Hon. Sec: A.R. Thomas, Westhaven School,Uphill, Weston-s-mare, Somerset.
EDITOR:  D.J. Irwin. 23 Camden Road, Bristol 3.  Price 1/6d

Address Changes

M. Palmer, 27 Roman Way, High Park Estate, Paulton, Somerset.
W. Smart, c/o Richard Costain (CE) Ltd.  PO Box 121, MUSCAT, Muscat and Oman, Arabia

(Bill notes that it takes up to three months for sea mail to reach him – best to use air mail).

R. Roberts, Dept. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge. Mass., U.S.A.
C. Hall, 12 Churly Road, Bristol 6.
M. Calvert, 4 Mead Close, North Petherton, Nr. Bridgwater, Som.

I’ve just received a bunch of notes from out Hon. Sec. in addition to those on page 8 which give me a good excuse to publish these instead of filling the odd space with padding.

Subscriptions

Annual subscriptions are due on January 31st. 1969.  Why not give Bob Bagshaw a surprise this year by sending in your subscription (25/-) and your membership card on time?

Can Belfry users help ensure that the two small sump-heaters in the toilets are kept filled with paraffin and lit during the winter.  The heater will burn continuously for a week and help prevent the waterworks from freezing. Don’t forget to keep the doors closed. It is well worth while to write the date the heaters were filled with paraffin on the Belfry notice board.

The February Committee Meeting will be discussing two important topics of interest to all members. The New Belfry and ‘Alfie’s’ proposed new constitution.  At the January Meeting the Committee discussed the Exhibition to be held in Wells, CRG Meeting (April) and, as Norman petty is getting short of timber, the planting of 100 young trees around the boundary of the Belfry site.

Caving Meets

Sunday 9th February: -  Banwell Stalagmite Cave (surveying) – Leader: - Dave Irwin.

Sunday 9th March: - August Longwood System – Leader: - Andy MacGregor.

EASTER: - South Wales

SPRING HOLIDAY: - Yorkshire.


 

Notes on the East Twin Survey

By D.J. Irwin

This new survey was produced to establish the true direction of the cave.  Two surveys, the first published by the UBSS in their proceedings (1) and the second by the Croydon Scouts (2), had been inspected by the writer who noted quite considerable differences.  The most important variation was the True (or Grid?) North arrow. This differed by about 10o indicating although they both claimed CRG Grade 5, that one of the surveyors had not calibrated his compass.  Another difference, though of lesser importance, was the overall plan lengths. The UBSS showed a length of approximately 127ft. and the Scouts 118ft.  The end point of the Third Chamber from the entrance pothole – UBSS = 95ft. and the Scouts 108ft.

The height O.D. levels were at variance.  The 1962 Scouts did not quote the O.D. level but the UBSS and Barrington (3) quote the following values: -

                                    U.B.S.S.  (1955)            = 600ft.

                                    Barrington                     = 540ft. (all editions)

                                    U.B.S.S.  (1964) (4)       =500ft.

Apart from the survey differences, the errors in O.D. levels were too great to be acceptable and so a surface survey line was taken from Ellick House to the cave entrance.

INSTRUMENTS.  The instruments used for the cave survey: -

                        Ex. W.D. Prismatic Compass

                        Abney level (Japanese manufacture)

                        50ft. Fibron tape graduated in decimals of a foot.

Both compass and the clinometer were mounted onto a dural plate and the whole mounted onto a tripod. Two spirit levels were mounted onto the dural plate for levelling purposes.

READINGS. The surveying method employed was the ‘leap-frogging technique’ developed by Ellis several years ago. The instruments were read to: - compass 0.5o, clinometer 0.5o, and the distances 0.05ft.

CALIBRATION.  The compass was calibrated along a nearby straight stretch of road and the true North bearing taken from a 6” O.S. survey of the area.

CALCULATIONS.  All values taken in the cave were processed using four figure tables and a calculating machine.  All calculations were checked by re-calculation.

CLOSURES.  Traverse closures were not possible as only one line was surveyed through the cave. All values were checked when being taken in the cave and the finished drawing compared well with the U.B.S.S. survey (see table at the end of this article).

PLOTTING.  The calculated co-ordinates were plotted onto graph paper that had been carefully checked for variation in the printed squares and for paper stretch caused sometimes in paper manufacture.  The finished drawing was then traced onto ‘Pertrace’ film.

PASSAGE OUTLINE.  The passage outline was obtained by the ‘raying technique’ and wherever steep angles were involved clinometer readings were obtained to the nearest 5o.  The values were calculated with a slide-rule and plotted with a protractor onto the basic surveying line.  Roof heights were measured wherever possible otherwise they were estimated.

SURVEY GRADING.  A Cave Research Grading of 6D is claimed for this survey.  The survey also conforms to the Mendip Survey Colloquium Descriptive Map and the Accurate Outline Survey requirements.

PERMANENT SURVEY STATIONS.  A small stalagmite flow at the upper end of the Second Chamber has been marked with cold chisel edge.  The co-ordinates are: -

Northing: -51.29’   Eastings: -  +23.13  O.D.  427.58’

(NB.  Both N and E are taken from the datum lines originating in the Third chamber.)

LOST PASSAGES.  It is apparent that since the U.B.S.S. survey that considerable changes have taken place in the cave.  The first aven, shown on the U.B.S.S. survey, could not be located even though a considerable time was spent searching for it.  The entrance to this aven is shown to be very near the floor level and, probably due to later floods, the stream has deposited considerable quantities of infilling blocking the entrance.  The Scouts survey does not show this aven; neither do they show the connection between the stream passage and the entrance passage as can be seen on the U.B.S.S. survey. This connection between the two passages seems to be blocked with fairly large boulders.

COMPARISON WITH EARLIER SURVEYS.  As figures for the two earlier surveys are not available the only check that could be made as to the accuracy was by measurement of the main points within the cave from all three surveys.

Direct line from end of Third Chamber to centre of entrance Pot: -

Total surveyed passage length = 211.9ft

U.B.S.S.   95ft.              Scouts  108ft.                B.E.C.   94ft.

 

 

 

Direct line from Third Chamber to top end of First Chamber: -

 

U.B.S.S.   127ft.            Scouts  118ft.                B.E.C.   129ft

 

 

 

Depth (from base of entrance pothole).

 

U.B.S.S.   55ft.              Scouts  71ft.                  B.E.C.   56ft

 

Copies of this survey (original drawn 1/120 scale) are obtainable through the cave survey scheme. The price will be approximately 3/6.

Acknowledgements.

The assistance given by R. Bennett, R. Saunders and G.Tilly is gratefully acknowledged.  Without this help the making of the survey would have not been possible.

References.

(1)        U.B.S.S. Proceedings 1957/58.

(2)        Unpublished survey by Croydon Scouts (1962).

(3)        Caves of Mendip, N. Barrington.  (1st, 2nd and 3rd Edit.)

(4)        U.B.S.S. Proceedings 1964/65.

(5)        Additional references not mentioned in the above text: -

CRG Trans. 8 (2) Cave Surveying, Butcher and Railton (1966).

Mendip Cave Survey Colloquium – Report (1963).

B.E.C. Caving report, S.J. Collins – Presentation of Cave Survey Data. 1966.

Notes of the surface line from Ellick House to the Entrance of East twin Swallet.

The levelling exercise was carried out by Bill Smart, Keith Franklin, Dudley Herbet, Tim (Hodgoon) Hodgson. Bill used a ‘Quick-set’ and took the line along the road leaving a number of side legs along the way near other cave entrances so that their respective O.D. levels can be obtained in the near future.  The line was carried on down the Coombe and ended at the entrance to Avelines Hole. Although the line was not closed, errors would not be greater than ±0.5ft.

D.J.I.

This is the first of a series of the new B.E.C. surveys; next month will be Roger Stenner’s Avelines Hole to C.R.G. Grade 6.  During the year up to date surveys will be published of Sidcot Swallet (the first accurate survey ever!) Banwell Stalagmite Cave, Cuckoo Cleeves (with comparison with the 1968 survey by Dick Warburton) and Roman Mine (found by Jill and Norman Tuck) together with a full report of the important finds made there.  The surveys published in the B.B. will only be an outline and a selection of passage sections.  All of the complete surveys will be obtainable through the Mendip Survey Scheme – full details of this later.  More parts of the Cuthbert’s survey will be on sale next month – get your orders in now to Bryan Ellis and take advantage of the reduced rates the last for the first month sale only.

 



South Wales Meet - Aug ‘68

By Dave Glover

Andy MacGregor, Jane and myself arrived at the Gwyn Arms soon after mid-day on Saturday 31st August. Tents were pitched opposite the Gwyn and then a few minutes were wiled away in the traditional manner.  At closing time there was no sign of the expected B.E.C. arrivals so it was decided to take to the hills.  A climb up the track behind the Gwyn and a little searching enabled us to find Pwll Dffn Pot.  From there we had a look at several interesting shake holes and one very large sink, taking only a trickle on this occasion.  By the time we had returned Phil Kingston, Colin Priddle, Mike Palmer and Dave Yendle had arrived.   After the evening brew-up we all retired once again to the Gwyn (there’s a Courage a mile down the road! Ed.) where we were treated (??) to the skirl of bagpipes! Bagpipes in Wales, I ask you!  Completely shattered (from the bagpipes, not the beer!) we staggered back to the tents accompanied by a gentle drizzle.

The morning proved that it had not remained so all night.  The river Tawe was running at least four times its volume more than the previous day, and leaden skies were still debauching large quantities of water. Our intended trip into Dan-yr-Ogof was beginning to look decidedly dodgy.  Perhaps I should explain to anyone who is not familiar with D.Y.O., that soon after the show cave ends the stream is met in the form of two lakes. In wet weather these sump and this being the only way through, the prospects of doing the cave in wet weather is not very encouraging.  At 10 o’clock (still pouring) despite the notice ‘Cave open to visitors’, D.Y.O. showed no signs of life and with no prospect of finding out the conditions of the cave, it was decided to abandon the trip.  We all drove to Hendrydd Falls where suitable photographs were taken and then to the South Wales Cottage. By now the weather was clearing slightly and it was decided to do O.F.D. 2 to the waterfall via Cwm Dwr.  At midday the party finally started its descent though a peculiar concrete tube.  We soon overran the turning to the first crawl.  It was noticeable that those who had done this trip before allowed the others the first opportunity of sample the delights of the crawls.  The total length of the three crawls is about 400ft.  The first takes a trickle of water and is mainly smooth rock; the second is pleasantly sandy and flat out in the middle section; the third is gravely and a bit hard on the knees.  Nevertheless, they made a sporting start to the system.  After this the character of the passages change quite dramatically to large passages 70-80ft. high in places.  We soon came to one of the few formations in the cave; a white stal. flow. Some very interesting sand and mud formations can also be seen in various parts of the cave, but although most are taped off they seem to be suffering from the attention of the ‘heavy boot brigade’ and some have been completely destroyed over the last 18 months. Soon after following the Cwm Dwr stream passage we came to a dodgy looking boulder ruckle that connects C.D. with O.F.D.  This must be more stable than it looks (famous last words) for it gets a considerable amount of traffic through it and shows no sign of movement.  Once through we were in O.F.D. and there followed a delightful piece of caving, mostly gentle walking over soft sand in airy passages. After taking all the correct turns we arrived at the streamway.  This had taken about 1½ hours and after a short rest we set off up the 1½ -2 miles of streamway.  At first this was greeted with enthusiasm, with mush splashing and shouting.  The streamway is a most interesting passage with small waterfalls, deep potholes which have to be swum and interesting rock formations – some of which were razor sharp.  The one big problem is that’s almost impossible to tell whether your next step is going to land you in six inches of water or six feet, so that after ½ an hour it was noticeable that great concentration was the order of the day. After an hour of this the climax of the trip was reached – a superb 25ft. waterfall.  After a few minutes rest and time to admire the fall we turned back.  The journey back was uneventful except for a couple of wrong turnings.  The total time of the trip was about 5 hours.

*****************************************

All Library Books To Be Returned To Dave Searle By Mid-February


 

The Route Severity Diagram

A new system of describing caves had been developed by ‘Alfie’, first explained in the BEC Caving Report No.12 and since that time modified by the addition of certain symbols, is now part of a new B.B. series….

By S.J. Collins

PART 1.  Introduction

For most purposes, the ordinary type of cave survey is quite good enough and the fact that surveys have been used by cavers for many years bears this out.  The trouble starts when caves are very complex – like St. Cuthbert’s – come along.  The normal type of survey of such a cave system contains many passages and chambers which lie over each other on the survey, and this begins to make reading such a survey a difficult process.

To any caver who is using a survey for measurement purposes – as an aid to further exploration perhaps, or to plot the course of streams, or to trace the underground bedding of rocks, there is no substitute for an accurate survey of the normal type, however complicated the cave.  A caver doing the sort of work already mentioned will not mind the time he may have to put in when sorting out “what goes where” from the survey.  On the other hand, the normal caver, who merely wants to know how to get from A to B and what difficulties he may expect to encounter on the way needs a simpler method of seeing where he is.

The problem bothered me for a number of years, and I thought it might be possible to invent a simple diagram – rather on the lines of a ‘circuit diagram’ used in electronics. The result is the Route Severity Diagram.  Since I first started to interested other cavers in this method of writing down the features of a cave, I have been helped by many useful suggestions, and the R.S.B. in its present form is the result of the help which I have received from many cavers, all of whom I should like tom thank.

The R.S.D. has now been adopted by the Mendip Survey Colloquium as one of the preferred ways of drawing a Descriptive Map of a Cave.  To well known surveyors are at present engaged in producing R.S.D.’s of caves, which will soon be published.  I thought that readers of the B.B. might like a short (and painless!) course on reading this type of map, so that the surveys will not seem so strange when they start to appear.  A very short ‘article’ will thus appear in each issue of the B.B. for the next few months. Each part will teach a part of the system and should not take too much ‘wading through’.

PART 2.  Passage and Pitch

The Route Severity Diagram ignores the actual shape of the cave, and simplifies this into two forms – the passage, and the pitch.  These are drawn below.

Pitches are drawn with the one side open to the adjacent passage and one side closed as shown below. The UPPER passage is the one which is closed.  It is easy to remember which is which if you think you can walk straight into the centre of a circular pot from the bottom, but not from the top unless you can fly!

Thus, only knowing these two simple designs, you can see from the R.S.D. whether the cave is mainly vertical or horizontal, and where the pitches are.

All the passages on an R.S.D. are drawn parallel to or at right angles to each other.  To get them to ‘fit’, right angled bends are often made in the passage.  These are ignored but what remains true is that every passage junction is correct. Thus, in an R.S.D. of Swildons, for example, a junction would be shown downstream from the Wet Way showing ‘straight ahead’ for the 40 (or was that the 40 before the flood!) and turn right for the Old Grotto and the Dry ways.

Thus: - 1. Passages are shown by parallel lines.  All passages are the same width.  All junctions and bends are right angled.  Bends should be ignored, junctions are correct.    2. Pitches are show by circles.  The upper passage is shown blocked and the lower on open to the pitch.

 

The next part will deal with CONSTRICTION.


 

Penyghent Pot

By Martin Webster

During December, Dave Turner (BEC), Brian Woodward, Brian Talbert, Bob Craig (SMCC) and myself, spent a weekend in Yorkshire with the aim of bottoming Penyghent Pot. Although this cave is no longer the deepest in England, it still ranks as being very severe if tackling and de-tackling is to be competed in the same trip.

Our first problem occurred on the M6 when the throttle cable on the dormobile, in which we were travelling, broke.  Two hours and a tow from a rather disgruntled R.A.C. man, later we were on the move again; cable being joined with string!

After various stops we eventually reached Skirwith Farm at 5 o’clock in the morning and in sub-zero temperatures we quickly erected tents and tried to get a few hours sleep.

The next day, after sorting the tackle and having breakfast (which was in fact lunch by the time we arrived at the café) we set out for Penyghent.  The game-keeper was informed of our intentions and then we drove slowly up the track onto the fell.

The weather by this time was quite good and there seemed little likelihood of rain, so with high hopes we rapidly changed and started off across the moor top the cave.  At the cave entrance Dave sadly decided that he could only help us as far as the end of the canal, as the wet suit he had made out of very thick industrial neoprene was acting like a straight-jacket.  We all agreed that, in the circumstances, Dave was probably right and so we resigned ourselves to the thought of having to carry all the tackle with only four people.

It took 25 minutes to get along the canals to the first pitch.  The passage after this, which leads to the second pitch, is called the ‘Second Stretch’ and was most probably the most backbreaking place in the cave. The top of the main pitches was soon reached and the 60ft. vertical was found to be climbable, although a ladder was hung for the return trip.  For the 70ft. pitch, the ladder was hung under a low ‘roof’ of rock on the right; in this position the pitch was quite dry.  At the bottom we entered the Main Chamber though not as large as I had expected, was still and exhilarating place.

The way continues as quite a tight rift, broken at regular intervals by short pitches, some of which were possible to climb without tackle.  At one stage belays had been forgotten and so a return trip, through an extremely nasty, wet crawl had to be made to fetch them.

We made rapid progress, and after a chest deep walk through freezing water we emerged in Boulder Chamber, the only fairly dry place in the cave!  The following pitches seemed to get wetter and wetter and the waterfall at Niagara (the final pitch in the cave) was a fantastic sight.

The lower main stream did not really seem to take on the ‘ Master Cave’ proportions we had been expecting, although the water does get quite deep in places.  When we finally reached the sump it appeared so suddenly that Bob jumped in to make sure we had really got there!

The return to Boulder Chamber was quite fast and here we munched our way through a pile of chocolate and mint cake.  The short pitches were soon passed and the main pitches were found to be not quite as bad as we had feared.  By this time we were carrying nearly as much water in out tackle as tackle, and so ‘Second Stretch’ was found to be particularly arduous.  A welcome change of technique came when the canals were reached, however, by the time we eventually reached the tight entrance shaft, after 6½ hours underground, a distinct dislike for canals had been developed!!

Feeling suitable pleased with our efforts we raced down the hill and reached the dormobile in record time. Following a quick change we were soon enjoying pie and peas in one of the local pubs.

In retrospect, the cave was just as severe as we had thought it was going to be.  If a team with previous knowledge of the cave did it, very much less tackle would be needed, as we found the shorter ladder lengths and belays (than listed in P.U.) were sufficient and some of the pitches could be climbed, although great care in the far reaches should be exercised.  The cave appeared to be extremely liable to flooding; great quantities of foam were seen in the lower passages! To a strong team however, in dry weather the bottoming of this pot would be very pleasant and technically rewarding trip.

Just a Sec

With Alan Thomas

‘Thank you’ to all hose who have contributed either their own cash or their ingenuity in wresting cash from others for the Hut Fund.  Most recently Robin Richards got £2 in the Hunters by passing the hat round after a short burst of drunken carol singing.  Any bright ideas for 1969?  Thanks also to Joyce and Pete Franklin for catering so admirably for the Belfry Christmas and to Robin (of the carol singing fame!) for donating a barrel of beer for the same cause.

I don’t know if any of the B.E.C. met Hans Siegls son, Wolfgang, at the 1966 Raucherkar Expedition, but we learn with regret of his death in the Dachstein in October.  Older members will also be saddened to hear of the death of Les Browne.  Members will remember Mr. Browne’s activities at Browne’s Hole.

Dave Smith has taken over the Postal Department of the B.B. and we should be grateful to him for volunteering for this arduous task.


 

Monthly Notes No.20

by ‘Wig’

WATER TRACING again!  Throughout the week January 6th – 11th the new ‘King’ of the Mendip Karst Police (Tim Atkinson) and his consort Malcolm Newson organised another session of filling the swallets of Mendip with lycopodium spores. This month the swallets of interest were those in the

Hillgrove area.  Each of the swallets (Hillgrove, Easter, Rock, Zoo & Whitsun) received 2kg. of spores that had to be pumped into the holes with the aid of water in Hillgrove pond and hoses from the Yeovil Fire Service. The risings being checked are Easton, Wookey, Glencot, St. Andrews, and Scotland (in the Cathedral grounds, Wells), Biddlecombe, Chilcott and Dinder. It will be a few days yet before even the provisional results are known.  The interest in these sites, normally dry, lies in the recent work by Tim Atkinson, when he placed a salt solution in one of the swallets in the Hillgrove area and traced the solution to Biddlecombe.  The time taken was only 4 hours – and if you look on a geological map you will notice that there’s a very nice block of sandstone in the way!  I understand that the next area to be checked is in the Waldergrave pool district.

PUBLICATIONS  Will all Club Secs note that EXCHANGE COPIES of their publications should be sent to our librarian – DAVE SEARLE, DOLPHIN COTTAGE, WELLS ROAD, PRIDDY, Nr. WELLS, SOM.

THE FLOODS AGAIN

As a result of the July 1968 floods another small cave system has been revealed and lost to Mendip cavers.  The cave is situated in the field immediately opposite Tynings Farm (grid Ref. 4715.5637) and was found by members of the A.C.G. in October last.  First entered by Tony Jarrett (A.C.G.) and James Cobbett (W.C.G.) the cave has a length (estimated) 250 – 300ft. and a depth of 90 – 100ft.  An entrance shaft of some 10ft. in clay led to a chamber and a deep rift.  From the rift a major passage leads steeply downward and is remarkable for its cleanliness.  The general passage shape is square and is more or less a walk passage for most of its length.  Another chamber is soon reached, with a few stal. formations, where a small inlet stream enters.  This stream can be followed to a terminal choke where it sinks in a choked rift.

The farmer, learning that a cave existed in this particular field was far from pleased.  He planned to use this field for cereals and that cavers would in all fairness be a hazard and a nuisance.  The cave was to be blocked – but before this took place the explorers had a couple hours grace to photograph and produce a rough survey. The survey has been published in the ACG Newsletter and the Mendip Caver (both in the BEC library) while the photographs are non-existent due to a faulty flash gun.  The position of the entrance was later measured and presumably the figures can be obtained from the ACG.  The general direction of the cave is towards G.B.

SWILDONS – North West Stream Passage

The latest issue of the Speleo (SWETC Caving Club) includes notes and surveys of their discovery. The N.W. Stream Passage has been photo reduced to the same scale as Willie Stanton’s published Swildons so that it can be easily attached to the basic survey.  Talking of surveys, the survey of Plantation Junction to the Sump of St. Cuthbert’s is now at the printers and should be available soon.

LONGWOOD/AUGUST SYSTEM

Charterhouse – I’ve been assured by Tony Knibbs, Sec. of the C.C.C. that the new gates will be finally fixed to the blockhouse and at the top of the entrance shaft by mid-January. New sets of keys will be sent round to all member clubs as soon as possible.

THROUGH TRIP IN G.B.!

As many will already know a considerable amount of slumping was responsible for the huge quantities of mud in the Gorge and recently this ‘slump pit’ settled again near the surface opening up a route through boulders leading to the top of the Gorge.  Its unstable state caused it to collapse again thus blocking the new entrance again.  One can almost hear the sigh of relief from the U.B.S.S.

SYMPOSIUM ON CAVE PHOTOGRAPHY

8th March 1969 Vaughan College, University of Leicester, Leicester.  Fee 15/- (7/6 students).  Evening session of films extra charge.  Fees include tea and coffee and are charged to Vaughan College. Lectures include: High speed colour and its processing D. Kemp, SWCC and Kodak); Expedition photography (A. Wicks, Pegasus); Flash photography (Unwin, Philips El. Ind.); Equipment review (Coase, B.E.C. & S.W.C.C.); Close-ups in caves (Dr. Wooley, I.C.I.); Stereoscan techniques (Dr. Ford, P.D.M.M.S.); Aerial photography & Investigation of Karts Areas (Dr. Norman, I.C. London); Early experiments with cine (E.K. Tratman, UBSS); Expedition equipment review (H. Lord, B.S.A.); Final discussion. Evening films; Lamb Leer 1938, the Journey, etc.  Apply to Alan Thomas for further details and application forms.

Larger B.B.’s

Instead of one large issue each year at Christmas two will be appearing during the course of this year – Spring issue – march 1969 and Summer issue – August 1969 and of course Christmas issue – Dec. 1969.

The increase in the number of pages will give all those members a chance of putting pen to paper who normally feel that there is not sufficient room in the B.B. for their material!

“The role of hut-warden is at best an unwelcome task”  Phil Townsend (November B.B.)

CAVERS BOOKSHELF

DESCENT, No.1.  January 1969. Published every six weeks.  Price 2/6 each.  Edited by Bruce L. Bedford.

What! You may say, not another national caving magazine.  Haven’t we had enough trouble with the other!  It’s quite true, another national magazine.  28 pages and the same size as the old B.B. format (Sixmo) it proves to have a drive about it that will no doubt prove quite a competitor to the established other (which is awakening from the dead – once more!). The contents include an interesting account of a newly discovered Norwegian pothole descended to -698ft. and still going.  The Border Caving group and their low cost laboratory is fully described and well illustrated with photographs.  The Ptezl descender and the Tynings Farm Cave are also subjects of two interesting articles, a section of snippets and a final article by John Wilmut entitled ‘Three-prong policy for Pengelly Centre.  A very good half-dollars worth.    D.J.I.


 

CUTHBERT’S LEADWORKS

Most members, at some time or other, will have walked or staggered over the ruins of the St. Cuthbert’s Leadworks.  On the facing page we are reprinting from the report on St. Cuthbert’s Swallet a pair of photographs of the leadworks taken just before closure in 1908 (top) and the photograph of the sketch was taken from a print owned by Mr. Burton, Priddy, who said that it was sketched by a local schoolmaster about 1905.  The photograph appeared in the Yeovil area and was copied by Roy Pearce (M.N.R.S.) and has been published in the Cuthbert’s report and British Caver.  Mr. Burton also owns the foreman’s ledger for the period 1907-1908 and it is hoped that extracts will be available for the B.B. later this year.  Even just before closure quite an amount of building was going on at the site – the third chimney in the top photograph being added sometime in early 1907.  In July 1907, an entry for photographs costing 15/- was made and presumably the copy opposite was one of these.  The photograph circulated by Gilbert Weekes several years ago to B.E.C. members seems to be quite common in the Priddy area.  When it was taken is unknown but it is certainly before 1907.

Members looking for this type of material should look through any old postcard collection they may find.  At the turn of the century it was the thing to send your friends post-cards, even though it was just an afternoon outing!  Commercial photographers snapped just about everything there was to take – however ugly.  Just one final point – several post-cards were prepared for the Cheddar cave – both Cox’s and Gough’s – which are worth looking for.


 

MENDIP CAVE REGISTRY IN TROUBLE

Your Editor has just received a letter from Kay Mansfield regarding the latest situation of one of the important backroom groups of Mendip Cavers.  Kay thanks the B.E.C. for their financial help and support in sending our publications to the Bristol Central Reference Library and she reviews the major items of work carried out by the registry up to now.    These briefly are a) the Mendip Cave Register, housed in three public libraries (including Bristol) lists all known caves and sites of caving interest together with a full bibliography of caving journals which become b) the Mendip Cave Bibliography published by the C.R.G. and finally c) the Registry persuaded the Bristol Central library to start a cave publication section (which I may well add is one of the more used sections of the entire Central Reference Library).  A catalogue of the collection was published in March 1968 by the Registry.

At one time the registry was in financial difficulties and the Governing Body (principal Mendip clubs) gave all the money asked for.  Now, says Kay, there are financially sound and may never need to ask for money.

Kay continues…However things are not as they should be in that the Executive Committee of the Mendip Cave Registry is well below the number required to run it and things are not improving.  Over the past year the Committee has dwindled to a very small number of enthusiasts, needless to say the people remaining are the usual steadfasts.  What in fact is needed now an injection of fresh blood into the registry because a considerable amount of work still needs to be done and there are just not enough people to do it.

To sum up.  It is certain that without new members elected to the Executive Committee, the Mendip Cave Registry will virtually cease to exist and I firmly believe that the member clubs of the Governing Body would not be happy about this.  The Registry has certainly proved its worth n times over; it would be a pity to drop it now. Anyway perhaps I could leave this matter with you…..and if your club has any spare bodies who think they could help the Registry they are cordially invited to meet at Phil Romford’s caravan, behind the petrol station at Townsend, Priddy on Saturday 8th March 1969 at 6.30pm.

STOP PRESS

Water Tracing Results: Hillgrove, Easter, Zoo, Rock and Whitsun – all resurge at Wookey; also all (except Easter Hole) resurge at various risings in Biddlecombe.