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Round and About

A Monthly Miscellany  by Wig.

  1. Wednesday evening diggers.  Digging at Hunters Hole has been switched to Manor Farm.  Anyone interested should first phone Roy Bennett for times etc.  Tel No Bristol 627813.
  2. Chelms Coombe Quarry.  Rumour has it that Nigel Taylor is involved in another cave discovery near box cave – further details next month.
  3. August/Longwood.  In November, the P.C.G. pushed the end of Reynolds Passage.  The end of this passage is fairly vague, as it depends on your size - and the more of a midget you are the better.  About 15 years or so ago Tony Knibbs of M.C.G. pushed well beyond the limits of the passage as shown on the Rennie survey, to the head of a twenty foot rift shaft.  At this time, some bang wire was seen hanging down the pitch.  At about mid 1973, Fred Davies ended at the same point.  In November 1973, Brian Lewarne of the P.C.G. pushed to this pitch and oozed himself through the squeeze at its top to reach the bottom where a stream entered.  From the bottom, he pushed on again for a short distance to reach the head of yet another shaft into which, at some point down it, the main Longwood stream was seen to be entering.  The depth of this shaft was estimated to be about 50 feet, but the head was blocked by a boulder.  Due to the very constricted nature, it would seem that bang will have to be used.
  4. Porth-yr-Ogof.  During mid 1973, a boy soldier lost his life in Porth-yr-Ogof and at the request of the coroner, the police and various interested bodies met on September 30th, 1973.  The results of this meeting were published by Frank Baguley in the C.C.C. news sheet, No 3 for 1973, as follows…..”The whole subject was dealt with in great detail, from the precipitating cause of the accidents; the cave itself, the conduct of the party and the preventative points of view.  It was agreed that the police issue a statement giving the recommendations of the meeting (to be vetted by Oliver Lloyd) which would be circulated to all L.E.A.'s; armed forces; caving organisations; Youth organisations, etc.  The caving organisations themselves were already dealing with the matter, and would be making their own detailed recommendations in due course after consultations.  The main points of the Brecon meeting are:-

1.                    It is impracticable to close the cave.

2.                    The Forestry will put up further detailed notices.

3.                    Prevention and education are the main themes.

Should another rescue (recovery) be required there, then there will be a one way traffic system involved.

It is still not possible to state why the cave resurgence pool is so dangerous, as it does not appear to be so, but with a history of five deaths, one cannot ignore the warnings.  It is up to everyone - organisations and individual cavers alike - to help in preventing further loss of life in this or any other cave.  Nobody can legislate for the actions of the foolhardy.”

  1. Coolites again.  I've not actually used one, but for 44p it seems a good buy.  Possibly a better buy ('cause it's British - the Coolite is a Yankee product) is what is called the Chemi-lite.  This method comes as a small flat pack about 3" x it" x 1/32 thick.  To use it, all one does is to tear off the top strip - and cor blimey, it's alight:  This light lasts for about an hour, but does have the advantage that it can be stuffed into the crown of the helmet or, better still, stitched into the inside of a wetsuit and ripped off when required.  This item is being marketed by Rock Products, 30 Drake Rd, Wells, Somerset at about 50p - wait for the ad. in Descent.  Early trials in Swildons have proved its usefulness.  A party came out from sump 1 on this light and stayed talking to another party at the bottom of the Forty.  The light was on its last legs when they reached the entrance.  More details later, together with the answers to questions such as; Are they completely safe? Are they toxic? Are the burnt-out remains dangerous to animals? etc.
  2. Manor Farm.  The survey of the main passage is now complete (see number 16).
  3. Limestone and Caves of North West England.  A copy of this book has been received by the writer, who has not yet had time to read it from cover to cover.  However, a scan through selected chapters enables him to present this tentative review.  This will be followed by a full review in the February 'Round and About'.

The first ten chapters deal with the area as a whole, from geology; geomorphology of the caves; hydrology; biospelaeology and archaeology.  The attempt has been made to summarise the present state of the art since the publication of 'British Caving' in the 1950's. The remaining chapters take each caving area in turn, with surface topography; local geology, development of the caves and a general summary.  The larger chapters are, as one might expect, those dealing with the caves of Leck Fell, Casterton Fell, Kingsdale and Gaping Gill.  Fascinating reading is the general summing up of this book and having only read a limited number of chapters; it has already clarified the picture of those areas for me.  The immediate disappointment soon disappeared, but I had hoped that it would have used Tratman's 'Caves of Clare' as a model - but when one considers the size of the subject, then I'm only full of admiration and congratulate the many authors and the editor.  See No 9 Nov. 1973 for details.

  1. Library Additions (Yes, 27, due entirely to an editorial clang - Ed.)

Easier Climbs in the Avon Gorge, Bristol. G.Mason, 1964.
South East England, E.C. Pyatt(Climbing Guide,1963)
B.E.C. Caving Log 1973 (9.1.73 - 14.10.73)
R.N. Mountaineering Club Bulletin Nos 148, 150, 153, 156, 159.
Mountain Craft Nos 73 and 79
The Climber       Vol.5 Nos 1, 2, 3, 6, 7.
            Vol.6 Nos 7, 8, 9.
            Vol.9 Nos 4, 5, 6.
Severn Valley Caving Club Newsletter:
            Vol 3 Nos 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.
            Volume 4 complete.
            Vol.5 Nos 1 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
            Vol 6 Feb, June, July/Aug, Sept/Oct, Nov.
            Vol.7 Jan, Feb, May, Jun, July/Aug, Sept/Oct.
            Vol 8 1, 2, 3, Jul, Aug/Sep, Oct/Nov.
            Vol.9. Dec/Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Sept.
            Vol10.Dec/Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Sep.
            Volume 11. Complete
            Vol. 12  No 1.
Plymouth Caving Group Newsletter No 53.
Mendip Caving Group News No 103.
EGONS Journal Nos 15, 16, 17.
Bristol Poly Caving Club Newsletter Vol.2 No 1.
A copy of Tony Waltham's book has been ordered for the library.  See No 9 Nov. 1973 for details.
National Speleo Soc. (U.S.A.) have agreed to exchange and have sent:-
N.S.S. News     Vol 30 Nos 6-12
            Vol 31 Nos 1 -1 0
SWETCCC Spelio Vol 12 No 1 with supplement.
Occasional Publication No 3 - Norway.

Our many thanks to Milch of the S.M.C.C. and to Keith (Sailor) Glossop for climbing publications and S.V.C.C. newsletters.

Anyone turning out their cupboards are welcome to throw any climbing or caving publications towards the club library. All will be gratefully received.