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Club OfficerÂ’s Reports - TacklemasterÂ’s Report

Graham sends this in as he says for the benefit of all those who do not attend the A.G.M.

I could quite easily repeat myself and just copy out from last years report what I said about the treatment of club equipment, and cite examples of members not taking care of tackle. However, if you want all that, just look out your October '74 B.B.  The library holds a copy if you are new to the club.

Ladders and ropes are still missing after a year and can probably be written off, but tackle seems to turn up in the most diverse and peculiar ways: "I was given this by a bloke in the pub." or, "Our club's been using this rope of yours for years - do you want it back?"  These two examples give some idea of what goes on.

Whilst on the subject of ladder, there are many ways to roll one up, but only two or three are really good ways.  Generally, if I get to the store frequently enough, ladders incorrectly rolled have been put to rights.  All that any borrower has to do is to roll the ladder the way he found it.  If YOU cannot do this, then don't be too proud to ask someone else how it should be done.  We all had to learn sometime.

Fortunately, things are better than they seem.  All ladder is now repaired or remade and we have something approaching a thousand feet available for use.  We have an excellent stock of lifelines, both polypropylene and nylon including Viking quality nylon.

A large number of tethers are being made using Englefield clips on the ends instead of 'C' links. These clips are compatible with 'C' links and also somewhat stronger.  They do have the disadvantage that a karabiner will not go through them. Because of this, some tethers will still be made with 'C' links.  We are no longer using splicing to make eyes on the ends of wires, having gone over entirely to Telurit ferrules.  Samples made on our machine have been tested to destruction.  The Telurit did not fail and the wire broke at its normal maximum load. On regular occasions samples made on our press will similarly tested to destruction.  If anyone else wants to use the press, they will have to have lessons from me first.

The current policy of not using rope for S.R.T. (Single Rope Techniques or abseiling and prussicking) will, I hope, continue.  Most members who use S.R.T. are of the opinion that it is safest to climb on rope whose past history is thoroughly known.  Such knowledge is only possible if the rope is owned and cared for by the individual who uses it.

Many members have bought their own ropes in the past.  If YOU own some and it is now worn out, or you no longer dare trust it, please don't destroy it, for it could still have plenty of useful life as a digging rope. Become a donator to the club. (Hint, hint!)

The reserve tackle (ultra lightweight tackle and long lifelines) has hardly been used this year. I would like to think that increased use of S.R.T. is the cause, but it seems that few people are making trips that require such equipment.  Reserve tackle is specifically for trips off Mendip, so that the ordinary store is not unnecessarily depleted at weekends or at peak periods.  Yorkshire trips used to involve tackle every month of the year.  Not so now!

In contrast, digging tackle has been in use continually throughout the year.  Members should note, however that as with other equipment, the borrowing of digging tackle must be noted down in the tackle book in the usual way.  Digging ropes are not numbered, but borrowers should indicate how many are in use.

Finally, my apologies to anyone who borrowed standard ladder recently just after it had been remade, who then had the dreaded rung-slip.  All these ladders have rungs fixed with Allen screws, and these need re-tightening after the ladders have been stretched after load.  The matter is being rectified, but if it makes you feel happier, I'll lend you an Allen key in return for a pint!