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A mini B.B.

We have seen the arrival of the mini car – then the mini skirt.  Now we have the mini B.B.

More seriously, the present page arrangement does not permit a six page B.B. and, since there is not enough material for an eight page issue, we have taken the unprecedented step of issuing a four page magazine.  This is probably the smallest B.B. ever produced.  On the one hand, this mini mag can be considered to be a waste of good covers, staples and stamps.  On the other hand, it is felt that members want to see a B.B. in September, however small – and to fill up four more pages with sheer padding would be an even bigger waste of paper, covers, staples etc. (Note, the number of pages relates to the original size BB)

As you know, it was announced in the May and June issue of the B.B. this year that the Editor was thinking of retiring from this job.  One of the reasons behind this has been the increasing difficulty in getting enough articles.  As I found out when I took over this job, a new face does seem to give a boost to members, and I hope that this will occur with your new Editor, who will be taking over next year in January. In the meantime, for the remaining three issues of the B.B., might I appeal for more material?

Annual General Meeting and Dinner.

As you know, the A.G.M. will start at 10.30 in the morning this year.  This could be a good move as, with luck it will mean that we stand a chance of finishing in mid afternoon even with the Long Term Planning Report to consider.  This will give members more time to get ready for the Dinner.  This arrangement will not work unless we can get an early start so PLEASE try to turn up at ten thirty.  Don’t reckon that because every one else is bound to be late, there is no need for YOU to be early.  We need thirty members before we can start, remember.


It is a healthy sign that we have no fewer than twelve good nominations for this year’s election. This coming year could be a crucial one for the club, and it is more important than ever for you to vote for those people who you think will be able to steer the club through the times ahead. You may send your completed form to Roger, or present them yourselves at the start of the A.G.M.

Car Badges.

In addition to the new supply of club ties announced recently, we now have a new batch of car badges.  These are available from Bob Bagshaw on Thursdays at club, or at the A.G.M.

Caving Publications.

B.E.C. Caving Reports, Surveys etc., are still available from Bryan Ellis, Knockauns, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset. If in doubt as to what is available, send a stamped addressed envelope for the full list.

Club Library.

This is now at Dolphin Cottage – Dave and Katy Searle’s cottage.  It is near the Belfry and there is no excuse for not being able to get there if you are a regular visitor to Mendip.  Why not go and see what the club has in its Library?


This is at the cave Man Restaurant.  7 for 7.30. Roast haunch of venison.  Tickets at £1 per bod available from Bob Bagshaw at 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.

Monthly Notes No 7

by Dave Irwin

Potholing in the Press 1966.    Looking through the scrapbook for 1966, I found that the attitude of the press appears to be changing for the better.  Among all the vivid accounts of the rescues are serious articles that have appeared in the national publications and dailies.  These include Balinka Pit (Men Only), Knocker Pot (Scotsman), Welsh Copper Mines at Amlwch (Guardian), Oxlow – Giants Connection (Guardian), Dan-yr-Ogof (Observer Colour) and Lafferties 127 days in Goughs (Guardian & Express).  The highlights of the year were three incidents which made the headlines, Eileen Davies’s masterful crawl resulting in the discovery of Dan-yr-Ogof 2,3 and 4; the Giant’s rescue and Lafferties breaking of the world record for an underground stay.  The Express made headlines of the test for the foam rubber bag designed by the Wharfdale Fell Rescue Team.  Accounts also appeared of the B.E.C. exhibition at the Bristol Museum (Evening Post), rock fall in Cheddar Gorge, G.B. discoveries and details of the ‘trogs’ at Matlock.

Goatchurch.     Tony Jarrett of the Axbridge reports, “After several digging sessions, a small rat like chamber has been entered in the floor of the Water Chamber in Goatchurch Cavern.  The stream which disappears in the  Water Chamber enters the dig from a low passage high up on the right and sinks again in the floor.  There are some formations.  We are now digging in the floor, following the stream and have reached a series of small rifts with stalagmite coated walls.”  Sound like the Burrington Breakthrough on the way!

Contour Cave.  (alias Sludge Pit, Ten barrows, Boveways) is Mendip’s latest discovery.  Dug by members of the Bridgwater Technical college aided by the ‘banging’ skill of John Cornwell, the 2,500 foot long cave was entered late in August.  The main feature of the cave appears to be a long eighty foot high rift with an upper complex of phreatic tubes, said to be more complicated than Cuthbert’s Rabbit Warren. Dennis Warburton has started a survey. The cave is locked.  No arrangements have been made regarding access and anyone wanting a trip should contact John Cornwell first.  It appears that there is a high concentration of CO2 in the sump.  So be warned. The entrance lies on the 900’ contour near the Nine Barrows entrance.

Nine Barrows Swallet. Dennis Warburton and Phil Davies have recently completed an accurate survey of the system.

Use the Gates! Since the opening of the two new swallets described above, many people have been climbing over the walls.  They have also left open gates and generally annoyed the two resident farmers in the neighbourhood.   If you are walking over this area  –  or indeed, any part of Mendip – please observe the country code by NOT climbing over walls and hedges and by opening and SHUTTING gates.

Gouffre Berger.            Pearce is report to have dived the ‘terminal’ sump, entered open passage, dived another sump, and entered a large passage, only to be halted by a fifty foot pitch.

Eastwater Swallet.       A meeting is to be held on 24th October at the Hunters to discuss the possibilities of re-opening the system.  Warburton and Surrell, who surveyed the system, are of the opinion that there is a good chance of sinking a shaft in the Boulder Chamber area.  This is NOT an open meeting, and only club representatives will be admitted.

Emborough Swallet.    The present Franklin – Coles dig has been joined by Alfie Collins and the Searles.  Shoring is being constructed.

Washfold Pot.  This pot was bottomed by Bennett, Kingston, Petty and Franklin with a combined W.C.C. trip on 9th September 1967.  A Penyghent trip fell through at the last minute.

In the B.E.C. Library.   (1) Homes of Primeval Man.  (Pub. Artia 1964).  An interesting picture book, briefly describing some of the Czechoslovakian caves. The photographs in the main are excellent, but the text at times is a little overpowering.  Particularly useful to cave photographers.  (The Library is at Dave Searle’s cottage).