Belfry Bulletin

Search Our Site

Article Index



Hard Luck Story

A glance at any typical B.B. will show that far too much space is taken up in explaining just why the club' s journal is once again in some sort of trouble.  It would seem that we might almost take it for granted that things will not go smoothly, and leave it at that without wasting space in explanations.

Fair enough.  But the recent troubles have gone on for so long that members, who after all expect their fair share of B.B.’s: are entitled to know just why they haven't been getting it often enough of late.

In January, just when we had got all the team working away - with plenty of stuff to print and lots of willing hands to help out generally, the printing machine started playing up again. This time it was the feed - the mechanism that puts one sheet of paper at a time into the machine for printing. By the time we had reluctantly decided that we wouldn't be able to print the B. B. for January, we had wasted a lot of paper; wrecked several plates and got a whole pile of badly printed copies.

Out first expert arrived and fiddled with the machine.  It seemed to work.  In the meantime, we had got desperate and given the plates for February to a professional firm to print for us.  They were not used to dealing with paper plates, and the result was not very happy. It was now the end of March and we had only produced a rather badly printed February B.B. and some even worse stuff towards January.

However, the committee decided that since we had a lot of plates already typed, and they would all have to be re-typed on to stencils for the Gestetner, the best thing would be to get the printing machine going.

The only difficulty seemed to be the general shortage of, and retiring nature of the experts.  By a sheer stroke of luck, I eventually found one, who came out and did things to various springs.  When he had finalised, the machine fed anything from thin bank paper to reasonably stiff card.  Now that we had the feed going properly, it was possible to adjust the pressures to get the right printing density.  Even so, there are still some small snags, but at least we have a machine which will print. Even better, we now have a tame expert who we can call on straight away if we get any further trouble.

This episode has taught us a lot of things.  Firstly, the cost of professional printing is very high, and a professionally printed B.B. (as some people had suggested at the last A.G.M.) would drain club funds to the extent of stopping almost any other use of club monies.  Secondly, hybrid schemes like us typing the masters and getting someone else to run them off is full of dangers, and so on.

As a result of all this, it is natural that people have stopped writing for the B.B. until they can be assured that it will once again be regular.  This is very understandable, and the B.B. will be kept going by printing various things, like the minutes of the last A.G.M. to keep it to size while the contributions pick up again.

I hope that, after all this, it will not be necessary again to have to spend time and space on the subject of what has gone wrong with the B.B.

N.C.A. and All That

Another subject which seems to go on for ever, and with which we keep threatening readers of the B.B. is that of the N.C.A. and what is happening with the ideas put forward so long by the Southern Council to make sure that the whole thing doesn’t get out of control in the future.  The whole thing grinding its slow and painful way, but a meeting is going to be held late in June and there is some chance that agreement might actually be reached. When we can see through the fog, we will let members know what has actually happened.  Meanwhile, it all goes on a bit like the fictional University of Charterhouse, which members may remember from a Christmas B.B. of not so long ago.


We hope to bring you news of the Dinner as soon as possible this year.  One thing is certain - there will be a deadline on the date for booking, so this is a first warning to watch out for details and get cracking when they appear.


Once again there are a few amendments needed to your BEC address list

1582 Chris Hall – 117 Lower Ashley Road, Bristol. BS5 0YL
348L Don Thomas – Pendant, Little Birch, Herefordshire.
830 John Dukes – 35 Cowl Street, Shepton Mallet – Tele 314933
823       Andy Sparrow – 2 Grosvenor Place, London Road, bath. BA3 6HH

New Members:

917 R Hervin - 75a Murhill, LimpleStoke, Bath BA3 6HH
918 R Round - 131 Middleton Road, Banbury, Oxfordshire.

Congratulations to Pete and Joyce on the birth of yet another son and potential BEC Member born Saturday 16 April 1977.  Benjamin Somerset Franklin.