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Letter to the Editor

Dear Alfie,

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 is fast fading; at least all but the more 'orrible which need no effort to remember, but to argue 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 second port of call for Saturday night bar room mountaineers, the first being the old hatchway to get beer.  The bar was then considerably smaller and catered for local customers, tourists and only a few cavers.  Thus, with the majority of cavers being in their 'own' room, when any singing started, the natural thing was to join in and one learned the words along the way.  In the summer the tourists came for miles to park their cars near the open window and giggle at those rude fellows inside.  However, at the time it was the practice to revert instantly to a rendering of 'Sospan Fach' whenever Ben appeared.  Later on this practice ceased and Ben was known to complain about the uncouth behaviour of some cavers.

When Roger modernised the Hunters, he recognised our need and set aside 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, on any evening it is normal for us regulars to go to the bar rather than to the caver¬ís rooms - and in the bar we stay glaring at any intruders and only leaving for the calls of nature or time.

Still, on odd occasions such as when Maurice turns up and feels in voice, we lobby known aficionados and adjourn to the back room to sing.  Admittedly we are not always very successful, we have such complexes now that we automatically forget either words or tune (even both).  We often repeat a song for latecomers but we can still run the course of a Hunters singsong when we have a mind to. Practice is obviously what we need and if the Belfry after hours is the only place we can get it, then, when you've got it organised, count me in.

Yours Argumentatively, Mike Wheadon.

Editor's Note:     As I typed this, I was assailed by the horrible feeling that I had done it before.  It may have appeared in the July B.B. (A copy of which I do not beside me as I type this). If, in fact, it has achieved the dubious distinction of appearing TWICE in the B.B.  I trust that all will accept my apologies.