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Blunt Speaking

Once again, it has been necessary to produce a joint issue of the B.B. - this time for April and May. After the March B.B. was completed, there was no material left to start this one and, as I write this on May 6th, there is still only enough material for about 5 or 6 pages of this B.B.

I have heard that the present position of the B.B. has been the subject of some grumbling amongst club members.  It would be interesting to know against whom any such grumbles are directed.  Not, one hopes, against the editor who has already made it quite clear that he no longer has enough time to chase people for articles; who has already appealed for help with this matter; who has pointed out that he came back to edit the B.B. on a temporary basis and who has let it be known that he would be only too happy to co-operate in any way - including handing over the entire job to some younger member.

No, I am afraid that (with perhaps half a dozen or so exceptions) if anyone is looking for a culprit to blame for the present state of the B.B., then he or she need look no further than into the nearest mirror.  The B.B. is not mine.  It is (or should be) yours.  What have YOU done about it lately?

Good News

Having got the above off my chest on the principle that I really ought to type SOMETHING before June arrives, I am very pleased to be able to announce that volunteers have now come forward.  Andy Sparrow and 'Mr' Nigel have promised to do all they can to make sure that articles start to flow again.  The immediate aim is to get the B.B back to a regular monthly basis again.  When this has been done, Andy has expressed interest in taking a bigger part in running the B.B., and it could be that a new editor is on the way at last.  In any case, let us hope that this period in time marks the end of the current decline in the B.B. and the start of a new phase of activity.

More Good News

A B.E.C. digging team, led by Snab, have re-opened a cave on Western Mendip after a record breaking four and a half hours dig through fifteen feet of infill.  To all those who know the whereabouts of this hole, PLEASE do not visit the site without first checking with Snab.  The reason is that it is vital to maintain good relations with the farmer, who does not want to see a general free for all happening on his property.  Nobody is trying to keep interested cavers away - it is a question of either submitting to a certain amount of discipline OR having the cave closed again. Incidentally, the diggers refer to themselves jocularly as the Tynings Institute for Troglodytic Studies.


As many members know, the club’s public liability insurance policy expires in August.  After this date, the club must either have got itself a new policy or made some other arrangement.  Unfortunately, the present situation is - to put it mildly - somewhat confused.  It is hoped to include some sort of informative article this B.B.

Councils and All That

It is reported that, currently, the Northern Council is still in a state of disarray, with the pirates maintaining their stand and the others pointing out the dangers of ignoring access agreements.  The Southern Council, although happily free from this sort of internal trouble, failed to obtain a quorum for its annual meeting and the chairman has had to ask the clubs who did not attend to ratify the proceeding subsequently.

While this state of affairs may well please those who would like to see an end to all forms of control over caving and who are, perhaps rightly, suspicious of any form of representative bodies; it must not be supposed that a collapse of the present council structure would achieve this object.  In the absence of a credible form of council structure, other interested bodies might well claim to represent caving and the interests of cavers and over such bodies, the average caver might well find he had less control than he currently has over the council structure.  Many of us feel that, whatever may happen, the control of caving on Mendip should remain in the hands of the Mendip based clubs - and the Southern Council still appears to be the most effective way of ensuring this.