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B.E.C. Trip to O.F.D. III

By Dave Yendle

In glorious sunshine a happy party of Roy Bennett, Dave Irwin, Dave Glover, ‘Bucket’ Tilbury, ‘Bert’ and myself wandered up the hill to the top entrance of the 15 mile long O.F.D. System – and above all things actually entered the cave!

Winding our way through the maze of entrance passages we soon reached Gnome Passage and so on to the Chasm – a fantastic rift of huge proportions.  The way lay along this enormous rift up and down interesting climbs until we reached the ‘dreaded’ rift traverse which is over 200ft. in length.

The atmosphere was tense as ‘The Wig’ edged his way across the tricky start of the traverse when, at the critical moment, a thunderous crash resounded through the galleries. Panic followed until we realised it was only Roy dropping a boulder down a huge hole!  At last we staggered across the traverse and after more climbs and a squeeze (quite out of place in such a large cave) reached the Three Streamway.  On the way, very near the streamway we saw some magnificent bunches of helictites - some nearly 1ft. long.

We by-passed the initial section of the streamway, by traversing over the streamway to a high level passage by means of a maypole placed in position by members of the SWCC and so on up to Smith’s Armoury – a pleasant end of the cave after over half-a-mile of fine streamway.  Smith’s Armoury is a large chamber thought to be very near the Byfre – the sinking point of the O.F.D. stream.  As a very strong draught was whistling though the chamber Roy, Bucket and myself set out to see if there was a way through the terminal boulder choke – there wasn’t!  The return journey was not without incident, dangerously poised boulders, interesting climbs, but after nine and half hours underground we emerged into the cold night air feeling quite pleased with our efforts.

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BELFRY KEYS can be obtained form Bob Bagshaw – 2/6 each.

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Committee Change  New Committee Post

Bob Cross has been co-opted onto the Committee as Assistant Hut Warden.