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Once again we have no material for the B.B. from members, as suggested in the Christmas B.B., the answer to this state of affairs was going to be a four page B.B. but, as this is the first time this has happened, we thought perhaps a gentle hint in the shape of a reprint of the article appearing in B.B. No 126 (August 1958) might be in order.

Cuthbert’s, notice.

The tackle on Stalagmite Pitch is shortly to be removed for renovation.  Leaders wishing to do this pitch must take tackle with them while renovation is in progress.

Annual subs.

These are due on the 31st January.    Bob Bagshaw will be delighted to receive same.

Club News - A Monthly Review of Club Activities

February Committee Meeting.

Despite the continuing bad conditions, the meeting was well attended.  The following new members were admitted to the club - Lionel James; Mike Turner; Albert Charwood; Kevin Abbey; Donald Weston and Valerie Jones.

Other subjects dealt with included a mention of skiing having been taken up by the climbing section (books on the subject are available in the club library!) the first caving meet, Cuthbert’s new entrance, the Charterhouse Caving Committee and Belfry arrangements.


The first caving meet for 1963 (Lamb Leer) went off very successfully with twenty seven people attending the meet.  The trip was a week later than planned due to the cave entrance being blocked with snow. During the trip, an attempt was made to reach a high level fissure in the chamber.  It was not reached, but a feasible route to it (involving artificial techniques) has been planned by Noel McSharry.  There will probably be one or more trips in the near future to make a concerted effort to reach this fissure.

The second meet will be on the evening of Thursday, 20th March to Redcliffe Caves.  I have been negotiating with the night watchman on the corporation site, and we may be able to have the run of the place without the usual weegee guide.

C.A. Marriott, Caving Sec.


The three week's removal of the cutlery and crockery which was announced in earlier B.B.'s is now complete and, the experiment being over, it has now been restored.  It has been agreed to buy a new set of plates to assist in tidiness.  A new stove set of parts will be purchased later in the year and another £50 budget for continuing the renovations and redecoration of the Belfry in the coming year has been approved, a temporary levy to cover this may be added to the Belfry charge, if this should be necessary.

Trips from the Caving Log

A Cuthbert’s trip on November 3rd found the 'dogs' on stal pitch too far apart and the leader - Pat Irwin - asks whether a closer spacing could be employed.  A trip in the same cave led by Roy Bennett ran on the 17th of November took a small passage from Cascade to Everest chambers not marked on the survey.

A working trip to Sugar Bowl Chamber was run by Mikes Wheadon and Palmer on the 25th November. They report 'Each ton of sand moved out, moves back in rapidly from another direction so only two halves of rope were recovered, less about six feet.'

A further trip by the same leader on the first of December reports 'Short trip into the extension behind Long Chamber.  Entered new bedding plane, also found new passage following the big fault.'

Roger Stenner, on a G.B. trip on the 2nd of December, reports that 'formations in the Ladder Dig extension are badly damaged but still worth seeing'

John Cornwell, Noel and Norman Brooks had a working trip in the new Cuthbert’s Extension on the 8th of December.  The nature of the work was presumably exploratory.

An unusual trip on the 16th December was run to the caves at Draycott by Roy Bennett and the Franklyn brothers who report.  'Two caves in rocky escarpment overlooking Drayoott.  One four feet long, the other found to be about ten feet long and not worth digging.  Several natural depressions noted on Draycott and Cheddar head road.'

A trip of an even more unusual nature was undertaken by the terrible trio consisting of G. Tilley, Esq., J. Ransom Esq., and R. Jarman (Gent.) who were invited to Digby School, Sherborne to investigate a long underground passage, and report as follows:-

‘The entrance was discovered by the caretaker a few weeks ago.  After getting fully kitted out, we entered the passage, which seemed to be a drainaway between two stone walls.  We were met by a loosely cemented brick wall, and after removing a brick, we thought we could see a continuation on the other side, so we asked if we could remove part of the wall to enable us to continue.  Permission was given, so we started to hack the wall down.  A hole big enough for a head was made, then putting a large head through, a prehistoric dustbin was found situated in an adjoining cellar.  The passage measured nearly thirty feet long, and is continued on the other side of the cellar.  This will be followed when the caretaker has removed five tons of coke.  Very interesting, but people should build passages slightly larger!''

End of Caving Log for 1962

How To Write An Article For The B.B.

It is a fact most wonderful and strange to contemplate that our club consists of some hundred and twenty members, most of whom can read and write.  It can further be shown (as Euclid, no doubt would have put it) that it requires two articles of average length to complete the usual eight page B.B.

We are now in the happy position of being able to draw a conclusion.  If every member wrote an article every four and a half years, this would be sufficient to fill the B.B. ad inf.

The next move in this erudite argument is one of extreme subtlety.  Each member must be persuaded to write an article.  At this point, a snag arises.  One can imagine the reader - aghast at this suggestion - pointing out that it is inhuman to expect each member to produce one article every four and a half years.  "No man," one can imagine him saying "could work at such a feverish rate and still retain his sanity."  This is, of course, agreed.  Fortunately, a solution is at hand.  Owing to the average stay in club per member being of the same order as the frequency, with which he should write an article, each member need only write one article during his entire stay in club.  It is generally conceded that this effort, though still severe, is intellectually possible.

At this stage, the reader has, one hopes, been fired with enthusiasm to take up this fearsome challenge, only to have his aspirations dashed once more to the ground by the next obstacle.  "What" he asks, quite reasonably, "can I write the article about?"

Agreed, this is something of a facer.  The equipment needed at this stage by the intending author is known as an IDEA.  An idea is not easily come by.  In this respect it resembles a clue, and people have been known to go for years without either.

But don't despair! You too can have an idea, and remember, you have four and a half years to have it in!  A widely held believe asserts that the average bloke is capable, under very favourable circumstances, of producing an idea every two years and these have been cases of individuals, by sheer concentrated

effort, reducing even this fast time.  However, this applies to what we call in the trade a spontaneous idea.  That is to say, an idea which occurs without the benefit, or even in spite of, our AMAZING SYSTEM.  With this system, an idea is guaranteed to occur.  To obtain the full benefit from this system (send no money; you have only to peruse the following, and pick out the group most suitable to your circumstances: -


You fall into this group if you are a keen, active fit and energetic young caver/climber at the peak of your enthusiasm and vigour - as distinct, of course, from a senile old dodderer (see groups "B" and “C".)


You fall into this, group if you are a mature, experienced caver/climber at the peak, or at any rate approaching it, of your judgement and wisdom - as distinct, of course, from a brash young upstart  (see group  “A” or an old has been - see group   "C")


You fall into this group if the increasing responsibilities of your successful career have meant that you have either had to move far away or can no longer spare the time.  Now read on.

If you are in Group “A” in your activities, you MUST have been on a trip in which something  interesting or unusual or amusing happened - just one at least!   Listen to the lines shot at the Belfry, Hunters Etc.  YOU probably shot one last weekend, why not write it down!

In group "B", all the remarks of group “A” still apply, on the principle that, if anything, lines get bigger with time.  In addition, you know that things are not what they were (they never are).  The poor blokes, who go caving/climbing/drinking/&c now, never knew what it was really like etc, etc, etc.  Tell them.

If in group "C", when you do come to Mendip, what's it like?  Has it changed?  Any new caves?  Come to that; are there any caves your way?  Etc, ad nauseam.

Now let us rashly assume that you have something to write, about.  The next question is what form you are going to write it in.  The table, of weights and measures below might be of use here.


2 entries in log = 1 letter
2 letters = 1 poem
2 poems = 1 article
2 articles = 1 screed

Poetry requires fewer words per line than prose and also makes you appear cleverer than you really are. This is obviously worth looking into. A letter, on the other hand, is easily written and can always be padded out by praising the editor, thus ensuring publication.  Only the advanced writer should attempt a screed.

Older readers may remember at this stage, the imaginary efforts of Bert Bodge, our shining example of the system in action.  Alas, time has shown that Bert has let us down and so we now consider the career of one B. Wynden-Water.  Young Basil (he was born on the Shetlands) joined the club in 1965 and, on his second weekend at the Belfry (the first was spent emptying the detailer) he was persuaded to go on a beginners trip down Swildons, on which trip a ladder rung slipped as he was climbing back up the twenty.  The next day, owing to a misunderstanding caused by the amount and specific gravity of the beer drunk on the Saturday night, he found himself taking part on a trip to Stoke Lane.

After this energetic weekend, young Wynden-Water remained for many years a keen and active club member, regularly attending the Hunters on ''barrel" nights and taking his full share in the running of the club at Annual General Meetings, even after a change of employment forced him to move to Kerrimuir in April 1966, where he is now employed by a firm of ball manufacturers.

Naturally, this keen all-rounder has never neglected to write for the B.B.  Anxious as he is, even now,  to take part in all club activities, he has made the most of his one weekend underground, as the following list of his published work shows:-

(Extract from the classified index of authors, issued with B.B. No 250, Christmas 1968)


B.B. 185 (July '63) “My first Caving Trip - A novices impression of Swildons Hole (Article).
B.B. 187 (Sept '63)  "A visit to Stoke Lane Slocker" (Article).
B.B. 191 (Jan '64)  Letter replying to ‘geologist’ pointing out that Swildons is different to Stoke.
B.B. 195 (Mar '64)  Letter replying to ‘hydrologist’ pointing out ' that Stoke is different to Swildons.
B.B. 202 (Xmas ‘64)  Poem.  "When you're climbing up a ladder"
B.B. 204 (Feb ‘65)  Letter replying to author of article on tackle about the slipping of ladder rungs.
B.B. 210 (Aug '65)  Poem. "Going through the sump in Stoke"
B.B. 234 (Aug '67)  "Mendip revisited"  (Article)
B.B. 236 (Oct  '67)  Recollections of some caves of central and Eastern Mendip.  (Article).

It is, as you will no doubt agree, surprising to see what a lot can be written about practically nothing. This article has been written on the same principle.


The Belfry Bulletin. Secretary. R.J. Bagshaw, 699, Wells Rd, Knowle, Bristol. 
Editor, S.J. Collins, 33, Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8.
Postal Dept. R.S. King,22 Parkfield Rank, Pucklechurch, Nr .Bristol.