Belfry Destroyed By Fire

Members living in the Bristol area will already know the terrible mews when it appeared in the Evening Post.  The ‘Belfry’ was destroyed by fire late on Monday 15th September 1969.

The loss of the Belfry will mean much to most members of the B.E.C; now it can only be kept alive in the memories of members who spent many enjoyable hours there.  That black, twisted ‘old shed’ just off the road to Priddy was on of the homeliest caving hunts in the country; it was warm (in both senses of the word); comfortable; the ‘homing’ point for cavers past and present and above all it was the ‘centre of the universe’!

Now it has gone what now? Your Committee are well ahead with their plans and the reports and announcements that appear else where in this issue of the B.B. will outline to members what is taking place.  A second Committee Meeting will be held in the very near future when definite plans will be drawn up to present members with a clear picture at the Annual General Meeting on the 4th October 1969.  What is emerging is far from black and it is hoped that members will respond to help put the emergency plans into operation as quickly as possible.


To get the news and latest information out to members as fast as possible the October B.B. (already printing) has been completely re-hashed and I hope that members will bear with your Editor with rather a hotch-potch arrangement of material. Apologies are given to contributors, many of them harassed by the Editor to get them in on time, for holding back their material until the November or December B.B.

Precis Of Special Meeting

A special meeting of the Club Committee, with some additional members was held in Bristol two days after the fire.  This enabled the meeting to hear the first reactions from the insurers, and to see the letter which ‘Alfie’ wrote to the government grant body asking for immediate priority.  The meeting took some immediate decisions to press ahead rapidly with the insurance claim; to obtain a definite reply from the granting authority and to go ahead with emergency plans for the Belfry site.  A further meeting has been scheduled one week from the first meeting, and at this meeting, those present will be in a position to formulate definite plans to put before the Annual General Meeting.  The immediate response by members attending the meeting – giving it priority over all their other engagements – and the speed and orderly fashion with which the business was conducted speaks well for the future.  As many members as possible are urged to attend the A.G.M. where they will hear the up-to-date position and have the approved scheme put to them for their approval.

Members present: Messrs Bagshaw, Irwin, Thomas, Riley, Townsend, Petty, Stafford, Collins, Orr and Sybil Bowden Lyle.

What Happened?

The fire was discovered by members staying at the Belfry; they had intended to stay until Wednesday. At eight o’clock they banked the fire up and went to Wells for a meal.  At eleven o’clock, when they returned, they found the Belfry on fire. As the all windows and doors were closed the building was probably in smouldering state and would remain so until the windows broke due to the heat.  The lads opened the door and saw a blaze in front of the fire place. Filling a dustbin full of water from the ‘Drinking Pool’ they threw it onto the Belfry floor but to no avail. The smoke and heat was too great for them to do anything but call the Fire Service.

Apart from the three lads, the Searle’s and ‘Jok’ Orr were soon on the spot.  By the time they had arrived the Belfry was burning well – although the fire was still contained within the building.  The first problem that faced the firemen was – ‘where were the gas cylinders?  Luckily Dave Searle soon supplied the answer. 

In the search for the mains electricity point the firemen broke into the stone Belfry and the tackle store.  By about 1.30am on Tuesday morning the fire was out leaving a smouldering ruin of a Belfry.

‘Jok’ returned to Bristol and woke ‘Wig’ at 2.15am and being ‘Wig’ he took the news as a pretty bad joke so early in the morning.  However, Jok eventually managed to get through to him and they went and woke Bob Bagshaw at 2.45am.  Having delivered the message they went out to the Belfry, calling on John Riley on the way.  The three and John’s brother went to the Belfry and recovered as much of members valuables as could be found.  Several tins of money were collected and given, later to Bob and other items from the lockers, except food, was collected into plastic bags and put into the changing room.  Under nife cell lights, thick fog and a smouldering Belfry produced a miserable picture indeed.  The three returned to Bristol for work on time.  Later in the day the three plus Dave Turner returned to the site and generally cleared up the debris left by the firemen and left it in separate piles for the Assessor who visited the site on Wednesday accompanied by Bob and Alan Thomas. During the rest of Tuesday several members came up to the site and several ‘phoned through to the ‘Hunters’ for information.  More information will be given at the A.G.M. and in the November issue of the B.B.

Insurance Claims


All members who had personal gear at the Belfry at the time of the fire should identify and recover their property as soon as possible.

Insurance claims should be made as follows: -

Most members will probably hold insurance on the contents of their dwelling.  These policies normally cover belongings against fire damage whilst temporarily removed from home, usually with a limit of 15% of the total sum insured. Persons in this category should notify their insurers as soon as possible and recover their loss from them. Members normally residing with their parents will be covered under their parents policy.

Members insurers will probably require to know that the club hold policy number 11/7760021 with Pearl Insurance Co. Ltd., and that the claim is being dealt with by Cunningham and Gibaud of Baldwin Street, Bristol 1.

Damaged articles for which claims are being made should be retained for inspection by insurers if required.

Members who hold no insurance of their own may be able to make a partial recovery on the club policy. Those persons should draw up their claims setting of the details as follows:

Item No.


Date purchased

Original cost

Salvage value (if any)

Amount claimed

Articles should be retained for inspection (if found).

All claims should be sent to Bob Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4 by 30th September 1969 at the very latest.

Important Notices

Alfie’s ‘Spelaeodes’, Part 1 will be published on 4th October 1969 – the proceeds are going to the Hut Fund.  The price has now changed to 4/- minimum and after the 31st October the price will be 5/- minimum – please give generously to the HUT FUND

Late News

September 25th is probably the last time that the Club will be meeting in the Waggon and Horses.  A presentation will be made to Mrs Suter who will soon be eighty.  Future meetings on a Thursday will probably be at the ‘Seven Stars’ near Bristol Bridge.  More details in the NOVEMBER B.B.


Monthly Notes No.28

by ‘Wig’

Cuthbert’s Leader –  John Riley is the latest member to become a Cuthbert’s leader.  On his final trip he was leading the writer around the Coral Series when he almost met his match in the Coral Squeeze.  After many ‘blue’ words and one hell of a lot of thrutching he managed to get through throwing the challenge to the writer to get through more quickly.   When the writer shot up the only thing that could be heard through the clouds of steam was ‘Christ! You’re through’ – in a very broad Yorkshire dialect!  I could only add that this waffle is only to allow ‘Doodles’ a chance to produce another of his cartoons below.


‘Aye oop lad, appen we’ll get through t’squeeze yet!

TWIN TITTY  After the collapse of the first 2ft. deep shaft, Mike Thompson and Co. have tackled the ‘bull by the horns’.  With the help of Luke Devenish they have blasted a 5ft. square, 20ft. deep shaft adjacent to the old one which is now filled in.  All this was done over two weekends.  It would seem that they are determined to find Mendip’s largest system yet.

Dave Searle came up with another reference to Wookey Hole the other day.  It is from the Somerset Medley for January.  Friday January 29th 1731.

“Mendip Hills were hereto found rich in lead but now in Lapis Calaminaris, and for a large Cave, call’d Ockie Hole, which contains in it Petrifying Water.

LAMP SPARES  In the very near future Dave Irwin will be restocking the spares box with the usual assortment of carbide lamp spares together with a selected assortment of nife and Edison spares.

Jok Orr has kindly donated several plastic helmets to the club.  These are on sale to members; prices Texolex 12/6 and plastic 10/- each. None have lamps brackets but are fitted with adjustable inners.  The proceeds will be given to the Hut Fund.

SWILDONS HOLE: Readers will remember that the ‘Great Flood’ of 1968 cleared out the Water Rift allowing the caver to follow a much lower path (B.B. No.244) at the end of which is a 6ft. climb to the bottom of the old 40’ pitch.  The climb is easy and only under heavy water conditions would a rope be needed to assist one back up the climb.  During the middle of August a chain suddenly appeared!  During the Autumn Bank Holiday this chain was removed (Biddle was in Edinburgh) by persons unknown.  It has been rumoured that Tony Oldham was responsible for its installation and that Dr. G.K. Crummock of the Mendip Karst Police entered the cave at some ungodly hour to remove it! – I wonder!

A new key has been put onto the Cuthbert’s lock.  Members with Cuthbert’s keys should contact Phil Townsend to exchange their old one.


National Association of Caving Clubs

On the 28th September 1969 the Council of Southern Caving Clubs meets to discuss the constitution of the national body.  As the B.B. will be out before this date the Constitution has been reprinted in full for member’s comments.  If you have any please do not waste any time and send your notes to Alan Thomas so that they can be discussed at the C.S.C.C.

Proposed Constitution For The National Caving Association

1.      The body shall be called the National Caving Association.

2.      Aims

2.1.   To foster the sport of caving and the scientific study of caves.

2.2.   To support the constituent bodies in ensuring and maintaining access in accordance with regional practice.

2.3.   To support cave conservation thorough the constituent bodies.

2.4.   To promote the exchange of information between cavers.

2.5.   To make contact with other National bodies; to provide information on behalf of its constituent bodies.

3.      Limitations

3.1.   The association shall not interfere in any way with the affairs of its constituent bodies and their members.

3.2.   The association shall not arbitrate between caving organisations or between cavers.

3.3.   The association shall not be called upon by the National Sports Council or any other body to assess the merit of caving organisations or their projects.

4.      Membership

4.1.   Membership shall be open to any constitutionally elected body which is representative of a caving region, to the scientific bodies C.R.G., B.S.A. and W.P.C.S.A. and to any other constitutionally elected body which is representative of a particular aspect of caving.

4.2.   Representation at the Association’s meetings shall be four delegates from each of the Regional Councils and one delegate from each of the constituent bodies.

4.3.   Applications for membership shall be put to the Annual General Meeting.  Any body satisfying the conditions above (4.1) shall become a member if its membership is acceptable to the Association.

5.      General Secretary

5.1.   The association shall have no executive officers.

5.2.   A General Secretary shall be elected annually by the delegates to carry out the correspondence of the Association on behalf of the members and to circulate information to the constituent bodies.

6.      Meetings

6.1.   The Association shall meet not less than once a year, the Annual Meeting to be arranged by each of the Regional Councils in turn in its own region.

6.2.   A quorum at all meetings shall consist of not less than 50% of the delegates provided that each Regional Council is represented by at least two delegates.

6.3.   The Regional Council acting as hosts shall provide an independent chairman and recorder for the meeting in addition to their four delegates.  Neither Chairman nor Recorder shall be entitled to vote.

6.4.   A special meeting shall be called if this is requested in writing by not less than three of the constituent bodies.  In this case not less than four weeks notice shall be given to all members.

6.5.   At least five weeks notice shall be given to the General Secretary of any matters to be raised at any meeting of the Association.

7.      Procedure

7.1.   An agenda shall be circulated to the constituent bodies by the General Secretary not less than four weeks before any meeting of the Association to give notice of date and place of the meeting and the subjects to be discussed.

7.2.   Minutes shall be kept of all the meetings of the Association and these shall be circulated to all members of the constituent bodies.

7.3.   When a vote is taken each delegate present shall have one vote.

7.4.   Voting…. See note below.

8.      Finance

8.1.   The expenses of the Annual Meeting shall be borne by the Regional Council acting as hosts.

8.2.   The expenses of the General Secretary shall ne borne in the first instsnt by the constituent body to which he belongs, and an account rendered at the Annual general meeting, which the constituent bodies shall be asked to pay equal shares.

9.      Amendments to the Constitution

9.1.   The Constitution may only be amended at an Annual meeting or at a Special Meeting called for that purpose.

9.2.   Full details of any amendments to be considered shall be circulated to all members of the constituent bodies at least four weeks before the meeting.



Note 1.

The Cambrian Caving Council have suggested amending section 2.5 to read: “To make an contact with other Nation bodies in order tom provide information on behalf of its constituent members.”

Note 2.

Two main alternatives have been suggested for the voting procedure and these are both given below for consideration. There have also been other suggestions which really amount to variations on one or the other of these alternatives.

a.      Procedural questions can be decided by a simple majority, but other decisions must be unanimous.

b.      Any motion shall be passed of not less than 75% of those present and voting are in favour.

Note 3.

No mention has been made in the proposed constitution of the question of inviting to meetings observers from interested bodies which are not in themselves eligible for membership. This should perhaps be considered though it need not necessarily be covered by the constitution.

17.7.69.  J.E. Potts, Hon. Sec. Derbyshire Caving Association

Editors note:      Members wishing to comment on this constitution should send their notes to Alan Thomas as soon as possible.  The Council Of Southern Caving clubs meet on the 28th September and your views can be put to the meeting then.  Dr Oliver Lloyd has circulated some comments on the constitution but it would be better if members made up their minds on the subject as it stands at the moment.


Just a Sec

By Alan Thomas

A number of courses run by the University of Bristol Department of Extra-Mural Studies may be of interest to members.  ‘Geology of Mendip’ by Dr. F.F. Wallis in the Town Hall, Axbridge on Tuesdays; ‘Structure and Scenery of the South West’ by R. Hicks at West Huntspill County Primary School on Mondays and ‘The Wedmore Area’ by A.B. Hawkins on Tuesdays are things of interest of which I have details.

Steve Grime had landed himself a job at the West Highland School of Adventure, Applemore, Nr. Kyle at Lockhals, Rosshire, Scotland, which is now his new address.  He and Dorothy would be delighted to see any of the B.E.C. at any time of the year – though Steve points out that the Schools equipment cannot be used for private purposes.

There will be a Committee meeting on Sunday 28th September at 2.15pm in the New Inn, Priddy, of the Council of Southern Caving Clubs.  Its main object will be to discuss the Proposed Constitution of the National Caving Association (I have copies if anyone wants one).  Now is the time to air your views on this highly political subject.

The Cambrian Council, on which we are also represented, meets on 21st September for the same purposes as the Southern Council

A Register of Environmental Research on Mendip has been set up.  The idea is to avoid duplication of effort.  Anyone conducting and form of scientific investigation on Mendip can get details from me.

Among visitors from the distant past to the Belfry recently was Pete Miller on leave from MaltaMalta is all limestone but the biggest cave is like an ‘ Upper Goatchurch’.

Apologies Department

The Editor would like to offer his apologies to Roger Stenner for ‘inverting’ the curve accompanying his article in the August B.B. – The Use of barometers in Cave Surveying.

Articles for the Christmas B.B. should be sent to the Editor as soon as possible.  This will be the largest B.B. ever – 40 pages approx.


AGM – Officers Reports

As the A.G.M. draws near, the Club Officers are in the throws of preparing reports for the meeting. It occurred to your Editor that it would be a good idea if these reports were published in the B.B. and hope that members attending the A.G.M. would accept them as being read.  It’s well known that none of our Officers have ‘musical’ voices, most tend to drive one to sleep, and in an effort to shorten the meeting just a little the Officers were asked to submit their reports to the B.B. Editor for publication beforehand.  All Officers were asked, but unfortunately not all have been received – food for thought?


The club’s correspondence has shown no sign of diminishing.  Enquiries from prospective members and from members living away from the Mendip area, requests for ‘this and that’ to be passed on to other people and, of course, our dealings with other organisations, have kept me busy.

The purchase of the old barn has been completed and so has the lease of the additional land from the paper mill at Wookey.  The agreement with Mr Foxwell over the track has now been completed and it is hoped that he will be making use of it any day now.

If I itemise a few aspects of the work I would mention the C.R.G. Southern Meeting to which we acted as host.  The arrangements for the meeting, tea and dinner and the Exhibition in Wells Museum which we put on in that connection were considerable; but the whole effort was thoroughly worthwhile and did much to enhance our reputation both locally and nationally.  The C.R.G. were pleased with the meeting and the Museum with our exhibit.

The new Constitution has been discussed by the Committee, advice sought from ‘Digger’ Harris and a new draught prepared.

At the request of the Village Hall Committee, a slide show was given a Priddy Village Hall which was well attended and appreciated.

The not inconsiderable work in connection with the Ahnenschacht Expedition also involves me.

Finally, the secretarial work in connection with the Election of the 1969-70 Committee was very welcome as the large number of candidates indicates that perhaps, after all, there is some interest in the poor old B.E.C.

Alan Thomas


Starting with the home field, the St. Cuthbert’s Dining Room Dig is still progressing steadily with tons of gravel and sand being removed.  The total length is now about 150ft.  The dams for the sump assault are being built by a dedicated few.  It was hoped that they would be finished by the summer 1969 but it appears that they will not be completed before next year.

The St. Cuthbert’s Leaders, at their Annual Meeting last November, agreed that the leader system ought to be opened to members of other clubs throughout the country provided that they had adequate insurance cover.  It was agreed not to ask around but to let it be known by means if the B.B. and other publications.  If any caver was really interested they would contact the B.E.C.  This proposal was agreed by the Committee and it now has to be presented as a Committee proposal at this meeting.

There has been quite a number of trips to Yorkshire and South Wales this year and members are going further a field more frequently; Sutherland and Austria being the other major points of interest.

The Ian Dear memorial fund was used for the first time this year by one of our younger members.  Dave Yeandle received the grant and went with Alan Thomas to the Ahnenschacht.

On the whole it has been a quiet year in the caving activities except perhaps for the regular Tuesday and Wednesday digging evenings when the dining Room Dig and the Chepstow digs were worked.

I would like to offer my best wishes to the next Caving secretary.

Andy MacGregor


It has been assumed for some time that the new ‘Belfry’ will be quite some time before it materialises and we must therefore continue to maintain the present hut in a habitable and serviceable condition, and in fact to carry out any improvements worthwhile.

Progress towards opening up the new track has been slow.  Although the fencing off of the track on the Belfry site has been completed, we are still awaiting Walt Foxwell finishing concreting at his side of the wall before the wall can be breached.   Once the wall has been breached the cattle grid, which is complete, can be fixed.  More hard core was put down on the old track – thanks to Henry Oakley and ‘Jok’ Orr for this gift.

During the early part of the year much tidying up was carried out around the Belfry site and a considerable amount of scrap and rubbish dumped.  Scrap aluminium from the caravan was salvaged for possible use as working tops in the new Belfry.

Rotten timbers around the window frames in the hut have been cut out and replaced.  Also new wall panels have been fitted in the men’s room where necessary.  Both the living and men’s room were redecorated with emulsion and gloss paints.

A new stove was fitted, although generates less heat than the old one, is quite adequate and far more economic to run.

The external timbers of the hut were treated with creosote and the roof with tar and sand.

The response to the recent working weekend (Sept 6/7 1969) was quite promising although there was a conspicuous absence of Belfry regulars!  A new window was fitted by the sink (both sinks have now been fitted with U traps) and much of the rotten timber work in the area removed, this included the adjacent lockers and draining boards.  At the time of writing the lockers have not yet been replaced but it intended that they should be constructed as a separate unit so that they may be moved into the new Belfry.  Modifications were made to the tackle store to prevent theft of tackle, the exterior of the Belfry was creosoted again and part the ceiling replaced.  This just shows what can be done when a few lend a hand.

Much more work needs to be put in to maintain the hut in good condition and members are asked to spare as much time as possible to help in repairs and improvements.

J.G. Riley
19 – 9 - 69


The Clubs Tackle is as follows:

18 standard 20’ ladders.
2 standard 10’ ladders.
4 light weight 50’ ladders.
6 light weight 20’ ladders.
12 ultra light weight 20’ ladders.

A total of 940’ ladder.

The lifelines total approx. 1,400ft. including 350ft. of new nylon purchased to replace old and lost rope.

We have 20 tethers, mostly in 5’, 10’ and 20’ lengths and a dwindling number of karabiners.

N.J. Petty
9 – 9 – 69


Two other reports were due to be published but at the time of printing had not been received.  Bob Bagshaw sends his apologies for not having his accounts completed.  Apparently he’s in the middle of chasing some mistakes in the final draft.


LONGWOOD/AUGUST SYSTEM KEY – obtainable from Dave Irwin, 23 Camden Road, Bristol 3.


Here is a complete list of candidates for the 1969-1970 Committee

‘Fred’ Atwell

Joined club a couple of years ago; recently active climber: NEW CANDIDATE.  When actively caving found a new extension to Sidcot Swallet.

‘Alfie’ Collins

Needs little introduction to members.  Past long standing Committee member and editor of the B.B.  Currently following through the Long Term Planning Committee recommendations.  Although not actively caving is interested in various aspects of Cave Surveying.  Member of M.S.C. and is ‘inventor’ of Route Severity Diagram.

D. ‘Wig’ Irwin

1969 Committee Chairman; Editor B.B. & Caving Reports; currently surveying Cuthbert’s; resigning from post of Editor at end of year; writing his own potted notes ends here!  M.R.O. Warden; member M.S.C.

Mike Luckwill

Well known to older members; member of Ian Dear Memorial Committee; member of Ahnenschacht team 1967-69; particularly interested in geomorphology and cave surveying.  NEW CANDIDATE.

R. ‘Jok’ Orr

NEW CANDIDATE; Belfry regular; has devoted many hours to upkeep of the hut.  Interested in cave photography and development of the Belfry site.

Norman Petty

Needs no introduction.  Long standing member of B.E.C. Committee as Tacklemaster

John Riley

Joined B.E.C. two years ago; climber but now active caver; 1968-69 Hut Engineer when spent many hours keeping Belfry in good repair.  Active digger in Cuthbert’s.

Pete Franklin

Cuthbert’s leader; NEW CANDIDATE; interested in cave rescue methods has several times been ‘victim’.

Bob Bagshaw

Needs no introduction to members; long standing Club Hon. Treasurer since 1951(?); still interested in caving when family commitments allow.

Gordon Tilly

Needs no introduction; past Hut Warden; Minutes Sec. 1968-69.  Currently active engaged in preparation of plates and printing Caving reports.

Mike Palmer

NEW CANDIDATE; past Committee member; interested in various aspects of the Club.  St. Cuthbert’s leader.

Phil Townsend

Well known member of B.E.C.; Hut Warden 1968-69.  Interested in many aspects of the B.E.C.

Alan Thomas

Hon. Sec. 1968-69; leader of the Ahnenschacht expedition; past Hut Engineer; particularly interested in stimulating the image of the B.E.C. by organising exhibitions and giving lectures.  Last but not least!


Space Blankets

Some time ago I received a letter from Geoff Bull which I am sure will be of interest to members:

 “I think you will have come across the American ‘Space Blanket’, aluminium on polythene sheets now being imported into this country.  We (W.S.G.-Ed.) used one most successfully on our last practice rescue in Longwood and found it better than a ‘goon suit’. I have managed to get the offer of a discount for bulk purchase from the importers.  If you, or anyone else in Bristol is interested I can offer.

a)                  The ‘Rescue Blanket’ for 15/- (usual price £1).  This is the lightweight once-only version, fold to pocket handkerchief size. P&P 6d.

b)                  The ‘Sportsman Blanket’ for 55/- each + 9d P&P.  Orders for 6 or more 50/- each.

Yours sincerely, Geoff Bull.


Address List Of Members

Ed. Note:          Please check your address is correct.  If by any chance it has been omitted please contact Alan Thomas immediately so that it can be added to a correction list in the November B.B.  If your name does not appear in this list it could be that you have not paid your sub??!!  If you haven’t then you know the remedy!


T Andrews

186 Courtlands Ave., London S.E.12


G. Atwell

57 Sandy Leaze, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


M. Baker

22 Riveside Gardens, Midsomer Norton, Somerset


D Balcombe.

36 Rotherwick Close, Horley, Surrey


R. Bater

4 Butterfield Close, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


Mrs. R. Bater

4 Butterfield Close, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


R. Bennett

8 Radnor Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


J. Bennett

8 Radnor Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


P. Bird

City Museum, Queens Road, Bristol


P. Blogg

Hunters Field, Chaldon Common Road, Chaldon, Surrey


Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

17 Rokeby Ave., Redland, Bristol 6


B. Britton

180 Cheltenham Road, Bristol 6


R. Brooks

87 Wyatt Road, London SW2


R. Brown

24 Cranleigh Gardens, Luton, Beds.


V. Brown

3 Cross St., Kingswood, Bristol


J. Bugler

Dudley College of Education, Castle View, Dudley, Worcestershire


G.A. Bull

37 Norlands Square, London, W11.


G. Butler

58 Tuthill Street, Minster, Ramsgate, Kent


R. Chandler

83 Spring Plate, Pound Hill, Crawley, Sussex


B. Chappell

The College of Education, Bognor Regis, Sussex


J. Churchward

1 Jamaica Street, Bristol


C. Clarke

18 Church Lane, Bedminster, Bristol.  BS3 4NE.


A. Coase

4 Sutton Close, Oadby, Leicester


Mrs. C. Coase

5 Mandalay Flats, 10 Elsiemer St., Long Jetty, N.S.W., 2262, Australia


S. Collins

Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Bristol


D. Cooke-Yarborough.

Lot 11, McKay Crescent, Orange, New South Wales, Australia


N. Cooper

3 West Terrace, Westbury, Sherborne, Dorset


F. Darbon

444 Meinnis Ave. Fraserview Sub. Div., Prince George, British Columbia, Canada





Mrs A. Davies



L. Dawes

223 Southwark Park Road, Bermondsey, London S.E.10


G. Dell

5 Millground Road, Withywood, Bristol 3


K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon


N. Downes

18 Coombe Street Lane, Yeovil, Somerset



116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol


B.M. Ellis

‘Knockauns’, Combwich, Bridgwater, Somerset


T. Fletcher

The Old Mill House, Barnack, Nr. Stamford, Lincs.


A. Francis

22 Hervey Road, Wells, Somerset


P. Franklin

93 Devonshire Road, Bristol 6


Mrs P. Franklin

93 Devonshire Road, Bristol 6


M. Fricker

36 Summerhill Road, St. George, Bristol 5


R. Gander

see address changes at end of list


P. Giles

Manor Farm Cottage, East Lydford, Somerton, Somerset


K. Gladman

29 Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex


D. Glover

‘Longwood’, 30 Forest Lane, Tadley, Basingstoke, Hants.


J. Glover

‘Longwood’, 30 Forest Lane, Tadley, Basingstoke, Hants.


P. Godley

Officers Mess, R.A.F. Leckming, North Allerton, Yorkshire


D. Greenwood

42 St, David’s Drive, South Anston, Sheffield


S. Grimes

West Highland School of Adventure, Applemore, Nr. Kyle at Lockals, Ross-Shire


C. Hall

12 Churchleigh Road, Bristol


N. Hallett

26 Cotham Vale, Bristol 6


M. Hannam

 ‘Lowlands’ Orchard Close, East Hendred, Berks.



Diocesian registry, Wells, Somerset


C. Harvey

‘Byways’, Hanham Lane, Paulton, Somerset


Hasell D.H.

‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset


Miss A. Henley

23 Maynard Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol


D. Herbert

33, Triangle East, Oldfield Park, Bath, BA2 3HZ


T. Hodgson

26 Danet Road, Henlease, Bristol 8


G. Honey

Droppsta, 19044 Odensala, Sweden


B. Howe

48 Martins Road, Hanham, Bristol


P. Hudson

15 Glantawe Park Estate, Wind Road, Ystradgynlais, S. Wales


D. Irwin

23 Camden House, Southville, Bristol 3


A. Johnson

Warren Cottage, Station Road, Flax Bourton, Bristol


D. Jones

24 Shortwood View, Kingswood, Bristol


F. Jones

8 York Gardens, Clifton, Bristol


Mrs. P. Jones

13 Braichmelyn, Bethesda, Bangor, Caernarvon


A. Kennett

92 Broadway, Henlease, Bristol


R. King

21 Rue LionelTterray, 31 Blanac, France (or c/o Eddy Welch)


P. Kingston

3 Kingsely Road, Eastville, Bristol 5 BS5 6HF


R. Kitchen

Plot 18, Mill Close, Trimley st., Martin Felixtowe, Suffolk.


T.E. Large

16 Meade House, Wedgewood Rd., Twerton, Bath, Somerset


P. Littlewood

257 Chichester Road, Bognor Regis, Sussex


Mrs. Littlewood

257 Chichester Road, Bognor Regis, Sussex


O. Lloyd

Withey House, Withey Close West, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


M. Luckwill

8 Greenslade Road, Sedgley Hall Estate, Sedgley, Dudley, Worcs.


G. Lucy

Pike Croft, Long Lane, Tilehurst, Reading, Berks.


A. MacGregor

The Railway Arms, Station Road, Theale, Reading, Berks.


P. MacNab

121 Gilmore Place, Edinburgh 3


J. Major

Saint Cross, Green Down, Litton, Bath, Somerset


Mrs. J. Major

Saint Cross, Green Down, Litton, Bath, Somerset


J. Manchip

3 Blackthorn Court, Barton, Edinburgh


C. Marriott

Brulbergstrasse 15, Apt. 21, 8400 Winterhur, Switzerland


R. Marshall

23 Highbury Villas, Bristol 2


T. Marston

50 The Deans, Downlands, Potishead, Bristol


E. Mason

11 Kendon Drive, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


A. Meaden

127 Mudford Road, Yeovil, Somerset


D. Metcalf

A.S.F., R.A.F., Wittering, Hants


S.J. Miller

27 Walnut Way, South Ruislip, Middelsex


N.J. Monk

7 Little Soke Road, Bristol 8


D. Palmer

29 John Wesley Road, St. George, Bristol 5


M. Palmer

27 Roman Way, High Park Estate, Paulton, Bristol BS18 5XB


Miss S. Paul

6 Cricketers Close, Chessington, Surrey


R. Perrin

30 Cotham Grove, Cotham, Bristol 6


L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4


N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol


A. Philpott

3 Kings Brive, Bishopston, Bristol


G. Platten

‘Rotherfield’, Fernhill Lane, New Milton, Hants.


B. Prewer

East View, West Horrington, Nr. Wells, Somerset


C. Priddle

367 Fishponds Rd., Bristol 5


J. Ransom

21 Bradley Road, Patchway, Bristol


I. Rees

30 Ramsey Road, Horfield, Bristol 7


Mrs J.P. Rees

7 Coberley, Footshill, Hannam, Bristol


A. Rich

c/o Pox 126, Basham, Alberta, Canada


N.E. Rich

Bishop Manor Road, Manor Farm, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol


J. Riley

School Farm House, Chew Stoke, Nr. Bristol


A. Rushton

Cpl., Rectification Flight, R.A.F. Conningby, Nr. Sleaford, Lincs.


B. Scott

59 Fairthorne Rise, Basing, Nr. Basingstoke, Hants.


D. Searle

‘Dolphin Cottage’, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset


Mrs. D. Searle

‘Dolphin Cottage’, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset


G. Selby

913 N. Olive St., Corona, California, U.S.A., 91720


R. Setterington.

4 Cavendish House, Cavendish Road, Chiswick, London, W 4


R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset


W. Smart

P.O. Box 121, Muscat, Muscat and Oman, Arabia


D. Smith

Flat 15, 193 Wensley Road, Coley Park, Reading, Berks.


J. Stafford

‘Bryher’, Badgworth, Somerset


Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.


T.H. Stanbury

31, Belvoir Road, St. Andrews, Bristol


D. Statham

22 maleney Ave., Balerno, Midlothain, Scotland


R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


Mrs. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 3


D. Stuckey

34 Allington Road, Southville, Bristol 3


P. Sutton

56 Arley Hill, Redland, Bristol 6


D. Targett

16 Phillis Hill, Midsomer Norton, Bath, Somerset


A. Thomas

Westhaven School, Uphill, Weston s Mare, Somerset


A. Thomas

83 Coronation Rd., Southville, Bristol 3


D. Thomas

‘Mantons’, 2 St. Paul Road, Tupsley, Hereford


N.L. Thomas

Holly Lodge, Norwich Road, Salhouse, Norwich, Norfolk


S. Thompson

51 Hayward Road, Redfield, Bristol 5


B. Tilbury

256 Cressex Road, High Wycombe, Bucks


Mrs Tilbury

256 Cressex Road, High Wycombe, Bucks


G. Tilly

‘Gable’, Digby Road, Sherborne, Dorset


J. Tompsett

11 Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


Mrs. D. Tompsett

11 Lodge Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex


E. Towler

5 Boxgrove Gardens, Aldwick, Bognor Regis, Sussex


P. Townsend

154 Sylvia Avenue, Lower Knowle, Bristol 3


Mrs. J. Tuck

48 Wiston Path, Fairwater, Cwmbran, Monmouthshire


D. Turner

12 Westbourne Place, Clifton, Bristol 8


P. Turner

21 Northfield, Stanshawes Estate, Yate


R. Voke

8 Pavey Road, Hartcliffe, Bristol 3


Mrs. D. Waddon

32 Laxton Close, Taunton, Somerset


Miss C. Warren

2 The Dingle, Combe Dingle, Bristol BS9 2PA


P. Waterfall

9 Filton Grove, Horfield Bristol


G. Watts

13a Hampton Park, Redland, Bristol 6


M. Webster

43 Shroud Road, Patchway, Bristol


R. White

33 St. Cuthbert’s Street, Wells, Somerset.


R. Wickens

2 Amy street, Southampton


P. Wilkins

51 Constable Road, Lockleaze, Bristol


A. Williams

Hendrew Farm, Llandevand, Newport, Mon, NP6 2AB


D. Yeandle

59 Egerton Road, Bristol 7 BS7 8HN

Additions and changes to Members list


M.J. Thomas

5 Woolcot St., Redland, Bristol 6


J. Cornwell

26 Russell Rd., Bristol 5


R. Cross

41 Jason Rd., Shirley, Southampton


J. Churchward

15 Jamaica Place, Bristol 2


C.H. Dooley

28 Somerford Place, Willenhall, Staffs


R.C. Gander

2 Rock St., Croscombe, Nr. Wells, Somerset, BA5 3QT


J. Ifold

5 Rushgrove Gardens, Bishop Sutton, Somerset


Miss M. Linnell

47 Berkeley Rd., Westbury Park, Bristol 6


Miss B. Plumber

2 Hogarth Place, Locklease, Bristol


Miss D. Randford

39 Winchester Rd., Oldfiled Park, Bath, Som


B. Wilton

22 Wedmore Vale, Bristol 4


P. Turner

1 Rolleston Rd., Hornington, Burton-on-Trent, Staffs



New Austrian Discovery

By Dave Yeandle

While on a walk in the Fuertal, after the Ahnenschacht expedition, a pothole entrance was noted and because it looked promising we returned the next day.


Trusting my reliable belay (Alan Thomas and Bob Craig) I started climbing down the ladder – a wooden rung and wire rope ladder belonging to the Austrians which is much more bulky than our lightweight electron ladder.  Having descended to the bottom of the 35ft. ladder there was still some 10ft. or so to the deck.  Alan and Bob lowered me, which proved to be an interesting ride, to the boulder slope. The chamber I had entered was a fair sized chamber with several side passages leading from it.  I explored these but none went far.

The cave is situated some 500 yards from the turning to the Feurtal Ice Cave on the path to the Ahnenschacht.  It is about 10 yards from the path at the start of a zigzag in the path.  The top of the Muselhorn Mountain appears to be at the same height as the cave entrance.  A little further up the path, towards the Ahnenschacht, is a small cave entrance to the left of the path and about 6ft. up.  The end of this cave does not seem far from point ‘A’ on the plan shown on the previous page.

Surveyor’s take note!

Martin Mills (Milch) of the S.M.C.C. recently came across the following in Ruth Neill in ‘Climbers Club Guide’: Cornwall, Vol.1 by P.H. Biven & M.B. McDermott (1969) p.35.  abridged by Milch.

If you ever require an illustration of the importance of making due allowance for the effect of the Annual Change in magnetic variation, you can recount the disaster in 1893 at Wheal Owles Mine in west Cornwall when 20 men were drowned when a party of miners broke into an adjacent flooded working after a mistake in calculating the effect of the annual change in magnetic variations.


Club Announcements

Caving Logs 

The current Caving Logs were destroyed in the Belfry fire.  Members are requested to help reconstruct the logs.  If they keep personal diaries (giving caving details of course!) or any information in any other form would they send it to Dave Irwin who is arranging a typescript to be prepared from this information.  The log commenced during March 1967.  As you will see we have lost a great deal of valuable information here.

Personal Gear At The Belfry

Would members remove ALL their personal gear from the Belfry site as soon as possible to enable modifications to take place in the stone Belfry and on the site in general.  There is so little room around the site that we cannot hope to store members gear as well as the club tackle.

‘GET YOU HOME SERVICE’ from the Dinner

A coach has been booked by Bob Bagshaw .  Picking up at the ‘Old Duke’ at 6.30pm (October 4th) and at the ‘Hunters’ at approximately 7.15pm.  Coach fare 6/- each.  The coach will tour Bristol only and not to outlying places such as Yate etc.  The coach is expected to leave the restaurant at about midnight.

B.B. Collection Given To Club

A complete collection of B.B.’s has been given to the Club by John Ifold.  This collection includes several duplicates of the rarer earlier issues. The Committee, on behalf of the Club, would like to express its sincere thanks to John for this magnificent gift. Before the B.B.’s are placed in the Club Library they are first being bound in volumes.  This set will be used as a reference set only and will not be taken from the Library.


The Club Library is kept at Dave Searle’s cottage (Dolphin Cottage, 4 The Beeches, Wells Road, Priddy, Nr. Wells, Somerset) – two minutes walk from the Belfry (site). Members wishing to borrow books from this collection can have them out on loan for ONE MONTH only.  If longer periods are required then prior arrangements must be made with Dave first.

A.G.M. and  Dinner

AGM at the ‘Old Duke’ King’s Street, Bristol 10.30am

Agenda below….

Dinner is being held at the Wookey Hole Cave Restaurant 7.30 for 8.00pm

Book now with Bob Bagshaw, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

1969 Annual General Meeting

of the Bristol Exploration Club…..Agenda

1.                  Election of Chairman.

2.                  Collection of Ballot Papers and Members Resolutions.

3.                  Election of Tellers.

4.                  Adoption of Officers Reports: Sec., Treas., Caving Sec., Climbing Sec., Tackle Master, Hut Warden, Hut Engineer, B.B. Editor, Publications Editor, Librarian.

5.                  Committee Resolutions: - including new Constitution.

6.                  Long Term Planning Report.

7.                  Members Resolutions.

8.                  Result of Ballot.

9.                  Any other business


November B.B.

Due to changes to the October B.B. the material available to the Editor will be spread over the next two issues.  November B.B. will include: - A.G.M. report; recent trip to Black Shiver Pothole ( Yorkshire): and I hope the first of an important series of articles.  December will include ‘Ahnenschacht 1969’; Ireland 1969; cave photography and many others.  The December B.B. PROMISES TO BE THE LARGEST EVER – some 40 – 50 pages.