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Where Now?

We make no apology for reproducing in this B.B. the article written by the current secretary of the Council of Southern Caving Clubs - Tim Reynolds.

As stated in the last issue of the B.B., it is becoming highly necessary for the average caver to know (and preferably to see for himself) just what is going on amongst the 'politicians' of caving.  Tim, as the spokesman of the Southern Council, has already fought various battles to help preserve our present way of life as Mendip cavers and is thus in an excellent position to appreciate the situation.  Readers are strongly advised to read his message carefully.


Not even the B.E.C. is proof against the prevailing rate of inflation.  Reluctantly, the committee has had to increase Belfry charges - which had remained static for eight years in the face of rising costs.  With postal rates going up and the price of paper etc. rising more rapidly than the general rate of inflation, a recommendation will have to be made by the committee to the next A.G.M. about subs.  Needless to say, the committee are looking into every possible way of keeping prices down and giving the members the best value for money, and if YOU have any suggestions as to how this can be done, any member of the committee will be glad to hear of it.

Belfry Alterations

The Belfry Engineer and his advisers have come up with a simple and low cost plan to improve the facilities at the Belfry.  They are, we feel, to be congratulated both on the speed at which they have gone to work and also on their realistic and practical approach.  We hope that the work can soon be started and wish them success.


The N.C.A. Where Now?

An appraisal of the present state of the N.C.A. together with some thoughts on its future role

by Tim Reynolds.

At the recent N.C.A. Annual Meeting held in Wells the chairman in his address put forward the view that the N.C.A. would soon have to give serious consideration to employing some form of paid staff.  This suggestion has come only a short time after the N.C.A. was set up as a national body for caving in November 1969.  In view of the wide implications of this suggestion and the fact that it comes at a time when the full effects of the existence of the N.C.A. are only just being appreciated by club cavers, it would appear to be a good time to pause for thought before cavers suddenly find themselves with an organisation of a type which they do not want.  During its brief career as a national body the N.C.A. has already moved through two stages of organisation and now appears to be about to move into a third.  These stages are as follows:-

STAGE 1 – as a loose collection of autonomous organisations to (a) speak with one voice on caving matters and (b) act as a body so that a grant could be obtained from the Sports Council.

STAGE 2 – as a body to deal with all of the stage 1 functions and, in addition, to (a) look into problems raised by constituent bodies and (b) deal with day-to-day contact with the Sports Council and other outside organisations.

STAGE 3 – as a body to deal with all the stage 2 functions and in addition to set standards and procedures for caving in its various forms.

The N.C.A. developed rapidly from stage 1 to stage 2 and now the combination of remarks in the Chairman’s address and the formation of the Equipment Special Committee indicate that it could be moving into the stage 3 category.  In view of the considerably increased work load that an organisation of this type would produce the chairman's remarks about fully paid staff make a lot of sense.  But before this step is taken, the caving community as a whole should consider whether they want to take this step.

At this point it is perhaps useful to pause and to consider the financial aspects involved.  In the past this has been difficult because the Sports Council appear to have been uncertain as to amount of grant they could give to the N.G.A.  This now seems to have been resolved, but the problems that have arisen with the grant from the Sports Council must raise questions as to the advisability of the N.C.A. making long term financial plans when the basis of that finance is subject to instant and unpredictable changes.  The present system is that the Sports Council will provide grant aid to the extent of 75% of administrative, access and training expenditure and 50% of equipment expenditure.  This means that each constituent body has to find from its own resources the following expenditure: (1) 25% of the administrative costs of the N.C.A. executive and special committees plus all non grantable costs (e.g. travelling) and (2) 25% of its own grantable costs plus its own non-grantable costs.  The constituent bodies share of the N.C.A.'s costs is financed by the subscriptions paid by those bodies to the N.C.A. which, for 1974/5 are £35 for each regional council.  In simple cash terms this means that in order to benefit in 1974/5 each regional council must incur £46 of grantable expenditure - up to that point its subscription to the N.C.A. will exceed its grant in previous years, the costs of regional councils have been above this level but it could be argued that these costs are (a) the administration necessary to run the regional councils which would not be required if there were no N.C.A. and (b) only incurred because the grant is available to meet 75% of them.  This however is something which can only be assessed by individual councils.  But - it is worth remembering that the employment of any fully paid staff by the N.C.A. would considerably increase the subscriptions paid by the constituent bodies to the N.C.A.

Now to the organisation of the N.C.A.  At present it has the following constituents.  An annual meeting of the constituent bodies; an executive committee and various special committees.  In view of the rapid increase in workload and the structure of the N.C.A. since 1969, a lot of thought needs to be given to the interaction and mode of operation of these constituents to ensure that the N.C.A. can (a) come to a decision whether to move to stage 3 and (b) if it does decide to do so, decide how it is to be done. Attached is an organisation chart which is an attempt to show the present inter-relation between the various constituents.  As can be seen, the source of power lies with the constituent bodies, but the centre of activity and information lies with the executive committee.  It is to the structure and method of operation of this committee that attention should be directed.  Originally the committee was set up to carry out the wishes of the annual meeting and so the members were elected for their ability to get jobs done, not to represent anyone.  However, events proved that this was not practical since outside organisations and events often required the executive committee to act on sometimes quickly and so the executive committee had to act on its own since the process of calling an annual meeting to obtain instructions was too cumbersome.  Once this development had taken place it them became necessary for the executive committee to include some form of regional representation and this was provided at the last N.C.A. annual meeting.  If this trend is taken to its logical conclusion then the executive committee should consist of the following: - (a) The N.C.A. officers - chairman, secretary and treasurer (b) representatives from the four regions and the combined scientific bodies and (c) perhaps, one or two ordinary members to do some of the donkey work.

It also soon became apparent that there are certain items of N.C.A. business which cannot be dealt with practically by the executive committee.  This is because these items generate a considerable amount of specialist business and so to discuss this at executive committee meetings would make those meetings very long.  In addition it would be difficult to have an executive committee which was made up of people with sufficient expertise to discuss all these items.  The practical solution was for the executive committee to delegate discussion of these areas to special committees specifically formed to investigate them and to report back to the executive committee.  This was recognised by the creation of special committees and to date there are three of them dealing with the following areas: - Conservation; Novice Training, and Equipment.  However, any special committee must remember that it is only an adjunct of the executive committee and so must always operate under the supervision of the executive committee by reporting back and obeying the instructions of that body. In this context, the post of Conservation Officer on the executive committee is now somewhat out of place since it is a hangover from the original idea of the executive committee when the N. C.A. was in stage 1.  Convenors of special committees should only attend executive committee meetings in an ex-officio capacity to present the report of their special committee. In this type of organisation the job of the executive committee is (1) to deal with the non-specialist N.C.A. business and (2) to oversee the activities of the special committees.  In carrying out its job its most important function is to ensure that its own activities or the activities of the special committees for which it is responsible do not run counter to the wishes of any of the constituent bodies of the N.C.A.  This can only be effectively achieved if the executive committee has unanimous voting and accepts that it may have to delay decisions because it is necessary to refer some matters back to the constituent bodies. This might appear to be a time consuming and tedious way of doing business, but the actions of any national organisation can have very wide spread effects.  The failure to fully consider these effects and to amend actions so that the wishes of a constituent body are not over-ridden could result in the N.C.A. being torn apart by internal disagreements.

It may seem that organisation charts and talk of power is irrelevant to caving.  But, unless the N.C.A. faces up to these issues and its structure becomes organised to take practical realities into account, there is a danger that the N.C.A. will spend the whole of its life in internal and wasteful strife.  The solution is for the executive committee to appreciate its position and realise that any action that is taken may have effects of a major nature on one or other sections of caving.  Failure to appreciate this and organise the N.C.A. accordingly so that the wishes of the constituent bodies are taken into account would be disastrous.  Finally, members of the executive committee must appreciate that they are responsible to the constituent bodies as a whole, because if this is not appreciated there is a danger that the procedures and decisions of the N.C.A. will become divorced from the reality of everyday caving and so reduce the whole of the N.C.A. to an expensive and time-wasting sham.



Caerfai Southwest Face 1974

Tony Sharp writes 'I submit the enclosed, about which Mr. Oaten assures us we are all longing to hear, with the utmost trepidation.  It is to be part of a book - the same title to be published this year and thanks are due to the publishers for this extract.

Morning, Again.

Sensations associated with waking up have become familiar.  Bucket mouthed eyes bloodshot and raw, waves of nausea.  Outside the tent, miraculously still erect, the sounds of coughing, choking, haemorrhaging and painful expectoration are more than vaguely audible.  In all, the unmistakeable symptoms of a party ravaged by the effects of altitude.

After lying awake for long enough, ones inertia is overcome by the impossibility of further sleep; the smell of the sleeping bag and its immediate environs, coupled with the sounds from outside make a painful emergence the only solution.

I crawled out to the accompaniment of an unexpectedly healthy gob from Pete, his stubbled face radiant with enthusiasm.  On this, the morning of what was to be our first summit attempt, the excitement of a traditional B.E.C.  Alpine start was still able to overcome the effects of accumulated weariness. Although we had had ample time to relax during the previous two days, a number of factors among them our somewhat repetitive trot had assured a certain degree of physical deterioration, dizziness, wild hallucination and even enthusiasm in some individuals.  Although the weather seemed favourable (vague suggestions of cloud in the direction of Haverfordwest did not indicate any impending danger from the monsoon) it was -obvious that time was not on our side.

A certain lethargy seemed to impede our movements as we prepared to move off.  Finally geared up, we set out to follow the top of a curving line of cliffs, leading to a steep gully which took us down to the base of the final wall, rearing up to the vertical, steep and white above us.  A vertical crack appeared to indicate a possible break in the cliff’s defences; without mentioning names or dwelling unduly on individual feats of heroism, I should only record that this intimidating obstacle was overcome without undue difficulty, and a final heave deposited us in turn upon the summit plateau - surprisingly large in area - where we were able to recover and gaze in awe to the North and the towering face of Coeran, and secrets yet un-probed.

No champagne, no photographs; really, very little more than a great sense of anticlimax, sharpened by the advisability of a hasty retreat.

Final success in feats of this magnitude inevitably raises basic, fundamental questions, some general, and some specific to the expedition undertaken.  Should we have taken sherpas?  Scott, of course, did not take dogs.  (Should we have taken sheep?)  It should be pointed out that Caerfai may hold summits which will not be attained without sherpas, as Pembroke is developed their use may become widespread. Our determination that this should be a 'sporting' ascent also meant that we climbed without oxygen; without two-way radios; subsidised cans of Tyne Brand pie filling; Olympus earners or Jumars.  Indeed, it is our proud claim that almost all the accoutrements of modern Himalayan climbing were absent from this ascent.  There is, apparently, still scope for the ill-equipped sporting amateur.

Editor's Note.     And there is still scope for the well written leg-pull that lets you down so gently and with no little skill.  Thanks very much, Tony.



As a further antidote to the rather heavy going of caving politics, we publish on the next page one of the rare excursions into verse that occur, perhaps, too seldom nowadays. It comes from that well-known all-rounder, 'Kangy' King and makes a plea for a more colourful Mendip of the sort that existed once and could, perhaps, exist again?

While seated there, upon the bog
Engaging in the usual slog
Of thought and of philosophy,
How very sad it seemed to me
That caving has become so tough
That we don't seem to get enough
Of bods (that word, I fear's no more!)
Who'd cave - then, on the Hunters' floor
Would lie, or even better, stand
And, pint of bitter in their hand,
Declaim in no uncertain fashion
A verse or two with fervent passion.
To each his speciality
Acclaimed aloud by you and me.
Our Alfie was a favourite one
Whose spelaeodes were certain fun:
And Ian Dear, his insides wet,
Would take us through the alphabet.
A Cornishman - young Kenneth Dawe
With beery eye, a vision saw
Of shipwreck on a golden strand
And boatswine - paddle in his hand.
While Norman Petty, quite sedate,
Would drink his beer at steady rate
And then, outside about a firkin
Would sing us 'Pretty Polly Perkin'
And all around, a faithful crowd
Of cavers would give out aloud
The litany of caving things
Which now no Mendip caver sings.
Well - some have not yet given up
And one or two of us will sup
And sing and chant and cave and climb
We haven't stopped: there isn't time!
And, as for songs, it's time we grew
And taught ourselves some ballads new.
The singing in the Pen-y-Gwryd
Last weekend was clear and fluid.
Let us that a model take
And mighty Mendip music make!


The Tacklemaster wishes to appeal to all members to return tackle PROPERLY to the Tackle Store after use. This means washing it; stacking it away properly and signing it back in (after, of course, having signed it OUT when it was taken in the first place.)  The club are spending a large sum of money this year to get the club tackle up to strength and good condition.  This money - YOUR money will be largely wasted if the tackle is not looked after properly.

Belfry Charges

The Committee wish to announce that, owing to the rate of inflation and a forecast by the Treasurer that we should soon be 'in the red' at the old rates, Belfry charges have accordingly had to be raised as follows:-

Members - 25p per night. Guests - 35p per night.   Day Fees - 15p. Camping - 20p.


Round and About

A Monthly Miscellany

Compiled by 'Wig'

163.           Political Caving: Moves being discussed in the Regions and at national level indicate that the bureaucratic master minds are attempting to ham­string caving as we know it.  To keep members up to date, a précis of the various minutes received by the Hon. Sec. will be included in the next B.B. together with guidelines to be followed by your committee.

164.            Hobbs Quarries: Quarrymen are now working round the clock at Fairy Cave Quarry, thus making entry to the caves difficult.  It is suspected by various people that the Southern Face will be blasted back to the quarry boundary.  If this happens, W.L. Extension will be all but destroyed; Shatter First and Second Chambers will be badly shaken if not destroyed and Withyhill will be shorn of its decorations as far as Curtain Chambers.

165.           B.C.R.A. Conference, 1975: Manchester, 13-14 September venue,  Renold Building of University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.  Details later.

166.           B.C.R.A. Bulletin No 7: Latest French discoveries, chalk caves near Paris, extensions in Gravel Pot (Yorkshire), Caves of the Appian Alps ( Italy) Ghar Pavan Foundation (details) and accident at Gaping Ghyll (Report).

167.           Jonah is 70 years old!: An entry in a caving log for 1955, dated 30th August and written in Bryan Ellis's handwriting states, "On Feb.10th, 1975, 'Jonah' will be seventy years of age.  Meet at the Hunters.  Free beer all round."  Well, although we didn't see Jonah at the Hunters for our beer - in fact we'd be buying HIM pints - we'd like to offer our congratulations and hope to see him down on Mendip soon.  Incidentally, is Jonah the oldest member of the B.E.C.?

168.           New Surveys available at the Belfry: Surveys of FLOWER POT and LUDWELL CAVE are now available, price 10p each.  Both are printed by the offset process.  During April, surveys of SIDCOT and of WITHYHILL will also be available at about the same prices.

169.           B.C.R.A. Transactions: Volume No 4, December 1974 includes Single Rope Technique Caving; Lead/acid cap lamps; Resistivity over caves and a History of Yorkshire Karst Studies.  Also included is an index to volume 1.

170.           Subscription Rate:  Club subscriptions have been held steady since 1972 and Belfry fees since 1967. Belfry charges have had to be increased recently to cover increases in rates, insurance, electricity etc.  The costs of club administration are also rising, and with increased postal charges, a rise in the annual sub, seems inevitable.  Don't be surprised if next years sub is £3.  The committee are looking into the subject at the moment.

171.           Otter Hole:  In addition to Roy Bennett's article in the B.B. for December 1974 little is being reported in this column, interesting though the site is.  Just wait a while and buy your copy of Cave Notes later in the year!

172.           Swildons in Stereo!:  A fascinating half hour was recently spent by a few members viewing a stereoscopic drawing of Swildons Hole drawn by Mike Cowlinshaw.  Peering through the familiar red and green glasses, the illusion was remarkably realistic and it was illuminating to see the rise and fall of various parts of the system that, unfortunately, the extended elevation of the Stanton survey cannot show.  A real case, surely, for a projected elevation on the next issue of the survey.

173.           An Important Addition to the Library:  We are already blessed with a reasonable collection of C.D.G. records of the 1944 to 1950 vintage, but Tony Johnson's recent gift makes it even more impressive.  A large collection of newspaper cuttings, mainly of the Marriott death and explorations in Peak Cavern.  There is also ample coverage of the archaeological remains found in the Witch's Kitchen at Wookey Hole.  Also included in the file is a collection of press photographs (originals) of the Wookey archaeological exercise and the swimming pool training dives for Operation Vernon (the attack on sump 2 in Swildons.)  For older members, here are superb photographs of the young Hasell, Coase, Lucy, Setterington, Pain etc.  Copies of the photographs will be made and hung in the Belfry.  This file will be available to members for inspection only and our thanks are due to Tony for a very fine gift.  Any members having similar material are asked to consider giving it to the club library.


Travels in Africa

This article, by Colin Priddle, is perhaps appropriate to follow the notice about trips abroad on the last page.

Africa extends well over 2,000 miles either side of the equator, hence there is a vast area involving a great range of climate and geography that can be travelled. I can only write about the relatively small area in which we travelled and this area is probably the most often visited consisting of the countries of Kenya; Uganda; Tanzania; Malawi; Zambia and Rhodesia.

After enjoying six weeks in Greece, we hoped we would be partially adjusted to the climate we expected to find in Nairobi, less than a hundred miles from the equator.  As the plane was approaching Nairobi, the pilot reported that the temperature there was 13OC.  We immediately thought he had made a language mistake and really meant 30OC, but no! 13OC it was (55OF) and to us it was cold.  After the cold, the second thing to strike us was that everyone was black. After living in a white country all your life, then being suddenly confronted by black customs, medical, immigration and bank officers, it takes one by surprise.  The first thing to do in a strange place is always to find somewhere to sleep.  In Nairobi the large hotels are (as everywhere) too expensive for the average B.E.C. member.  The local hotels are the right price but pretty seedy.  The Youth Hostel, even though it was reputedly in the roughest area of East Africa, was very cheap and pretty clean.  What's more, there is a compound guard day and night and mixed sleeping is allowed.

Nairobi is a town of contrasts.  The centre is modern with tourist shops; banks; airline offices etc.  Life is slow. The layout of roads and signs are very English.  Traffic moves sedately, nobody bothers with car hooters and roads are easy to cross. One side of the town has beautiful parks with exotic flowers and trees.  The other side leads to packed streets with shoeshine boys and maize sellers. Shops are dark, with their wares (from spices to cloth) spreading out into the pavements.  Then comes the shanty town with corrugated iron huts, smoking braziers, roadside markets and roadside hairdressers.  The Youth Hostel was just between this area and the better African suburbs, being prefab type houses packed together.  The Youth Hostel is about twenty minutes walk or a 2p bus ride from the centre - in fact, you could walk anywhere in Nairobi quite easily - well, fairly easily.  The only thing against walking is the vast number of people also walking.

The Youth Hostel appeared to be for Europeans only and we found it a most useful place to pick up tips about travelling in the various countries and to get a good idea about where to stay.  One place not visited seemed to be Uganda, owing to the political and economic situation so, after a few days in Nairobi, we headed for the home of Sybil which happens to be in Uganda and about three hundred miles from Nairobi.

Tourists may only enter Uganda safely via the air port or the main road or rail link from Nairobi. We took the rail link - a twenty four hour trip, to be met at Iganga by Sybil.  We stayed a week, in which time we sampled African fare; visited African villages, visited Kampala, Jinja,  The Owen Falls dam and the source of the Nile, Lake Victoria, a leprosarium, a steelworks, a cotton factory and finally a concert by youngsters from a neighbouring school.  The concert was given especially for us and consisted of local singing, dancing and the playing of musical instruments.  Thanks to Sybil, we had a very memorable stay in Uganda and one of my memories will be of sitting in her garden among tropical plants and flowers watching the many colourful birds and butterflies.  During the time we were there, two monitor lizards three feet long and a troupe of monkeys also visited the garden.

We left the luxuriant beauty and heat of Uganda to head over the equator back to Nairobi and down to the Indian Ocean at Mombassa - a 15th century post. Beaches are super there - white sand, palm fringed with warm water reefs.  There are several cheap (£1.50 a night) hotels in Mombassa, but they are pretty rough.  We hitched to Morogoro in Tanzania - about a hundred miles inland from Dar-es-Salaam, and then we travelled by local bus to Mbeya and crossed the Tanzanian - Zambian border at Tundurna from whence we caught a bus to a village near the Zambian - Malawi border and we then had to walk about three miles through the bush to Chitipa on the Malawi border, and from there, buses took us after four days to Blantyre where we were able to wash; have a decent meal and get a plane to take us over Mozambique to our country of destination, Rhodesia.  It was a relief to be met by scenes of cleanliness, prosperity and white men.

There are several tips that we learned from our month or so of travelling in Africa, so I will pass them on under the following headings:-

Food: In Nairobi, Mombasa, Dar-es-Salaam it's plentiful.  Meat is cheap.  Six course meals in hotels cost under £1.  All other places cater only for the African and bread is not readily available. Peanuts, bananas, tomatoes, coco-nuts and ground maize is available (and cheap).  Ground maize is prepared by adding it to boiling water until a very thick paste is obtained.  It fills you up.

Water: In the above mentioned places, it is supposed to be O.K., but as a lot of the water is not too good, we used water purifying tablets all the time.

Health: Smallpox jabs are compulsory.  Typhoid and Cholera jabs are advised, as outbreaks are common. Anti-malarial pills are definitely required - only the higher areas being free.  Chloraquin or Deltaprin are the tablets - not Paludrine which our doctor in England prescribed.  (A senior Rhodesian malaria researcher told us this).  Although we did not need them, Lomitol ant-diarrhoea tablets, obtainable in England, were described to us by several people as 'wonderful'.  One tablet is sufficient to keep you out of African toilets which are usually foul.

Money: This can be quite difficult, as banks and exchange offices are not on borders and in large towns are only open in the mornings.  A supply of U.S. dollars or pound notes can then be useful.  In Nairobi, the black market is worth while, the safest bet being Asian shopkeepers, not Africans.  The African is also an expert on hard luck stories.

Travel: Trains are very slow (15 m.p.h. average) but a lot can be seen of the country.  A trip will generally mean an overnight ride, so go second class when you will get a bunk.  Men and women sleep in separate compartments (multiracial) although several times we were lucky as the conductor emptied a compartment for us saying "but this am Mister an' Missus."  One can travel third or fourth class.  It's cheaper by half, but things are squalid with hard seats and no bunks and packed with Africans.

You may think that I'm a bit snobbish by now, but the fact is that Africans are primitive by our standards.  They live in mud huts and their habits are far removed from those of Europeans. Seeing is believing.

Buses, are not plentiful or regular, but are cheap.  (6p for 10 miles); slow (20 m.p.h.) unreliable; packed; uncomfortable, dirty and dusty.  Sit as near the front as you can on dirt roads.  Getting tickets is a problem as they are limited due to demand.  Start queuing first or single out an official and the chances are that you will get preferential treatment.  One evening, we were told by the conductor to get on the bus when it was in the garage behind us.   A few more refined travellers, including a policeman had also done this, the reason being that there were about three hundred people waiting for this one bus outside.  They were six high trying to get through the door and fighting like animals.  I asked the policeman if he could do something but he replied "You can't do anything with these people." Hitching is easy on main roads (e. g. Nairobi to Mombassa) but there is not much traffic and none on the more minor roads. Lorry drivers want money and in any case are terrible drivers.  The number of wrecks and crashes we saw was unbelievable for the volume of traffic.

Accommodation, African hotels exist in most towns on main reads and have no merits except for cheapness.  Malawi and Zambia have rest houses which are good.  Communal sleeping costs 2½p and clean rooms 50p each.  Tanzania police stations are willing to put you up free and so are Seiki temples (not the one in Mombassa, which was too popular). Camping is generally O. K., but there are very few official sites. There are problems in going from country to country. Borders sometimes close for no apparent reason.

In black countries, never say you are going to South Africa or Rhodesia.  Don't point your camera at strategic objects such as railway bridges.  One chap we met had eight rolls of film poorly developed to prove that he wasn't a spy.

Editor's Note.     Colin includes some brief notes on the various countries he visited, but unfortunately space does not permit them to be included with the main article this month.  They will appear in the next B.B. for the benefit of future B.E.C. travellers to Africa.


A Word From Your Sponsors

The following has been received from Mike Palmer on of the Ian Dear Memorial Committee.

The time of year has again arrived when the I.D.M.F. committee would like to remind 'young' and deserving members that it would like to receive applications for grants as soon as possible.  There are definitely two (if not three) organised club trips to Europe this year all of which are likely to have a fair content of caving.

"What is that?" you may ask!  Well, it's one of the many diverse activities in which our club - your club seems to indulge in pretty continuously despite the many rumours that we (the royal one) gave up years ago.

The all-time record was set last year by no less than 3 applications, even though one of the persons had to back out at the last moment.  Because last years applications were all last minute affairs, it caused some mild flapping in the accounts department and required hasty meetings; let's have them early this year.  You have been warned!

In conclusion, I have listed below (or above or on the next page etc depending on the Editor!) the members of the I.D.M.F. Committee anyone of whom may be approached for details of the rules, method of application and odd general information.  They are as follows:-

'Sett', Mike Palmer, Andy Nichols, Gerry Oaten, Barrie (Scrooge) Wilton.  Let's be having you!


Monthly Crossword – Number 56



















































































1. Shortly concerning. (2)
2. Flowed slowly. (6)
7. Buried in Durham yet underground on Mendip? (8)
9. Diggers need this. (4)
10. Chamber. (4)
12. The answer to what happens to limestone? (8)
14. Exhibitor in high level G.B. passage? (6)
15. Exists. (2)


1. Jumble of 1 and 9 across. (2)
3. Water sinks? (4)
4. Their cap – slowly dissolving perhaps. (8)
5. Part of extensive club motto. (2)
6. Erratics might have done this and got knocked off. (5,3)
8. A hundred and fifty in backward saint gives karst feature. (6)
11. Yorkshire butter containers. (4)
13. Half an expression of mirth or half a half. (2)

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



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.