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Hon. Sec: A.R. Thomas. Allens House, Townsend, Priddy, Wells, Somerset.
Hon. Editor: - S.J. Collins, Lavender Cottage, Bishop Sutton, Bristol


Staying Power

The annual preparation of the list of member’s names and addresses which is part of the November B.B. is a task which generates a certain amount of regret for the absence of more and more well-known names with each succeeding year.

Since the B.E.C. has been in existence for a large number of years now, and well over seven hundred people have, at one time or another, been club members, to do a bit of analysis on the figures and to see what came out.

In fact, over the last thirty years, the figures show a very good degree of consistency.  Thus, it can be stated with reasonably accuracy that, at any period of time, about 16% of the total membership will have joined the club within the last two years.  About 40% will have been members for less than four years – and the club’s “half life” or the period of time where half the members will be of less and half of more membership length – is five and a half years.  40% of those present will have been members for more than 7½ years while just over a quarter will have been in the club for over 12½ years.

Those are some of the figures for the total membership at any one time, but what are your chances: If you have just joined, there is less than an even chance that you will still be with us in three years time – only 47% of those joining today will reach this stage.  After this, if you survive the first three years with us, the picture begins to brighten.  A quarter of those joining today should be able to put on a barrel in 1980 to celebrate their ten years of caving – or decadence as it is known in the club. One in every eight should be able to celebrate their double decadence and over half of those will one day, in the year 2010, be able to claim that they have been associated with the B.E.C. for no less than forty years!

It was mentioned earlier that the figures for the B.E.C. show a very good degree of consistency, but obviously, there must be odd ‘bumps’ in the curves.  These ‘bumps’ are not sufficient to make general conclusions invalid, but they do exist.  If for example, your membership lies between 50 and 100 or between 300 and 400, you belong to groups which have better than average records for length of club membership. On the other hand, if your number lies between 100 and 200, you may congratulate yourself as not being typical of your contemporaries, who mainly left the club before their ‘natural’ lifeline was up.

If anyone is interested in the actual figures, these can be made available on application to the editor.

Next Year’s B.B.

Although the editorial matter for the Christmas B.B. has to be written before it is known how large the B.B. will be, it looks very doubtful that it will be a particularly large one by Christmas standards, and will be certainly a long way behind Dave Irwin’s record breaker of last year.

This time next year will see the end of volume 25 of the B.B. and it is hoped that the start of the B.B.’s second quarter of a century might be the occasion to bring it out in better form.  To this end, a scheme has just been put into operation to make sure that the regular features are produced regularly, so that the 1971 B.B. can come out more on time than did this year’s.  Whether it will be possible to make further improvements must, as always, depend on YOU. Some people have responded very well to the appeal for articles BUT NOT ENOUGH.  A few more people contributing perhaps three or four times during 1971 will make all the difference.  How about it?