QUODCUMQUE  FACIENDUM : NIMIS  FACIEMUS

Editors Note:  The explanatory feature on the findings of the Insurance sub-committee promised in the last B.B. for inclusion in this edition had had to be postponed into the August issue owing to the length of the A.G.M. minutes

Editorial

Nominations

Once again, the time for nominations for the 1975-6 committee is upon us.  At the time of writing, it is not yet known officially whether any of the members of the present committee are going to resign, but there are a few rumours.  In any case, we are without a climbing secretary and this could well be one of the years when it might be comparatively easy to become elected to the committee.  In addition, there is the new rule which says that the way in which the club officers are chosen must be such that every member of the committee gets a fair chance to apply for any particular job.  Thus, if any reader has a secret hankering to do a particular committee job, now is your chance.  You need no proposer or seconder.  You may nominate yourself if you wish.  If you nominate somebody else, you must make sure that he or she agrees to serve on the committee if elected.  All you have to do is to send or give to the Hon. Sec. (Mike Wheadon) IN WRITING a note to the effect that you wish to nominate a particular person (or a number of people if you wish) and that he or she or they have agreed to serve if elected. Sign it and give or send it to Mike.

Minutes Of The A.G.M.

With no less than 6 pages of this 10 page B.B. given over to the minutes of last years A.G.M., it can hardly be claimed that this is a B.B. packed with something of interest to everyone - and yet the minutes, dull reading though they may be - should be of interest to all members.  The Editor believes that it is better for members of the club to be able to read the main points of all the discussions reasonably fully reported that to have a scrappy set of minutes with much pertinent matter swept under the carpet and hidden from the public gaze.  Apart from this, there is, of course, the fact that there is still damn all stuff coming in from members for the editor to print.  Hint.


 

Mik’s Peregrinations

This month's journey is cut short owing to the more important matters taking precedence but so that you don't feel totally neglected, Alfie is allowing me a few lines to maintain continuity.  Firstly, expeditions are now under way with the visit of the BEC party of Johns Dukes & Widley, G. Wilton-Jones, the Palmers, Wiltons, Dooleys, Andy Nichols, Steven, Keith Newbury and Pete Leigh to the Pyrenees while Richard Stevenson and Martin Bishop in another company are visiting the gouffre.

The pub scene has been embellished by visits of a number of bods not normally reckoned to be regulars. Sally Collins with family (including Alfie) Carol and Alan Sandall, Pete and Joyce Franklin and Alan and Hilary without family.  Norman Petty is in danger of becoming a regular having been up for several consecutive Saturdays and Albert Francis keeps sneaking in the odd mid-week visit. The annual barbecue took place on the 28th June this year and was organised (?) by Jonjon Hildick, Janet and Barbara with assistance from Sett in preparing the food, which was two hot dogs per person.  There was plenty of beer about and not all of it was drunk during the evening.  Sid (Streaker) 'Obbs was not there, but Sylvia almost promised to take on his role this year.  Sad to say, she didn't - she is now doing a sponsored slim - contributions to save Priddy Hall fund.

Finally, since space is so short, I must just bring two matters to your notice, the first being the sporadic folk evenings at the Hunters, and lastly but by no means least to give our best wishes for her speedy recovery from her hip injury to Stella Hasell.  We look forward to seeing her at the dinner this year fully recovered.

From the Hon. Sec.

Recent approved applications for membership from: -

Maureen Wheadon, 91 the Oval, Bath.

John Hildick, Tarnagulla, Old Bristol Rd, Priddy.

Robert Cork,22 Dennor Park, Hengrove, Bristol.

Chris Ashe, 7 Queens Head Walk, Wormley, Broxbourne, Herts.


 

Minutes of the 1974 A. G. M.

The Hon. Secretary declared the meeting open at 10.40 with 53 members present and called for the election of a chairman.  Both 'Sett' and 'Alfie' were nominated from the floor of the meeting and a vote taken. Alfie was elected by an undeclared majority.  Alfie then pointed out that, whilst he was prepared to act as chairman if the meeting so desired, he had been accustomed for the last few years to act as the minute taker, and it would thus become necessary to appoint somebody else to take the minutes if he were to act as chairman.  The Hon. Secretary then called for a volunteer who would be prepared to take the minutes.  None was forthcoming, and the Hon. Secretary then suggested to the meeting that it reconsider the election of its chairman.  The meeting then elected 'Sett' to be chairman without dissent.

The chairman then called for the collection of any member’s resolutions and also for the ballot forms. In connection with the latter, the Hon. Secretary said that one member had been sent a blank form by mistake, which he had filled in as well as he was able.  Could this now be accepted?  The meeting indicated its assent.  Alan then pointed out that he had received a ballot form with no name attached.  Could this also be accepted? Garth Dell then proposed its acceptance and this was seconded by Bob Cross.  Voting showed 30 in favour with all the remainder abstaining and the chairman announced that it had been carried.

The chairman then called for three tellers for the ballot.  Bob Cross, Brian Prewer and Frank Darbon volunteered and were accepted by the meeting.

The chairman then moved to the minutes of the 1973 Annual General Meeting.  These had been published in the B.B.  The meeting agreed to take them as read.

On matters arising from the minutes, Alan Thomas reported that the committee had, in fact, affiliated the club to the C.N.C.C.  Dave Irwin amplified this and pointed out that we had affiliated rather than join it outright, which would have run contrary to the wishes of a large section of our membership as expressed at the 1973 A.G.M.  Dave was then asked what the difference was and replied that it was largely a matter of principle.  Our affiliated status enabled us to enjoy access to Northern caves, but did not involve us in the affairs of the Northern Council, since we did not have a vote. Some criticism was voiced from the floor of the meeting, but Bob Cross pointed out that a vote on the C.N.C.C., even if we could have obtained one had little practical advantage.  Mike Palmer then proposed the adoption of the minutes. This was seconded by Dave Irwin and carried without dissent.

The Hon. Secretary's Report then followed.  This had been published in the B.B.  The Hon. Sec. said that he wished to point out a serious omission from his report. He should have mentioned the efforts of the committee chairman to improve the working of the committee during the club year just ended.  This resulted in a considerable degree of improvement and went a long way towards removing those features of the committee which he had criticised in his report.  Ken James asked why it had been felt necessary to revoke the earlier decision about siting the fire in the Belfry.  Alan replied that the earlier decision had been shown to have been based on conflicting information.  Alfie pointed out that it was just this sort of thing which had prompted him to try to improve the way by which the committee reached its decisions.  The later decision had been taken after the new procedure had been brought in and had resulted in a better overall decision. Martin Bishop then proposed the adoption of the report.  This was seconded by Mike Wheadon and carried nem. con.

The Hon. Treasurer's Report then followed.  This was distributed to those present as an advance print from the October B.B.  Mike palmer asked if the £90 for the I.D.M.F. had been included.  Barrie replied that it had not, but was in fact only £60 since one applicant had not been able to go and had returned his £30. There had not been time to withdraw the money from London. Mike Palmer noted that last years dinner had made a.1oss.  Barrie agreed and said that the arrangements needed to be tightened up this year.  The loss had been due to a number of people booking for friends who, in fact, did not appear.  It had not proved possible to trace them in all cases.  Nigel Taylor wondered if an issue of dinner tickets might solve the problem.  Barrie agreed, and said that in addition to this, there would be a definite closing date in future.  He pointed out that last minute additions were usually accepted by the caterer after the total quantity of food had been ordered, so that late additions to the total meant less food per person.  Dave Irwin asked Barrie if the subvention to C.C.C. had been paid.  Barrie said that it had, but he had had difficulty in finding the address of Tony Knibbs.  Dave then asked about the subscription to the British Mountaineering Council.  Gerry Oaten said that he had written to them but had had no reply.  Dave Turner then asked why the club had so much money in a current account where it earned nothing.  Barrie said that he had no objection to putting £300 to £400 in a building society.  It was then proposed by Dave Turner 'that Barrie look into this possibility and take advice and appropriate action'.  This was seconded by Garth.  The Chairman ruled that this could be taken as advice to Barrie, since he had already agreed and he did not propose to ask for a vote.  In reply to a further question, Barrie said that it was proposed to increase the public liability insurance cover from £100,00 to £250,000.  Dave Turner asked whether this cover applied to anyone person or to anyone incident which could involve several people.  He also asked whether forming the B.E.C. into a company would help matters.  Barrie agreed that all these matters wanted looking into.  Nigel Taylor said that W.G.C. were looking into the possibility of forming their club into a company, and asked how much extra premium would be needed for the additional cover that Barrie had announced.  Barrie said that the premium would rise by £20.  Dave Turner said that this was an important subject and that there should be a formal proposal.  Dave Irwin said that it would be more appropriate to advise the committee to look into the whole subject in broad terms rather than to attempt to define the subject here and now.  Chris Howell seconded this, and it was put to the vote and carried without dissent. Garth then proposed the adoption of the Treasurer's report. This was seconded by Nigel Taylor and carried unanimously.

The chairman then asked for the Hon. Auditor's report.  Joan said that the audit was not yet complete and asked if this item could be taken later. This was agreed.

The Caving Secretary's report was then taken. The chairman said that he would like to see reports of more meets written up in the B.B. and asked for comments.  Tony Tucker said that there were other trips not organised by the caving secretary which are well attended.  Andy said that his report had dealt only with organised trips, and that the poor response he had noted referred to these rather than to any other trips.  Bob Cross said that the club did not want purely caving trips to places like the Yorkshire Dales, but preferred more general trips where people were free to cave, hill walk etc.  Maurice Iles then proposed the adoption of the report.  This was seconded by Dave Irwin and carried nem. con.

The Climbing Secretary then read his report.  Mike Palmer said that both the caving and climbing reports suggested that there was very little going on.  He wondered whether this was a sign of the times.  Nigel Taylor said that he had organised a minibus for the BCRA trip and this had resulted in a well supported trip.  He suggested that cavers needed more spoon-feeding than had been the case in past years.  Dave Irwin suggested that this was a misleading picture.  Lots of people cave and organise trips requiring a great deal of initiative, but these trips are not noticed because they are not written up. Dave Turner said that even so, the caving and the climbing secretaries had painted a picture of gloom and nobody had really put up a case to refute it.  Mike Palmer said that he agreed with Nigel.  If trips are laid on, people will turn up provided that everything is done for them.  The chairman said that with the rising cost of fuel, there was much economic sense in running a minibus irrespective of the arguments about spoon-feeding cavers or climbers.  Bob Cross said that there ought to be a formal proposal at this stage.  Gerry Oaten pointed out that, before any formal proposal was submitted to the meeting, it should be remembered that trips are usually arranged at the last moment and that minibus hire might not always be practicable under these circumstances.   Dave Irwin said that we were now becoming dependant on fuel and wondered if a club minibus would be a practical idea.  Martin Bishop agreed with this and said that it could also be used locally, for example, running people down to climb in Cheddar.  Gerry Oaten pointed out that officially, such trips were banned and that if anyone dislodged a rock the person concerned could be in grave trouble.  Dave Turner said that the discussion now seemed to have got back to the club's insurance policy again!  Nigel pointed out that there might well be snags to the club's ownership of a minibus and that it might be better to hire one.  Chris Howell, following Dave Turner's line of thought, said that public liability insurance normally excluded illegal actions.  The chairman, taking up Nigel's point, said that a reasonable compromise might be to run some minibus trips during the next club year on a hiring basis and, if these proved sufficiently popular, then the club might like to consider buying a minibus.  Mike Wheadon, reverting to the point made by Chris, said that we could not, as a club, condone climbing in Cheddar and suggested that we tried to find out more about the legality of such climbs.  The chairman advised the club to play it cool.  Martin Bishop said that if we played it cool and a member injured some innocent bystander, we would be in serious trouble.  Brian Prewer asked what, in fact, constituted a club trip in the legal sense?  Andy Nichols suggested that, as far as the insurance cover was concerned, any trip on which members of the club normally took part would be called a club trip. Chris reminded the meeting at this point that it had already instructed the committee to look into the various aspects of the club's insurance.  All that was now necessary was to add a rider to the effect that the legal implications of trips be included in that investigation.  Maurice Iles said the parish council in Cheddar had passed a resolution banning climbing in the gorge during the summer and that this might give the notices some additional legal standing.  Dave Turner said, that we wanted reasonable insurance cover as members of a club.  At this stage, Bob Cross reminded the meeting that it was supposed to be discussing the climbing secretary's report.  In this connection, he wanted to know if there was any news about the possibility of a club climbing headquarters in North Wales.  Gerry Oaten replied that we had the use of a hut in North Wales.  Bob said that he doubted whether the club was aware of this, as he had not personally heard of this arrangement.  Gerry Oaten replied that the climbing section were well aware of the arrangement and that if Bob had only got in touch with the climbing section, he would have known about it.  Bob said that some publicity in the B.B. would have been a good thing and asked why it had not been mentioned.  Alfie said that he was unaware of the arrangement.  Nigel Taylor then proposed that the report be adopted.  This was then seconded by Dave Irwin and carried without dissent.

The result of the ballot was then announced.  The chairman said that 86 forms had been submitted and that the successful candidates, in order of votes cast in their favour were as follows: - Dave Irwin, Alfie Collins, Barrie Wilton, Graham Wilton-Jones, Tim Large, Andy Nichols, Gerry Oaten, John Dukes and Colin Dooley.  The name and number slips were given to the B.B. editor so that names of voters could be recorded in the B.B. and the actual voting papers were, by instruction from the meeting, and then destroyed.  The chairman said that there had been no nominations for the ordinary members of the Ian Dear Memorial Fund Committee so that Mike Palmer and himself continued to serve as ordinary members.  The Chairman then called for the election of an auditor.  Joan Bennett was proposed by Dave Irwin and seconded by Bob Cross.  There being no other proposal, the chairman declared Joan as having been elected.

The chairman then stated that he was going to take a member's resolution next, since it was pertinent to the election of club officers and should therefore come after the announcement of the result of the ballot.  This resolution was submitted by Mike Palmer and read,  'That the committee elect its officers in such a way that every member gets the opportunity to be elected to any office'. The Chairman invited Mike to speak to this proposal and Mike explained that the intention of the resolution was to make sure that everybody on the committee got a chance to stand for any position. Dave Irwin amplified this and said that Mike's idea was to give members who might feel reticent the opportunity of applying for club posts.  At present, the system involved a member being proposed and seconded and if nobody proposed a particular member, he stood no chance of indicating that he would be willing to be considered for any particular position on the committee. Alan Thomas said that he saw nothing wrong with the traditional system, to which Dave Irwin replied that it was restrictive and prevented any keen person from putting himself forward unless somebody else happened to suggest his name.  Nigel Taylor thought that Dave Irwin had a good point and suggested that the present system was biased towards the status quo.  In many cases, he felt, members of the committee would be reluctant to suggest a new name for a committee post for fear of being misunderstood and being thought to be criticising the previous holder of the office. Garth suggested that, now the new committee had been elected, the A.G.M. chairman and that committee should sort matters out between them.  Dave Irwin thought that this was a good idea, but should be worded more formally.  He proposed that 'The chairman of the A.G.M. shall preside over the meeting of the new committee while the club officers are being elected.'  The chairman reminded the meeting that it already had a resolution in front of it, and asked whether the meeting would wish to take Dave's resolution as an amendment. Mike Palmer said that he was happy to substitute Dave’s resolution for his own, since the intention of the earlier resolution was implicit in Dave’s resolution. He would therefore withdraw his and second Dave's.  Alan Thomas then proposed an amendment that 'the initial meeting which decided the club committee posts shall be chaired by the A.G.M. chairman during an adjournment to the A.G.M.'  This was seconded by Mike Palmer.  Martin Bishop said that he would like to see an independent chairman, because it could happen that the A.G.M. chairman might be on the committee.  If Alfie had been chairing the meeting, this would have happened. He proposed altering the amendment to read  'The initial meeting which decides the club committee posts shall be chaired by an independent chairman to be elected at the A.G.M. and shall be held during an adjournment to the A.G.M., the results being announced after this adjournment.' This was seconded by Nigel Taylor. The chairman then called for votes in favour of the second amendment, which he declared to be carried.  He then called for a vote on the amendment as now worded.  This was carried with two votes against.  The amended proposal was then voted on and carried.  The chairman then called for the election of an independent chairman under the new resolution.  Three names were proposed from the floor of the meeting and a vote was taken by a show of hands.  The resulted was – Sett 29 votes, Garth 6 votes, Bob Cross 5 votes.  Sett therefore announced that he had been elected as the independent chairman.

The Tacklemaster's report then followed.  This had been published in the B.B.  Roy Bennett said that it implied that Telurit splices were to be used on ladders and tethers. Graham replied that the report did not say this but merely discussed the possibility.  A discussion on methods of Telurit splicing elicited the fact that these must be carried out correctly if they are to be trustworthy.  Nigel pointed out that the National Tower Testing Station use this method and also test other people's splices.  Graham said that you could test a Telurit splice to breaking point, but there was no way of inspecting one that was actually to be used. Dave Irwin suggested that Telurits be given a definite lifetime as they cannot be inspected for deterioration.  Roy said that Norman Petty would be prepared to continue producing the conventionally spliced tethers and, with the general neglect of tackle nowadays, this might be a better solution.  The chairman suggested that the subject should be left to the Tacklemaster, who would doubtless bear in mind all that had been said on the subject, and this was agreed to by general assent of the meeting.  Roy then asked whether the distinguishing markings on digging ropes designed to prevent their use as lifelines were effective.  Graham said that he thought they were and that users were well aware of the difference.  Frank Jones then proposed the adoption of the report. (Correction: For Frank Jones above read Frank Darbon.)  This was seconded by Roy Bennett and carried without dissent.

The Hut Warden's Report then followed.  This had been previously published.  Alan Thomas said that the Belfry had been very clean and tidy and congratulated Warden. The report was adopted after this had by Chris Rowell and seconded by Nigel Dibben.

The chairman then announced an adjournment at 12.52 p.m. and said that the meeting would re-convene at 2 p.m

At 2 p.m., the chairman announced the club officers and the fact that the new committee had unanimously co-opted Chris Howell (Publications Editor) as a member of the committee.  He then invited the Hon. Auditor to give her report.  Joan said that the club books had been audited and found to be satisfactory. She said that she would be handing a written statement to this effect to the Treasurer.  Garth proposed that this report be adopted.  This was seconded by Alfie and carried without dissent.

The Belfry Engineer's Report followed.  Martin added to his report an observation that he had had very little support from club members and that there had been no response to his appeal for suggestions. Nigel Taylor asked what inference members were supposed to draw from these remarks.  He objected to the inference that the Hut Warden and the Belfry regulars had not given Martin their support.  Some people, Nigel reminded the meeting, had worked very hard. Martin replied that his statement was a general one and was not aimed at any particular group of members.  Alan Thomas said that people had turned up for the working weekend only to find that there was nothing for them to do and the Belfry Engineer was not present.  Tony Tucker complained about the lack of light bulbs and the poor condition of the fire escape door.  Graham Wilton-Jones said this was quite typical of the way that big jobs tended to get done while smaller jobs did not.  Tony Tucker said that the fire escape door had cost £11 and was no good. He did not consider this to have been a minor matter.  Alan Thomas said that the club had had three doors donated recently.  The chairman said that he hoped the new committee would note what had been said on the subject and would do whatever was necessary. Chris Howell then proposed that the report be adopted.  This was seconded by Garth and carried nem. con.

The B.B. Editor’s report was taken next.  This had been published.  There were no comments or discussion.  Nigel Taylor proposed that the report be adopted.  This was seconded by Andy Nichols and carried without dissent.

The Publications Editor's report followed.  Again, there was no discussion.  The report was adopted without dissent after being proposed by Nigel Taylor and seconded by Graham Wilton-Jones.  Alan Thomas proposed a vote of thanks to the retiring Publications Editor, Dave Irwin, for all the work he had done in expanding the club publications and improving their standard.  This was carried with acclamation.

The Hon. Librarian's report followed.  The chairman opened the discussion by stating that he did not consider that the club made enough use of the excellent library no available to members.  Bob Cross asked if the club were buying many new books, to which Dave Irwin said it was not.  Nigel Taylor asked whether the club would be buying the new Wessex book on Swildons.  Dave said that he considered it was not good value for money, but if the committee decided to buy it, then it would be purchased.  Martin Bishop then proposed that the report be adopted.  This was seconded by Nigel Taylor and carried without dissent.

The I.D.M.F. Report followed.  Mike Palmer said that there had been three applicants, who had been granted £30 each. One of these had not been able to go and had refunded his grant.  Reports from the other two are awaited.  The I.D.M.F. committee would continue to advertise the fund and would welcome any guidance from this meeting.  Alan Thomas asked how this year compared with previous years.  Mike said that it was a record.  The previous highest total had been one applicant.  Mike said that the identical awards of £30 had been co-incidental. Sums were allocated on the basis of what was required to make a trip possible that had been impossible without the grant.  Alan Thomas then asked if we were spending capital. Barrie said this was so, but only just.  Alan then asked if any recipient of a grant had ever contributed towards the fund at a later date when his finances had improved. Mike Palmer said this had never happened and Barrie agreed.  Andy Nichols then proposed the report be adopted.  This was seconded by Graham Wilton-Jones and carried without dissent.

The chairman then took the remainder of the member’s resolutions.  The first of these, by Chris Howell and Tim Large was that 'The B.B. be circulated in future only to members of the club and that exchange publications be on the basis of Cave Notes and/or Caving Reports as appropriate. The chairman invited Chris to speak to the resolution.  Chris said he wanted to make it clear that no criticism of the B.B. editor was implied. If there was any such criticism, it was directed against members who did not support the B.B. by writing for it, thus making the editor's job of producing a journal worthy of the club impossible to carry out.  He pointed out that the B.B. postage consumed 1/6th of the entire subscription and said that there was no outside interest in the B.B.  It was, he said, never used for reference or quotation by other journals and the minimal sales of old B.B.'s confirmed this.  The club should therefore aim at making Cave Notes their main publication and the B. B. could, perhaps, be published bi-monthly or even quarterly and be reduced to newsletter format and size as being more in line with its standing as compared to some other caving journals.  Nigel Taylor said that other journals did quote from the B.B. and pointed out that those societies who kept a complete file of the B.B. might object at this stage to being denied access to any future issues. Tim Large said that he was in complete agreement with what Chris had said.  It was often necessary to air internal disagreements in the B.B. and this did our image no good.  There was also a powerful economic argument in favour of a bi-monthly or quarterly B.B. The chairman then invited comments from the B.B. Editor.  Alfie said that he found himself in sympathy with much that had been said by Chris and Tim but there were other factors which affected the position.  On the purely financial side for example, it should be remembered that the cost of the B. B. was kept down by the generosity and initiative of some members.  One in particular had donated over £100 worth of material for the B.B. recently. Nobody would suggest that any conditions were attached to these gifts, but it was reasonable to suppose that people would cease to contribute in this way if the B.B. was no longer to their liking. Alfie said that the club had been repeatedly asked whether they wanted the B.B. to continue monthly or to go over to some less frequent interval and had consistently and overwhelmingly voted for a monthly journal.  He said that he had no personal feeling as a less frequent B. B. would mean less work for him, but he felt that the wishes of the great majority of club members should be respected.  Alan Thomas said that the B.B. helped to foster interest amongst members as it stood and Nigel Taylor said that any reduction in frequency of its appearance would loosen ties among members living abroad.  Garth said that people like himself who could not get to Mendip very often like to read their B.B.   Keith Murray said that he would personally pay extra for a monthly B.B. if it came to a choice.  Chris Howell said that the arguments put forward only confirmed the fact that there were two points of view and all of them were repeats of statements which had been made many times before.  He said that the resolution should be put to the meeting without further delay.  Dave Irwin said that it had been an ambition of his - or perhaps a dream - to make the caving publications free to members.  The sales would have to be very great to make this possible, but it might be practicable to make Cave Notes free to members one day.  Tony Tucker said that the club would lose much if the B.B. were to become a bi-monthly.  He, too, urged that a vote be taken straight away.  The chairman said that there were really two parts to the question under debate.  He said that he proposed to put the question of a weekly or bi-monthly B.B. to the vote first.  This was done with a large (uncounted) number in favour of monthly and one vote against. This member, in fact, wanted it quarterly.  The chairman then called for a vote on whether the B.B. should be distributed only to club members in future.  This produced a total of 6 in favour and 35 against.

A resolution 'that future Life Memberships should abolished' was proposed by Dave Irwin and seconded by Roy Bennett.  Dave Irwin explained that the number of Life Members imposed too great a burden on members who paid annually and that continuing inflation would soon make the position completely untenable.  Since the club would be forced to face this fact sooner or later, it were better that it be faced now.  Nigel Taylor suggested that a solution might be for the club to agree that Life Members should always be contacted first when any appeal for money was contemplated, rather than to compel them to give up their life memberships.  Roy Bennett said that no form of compulsion was suggested by the resolution.  It was the intention that life membership be abolished for the future and he hoped that if this occurred, as many present life members as possible might be persuaded to give up their life memberships on a voluntary basis.  Alan Thomas said that life members living abroad might find it difficult to send subscriptions annually to which Dave Irwin said that a period subscription could, perhaps, be worked out Bob Cross suggested that even a voluntary scheme was not fair to many present life members.  He said he would be happier to see appeals for donations as being more in the spirit of life membership.  Mike Palmer said that many of the life members had given to the club in various ways money or services which were worth far more than their life membership appeared to be costing the club.  An inconclusive discussion then took place on what might be called the ethics of the subject.  Nigel Taylor then said that all the life members were asked to confirm their address each year.  He suggested that some of them might well drop out quite early in this process, thus helping to pay for those who stayed in contact.  Garth said that he wondered how many life members had voted in the ballot and Roger Stenner wondered how many life members continued to take any real interest in the club after their active caving days were over.  Mike Palmer asked what benefit was expected from the proposed change and Roy Bennett replied that it was largely a financial benefit that was expected.  Alan Thomas said the proposal was a constitutional change and as such, would have to have a year’s committee stage and be finally voted on at the next A.G.M. even if it were passed in principle at this one.  At this point, the chairman put the resolution to the vote and it failed to be carried by 12 in favour and 16 against.

The chairman then asked for any other business.  Bob Cross asked if the colour of club ties could be changed and Nigel Taylor suggested that the committee be asked to look into the possibility of providing a dark blue tie with gold bats as an alternative to the present design.  Tony Tucker said there was no need to change the shape of the tie, as widths tended to go into and out of fashion fairly quickly.  Nigel Taylor then proposed that the committee investigate the possibility an alternative dark blue tie with gold bats and purchase some if possible.  This was seconded by Mike Wheadon and carried with 26 in favour and 5 against.

Tony Tucker then expressed his concern at the filling in of Plantation Swallet by Mr. Foxwell.  He was informed that the committee were looking into this action.  There being no other business, the chairman then declared the meeting closed at 3.35 p.m.


 

Round and About

A Monthly Miscellany

Compiled by 'Wig'

184.      Whernside Manor likely to close.  At the eleventh hour of the negotiations, the North Yorkshire County Council Planning and Resources Committee decided not to support the Yorkshire Dales National Park in the proposed purchase and development of Whernside Manor.  This, in many ways, is a pity as the army of novices wishing to be taken caving will ultimately turn its head towards the caving clubs for help. This help will not be readily forthcoming for reasons of over crowding in our already sardine-packed caves.  In many cases, these organisations go their own way, causing problems particularly in the conservation field.  When will the bureaucracies of Whitehall and the town hall come to a sensible decision for once in their lives?

185.      N.C.A. to set up a 'Royal Commission'.  At long last the executive of the NCA has realised that the stormy climate in the caving world means that NCA must one day restructure itself to cater for the wide divergence of opinion amongst the caving regions.  In an attempt to find out what the grass roots caver want a special commission of four persons is being set up to listen to cavers in the hope that a sensible solution can be found.  If this commission fails, the outlook for NCA is bleak indeed.  Phil Davies of the Wessex has volunteered to become the CSCC representative on this panel.  Phil has all the attributes required for such an investigation since he has not been involved with the NCA structure at any time since its inception, but is nevertheless well known.

186.      The Cerberus Speleological Society is receiving a face lift.  Its membership has jumped from about 35 to over a hundred last year and, unlike their predecessors, the armchair has been left far behind.  In the next few months they will be publishing a report on the Caves of Fairy Cave Quarry, price about £1.00


 

Letter to the Editor.

91, The Oval, Bath.

Having noticed Sett's letter in the last B.B. referring to the traditional Hunters Saturday I thought I might set pen to paper to stir the controversy.  Not that one can dispute the fact that they 'orrible words are fast fading; at least, all but the more 'orrible which need no effort to remember. I would argue Sett's point that the cause should be laid against us and not Hunters.

Historically, as many members will recall, the 'Cavers Room' of Hunters, which has now been modified to become the lounge, was the standard port of call for Saturday night bar room mountaineers, after visiting the old hatchway to get beer.  The bar was then considerably smaller and only catered for local customers.  Thus, with cavers being in their 'own' room, when any singing started the natural thing was to join in, learning the words along the way.  In the summer, tourists came for miles to park near the open window and giggle at those rude fellows inside.  However, at that time it was the practice to revert instantly to a rendering of Sospan Fach whenever Ben appeared.  Later on, this practice ceased, and Ben often had occasion to complain about our uncouth behaviour.

When Roger modernised the Hunters, he recognised our need and set aside two rooms in the remoter parts of the pub where we could gather and sing but unfortunately, in 'some respects, he also enlarged the bar.  Nowadays it is normal for us to go to the bar, only leaving it for the calls of nature or 'time'.

Still, on odd occasions such as when Maurice IIes turns up and feels in voice, we lobby known aficionados and return to the back room to sing.  Admittedly, we are not very successful.  We have such complexes now that we automatically forget either words or tune (or both) but we can still run the course when we have a mind to. What we obviously need is practice, and if the Belfry after hours is the only place, then count me in.

Mike Wheadon.


 

Monthly Crossword – Number 58

1

 

2

 

3

 

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5

6

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

 

 

 

 

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16

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Across:

6. Place to find a pot in Yorkshire. (3)
7. Type of cave found in noticeably cold climates? (3)
8. Cave location partly understandable with respect to ground? (5)
9. Cuthbert’s extracted metal? (3)
10. Not a feature of even risky caves. (3)
11. Stark form of cave bearing landscape? (5)
12. Type of cave in which seals might be found? (3)
13. Upper part of this reversed? (3)
16. Cave deposit. (3)
17. 6 could be a feature of this place. (3)

Down

1. A cave dweller. (1,3)
2. Mendip swallet describes cavers having spent too much time in 17. (9)
3. Caver knew this place on Mendip, or got told, perhaps. (6,3)
4. Cavers initial stumble? (5,4)
5. Extremely light – though not used in caves for illumination. (4)
12. As a cave feature. (4)
14. Obtained from 17 – otherwise urinate in tea. (4)

Solution to Last Month’s Crossword

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W

E

N

T

Y

 

B

 

A

 

A

 

I

 

B

E

D

C

A

S

T

L

E

 

A

 

K

 

T

 

 

F

A

R

M

L

O

 

B

A

T

 

S

I

E

C

H

O

 

 

T

 

D

 

H

 

S

T

E

W

E

D

A

R

T

 

O

 

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L

 

E

 

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Club Headquarters

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

Club Committee

Chairman          S.J. Collins

Minutes Sec      G. Wilton-Jones

Members           Colin Dooley, John Dukes, Chris Howell, Dave Irwin, Tim Large, Andy Nicholls, Mike Wheadon, Barry Wilton

Officers Of The Club

Honorary Secretary             M. WHEADON, 91 The Oval, Englishcoombe, Bath.  Tel : BATH 713646

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             Position vacant at present.

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

Membership Sec.               A. Dooley, c/o The Belfry.  TO WHOM ALL SUBS SHOULD BE SENT.

Members are reminded that nominations for the 1975/76 committee should be sent to the Hon. Secretary. See editorial for more details.

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