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February 1950

Report of the Annual General Meeting. 1949. The A.G.M. for 1949 was held at Redcatch Road Co-operative Hall, Bristol on Saturday, 14th. January 1950, there being present 36 members. The following is a brief précis of the meeting: 1. Mr. D.H. Hasell was elected as Chairman for the meeting. 2. Hon. Sec. read minutes of the 1948 A.G.M. 3. Hon. Sec’s Report for 1949. He said that on Dec. 31st., the club membership was 120 of which 48 were new members. We had during the year unfortunately lost 25 members, the majority of which had been forces members. He explained that this was the first year that forces members had to ‘rebook’ their membership which would account for the large number of defaulters, as some of those had not been heard of for some considerable time. He touched on the Trip to Valence, and reported that the Stoke Lane Survey was complete as far as the Sump. The Climbing section was progressing and had had one very successful trip to N. Wales. Other points mentioned were the number of lectures given to outside organisations, the work at Cross Swallet and the staggering number of caving trips undertake during the year. 4. Mr. Geoff Ridyard gave a report on the London Section. He said regular meetings had been arranged in Tooting, that excursions had been arranged to Swallow Holes in Herts, climbing trips had been organised, and that a very fine week had been spent on Mendip. He said that another Mendip week was being arranged and that he had brought a copy of the S/L survey for examination. 5. Mr. Setterington as Hut Warden gave the Annual Belfry Report; he said that during the last year there has been a lot of work done at the huts. He gave a resume of the progress made and said that over August Bank Holiday over 30 different persons slept there. Over 1,000 men-nights had been spent there during the year. A calor-gas cooker had been purchased and there were now three good primusses available. 6. The financial Report was read. This has been circulated to every member. It was proposed by R. Wallis and sec. by G. Ridyard that the reports be adopted. 7. The list of basic Committee for 1949 was read. This is: - Hon. Sec. & Treas. T.H. Stanbury; Hon. Hut Warden. R.A. Setterington; Hon. Librarian. A.M. Innes; D.H. Hasell; J.C. Weekes. 8&9. The proposal that the ‘Committee be increased to 9 members, and should include one lady member to represent the ladies, and one member to represent the London Section. The other two new committee members being a Tackle Officer and an Asist. Hon. Sec.’ Was carried. The second part ‘If the motion be carried that an election for these posts be held on the “spot” was discussed and three different proposals were made. After the withdrawal of one of these the original proposal was carried by 18 votes to 14. Nominations were then called for and the following were nominated: Ladies. Miss Sybil Bowden-Lyle & Miss Jill Rollason. Tackle Officer. G.T. Lucy; R. Cantle ; A.C. Johnson. Asst. Hon. Sec. A.C. Johnson; F. Young; R.J. Bagshaw. When voting took place Miss Bowden-Lyle was elected as lady member by 19 votes to 11. Young was elected Asst. Hon. Sec. with 25 votes. G.T. Lucy was elected Tackle Officer with 19 votes. The Hon. Sec was directed to ask the London Section to consider the matter of Committee at their earliest convenience. 9b. The motion of A.C. Johnson re the new belfry Committee as stated in the Agenda was defeated. It was proposed by H. Shelton and sec. by R. Brain that the whole business was for Belfry Committee. This was carried. 9c. A proposal by A.C. Johnson. ‘There shall be at least 7 members present before a committee meeting can be held’ was withdrawn. R. Woodbridge proposed that this be amended to read 5 members’ and not 7 as in the withdrawn proposal. This was sec. by R. Brain and carried.

BB32/2 10. It was proposed by T.H. Stanbury that a Chairman be elected annually to preside when necessary. This was sec. by J. Steer and carried. 11. It was proposed by T.H. Stanbury that ‘an Extra-Ordinary General Meeting’ can be called within one month, by submitting a request in writing, signed by at least 15 members; to the Hon. Sec. this was sec. by H. Perry. An amendment by R.A. Setterington and sec. by Miss Richards, proposed that 15 per cent be inserted instead of 15 persons. When voted on, the original proposal by T.H. Stanbury was carried. 12. A proposal that in Rule 5 be inserted ‘Subscription for Life Members to be £5/5/-.’ by T.H. Stanbury was sec. by R.M. Wallis and carried. 13. It was proposed by R.J. Bagshaw that the club take advantage of the Scientific Societies Act, which would make the Belfry exempt from rates. This was sec. by G.T. Lucy. Mr. Bagshaw explained the Act and it was agreed that the Committee revise the Rules as necessary so that the Constitution of the Club would conform to the conditions laid down. So that if required advantage could be taken of it. 14. It was proposed by R. Cantle and sec. by J. Bindon; that the Tackle officer be responsible for the Collection of Tackle Fees. An amendment proposed by R. Perry and sec. by A.C. Johnson was that the Tackle Officer be made totally responsible for the care of tackle and can make regulations he thinks fit, subject to ratification by General Committee, to this end. This amendment was carried. Mr. R.H. Wallis proposed that Rule 13 (Dealing with reports), be enforced. This was sec. by G. Ridley and carried. It was proposed by T.H. Stanbury that a section of Committee be got up to arrange trips and that programme cards be issued similar to those in use some years ago, this sub-committee to arrange leaders for the trips and to do the necessary clerical work in connection with the programme cards. This was sec. by R.J. Bagshaw & carried. H. Shelton proposed that no Tackle Fee be payable for digging kit, etc. this was sec. by C. Seward. Hon. Sec. explained that this had always been the case, and any gear issued solely for exploration or excavations had never been subject to Tackle Fee. This proposal would therefore regularise the matter. The proposal was carried. A.C. Johnson proposed that the Belfry Committee have the power to close the Belfry when necessary, for as long as necessary. This was sec. by J. Bindon. It was proposed by A.M. Innes and sec. by R. Cantle that the Belfry be not closed. It was pointed out that the original proposal only affected the new hut and the old one of course remain open. The original proposal was carried. It was proposed by T.H. Stanbury that an Annual Dinner be instituted. This was sec. By R.A. Setterington and carried. Club Library. A.M. Innes as Librarian offered to remove the books to his home and distribute them by registered post, the borrower to return them likewise. It was agreed to take advantaged of Mr. Innes kind offer. H. Shelton proposed that the new Belfry insurance be expedited. This was sec. by P. Ifold and carried. It was agreed that the £2/2/2 belfry Annual Subs. should come into line with the other Belfry charges for Calor Gas levy. A holder of a Yearly Subs. To pay 3d. each time he used the hut. A vote of thanks was proposed to the Hon. Sec. for his work during the last twelve months. The meeting closed at 9.30pm. The complete minutes of the meeting may be inspected by application to the Hon. Sec. ***************************************** NOW AVAILABLE Badges suitable for use on caving clothes. Our Club Bat printed on Calico at the extortionate prioice of 3d. each. All proceeds to the Club funds. Apply Assist. Hon. Sec. Note. The Committee in general do not approve of badges on cave clothes, but if members wish to wear such a badge, it should be of the approved pattern mention above. T.H. Stanbury. ******************************************

BB32/3 The Magnetism of Caving and Climbing, with special reference to the B.E.C. by Observer. Caves and cliffs are like magnets - they either attract or repel! The investigator either shuns them after his first visit or gets bitten by the germ of enthusiasm which is almost impossible to cure. Persons of all ages, from all walks of life are attracted, chemists, clerks , engineers, students, very few trades or professions have members who are not interested in this “King Of Sports!! in one form or another. What is the reason for this strange fascination? It may be any one (or more) of quite a considerable number of things, In the case of the B.E.C. - The club itself has such a varied appeal that a person would have to be dull or extremely narrow-minded not to find amongst the many different paths to be trodden, one that would suit his own temperament and desires. To enumerate a few:1. Caving itself can be subdivided into very many headings - sporting caving; digging in and for caves; surveying; photographing; biological and archaeological work to name only a few. 2. Archaeological and antiquarian work other than in caves. - This gives those members who so desire, the opportunities, (although, alas, few), of adding to the knowledge of the past. 3. Rock-climbing, which is indulged in by a growing number of our members, is a sport, (and a very exact one, too) that requires steady hands and nerves and like caving an absolute trust in one’s companions. 4. On the social side, many members enjoy the free and easy meetings both during the week and especially at the Belfry. For those who like a friendly pint at the Hunters Lodge or other hostelry, or those, who do not partake of the ‘strong waters’, there is an equal welcome - a friendly hand is outstretched to all, irrespective of age of status, and this can doubtless be regarded as one of the main reasons for the strange ‘magnetism’ that we as club members find so noticeable. Of course, like every large organisation, many different temperaments can be found, but we as Club have always been free from those ‘rifts in the lute’ that so frequently seem to split other organisations of a similar nature. Why is this? The writer believes that it is due to the intimacy and understanding between all the members, which has always been a basic point in the unwritten code of Club conduct. Let us always be sure, therefore, that our club, the B.E.C., shall not only keep its place amongst the foremost clubs of England, but shall be an outstanding example of that Club spirit and co-operation for which we have for so long been noted. ****************************************** Programme In accordance with the decision taken at the A.G.M., the Caving programme will not in future be printed here in the BB. Each member will receive a card for his pocket with the trips for the next three months in it. This is a reversion to the system in use a few years ago. The cards are awaited from the printer’s and will be distributed to each member when they arrive. Until you receive them, turn up on Thursdays at St. Matthew’s hall or at the weekend at the Belfry, there is usually a trip of some sort being run. ******************************************** The Editor thanks all those who have so nobly responded to his call for material for the BB, but would remind members that the rate of usage exceeds that of receipt, so churn up your horrible past and let us know about it. ********************************************* From the Hon. Sec’s. Post Bag. From Pongo Wallis, Last weekend I went out having a look at some North Wales caves. Ones in the region of Nidd in Flintshire, near the village of Maeshafn. It is wonderful limestone country and rather unexpectedly heavily wooded. Very few of the holes are named, which makes identification awkward. I had a look at one normally called ‘Maesshafn Cave’. It starts off as a fine passage, about 4-6ft, wide and 10-12 feet high, with a lot of dripstone- but as it is so common in that region, it is all dead and so looks very poor. After about 150 feet or so, a mine passage leads off, and the rest of the cave is filled with the spoil from the mining. A band of unknown heroes has cleared the top part of the passage for a very considerable distance so that one can penetrate further than one could a year ago, though progress is slow and painful. It is really an amazing effort at digging, as they have just about doubled the length of the cave.

BB32/4 My party had a sporadic effort at continuing the good work, for the cave still goes on, but unfortunately we didn’t get far enough to be able to go on ourselves. After this we went on to the hamlet of Pothole, where there are a number of mines and shafts – some very deep. We went down one mine, which has a straight passage – still with the rails in place for a lot of the way, connecting up a series of natural caves. The mine passages in themselves were dull and formed caving in comfort – strolling along with one’s hands in one’s pockets. There were however, several things of interest. Firstly some extremely good calcite veins with large crystals unfortunately, we had nothing with which to get any out. The caves ran along the length of a fault, running about 45 degrees to the vertical, and in many places the fault was clearly visible – one wall of the cave consisting of a great slab of rock, polished smoothly by the faulting action. These smooth faces ran sometimes for 100 feet or more and make a remarkable sight on coming on them round a bend. There appeared to be lower level to the mine, but just before we started to climb down to it, we found that it was flooded, but the water was so completely clear and still that it was not until a stone fell into it that we spotted it. There is also an upper level, but it looked dangerous and difficult of access, so we didn’t try it. ****************************************** London Section Notice. There is a London Section meeting at 26, Gateside Road, S.W. 17, on Sunday 26th, Feb, at 3.30 pm. Will all those that will be attending this meeting please let Hon. Sec. L.S. B.E.C. know at the above address. ******************************************* British Caver Vol. 20 British Caver Vol. 20 will be available on Feb. 10th. Will anyone who wants a copy please order it NOW. From the Editor, G. Platten, Rotherfield, Fernhill Lane, New Milton, Hants. For newer members, to whom the initials ‘B.C.’ are not familiar, the Caver is the official journal of a number of Caving Organisations (the B.E.C. among them) and is the only publication of its kind. The price is 7/- post paid, or a ream of paper (not typing) 10 x 8. ******************************************** Club Library As from the date of the publication of this Bulletin, will all persons wishing to borrow books please advise the Hon. Librarian. (address below). He will send the book by registered post. It must be returned by Registered Post also, and the person to whom the book was sent will be responsible for it. i.e. he should not pass it to anyone else unless he is sure the Librarian has adjusted his records accordingly. A revised list of books in the library is being prepared and a copy will find its way to each member. As new books are added, they will be listed in the BB and supplements to the Library List added when necessary. ********************************************* T.H. Stanbury Hon. Sec. 74, Redcatch Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4. F.W. Young, Assist. Hon. Sec. The Barton, Stanton Drew, Nr. Bristol W.J. Shorthose, Hon. Sec. London Section, B.E.C. 26. Gateshead Road, Upper Tooting, London, S.W. 17. A.M. Innes, Hon. Librarian. 246, Filton Ave., Horfield, Bristol. 7.

Belfry Bulletin Number 032  

February 1950 Vol 4. No.32 THE JOURNAL OF THE BRISTOL EXPLORATION CLUB BB32/1 Report of the Annual General Meeting. 1949. ******************...

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