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Belfry Bulletin No.7. Vol. 1

BRISTOL EXPLORATION CLUB

October 1947

The Editor’s Notes An Apology One of the Members has pointed out to me that in BB No.5, I promised to put in the next issue, D.A. Coase’s description of the New Section of Stoke Lane Swallet. This I failed to do; and for thus disappointing members, I most sincerely apologise. However; this article was left out because it was not sufficiently up to date, and I now await a further contribution from Don giving a full description of the cave. Withybrook Swallet, Stoke Lane. On July 12th 1947, P. Browne and L. Browne, together with Sam Treasure as ‘Engineer’, succeeded in entering the upper passage of this swallet and penetrated a short distance. A sketch plan has been sent to us with the threat of dire consequences should we dare to publish it. As soon as Pat sends us the Pukka Gen you shall have it. Annual General Meeting The A.G.M. has been moved forward, at the request Members, to Sat. Nov. 29th, so that members who do not live in Bristol may use their own transport to get there (if they have any petrol left). Any members who have items for the Agenda MUST send them to the Hon. Sec. by Nov. 1st. Notice to all who are regarded as Forces members. Many of our Pre-war and Wartime members who joined H.M. Forces during the War and whose Membership was therefore continued, have not been in communication with us for some time. The Committee have therefore decided to review the position at the end of the year and eliminate those who are no longer ‘Cavers’ in fact or spirit. Will all those members now in the Forces please write to the Hon. Sec. before Nov. 30th. to confirm that, they still wish to remain on the Strength. Mrs. Joan Fountain (To Say nothing of the Trickle). The following note has been received from Joan. ‘Hi Boys’ Congratulations on your new cave. I remember the place. Don, take off that smacker. Huh! I shiver to look it. Keep me posted. I like to hear from you all, you bet I miss the fun of Thursday evenings. Take care of Mrs. S. for me. Say hello to Stan and Jimmy Weekes. Best of luck caving. Always your friend, Joan and Trevor. P.T. Reed Terry Reed will not be with us for some time. He tells us that he is now at sea in a Training Ship, name unspecified and will not be able to do any caving for quite a while. August Hole We have received from the Hon. Sec. of the U.B.S.S a plan of this new discovery. This plan is available at H.Q. Mr. & Mrs, J.M. Tompsett. Dizzie and Postle are now safely married, God bless them, I wish to put on record my admiration of their courage in leaving on, the decorations so liberally, supplied for ‘Sue’ by the fellows. WELL DONE.


BB7. 2 Postle’s Appreciation. The Hon, Sec. has asked me to publish the following letter:6. Peter Street, Taunton, 30/9/47 Dear Harry, Dizzie and I wish to thank you very much indeed for the marvellous present from B.E.C. It's really a very useful weapon and looks very fair on the sideboard. Also many thanks for the attention Sue received from odd bods: We should have been most disappointed if she had been left untouched, and we left all of it on for the first day - in fact much of it is still on - and received varied greetings from passers-by who noticed it. We did a very fair tour around the coasts of Devon and Cornwall, and although we passed through Bude, we didn’t have time to visit the Smugglers Cave. However, we visited Kent's Cavern at Torquay, where Dizzie got a telling off from the Guide for sneaking off down an odd passage. However, we got talking and they were a damn sight more accommodating than other show caves I know! No doubt you are familiar with the place, and have possibly decided that it is not worth a visit in view of it’s ‘walk-aroundability’ but anyhow I’ve paved the way for a visit in speaking to the owner, Mr. Pave, who suggested that we write to him in, say, November, the slack season, if we wish to arrange anything. Cheerio for now Postle $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Answers to the ‘Caving Quiz’ in the last issue of the BB:1. Lamb Leer, Cave of Falling Waters, 1894. 2. Wookey Hole, Cox's Cave; Gough’s Cave, Ingleborough on Clapham Cave, White Scar Cavern, Stump Cross Cave, Cliff Cavern, Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Mine, Poole’s Cavern, Bagshawe Cavern. (What about Kent's Cavern, & Michelstown Caves, Don? – H.A. Ed.) 3. Boyd Dawkins, after his old Professor. 4. a. Reads Cavern, b. Swildons Hole, c. G.B., d. Swildons, e. Goatchurch, f. Sidcot Swallet, g. Wookey Hole, h, Eastwater, j. Rod’s Pot. 5. Gaping Ghyll, approx. 360 ft. 6. G.B. and Lamb Leer 7. Bowline 8. Rift, high and narrow, Bedding Plane, wide and low. 9. Sidcot Swallet, Sidcot School 10. Wookey Hole 11. 480 ft. 12. Coral. Cave, Compton Bishop. 13. Calcium Carbonate CaCO3. 14. Cow Hole. 15. a. Lamb Leer, b. Long Wood Swallet, c. Eastwater, d. Stoke Lane Swallet, e. Swildons Hole, f. G.B. Swallet, g. CoralCave, h. Goatchurch. 16. The Beehive Lamb Leer. 17. Swildons Hole, 1901, Mr. H.E. Balch 18. Vadose. 19. 1. Jacobs Ladder, 2 Old Grotto, 3 Water Chamber, 4. Water Rift, 5. 40ft. Pot, 6. The Shrine, 7. Double Pot, 8. Tratman’s Temple, or Nov.22nd Grotto. 20. Badger Hole, Wookey Hole, Mendip Nature Research Committee. //=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//=//= **************************** A copy of the above book has been ordered for the Club Library.


BB7. 3 Another Squeek from Herman has arrived and follows below:This is the Tale of Thomas Todd, Who, acting rather like a clod, Decided one fine day he’d show That he could be a ‘Spelio’. Young Thomas set out now with glee, He took his dinner and his tea And just in case he should feel dry, Of Ginger Beer a good supply. He leapt upon his trusty steed, Alas no warnings would he heed, And with a load of half a ton, Looked forward to a day of fun. His journey to the hills, was Tough. The heat that day was great enough To melt a candle in the shade, Or cook an egg as it was laid. But Tom at last was in the Gorge, And up the steep hillside he forged, Until as shown upon the map, He saw a frightful yawning gap. He sat just for a while to brood, And fester up a spot of food; Two bottles spare of pop he found, He’d take a couple underground. At last with ginger beer complete, A length of rope, say twenty feet, And in his hand a goodly light, He started, “Gad, this hole is tight”. For half an hour or maybe more He struggled on, the sweat did pour From off his greatly heated brow. The passages were tighter now. Young Thomas strained with every bone, And gave at last a final groan, As realising to his dread, He was inextricably wedged. The ginger beer which Thomas prized, Had now, as you might well surmise, Become the object of this grapple, Like the legendary apple.


BB7. 4 Still he struggled more and faster, Then it came, the great disaster. With the sound of crashing thunder, Solid rock was split asunder.

Glass and bottle stoppers flew, As like bombs the bottles blew. Rocky splinters hummed and whizzed The ginger beer just lay and fizzed. The frightful chaos died at last And in this cavern dark and vast, Young Thomas ended mortal life And as a ghost took up the strife. It has been said, it might be true, That when the moon is bright and new, The ghostly voice of Thomas Todd, Is heard from underneath the sod. The moral of this tale is clear, Do not take caving ginger beer. You might perchance get stuck and go To join our late friend, down below. ******************* PENNINE UNDERGROUND by N. Thornber. The Dalesman Publishing Co., 4/6 (4/9 post free from W.W. Waterfall, 10, Sheep Street, Skipton.) This little book (it slips easily into the pocket) contains brief information on over 350 caves and pots in Yorkshire, and 14 maps showing their location. In such a small volume the description cannot be detailed, but sufficient is given to be of great use. For each pot we are told it’s altitude (which can be of great use in finding it) its length and depth. Directions (perhaps a little on the brief side) are given for finding the entrance, and the tackle required for each pitch is detailed. The date of the first exploration is given, and each is graded as Easy, Moderate, Difficult, Very Difficult, Severe or Super-severe. The 'method’ of grading is a little difficult to fathom. It seems to depend to some, extent on the length of the pitches, and a tight section also sends up the grading. The severity of a pitch, however, is not necessarily proportional to its height, and a severe crawl to one man may be easy to the next. The maps drawn by Arthur Gemmel contain plenty of detail and are very clear despite their small size. A really invaluable guide to a party exploring the district and a remarkable 4/6 worth. R.M.W. PROGRAMME FOR NOVEMBER, DECEMBER and JANUARY. Sat. Nov. 1st. Sun. Nov. 16th. Sat. Dec. 6th. Sun. Dec. 21st. Sun. Jan. 25th.

Burrington. Longwood. G.B. Stoke Lane (full) Eastwater

Will all members who intend to attend these trips please notify Hon. Sec. so that he may have some idea of who to expect. Sat. trips have been arranged with due regard to the transport situation.


Belfry Bulletin Number 007  

Withybrook Swallet, Stoke Lane. On July 12 th 1947, P. Browne and L. Browne, together with Sam Treasure as ‘Engineer’, succeeded in entering...

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