most of the major Mendip clubs.  The registry is controlled by two members from each of the clubs, who elect the officers.  These consist of a Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and 5 registrars, at present, two of these are B.E.C. members, and a third has been recently co-opted.

What the Registry is setting out to do is to provide a service to cavers and other interested people by compiling a complete set of references to all published and privately owned information on caves in the area.  This data will take the form of a book, which is continually brought up to date, and a copy of which will be available in the Bristol and Wells public libraries.  This book is not a guide book to Mendip caves, and the Registry is not setting out to form its own caving library, although this may come at a later stage.  It is hoped, however, to obtain permission to copy privately owned data and to include references to such documents, all sources of available books, etc will be indicated so that the serious cave research worker may obtain access through the Registry to all known literature on his subject.

At present, the Books have been provided; the system of presenting the data worked out and described in each book; the sheets have been printed and many references compiled. Now the registrars are engaged in breaking these references down to the individual caves and compiling the separate sheets.

The meeting in Wells on the 27th will not only explain the work of the registry more fully, but will ask for people to fill some of the impending vacancies on the committee and for additional volunteers to help the registrars.  All are welcome to come along to the meeting.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol. 
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.