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The discovery of a new major cave on Mendip is always an occasion for some rejoicing, and congratulations are due to Pete McNab (Snab) and his merry men of the Tynings Institute for Troglodytic Studies on their successful entry and exploration of Tynings Barrow Swallet.

Another aspect of their work which deserves praise is the way that they stabilised and maintained good relations with the farmer.  Soon after the hole first appeared, after the great storm of 1968, some thoughtless cavers got to the swallet by breaking through the nearest hedge.  The farmer; who keeps sheep in the field, was justifiably annoyed, and filled in the hole.  Last year, Snab not only managed to restore good relations, but even kept them that way after an incident where some visiting cavers  once again took the quick - but stupid - way in.

The Printing Story

In desperation, we gave last months B.B. to a professional firm to print for us, with the result which is now apparent.  It would appear that these firms are just not used to dealing with paper plates, and have no idea how to handle them.  However, we have at last got an expert to look at the printing machine and we hope that our difficulties are now solved.  What happens to this B.B. will prove the point one way or the other!

The Do-it-Yourself B.B.?

At the time of writing, it is assumed that the article by Graham Wilton-Jones giving a description of Tynings Barrow Swallet, has been included in the February B.B.  Graham volunteered to type the article on duplicator stencils and get it duplicated and supply the paper and get it included in the (already printed - after a fashion by a professional printer!) February issue of the B.B.

There seems no real reason why this cannot be done again if the need or opportunity arises.  If some member has a particular piece of 'stop press' news, and the means and opportunity, the present format of the B.B. permits such a late inclusion.  It does, however, make us wonder whether we ought to go back to numbering each B.B. separately, instead of numbering pages right through each volume as we do now. Has anybody any thoughts on this one?

Central Heating

As members will know, the committee was actioned by the last A.G.M. to go ahead and install central heating in the Belfry should this prove to be feasible.  It would seem, however, that things (as usual!) are proving more complex in practice than the A.G.M. imagined.

For example, most of the quotes so far received mean that the actual cost would be such as to spend ALL the club's available money.  This is clearly possible, but is it feasible?  The condition of the Belfry is giving the committee much cause for concern - if not alarm.  An urgent job must be done on the sleeping accommodation, and this has already got the 'go ahead' from the committee.  There are also plans for improving the showers and a longer term one for re-siting the kitchen.  Plans for both these schemes are being prepared for inclusion in the B.B. to give members a chance to air their opinions.  Certainly, the more urgent renovations to the Belfry must be carried out. On the other hand, lack of adequate heating is a contributory factor to the deterioration of the Belfry.  One answer would be an improvement to the heating but short of the idea of full central heating.  On the other hand, the A.G.M. obviously had full central heating in mind.

It’s not such good asking for less talk and more action.  What would you do under these circumstances?

N.C.A. Again

The meeting to discuss the reaction of the Southern Council to the proposed changes to the structure of N.C.A. is due to be held on Saturday 26th of March.  It is hoped to include some comment on what seems to be the present situation in next month's B.B.


Just to remind you that there is a discount available to B.E.C. current members at Ellis Brigham’s in Whiteladies Rd, Bristol.  There is a rumour that Kevin is saving up to get married and wishes to sell some of his climbing gear, said to be worth four figures!   See him at the shop - he's the tall blond one.  Seems they've got all that new shop at Welsh Back has without the razzmatazz.

When the better weather is with us there will be a rock climbing meet at Wintour's Leap near Chepstow. Good steep, safe limestone with a good view of the river!

Russell Jenkins
Climbing Sec.

Russell has also sent a short climbing article in, which will appear in the next B.B.  Tales of the climbing exploits of members are always acceptable, so if any climbers are reading this – how about it?