Yorkshire (Sleets Gill, Pippikin and Lancaster/Easgill.)


Pyrenean Trip – See notice board in belfry for details.  Sailing 20th July.  Minibus returns 3 weeks later.  Names to Mike Palmer by end of march – stating preference for 2 or 3 weeks.


Beware of Dogma

On Saturday, March 22nd, at 2.30 p.m. - which will probably be a fine day and time for caving, climbing and all the activities for which the B.E.C. was founded - some of us will spend several hours copped up in Priddy Village Hall attending the meeting of the Council of Southern Caving Clubs.

I can almost hear the comments - 'More fool you!  'It's the ruddy cave politicians at it again' - 'Some people would rather talk about caving than actually do it' - and so on.

I don't suppose for a moment that our Hon. Sec. for example, actually wants to be there - and I'm sure that I don't.  It's all far too like the mythical University of Charterhouse for my liking - BUT - unless we DO turn up and see for ourselves what is going on - and do what we can to prevent what must be prevented - the University of Charterhouse may cease to become a Christmastide joke and be actually with us one day in the near future.  Look at all these statements, which have actually been made recently by people whose control over caving is increasing: -

'It does mean control; regimentation; licences etc. if you don't like it, give up caving.'

'Caving will have to become more expensive.'

'It also implies setting up educational and equipment safety standards.'

'We would be greatly helped by having lots of brass in order to employ full-time staff for administrative, publicity, training and scientific work.'

Are you frightened yet? You should be!  Unless, of course you take the attitude that you have nearly finished caving and couldn’t really care less about the future.

This is, if I might say so, a rather selfish attitude and smacks of 'Throw the mess deck overboard, I've had my breakfast, Jack!'

The Southern Council have so far had a good record of opposing some of the more dangerous suggestions that are being made, but we cannot afford always to leave it to somebody else to fight on our behalf.  Why not turn up on Saturday 22nd March and see and hear what goes on?  Who knows?  You might be just the sort of person who will one day be in a position to take over from those who are at present fighting to preserve our Mendip way of life - A way of life which we, perhaps, take too much for granted.

Or couldn't we really care less?


Space Filler

The sentences below contain anagrams of the names of some members of the present committee.  One name is concealed in each sentence or phrase, and each gives a clue to the activities of the member concerned. Answers elsewhere in this B.B.

A.         I draw vein - a mineral vein perhaps.

B.         A line jams on growth, and needs repairing?

C.         C. Cold in ye loo! (and in ye Belfry sometimes)

D.         No liar brew it! - Jean checks that.

E.         I call on files (if I can find them!)

F.         Carry on as I am - or sell 'Which?'


Diccan Pot/Alum Pot Through Trip

Towards the end of last summer, Roger Wing, Keith and Derek Sanderson, who wrote this article spent a week camping in the Yorkshire dales.  One of their trips is described here.

Ever since we had clustered in the narrow passage and peered into the first pitch of Diccan Pot, it had been our ambition to do this trip.  Being familiar with Lower Long Churn, we quickly laddered to the bottom of Alum Pot carefully traversing round a bloated dead cow just above the final 25' pitch, and regained the surface in about an hour.  We then crossed the field over to Diccan Pot.

The entrance to Diccan Pot is similar to all the cave entrances in the Alum Pot area, being formed by a collapse into a horizontal stream passage about eight feet below the surface.  A low, wide entrance soon develops into a square shaped passage formed in light grey smoothly scalloped rock over which the stream swiftly flows.  The passage contains two deep pools - one chest deep. After about a hundred feet one comes to an abrupt halt as the stream plunges sharply over the first pitch of 105 feet.

The pitch looks narrow at first, with the stream seemingly filling the whole cavity.  We quickly belayed 150 feet of rope to a prominent spur of rock about 15 ft back from the lip and prepared ourselves for a single line abseil.  I went over first and dropped 15 feet to a narrow ledge, keeping out of the main flow of water.  Deciding that all was well, I dropped another 20 feet to find myself in the full flow of the water, hanging free from any rock surface.  From here, the descent to the floor of the pitch is entirely free hanging.  There is something awe inspiring in dangling free on a single line some eighty feet above the floor.  All one can see is the fan of water as it pours off one's helmet, and the noise is deafening.  The descent was one of the most exhilarating experiences I have ever had underground.

The base of the pitch is a wide ledge.  Here, some of the stream has become fragmented during its fall, filling the whole area with fine spray - rather like the fragmenting of Fell Beck as it reaches the floor of G.G.  Once on the ledge, I gave two blasts on the whistle to indicate that I had landed safely, and the others descended.  Communication is only possible by whistle due to the noise of the water and the depth of the pot.

From the ledge, a twenty five foot drop to the floor of the chamber was soon passed using the end of the same rope.  Crossing over a boulder strewn floor, we came to the head of a thirty foot rift with wedged boulders across the top.  This is meant to be a climb, but we were probably over cautious and descended on a double line fed through a pulley attached to the end of the previous rope.

Having retrieved the line, we followed the narrow, high rift passage over shallow pools for about seventy feet to the head of a twenty five foot drop.  This we found we could free-climb by chimneying.  At the foot of the drop the rift widens slightly and leads on for about fifty feet over uneven floor to the head of the final pitch of a hundred feet down which the stream cascades.

This pitch is not a smooth exhilarating pitch like the first one.  It is broken by ledges and is not quite vertical.  To descend it is hard work.  It is difficult to know where the pitch starts as it does not drop suddenly. We could not find a suitable belay from which the abseil rope could be retrieved, so we fitted up a crab and sling to a spur of rock on the right.

The descent consists of dropping from ledge to ledge in the full force of the stream, kicking the rope down as you go.  Care should be taken not to allow the water to force you off your feet as it tends to do. On the first pitch one could live with the stream, but on this pitch one has to battle against it.  Twenty feet from the base of the pitch is a wider ledge where one can rest for a while and look out into the final chamber of Alum Pot into which one has just descended.

We experienced some communication trouble here, and it was some time before all three of us were down and the rope retrieved.  It only remained for us to climb out via Lower Long Churn, de-tackling as we went. We reached the surface tired mentally as well as physically.

Although it is not a long cave, Diccan Pot is a formidable place.  The total trip was just over five hours but we were very deliberate and careful at each stage, not knowing quite what to expect next.  We could probably reduce this time by more than an hour on our next visit - and we certainly intend that there shall be a next visit!


Mik’s Peregrinations

January was to be the month when I started the first of a series of nonsense articles or jottings of some of the things observed during my wanderings over (and on occasion, under) the Mendip scene.  However, it was not to be!  I'm sure that it did not pass your notice that the Christmas B.B. was a trifle delayed - due to the non-availability of an up-to-date membership list, and this in turn delayed the January issue and hence this article.  Being a fan of a monthly B.B., I pursued this matter and was told (by a source close to the editor) that we will still get twelve issues this year.

Anyway, having started to talk about January, I'd better briefly mention the social scene - the first being the Setterington welcome to the New Year, followed later in the month by the Collins's ditto.  Meanwhile, one of the other clubs was holding a sort of lynching party for one of their deviant members whose crime was to spend the Christmas enjoying himself (he thinks) with friends from the B.E.C.  I understand they relented in the end and have not revoked his, or any other of the joint members membership.

The Morris Dancing (or climbing) section of the club made a visit to N. Wales which was a great success except that some rotten ------- seems to have stolen the route round the 'shoe' thus causing the party to walk miles further than necessary.  Anyone re-discovering this route please report to the Climbing Secretary.

On the subject of secretaries - amazingly devious mind, this bloke has - someone has sent me a cutting from a local paper which demonstrates the remarkable erudition of our club nowadays, and in particular the Caving Sec.  Mr. Andrew Nichols acting in his capacity as Bath City Corporation Assistant Solicitor (Mr. YY has found two rusty drawing pins in his sausages) "Mr. Nichols said that Mr. YY was not hurt, but it was a very unpleasant experience.  You may well consider he was lucky not to have swallowed them."

A while ago at the Belfry, the S.R.T. enthusiasts were observed measuring and chopping into reasonable lengths a bundle of Super Braidline Nylon rope which they had bulk purchased.  No doubt we shall hear more of the doings and success (or failure) of these enthusiasts at a later date.

There is one of the usual lulls on reports of caving activities at the moment, unless you count all the secret digging being carried out at places like Windsor Hill.  A few snippets just in case 'Wig' misses them: -

Royston Bennett's Chepstow dig seems to have been a success.  It is even got a sump that can only be passed by consultation with a set of tide tables.  Although we don't see too much of Roy on Mendip at the moment I trust he will continue doing these good things to the normal excess.

Cuckoo Cleeves is a small cave you might remember only for its shuttering. However, it's getting larger, thanks to the Wessex, and now boasts a terminal (?) boulder ruckle which might appeal to those masochists who appreciated the stability of Tankard’s Hole.

On Eastern Mendip, the quarrymen continue to aid caving, albeit with less enthusiasm than in the past and only recently one Sunday morning they could be observed escorting cavers across the quarry floor in the direction of Withyhill. It seems access is getting no easier despite the close relationship of Cerberus to the quarry management.  Any cavers should be careful not to offend when visiting this area.

On a lighter note, the Belfry after hours has been getting quite riotous lately, as emphasised by Colin Dooley and John Hookings demonstrating the old Irish wrestling - a vicious pastime not to be taken lightly.  Then there was Butch celebrating both his membership and his birthday with a barrel.  His birthday presents included a personal copy of the Sex Maniac's Diary and a pretty string vest type cover for his 'sock'.  Then there was Steven's adoption as Belfry Boy - a decision I'm sure he will rue when he learns fully the duties that go with the job.

That's all for this month. Maybe next month there will be something interesting - you never know.

Withyhill Cave Survey Notes

Notes on the recently published survey of Withyhill to be read in conjunction with that survey, by Dave Irwin.

Withyhill Cave was discovered by quarrying at Fairy Eave Quarry, near Stoke St. Michael in December 1972 - the sixth system of any size to be explored within the quarry limits.  The cave was explored by members of the Cerberus Speleological Society.  Shortly afterwards, Dr. W.I. Stanton produced a line survey to Grade 3 that indicated that the cave lay parallel with, and at certain points near to, Shatter Cave.  To determine possible sites for digging, Doug Stuckey and the author produced a survey to the obsolete C.R.G. Grade 6D (with tripod mounted instruments).

Instruments. The compass, a liquid-filled ex-W.D. prismatic and the clinometer (Japanese type) were mounted on a table together with two spirit levels, placed at right angles to each other for levelling purposes.  The whole unit - the Surveying Unit - was mounted on an ex-W.D. wooden theodolite tripod with brass fittings.  The tapes used were 30m and 10m fibron tapes.

Method of Surveying. The survey lines were produced by using the familiar 'leap-frog' technique commencing at the far end of the Glistening Pool Series and taken through to the entrance.  The West Limb of the system was surveyed on a later occasion to the same standard except where difficulties were encountered in the First and Second Boulder Chokes, when the standard was reduced to hand held equipment (B.C.R.A.5).  Offsets were marked so that extensions of this line could be made and enabling side passages to be tied on to the main survey line.

Passage detail was measured at all survey stations and at many intermediate points.  Chamber detail was collected by 'raying' from survey stations. The survey work was split between the surveyors as follows: -

Glistening Pool Series to Entrance - D. Irwin & D. Stuckey.  G.P. Junction to second boulder choke - D. Irwin.

Calibration. This proved difficult, as all field hedges were fenced additionally with barbed wire, rendering field junctions useless for calibration purposes.  After preliminary checks, the centreline of a straight portion of road was finally selected.

The calibration point lay along the southernmost section of the Fairy Cave Quarry road to the crossroads at N.G.R. 6521 4725.  It was later shown that this point was not completely free of magnetic influence, as the overall N/S distance from the entrance of the cave to the second boulder choke was in error by a little less than 10 and this error is entirely due to calibration error, as the two points, the radius location point and the same point represented on the survey coincided satisfactorily when the two were superimposed.

Survey Grading. All main survey lines were surveyed to C.R.G. Grade 6D (or B.C.R.A.6D tripod mounted).  Side passages were surveyed to B.C.R.A.5 and in two short passages; the standard was dropped to B.C.R.A.4.  This reduction of surveying standard was due entirely to the presence of stalagmite deposits.

Plotting.  The co-ordinates for each station and passage outline were plotted on to graph paper and then traced on to 'Permatrace'. The small scale at which the survey was drawn (1:400) did not permit the inclusion of floor deposits without cluttering the overall appearance.  Thick deposits of stalagmite are shown in many of the passage sections.

General Data.

Surveyed length = 766m (2,513 feet)

Vertical Range = 20m approx. (65feet 7 inches)

Number of surveying trips - line survey 3 (total 7 hours) details etc. 4 (total 7 hours)

Conclusions. The optimistic relationship of Shatter and Withyhill caves, as concluded by various people, does not exist.  The distance between East Rift in Withyhill and the Five Ways Chamber in Shatter is some 60m (197ft) apart.  The survey has been checked by radio location, an exercise carried out by Prewer et al. (6) in 1973.  Plotting of the radius location point and comparing the co-ordinate change between the entrance and the second boulder choke show the survey to be at variance by about 7m (23ft).  The reason for this has already been given and is wholly attributable to a faulty calibration site.

Acknowledgements. The surveyors would like to thank and acknowledge the help of the following, without whom the survey would not have been possible:-

Hobbs Quarries Ltd.; Cerberus Speleological Society; B. Wilton, for technical advice regarding the presentation of the survey and for photographic reduction, and the many members of the Bristol Exploration Club who held tapes and took notes.


The Lake District (6th – 10th February)

An account by Andy Nichols of a typical club trip.

The response to Barrie Wiltan's Thermawear Fetishists weekend in the Lakes was enthusiastic - and on the evening of Thursday 6th February, Colin and Angela Dooley, Sue and Tony Tucker, Tom and Colleen Gage, Barrie and Brenda Wilton, Chris Batstone, Martin Bishop, Andy Nichols and Mike Palmer travelled north to the ice climbing and snow walking we had been promised (via a pub at Sandbach which had a power cut as we pulled up outside - they must have been warned!)  Instead of falls of snow, we got something better - three days of flawless blue skies and cool, still air.  The best walking weather I'd seen in the Lakes for ten years.

The morning's first task was to visit Coniston to sound out the pubs.  Reassured, we set out for the hills. Colin, Angie and I scaled the Old Man of Coniston and completed the semicircle of crags to the north and east. The others, with a later start, had-time to trundle up and down the Old Man before dusk.

Later that evening, Bob Cross arrived after throwing the last of the days old ladies out into the cold streets of Bradford.  The driver succeeded in getting the lorry off the mountain and we all went to the pub. Mike must have exceeded the bounds of prudence with the Hartley's prize-winning Ales, because we woke blearily on Saturday morning to find him lurching around in his pyjamas and trying to retch up a mouthful of feathers left by the Night Parrot.

Saturday's attack was on Helvellyn, from Patterdale.  A dozen of us made our way up on to Striding Edge and to the top at varying paces and in small groups.  The D team pace is particularly difficult and those unused to the slow transfer of weight from one foot to the next, frequently overbalance.  The descent was along the plateau like summit to Dollywaggon Pike, down to the sombre Grisedale Tarn and along the valley towards Patterdale, a total of some ten miles.  Barrie and a group of ice men preferred the shorter, steep gully descent from the Pike as one variation; as another, the caving secretary went berserk at the tarn and insisted on storming up another two peaks before returning to the van - to the amazement of himself and the whole population of the Goddam Isles.

Saturday evening was another uproarious one at the pub.  At Barrie's request we tried to stay awake to catch the ghostly Irishman with the Night Parrot on his shoulder but failed.  The dormitory woke on Sunday morning to moans of "Like an Afghanistani crab-catcher’s bait-bucket!"  In the morning we were briefly joined by Jock and Judy before journeying to the New Dungeon Ghyll to dispose of Langdale valley.  The teams arranged themselves.  Mike, Colin and I climbed Pike o' Blisco, then on over Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell, down over Rosset Pike to the end of the valley, returning by Rosset Gill and the valley bottom.  We had intended to do the Langdale Pikes on the other side as well, but needed another ninety minutes daylight.  The 'E' team - whose members are nameless - did nothing, despite being joined by Barrie, who had aggravated an earlier ankle injury.  Anyway, that was what we decided it was, though a stranger in a passing Rolls tipped a jumble of gleaming bones out of a green felt bag marked 'For medical use only' and tried to persuade us it was malaria.

The rest of the party; Brenda, Angie, Tom and Colleen and Tony and Sue made their way with Bob Cross to climb Bow Fell by the little-known Fiasco Traverse.  At about the time that the 'A' team was trotting across the summit, Bob decided that his route was dangerously icy and there was no way up, so a perplexed group was lifelined back down a gully.  The other half of the group caused an uproar by bursting into laughter and the situation was only resolved when a boatswain stepped out of a nearby recitation, blow his whistle and sent them all back to the van, deciding he could do more than a little better himself.

And so to the pub for the last evening, where the colour T.V. in the bar was showing a programme so lavishly cultural that there were roars of approval from the B.E.C. members in the cheaper seats and the caving secretary in his determination not to miss anything, missed two rounds without noticing.

On Monday the meet wound down.  As a complete contrast, thin mist blotted out all the hills and sent us to the pub for a final session before the driver got the lorry off the mountain for the last time and we began the long drive back to Bristol - but with three magnificent days walking to look back on.


A Yorkshire Trip

This article, on the recent Yorkshire trip at least goes to show that club trips DO come off and that caving DOES get done!

As a result of the short notice of the trip, only four B.E.C. members arrived in Yorkshire.  John Dukes, Bucket, Graham Wilton-Jones and myself were joined by Fred Weekes (Ashford Speleological Society) and Ted Popham (A Cerberus exile in Nottingham).

Graham awoke at eight o’clock and started to dress.  John and I remained inert until a sickening thud announced that Ted had forgotten that he had been sleeping under an oak beam.  The resulting laughter revealed that John and I were awake, so we dressed to humour Graham.

During breakfast, Bucket arrived with Fred.  Despite a lecture on the wonderful weather and the subtle charm of Yorkshire beer, Bucket still wanted to go down Rowden Pot.  We had hoped to abseil the 240 eyehole entrance so that Bucket could learn the art.  Unfortunately we had insufficient rope and so had to make the alternative descent, Bucket and Fred arranged a line down the seventy foot slide at one end of the shakehole, and we descended by a variety of abseil and free fall methods. After this we threaded ourselves through the bedding plane that leads back to the eyehole, eighty five feet down.

Here, we rigged a further hundred and ten foot drop to a ledge.  Again, we did not have a long enough rope to bottom in one abseil. John abseiled down Bucket's sixteen year old rope, to find that the ledge was way off to the right.  After some fearful acrobatics, he arrived at the ledge and we joined him.  Soon we had the wet pitch rigged and we all descended the fifty feet to the bottom of the eyehole.  Even now, some misty daylight filtered down with the ice-cold water from the moor above.

The main route then leaves the stream for a few minutes and follows a dry by-pass, rejoining the stream at a twenty five foot pitch down to a pool.  John and I distinguished ourselves by tripping over the ladder and falling face down in the pool.  After another pitch we got to the sump pool which separates Rowdon from West Kingsdale Master Cave.

Bucket, Fred and Ted were determined to free-dive the sump.  John and Graham preferred not to, and I remained undecided.  However, the relative warmth of the pool after the stream persuaded me to go, through.  The sumps are fitted with a good line and are quite roomy.  On arrival in Kingsdale, we floundered through until the approach passage to Deep Rising was found.  We grovelled off down as far as a sump - not the boiling cauldron that I imagined from the name Deep Rising - but a sombre, glooping pool with a diving line as thick as a bootlace and as stretchy as knicker elastic.

We returned to the sump area and then joined the stream that leads towards Valley Entrance at the master cave junction.  We followed the stream to its sump, and then Bucket and Fred climbed the nineteen foot pitch to rig a ladder for Fred and myself.  Last time I saw someone try his hand at this climb, he sawed his lifeline in half, but Fred and Bucket performed better and soon afterwards we slithered out of the Oil Drum entrance into a sunny afternoon.

Bucket suggested a Swinsto/West Kingsdale through trip, but fortunately Graham and John were still pushing their way out of Rowden Pot.  Before Bucket's scheme could be put to the vote, I changed and suggested a walk back to the peat cutters track to collect John and Graham.

On our arrival back at the eyehole, the air was rent with Graham's swearing.  He was not prussiking very well on my cloggers.  I'd lent them to Graham for the return trip, as I wanted to pass the sumps without hindrance.

Eventually Graham, John and a heap of tackle arrived at the ledge.  We lowered them a rope and hauled the tackle to the surface to save the drag through the bedding plane.  Graham and John soon surfaced and Graham immediately demanded my cheque book to buy some Jumars in Settle as cloggers cramped his style!  After a fine morning as guests of Fred, Ted left to attempt Black Shiver Pot and we were joined by another A.S.S. member, Brian.  Fred was keen to do the link from Dow Cave to Providence Pot.  His main reason being to practice route finding. I make no excuse for omitting details of the trip - Northern Caves is far more precise in its description.

The trip, as I remember it, is one long traverse, besides which the traverse of O.F.D. III pales. Wearing a pair of joke boots didn't help and in several places I needed a rope.  At one point we even rigged a Tyrolean Traverse.

Providence Pot is much easier to find now that there is a telephone wire to trace, although this is doubtless a shocking breach of ethics.  Providence Pot is aptly described as the bowels of the earth! Nevertheless, we survived and will doubtless recall the trip with tender memories as time gradually obscures the boredom and terror.

A good weekend.  Let's hope there will be more like it.


Round and About

A Monthly Miscellany

Compiled by 'Wig'

154.      Survey Gradings.  In December 1972, the Surveying Sub Committee set up by the C.R.G. before its amalgamation with the B.S.A. reported its findings in C.R.G. News Letter Number 132.  It said that the majority of cave surveyors were 'of the opinion that because the existing system worked very well and was widely recognised it would be preferable for any amendments to be minor rather than radical changes.  This would have the advantage that the new and modified schemes were at least reasonably compatible.'

The sub-committee (Dave Brook, Bryan Ellis, Trevor Ford, Dave Judson and Gordon Warwick) sounded out surveyors for their comments and views.  The fundamental decision reached was that no longer would grades be based on instruments used but on the required precision for lower grades and accuracy for the higher grades.  The numbering of the grades is unaltered except that there no longer exists a grade 7 but a grade X for any survey not based on magnetic instruments.  The grade X can be of any related accuracy and no longer has to be better than grade 6. The terms 'accuracy' and 'precision' have been defined.  Accuracy is the nearness of the result to the true value and precision is the nearness of a number of readings to each other irrespective of their accuracy.  The new grades are as follows:-

1.                    A sketch of low accuracy where no measurements have been made.

2.                    A sketch intermediate in accuracy between grades 1 and 3.

3.                    A rough magnetic survey.  Horizontal and vertical angles to nearest 50, distances to within 1m.  Station position error less than 1m.

4.                    A survey lying between grades 3 and 5.

5.                    A magnetic survey.  Horizontal and vertical angles accurate to 1O.  Distances accurate to 20cm and station position error less than 20cm. Instruments must be calibrated.

6.                    A more accurate magnetic survey than grade 5.  Compass and clinometer readings up to the present best standard of accuracy of ½O. Distances and station positions to 5cm.

X.                    A survey based primarily on a theodolite.  All grade X surveys must quote an estimate of their accuracy and details of the methods and instruments used.

Why, oh why must we have our national 'specialists' bury their heads in the sand against all reasoned argument?  However, it does seem that the sand was a little loose around their ears as they have now introduced preferred grades and if one looks a little closely at them, one will see that the Mendip surveyor’s arguments have been filtering through.  In the late 1960's, after considerable thought, the Mendip surveyors came to the conclusion that there were only TWO basic groups of survey.  One was a LOW accuracy survey which for want of a better word they called a MAP and a high accuracy survey which they agreed should be actually called a SURVEY.  Even these definitions are unnecessary as the only message that need be put across is that any survey is better than none at all and when you've done it, white a short note on how you did it.  By the way, is your 1” O.S. survey (or map) a map (or survey)?  Is the 25” O.S. a surveyor map?  Pity the sub-committee couldn't see it!

155.      Watch your car.  Car thieves are about on Mendip again.  Recently a visitor to the Mineries Pool had his car broken into and over £120's worth of property stolen.  No longer are the thieves sliding wire through the quarter lights - they are simply smashing them.

156.      No speed limit through Priddy.  The local authorities have turned down a request for a 30 m.p.h. limit through the village.

157.      New Books.  The third hook in the Series ' Northern Caves' (Volume 4) Whernside and Gragareth has made its appearance.  Price £1.20.  At the same price Trevor Ford's 'Caves of Derbyshire' (3rd Edition) makes its appearance.  In the same format as the Northern Caves series, it now includes line surveys of the larger caves in the area.  Small stocks are at the Belfry.  The second in the Series 'Limestone and Caves, published by David and Charles, dealing with Mendip makes its appearance now, after three publishing dates, on April 3rd 1975.  Price £7.50. Tony Oldham's latest offering is a giant bibliography entitled 'Caves of Scotland (Except Assynt)'.  Though there are several caves within the country longer than a thousand feet, the majority are merely short caves and rock shelters. Martin Mills has contributed the section dealing with the Isle of Skye. 174pp, maps, surveys, price £3.00. The dedication is to John Hooper.  ADO states that 'Caves of Devon' is now out of print.

158.      Digging.  The N.H.A.S.A. Windsor Hill dig is continuing on Wednesdays.  The B.E.C. dig has ground to a halt for the next few months. Flower Pot is being reopened and dug in the side passage near the entrance.

159.      Cave Notes.  The next edition will make its appearance later in the year and will include more interesting articles on original work carried out by club members.  Among the items to be considered is John Hunt’s SRT, Graham Wilton-Jones and Bucket Tilbury's 'OFD' and other bits and pieces.

160.      Library Books.  Have you any library books?  If so, will you please return them as soon as possible so that a half-yearly check can be made.

161.      C.S.C.C. Hon. Secretary.  In May this year, Tim Reynolds is resigning as Hon, 'Secretary of the C.S.C.C.  He is looking round for possible contenders for the post.  If you feel that you ought to enter the filed of National caving politics, then chat Tim up as I feel sure he will be interested.

162.      Britain's Longest caves: (including Eire). O.F.D. 23.9 miles (38,500m); Easegill 18.95 miles (30,500m); Aggy 15.41 miles (24,800m); Pollnagollum 7.33 miles (11,800m); Gaping Gill 7.02 miles (11,300m); D.Y.O. 6.96 miles (11,200m); Doolin 6.52 miles (10,500m); Langcliffe 6.03 miles (9,700m); Mossdale 6.03 miles (9,700m); L.N.R.C. 5.09 miles (8,200m); W. Kingsdale 4.72 miles (7,600m); Peak 4.66 miles (7 ,500m).

Answers to Space Filler on page 12

A.         Dave Irwin

B.         Graham Wilton-Jones

C.         Colin Dooley

D.         Barrie Wilton

E.         Alfie Clloins

F.         Chris Howell


Monthly Crossword – Number 54



















































































1. Fifty one cats provided caving safety aids. (9)
5. It’s home can be found in Lamb Leer and Cuthbert’s. (3)
6. Cavers from Harrow or naturally cave diggers. (5)
8. The Bishop has a stone one in Wells. (3)
9. The best. (1,1,1)
10. See 13 across.
11. You can see one from Dear Leap for instance. (3)
12. Kept this in goon suit? (5)
13. Describes well known grotto (3)
15. Caver lies this rocks when in 9 down underground. (2,7)


1. Throw stone casually down unknown pitch perhaps. (3)
2. Inexpensive rockwork without I across. (4,5)
3. Local stone type. (4)
4. Only pen or specific 1 across. (9)
7. Mendip hole found in subs owing. (3).
9. See 15 across. (3)
11. Shortened Mendip Templar? (4)
14. One of these is locally named after a short “M” pulley. (3)

Solution to Last Month’s Crossword



















































































Club Headquarters

The Belfry, Wells Rd, Priddy, Wells, Somerset. Telephone WELLS 72126

Club Committee

Chairman          S.J. Collins

Minutes Sec      G. Wilton-Jones

Members           C. Dooley, J. Dukes, C. Howell, D. Irwin, T. Large, A. Nicholls, G. Oaten, B. Wilton.

Officers Of The Club

Honorary Secretary             D.J IRWIN, Townsend Cottage, Townsend, Priddy, Wells Som.  Tel : PRIDDY 369

Honorary Treasurer             B. WILTON, ‘Valley View’, Venus Lane, Clutton, Nr. Bristol.

Caving Secretary                A. NICHOLLS, c/o The Belfry

Assist Cav. Sec.                 T. LARGE, 15 Kippax Avenue, Wells, Somerset

Climbing Secretary             G. OATEN, 32 St. Marks Road, Easton, Bristol. Tele : BRISTOL 551163

Hut Warden                        C. DOOLEY, 51 Ommaston Road., Harbourne, Birmingham 17. Tele :  (021)  427 6122

Belfry Engineer                   J. DUKES, 4 Springfield Crescent, Southampton. SO1 6LE  Tele : (0703) 774649

Tacklemaster                     G. WILTON-JONES, ‘Ilenea’, Stonefield Road. Nap Hill, High Wycombe, Bucks. Tele : (024) 024 3534

B.B. Editor                         S.J. COLLINS, Lavender Cottage, Bishops Sutton, Nr. Bristol. Tel : CHEW MAGNA 2915

Publications Editor              C. HOWELL, 131 Sandon Road, Edgebaston, Birmingham 17.  Tele : (021) 429 5549

B.B. Postal                        BRENDA WILTON  Address as for Barry

Spares                               T. LARGE,  Address already given