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Editorial

After the Christmas number, we are back in our usual goal for another year.  As you will no doubt notice, this consists of exactly the same cover and general arrangements as last year.  Nevertheless, during the course of the coming year, we are going to (we hope!) a fair amount of work - mostly behind the scenes – with a view to further improving the B.B.

The main item for which we feel there is plenty of room for improvement is the legibility of the printing. This is partly due to the machine, but could be improved by the use of a thicker paper which would permit heavier inking.  We may try out a specimen page of this soon.  We could recover the money by the use of smaller type and hence less pages for the same amount of writing.  Again, we may serve up a sample.

A “fancy” cover has also been suggested by several members.  If we go to this in 1960 - which is the earliest we can – we shall be stuck with it for some time, so during the course of this year, we should like to hear all your suggestions, so that the club may enter its silver jubilee year in 1960 with the best possible magazine.

 “Alfie”

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We Wish All Club Members A Happy & Successful New Year

Notice

THE NEW STONE BELFRY will take an awful lot of man hours before it is finished.  Anyone with a few moments to spare when at the Belfry can help by carting stones from the pile and stacking then round the building about three feet away from the outside of the walls.  This will save the builder’s time when laying masonry.  Also concrete blocks can be usefully piled up inside the building.  Even a few minutes work on this will be useful.

Committee Meeting

The December meeting of the committee discussed progress being made on the new hut and the kitchen improvements.  It was agreed to buy a new projector for slides at £3.  A long discussion on ladders and tethers followed, after the recent failure of a club ladder down a cave.  I was agreed to leave the purchase of a suitable club tent to Frank Darbon. It was agreed to buy a copy of “Man’s Journey Through Time” by Prof. Palmer.  Mo was authorized to buy a stock of carbide lamp spares.  Bob Kitchen was elected a member of the club.

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Congratulations to Roger and Daphne Stenner on the birth of their son, Edwin.  Roger tells us that his son has no beard as yet!

Angus and Maggie are back! Older members will remember these two who set out on the twenty first of June, 1956 to travel round the world on a motorbike.  The bike in question - a triumph twin and box sidecar - was to be seen outside the Belfry the weekend before they left for furrin parts.  They arrived back in Liverpool two days after Christmas having covered some 55,000 miles and after visiting Norway, Central Europe, Greece, 'Turkey, Egypt, Kenya (where they worked packing oranges to save up enough for the next stage) Australia, New Zealand, U.S.A. and Canada.  Intending travellers please note that they are quoted as saying that they found Turkey the most hospitable and the U.S.A. the least.

We understand that John Lamb will soon be with us again as the latest rumours say that he will be back from New Zealand in March.  Tony Rich still keeps in contact with club members and is still in Canada.

Caving Log

1st Nov.

Cuthbert’s.  Trip by King and Etough to High Chamber and September Series for photography.

 

Cuthbert’s.  Bryan Ellis and Mike Thompson.  Trip to Upper Traverse Chamber.

8th Nov.

Cuthbert’s.  Chris Falshaw and Etough.  Removal of obstruction which occurred at the top of the entrance pitch on a recent trip.  Rock now jammed in the entrance rift.

 

Swildon's. To the bottom of the 40.  Keith Robins and Jerry Gower.

9th Nov.

Cuthbert's.  Etough.  Tourist trip to Cascade and Curtain Chambers.

 

Aggy Aggy.  Ian Dear took part in a W.S.G. trip.

 

Swildon's.  Detackling party after diving.  Dave Lane; Mike Palmer; Dennis Clague and Roger Stenner.

17th Nov.

Aggy Aggy.  A B.E.C. trip including Norman Petty, Chris Falshaw, Tony Johnson, Mo, Tony O'Flaherty, Prew, Roger Stenner, Mike Wheadon, Mike Palmer, Totty and Alan Sandall.  Arrived at the cave by various routes at 3 pm.  Mike Hooper was supposed to lead the party but Nigel Clarke led in the end.  Trip through the first part of the cave was very tight.  The total cave covers about five miles.  Norman entertained the party with a very fine display of fireworks in the Main Chamber.

23rd Nov.

Eastwater.  Roger Burky with Ian, Mo, Gaff, Tony O'Flaherty, Alan Coase (Don's brother) and Mike from Leicester University, descended the cave with the intention of doing the Beecham Series.  However, when Roger Burky was climbing the Dolphin Pitch, one of the splices of the lower ladder parted company with the rest of the ladder and the pitch was descended on half a ladder.  Mo then climbed down the pitch just for the hell of it and after a consultation between those ‘down below’ and those ‘up above’ it was decided to postpone the trip.  Mo and Roger then climbed the pitch, greatly assisted (!*+!!) by the rest.  The others then left for Primrose path and Baker's Chimney except one who was of too great a girth to get through!

 

Swildon's IV.  Frank Darbon, Dave Hoskyns and Stuart Cannell assisted M.R.O. in a practice rescue from IV.  The victim was Gerry Wright.  Personal Opinion from Frank – quite impossible to get anyone out •

30th Nov.

G. B.  Down Gorge and White Passage.  Leader Prew.

6th Dec.

Swildon's.  Trip to St. Pauls.

13th Dec.

Cuthbert's.  Photographic trip to September Series.  Leader Kangy.  He warns leaders of the roof in Trafalgar Chamber which is probably the worst in the cave.  The boulder jammed in the entrance examined.  It spoils the continuity of the pitch but seems fairly negotiable.

Membership List

(Continued from the Christmas B.B. with additions and revisions)

284

A. Thomas

Sandhill Special Residential School, Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset

379

D. Thomas

23585478, 58/18 Troop, 5th Royal Tank Regiment, Catterick Camp, Yorks

409

G.E. Todd

86 Kingsholme Road, Kingswood, Bristol

74

J. Tompsett

51 Rothmans Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

80

Mrs. D. Tompsett

51 Rothmans Avenue, Great Baddow, Chelmsford, Essex

326

E. Towler

11 St. Phillips Road, London E8

382

S. Tuck

Gently, East Knoyle, Salisbury, Wiltshire

79

R.M. Wallis

Swildons, 343 Upton Lane, Widnes, Lancs

397

M. Wheadon

2 Hulbert Place, St. Thomas Street, wells, Somerset

399

P.C. Wilson

Woodland Cottage, Wrington, Somerset

175

J. Waddon

7 Haydon Road, Taunton, Somerset

341

R.A. Woodford

80 Torrington Road, Ruislip, Middlesex

The following new member has joined the club since the list was published: -

413

R.F. Kitchen

1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, Watchet, Somerset

And the following have changed their address since the list was published: -

A.C.L. Rice is now at 13 Wades Road, Filton, Bristol

Mr and Mrs R. Stenner are now at Ivy Cottage, 5 Beach Hill, Clevedon, Somerset

Electromagnetic Surveying

By Norman Brooks

In was interested to notice the mention in the September B.B. last year of the possibility of using a radio type service for cave surveying and noted the editor’s reference to my equipment so an article on what it was; what was accomplished with it, and how it came into the existence would evidently be quite useful.

Whenever a cave system bends round and comes close to another part or rises and comes close to the surface, surveyors have been baffled by the fact that light will not penetrate the intervening rock, and thus a closed loop cannot be obtained. Apart from digging through, there are three possibilities of overcoming this difficulty based on the use of radio waves; electrostatic fields; or electromagnetic fields.  The method least affected by the nature of the rock is the magnetic one, using the field produced by the passage of an audio frequency alternating current through a large cell.  A radio method could be used providing that a low enough frequency was used - 20 to 100 Kc/s would be suitable - and would result in little loss of accuracy.  The radio method has one advantage in that the signal falls off as the inverse square instead of the inverse cube in the case of the electromagnetic field.

For overall simplicity of circuitry, however, a frequency of between 300 and 500 c/s is desirable, and simplicity of circuits is a most useful asset, considering that the amplifiers are likely to get hard treatment.  The position of the electronics in a device of this nature should be understood, for the transmitter is no more than a surveyor’s assistant’s lamp and the receiver no more than the surveyor's eye.  The accuracy and usefulness of the whole system depends on the mechanical side of the equipment - that is, the accuracy with which the transmitting coil and the direction finding coil can be set up and read.  On the whole, the electronic side of the equipment is quite straightforward.

My work started about five years ago, when I decided it was about time that someone found the easy way into August Hole as indicated by the survey.  I do know whether anyone else but me has noticed the similarity between August Hole and the river Mississippi.  Mark Twain says in ‘Life on the Mississippi’ that ‘measurements indicated that the river was lengthening by a certain number of miles each year’.  From that data he was able to calculate the distance that it would, after a few years, stick cut into the Atlantic ‘like a rod’.  Measurements on the published survey indicate that August hole sticks out of the ground ‘like a rod’, and both calculations have about the same degree of accuracy!

The first experiments showed the difficulties in making a suitable piece if equipment were greater than had been anticipated, but after two months a device consisting of a transmitter feeding a large flat transmitting coil, and a receiver fed by a similar receiving coil, which could be rotated about any axis, came into being. It was tried out in a 60 foot deep chalk mine at Northwood, Middlesex.  The test was not so very successful, but it did serve to establish the design criteria and to point the way ahead.

One of the early experiments showed a fairly obvious snag with an apparatus using an electromagnetic field.  The transmitter had been set up near the local high street and the receiver taken further away in order to establish the range of the device.  The range should have been fifty yards, but this distance was reached and reception was still good.  Further and further the receiver was taken - into a minor road and on to a main road.  The local inhabitants must have been startled to see someone carrying a square board and wearing earphones and an intent expression walking down the street!  The long range was due to the presence of an under ground pipe, which the apparatus had detected with singular accuracy.

A month after the chalk mine experiment, in January 1954, the equipment was tried out in Lamb Leer. It showed the position of the Beehive Chamber relative to the surface, but could not determine its depth, as more work remained to be done on the equipment.  There was no cheating about the location of the chamber, for I was surprised to find that the equipment pinpointed a spot not in the least where I should have expected it to be, yet a subsequent check against the survey showed the spot to be correct.

After Lamb Leer things went slowly.  Many improvements had to be made before the equipment could be used for cave measurements with any hope of success.  Because of a wet summer, it was not convenient to use it in August Hole that year, and it was not until July 1955 that the first serious attempt to use the device was made.

The Wet Gallery of August Hole was tried.  The attempt to locate the position relative to the surface and the depth was none too successful for a number of reasons, not, the least being lack of skill in handling the new tool.  It was obvious that team work was essential and Bryan Ellis became invaluable as the other member of the team.  In November 1955, the device was used successfully for the first tine.  I am sorry to say that the results firmly indicated that August Hole did not stick out of the ground like a rod, and that any dig would be a big job.

In December l955, the equipment was used successfully used to locate the position of Pillar Chamber in Ogof Ffynnm Ddu relative to the surface.  From then on, it was decided that the best course was to rebuild the equipment completely apart from the receiver and amplifier as, now that the principle had been thoroughly established, a proper instrument was required. So far this has not been done.

A great deal of data has now been obtained which would be invaluable to anyone wishing to build something similar of their own.  By using this, they should be able to guarantee success and save themselves three quarters or more of the work I had to do.  It is not worth giving a technical description of my device here, but if anyone is interested in building a similar device, I shall be only too pleased to help them.

Norman Brooks.

Editor's Note:     There is a lot of work which could be done on Mendip by a device of this kind.  The position of the end of the Maypole series in Cuthbert's for instance, or the relation of the end of the Black Hole series in Swildons to the nearest part of Swildons I. I should imagine that there are members of the club who would also help a constructor with advice on the use of transistors and assistance in getting the circuitry "potted" in resin &c.  There appears to be a very interesting time ahead of anyone who is prepared to take Norman up on his offer!

More Personal News

Congratulations to Sago and Ronnie Rice on the birth of their son on Sunday, December 28th. He weighed in at 7½lbs and is to be named David George.

Notices

The Southern General Meeting of the Cave Research Group of Great Britain will be held on 2nd May, 1959 at Wells. The hosts this year will be the U.B.S.S.

The B.E.C. Club Tent has now been purchased and may be hired out by parties wishing to use it on climbing and other trips at a charge of 10/- per weekend.  Charges for longer periods will be based on a rate of 10/- per three nights.  Thus a week plus the two weekends will cost 30/-.  The tent may be obtained en the Thursday preceding the weekend or period required from the club room at Redcliffe.  The tackle officer, Norman Petty, is in charge of the tent and arrangements.

It is proposed to get mains water installed in the Belfry as quickly as possible.  Owing to the cost of this, it has been agreed to adopt the same procedure as was adopted to pay for the calor gas installation originally. Thus, all Belfry charges will go UP BY 3d PER NIGHT from the time of the installation of the water until the cost has been covered.  This will take about a year.

The committee have requested that a notice be put up in the Belfry about the use of tackle.  This will be done as soon as possible. Meanwhile, all tackle should be cleaned after use and stored in the women’s room.  A tackle log will also be re-started and members are asked to take it seriously.

Swildons

There will be a diving operation on the 17th January, in which it is hoped to get five divers into Swildons VI, led by Oliver Wells.  Four people will support them in V, and a kitchen will be set up in IV.  A sherpa party will be starting down the cave at 9.30 am on the Saturday and the divers will follow at 10.30.  A second party of sherpas, led by Oliver Lloyd, will go down at 3.30 pm carrying the remainder of the 35 packs.

There will be a further operation on the 31st of January, in which it is hoped to get 6 divers into VI.

ALL ABLE BODIED CAVERS ARE ASKED TO SUPPORT THIS OPERATION.

Names  should be given to Len Dawes, Ken Daw or Mike Holland. Even people who are only prepared to go to the 40 and back may come in useful.  All people collaborating will receive a copy of the official report of the operations in the cave.

This Month’s Sonnet

Exposure suits are now the thing to wear.
No self respecting caver would be seen
Preparing for a trip on Priddy Green
Without one.  He’d regard himself as bare!
Long year’s age, the gentlemen would dress
Correctly for a cave in bowler hats,
Plus fours and Norfolk jackets - maybe spats!,
And thus accoutred, downward they would press.
Then cavers, dressed in variegated rags,
Would bash through sumps, defying damp and cold.
Now supercavers, scorning ways of old,
Float gently through in suits like sleeping bats.
Do you suppose I think it all joke?
Not likely! They'd be just the job in Stoke.

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Tailpiece.  An excellent barrel of beer was provided at the Hunter's recently by Roger & Daphne, who were celebrating the birth of their son, and by Norman Petty, who was celebrating his tenth anniversary of caving'.  Mike Holland also dispensed free cider.  The usual time was had by all - and called later by Ben!

 

 

Editorial

It is, as we had occasion to remark about this time last year, a custom for the serfs of the B.B. to endeavour to produce a larger than usual offering to mark what is known as the festive season.  The production of such a large version of the club magazine is, of course, rather beyond our capabilities and readers will not be surprised to find several “clangers” in this one.

The worst of these, for which we seriously apologize, is that the margins on pages 12 and 13 are on the wrong side (corrected in this version) and it is difficulty to read the words occurring inside of each page.  This occurred because the Christmas B.B. is typed all in pieces, from September onwards.  The fact that page 13 is not numbered is not due to any form of superstition amongst the board, but merely an oversight.

We have, this year, made an attempt to avoid wasting space in this Christmas B.B. and owing to popular demand (three people) we are not printing an index of the year’s B.B.’s at the back.  Again, we are concentrating on the lighter side but hope to include at least some serious articles.

On typing out the annual list of members, we noticed with regret that once again a few well known names are no longer present.  As “Pongo” said at the A.G.M., the B.B. is about the only link where many older members have with the club and we would like to remind them that we are always pleased to receive articles, letters or suggestions from them.

Finally, the Editor and all members of the Editorial Board would like to wish all readers of the B.B.: -

“A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS”

Personal

Congratulations to Alan and Carol Sandall on the birth of a son, John.  He was born at 9.45 pm on Monday, 17th November and weighed 6lbs 2 oz.

Odd Items;

The next G.B. guest day is during the weekend 20/21st December.  Please contract the Caving Sec. Roy Bennett.

A TIMEX WATCH has been left in the Belfry.  Will owner please contact Hut Warden?

Balch Memorial Fund

We have been asked, as a result of the recent meeting of caving organizations, at which the B.E.C. was represented, to circularise our members asking for individual donations to the fund which has been set up to provide a plaque to be erected on the Wells Museum.  This plaque will commemorate the work of the late Mr H.E. Balch, the pioneer of caving on Mendip.  All clubs are contributing, but without individual donations, the sum raised will not be adequate.  Donations should be sent to Hucker & Booker, Chartered Accountants, Penniless Porch, Wells and cheque made payable to the Balch Memorial Fund.

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We are very pleased to be able to include the article which follows in our Christmas B.B.  This is the first account of the work in Swildons, which culminated in the discovery of Swildons VI, to appear in any caving magazine. We should like to thank the author for allowing us to print this account, and to congratulate all concerned for a very fine piece of successful exploration.

Swildon’s  VI

By Len Dawes

Diving operations were held in Swildons on the weekends of September 6/7 and 13/14 by the Cave Diving Group.  The first weekend was spent getting equipment into Swildons IV.  This mammoth task was completed by having a large number of Sherpas, divided into several parties.  One party ferried the equipment into Blue Pencil Passage, and this was chained down the passage into Swildons IV and passed to divers who carried it upstream and tested it.  Besides the C.D.G., cavers from the W.S.G., B.E.C, S.M.C.C. and the Wessex took part.

On the following weekend, the diving party set off at 11.30 and arrived in Swildons IV two and a half hours later having travelled slowly in exposure suits.  Then followed much time spent in dressing and assembling the diving gear.  While doing this, the streamway could not be trodden in as the stirring up of mud would reduce visibility when under the water.  The diving party consisted of Oliver Wells with John Buxton as second diver, supported by Eric Hensler, John Bevan, Jack Whaddon, Phil Davies, and myself. The party walked down the streamway after changing, with the divers in full kit except for weights.  At Sump IV, the wire was belayed to a flake of rock by the sump, the signal line plugged in, and the sump entered by Oliver Wells after his breathing drill had been carried out.  He returned after one minute to say that it was O.K., then re-dived the sump and disappeared.  After five minutes he returned to say that an airspace existed and estimated the sump to be about forty feet long, judging by the amount of line paid out.

The plan now was for John Buxton to put his equipment on and for the pair to explore again.  This was done, and after a short time, the telephone buzzer went and we had a brief description of Swildons V.  They had got to Buxton's Horror (at which John Buxton punctured his dress).  As, by C.R.G. procedure, this had to be repaired as soon as possible, they returned to Sump IV and asked for a repair outfit to be put onto the wire.  This was done, but they had no success in repairing the puncture, and John Buxton decided to push on as he was.  They returned to the phone and told us they intended to survey.  By tying a knot in the wire where the water meets the roof and then pulling the wire through, the sump was measured.  All were surprised to find that the sump was only fourteen feet.  The divers went on with the survey while we were left to ponder on the length of the sump.  We agreed that a fourteen foot sump, provided it had no hazards, was suitable for free diving.  No one, however, was anxious to try.  Eric Hensler said now was the time, while divers were on the far side.

While the discussion went on, the two divers returned.  Oliver agreed that now was the time for a free diver to have an attempt, and he would be happy to see anyone through.  I was persuaded to attempt it.  Then a discussion arose as to the best way to do it.  I had never attempted to dive a sump in an inflatable exposure suit and I was reluctant to try Sump IV in one.  John Buxton assured me that I would be O.K. if I used diver's weights which were available. Having agreed this would be the method, I was seized by the others, pushed into the first deep pool upstream, and sat on while they rubbed and poked at my arms and legs under the pretext of getting the air out of my exposure suit.  I was then taken downstream to Sump IV again, loaded with diver’s weights, and further pummelled to ensure the last remaining air was removed from my suit.  I then laid in the sump practising forced breathing.  There is little danger of overdoing this in Swildons IV owing to the oxygen deficiency in this part of the cave.  With a final large gulp of air I put my head under the water and pulled on the wire.  I went through the sump without difficulty and surfaced in a small airspace to find Oliver waiting about five feet further down the passage.  Oliver removed his breathing apparatus and we set off. Oliver showed me round Swildons V.

Immediately after Sump IV, the passage opens up to be narrow but high, with a tributary coming in through the roof.  Immediately beyond this point, the roof comes down to form a duck with about three inches of airspace.  The passage continues beyond with about, three to four feet of water and twelve to eighteen inches of air.  Then comes the second duck, Buxton’s Horror.  This is the place where there appears to be two distinct routes.  In actual fact, the correct one is the one that has the smallest airspace.  This duck is particularly nasty as the airspace does not extend for the full width of the passage, being triangular, about four inches wide at the water surface and three inches high at the top of the triangle.  The passage at this point is of unknown width and it is possible to miss the airspace on the other side altogether.  This may happen on either the outward or return journey.  The passage continued wet, murky, until another tributary comes in via twin avens.  The avens are too tight to enter.  Directly beyond this, sump V starts.  There is a duck immediately before Sump V which varies in length.  On this first trip, the duck was thirty feet with an airspace of two to three inches.  On the second (later) trip, this airspace disappeared entirely.

We then returned to Swildons IV and had hot drinks made by Chris Hawkes who had set up a kitchen. The divers took their kit off and packed it up.  It was then handed to the Tiger Sherpas who had carried it into Swildons IV.  We got out of the cave at 3 am.

As a result of this operation, it was decided to hold a second one on the 8th of November.  This time, divers would use a miniature breathing apparatus, the purpose of this being to ascertain that Sump IV was safe for free diving by cavers; to explore the tributaries coming into the newly entered part of the cave and for the divers to push on and explore Sump V and beyond.  The sherpas set off about 10 am carrying the equipment and the diving party set off about 1.30.  We all got down to Swildons IV and set off into Swildons V.  Derek Ford and Joe Candy started a detailed survey of Swildons V. Ken Daw, Mike Thompson and myself set off to explore the first tributary, just after Sump IV.  We hadn't enough maypole to get in.  We then set off downstream through the ducks to the point where the twin avens come in.  We found that they were too tight.  Then Oliver Wells donned his apparatus, belayed his wire, and dived into sump V and unknown ground.

Every so often there was a single buzz from the earphone at our end - a signal that all was well. After a time Oliver spoke into the earpiece and told us that he had come through an eighty foot sump and was standing in Swildons VI!  He elatedly described this as huge - high, wide and handsome - a stream passage twenty feet high and ten feet wide with the stream flowing downhill over pebbles and boulders.  Oliver said that he thought he could lower the sump to a negotiable duck by digging a channel in the streamway .  we sent an entrenching tool to him on the wire.  He said that he would dig the channel and then we could all join him in Swildons VI and asked us to tell Oliver Lloyd, who had set up a kitchen in Swildons IV, that the rest of the party would be back in about an hour. Mike Thompson and I set; off back to do this, leaving Ken Daw and Phil Davies.  Mike and I went through the first duck on the wav out without trouble. Then we reached Buxton's Horror. Then followed the most unpleasant experience I have ever had in a cave.  I attempted to dive through this duck, sumping fashion, expecting to reach the airspace about four feet on.  I travelled about five feet under water and still hadn't reached the airspace.  I then tried reversing back to the place I'd started from.  After reversing for five feet, I still hadn't cone into an airspace.  This left me no choice except to do a series of reverses, hoping to find one side or the other, during the course of which, Mike Thompson grabbed one of my feet, as I was on my last gasp of air, and dragged me back into the airspace I had started from.  After that, we went back towards Sump V, as we thought that the water might have risen and we would need Oliver and his diving apparatus.

In the meantime, Oliver had had no success in lowering the level of the water.  Phil Davies was supposed to go through and join him, but he was unable to do so as he was out of gas on one cylinder.  Oliver then returned and we all set off out of the cave. This time, we had no difficulty in getting through Buxton's Horror and Oliver lead with his breathing apparatus, showing us the way by his light.  We returned to Swildons IV, and after bread and cheese and hot drinks provided by Oliver Lloyd, we laboriously set off to the surface, arriving there at 3 am.

In conclusion, it should be said that Swildons V is a dreary dismal, unpleasant place and is extremely dangerous to anyone not aware of its hazards.  Sump IV can be free dived by really experienced, competent cavers with no qualms about diving sumps.  Surfacing in the immediate airspace beyond the sump is extremely difficult.  It was found that most people carried, straight on the extra five feet and surfaced in the chamber beyond - taking twenty feet in all. There is a tendency for projections of rock to catch on the clothing as you go through, but there is plenty of room to move about through the sump.  Swildons V should not be entered if there is any chance at all of the water level rising.

It is intended to hold the next operation early in the New Year, probably at the end of January and an attempt will be made by divers going through to Swildons VI, to lower the water level right through Swildons V.  For this operation, lots of assistants will be needed and all experienced and fit volunteers will be welcome.

Annual List of Club Member’s’ Names and Addresses for 1958

306

T Andrews

135 Danson Road, Bexley, Kent

412

T.O. Asquith

70 Albert Road, Pellon, Halifax

236

T. Attwood

4 Bridge Road, Shortwood, Nr. Mangotsfield, Bristol

20

R.J. Bagshaw

699 Wells Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

392

M.J. Baker

Morello, Ash Lane, Wells, Somerset

358

D.J. Balcombe

26 Bennett gardens, Norbury, London SW16

368

N. Barrington

53 St. George’s Drive, London SW1

290

R. Bater

2 Upper Perry Hill, Southville, Bristol 3

214

R. Bennett

37 Queens Road, Ashley Down, Bristol 7

390

J. Bennett

37 Queens Road, Ashley Down, Bristol 7

370

W.L. Beynon

Lower Lodge, Weston Park Road, Weston park, Bath, Somerset

364

P.M. Blogg

1 Ridgeway Park, Ridgeway, Glos

336

A. Bonner

45 St. Alban’s Road, Westbury Park, Bristol 6

401

Miss J. Boot

17 Beaufort Road, Clifton, Bristol 7

145

Miss S. Bowden-Lyle

51 Coronation Road, Bristol 3

36

R. Brain

4 Lees Hill, Kingswood, Bristol

320

F.R. Brown

13 Alexandra Road, Bath, Somerset

393

R.G. Brown

45 Blundell’s Road, Tilehurst, Reading, Berkshire

384

R.D. Brown

3 George Street, Taunton, Somerset

320

N Brooks

392 Victoria Road, Ruislip, Middlesex.

209

P. Burt

3 Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts

190

Mrs P. Burt

3 Manor House, Rothamsted, Harpendon, Herts

389

R. Burky

52 Sedgemore Road, Combe Down, Bath, Somerset

361

B. Busson

57 Southcote Rise, Ruislip, Middlesex

366

B.R. Chamberlain

102 Egerton Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7

231

N.D. Clark

3 St. John’s Crescent, Wainfelin, Ponytpool, Mon.

398

A.C. Coase

18 Headington Road, London SW18

211

Mrs C. Coase

P.O. Box 1510,m Ndola, Northern Rhodesia

89

S.J. Collins

33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8

395

Cochrane

23368196 L/Cpl, Gordon Barracks, Bulford, Wiltshire

377

D. Cooke-Yarborough.

The Beeches, St. Briavels, Lydney, Glos

71

A.J. Crawford

3 Hillside, Harefield, Uxbridge, Middlesex

401

M. Cunningham

103 Staplegrove Road, Taunton, Somerset

405

F.G. Darbon

43 Arthur Henderson House, Fulham Road, Fulham, London, S.W.6

350

Mrs A. Davies

New Bungalow, Hancot Lane, Pentre, Queensferry, Flintshire

226

I. Dear

76 Reforne, Portland, Dorset

164

K.C. Dobbs

85 Fox Road, Pinhoe, Exeter, Devon

325

A.J. Dunn

70 The Crescent, Henleze, Bristol

331

J.A. Etough

116 Newbridge Road, Brislington, Bristol

322

B.M. Ellis

Oakmead, Cher, Minehaed, Somerset

263

D. England

28 Mendip Road, Bedminster, Bristol 3

232

C. Falshaw

50 Rockside Drive, Henleaze, Bristol

371

A. Fincham

Leeds University Union, Leeds 2

269

T.E. Fletcher

The Old Mill House, Barnack, Stamford, Lincs

278

G.A. Fowler

77 Kingshill Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

385

R. Francis

91a Oxford Gardens, Kensington, London SW10

404

A. Francis

53 St. Thomas Street, Wells, Somerset

251

K.S. Gardner

10a Royal Park, Clifton, Bristol 8

388

J. Goodwin

11 Glanarm Walk, Brislington, Bristol 4

434

D.A. Greenwood

53 Lingwood Road, Clapton, London E5

346

G.H. Griffiths

164 St. Johns Lane, Bristol 3

239

D. Gwinnel

 

104

M. Hannam

15 The paragon, Clifton, Bristol 8

304

C.W. Harris

14 Market Place, Wells, Somerset

400

R. Hartley

19 Cowper Road, Redland, Bristol 6

4

D. Hassell

‘Hill House’, Moorlynch, Bridgwater, Somerset

372

M.J. Healey

24 Water Lane, Brislington, Bristol 4

373

S.M. Hobbs

135 Doncaster Road, Southmead, Bristol

387

G. Honey

Giddings Caravan Site, Hemingford Grey, Huntingdon

406

D. Hoskyns

128 Woodland Gardens, Isleworth, Middlesex

97

J. Ifold

Leigh House, Nempnett, Chew Stoke, Somerset.

150

P. Ifold

Sunnyside, Rectory Lane, Compton Martin, Somerset

363

M. Isles

33 Greenleaze, Knowle Park, Bristol 4

374

J.J. Jacobs

126 Bridge Lane, Golders Green, London NW11

279

J. Jenkins

251 Bishopsworth Road, Bedminster Down, Bristol 3

340

R.L. Jenkins

5 North Street, Downend, Bristol

225

M. Jones

389 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7

267

Mrs M. Jones

389 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7

285

U. Jones

3 Durham Street, Eslwich Road, Newcastle-on- Tyne.

289

D. Kemp

17 Becmead Avenue, Streatham, SW16

316

R.S. King

1 Lynmouth Road, Bristol 2

332

D.J. Lacy

31 Devon Grove, Whitehall, Bristol 5

260

J. Lamb

365 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol 7

275

C.A. Marriott

718 Muller Road, Eastville, Bristol 5

414

T. Marston

54 Pear Street, Kingston, Halifax, Yorkshire

106

E.J. Mason

11 Kendon Drive Wellington Hill West, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

383

P.J. Miller

130 Longmead Avenue, Bishopston, Bristol 7

334

D.W. Mitchell

Swallow Cliffe, Stolford, Stogursey, Somerset

339

G. Mossman

5 Arlington Gardens, Arlington Villas, Clifton, Bristol 8

308

K. Murray

17 Harrington Gardens, South Kensington, London, S.W.7

386

A. Nash

60 Marmion Crescent, Henbury, Bristol

329

T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset

330

Mrs T.W. Neil

Bradley Cross, Cheddar, Somerset

362

F. Nicholson

23526190, E Troop, Le Cateau Field battery, 25 Fd. Reg. R.A.  B.F.P.O. 53

396

M.A. Palmer

Cathedral Coffee Tavern, St. Thomas Street, Wells, Somerset

245

J.S. Pembury

Grove View, Hambrook, Bristol

327

J. Pengram

4 Moffats Lane, Brookman’s Park, Hatfield, Herts

22

L. Peters

21 Melbury Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

160

N. Petty

12 Bankside Road, Brislington, Bristol

146

T. Pink

53 Burnthwaite Road, Fulham, London SW6

56

G. Platten

‘Rutherfield’, Fernhill Lane, New Milton, Hants.

337

B. Prewer

14 Egerton Road, Bath, Somerset

342

R.J. Price

70 Somermead, Bedminster, Bristol 3

291

D. Radmore

2 Dunkeld Road, Filton, Bristol

258

C. Rees

2 Burghill Road, Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol

241

A.L.C. Rice

20 Filton Avenue, Horfield, Bristol

391

P.A. Richards

164 Eastcote Road, Ruislip, Middlesex

343

A. Rich

Frontier Geophysical, Party 8, 207, 61st Avenue, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

411

K. Robbins

82 Eaton Valley Road, Luton, Beds

157

Miss J.P. Rollason

157 Pen Park Road, Redland, Bristol 6

367

J. Rowley

52 Granby Hill, Clifton, Bristol 8

240

A. Sandall

35 Beauchamp Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7.

359

Mrs. A. Sandall

35 Beauchamp Road, Bishopston, Bristol 7.

237

B.M. Scott

39 Colbrook Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex

78

R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset

356

Mrs R. Setterington

4 Galmington Lane, Taunton, Somerset

312

R. Setterington

86 Grand Drive, Raynes Park London SW20

 

A. Sidaw

143 Love Lane, Heaton Norris, Stockport, Cheshire

402

D.G. Soutar

12 Loring Road, Isleworth, Middlesex

276

J. Stafford

91 Hawthorne Street, Knowle, Bristol 4

38

Mrs. I. Stanbury

74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.

1

T.H. Stanbury

48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

365

R. Stenner

38 Paultow Road, Victoria Park, Bristol 4

381

Mrs. Stenner

New address to follow

60

P.A.E. Stewart

New address to follow

WE APOLOGISE to members whose names start with ‘T’ or ‘W’ for not having room to squeeze them in. They will appear in January’s B.B. along with any corrections which members send in to the above list. Please tell us if we have got YOUR address wrong as this is the one to which your B.B. is sent.

Beerwulf

Last year, at great expense, we printed some extracts of the works of the great Persian Poet, Omar Obbs. Although we have not been able to repeat this feat, we have, at even greater expense, translated from the crude Anglo-Saxon a portion of the great drinking saga: -

‘Mongst the high hills, neath the low clouds there the Belfry stands.
‘Tis a mead hall and a haven home of goodly bands.
Hearth companions, stout screech drinkers their weekends are free.
Long they wassail, loud they revel wights like you and me.

The Detailer's our outhouse stout call it Odin's seat
For he is the god of wisdom thus the title’s meet
Round about its sacred precincts spaewife casts the runes
Syb’s been at this pagan practice many weary moons.

An air of evil haunts the hall a subtle sense of slaughter
But tremble not, ‘tis caused not doubt by body in the water
Of dragon death to take no heed of him we have no fear
We’ll stand upon our man made strand and stave off thirst with beer.

The fire flames flickers neath the roof the ale bowl pours its streams
The hall doth quiver with glad sounds of song beneath its beams
A skilful scald sings, harp accomp’nied ballads new and old
And tales of battle, tales of drinking from each bench are told.

Bold built top the hill a sign of tribes gone long
Perchance in those dim distant days they too would sing a song.
As round their halls and o’r their huts the brisk breeze bravely blew
And storm wracked clouds and wind torn mists like wandering spirits flew.

The nights draw in and winter comes they drink the Bragi beaker
And boastful oaths and manly vows are sworn by many a speaker.
To brave the trolls in caverns dark to force a narrow squeeze,
Or swim the pool neath mellow noon while wandering watchers freeze.

There's a hall across the valley Shepton is the name
Neath its roof and under shelter stands the tea-boy thane.
It is strong built, it is stone built they've no linden wall,
In the evening, back from Hunter's shepherd Ken will crawl.
 
Within the hours allowed by tyrants fated feeble few.
At friendly bar they all forgather quaffing cheering brew.
They attack the cup and mead horn noble sights to see.
Like old Thor who drank an ocean they all fain would be.

Wass Habl

The Compleat Hut Warden

(with apologies to Isaak Walton, Stephen Potter and all readers.)

Important Note:  The following article is pure fiction and any resemblance to any person, either living of half-dead, or to any actions of such persons, is purely co-incidental.

There is more to Hut Wardening than at first meets the eye, and either for the benefit of any who may be thinking of taking it up either for the good of their health or their pocket, the only two specimens of Hut Wardeni who are normally resident on Mendip have put pens to paper to provide an introductory bit of gen. on the subject and to show some of the things that go on behind the scenes.  There follows thirteen points of interest (we hope!) on Hut Wardmanship.  This is, in the main, an extension of the principle of one-upmanship.

1. Correspondence.  It is inevitable that some of the members of the club will be able to read and write. This means that sooner or later they will write to book bunks for their bodies - which is all very tiresome of them. It is also very probable that they will try to be clever by asking for instance, for a bunk "facing the sea".  You have several ways to be one up here.  Write back pointing out that we live on an island and, therefore all bunks face the sea; have some replies ready for such an occasion such as "we have only bunks facing the engine left", or if caught with no reply, resort to one –downmanship and heave the thing into the waste paper basket.

Letters which commence with a greeting such as "Dear fellow felon" should be searched for money and then thrown away.  Practice a convincing denial of ever having received the letter throwing in a few remarks about the carelessness of the Post Office.

Another type of letter is from a conscientious Secretary and Treasurer suggesting a financial statement. Such letters are bound to arrive as no decent club will tolerate more than one rogue on its committee, and you will be too busy organising the hut to your own advantage to have remembered to send cash to the treasurer.

2. Rules and Regulations.  Every Hut must have a number of rules because if they exist, people will break them and this gives the Hut Warden a chance to be one generally. When such rules are drawn up it is imperative to have two things included.  These are that, while the Hut Warden’s decision may not be right or fair, it is final., and if there is any rule that you may wish to break at some time or other, get the words "or at the Hut Wardens discretion" added.

3. Tidiness.  This is a very sore point for all concerned, and a very difficult subject in which to be one up.  The situation is made easier if the Hut warden is bigger and uglier than the largest other member.  Failing this, a system of fines can be employed, although this brings us slap up against the difficulty of extracting payment (see section 9).  In extreme cases, the Hut Warden can resort to a ploy in Hogmanship (all right – live like pigs if you want to!) or one-downmanship, in which case he does all the work himself.

4. ??????????  & 5. ????????????  At a recent meeting of the “Hut Wardens’ Restrictive Practices and Closed Shop Council”, it was decided that these two items came under the Official Secrets Act and that it would be in the public interest to disclose them.  The have accordingly been removed.

6. Book Keeping.  Although this is your trump card in one-upmanship, the answer is extremely simple. All that is required is a very large book full of impressive figures, and a book keeping system that it is impossible for any one else to follow.  The system must be such that even when the Treasurer doubts your word (as he will if he has any common sense) then you can with an easy heart present him with the book saying "check them for yourself if you like!"  It is highly desirable to use an unusual ink so that if any clever person alters your figures to the correct ones, you can spot this error immediately.

7. Unwanted Visitors.  People who are polite enough to write are easily dealt with by a polite reply pointing out that you are fully booked.  If they just turn up, a sound ploy is to have a list in readiness showing that all bunks are booked by extremely large and aggressive types who are the moment in some pub drinking fluids which will render them even more large and aggressive on their return.

8.  Entry to Premises.  Presumably there will be a lock on the door of the Headquarters stolen from some somewhere or other and you can either give all members a key, or keep the only one yourself.  The former is the better ploy as the latter tends to make members feel that they are not wanted (their money is – by you!) and leads to illegal entry.

9.  Collection of Hut Fees.  The intending Hut Warden should first practice by squeezing small stones until he can wring out a decent quantity of blood every time.  He is then nearly ready for the job!  The collection of Hut Fees gives many opportunities for the one-upmanship so essential for the job.  One method successfully employed is to get up first and extract money from each member as he wakes and is too sleepy to realise the dirty trick you are playing.  In extreme cases, the money may be extracted from the victim before he wakes up.

10. Visitations by Custodians of the Law.  If the Custodian is a member of the club, perhaps he can be bribed by persuading him to buy you a pint of beer.  If not, then mention words like faulty exhaust system, three on a bike etc.  Should you be caught red handed by a strange Custodian, offer him a cup of tea (all decent clubs always have a pot on the go) or take him outside and show him two pounds of carbide “stored in a metal vessel or vessels, hermetically closed” and ask him if they are all right within the wording of the Statutory Rules and Orders (1929) No. 992.  While this is going on, an accomplice removes all signs etc.  If still caught out, tell him they were bought at a jumble sale.

11. Advertising or Blowing your own Trumpet.  This is found to be necessary, since it is essential to convince one and all that, under your regime the affairs of the club would, but for your skill at book keeping, have prospered.  Large graphs should be drawn, showing impressive progress each year.  These need bear no relation to the real figures.  You may wish to attract more people to your ho(t or v)el and this can be done by planting posters in rival establishments stating that you have running water (¼ mile up the road) that your premises are snow and frost proof, that every bunk has a view (of every ether bunk) and bracing fresh air, draughts, etc.

12. Provision of Warmth.  This is a debatable question, because if you provide too good a fire, you will not be able to get rid of parasites from other huts when the pubs have closed, also if no heating is provided, more work is done as people have to keep warm somehow.

13. Baker's Dozen.  An unlucky number, an:~ the number of pennies in a shilling when the Hut warden is collecting the cash.

Finally, remember that Hut Wardenmanship is a profession, and while not the oldest, is perhaps the most rewarding!

B.M. Ellis, Hut Warden, S.M.C.C.
S.J. Collins, Hut warden B.E.C.

The Great Gully of Craig-Yr-Isfa

Then there was the time when the two Johns, Attwood and Stafford, Russell Jenkins and I, made our way to Craig-Yr-Isfa.  Our intention was to try the Great Gully on that crag.  The day was fair, we had an extensive spell (two days) of dry weather, which meant the gully would be in good condition, and we felt fit.

My appetite had been whetted for this particular climb some years ago, when I first visited Craig-Yr-Isfa. The firm rock and enjoyable situations I had found on the Craig's classis Amphitheatre Buttress and Pinnacle Wall, together with enthusiastic accounts of the climb in several books, led me to believe the Great Gully had something special to offer.  It has certainly had a colourful history since it was first climbed by Archer Thompson in 1900, bad weather and short days conspiring to trap even experienced parties between its walls.  Now I was to see for myself.

Reluctantly we turned from the warm, bright May sun to the damp shadows of the Gully.  Only hard talking and sly salesmanship had persuaded the others from the delights of an open climb on rough, warm rock, and as they viewed the Gully, I thought my efforts had been for nothing. Fortunately the thought of grinding back round the scree seemed worse than continuing, and so we started.

Russell and I were on one rope and Stafford and Attwood on another.  The first few pitches scarcely needed a rope.  We scrambled up until we came to the "Door Jamb" which is a large chockstone, normally surmounted by climbing deep snow.  In summer the usual way on is a steep groove to the right, and then back into the Gully. The Gully continued looking like seaweed strewn rocks at low tide.  At this section a more pleasant, and certainly more dry alternative is up a chimney running parallel with the Gully for forty feet.  We found the chimney wet in its upper part but at least the rock was clean.

Above the chimney the gulley floor rose, steeply and roughly, until eighty feet or so on, it levelled and abutted against the dark, slimy rear wall.  On either side dank, dripping, green, moss-covered, overhanging walls presented a dismal picture and we were wrapped in gloom.  Russell looked at it, and without further consideration gave a quick précis of his thoughts - "No!” he said.  I felt inclined to agree, but experience has taught that things are often not what they seem, and many a seemingly impassable place has relented and revealed how it may be overcome if approached boldly.  (An invaluable guide in this sort of situation is a loquacious guide book!).  My first move after rejecting Russell's implied suggestion, was to walk into the fissure and to examine it with the guide book in mind.

The Chimney, 45 feet. This impressive pitch is climbed back and foot facing right, or by bridging.  The walls are set at the maximum distance for these techniques to be possible.

Very Cheering!  The lower part of the chimney was too wide for me, but twenty feet or so higher, the gap was narrower.  This led me to examine a second possibility.

A short man may have to climb the crack.  The crack in the right wall is still probably harder than the original, or not, according to technique.

I felt I was probably long enough in the leg to employ the bridging technique, and I hoped to be able to because the crack, presented as an alternative, looked hard.  At the crit¬ical part it was vertical and shallow, and although fairly clean, it was running with water.

At this stage, Stafford and Attwood joined me.  Russell had wasted no time and had retreated back down the gully, where he had used a break in the gully wall to climb out.  Stafford shared our distaste of the green slime, but loyally voiced a true second's opinion that perhaps we could "just look at it".  A.F. Mummery in "My climbs in the Alps and the Caucasus" tells a very revealing story about seconding. He was making a first ascent of the Auguille Verte by the Charpoua Glacier, with his guide Burgener (and his bottles of bouvier) and tackling a difficult section:-

 “I paid out my rope whilst Burgener traversed to the left in part along some slabby rocks, and in part on the upper edges of a more or less treacherous crust of ice abutting on them.  Eventually, we both had to be on the traverse together Burgener succeeded in hitching his rope over a big splinter above us.  As this operation seemed to afford him great pleasure, I thought it would be most cruel to object, though, as the splinter wobbled most ominously with the slightest pressure, I prudently unhitched the rope before venturing below it.”

Perfect seconding!

Stafford quietly took over the rope arrangements, and Attwood settled himself to view the proceedings.  I tentatively tried to bridge the lower part, but quickly abandoned this in favour of climbing the crack until it narrowed.  I tried bridging again and found it easier here until I worked up underneath a large chockstone.  The hard work lay ahead.  The walls continued at the same width, but were more or less holdless for about ten feet, after which one may balance across to a platform on the right wall. It seemed possible to use the crack to some extent with my feet, but the left hand wall, against which my back had to go, was smooth with damp moss. I retreated a few feet and placed a running belay in position below the chockstone.

Returning to the next stage, by stretching across the gap supported by my back and boots, and by pushing down with my hands and then wedging with my boots, I gained a few inches at a time.  Occasionally holds on the back wall were used.  Much struggling and then pauses to gasp air raised me to a point, where only a few feet to go, these methods no longer worked.  I gradually realised that, despite great exertion, no progress was being made.  Wedged firmly across the gap, with the two Johnnies looking very small immediately below, my hands were sliding off the slippery wall as I pushed down on them, and not having a great deal of energy left, I thought again.  Brute force and the other thing were ineffective here, so I tried taking things more gently.

My back and feet were jammed well, so I folded my hands in front of me and started wriggling my shoulder blades.

It worked!  Very soon my small back movements and then moving my feet up to keep me jammed, I had gained enough height to enable me to strain forward and reach a hold on the platform.  Balancing very delicately across, because there is a tendency to swing sideways and render the handhold ineffect¬ive, I slid my leg onto the platform. This left me with enough breath to exchange insults with Stafford.

About twenty to thirty feet of more orthodox climbing led to a large stance where the others joined me, though not without some delay, because my arms had not fully recovered and the rope felt amazingly heavy as I pulled it in.

A short rest did us good, but the sunshine called.

Some scrambling, a short stiff chimney, and then we could see far above our heads what must be the last vast chockstone.  At first glance it looked completely unapproachable.  Stafford’s blood was up, he approved of what promised to be a most interesting struggle, so he and I went on up the gully, while Russell and Attwood climbed a less intimidating variation.

A shoulder landed Stafford above a short undercut chimney.  I followed and then we were able to examine the Great Cave Pitch.  It was most unexpected.  A short scramble leads one to a floor which is surprisingly near the outer chockstone. Only a move of ten feet and then a short traverse is necessary to reach it.  We could see two possibilities, but neither seemed to tie up with what Archer Thompson had to say about his method of climbing onto the large chockstone jammed low above ones head.

By utilizing a small foothold on the right wall, the climber effects a lodgement on it, and then reaches its sharp upper edge by a struggle, in which he comes near to defying all the laws of anatomy.  A novel expedient is to lay the palm of the left and on the block, and using the arm as a pivot, perform a pirouette to the south; the climber thus lands in a sitting posture, with one leg thrust upwards to the roof to maintain equilibrium, any Gallio, however, will complacently demand a shoulder.

I buzzed happily and determinedly here and there, effecting lodgements in all the most likely places. None, however, scorned to demand the contortions described.  Meanwhile Stafford, who had wandered off into the darkness behind the low chockstone, called out that I could stop jumping around in that peculiar manner as he had found the place.  Confidently I effected the required lodgement - and found no further holds.  Stafford tried next, and because he doesn't care, launched himself at the chockstone.  To our delight he landed on his neck at my feet.  It was then I complacently demanded a shoulder.  The struggle was short and Stafford soon joined me.  The small ledge leading to the chockstone, twenty five feet horizontally, proved interesting but straightforward.

We emerged from the half light of the Great Cave into the welcome sunshine on top of the outer chockstone.  As our eyes became accustomed to the stronger light, they revealed that our situation was superb.  The chockstone is so placed that the gully drops away from it, so that one may see most of it from top to bottom looking almost vertically down for seven or eight hundred feet.  Behind us, nothing but scrambling between low walls and almost horizontally to the finish.

Feeling good inside, and pleasantly tired, with the long sporting climb behind us, and the prospect of a sunny walk with extensive views in front of us, we coiled the rope.  As we contentedly moved towards our friends lying in the sun, it was as though behind us lay another, newer, friend.  A good climb.

R.S. King.

Lady Chatterbox’s Cover

By Ann Gardner

A hundred and fifty years ago, Clifton was the home of the elite.  Ladies and gentlemen walked the terraces high above the Avon.  Slowly the standard declined, until of recent years it has risen sharply by the influx of new blue blood, as the village has again found favour with the elite of the 20th century.  Yes?  Clifton means the B.E.C., and naturally, their homes are amongst the best in the district.  A team of experts have been very recently, and, needless to say, without informing the owners beforehand, conducting an inspection and tour of these stately homes of the B.E.C.

Monday the 26th August, 1958 saw Mr & Mrs Y.B. Gardner arriving at the residence of Mr S. J. Collins, who has within the past few weeks, by devious means, provided himself with an apartment in a Georgian house of great character.  Although the neighbours and occupants of the same building state that they have never seen the gentleman in question, it can be definitely stated that he does sleep there, amongst other places of course.  The lounge of this palatial residence is large and exceptionally high ceilinged, the fireplace is a magnificent wooden affair with cut out hearts and pillars in a type of mahogany.  The carvings were brought to my attention by Miss J. Rollason, together with several comments of a dubious nature.  The copper whatnot over the actual hole where the smoke goes up, and it is to be presumed out, has a beaten bas-relief of either two tulips with drooping leaves or two stylised cats with toothache as opposed to cats on rooftops. The whole is set off by two smears or dribbles of green paint like mixture which has not yet been eradicated. The wall opposite the windows has a large alcove which has many possibilities.   The suggestion was made that a more than life sized statue of a popular personage in the club should be erected there but, on revision, no one seemed to fit.

The bedroom could be described as a ballroom or a garage for eight cars and in either case there would still be room for at least 40 people to sleep provided they took up only ten square yards each.  Mr Collins has offered British Railways a sub-tenancy of his hallway as a shunting yard. The view from the bedroom is of a well laid lawn with circular flowerbeds and borders and one very old man who is no doubt a fixture.

An extremely long kitchen has all the necessary fittings, a vast selection of beer mugs and the usual tin opener.  Off the kitchen is the bathroom from which the usual offices meander off into limbo.

From Mr Collins' home, the party of 4 persons toured the roads of Clifton peering in at all windows at odd bods watching T.V. and indulging in weird and wonderful sports.  Mr Hannam’s penthouse was the next port of call.  After climbing a long and superb staircase we reached a door. This was duly banged on and after a short while Mr Hannam descended and was prevailed upon to let us in.  We crawled the remaining two flights to the sixth floor and proceeded to poke around.  Mr Hannam's flat has a wonderful view of Bristol and the surrounding countryside and we were told that on a clear day, "You can see the masts on Blackdown".  This is only if the sun should inadvertently appear. Mr Hannam's main room is a rather odd shape with beams, copper kettles, old warming pans and french windows. There is a very interesting stone sticking out of one wall, but the company thought it might not be taken too kindly were it removed to test its antiquity.  The only drawback to the establishment is the shortage of ashtrays. Mr Hannam appears to be averse to having his shoes used as such.  Excellent coffee was provided and it was noted that only three saucers and one spoon were readily available.  The kitchen is tastefully decorated in primrose with red covered covers.  The bedroom is small, but very comfortable and has the same beautiful view as the main room.  Mr. Hannam has found that the strain of sleeping upright in order to enjoy this is somewhat beyond him.

We then proceeded to our respective homes.  A further edition in the “Stately Homes” series depends on whether the B.E.C. members will let us in or discover a pressing need to visit and old aunt in South Africa.

*****************************************

Readers may remember an article on “How to write an article for the B.B.” which appeared in July’s issue. In this article, a mythical character called Berty Bodge, writes a number of articles, starting with “My first caving trip.”  To our great surprise, shortly after this article appeared, we were sent the following: -

My First Caving Trip

A novice’s Impression of Swildons Hole

By Bert Bodge

I don’t usually talk about my caving experiences, but on reading in the July Belfry Bulletin how anxious you all are to hear about my adventures down Swildons Hole, I took my pencil in hand and decided to oblige.

I must say that before I begin that I think Alfie has got a bit in front with his dates, as I had ALREADY BEEN before in September.  I would like to say too that the programme he has drawn up for me is a bit too stiff for a novice (and only an amateur one at that).  Who the blankety-blank could write a poem, “When you are climbing up a ladder?”

Well, back to Swildons. I went to the cave with a party of five; myself, ‘rat’, the leader, Rosemary, Richard and Michael – all medical students (except me) and all new to caving except Rat.  We filled our lamps with water at a delightful stream and put on our helmets.  Mine is too big.  The only way I can get it to stay on is by wedging it sideways on my skull, a painful process.  Otherwise it just falls over my eyes and blacks everything out.  While I was fixing it on, my companions must have gone below.  When I looked up, I was alone.  A villainous looking grating lay open in the ground and voices issued forth – already “booming”.  My spirits fell.  I scribbled a short note saying where I had gone, and containing a few simple instructions for the disposal of my effects in case I did not return and hung it on a branch of a tree above the grating.  Regretfully, I lowered myself in.  It was dark and it was wet, at least I think so.  From round a bend in the passage the voice of ‘rat' came as he harangued me for five minutes, telling me to use a dry foothold, while I sat in the stream and tried to understand.  Eventually he realised that I was already sitting in the water and that it didn't matter. He was very put out.  Richard and Michael waited impatiently - quite dry. Rosemary had gone into sort private limbo of her own and was unheard, unseen, a muddy little ghost.  She said she was frightened.  I didn't say anything.

Rat was way ahead, shouting boisterously.  The chasm deepened; the torrent resounded; the rocks shone orange¬/pink in the fitful light.  (I remember thinking how horrible a colour it looked) I wasn’t too well disposed towards any old rocks, I spent so many minutes wondering how to get over then or, if they won the battle, whether I should slip.  Oh, Bodge!  I was fully occupied all the time except when my mind returned to the letter on the tree. Ghastly thought - ¬somebody might have read it - and my boot would tremble as it paused over a meagre crevice. (That Bert Bodge survived, readers, is yet another example of the triumph of mind over matter.  The letter was retrieved, torn into a thousand fragments, from the munching molars of a friendly cow.  Meanwhile behold him, still in peril, ignorant of this fortunate chance.)

A voice cried "We're lost!"  The party rushed right and left.  I stayed at my “Halt” sign, which was in the form of a large rounded rock situated on the edge of the stream passage which was exercising all my ingenuity to vanish, when “Back the other way!” – a splendid idea.  They all rushed off.  I was still on the rock being very careful, as I know how.  Lord, the strain on my bootlaces.

Eventually we stopped in a grotto.  Rat searched for an exit while we sat tight.  We knew what to do all right!  Then we walked a bit more back the way we had cone.  Caves are very boring.  Rat said we were now going out.  I could scarcely speak at all; my voice stuck in my throat, I felt so tense that when I came to do the last squeezy bit my emotions had taken all the strength away from my arms and legs.  I have not mentioned how I was allowed to climb on a faulty ladder because I have bean told to keep quiet about it.  I feel very strongly indeed about faulty ladders and will write a letter about them one day, as Alfie suggests.  I am not allowed to say how I hurt my feet - suffice to point out that I am now inconvenienced by having to wear my boots at night as I cannot get then off.  Well, cavers, that concludes my little jaunt and if you can help me out of my boots, you’re a better man than I am!  (Has anyone got a saw?)  In conclusion, I would like to state that I found my trip to Swildons a most interesting an instructive introduction to the art of caving and I strongly advise anyone who may be contemplating a descent to follow my example and act before they think – sorry, look before they leap – into this most enjoyable of sports.

Janet Boot.

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We hope, as this bit of the B.B. is printed, that we will be able to include elsewhere in this number, some reference to the very stout effort recently put up by the diving party who managed to get a diver through an eighty foot sump and hence discover Swildons 6.  We hope they will forgive the bit of nonsense which follows: -

SONNET

A few years back, one did a Swildons Hole
By going from the entrance to the sump.
Or, if you wanted more, you made your goal
To enter Swildons II, and extra limp.
Then came Black Hole
And odd assorted Bells
St. Paul’s, Damascus and more
Till, hacking bits away for longish spells,
Some caving types discovered Swildons IV.
Another sump, and into Swildons V
They swam, and into Swildons V
They swam, and then went right ahead to fix
A trip in which some eighty feet of dive
Was mastered, thus revealing Swildons VI.
We’ll find, if divers progress at this rate
That Wookey IX is Swildons XXXVIII!

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The Belfry Bulletin for Christmas 1958.  Editor, S.J. Collins

 

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Editorial

The B.B. published after an A.G.M. is invariably rather full of club affairs, and this one is no exception. In addition to the remarks about the B.B. which readers will find in the account of the A.G.M., we should like to remind them of Jonah's offer of photographic assistance which we hope is still open and which we have never had the opportunity to use.  Who is going to be the first to send in an article with photographic illustrations??

We have also been asked to remind members that Caving Reports are normally obtained through the Secretary, either by post or directly at Redcliffe.  They may now be bought on Mendip (at the Shepton Hut) and there are a number of back copies of the B.B. for sale there at 3d each.

The Editorial Board now consists of Alfie (Editor), Bob Price (Printer), Jill Rollason (Checker), and Prew and Tony O'Flaherty (Addressing and Postal Department).  We should like to take this opportunity of thanking all past members of the Board for their help.

"Alfie."

September Committee

At the September Committee Meeting, Keith Robbins was elected as a Junior Member. Amongst other business dealt with, Norman Petty agreed to fit doors to the cupboards in the Belfry kitchen; the speeches for the Annual Dinner were arranged; the laying of hardcore outside the Belfry and progress on the new building were discussed and it was agreed to purchase new spades at 5/6 each and more nylon rope. The club insurance cover on the Belfry is being looked into with a view to raising it if necessary.  The Tackle Officer also announced that preparations for a new wire in the wire rift are in hand.  The meeting was concluded by the chairman formally disbanding the committee pending the election of the 1959 committee.

October Meeting

The first meeting of the 1959 Committee was held at the Belfry on the Sunday following the A.G.M. The committee appointed club officials as follows:-

Committee Chairman

R.A. Setterington.

Hon. Sec. & Treasurer

R.J. Bagshaw.

Hut Warden & Editor, B.B.

A. Collins.

Printer B.B.

R.J. Price.

Caving Secretary

R. Bennett.

Hut Engineer & Asst. Hut Warden

B. Prewer.

Assistant Librarian & Min. Sec

C. Falshaw.

Tackle Officer

N. Petty.

Lamp Spares

Marroit

Climbing Secretary

Pat Ifold.

Librarian

J. Ifold.

In addition, it was agreed to proceed with the doors and other carpentry in the kitchen.  It was agreed not to hold the dinner at the Cave Man again.  Keith Asquith was elected a member. It was agreed to obtain one more lorry load of hardcore for the Belfry outside.  Other items dealt with included fire fighting equipment for the Belfry; arrangements for obtaining materials for the new building; Cuthbert's survey equipment and caving and climbing tackle.

Report of The A.G.M.

The 1958 Annual General Meeting of the Bristol Exploration Club was held at Redcliffe Church Hall on Saturday 4th October 1958.  The meeting started at 3 p.m., at which time a quorum of 28 members were present.

The minutes of the 1957 meeting was read by the Hon. Sec. after R.A. Setterington had been unanimously elected Chairman; and were adopted by the meeting.

The Hon. Secretary mentioned in his report that 21 new members had joined the club in the eight months since the last A.G.M., but in spite of this, club membership was only up to 115.

The Hon. Treasurer declared that the club’s finances were in a healthy position and the cost of the new Tackle and Changing Hut could easily be borne.  Mush of the increased receipts were due to the greater number of Life Memberships being taken out.  He also announced that a sum had been collected for a memorial to Don Coase, but he was keeping this separate from the club finances.

The Hut Warden announced that Belfry Bed nights were greater than those at the same tine last year by about 300 bed nights and that all records would be easily broken by the end of the year.  He attributed this to the bad summer which resulted many members staying at the Belfry, and there was some mention of a number of unemployed in club.

A report in the Belfry Bulletin followed in which the Editor pointed out that the B.B. was tending to cost rather more than had been originally agreed on when the present Board took over its running.  A discussion followed in which R.M. Wallis, speaking as a member who was rarely able to come to Mendip, pointed out that the B.B. should not be hampered through lack of funds.  This was agreed by Dan Hasell.  Bob Price then made a plea for some volunteers for the Addressing Dept.  Prew and Tony O'Flaherty responded and become members of the B.B. Board.

The Caving Secretary commented on the high level of caving activity this year.  Arising from his speech, it was agreed to advertise a club trip in the B.B. at suitable intervals.  The new caving secretary to arrange this.

At this stage, the result of the ballot for the 1959 club committee became known and was read out by the Chairman.  The committee again consist of 10 members, as there was a tie for the last place.  It consist of: - R.A. Setterington; R. Bagshaw; C. Falshaw; N. Petty; A. Collins; R.J. Price; B. Prewer; P. Ifold; R. Bennet and ‘Mo’ Marriott.

The Tackle Officer's report followed.  He announced that club now possessed 136' of lightweight tackle and 45' of Ultra lightweight as well as a new 100' of nylon line.

The Hon. Librarian reported that Clare had donated most of Don’s books to the Club Library.  We now have 40 books but it appears that some 70 must be missing, judging by old lists.  The Chairman suggested that Chris Falshaw and Johnny Ifold get together and attempt to trace the missing books.

The Climbing Secretary reported that active membership of the section had increased and suggested that camping equipment be purchased by the club for the climbing section.  It was agreed to leave this matter to the 1959 committee.

Sleeping arrangements at the Belfry provided the main talking point under the heading of ‘Member’s Resolutions’ and the meeting ended with a lively discussion on the subject.

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Editor's note on the above.  This account of the A.G.M. was taken from notes made at the time, but is not an 'official' account.  The full proceedings may be seen by members on application to the club secretary.

Caving Log

3rd August

Alfie’s Hole.  Party removed rocks in chamber.  A hole in the floor uncovered from which a passage can be seen.  The boulder pile is far too unstable to allow penetration yet.

 

St. Cuthbert’s.  Leader A. Sandall.  Trip via Old Route to sump.

 

St. Cuthbert’s.  Leader “Mo”.  Down Old Route up to High Chamber and Cascades.  Back up Pulpit Pitch.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Chris Falshaw.  Down Pulpit Pitch to Dining Room then via Lake Chamber.  180’ of new passage discovered on way out.

 

General Note.  Club Record.  24 people down the cave and total man hours was 145.

 

St. Cuthbert’s. Leader N. Petty.  Tourist and digging trip.  Digging in mud choke by Beehive. Swildon’s.  Leader K. Robbins.  Tourist trip to Sump I.

4th August

Alfie's Hole.  More muck removed from floor of chamber.  Alfie removed one small stone from bottom.  Ten seconds later, cave had to be evacuated owing to imminent collapse of boulder pile.

6th August

Cross Swallet.  Alan Fincham spent two hours knocking rocks off and breaking them up. Way on is still not clear.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Bryan Ellis and Chris. Surveying in the Rabbit Warren.

8th August

St. Cuthbert's. As above.

9th August

St. Cuthbert's. As above.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Prew.  Down to Dining Room and brought out telephone.

 

Tankard's Hole.  Leader R. Stenner.  Survey started, after cave had been dug out again.

 

Blake's Farm Swallet.  Leader Mike Wheadon.  Party went to fullest extent of known cave. Chris went on along a streamway until finally stopped when his light went out.  He was rescued by Bryan!

 

Swildon's Hole.  Trip to sump I via Tratman's Temple and the Blasted Boss.  Leader Keith Robbins.

10th August

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Mike Wheadon & Prew.

 

Swildon’s Hole.  Trip to Sump II. Leader K. Robbins.

 

Tankard Hole.  Survey continuing. Leader. R. Stenner.

16th August

Tankard Hole.  Survey continuing. Leader R. Stenner.

 

August Hole.  Leader “Mo” Marriott.

17th August

Swildon’s Hole. Upper Series.  Leader K. Robbins.

 

St. Cuthbert’s. Leader Mike Wheadon.  Grand tour of system including Rocky Boulders and Maypole.

 

St. Cuthbert's. Leader Kangy.  Hanging Chamber entered and penetrated to its top by a series of feats with Maypoles, ladders ropes and other climbing devices.

 

Swildon’s Hole.  Photographic trip.  Jonah.

19th August

Swildon’s Hole.  Leader George Honey.  One scout fell into the second pot twice.

21st August

Swildon’s Hole. Photographic trip.  Jonah.

 

Hollowfield Swallet.  Leader Chris.  Lassoed a nearby boulder and dropped down to 'Main Chamber' went on to a flat out crawl which became silted up after twenty feet.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Chris.  A passage running parallel to Harem passage was investigated.  40’ of new passage entered.

23rd August

St. Cuthbert’s.  Leader Kangy.  Cross Leg Squeeze and Hanging Chamber.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Bryan Ellis.  Tourist trip.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Mike Wheadon.  Following Chris's last trip, passage continued through ­boulder ruckle into fairly large chamber with some black stal.  A drop through the floor brings one to a streamway which can be followed to a sump.

 

Swildon’s Four.  Leader Alan Fincham.  It was noted that water coming down the Maypole Pitch by the final sump was contaminated and a connection with Priddy Green Farms is suspected.

30th August

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Chris.  Investigation of passages in the catgut extension.

31st August

Hillier's Hole.  Leader Prew.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Chris.  Tourist Trip.

 

Alfie's Hole.  State of affairs at bottom of chamber inspected.  Not as bad as feared.  Hole might still go!

31st August

Vole Hole.  Dig abandoned and excavation started to be filled in.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader Mike Wheadon.  Found a further small chamber well decorated.

 

August Hole.  Leader Bob Bendall.  Tourist trip to end of cave.

 

St. Cuthbert's.  Leader.  N. Petty.  Drilling holes in Wire Rift for new wire.

4th September

Eastwater.  Leader  Keith Robbins.

6th September

St. Cuthbert’s. Leader Kangy.  Photography in Curtain Chamber.

 

Swildon’s Hole.  Leader Roger Burky.  Sherpa trip in preparation for W.S.G. trip.

13th September

Alfie's Hole.  New entrance started.  One side of top shoring completed.

 

Goatchurch and Sidcot.  Leader R. Stenner.

14th September

Alfies Hole.  Shoring continued.

 

Swildon’Four.  12 Hour Sherpa trip.  Dave Balcombe and Kangy.

20th September

St. Cuthbert’s.  Roy Bennett and Chris Falshaw.  A large boulder complex was entered which extended from the Railway Tunnel to Upper Traverse Chamber.  It requires much sorting out.

 

Swildon's.  Leader R.  Stenner.  Top Series with Expresso coffee.

21st September

St. Cuthbert’s.  Leader Mike Wheadon.  Catgut Extension.  Another chamber discovered.  Report will follow later.

22-23 Sept.

St. Cuthbert’s

 

A party of four, including Mike Wheadon, Mike Palmer, Albert Francis and Prew went down at 8.30pm and went straight down to Catgut Extension.  Went into chamber found by Mike Wheadon on the 21st September.  SIZE IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF QUARRY CORNER.  THE FORMATIONS AT THE TOP END OF THE CHAMBER ARE PROBABLY AMONG THE FINEST IN THE ENTIRE CAVE.  The chamber was named September Chamber.  At this bottom of the chamber, a small hole led to a chamber in the centre of which was an aven.  The top could only just be seen with the aid of a powerful lamp.  Height is over a hundred feet.  From here, a bedding plane continued down dip to an old stream passage, having excellent formations.  This carried on until a T-junction was reached.  Left is a short passage.  Right goes for about 70-100' and many ways are still to be looked at.  Series is called September series.

 

Prew

27th September

St. Cuthbert’s.  Leader Chris Falshaw.  Went to September Chamber which is quite magnificent, the profusion of stalactites being amazing.

28th September

Eastwater.  Leader Tony O’Flaherty.  Down to the first vertical and back.

29th September

St. Cuthbert’s.  Leader Mike Wheadon & Prew.  Trip to Catgut Extension.  Photographs taken and formations taped.  New passages discovered.  Trafalgar Chamber, Strand and Victoria Passages.  All of the party were slightly shattered by the magnificence of the series.

Personal

Congratulations to Dave Radmore whose wife has recently presented him with a daughter, Carol, weight 6lbs.7oz.

Congratulations also to Joan and Tony Crawford on the birth of their son, Roger Alan.

Library. 

AN APPEAL to all members to turn out cupboards, attics, and other odd corners.  Have you a club library book, for instance, propping up one side of your piano?  Please let Johnny I. or Chris have any club books you might find!

Caving Trips.

If you are organizing a trip, let the caving sec. know, so that it can be advertised in the B.B. or send or give the information directly to the Editor or any member of the Board.

New Building.

Don’t forget.  FREE BED NIGHTS to all who WORK on this job. Work will be starting in earnest very soon.  Come and do your bit!

Racing In North Wales!!!

The hand of fate fell heavily on two club members, inflicting them with that dreaded malady, 'Midsummer Madness', the effects of which are not so long lasting or so consequential as Spring Fever, but much more horrific.

This illness started when Alan Bonner and myself accepted the invitation of Rex Aldridge to join the Yorkshire Rambling Club’s meet to attempt the Welsh 3,000's in North Wales on June 21st - midsummer day.

After three and a half hour's sleep, we found ourselves deposited in the Pen-y-pass Hotel car park, to make up a total of 19 starters.  The clouds were down low and hanging heavily on Crib Goch with no wind to harass it.  The time was 4.30 am.  A fast pace was set, and we were soon in a thick, muggy blanket of cloud walking up the steep side of Crib Goch and doing a balancing act on the ridge leading to the pinnacles.  By now there were four of us in the leading group, which was reduced to three when Rex tried to turn the last pinnacle and so lost valuable minutes.  1 hour 50 minutes from the start, we were past Crib-y-Ddisgl and on top of Snowdon.  From there we belted down the railway track to Clogwyn station and then plunged down a fine scree slope to Llanberis Pass.  Alan Bonner was the first down at 6.50 am approx., myself being delayed a few minutes by a call of nature.

Older members of the Y.H.C. were installed in Bendy Mawr hut and cooked us a very welcome second breakfast. Rex, Alan and myself set off for Nant Peris just before 8 am and were soon climbing up the long, tedious slopes of Glydir Fawr.  Because of the cloud, we did not find the best way, climbing up amongst loose boulders. We then realised that we were possibly off route when a raven croaked some 100' below us.  Rex's map reading and compass work was first class in that we were in cloud while traversing. Elidir Fawr, Y Garn, Glyder Fawr and Glyder Fach.  It was not until we descended to Bwlch Tryfan that we saw our first cloud free peak, Tryfan. From the summit it we eased our way down a gully on the N.W. face bringing us down to the main road at Milestone Buttress, and so to the Midland Club Hut where more food was waiting.

We left the hut at 3 p.m. under a bright sun and headed to the east ridge of Pen-yr-oleu-wen, making our way over the steep, broken and vegetated slopes until we found a track which led to the summit. We rested in the hollow cairn and enjoyed the excellent view.  The rest of the peaks on the Carnedds were easily reached, compared with the previous going, reaching the last peak at 730 pm.

The last part of the trip down to Bethesda was taken seriously, as the thought of a beer and closing time at 10 pm occupied our main thoughts.  We cut through a churchyard to arrive at a pub at 9.30 p.m.  Our conscience was eased by finding the vicar installed there. We were met by our friends of the Y.R.C. who plied us with pints and transported us back to their club hut. Our thanks are due to them for providing us with food en route and to Rex Aldridge for inviting us to the meet.

Geoff Mossman

Social Column

It must be recorded that at the Hunters Lodge on Saturday 11th of October, Sid Hobbs drank screech from a ladies shoe!  To the best of out knowledge this has not been attempted before at the Hunter's. Sid seems to be surviving well!

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The Belfry Bulletin. Editor: S.J. Collins, 33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8
Secretary: R.J. Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol 4

 

 

Editorial

As announced in last month’s B.B., the postal department has been reorganised, and is now in the care of 'Prew' and Tony O'Flaherty.  Owing to the fact that they both live in Bath, there has been a little delay in organising the sending off of the October B.B., but we hope that all is now under control.  A further improvement will soon come into operation as we now have an addressograph machine!!  Members living in odd places will soon receive their B.B. with their address tastefully printed, and, we trust, earlier in the month!

Alan Sandall and 'Spike' have both volunteered to help out with the production of the B.B. as and when required.  It is a pleasure to welcome them back to the Board.  This means that we now have a goodly collection of people who are familiar with the slightly cockeyed system by which the B.B. is printed, bound and distributed so that we are not so likely to be held up through a vital member of the team being unable to help.

Our usual Bumper Fun Book for Christmas is well under way and we hope that it, will be ready nice and early in December.

“Alfie.”

Committee Meeting

The November meeting of the committee discussed progress made on the present Belfry - improvements to the kitchen are continuing - and also progress on the new hut.  This is proceeding satisfactorily and the foundations are now in.  Provision of a tent for the climbing section, to be hired from the club by the weekend was agreed to and a suitable tent is being purchased details of its use will be announced in the B.B. when it becomes available.  A lock has been put on the M.R.O. box.  It was agreed to send Norman and Chris to the Balch Memorial Meeting to represent the club.  Roy agreed to inspect the club stretcher.  It was agreed to publish a vote of thanks to Sid Hobbs for his work in looking after the Belfry Detailer.

Caving Trips.

Following a resolution approved at the recent A.G.M., a list of future caving trips will be printed at intervals.  Members are asked to submit details of trips to the Caving Secretary.  At least one trip will be arranged every other month suitable for novices and any preferences as to time and place should be communicated to the Caving Secretary.

Caving Trips for November.

Sunday 16th November.  Agen Allwedd (Aggy Aggy) S. Wales.  Details from Norman Petty.

Sunday 30th November.  Tyro’s trip at 11 am of Top of Swildon's.  Meet at the Belfry.  Leader 'Prew' .

New Hut.

We still need willing hands to build this hut!  When you next use the Belfry, think of those past club members who put it up so that YOU could be comfortable on Mendip.  Now's your chance to do YOUR bit!  Remember, there are FREE bed-nights for all who WORK at this job.

For those who prefer to sing their notices, we have:-

"Cavers sitting in a daze
By the stove's heat-giving rays
Foreman from the building bawls
“Stop flipping rays and raise flipping walls!”

Caving Log

5th October

Swildon's.  To the bottom of the forty under very exhilarating conditions.  The duck on the way to the forty was a sump and was sumped by myself owing to the difficulty I would have had with the squeeze above it.  When we entered the cave, the water was one inch above the grating.  Leader, Ian Dear.

11th October

?????????  Digging was started in this cave by Prew, Mike Wheadon, Alan Sandall, Bill Benyon and Chris.  The shaft goes down three feet and a bedding plane was entered extending for 15 feet.

12th October

Eastwater.  Trip to sand chamber and back via the Dolphin route.  Leader Mike Palmer.

 

Alfie's Hole.  Shoring continued and collapse is unfortunately now prevented.  Some very unorthodox shoring installed in what must be the only spiral shaft on Mendip!

18th October

Swildon's.  Weegee trip to sump I.  Leader Ian Dear.

 

Swildon's.  Trip to first sump.  The party would not believe the leader when he told them that the water in the double pots was only eighteen inches deep.  Leader Ron Bater.

 

Alfie’s Hole.  A seven hour shoring trip.

 

Ease Gill and Lancaster Hole.  A two and a half mile trip by Mike Wheadon, Prew and Len Dawes in conjunction with W.S.G.

19th October

Swildon's  Tackle collecting trip by Mike Wheadon and Tony O’Flaherty.

25th October

Lamb Leer.  A party of five including Mikes Palmer and Wheadon.  Prew and two others descended complete with four pints of screech for two people who were camping for the weekend.  Goods were delivered safely.

25th October

Vee Swallet.  Boards placed near entrance to prevent further muck washing into tunnel, which can now be excavated with ease and earth stuffed behind aforesaid boards.  C. Lewis, M. Collins, A. Burt and P. Miller

 

Eastwater.  Leader Tony O’Flaherty.  Encountered 17 tourists which caused much delay!

Letters To The Editor

          S.S."Alan Macbeth!!
          Zanzibar.

To the Editor, B.B.

Dear Sir,

I believe I remember reading some months ago in the B.B. that members would be interested to hear from their fellows in "furren parts", so here goes.

For the last ten days or so, we have been working down the East African coast, discharging cargo at Mombasa and Tanga.  From there we go on to Dar-es-Salaam and then a long pull across the Indian ocean to a one horse town near Cochin, in South India, where we start loading for home.

The weather here in E. Africa is pleasantly cool for an area so near the equator and we often have rain at night, especially in Mombasa.  The engine room is still uncomfortably hot and we are not looking forward to India where it will be a lot worse – anything up to 125O.

Last week, four of us were able to get away to a game reserve in Kenya.  We had two whole days off - a rare event in the Merchant Navy - and we made the most of it by hiring a car and having a good look at the African bush.  Even the main roads are un-metalled for the most part and in the reserve itself they were so bad that I managed to put a 2½" gash in the petrol tank driving over a large boulder.  There was plenty of game about, and we were lucky enough to catch sight of three cheetahs sunning themselves on a large anthill. As we had neither telescopic lenses nor much time, we were unable to get any decent photos of the wild life. Nevertheless, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, arrived back at the ship very tired and dusty after our expedition to the interior.

Tony Dunn.

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Flax Bourton.
5th November (of course!)

To the Editor of the B.B.

Dear Sir,

Seeing the footnote in last month's B.B. about Sid Hobbs' exploits in the Hunters makes me cast my mind back to other notable occasions; back to the days when the room across the passage was exclusively the B.E.C.'s week in and week out, and which other people entered strictly at their own risk!  In those days, every weekend gave us something to remember it by.

Who can remember the fantastic singsongs that took place every Saturday; the time when a limerick session lasted for 23 minutes non-stop without repetition, and it was found that one limerick plus chorus took 20 seconds; the “anti-social” games of bridge that used to precede the singing; indeed, “Hunter's Bridge” in general. Can anyone remember the rules?

Can anyone remember the only time that the sergeant from Wells came into our room on a Saturday night? Small wonder that Casey was worried for by all the rules the table should have been covered with bridge cards and pennies.  By some fluke, someone had brought up a pack of 'Lexicon' that night and we were trying it out.  The law retired perplexed and defeated.

Thinking of the Hunter's means thinking of people too, both cavers and locals, for I think at that at that time we were much closer to, and more a part of the local folk.  I can think of Hal Perry, of the magnificent voice and beard, with his pint pot of orange juice; of Pongo doing the Can-Can; of Sett and George Lucy having some involved scientific argument; of half-pint, Roger Cantle and Sago; of Johnny Ifold’s uncanny knack with cards.  And the girls too, especially one, who shall be nameless, who amazed an outsider by knitting, reading, singing, drinking, smoking and holding two conversations all at once!

Then above all, there was Ben ands Mrs Dors.  If it hadn’t been for them, the Hunter’s evenings would never have been.  The B.E.C. owes a lot to them.  And the other locals too, Gilbert, Art Dors, Pop Harvey, Bert Russell and that huge man from Cheddar who could persuade Ben to do a jig. If they had acted differently we should not have had the fun we did.  Always too, to bridge the gap between us and the locals, there were people like Dev and Les and Mary Browne.

The drinks too were as diverse as the drinkers.  Scrumpy, Orange, Bamboo, etc.  Remember the stout shandy craze one hot summer when you had to find a drinking partner as it took three bottles of Liffey Water to make two good drinks?

There are just as many memories from outside the Hunter’s.  Who can remember Tim Hendrick flying around with the Harvard and “shooting up” the Belfry from zero feet on occasion?  I wonder where the photo of him flying past the old Belfry has got to? And what about the day Angus, in full dirty caving kit, pedalled a push bike of the diving board into a mineries full of swimmers.  Above all, what of the ‘Menace’ whose exploits could fill a book?  Surely some of the old gang with better powers of description than myself could amuse the current Belfryites and it could certainly bring back memories to some of the earlier fraternity.  Perhaps even His Grace the Duke of Mendip, Baron Priddy could, through his secretary, utter some reminiscent words of wisdom on the subject.

                                                            Yours etc,
                                                                        Tony Johnson

P.S.  Please, for an iggerunt one, what is screech?

Editor’s Note:    Screech, Tony, is the current name for rough or scrumpy on which Sid is the present virtuoso.

The B.E.C. Goes West

by Jack and Dorothy Waddon

For some weeks early in this year, proposals for spending the Easter weekend had been the subject of much controversy in the Waddon household.  To camp or not to camp, that was the question.  To the argument that “We always camped before at Easter” came the reply that this year Easter was earlier than usual and it was also much colder than normal.  Eventually, the female side won by craftily pointing out that if we used ‘B and B’s instead of camping, we would be able to bring back far more geological specimens than we otherwise would if we were loaded up with the tent, sleeping bags, primus etc.  As a result, it was decided to spend the weekend geologising in North Devon and leaving camping until warmer weather.

On Good Friday morning, as we were about to set off from Taunton, where we had stopped overnight to break the journey, a large black contraption with burnished copper tank agleam thundered up the street; Keith Murray astride “Louise”, the mostly 1922 Brough Superior 1000cc twin.  He was on his way to study the mineralogy of Cornwall!  After a cup of tea, we were off on our respective journeys westwards.

On our way through Lynmouth, we looked in at the Sunny Lyn camp site, where Norman Petty had said that he would be camping for the weekend.  In company with Norman were Alan and Carol Sandall and Roger and Daphne Stenner.

An aroma of fried onions hung about in the Lyn Valley during the time these stalwarts were in camp, from the hot dogs which Norma dispersed to all and sundry from time to time. The evening was getting rather late and very cold, and after remarking on the rapid growth of the ice crystals in the water bucket, and making the observation that it looked like snow, we went on to the farmhouse where we were to spend the night, but not before Roger Stenner had announced that in the absence of a sleeping bag, he was making do with a flying suit “inner” and a layer of clothing.

Next morning, we looked out on a white landscape and the snow was still falling fast!  On top of Exmoor, the snow was two or three inches deep and the road conditions were a little dicey in places. As we dropped down to Comb Martin, on the coast and a lot lower, the snow gave way to a steady rain.  Parking the Ariel, we set out on foot to geologise in the area.  At Combe Martin are some famous silver mines, which were extensively worked at various periods from as early as the 13th century to the latter end of last century. The silver obtained from these, and other mines at Beer Alston in Devon is said to have financed various several of the wars with France which English monarchs at one time indulged in. The ore is a highly argentiferous galena, containing about 80 to 120 ounces of silver to a ton of lead.  In fact, the silver content was so high that the lead was a relatively unimportant by-product.

The mines at Coombe martin are mostly in the hills to the North East of the village.  One of the very early mines is situated high above the village, in the south slope of the valley.  It is approached up a long steep lane, rightly called ‘Watery Lane’, and it was while visiting this spot one Boxing day a few years ago that I managed to get four bike load of Belfryites successfully bogged down!  This time, however, we were interested in the newer mine on the North East side of the valley. Most of the many adits and shafts which formerly existed are now blocked, but within almost a hundred yards of Comb Martin Main Street is a very small preserved adit, which has a shallow dam across the entrance and is used as a reservoir for supply to a nearby market garden. It is possible to enter this adit wading through the water and penetrate the old workings for a considerable distance. The water gradually gets shallower, until at about 75 feet in, the adit floor is reasonably dry.

The Combe Martin Mines are located for the most part, in the Ilfracombe beds, a series of grey shaly slates attributed to the mid Devonian.  The high calcareous content of the rock was clearly demonstrated by the presence of dripstone and stalactites in a small hollow from which a spring rose.

A quick search at the spoil heaps at the entrance to the adit and in the nearby sunken lanes, proved profitable, and produced various pieces of veinstuff; quartz, shot with flakes of muscovite (white mica) some very small pieces of the ore which was worked (gelena) and unexpectedly enough, some large lumps of siderite or “white iron ore” (iron carbonate).

An inspection of the beach at Combe Martin produced very little.  There were several boulders composed mainly of quartz and interspersed with chlorite, a complex silicate frequently found as “gangue” mineral. Some of the boulders contained pieces of dolomite (magnesium carbonate) and a small amount of umber.  Umber is a dark brown variety of ochre which has at one time worked in from a neighbourhood for use as a pigment.  The river which flows down the valley and enters the sea at Combe Martin is, in fact, called the River Umber.

A rather dicey scramble round the rocks, above the outgoing tide brought us to “ Wild Pear Beach”, a secluded spot in which were patches of an edible variety of seaweed, used to make 'laver bread' locally.  There are several small sea caves in the cliffs all around this area but all the ones which we examined were very short, about ten to fifteen yards long.  Most of them seemed to be formed by erosion by the sea along vertical mineral veins. Overlooking the beach at this point are the “Little Hangman” and the “Great Hangman”, two hills which rise steeply above the surrounding land, and which give their name to the “Hangman’s Grits”, a series of shales and clay slates which extend across much of Exmoor and the Quantocks.

Before turning in that night, we paid a visit to Lynmouth to see how the campers were faring.  The news that Roger Stenner had that day ridden in to Barnstable and bought a sleeping bag, having found a flying suit inadequate caused little surprise.  Sid Hobbs and two more Belfryites had also passed through that day heading west, and as far as is known have not been since.  We paid our respects to the campers and set out to spend the rest of the weekend geologising further inland, where we actually saw the sun for a short time!  Somehow, I don’t regret the fact that we weren’t under canvas last Easter.

Minery Photograph

The photograph of the St. Cuthbert's Minery in production was copied from a print belonging to Gil Weeks - a local septuagenarian well known to club members who visit the Hunters. Gilbert worked at the minery and can remember such things as when the bowl shaped depression south east of the Belfry was an ore washing reservoir.  Nowadays it tends to be used as a reservoir for the Belfry’s organic matter!

The date of the minery photograph is between 1890 and 1910 and the presence of new sheds and the twin stacks are probably the blast furnace stack, indicate that it was taken during the last revival of the works between  1902 - 1908.

In 1890, only the St. Cuthbert's lead works was in operation, dealing entirely with tailings and old slag debris.  Although new equipment was installed about this time, a fall in the price of lead caused the works to close on 1897.

During 1902, a company, the New Chaffers Extended Mining Co., recommenced operations and a new blast furnace was installed.  The buddling troughs were replaced by modern equipment and a light railway was built to transport material to the furnace.  This company kept in operation until 1902, when a further fall in the price of lead caused it to cease, and mining on Mendip came to an end for the last time.

M. Hannam

Editor's Note.     Readers who are interested in this subject will remember the articles by Mervyn Hannam in B.B.'s last year.  Since he wrote then, I happened to be having a natter with Bert Russell who tells me that the story of Mendip smelting very nearly had another chapter added to it.  It seems that, I think in 1923, he was employed by a company to collect samples of slag from the heaps and as a result, it was decided to reopen the smelting works.  A celebratory dinner was held in the Star at Wells, but at the last moment, money was not available and the project fell through.  He reckons even now, that a small modern working, employing just a few men and using electricity, might pay.  It would be interesting to have: Mervyn’s comments on this.

Returning to the photographs now in the Belfry, the lower of the two is a copy from the print possessed by Gil Weeks, which in turn is a copy of the original print.  The upper photograph was obtained by touching up a similar print of the lower photo; rather clumsily I’m afraid, and re-photographing.  It says a lot for the quality of the original when you consider that the upper photograph has been through no less than four cameras!

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THE B.B. EDITOR S.J. COLLINS.  33 Richmond Terrace, Clifton, Bristol 8


Editorial

To most older members, the idea of holding the Annual Dinner and A.G.M in October will be somewhat of a novelty.  It nearly caught the Editorial Board out last month, and the nomination forms were only printed at the last moment.  For the same reason, this B.B. has had to be deliberately held back, so as to give the nomination forms a chance to come back before the voting forms so out with this B.B.  The usual reminders - don't forget to vote, please try to turn up to the A.G.M., and do come along to the Dinner!

Last year, we only just had a quorum for the A.G.M. and in fact the meeting had to wait a bit until this was obtained we have never yet managed to cance1 one because of lack of bods and Dan's idea last year of having the A.G.M. in October was to make it easier for people to get there.  It's on the SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4TH and the A.G.M. starts at 2.30.  See you there.

" Alfie."

Committee Meeting

At the August Committee Meeting, the following were elected members of the club; Michael Cunningham and David Brown.  The committee then went on to finalize the wording of the new certificates for Hon. Life members.  The installation of a calor poker for lighting the stove was agreed to.  A letter from the M.N.R.C. proposing a memorial to Mr. Balch was read and the committee agreed to the idea of such a tribute. The Cuthbert's leaders list was extended (an up to date list of leaders will be found elsewhere in this issue). Albert Francis agreed to accept the job of foreman in charge of the erection of the new building and it was agreed to make a start on the reduction of mud from the Belfry site by having one lorry load of quarry waste delivered.

Notice

Will all members won have moved during the last year check that Bob Bagshaw or Bob Price have got their present address?  We shall be beginning to think about the Christmas B.B. soon and they will be wanted for the usual list of member’s names and addresses.

Letter To The Editor

To the Editor, B.B.

I was most interested to read Kangy’s article on the Maypole Series in B.B. no 126.  I agree it is depressing that the survey error will be up to fifty feet, but need it be this great?  At present there seem to be three possible methods of getting distances and bearings (1), by using a tape measure (2) by optical methods (3) by radio methods. Method (1) is O.K. for short distances but much time is lost in running out the tape and getting the mud off it before a measurement is taken.  Method (2) could be used, using the crossed lights principle, rather than the camera type of rangefinder.  The main advantages are that it can be operated by one man and ranges to places normally inaccessible can be measured.  (3) offers the advantage of being able to measure distances through rock, and so long traverse errors can be eliminated.  The method allows the possibility of surveying underground with reference to fixed surface points.

Could the "bods who know" please comment on the above, and perhaps reply in the B.B. for the enlightenment of people like us?

Yours etc.  George Honey.

Editor's Note:     There's a lot of scope for comment here and we shall be pleased to print replies.  I don't see how you are going to measure distances by radio methods - surely you will need some form of radar and the rock limits you to very low frequencies. Perhaps Norman Brooks could enlighten us as to how his radio device works and what it does?

Cuthbert’s

An account of recent activity by Chris Falshaw

It is ironical that the smallest piece of passage discovered recently is the most important.  This is the connection between the Rabbit Warren and Catgut.  The passage, or squeeze as it really is, is not particularly tight, but awkward. Going through it one finds ones legs all mixed up, hence the name Cross Leg Squeeze.  The Rabbit Warren has been the scene of two other discoveries in recent months, the Tin Mine and an extension to the Soap Flake Pool.  The latter was entered after removing a stalagmite barrier at the far end of the pool.  It is now possible to float backwards through a narrow opening in the curtain into a small chamber.  There are no signs of any continuation.  Apart from some nice curtains, the chamber has nothing to recommend it except free bathing facilities.  The Tin Mine Dig finally yielded after great efforts by some imported members of other clubs.  A tight squeeze can be negotiated into a medium sized chamber well decorated with straws.  This chamber, like Continuation Chamber, has two streams entering.  One is through an extremely small hole in the roof and it is doubtful whether this could be ever followed up.  The other enters through a stone choke in the north end of the chamber. There may be a diggable way round this sump.  The streams join in the chamber and proceeded through a steeply sloping squeeze into a low passage which has been followed for fifty feet when the stream appears to run back underneath itself into gravel.  Some excavation has open carried out at this point.  Once again, the passage has nothing to recommend it except free bathing facilities, total immersion being almost inevitable.

It is now the 'open season' for maypoling and some good work has been done in this field.  Maypole - a steeply ascending gully running parallel to and on the western side of the Maypole Series has been entered and penetrated for 3 poles vertical distance (not rods and perches, poles).  It is thought that this gully may join up with Hanging Chamber, but sundry ironmongery is now needed to provide a reasonable safety margin.  Maypole was entered on the same day as and is a passage about sixty feet vertically above the curtains and leads after 100' to the top of the cascade (can you do a traverse from this into Long Chamber, or am I showing my ignorance? Ed.)  There are some fine organ pipes at the far end. Maypole was entered on August Bank Holiday Sunday.  It is situated at the end of Disappointment Passage which is a tributary passage just below Gour Passage Pitch.  Here a twenty foot pitch leads to a further 150' of steeply ascending rift with occasional squeezes and pools.  This passage could be pushed further with slight widening.  It is estimated that this rises over 200' which would put the furthest point reached fairly near the surface.

Some digging has been carried out at the bottom of the entrance shaft.  The original purpose of this was to facilitate shunting operations for certain of our larger members.  Ochre Rift was entered and now extends for 100'.  The passage seems to run in the direction of Arête Pitch and there are two digs available at the lower end.  A grade 4 survey of the region would confirm whether digging would be profitable or not.  An interesting series of passages have been entered in Lower Traverse Chamber.  The main oxbow is excessively tight at the lower end but widens out eventually into a large bedding plane which is forty feet above the main stream.  It is possible to cross over the streamway and enter the top end of Lower Traverse Chamber.

Projects in hand for further exploration includes a dig in Beehive Chamber where it is hoped that an alternative route for the stream may be found, and various scaling techniques are being used to got into Hanging Chamber.  The other places where extensions to the present system are most likely to be found are Coral Series, Continuation Chamber, Cerberus Series and the Pyrolusite Series.

Regarding the survey, the position is as follows; Don Coase had surveyed from the duck to the Railway Tunnel, a distance of 1,300 feet at a C.R.G. grade 6 standard.  Kangy has surveyed the Maypole Series at a grade 4 standard and run a centre line to the entrance.  Bryan Ellis and myself were engaged on a grade 5 survey of the Rabbit Warren when the Cross Legs Squeeze was discovered.  We have now surveyed from Continuation Chamber through the Catgut to the start of the Maypole Series.  Thus Continuation Chamber is now roughly fixed with relation to the surface, and appears to be somewhere under the Beeches back garden, not, as rumoured, the S.M.C.C. detailer.  This position is interesting as, if the water flowing into Continuation Chamber is in fact from Plantation Swallet, then this does not cross the present Cuthbert’s System, as was originally supposed, but flows across the valley north of the present entrance.  Bryan and I now intend to continuing survcying through Harem Passage to the Rabbit Warren, and on the way, link up with Don Coase’s survey.  Alfie is at present engaged in modifying astro compasses for continuation of the grade 6 survey.

Other work of a more scientific nature being carried out includes a continuation of the temperature readings at odd intervals, and an investigation into Ochre stalactites.  If anyone has any information on this latter subject, I shall pleased to hear from then.  Experiments have been carried out using a notched weir for water flow measurement.  So far these have not been successful.  It appears that half the water flowing in at Plantation gets lost before it reaches the duck!!  Some water tracing experiments have also been carried out using paper maker's alum and an ion exchange column.  Results again were suspect for a number of reasons, the chief of which was insufficient planning prior to the experiment.

Chris Falshaw.

Situations Vacant.

Builders' labourers will shortly be required by the B.E.C. on the construction of the new stone tackle shed.  The committee have agreed to allow FREE BELRRY NIGHTS to all who come and work on this job.  Will anyone who is willing to put in some work on this contact Alfie or the Works Foreman, Albert Francis.

Letters Re Letters

Editor's Note. The recent publication of B.B.C. Caving Report No 3. on the construction of light weight tackle by Bryan Ellis, has caused quite a lot of thinking on this subject. As a result, we arc printing two of the letters received in this B.B.

To the Editor, B.B.

Dear Sir, 

I have read with interest the B.E.C. Caving Report on lightweight ladders.  Something that occurred to me when reading it was that the rungs, which are very slender, were not checked or tested for bending.  Presumably the fact that intensive use had not produced a bending failure of the rungs may be considered good enough.  I have calculated that the maximum bending moment that the rungs will sustain without breaking to be 168lb/in.  This means that the weight of a 170lb/in concentrated on one rung is loading this to a point near its limit.  While this is excellent design for ultra lightweight tackle which is used with care by experienced people, I think that a factor of safety of 4 would be right for general caving use.

Shock loading, mentioned by Mr Ellis in the report, means in effect that any weight applied to the ladder is doubled.  Thus an overall factor of safety of 4 would give a factor of 2 under the conditions of shock loading.  For this, a suitable rung would appear to be 5/8" by 14 s.w.g. in the same metal. The reason that rungs of this ladder have not bent is probably, as Mr Ellis says that shock loading is exceptional and that it is rare that all of ones weight is applied to one rung.  Much body weight is taken by the hands so that the weight is distributed between two or three rungs.

In spite of this criticism, I shall continue to use, if I may, the tackle designed by Mr Ellis.  It is light, easy to manage and perfectly safe if used within its limitations.  Furthermore, I weigh less than the average man.

Kangy

(For reasons of space, the calculations which Kangy supplied with this letter have had to be omitted. The safety factor he obtains from the bending moment quoted above of 168lb/in. is 1.5. i.e. it would require 256lbs applied to one rung to break it in bending.)

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To the Editor, B.B.

I would be grateful if you could find space to publish the following addition to my report on the manufacture of lightweight caving ladders.

Since the report was originally written, I have had occasion to manufacture a further two hundred feet of ladder to this pattern.  Ever since the first ladders were produced I have not been very keen on the soldered end loops despite the satisfactory results with tensile tests, and with the new ladders, tabureting was used for those loops.  This consists of cold pressing an alloy collar around the wire rope, the pressure being so great that the collar alloys with the wire.  Messrs Tratman and Lowther on the centre, Bristol, will do the required tabureting with very little delay and charge 2/6 a loop for up to six, and 2/- a loop if a lager number are done at the same time.  This makes a much neater and more reliable job, especially as the wire rope manufacturers state that the rope should not be heated at all - not even for soft soldering.

B.M. Ellis

Archaeology

Officially, this club has an Archaeologist, but in practice no archaeological work has been carried out since the execration of the Roman settlement behind the Belfry.  Most of the workers then were from the Bristol Folk House.  The reason for this would seem to be twofold.  Firstly, archaeological excavation is naturally destructive and a good deal of experience is required before a group of people can, so to speak, "pay their way".  Secondly, while a number of members are interested, it is very debatable whether such interest is keen enough to merit starting work on any organized project.

However, if sufficient members are genuinely interested in carrying out field work (not necessarily excavation) they would be most welcome.  Although Mendip has been closely investigated, there still remain a number of problems on which a trained group of field observers could carry out important work.

In order to provide the necessary training, I am prepared to supply aerial photographs and maps and form a small group to work over known field monuments at week ends and possibly with informal indoor sessions during the week.  Eventually such a group should be capable of working independently on unsolved problems.

Should anyone be interested in joining such a group, could they please contact the undersigned.

F.S. Gardner.

Invitation.

The Clevedon Archaeological Society are holding their Annual Dinner at the Highcliff Hotel, Clevedon on Sat. Oct. 25.  A lecture on the Sutton Hoo treasure ship will precede the dinner.  All members of the B.E.C. are cordially invited.  Price of dinner 12/6.  Lecture 2/-.

Annual General Meeting

To be held at Redcliffe Community Centre at 2.15pm on Sat. 4th October 1958

AGENDA

1.                  ELECTION OF CHAIRMAN

2.                  COLLECTION OF BALLOT PAPERS

3.                  COLLECTION OF MEMBER’S RESOLUTIONS

4.                  ELECTION OF TELLERS FOR BALLOT

5.                  ADOPTION OF MINUTES OF LAST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

6.                  HON. SECRETARY’S REPORT

7.                  HON. TREASURER’S REPORT

8.                  CAVING REPORT

9.                  CLIMBING REPORT

10.              TACKLE REPORT

11.              BELFRY REPORT

12.              LIBRARY REPORT

13.              BELFRY BULLETIN

14.              MEMBER’S RESOLUTIONS

15.              ANY OTHER BUSINESS

The meeting will be followed by the ANNUAL DINNER to be held at the Cave Man Restaurant, Cheddar.  A coach has been arranged to start from Redcliffe after the A.G.M.

The Financial Statement for the eight months Jan – Aug 1958

Financial Statement For Eight Months to the Thirty First August 1958

Annual Subscriptions

Belfry:

 

Annual Dinner:

 

Redcliffe Hall:

 

Sundries:

 

Belfry Bulletin:

 

Public Liability Insurance

Tackle

 

Postages, Stationary etc.

Library

Loans Repaid:

British Mountaineering Council Sub

Sundries

Surplus

 

Receipts

Less Expend

Receipts

Less Cost

Levy

Less Hire

 

 

Stencils, paper

Postages

 

Expenditure

Less Levy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

£64-16-  2

£47-  6-  9

£42-12-  0

£40-19-  6

£  12-  5-6

£    7-  0-0

 

 

£    8- 14-0

£    7- 10-2

 

£    7-   0-0

£    0- 16-6

 

 

 

£  70-15-3

 

£  17- 9- 5

 

£    1-12- 6

 

£    5- 5- 6

£    1-11- 8

£  96-14- 4

 

£  16 - 4 -2

£    8-10- 0

 

£    6-  3-10

£    2- 17-10

£    2-   5- 1

£    2-   0- 0

£    1-   0- 0

£    4-   3- 0

£   53-10- 5

£  96- 14- 4

 

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The Belfry Bulletin. Editor: S.J. Collins, 1 Kensington Place, Clifton, Bristol 8
Secretary: R.J. Bagshaw, 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol 4