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By R.D. Stenner

Mendip Karst Hydrology Research Project, Phase 3. W.C.C.  Occasional Publication Series 2 No.2 by D.P. Drew, M.D. Newson, D.I. Smith, ed. J.D. Hanwell.  (December 1963).

Series 2 No.1 (Phases 1 & 2) published over a year ago (reviewed in B.B. 239, p21) was concerned with the hydrology of both Eastern Mendip and Central Mendip.  It was an extremely successful publication, partly because of the very large number of cavers who had helped in the field work and partly because the results were of direct interest to so many cavers.  The new publication has more limited objectives, the establishment of the catchment areas for the Langford Rickford risings.  Those who have seen Series 2 No.1 will know what to expect, good quality reproduction of text and figures by offset litho, but a few of the photographs suffer from lack of definition or contrast.  27 pages including 7 photos, 10 diagrams, 6 figures and 3 maps, giving an indication of its large factual content.

The results (published in B.B. No.242, p51) are very much more complicated than those found in Phases 1 & 2.  The results of the traces, and the results related physical and chemical characteristics of the water, are very clearly presented.  The report has been written with clarity and brevity.  Perhaps the brevity has led to a crucial omission. There is no discussion of the relevance of the results to caves, and no discussion of the results in relation to those published in 1963 by Professor Tratman (UBSS Proc. Vol.10 No.1, p22-57). To sum up, an important publication with an interesting section on mechanical erosion (not studied in Phases 1 & 2) but because of its more limited appeal I doubt if it will sell as well as its predecessor.

Monthy Notes No. 21

By “Wig”

Moles at work!  Great new discoveries are being sought for with undiminished enthusiasm but little has resulted in way of new cave here on Mendip for over eighteen months.  Who’s prepared to open a book on digs at present being purged!

NORTH HILL is still being worked on Wednesday evenings and to date has reached a depth of nearly 100ft. and a length of the same amount. To ensure that this team gets a chance in the stakes have commenced another just beyond Priddy Green at a site, Twin Titty, and if I might comment, a very impressive site.  The shaft is over 20ft.deep, following two solid walls that show good signs of past water action.  A slight but definite draught has been reported to be felt at the bottom emerging from a small, tapered, hole between the solid wall and clay side. The entrance to the shaft shows a marked anticline, which, say the diggers, if it goes will branch out in two directions, one to Wookey via Swildons and the other to Cheddar thus proving both Ford and Stanton to be right in their respective arguments regarding Swildons and its resurgence!

Members will remember, at least those at the Annual Dinner, C. Wyndam Harris when he gave the club a copy of a fascinating plan of a possible cave system running from Eastwater area to Wookey Hole.  A map of the area had been divined by one of the world’s greatest authority on the subject, Lt. Col. Kenneth Merrylees and the result is shown on the opposite page.

I’ve recently been told that ‘Gaff’ Fowler will be back in England at Easter when he will be letting the club have his ‘black-box’ that can be used for tracing cave systems the scientific way!  (Also, he has promised an article for the B.B. on the subject – Ed)  It might be suggested that the area in the Lower Pitts Farm may well repay investigation not only as a result of this map but because small collapses have been reported in this area on several occasions; one such occurred after the thaw in January 1962 along the road near Priddy stores.

Swildons Hole – watch those cuts!

Your reporter recently received a letter from John Manchip.  In it he mentions that one of his party developed a poisoned hand.  “It was a small cut that caused the trouble sustained while crawling though the keyhole in Barnes Loop.  The interesting thing is that a nasty gash received at the Forty (or 10ft. or whatever) which was kept out of the water in Barnes Loop was O.K.  This presumably shows that the water in this part of the cave is even more foul than I thought it was.

As I have never heard of anyone actually getting the lurgi here beforem I thought I would pass the word on.”  Thanks John for the info, all I wish to add is just this – if anyone hears of this type of news and other caving news that it will interest members let the Editor have it please, it helps get over the problem of keeping large B.B.’s that people seem to want.


MORE CAVE PAINTINGS FOUND IN SPAIN.  Reported in guardian as being as important as finds at Altamira and Lascaux.


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