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In spite of any indications there may be to the contrary, the editor would like to wish all members a Happy and a Prosperous New Year.


Luckily, the threat of petrol rationing seems to have receded, but other things are becoming either expensive or in short supply, and the thing which is likely to affect the B. B. is the position of paper, which is both!

A normal 24 page B.B. takes 3 reams (1,500 sheets) of paper to produce.  Not long ago, we were paying 60p per ream, but the paper we have had to buy in order to produce this one (and it is the wrong sort of paper as well) has cost us £1.35 per ream.  A move has already been made to economise by combining pages 1 and 2 of the normal layout, and the only other compromise is between wasting paper and giving members fair value for their subscriptions.  In the past 2 years, the size of the B.B. has been kept constant every month.  What we are suggesting now is that it might be more sensible to see what has come in each month and make the size of the B.B. correspond.  Thus, this B.B. might well turn out smaller, but future B.B.'s might not.

Incidentally, if any member can lay his or her hands on a cheap supply of A4 paper suitable for litho printing, we would be extremely grateful.

Ratification Time

As usual, at this time of the year, the committee have been ratifying the last quota of members and, equally as usual, have been asking themselves questions about the whole subject. On the one hand, nobody wants to refuse permanent membership without good reason but on the other hand, the committee feel that ratification should not be a 'rubber stamp' procedure.

One aspect which they have been considering this year is that of groups of cavers who apply to join the B.E.C.  The club is against formal affiliation because it is felt that this is liable to produce 'cliques' so (in theory at any rate) every prospective member joins as an individual.

Obviously, in a case where he has joined at the same time as several of his friends, he is going to carry on caving with them - and the dividing line between a small group acting and thinking as a separate entity and one acting and thinking as part of the B.E.C. can never be sharply drawn.  The committee, however, would like to think that members who already form such groups will make a real effort to integrate themselves fully into the club.

That Motto

Having thought, in 1972, of a way to combine the letters B.B. with the figures 72; it was with some relief that it was found possible to do this with the figures 73 as well. However, 74 has proved beyond the skill of the editor to combine with the letters B.B., and so we have a new heading. For those who might possibly be interested, the Latin motto has been produced by the usual method of leaving out all the unnecessary words.  The Romans did this because they objected to having to carve more words on a piece of hard stone than they really needed to.  The motto is, of course, "Whatever is worth doing, we will do it to excess" - a motto which has been that of the B.E.C. for some years now and which might well be appropriate this year in particular.  The full sentence (with the missing words in brackets) is Quodcumque (res) faciendum (est); nimis (illud) faciemus and the translation again with the missing words in brackets is; Whatever (thing is) fit to be done; we will do (that thing) to excess - which is about as close as the Romans could have got towards the B.E.C. motto!