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Cuthberts Leaders Meeting

A description taken from the minutes of this meeting, which was held at the Belfry on the 17th November 1974.

The meeting was attended by R.Bennett, R.Craig, J. Durston, M.Jordan, R. King, T. Large, Dr. O. C. Lloyd, R. Mansfield, A. Meaden and M. Palmer.     Apologies were received from C. Clark, D. Irwin, G. Meyrick, B. Prewer and S. Tuck.     The minutes were taken by A. Nichols.

After the adoption of the minutes of the 1973 meeting, there was a general discussion on whether to remove all fixed tackle from the cave, but no agreement was reached.  In view of the mall attendance and the substantial majority at recent meetings in favour of keeping fixed tackle, the meeting decided not to make any recommendation to the B.E.C. Committee.

The removal of the tackle from the Maypole Series, as instructed by the 1973 meeting, was agreed to be satisfactory.  It was also decided not to recommend the replacement of the chain of ladder above Tin Mine, as the roof formations had now been damaged beyond repair.

There was a discussion on the desirability of having any tapes in the cave, but the majority at the meeting felt the need for some tapes, both to protect formations and to direct routes.  The meeting recommended the removal of the tapes in Pillar Chamber, with a direction to all leaders not to use the climb up on the left as a short cut to the normal route.  The meeting also recommended the removal of some of the tape in Boulder Chamber, but leaving enough to protect the Octopus formation and the false floor at the entrance to Curtain Chamber.  Finally, the meeting recommended the taping of the mud formations below the stal bank.

On the subject of digging sites, the meeting felt that there was too much mess from abandoned diggings in the cave and recommended that those responsible for the Gour Room dig should be asked to remove their equipment and that those responsible for the Mantrap dig should also be asked to remove their equipment.  They further recommended that the barrier a hundred feet down from the choke should be removed, that the Maypoles in High Chamber should be removed if they are no longer needed for surveying, that the equipment in Lake Chamber should be removed and that the Traverse Chamber dam should be removed.  They recommended that Tim Large's dig and all the other dams should be kept.

The meeting recommended that the tape measure and collecting bottles should be removed from the Railway Tunnel, as they no longer had any historic value.

The meeting approved the application of Gay Meyrick (S.M.C.C.) and recommended that her provisional Leadership should be confirmed.

The meeting felt that the present practice should continue, whereby people who have completed their form for leadership should be accepted as provisional leaders and given a key to the cave immediately but, because it may take up to a year before a provisional leader can be ratified as a full leader, leaders who sign off trips for prospective leaders must realise that they are not just confirming that the required route has been completed.

The meeting therefore recommended that on the form after the words 'other personal attributes will be judged by the leader on the trip and also the person's general attitude to caving and to cave preservation' there should be added ' the leader should only sign if these points are satisfactory'.

The meeting recommended that the lock on the cave entrance should be replaced by the B.E.C Caving Secretary with one of the spare locks.  It felt that the number of leaders was adequate and that there was no need to recruit more, but it recommended that the Caving Secretary should draw up and publish in the B.B. a complete list of those leaders still prepared to take trips, with their names and addresses.

The Caving Secretary reported that an increasing number of club members were not going about the procedure in a proper manner. The meeting recommended that the access rules for CuthbertÂ’s should be publicised in the B.B. and elsewhere.

M. Palmer, as the observing M.R.O. Warden, reported on the practise rescue from Long Chamber on the 26th of October and on the possibility of a fixed wire in the Wire Rift for use on rescues.  The wire would not be permanently in position.  The meeting recommended that the B.E.C. Committee should provide this tackle if there was enough money.

The poor attendance at this meeting was deplored.

Since this meeting, the recommendations have all been ratified by the Committee of the B.E.C.