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Hon. Sec: A.R. Thomas, Westhaven School, Uphill, Weston s Mare, Somerset.
Hon. Editor: - S.J. Collins, Homeleigh, Bishop Sutton, Bristol


Councils and All That

Reading a bit in last month’s “Monthly Notes” about caving politics gave me a sort of sick feeling in the stomach far worse than any Mendip cave has done; even under the nastiest circumstances, and I wondered how many readers of the B.B. felt the same way.

It seems a pity that caving clubs cannot be allowed to get on with the activity for which they were formed, without a great proliferation of bodies of one sort or another telling them what they are to do (presumably) what they are not allowed to do.  I realise, of course, and I expect that most readers of the B.B. do as well, that some of the control we now have was bound to happen. The Waterworks, for example, were bound to have some minimal requirements for co-existence with the caving clubs and very few people would argue with the way in which the C.C.C. has managed to intrude as little as possible in their job of providing an interface between the clubs and the water board.  In a similar manner, it is probably a good thing to have a method whereby all the local caving clubs can combine on occasions when some sort of joint action is required.  The danger, however, would seem to lie in the possibility of this type of body attracting the type of individual whose hobby is not caving so much as organising other people – and this is a thing we would all do well to watch very carefully in the future.  In general, the club system has worked very well on Mendip.  It is true that we all have our setbacks from time to time – but that’s life!  If we get the wrong side of a local farmer (and it’s often our fault, as at times with digs arranged and then not worked on, for example) we have to wait a while for the storm to blow over.  If some other club opens a new cave and then makes it a bit difficult for us to get in whenever we want to, we can’t grumble all that much.  The place wouldn’t be there at all if they hadn’t dug it. These things all sort themselves out in time.

As in many fields of life today, we hear a lot about peoples rights and not so much about their obligations and responsibilities.  We would do well to watch the progress of the ‘organisation boys’ and to resist any state of affairs arising whereby every caver has unlimited access to caves that are no longer worth a visit.


An issue or two ago, we suggested some useful topics that budding authors might well provide us with articles about.  Luckily, due to some of our old established writers, we are not too badly off for the near future (i.e. next month’s B.B.).  One thing which would help the B.B. to be a two-way affair would be a number of lively letters from readers.  A letter does not take long to write, and we are sure that there must be a number of topics applicable for inclusion in the B.B. on which club members hold views. Looking back over old numbers, quite a bit of correspondence went on.  How about it?  Have you got a pet theory which wants airing?  Have a good think!