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Committee Minutes Friday 9th January 2008

Present:       Henry Bennett, Hannah Bell, Mike Wilson, Faye Litherland, Stu Gardiner, Henry Dawson, Toby Maddocks

Apologies:   Phil Rowsell, Ian Gregory

The meeting started at 8:15

1812            Cuthberts Leaders Meeting
Some discussion over visitor rules when visiting pristine areas. Decided to distribute to leaders and let them resolve.

Toby to provide Henry email details of leaders to set up mailing list.
Toby to distribute rules via list

1857            Club Sales (hoodies etc).
T-shirts work has stalled due to lack of interest in designs. Need to revert to a classic design to progress.

1858            Keys for Committee Members
4 keyed alike locks purchased and keys distributed.

1937            Hut Keys – Electronic Access
5 door controllers and 50 keys purchased for £428 which represents a 70% discount from list price.

Still need door fixtures and readers. Will continue current procurement route.

1924            Heating
The heating controls have been set to run background heating and hot water from 0900-1000 and 1700-2200. Padlock fitted to boiler controls and keys distributed. Recommend that the wiring be checked and we investigate getting a better timing control.

Ask Chris Batstone to look at boiler wiring and controls

1938            Main Consumer Unit
Henry B knows two caving electricians and will approach them about replacing the main consumer unit. Stu to assist. In progress

1928            Home Close Dig
RatFest organisers will pay the Home Close dig costs.

1930            Extension Sign-off
Final remaining task is to fit smoke seals which requires a router.

1941            Missing Money from Bang Fund box
Has been returned.

1942            Rope washing Gear in Belson Shower
Rope washer is being mended and we discussed initially placing it in its old location. Ultimately the Belson shower will be retro fitted to take the washer so kit can be cleaned inside. The drainage from this needs to be incorporated into new drainage and soak away for the car park. Soak away on grass to left of Stone Belfry. Summer job.

Ian Gregory and Faye to progress

1943            Appointment of Trustees
At the AGM it was pointed out that Trustees are appointed by the committee not the AGM. Also it transpires that the new Trustees have not signed any legal documents.
(a) The Committee have sanction the appointment.
(b) The legal documents need to be actioned. Nigel Taylor has undertaken to action this. Need to establish what costs if any we might incur.

No progress has been made on this. The committee instructed that this be progressed by the Secretary rather than by a trustee.

Henry B to progress

1944            St Cuthberts Land
At the AGM it was announced that negotiations were underway by Nigel Taylor concerning the St Cuthberts land. The existing lease is believed to run out in January 2009 although the legal documents are not in the Clubs legal pack.

Nigel Taylor has already instructed Harris & Harris to progress this. Current status is they are awaiting response from Chubb Bulleid. Apparently the process last time took 11 months.

It is important that no other conversations take place during this time.

Mike Wilson to pay the lease fee this year as a matter of course.

1945            Next Belfry Slide Show
Committee to discuss dates via email for early next year.

Faye to sort out dates. Proposed subject Caving in Hawaii and Brazil.

1946            Subscriptions
38 people didn’t pay before the New Year. This is about normal.

Henry to send out list to committee.

1948            Cuthberts Leader Accreditation
What are the rules to becoming a Cuthberts Leader. This needs clarification. Toby to discuss on leaders mailing list when it is up and running.

1949            Cutherts Fixed Aids
These need attention. Advised to just do it. Still awaiting action.

1952            Tackle Management System
Faye has implemented a new Tackle Management System.


1956            New Members
Adam Horobin, Ben O’Leary, Gary Kiely and Tom Frost were voted into the club.

1957            Tackle Managment System - Access
A letter from Tony Audsley expressing concern over the process and forms filling required to gain access was discussed. The consensus was that the Club has made a major investment in the Club’s tackle and this needs to be protected. It was unanimously agreed that we will continue to trial the current process for the remainder of the club year.

1958            Tackle Requirements
A discussion over the what tackle the club needs took place. Generally it is ladder and lifeline.

Plan to construct our own ladders during the year. Concern was raised over making our own equipment and it was clearly stated that election ladders are access equipment which should always be used with a lifeline (safety equipment).

1959            AONB Wardens
Nigel Taylor has asked if the club will support the campaign to protect the jobs of the AONB wardens by writing to Somerset County council and Natural England.

Henry Bennett to write letters

1960            The Hobbs and long standing members
Jane Clark arrived towards the end of the meeting and asked if it was in the Committees remit to discuss the membership fees for Sid and Sylvia Hobbs. Sid has been a member since 1957 and Jane asked if it was possible to waive his subs since he is a long standing member.

There was some discussion as to if this was in the power of the committee (yes, it is) and if this would affect large numbers of other long standing members. At the time of the meeting it was understood that there would not be a many members who have over 50 years continuous membership.

Discussion also ensued as to the method that this gift would be administered. We already have Life Membership and Honorary Life Membership and adding new membership levels would add complexity to the administration for the membership secretary. It was decided by the committee that we would grant the Hobbs free membership ongoing.

Addendum – Following the meeting it was discovered that there are three other non life members who would also qualify for this gift. Plus we have eight additional members who have been in the club for 40 years.

This has been discussed with Jane Clark and we need to iron this out at the next meeting.

Proposal – Grant Sid (and Sylvia) a 50th year special and propose a 50 year rule at the AGM.

1961            Inveresk Land
Jane Clark produced a newspaper article that indicated that Inveresk are looking to pull out of the paper mill site and are in financial difficulties. There share price has fallen from over 15p to 1.75p in a year.

Jane’s sister Rachel is well known to many BEC members and was closely involved in recent discussions with Inveresk over a WP2 plan for a neighby pyrolysis incinerator in Highbridge. Jane stated that her sister has inside knowledge on the way that Inveresk negotiate which would be beneficial to any communications.

The current state of play is that Nigel Taylor has allegedly been in communication with the Inveresk Management and that discussions are now taking place between solicitors. Concern was raised using solicitors for club matters since they have previously informed us that future work will be chargeable.

It was agreed that this was a matter for the committee rather than the trustees and that given the lack of movement it should come under committee control.

Phil Rowsell proposed that Rachael Clark initiate discussions with Inveresk on behalf of the BEC.

Henry Bennett proposed that the committee leverage the knowledge and experience of Rachael but lead the discussions themselves. This was carried.

1962            Upstairs bunkroom radiator
An oil filled electric radiator has been purchased for the upper bunk room.

1963            MCG Cuthberts Leader application request
The MCG have requested that they are allowed to have a Cuthberts Leader.  There were no objections to this on the proviso that the MCG grant the BEC a guest leader to Upper Flood. Stu Gardiner expressed interest in this role!

1964            Belfry Drains
Over the last couple of months the Belfry drains have “backed up”.  Since the manholes had indicated that the is a pipe blockage and repeated flushing has cleared the issue we need to investigate if we have a collapsed pipe.

Action – Henry B & D to rod drains to check.

1965            John Irwin – Honorary Membership
Last year the committee undertook to grant John Irwin honorary life membership for his support of the BEC. This has not been auctioned.

Action – Henry Bennett to progress

1966            Meeting Chair and minute taker should be separate roles
Phil asked that the Chair and minuet taker be separate roles. This was agreed.

1967            Toby to step down from Caving Secretary next year
Toby is looking for a replacement Caving Secretary to take over from his role.

The meeting closed 10.20pm


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It is with regret that we hear of the passing of another of our Club's alumni.

Keith Gardner's funeral is on Tuesday 5th. Feb. at the Masonic Hall in Yatton at 1300hrs. The actual funeral is in the morning and is family only but a memorial will be held at the Masonic Hall followed by a drink or two.


Working Weekend and Lecture Night 4th - 6th April 2008

Work on our new tackle store and members bunkroom is progressing well and we expect to have these finished soon. To expediate this we will be holding a working weekend over 4th - 6th April and holding a slide show in the evening.

Full details will be published soon but please put this in your diaries.


3pm, Friday 12th. September 2008, Haycombe Crematorium ,Bath

Please note that the Haycombe Crematorium Chapel can only accommodate 170 persons, and it is envisaged that the numbers seeking to attend may not only be in excess of that figure, but will actually mean many persons will have to remain outside.

After the main ceremony a 'private' Cremation will be held in the Lower Chapel for close family and friends.

It was Tony's wish that all would later return to the Hunters Lodge Inn, Priddy for the Second Wake!
He so enjoyed his first wake so much and really regretted that he would probably miss the second one.


Memorial Service - Saturday 15th November.

Since there maybe many people who are unable to attend this sendoff a Memorial Service will be held on Priddy Village Hall.