Nominations for the 1964 Committee.

With the August B.B., requests for nomination for the next year's committee are made.  The club constitution states that a request for such nominations shall be made at least six weeks before the A.G.M. (which is on the first Saturday in October) and that all such nominations must be received by the Hon. Sec. at least four weeks before the meeting.

Since, in an average year, not more that half a dozen of the two hundred forms normally printed are used,  There will be no form this year, and members wishing to nominate a fellow member for the next year's committee should, after they have ascertained that their nominee or nominees are willing to stand if elected:-

1.                  Write, "I wish to nominate for election to the 1964 committee" on a suitable piece of paper.

2.                  Sign it and include their membership number.

3.                  Post or give it to Bob Bagshaw.  His address is: - 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.

Bob must have your nomination at least four weeks before the A.G.M.

Members are reminded that, according to the constitution, all members of the present committee are automatically nominated unless they express a wish not to stand next year. John Cornwell has decided that, owing to pressure of Cave Diving and other work, he will not be able to stand next year.  The rest of the present committee are, as far as is known, agreeable to stand for next year's committee.


To the Editor, Belfry Bulletin.

Dear Sir,

I was sorry to see that your contributor 'Stalagmite' has been misinformed.  In the June B.B. he wrote that the note circulated by the East Devon Caving Croup about its members disapproval of the locking of caves was left by the U.B.S.S. "laying" (eggs?) on top of a glass cabinet, implying that it was never exhibited on the U.B.S.S. notice board.  I can assure 'Stalagmite' that in fact it was on the notice board for a while.

Although I have become convinced that caves containing formations should be locked, I certainly approve of the U.B.S.S.'s action in exhibiting the circular.  Surely one should welcome the free expression of opinions even if differing from ones own?

Yours Sincerely,
P.P. Bird.

Agreed Pete, and sorry about the Laying - that was my bad grammar, not 'Stalagmite'.  The only point here is that our contributor feels that people tend to be a bit apathetic about things, and hence tries to take a deliberately extreme viewpoint, with the object of stirring people up a bit and provoking letters such as yours, whereby the opposite point of view can thus be brought to the notice of more club members than would otherwise be the case. (Editor)

To the Editor, Belfry Bulletin.

Dear Sir,

Further to the article "On the Naming of Caves" and bearing in mind the Editor’s request for material, I would like to add the following observations.  (I am, as you will gather, writing of and from the ‘Heathen North’.)

Three other types of name exist in addition to those listed by the author.  Firstly, there is the numerical method, applied by the Yorkshire Geological and Polytechnic Society in 1900.  These solemn gentlemen walked found Ingleborough naming all sinks from P.1 to P.104 and all springs from S.1 to S.124.  Thus Gaping Ghyll became P.3 and Alum Pot P.33.  Oddly enough, two of these names have survived - P.5, near G.G. and P.101 in Chaple-le-Dale.

Secondly, there are pure descriptive names e.g. Shatter Pot (Fountains Pell, not Swildons) Quaking Pot, Rat Hole, Rift Pot,  Sludge Hole and Hell Hole, all of which live up to their names.

Thirdly, there is a class of unpronounceable names found bestowed on caves in heathen parts such as Wales or Scotland e.g. Uamh an Poll Boghainn in Sutherland and Twll-y-Llwynog or even Agen Allwedd in S. Wales.

The following examples of types listed by the author are found in Yorkshire.  Holiday caves are represented by Whit Pot, Christmas Pot, Coronation Pot and V.J. Hole.  Pots named for their contents include Spider Cave, Spectacle Pot and Macabre Body Pot. Local geography goes to town with names like Yockenthwaite Pot and Twinbottom Scar Cave and initials are represented by A.G. (Arthur Gemmel) and one pot possibly named after a spy - Z pot.

Perhaps the best example of an underground sequence is to be found in Ireby Fell Cavern where the pitches are named Ding; Dong; Bell; Pussy; Bell and Rope.  I wonder if anyone will ever start with Stuffed; Long; Strong; Black; Sausage etc when naming parts of a cave.  One thing would result from this - no true caver would ever get lost!

Yours etc.
D.A.  "Grassy" Greenwood.

Nice to have a letter from our tame geologist.  Perhaps Upper Long Chamber in Cuthbert’s should have been named Strong Chamber and we could have gone on to Black Chamber etc.  Recent devotees of the Hunters would no doubt appreciate a cave series starting Swing; Low; Sweet; Chariot etc. (Ed.)


Congratulations to Jill Rollason and Norman Tuck on their recent engagement.  Also to John Ransome and Val Jones.  Who's going to be next????


Don’t forget the A.G.M. and Dinner is on the first Saturday of October.

Try your hand at Opencast Caving! The latest sport!  Get with it!

This fascinating pastime as now available close to the Belfry, where the first man to reach bedrock will be given the chance to throw the first bucketful of muck into the new pit! Seriously, help is needed for a new waste pit which Garth and his Merry men have begun recently.

Change of .address.

Grassy Greenwood's address is now:- 19 Greencroft Avenue, Northowram, HALIFAX, YORKS.

On the Hill

(or T.W.T.M.T.W.)

'On the Hill' for august makes quite an interesting change of policy, mainly due to the fact that, being actually written in august, the news for the beginning of the month is at least up to date.

The Shepton Mallet Caving Club have again distinguished themselves and happily I hear of the new depth record incorporating Steve Wynn-Roberts and Mike Boon, who gave everyone a rather worrying time until their safety was announced.  Of course, strictly speaking, they’re only friends of the Family.  In the Family proper, congratulations to Fred Davies who, with Johnny Attwood, was awarded the Royal Humane Society’s testimonial for their resuscitation attempts.  Fred Davies was of course present at the M.R.O.  turnout at Wookey Hole cave for the abortive rescue search (reported in the daily press).  It might be noted that, whilst Fred was caving in Wookey, his wife was producing a baby girl for him.  The Family increases!

It has been reported through some members (and no doubt the tale has worsened through telling) that  some M.N.R.C. members went caving in Balch's.  Apparently they were not a very well mannered bunch and had no thought for safety.  I'm told it would not penetrate that, if they insisted on standing under the ladder whilst someone was climbing something/one could fall on them.  Shades of Cheramodytes - a new Death Cult!

From Wessex comes very little news excepting rumour that Luke is giving up committee work in favour of watery pastimes.  Incidentally the report I've heard of the Wookey Hole rescue stated that Luke took to paddling in Wookey!

Axbridge C.C. have not risen to any of the baits I've thrown out and to me this indicates that either they've 'folded' of that they just don't consider the effort worth while. My attitude is that it's all "copy".

Cerberus have still not held a committee meeting for the months of May, June and July but there may be hope for August!

Charterhouse C.C. still have not sorted out the legal side of blood chitting yet and I cannot really see anything satisfactory in the near future, but who knows?

There are a few snippets that may interest before the actual club news.  Geoff Workman, you may remember him, is at present doing a very mild form of K. Jiffre i.e. 100 days underground.  There is, however, a fair difference.  He will, if he succeeds in staying down for over 62 days, receive £400 for his efforts which are taking place in the further regions of Stump Cross Caverns – a show cave of some repute.  In fact, everything M. Jiffre did the hard way; Mr. Workman is doing the easy way.  No doubt the Greeks had a word for it (Pushti).

Quote from a local paper. 'A potholer walked into Axbridge Police Station at the weekend and handed in to the sergeant on duty two pound notes.  He had found them down in Goatchurch Cavern.'  I reckon one must be fat to have to undress that much!

In another local paper, a fine letter headed 'The Cavers' by one J.R. Johnson begins ‘Caving is a hazardous and unseemly sport’.  Everyone says so. I certainly do, and goes on to extract the Michael very subtly and well. Such phrases as ' who worships what in the Temple of Tratman?' abound and the letter (Wells Journal, 9.8.63) is, well worth a read.

News from the club is getting better, though I must admit that I consider this only insomuch as upholding the reputation of the club.  Hunters Nights are on the up again.  How much of this is due to the advent of action singing and Mr. P. (Foulmouth) Miller I really can't say, but, even with this activity, a Family member was seen to be soliciting there recently.

I gather the B.B. situation is still almost a case of ‘drop me a line and anything you say will go down in print.’  There is also some binding about suggestions for the dinner this year.  It seems that we can hardly play Cardinal Puff, but photo and song competitions have been done before.  There is also in the offing a Grand Shovvers (Shove Ha'penny to the uninitiated) which looks as if it might add up to a grand and final presentation night for the winner (costly too, a barrel at least!)

That seems to be about the lot for this month but still it is holiday times, so I must dash away for a paddle and leave you with the thought for the month.

If you could spell Llanfairpwllgwyngwllgogerychryndrobwillantysilliogogogoch could you say it?


Cave Diving

To non-initiates of Cave Diving, the whole thing is still possibly something of a mystery.  We thus make no apology for this introductory article which, it is hoped, may at least acquaint some of our newer members with the basic history and techniques of this branch of caving...

by Kevin Abbey.

Cave diving is certainly the most skilled form of caving or of ordinary diving.  It has quite a long history.  Indeed, probably the first cave dive was in Derbyshire in the Buxton water rising at Peak Cavern while Martel, the celebrated French caver, records a dive into the Tauxline Spring in the 1870's.

The first organized cave diving in this country was in 1934 in Swildons by Sheppard and Balcombe and this led eventually to the formation of the Cave Diving Group at a meet in O.F.D. in 1946.  In the early days of the group, its H.Q. was at Wookey Hole and this provided an initial training ground for divers.  Another cave where much diving has been carried out is Peak Cavern in Derbyshire. In recent years, Swildons Hole has been the centre of activity.  The many dives and the problems met with in this cave have brought about major changes in the practice and techniques of cave diving.  This may be seen by the simplification of equipment, absence of large sherpa parties, and above all the practice of 'going caving' when once past the sump which required the dive.

Care of equipment matters more in cave diving than in any other sport.  Your life depends on one thing - the breathing apparatus.  The two main types of breathing methods are the compressed air and the oxygen re-breathing systems.  In the compressed air method you inhale the air from a high pressure cylinder via a demand valve and exhaust to waste.  With the re-breathing method, you breathe into a breathing bag which is kept filled with a constant flow of oxygen from a high pressure cylinder via a reducing valve.  To remove the carbon dioxide from the air, the gas is passed through a canister containing soda lime; a constant supply of gas is obtained by using a regulator which is usually injected into the breathing tube at its junction with the soda lime canister.  Thus, in an emergency if the breathing bag became damaged, gas can be obtained directly from the cylinder.  Since safety dictates that a far greater supply of gas in excess of known requirements should be carried under the conditions of cave diving, the usual practice is to carry two high pressure cylinders each of roughly one hour's duration.

Besides the breathing apparatus, the next most important item is the diving suit.  There are two main types used at present.  The services Inflatable Submarine Escape Immersion (or 'goon') suit or the expanded neoprene skin tight suit (or wet suit).  The former is useful if there as much stationary work to be done because spare clothes may be worn underneath, in other cases; the wet suit is much less bulky and permits greater freedom of movement.


Please note: Once again, the Belfry has been redecorated.  We now have a hut which is capable of looking very smart and comfortable providing everyone makes an effort to keep it so.  Why not show YOUR appreciation to those who have done this work by doing YOUR best to keep the place tidy?

Trips from the Caving Log

by John Ransome.

People are still caving, although we are rather behind in putting it in the B.B.

On March 20th, a G.B. meet was well attended by some 20 members who spent a good afternoon avoiding each other.

Several trips on the 7th, 18th and 20th took place in Cuthbert’s, Rod's Pot and Porth-yr-Ogof by Roger Stenner.  He reports that the latter trip was very good.  He took a party of Lockleaze people down and they spent a lot of time in the cave.  The worst part of the trip, says Roger, was having to avoid the odiferous sheep corpses which were a grim reminder of the hard winter.  In April, Alfie's Hole was reopened and a respectable pile of boulders removed.

Keith Franklyn, taking a party down Cuthbert’s on the 19th May, looked at the two passages in the back   of the Dining Room and says that the top passage looks as if it might go somewhere.

Garth arrived with a party from the army who were on an adventure training course and did Goatchurch and Sidcot.  They all said they would like to come down again.

Swildons on May 26th was reported by Kevin Abbey to be worse than the underground in the rush hour. There were waits of one to two hours at the Forty.  Kevin's party, having got down, helped another party who were lost.

Surprise, surprise! NIGEL has actually been caving! He took Kevin, a smallie boy and two members of the Bristol Evening Gatsache Caving Club down.  Norman Petty had a shock on seeing Nigel in caving gear.

Swildons Four and Sump I were visited by R.A. MacGregor using a thirty foot ladder on the Forty. In Cuthbert’s over Whitsun, Keith Franklyn reports that whilst on a photographic trip, he climbed the rift at the back of the Dining Room but found that it didn't go as far as he thought. August and Longwood were found to be drier than usual by Roger Stenner.

On June 9th, a practice rescue was held in Cuthbert’s entrance Rift.  This has already been reported in the B.B.  The same afternoon Roger Stenner carried out a survey of the Wire Rift.

Kevin Abbey, going down G.B. on the I4th June, gives a warning that a bull 'with a herd of cows is inclined to resent cavers in the same field as caves.

Mike Baker went down Cuthbert’s with a party of M.N.R.C. on the 16th June and reports that it was very nice to see another club tidying up a cave without being asked.  He reports that there was quite a lot of rubbish in September Chamber.

Trip to Bath Stone Workings

by Phil Townsend and Flicka.

On Friday 11th, after arriving 35 minutes late for the rendezvous, we made all haste to the Stone Works.  Through the recent heavy rain, the mud track made by the tipping lorries was very slippery. There was a treacherously muddy descent to the entrance among the trees.  This safely overcome by the party, some of whom were in ordinary clothes and footwear, the next obstacle was a four foot high barbed wire entanglement which presented no great difficulty.

The party, it seemed, consisted predominantly of committee members there being Bob Bagshaw, 'Mo' Marriott, Norman Petty (with an inexhaustible supply of spare clothing) Alan and Carol Sandall, Ron Bater and of course us two.

The stones at the immediate entrance were loose but once inside, surroundings were firmer but, should anything have slipped, the wooden supports, presumably erected for conscience's sake, would have found some difficulty in supporting the weight.  The floor was dry except for the occasional muddy patches.  An interesting item 'en route' was a deep well set into the floor by a wall.

The tracks for railway wagons had left their mark, and apart from the impressions in the hard floor, there were the occasional sleepers and pieces of line.  After some time spent in wandering through these passages, we came to a passage with pipes and cables stretching along it.  The passage was windy and very muddy and was, for about twenty feet, flooded to a depth of four to five inches.  Being the only members with no boots, we could proceed no further. We waited in a higher part of the passage, where there was no draught, for the rest of the party.

When they returned, we left the draughty passage, and proceeded along another route towards the entrance.  Soon we came to a chimney which was open to the night sky.  Before entering the chamber known as the Cathedral, we had to climb a mound of loose rubbish, which had been tipped in through another hole in the roof.  It was easy to see why this chamber was called the Cathedral.  Directly under yet another hole in the roof was another well. This one was unfenced, and the blue-green water could be easily seen.

It was soon noticed that it was fifty minutes to closing time and so an all out effort was made to get out quickly which involved a crawl over loose stones and rubble. After changing, when Mo's tie met an unfortunate end, it was about ten thirty.  So, with the usual enthusiasm, and the hope that we were in Somerset, we made our way to the local and thence homewards.  Thanks to Mo for an enjoyable trip.

Phil & Thil.

Rescue At Wookey

by Mike Wheadon.

It was reported to the police that a deaf mute, who had been staying at Cheddar Y.H.A. was missing. He had apparently cycled to Easton, where he had left his cycle at a farm and instructed the farmer that he would collect it later, then he walked via Wookey Hole to the caves where his entrance was noticed but, when his bicycle was not claimed, nobody remembered him leaving the caves.

The M.R.O. were alerted at 12.15 pm via Howard Kenney.  He did a search during the lunch hour and located Jack Johnson, Fred Davies and Herby Davies.  Later E.M.I, of Wells were called at approx 1.30 and released L.S trong, Bob Frost and myself to assist if possible.  Gordon Selby and Prew were informed, but were on Mendip at Westbury.

When I arrived at the cave, searching was already in progress.  Fred, Herby and Bob were sent by Howard to the Western Grottos while Howard, Eric and myself did as intensive a search of the Upper Series maze as possible. At 3.30, Luke appeared and Eric Strong went off to view Badger Hole, Hyena Den and the small rifts whilst Howard and Fred checked again the tourist route from the entrance.  All results were negative.

After a while, the remainder of us tried free diving to 4 and Luke entered the water to snorkel around. At 4.30, the police arrived and told us that he had been traced to Birmingham, the bicycle apparently stolen or borrowed.

Mrs Wingoo arranged sandwiches and cups of tea for us and disappointed reporters drifted off after the inevitable photographs.  The cave was cleared of genuine cavers by 4.45.  It may be noted that business was as usual during the rescue at 2/6 per head.