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Long Service

The B.B. is 21 years old this month.  A caving publication to have reached this age is surely a great event and there are few Mendip Journals that date from the immediate post war years.

The B.E.C. formed in 1935 (according to the OFFICIAL records!) had 80 or so members in 1947 the year in which Harry Stanbury – a founder member – launched the B.B.

Quite a span of time and it’s really brought home when one thinks that Alan Thomas was taking his School Cert., beer was 1/- a pint, no wet suits, Sett, Pongo Wallis, Alfie, Harry Stanbury and Don Coase were among the leading lights, Stoke Lane II discovered some 7 months later, St. Cuthbert’s dig open 7 years later, Roy Bennett at school and Phil Kingston born in November!

Over the years the B.B. has served members well, particularly those away from Mendip for long periods, by keeping them in regular contact with the Belfry and I’m sure it is the wish of all B.E.C. members that this will continue long into the future. Whatever may be said of the B.B. it is gratifying to hear the oft quoted phrase “Where’s the next B.B.”

 “WIG”

‘ALFIE’

If you look through any twelve months of Belfry Bulletins you will find that you have a pretty good Club Journal.  Comparisons are odious but the B.B. is something no other club has.  Don’t imagine that its unfailing production is an easy task.  Ask the average B.E.C. member to write an article and you will find a variety of excuses that you could use them for a basis of an article written by yourself.

 ‘Alfie’ has done this thankless task for eleven year.  This is longer than all the other editors put together. He began before there was electric light or mains water at the Belfry; before the Stone Belfry was built and at the time that St. Cuthbert’s was first being explored.  Alfie has edited 120 issues of the B.B; he has printed over 20,000 copies and used half a ton of paper.  If all the pages of all the B.B.’s Alfie has printed were laid end to end they would reach from Brean Down to Frome, much to the annoyance of the Mendip Preservation Society! 

Young cavers are like butterflies: they escape from the parental crèche, spend a brief span fancy free and then are finished (in the case of the butterfly – dead; in the case of the caver – married).  How can then a caving club last for more than a few years?  The B.E.C. has stood the test of time because there are always people like Alfie in it to provide continuity between one generation and the next.

Fank’s from hte Publicans Departmunt!

In wieu of the remarks made in the Christmus B.b. vith regards to the use of the B.B. typevriter, the Cawing Publications Dept. voul like it to be knovn hov wery grateful they are for the opportunity of being able to vrite this ‘Thank you’ note in type type vriting instead if vriting type vriting.

Gord. Tilly