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Extracts from the Caving Log

By Dave Irwin

The Caving Log (from 20th September 1968 to 1st March 1969) gives an interesting breakdown.  Out of a total of 138 trips; 98 were in St. Cuthbert’s Swallet!  Looking back in the log it is the first time that Cuthbert’s has logged so many trips in a similar period.  But there is also a great difference this time – out of the 98 trips were working trips; surveying, digging, photographic, pushing various holes, dam building, replacing of tackle and laying of guide lines in Victory Passage.

The Dining Room Dig has been continually dug on Tuesday evenings (anyone interested in helping are welcome to come along – 6.45pm at the Belfry) and during the last four months the dig has been lengthened by over 60ft. to a total length of 120ft.  On 6th October, Dave Yendle and Colin Priddle (the day after the Annual Dinner as well!) tried unsuccessfully to push a very tight hole in the Sump Passage Oxbow.  A fortnight later ‘Pope’ and Tim Hodgson hammered their way into a small extension just off Upper Traverse Chamber opening up some 20ft. of new passage. The people that were also worried by the apparently poor fixings of the Beehive Chamber chain can now relax in their armchairs and take a pill from Norman Petty. Norman has replaced both of the chains in the Gour Hall area (10-11-68).  At the request of the leaders at their last meeting in November, Mike Palmer and ‘Prew’ have laid guide lines through the beautifully decorated Victory Passage. It will be hoped that leaders do not become too inquisitive when they see a passage they had noted and cross the stal. to see it more clearly.  Victory Passage has been thoroughly searched for any possible extension and the result is that all of the possible extension points have been blocked by stal. or solidly jammed boulders at the very end of tight passages.  Most of the work mentioned above can be read in more detail in the April B.B.

The variety of tourist trips has been expanded and although the nearest competitor to Cuthbert’s is Swildons (18 trips) the others have ranged between Yorkshire and South Wales.  Martin Webster, ‘Pope’ and others have been leading the spearhead into the Yorkshire potholes and slowly the SSP’s are crumbling before this formidable force!  Penyghent, Juniper and Gaping Ghyll have been the attractions.  Rumour has it that some mighty tough trips are being arranged for the immediate future which should make interesting reading in the B.B.  In South Wales, OFD and DYO have been visited; on one occasion the ‘leader’ of the party couldn’t find the top entrance to OFD II having only visited it two months before! In mid-Wales area the old favourite Aggy Summertime appears in the log again.  In ‘near’ Wales, Roy Bennett and Co. Ltd. have been active at the Chepstow dig – anyone wishing to give Roy a helping hand on Wednesday evenings should phone (after 2pm) no: OBR2/627813 and make the necessary arrangements.

At home on Mendip, members have been down Cheddar Caves, Longwood, Goatchurch, Cuckoo Cleeves (surveying) Stoke Lane and diving in Wookey Hole.  Roger Stenner has logged five more trips into G.B. on his marathon water tracing study of this cave.