Any views expressed by any contributor to the Belfry Bulletin, including those of officers of the club, do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor or the committee of the Bristol Exploration Club, unless stated as being the view of the committee or editor.

Club Headquarters

‘The Belfry’, Wells Rd., Priddy, Wells, Somerset.  Tele: WELLS 72126

Club Committee

Chairman:         S.J. Collins
Minutes Sec:     R. Bennett
Members:          R. Bagshaw; D.J. Irwin; M.J. Palmer; N. Jago; T.E. Large; A.R. Thomas; R. Orr.

Officers Of The Club

Hon. Secretary: A.R. THOMAS, Allen’s House, Nine Barrows Lane, Priddy, Wells, Somerset. Tel: PRIDDY 269.
Hon. Treasurer:  R.J. BAGSHAW, 699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4.  Tel: WHITCHURCH. 5626.
Caving Sec:       T.E. LARGE, 39 Seymour Ave, Bishopston, Bristol.
Climbing Sec:    N. Jago, 27 Quantock Rd, Windmill Hill, Bedminster, Bristol 3.
Hut Warden:      R. ORR.  ‘The Belfry’, as above.
Assit H.W.        N. TAYLOR, Whiddon, Chilcote, Somerset.  Tel. WELLS 72338.
Hut Engineer:    R. HOBBS, Rose Cottage, West End, Nailsea, Bristol.
Tacklemaster:    M.A PALMER. 27 Roman Way, Paulton, BS18 5XB
B.B. Editor:       S.J. COLLINS, Lavender Cottage, Bishop Sutton, Nr. Bristol.
Librarian:           D.J. IRWIN, Townsend Cottage, Priddy, Wells, Somerset.  Tel: PRIDDY 369.
Pbs. (Sales)      C, Howell, 131 Sandon Rd., Edgbaston, Birminham.
Publications:     D.J. IRWIN.  Address as above
B.B. Post:         Mrs. K. Mansfield, Tiny Kott, Little London, Oakhill, Bath, Somerset.

MENDIP RESCUE ORGANISATION.  In case of emergency telephone WELLS 73481


Cave Politics

Every sport requires a certain amount of 'behind the scenes' organisation - and ours is no exception. What sticks in most people’s gullets is the thought of people revelling in the organisational aspects of caving instead of getting down holes and actually doing it.

Unfortunately, such people do exist - and what is more, it is getting to the stage where caving clubs can no longer ignore what is going on.

We therefore make no apology for running, as our main article this month, one which deals with this subject.  We are not alone in this, as the current issue of the Wessex Journal also devotes some space to this subject.  We urge readers to take the time to think about what is amid, and to make sure that the club acts in a suitable manner to counter any future threat to caving as we understand it.

Sit. Vac

For a variety of reasons, many of the members of the present committee will not be standing next year. Now, as always, is a chance for younger members to come forward and help to run the club.  There is only one snag - it means a fair amount of work!



Swinsto Hole

An interesting article on one of the major cave trips possible in this country, written by Derek Sanderson

Although the winch was still on at Gaping Gill, it being a bank holiday, we (Roger Wing, Keith and Derek Sanderson) elected to attempt a through trip in Kingsdale by abseiling down Swinsto Hole and emerging through the valley entrance.  This was quite an undertaking for us, as we had never done any real abseiling before.  Neither had we done Swinsto by ladder, though I had done Simpsons Pot next door and Keith knew the master cave from the valley entrance.

We arrived in Kingsdale early and found it deserted. We entered the master cave via the valley entrance to ladder the twenty foot pitch which would bring us out.  The valley entrance consists of an upturned oil drum leading to a long winding tunnel-like passage of stooping height after passing a low duck.  It took thirty minutes to ladder the pitch and return to the surface.

The climb up the side of Gragareth to Swinsto was hot work in a wet suit but didn't take too long. We took with us three 120 foot ropes; two twenty five foot ladders, some belays and a long string of karabiners! Well, we didn't know what we should find in the cave!  Once one has pulled the abseil rope down from the first pitch, there can be no turning back. The karabiners were for use if we could not find suitable belays - the ladders were for use on any pitches that looked too dangerous and the ropes were for lifelines and spares in case the abseil rope snagged and had to be left behind.  All proved unnecessary, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

We entered Swinsto at 11 a.m. and followed the tight short entrance tunnel of grey smooth rock to the head of the first pitch of nineteen feet.  We passed the rope through the ring of the eyebolt located low on the right and spent a little time getting used to the descendeur and slings before dropping down the short pitch in only a trickle of water.  The rope came down easily, and we were committed to going on!

There are two ways leading from the small chamber at the bottom.  Right leads to some avens, whilst to the left is the Swinsto Long Crawl - a thousand feet of hands-and-knees crawl in six inches of water. This, however, proved to be not as tedious as we expected and it was soon passed.  We then found ourselves at the head of a thirteen foot climb which we went down by abseiling.  There is no fixed belay here but a smooth spur of rock to the left is adequate for the purpose.

The climb is followed, after fifty feet of pleasant stream passage, by the second pitch of 23 feet which leads into a small chamber.  There is an eyebolt in position and the descent is in water, though this does not encumber the pleasure of abseiling down such a smooth circular pot.

The passage turns to the right at the bottom and becomes a narrow rift of grey rock with the stream flowing through it.  After a short distance, progress is halted at the third pitch of 22 feet.  This pitch has no eyebolt, but a large deposit of pasty calcite directly above the pitch serves as a perfect belay point from which the abseil rope can be retrieved.  The rocks at the bottom are browner in colour and there is a pool into which one drops about waist deep.

From here, the way on is under a pile of loose boulders into a section of pleasant streamway where one is halted suddenly at the head of the fourth pitch.  This is more formidable, being 46 feet deep and followed immediately by the 42 foot fifth pitch from a sloping ledge.  There is an eyebolt here.  I descended first to see if a belay point had been installed on the ledge. There had.  We passed both pitches without any difficulty but with considerable satisfaction.  The descents are invigorating, especially the first, where the walls are smooth and one is constantly in the water.

At the base of the fifth pitch, an old abandoned pot can be seen round to the right, whilst the way on is via a rift passage which, after turning to the left, becomes the traverse where one can either clamber over the water on powdery brown rocks, or follow the stream at low level.  The streamway is tight but not difficult.

After the traverse, the passage remains narrow and descends through a number of pots until the stream sinks amongst boulders and the way on is to the right through a comfortable passage of smooth scalloped light brown rocks.  After a sharp turn to the left and crossing some pools, we climbed down a flake of rock into a short chamber from which the passage dropped through a 19 foot climb which we abseiled.  There is no fixed belay point here, but there is a smooth spur of rock on the right which is suitable.

From the bottom of the climb, only a few feet of passage leads to the sixth and last pitch of 23 feet into a wide chamber with the stream re-emerging from the opposite wall. The belay point here is a sturdy wooden stemple wedged across the passage.

From here, a low level passage leads into the Cascades, a high narrow passage which passes over several climbable pots in sculptured rock until a high aven is passed on the left. This is the base of Slit Pot and is the junction of Swinsto and Simpson’s Pot. Downstream is a 12ft climb and squeeze over boulders into East Entrance Passage - a dull, tiring, flat-out crawl about two hundred feet in length leading to Master Junction.  A map is advisable here.  To the right, a pleasant streamway affords comfortable walking to the ladder which we had placed for our exit.  We emerged from the valley entrance at 2.30 p.m., though the trip could have been done in a much shorter time by cavers more familiar with the system.  However, we were very satisfied with ourselves.


Hard Rock Caving

An interesting look at 'how the other half lives' and an offer of an exchange by George Honey.


The air-conditioned coach left the centre of Stockholm at midnight on the 30th of June, bound for Nordmaling - some six hundred miles to the north for the A.G.M. of the S.S.F. (Swedish Caving Club).  About twenty of the hundred or so members had joined the coach, so there was plenty of room except for my knees.  (The average Swede must be shorter than an Englishman, for they certainly pack the seats in!).  Sleeping soon became impossible, as the sun was up at about 2 a.m. and, even with the air conditioning, it soon became very hot.  We stopped once or twice on the way up at transport cafes - roadside Hiltons compared to the one I used to know on the A4!

We arrived at Ava "Gastis" at 9 a.m., and drove into a cluster of painted buildings - a 'wandershome! which was going to be our home for the next few days of A.G.M.

I had a quiet sleep to awake to find a lunch on.  Outside it was stinking hot (the usual Swedish summer ) and a local sports shop had on display a range of tents, rucsacks and kayaks for us.  All were of the very best quality and extremely light and not expensive.  After a super meal of salmon given by the local council, we listened to a talk about that district of Southern Lapland which is about the size of Yorkshire.

At 7 a.m. next morning, we were called, breakfasted, and were into the coach and away to the fells. A quick three caves before eating our packed lunch and then another three afterwards.  This routine went on for three days.  The pace was killing, but it ensured that everybody who was at the A.G.M. had at least seen a cave that year!

Now about the caves. There are three types, all in granite or diorite (another old igneous rock).  The first type is a glacial scratch, where the glaciers have dug out a narrow cleft which may have been roofed by a subsequent rack fall.  The second type has been formed by water during one of the ice ages.  A vertical crack which had developed in the bedrock became filled with stones and water from the overlying ice and due to turbulence, wore out the shape shown. The 'window' has in some cases opened out due to subsequent frost damage .

The third type is a pure fault.  A vertical crack.  I went down a hundred feet of one of these on ladders made out of fir trees.  Note the use of fixed tackle.  From the bottom, we went back up another fault which was a giant boulder ruckle about ten feet wide and a hundred and fifty feet high.

Of course, I forgot to say that to get to any cave in this area requires an hour of two walking through pine forest or up a mountainside.  Caves could be described as easy but access difficult.  The pressmen got there however, since caving is a rather unusual affair in Sweden.  I, of course, managed to get the B.E.C. a mention in the local paper.

As I said, it was an impressively organised weekend with lectures on geology, speleology and with film and slide shows from all over Europe.  The A.G.M. itself was like any other club's A.G.M. and I was asked to look into the possibility of arranging an exchange meeting with the B.E.C.

There are medium sized limestone systems, as Roger Stenner can verify (I have an article of Roger's which has been mislaid for some time, but which will appear in the next B.B. - Editor.)  Most of these caves are of the Goatchurch style.  One thing that is impressive is the immense size of the country making even a simple cave into a big trip.  What the S.S.F. would like would be a week on Mendip with tourist trips down Cuthbert’s, G.B. and Swildons and the like so any ideas, please?

Editor’s Note.    One hopes that the club will manage to find the time to act as hosts to the S.S.F. and even perhaps be able to organise a return match.  I must say that I like the idea of the local council laying on meals for the caving club.  Imagine up going down to Cheddar for our A.G.M. only to find that the local council have turned up in force and laid on a free lunch complete with local cheese and cider.

Changes of member’s Addresses

423. L. DAWES. The Lodge, Main Street, Winster, Nr. Matlock, Derbyshire.
594. P.A. WILKINS, 55 Eighth Avenue, Northville, Bristol, BS7 OQS
731. R.BIDMEAD, 63 Cassell Rd, Fishponds, Bristol.
707. R. BROWN, 26 Cranleigh Gardens, Luton, Beds.
808. J.A. HUNT, 35 Conygre Rd, Filton, Bristol BS12 7DB
        K. JAMES, Baytree Rd, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset.


Mike Palmer, our Tacklemaster, would be very interested to hear any members who would be prepared to help make tackle.  His address is at the front of this B. B,


The Future Of Caving Clubs

In this article, a word of warning is sounded about the possible dangers to caving clubs, and a guide to their avoidance.

by S.J. Collins.

Reader 's views are welcome on the above subject

The Club System

A caving club designed to suit its particular needs seems to rank highly among the requirements of the average caver.  One has only to glance at the lists of clubs which are published from time to time to realise just how many clubs are operating on Mendip today.  It is certain that there are more clubs at present than there were cavers when I personally started to cave.

Now it is considerably easier for a small group of young cavers to join an existing club than it is for them to start a new one. Apart from all the obvious snags like getting hold of tackle, their club is bound to lack many of the less tangible advantages built up over the years by the larger and more well established clubs.

In spite of this, quite a proportion of cavers have preferred to take the hard way, and this process has been going on here on Mendip almost as long as has caving.  The case appears to be well made that some cavers have been, and still are, prepared to go to considerable lengths to construct clubs to suit their particular requirements rather than to join ready-made clubs.

There are, of course very many new cavers who prefer to join existing clubs - and have quite a large choice. For this choice - or indeed, that of founding their own club, to be effective - clubs must, like individuals, have distinct personalities and differ from each other by all the usual attributes such as age; experience; character; wealth; influence and the like.

Thus, whatever the outlook of any individual caver might be, the fact that he can exercise considerable choice in the type of organisation he joins or creates represents a freedom well worth preserving.

Unfortunately, there are factors which - if one takes a pessimistic view - could well lead to the destruction of the club system and if, as I have contended, cavers value the existence of the club system; it will be instructive (to say the least of it) to examine what is happening and what may well happen in the near future, so that clubs can act in a manner which will preserve them.  This applies equally to their dealing with each other as to their approach to bodies external to them.

Forces Acting Against The Club System

These can be reduced to three main forces, all of which can be made to reinforce each other, which fact should be borne in mind constantly when considering them individually.

  1. Access. The main difference between caving and climbing is that caving is extremely vulnerable to control by access.  It is difficult, if not impossible, to put a ring of barbed wire right round a whole mountainous area; but ridiculously easy to control the specific and narrow entrance points to caves.  Thus, any body which gained significant control of cave entrances in a caving area would be in a position to dictate terms to caving clubs and, if it wished, to control them completely.
  2. Finance. For many older clubs, the days of operating on a shoestring are now part of their history.  Such clubs have heavy outgoings such as rates; insurance; maintenance etc., and must operate on a reasonable scale merely to keep afloat.  This makes them financially sensitive and any real curtailment of their operations could quickly result in a financial crisis from which an interested external body might agree to rescue them - at a price.  This is the same technique as pushing a man into a river and then offering to pull him out in return for certain concessions.  This could well be used as another lever by which control could be exercised against the wishes of a caving club.
  3. Centralisation. A situation could well arise in which the loyalties of club members were gradually weakened by the activities of central bodies.  This is likely to take the form of a gradual erosion of club functions and - like all insidious processes - it will be tempting to ignore it until it becomes too late.  If this actually happened, and clubs were thus persuaded to destroy themselves, it could be argued that they had merely exercised their own free choice in the matter.  Against this line of argument, most of the older clubs owe a considerable debt to past (but still interested) members who have worked hard to build up that club and who would hardly be expected to welcome its destruction by its present members.

The Present State Of Affairs

Already, the three factors discussed have begun to affect caving clubs.  Taking access first, considerable progress has been made in the north towards replacing individual arrangements between land owners and cavers by a form of centralised access control.  Much more rapidly than I would have believed possible, we have seen the start of the abuse of power, as demonstrated by the Northern Council.  Far from learning any lesson from this on Mendip, we are in the process of taking the first steps towards a similar situation.

To those who argue that the Caving Councils are not external bodies but are merely the clubs of a region acting in concert, I would say that this may be true NOW but there is little guarantee that it will continue to be so in the future.  There are a number of organisations which have interests in caving and are not based on the club system.  The current Wessex Journal, which I would urge members to read, deals with one such group - that of the education system - to which we might well add scouting; various other youth organisations and the like.  Bodies such as the police (concerned with rescue organisations) and even local and national government departments would all find it easier to be represented on a single, central body through which they can exercise the greater degree of control that they might well start to consider desirable. The time could well arrive when the clubs, who formed the councils in the first place, found themselves in a minority on them.  Frankenstein, I seem to remember, found himself in a similar predicament.

On the financial front, no club is as yet anywhere near dependant on external funding - although several have had building grants, which may have started a taste for free handouts.  In this connection, it is of interest to see how the N.C.A. - a club controlled body, remember! - has so far used its money.  The bulk of this has gone to the scheme for Caving Instruction, which will result in the creation of a group of people who feel that they owe their authority to a central body rather than to any club.  The thin end, perhaps, of a very large wedge.

The very existence of a central authority tends to weaken local enterprise, even if it has no real teeth. Look for example, at the curious reluctance of Mendip surveyors to run counter to the C.R.G. in spite of the fact that nearly all of them are in some way dissatisfied with its policy.

Possible Future Developments

The way by which these factors may gain momentum until the club system is finally broken is best illustrated by a look into an imaginary future.  The only assumptions necessary are that the N.C.A. exercises effective control of cave access and contains sufficient people who desire the end of club caving.  Neither of these assumptions is, in my opinion, a severe extrapolation.

We thus have a position whereby clubs can be threatened by sanctions if they fail to implement central policies.  One can see clubs being 'recommended' to use 'qualified' cave instructors as a first move. Gradually, certificates of competence would become the norm - finishing up with an almost exact parallel to the Driving Test and M.O.T.

Having saturated the market for Instructors, the general appeal to safety - always a good emotional bet - might be next centred on tackle with the creation of 'recommended' standards of tackle and a central inspectorate to ensure its enforcement. This will require some full-time staff who will, to start with, have spare time on their hands which they will want to use to their best advantage.  The creation of a number of departments and committees of this central body would be one of the obvious outcomes of this state of affairs.  Thus, a club, for example, wishing to dig at a certain spot might well have to satisfy the Research and Exploration Committee, the Local Authorities Land Utilisation Co-ordinating Committee and the Cave Preservation and Environmental Control Committee for a start.  Needless to say, unauthorised caving of any sort would result in an enquiry with the possibility of individual suspension of licences or even the suspension of a club, if group culpability were proved.

Centralised cave and hut bookings for 'away' trips might well help some permanent official to fill up his day and increase his importance.  No doubt, a national journal would be started at about this stage.

The substitution of donations from clubs by a levy based on membership would provide yet another weapon to be used against such clubs who still showed an unacceptable degree of independence.  In this connection, Treasurers would be required to submit a standardised balance sheet and would thus find themselves, along with tackle officers, caving secretaries and hut wardens, effectively working for the central body.

Soon, clubs would be asked to adopt a model constitution, so that anomalies could be removed between clubs. By this time, the final blow would go almost unnoticed.  It would be called 'Rationalisation of Regional Assets' and would result in the creation of single regional headquarters having a full-time warden. The club system would be over.

Possible Counter-Moves

A heavy responsibility rests on all who control caving clubs if they wish to prevent something like that just described from actually taking place in the future.  Detailed action will of course, depend on the circumstances and the nature of the particular threat involved at anyone time.  It is, however, possible to imagine some general guidelines, which are listed below:-

  1. Keep informed:  It should be the duty of all who are concerned with the running of clubs to make themselves aware of all the moves which are being made or projected even if they have no apparent bearing on the situation.  In particular, those who represent clubs on the councils must understand fully the mechanism by which those councils work.  One of the main weapons of the organisational man is his ability to use procedural points to reduce the opposition.
  2. Look ahead:  A good chess player tries to work out the long term effects of his move, because he knows that short term advantages may prove detrimental in the long run.  The same type of thinking should guide clubs.  For example, if a club cannot do caves in the North as it used to because of access restrictions imposed by the Northern Council; should it join the Northern Council, or accept some immediate disadvantages?  Arguments in favour of joining may be that the influx of other clubs will alter majority decisions in that council.  Arguments against may be that if all clubs joined all councils, the way would be open for their abolition on the grounds that they were now all the same and that a single body could now replace them.  Careful thought on these sorts of lines is necessary for EVERY decision.
  3. Respect other Clubs:  While a certain competitive element is a natural part of the club way of life, it must be recognised that working away at removing another club's advantages which your club does not possess can eventually rebound on your own club.  The process of levelling down does most clubs nothing but harm eventually.  You joined your club by exercising your choice.  Make sure that a choice of the sort you enjoyed is not taken away from cavers of the future by this type of action.
  4. Take, and keep, the initiative:  Where you cannot prevent things occurring which are to the detriment of the club system, the only counter measure is to set up equivalent ones BASE ON THE CLUBS.  Thus, if some sort of competence document looks as if it cannot be avoided; it is better for clubs to take it upon themselves to organise a scheme than to have one forced down their throats.  Keeping one jump ahead without panicking is difficult but not impossible.
  5. Cultivate personal contacts.  If representatives of clubs can only meet under ‘official’ circumstances, a degree of stiffness is introduced which does not allow people to exchange ideas as freely as does informal between friends.  If all club officials were on a beer buying basis with each other, many suspicions and misunderstandings would be removed and cooperation could occur without letting in the beaurocrats.
  6. Remember who you represent:  If you are convinced that nothing you can do will save, or affect, the situation; you owe it to the members who elected you to look after their interests to tell them that you see no point in trying to stave off the inevitable.  This at least gives them the opportunity to decide whether they still want you to represent them.  If you really believe that it is already too late to save you club, then it is dishonest not to say so.


The Burrington Surface Survey

One of the major tasks which had to be carried out for the Burrington Atlas was the surveying of entrance heights of the caves. In this article, Dave Irwin and Doug. Stuckey describe the work which was done.

In 1968, work commenced on producing a handbook of the caves of Burrington. This involved the surveying of all the caves that had not at the time surveys readily available to the caver and also entailed the checking of all the altitudes of cave entrances. Discrepancies were noted between editions of ‘Caves of Mendip’ by Barrington regarding the altitude of East Twin.  So a surface survey was started to enable the altitudes and also the position of the various groups of caves to be positioned on the 25" O.S. map of the area.

The aim was to produce closed traverses that were linked to O.S. bench marks.  During a weekend in August 1968, Bill Smart used a telescopic levelling device and produced a set of results between the bench mark at Ellick House and the entrance to Aveline's Hole.  Spur lines were connected to several cave entrances en route.  The work lay dormant until September 1972 when Doug. Stuckey and Dave Irwin continued the work with the surveying unit. The finished traverse lines (see table 1 for details) and the spur lines amount in length to over three miles.  In certain cases, the readings were with both the compass and clinometer where the entrances needed to be located on the surface and others, where the entrances were marked on the 25" O.S. map, the clinometer only was used.

Figure 1 shows the traverse lines.  Locations of the caves have been marked, so giving the route of each of the lines. The survey lines were produced using fibron tapes and the survey unit.  Closed traverses were corrected by distributing the mis-closure equally between each station.  Where the compass was in use for cave location, this was calibrated using the centreline of the main road through the Coombe.  The readings were to the requirements of a Grade 6 survey.  The clinometer readings were read to the nearest ten feet on level stretches.  Leg lengths were up to a hundred feet.

From the table 2 it will be noted that there are a number of levels that disagree quite markedly from those quoted in ' Complete Caves of Mendip'.  The first East Twin Swallet is quoted as being 471 in CCM, taken from the values quoted on the B.B. (1).  The new surface survey located an error in a back bearing of the 1968 survey and so East Twin entrance altitude is 493 feet.

Rod's Pot created a problem for the authors.  The value quoted in CCM was based on a survey of the surface in the Reads - Rods area by Crickmay (2).  Three surveys were made by the authors between Drunkards Hole and Rod's Pot. The vertical differences between Rod's and Drunkards entrances were 11ft, 12ft and 16ft.  The difference quoted in CCM is 28 ft.  Having eliminated our third value of 16ft due to a poor clinometer reading we looked at the results of the traverse taken from West Twin Valley over to Rod’s Pot and back to the road line.  The vertical mis-closure was exceptionally good - in a traverse length of about 5,500 ft, the mis-closure was 3.23 ft, and the fact that the road traverse closed exceptionally well between the two bench marks leads us to assume that there is a serious error in CCM value.

Closing the traverses was carried out in the following manner.  The bench marks were located and the line closed on to them (traverse 1). Next, the line from the West Twin Valley via Rod's and back down the track to the cafe - thus re-joining traverse 1.  This was traverse 2.  Traverse 3 linked the West Twin (at Sidcot Swallet) Goatchurch and East Twin and re-joined the West Twin valley at the same point as the start of traverse 2. Levels of other caves were found by constructing spur lines from the closed traverses, and linking a number of caves along the line.

The assistance of the following members made this survey possible and our thanks is gratefully recorded. (Many people thought that the authors had given up actually going underground):- Chris Williams; Roger Stenner; John Hunt; Nigel Taylor; Mike Taylor and John Rees.


1.                  Belfry Bulletin No 247 (October 1968).

2.                  U.B.S.S. Proceedings.  Vol 6 No 1 p37  (1946-1948).

3.                  Complete Caves of Mendip.  1972 Edition.

4.                  O.S. 25” survey Somerset sheet XVIII. 6.




Vertical Range from B.M.

Mis-closure (Vertical)

Vertical Range obtained

Percentage Error




- 1.12






- 3.23






- 1.93



(all measurements in feet)

Table 2



Altitude CCM 1972

Altitude B.B. 247


Elephant Hole

Elephant Rift

Lizard Hole

Frog Hole

Toad Hole

Road Arch

Foxes Hole

1921 Dig

Boulder Shaft

Spar Pot

East Twin Swallet

Top Sink

Dreadnought Holes West

                      East Upper

                      East Lower

Lionel’s Hole

Goon’s Hole

Bruce’s Hole

Barren Hole

Tween Twins

Pseudo Nash’s (A)

Jonny Nash’s

Pierre’s Pot

Quidlers Arch

Tunnel Cave

Whitcombes Hole

Goatchurch Cavern

Sidcot Swallet

Flange Swallet

Yew Tree Swallet

200 Yard Dig

Quarry Cave

Supra Avelines

Nameless Cave

Avelines Hole

Milliars Quarry Cave

Café Rift

Plumley’s Hole

Bath Swallet West


Rod’s Pot

Drunkard’s hole

Drunkard’s Dig

Bos Swallet

Read’s Cavern

Fox Holes















































525.00 approx.































































































Notes:  CCM = Complete Caves of Mendip

(A)        Pseudo Nash’s Hole is listed as Johnny Nash’s Hole in CCM.



Voting Procedures

At the last A.G.M., the Committee was asked to look at voting procedures.  Here is the report of the Sub-Committee on the subject

The Sub-Committee, consisting of Mike Palmer (Chairman) Alan Thomas and Barry Wilton, met on the 4th of Feb.


Resulting from several proposals presented at the A.G.M., the meeting directed that the Committee examine the voting procedure with a view to ensuring that the ballot is secret.


A sub-committee was formed from members of the club who answered a call for volunteers in the B.B. Only one letter was received in response to an appeal for member’s views.  Other people questioned by members of the sub Committee did not have any particular views on the matter.

This being so, it was generally agreed to review the voting procedure within the terms of reference of the club constitution and the A.G.M. directive and to keep recommendations within those limits.


It was agreed that the voting procedure is not carried out strictly in accordance with the club constitution that this could easily be rectified by producing a properly designed Ballot Form and a voting procedure which should be reproduced in the B.B. each year before the election time for the benefit of all members.

Barry Wilton agreed to design a proper Ballot Form which would contain all the relevant information and by its design ensure the required secrecy.  A copy of this form was attached to the original report and is not reproduced in this B.B. because it is self-explanatory. Its important features are;-

  1. The Words  'BALLOT FORM'
  2. A place for name and membership number.
  3. A tear-off strip ensuring secrecy of ballot.

The following was agreed:-

(a)                Ballot forms will only be sent out to fully paid-up members at the latest date for posting stipulated by the constitution.

(b)                Forms can be returned by post or handed in at the A.G.M.

(c)                No further forms will be available at the A.G.M.

(d)                The Tellers can still check the names against a list of paid-up members at the A.G.M. if necessary.

(e)                The tear-off strip shall be removed by the tellers before opening the ballot forms to count the vote. 

(f)                  Regarding (c) a notice is to be placed in the B.B. saying that if no ballot form has been received by two weeks before the A.G.M., the Secretary is to be contacted requesting a form.

(g)                The Chairman of the A.G.M. should direct the tellers to destroy the Ballot Forms and strips with the approval of the meeting.

(h)                At the start of any A.G.M., the Chairman should ask any non-members or non paid-up members to identify themselves so that they can be excluded from any voting.

Note that the foregoing does not require any alteration to the Club Constitution if adopted in toto or in part.  In the main, it is only an amplification of the procedure already formulated in the Constitution.

(Signed) Michael A. Palmer.

The General Committee of the B.E.C. have adopted this report, which therefore becomes the club's official procedure.

(Signed) S.J. Collins.


Monthly Crossword – Number 34.



















































































3. Otherwise glassy substance without little Surrey found near belfry. (4)
6. Associated for many years with Oakhill. (5)
7. Defines mud chamber in Cuthbert’s. (4)
9. Opposed to flow? (3)
11. Climbing aid. (3)
12. Long time. (3)
13. Make this nor a mistake. (3)
15. Stumble over cave visit? (4)
17. Removed from cave dig. (5)
18. Can be said of cave or of caver! (4)


1. Estimated time out initially. (1,1,1)
2. Flashy adjunct to caving? (4)
4. He goes first – like the dealer. (6)
5. Angle a form of ore. (6)
8. A jerk on a rope? (6)
9. Climbing ladder. (6)
10. Its home is between Plantation Junction and the Great Gour. (3)
14. Pore over this line? (4)
16. Edge of pot. (3)

Solution to Last Month’s Crossword