After the appearance of the January B.B. early in the month of Feb., it should cause little surprise that this one will be received by most members in the month of March. We are not setting out to claim that this is a good thing, and to doubt we will catch up and members will have received the regulation number of issues of the B.B. before the year is out.  On thing which has been holding back production, is the small amount of stuff in the ‘float’.  Hint.



Tackle Store Keys

The distribution of keys to the Tackle Store is as follows.  G. Dell (Belfry Engineer); R. Bennett (Caving Sec.); N. Petty (Tacklemaster); G. Tilly (Hut Warden); D. Searle (Assistant Hut Warden) and Dave Irwin (M.R.O. Warden).  The key held by Garth will be taken over by Alan Thomas as Hut Engineer.

Urgent Appeal

In spite of his appeal at the A.G.M. and subsequent reporting of same, the Hut Warden has still not received any GIFTS of SAUCEPANS.  The Belfry is now down to THREE and it will soon be no longer possible to do cooking other than frying.  PLEASE, if you have any old but serviceable saucepans at home, persuade your parents/relatives/landlady/butler to donate them to a good cause. – The Belfry.

Climbing Note

(Weekend 28/29 January, 1967)

Heayg: Pat Ifold, John Stafford, John Eatough, Dave Radmore, Mark James and Kangy King.

Scotty Dwyer Bunkhouse:  Bob Sell, Pat Barnett and Angela Lester.

Saturday provided low clouds but no rain.  The whole party went to Cwm Idwal and James, King and Radmore to the Tennis Shoe. Down early and back to the Bunkhouse for coffee.  On Sunday, the party attempted the Snowdon Horseshoe, but it was too windy.  Conditions were too bad for Reades Route so James, King and Angela did the Parsons Nose which was just right in the wind and rain.  It was very wet.  The rest of the party walked and Eatough found a six inch juniper type tree, the biggest he’d seen.

R.S. King

Have you paid your sub yet?

Yes, we know that it’s tradition in the B.E.C. not to pays subs on time.  It does cause extra work though, because in some cases it is not known if a member has left the club or only just gone into hiding.  Some people who have complained about not getting a B.B. have found on enquiry that it has been because they forgot to pay their subs. Don't let this happen to you!

Cuthberts Diving Operation

(24th and 25th of February)

This operation was based on two sets of teams – the digging and diving teams.  The job of the diggers was to dig a trench into the sump and to enlarge it as far as they could reach.  When the limit had been reached, the divers would then set about digging underwater, and the diggers would remove the spoil into Gour Rift.

The amount of water going into the cave was reduced by dams at the Mineries Pool and in the depression. The first digging teams then dug a trench into the sump and widened the sump passage.  The first diving team then assembled and tested the ‘surface demand’ breathing apparatus and then helped with the digging.  Digging carried on to two o’clock on Sunday morning when it was decided that the diggers were of no further use, and the teams from there on were reduced.  Three men were retained to assist the divers, who were carrying on digging under water. The digging became subject to setbacks caused by the undermining of the silt banks by the stream and resulted in their collapse.  Diving continued until two o’clock when the increased water coming into the cave, and the extremely cold conditions under which the divers worked during their ten minute submersions, resulted in the abandonment of the diving.  On Sunday, all that remained was to retrieve all the gear.

The telephone worked perfectly throughout the weekend, and was essential to the successful running of the shift rota.  The gas cooker provided by Sybil functioned well and produced vast quantities of much needed soup.  On the digging side, plastic buckets and a metal sledge were extremely useful for removing the spoil from the sump.  From the diving point of view, the surface demand B.A. was found to be too expensive on air and so diving tended towards the use of self contained sets.  The actual digging underwater was carried out by means of a small garden trowel, which was used to push spoil into the sides of the sump.

Those who dived would like to thank the girls who cooked soup; made coffee; provided hot water and tended to our needs so admirably, to which the thanks of the diggers must be included.  Lynne, Sybil and Joan of the B.E.C. and Sally and Joan of the Wessex were those concerned.  Acknowledgements must also go to Luke Devenish for the loan of the Surface Demand B.A., and to the numerous others whose aid made the running if not the result, a success.

The final distance into the sump reached was between 9 and 10 feet.

Digging in the sump will be continued by members of the C.D.G. and a damming system will be continued by various club members.

P.A. Kingston

Green Shield Stamps.

An appeal is being made for members to give Green Shield Stamps to the Club.  Many members who get the chance to collect stamps at garages etc., and probably have no use for them.  Please give such stamps to the Hut Warden in future.  This will save money for the Club.

Long Term Planning (3)

The February meeting of the Long Term Planning Committee was one in which members reviewed the work done to date.  The secretary explained that the Grant forms had now been received and that he had made contact with an official in Whitehall.  Nothing could actually be done with the forms, however, until the stage of having definite plans for the proposed new hut has been reached.

The Secretary’s scheme for forming the club into a company was then produced.  The Memorandums and Articles of Association had been prepared. He was instructed to obtain legal advice at this stage.

Alan reported that he was still negotiating for the additional land and that this was not without some hope.  Ben was seen about using his track for access to the site, and it was found that this could be done under some conditions – although this might not be a practical proposition.  The committee then went on to review the situation generally and finished up with an on the spot inspection of the site.

It is expected that the Committee will shortly be in a position to begin the actual job of laying out of the building and siting it.  Much of the preliminary work has now been done and this will soon begin to show results. In spite of the fact that some members may consider the space given in the B.B. to be a waste, it is felt that members should be kept as up to date as possible on what the Long Term Planning Committee is doing and be given every opportunity to comment.  If any members have points they wish to raise on any subjects so far discussed, or on the actual layout of the Belfry, please write to the Secretary, S.J. Collins, Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Somerset and your letter will be read at the next meting.

Why do you go Caving?

Some time ago, a questionnaire was distributed to cavers which, in addition to asking questions something like: - “Are you married/single/divorced/thinking about it?” asked people to give an honest answer to the eternal question “Why do you go caving?”  As very few would be able to think of a convincing answer to such a question, a selection of model answers was provided, the answer to be ticked in order of preference, e.g.: -

1.                  “Because I like meeting people.”

2.                  “To get away from it all.”

3.                  “Because I like it”


4.                  “Because my girl friend/ boy friend/wife likes it/thinks I like it/thinks I ought to like it.”

5.                  “To prove myself”

….or something like that.

Wouldn’t it have been much easier to answer if the questionnaire had been slightly differently phrased?  For instance……

In no other sport does one so frequently avoid asking oneself,  “Why do I do it?”  Please avoid answering the following questions dishonestly.

1.                  Are you a caver? If so, do you go caving?

2.                  Did you go to school?  If so, why?

3.                  Where were you educated?  If so, did you learn anything?  If so, What? When? Which? How? Why?

4.                  Are you married/courting/trying/being trying/being tried/chasing/being chaste/thinking about it/ trying not to think about it/don’t know?

If so, why?  Why not?  Who? Where?  What?  Which? When?  How?  How many? How often?  What do you mean?  What was the question?  And if not, why not?

5.                  Do you avoid caving, Climbing, Diving, Swimming, Drowning, Drinking, Working, Washing, Caving, Washing up, Climbing, Caving, Washing up, Answering Questionnaires?

Here are some model answers, in any order…

a.                  Don’t like it.

b.                  Don’t

c.                  Wife/Girl friend doesn’t like it

d.                  Too Wet/Tired/Old/Fat/Drunk/Morrow

e.                  Other interests

f.                    Don’t Know/Care/See why I should answer/Know what you are talking about/ Be impertinent

g.                  Opening time.

Editor’s Note     This was sent in some time ago by R.A.B.?  R.A.S.?  R.J.B.? (I genuinely can’t read the signature!)