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Vol. 10 No.104


It is regretted that the coffers are so low for this our 21st Birthday Celebration Number. I had hoped to make this yet another ‘double’ number but have been hard pressed to even manage at all. SO urgent request for copy is sent to one and all, or else THERE WILL BE NO ISSUE NEXT MONTH. _________ As the only remaining ‘Founder’ member of the B.E.C. and in fact the person in whose whim the maggot of creation first stirred – I never dreamed in 1935 that the tiny caving infant would ever live, let alone grow to the size it is today. I was very amused to read the account of our birth as suggested at the last Wessex Dinner – The facts are almost as stated except that the ‘Club’ as a name and a group was actually in existence at that time, the offer made was the sinking of our identity in that of W.C.C. as we did not feel that we had the experience required to run as a stable club ourselves. Be that as it may, we did progress and for the seventeen years that I was Hon. Sec. I saw the Club grow from the handful of young enthusiasts to over 130 strong with contacts all over the world. At first we were regarded with suspicion and a justifiable wariness, which persisted for several years, but once this obstacle had been surmounted we progresses in leaps and bounds and have been doing so ever since. The outbreak of war saw all our members (except two) called up. Myself and Cecil Drummond were left. We still had faith that the club would continue, despite this crippling blow for then in 1940/1 we rounded the corner. First we met with the ‘Emplex’ Cave Club on several trips and they decided to sink their identity with ours, as we had hoped the W.C.C. would have done years before – then Dan Hasell and Roy Wallace joined and added to our technical skill and knowledge – Don Coase, Sett, Pongo, Postle and Dizzie were among those that came to us. We started to look for an H.Q. and my wife found the Old Belfry on a derelict tennis court on Burdown this was transported piecemeal to Mendip and erected (on a different site to the present one). We later moved it to the new site and as we grew is became totally inadequate for our needs. A new hut, on Rame Head in Cornwall was bought and likewise transported and after many months of work became our ‘Belfry’ today. During this period the ‘B.B.’ was born. A list of helpers is before my eyes, but it would be unfair to name any without a complete list, but the thanks of the members today are due, firstly, to those committees and secondly to the ‘Rank and File’ of those days, whose unselfish and hard work, plus a lot of long term planning is mainly responsible for the prestige that the Club holds today, and so to the amenities provided for members. I would refer you to two brief histories of the Club that have been published in back numbers of the B.B. for further details. If sufficient are interested in this Club history I would willingly report it (and bring it up to date) – let me know if it would be of interest. Finally I would like to wish the committee and the Club Good Luck on this their 21st Birthday and may the next 25 years be as successful as the last. T.H. STANBURY. + + + + + + + + + + + + =21st YEAR CELEBRATIONS.= Saturday 19th May. Social evening at the GLOBE INN, WELLS from 6pm to 10.30pm. Light refreshments are available

BB104/3 =LOST, STOLEN OR STRAYED= The small petrol stove from the cave rescue equipment has been missing for some time. Has anyone seen it. Mike Jones’ waterproof sleeping bag cover is missing from the Belfry, if it is found wandering please return to owner! O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O Ex Army Prismatic Compasses are available @ 89/6d plus 1/6d postage from: Badges and Equipment. 435, Strand. London. W.C.2. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - =CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHY?= A few more answers to the question asked in September last BB. 1. Vibrams are boots with a heavy rubber sole rather like a piece of car tyre. They have a cork insulating sole between the runner and the foot and were originally designed for use in snow. 2. The fear of falling experienced by novices, and most advanced climbers, is greatly reduced by the use of a lifeline. A novice should always climb second to a more experienced climber and that the rope is a great psychological help. (It is sometimes a practical lifesaver as well). For a novice wishing to practice by himself I can only suggest trying a little ‘rock gymnastics’, tackling technically difficult climbs so near the ground that you can easily step off. 3. The climbing standard varies considerably above ground, from easy, practically advanced hill walking, to super severe. I am sure that a day on the rock will overcome a large part of the real and imaginary fears ascribed to ‘young persons’ by the questioner. 4. I think that is begging the question, I have yet to find a rock face which changes violently in nature as a climb is made. If the novice starts on some well climbed routes, all the loose stones will have been removed and nothing should come of in ‘is and’. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. CARRYING CIDER TO SOMERSET – From a local paper. Bristol, - This week’s arrival here of a small steamship from France, carrying a cargo of cider for distribution in Somerset, underlines the fact that the county is fast losing its cider-making fame. The apple growers, generally farmers, have been long dissatisfied with the price they receive from the cider makers; orchards have deteriorated because, the growers say, it has not paid them to prune and spray and to replant. In 1954 and 1955, though neither was a good season, many farmers left their cider apples on the ground for stock to eat. Even a generous grant from the N.F.U. towards the cost of grubbing up and replanting does not appear to have encouraged much new orcharding. ________

BB104/4 LETTER TO THE EDITOR. Sir, I was most astounded on perusing my Sunday Newspaper to see the above scandalous paragraphs, which seem to be at variance with a statement in the December issue of your magazine on this ‘essential industry’. The possible effects of this French-brewed hooch are almost too hideous to bear contemplation. Does this mean, Sir, that, in the not too distant future, we shall quaff our cider by the litre and perhaps eating ‘escargots’ cooked in cider? I and quite sure that none of your readers would like to see the terraces of the New Inn despoiled by tables with brightly coloured sun-shades and perhaps Weegie Jezebels basking in sunsuits, and could those of us who travel from ‘furrin parts’ master the intricacies of the French spoken by mine host M. Sylvestre? The eminent composer, Mr. S.J. Collins, would undoubtedly cause an international incident by composing a speleode based upon the ‘Marseillaise’, this could result in the necessity of producing a visa to enter the fair and beautiful county of Somerset; Sir, the whole idea must be stopped before irreparable damage is done. Surely, Sir, a campaign could be started by your worthy magazine amongst the members of your organisation on behalf of the cider-apple growers before these awful possibilities amongst others, are realised. I suggest that all-out efforts be made, this coming season, to increase the consumption of this nectar of the gods, where it is guaranteed to be home-produced; ‘Honking Jackets’, as designed by a well known member of your club, might be issued as an essential part pf the equipment of the well dressed caver, for social evenings in the hostelries throughout the length and breadth of Mendip as a further incentive to greater efforts – lambs wool white for those of limited capacity and sage-khaki for those of infinite capacity. I am, Sir, Yours faithfully, A. Firkin. (Col. Rtd.) ________ =THE SONG OF THE CC.P.S.= Submitted by ‘Dickie Ray’ (Tune- The Bold Gendarmes) DUET

We’re Cavern keepers disingenuous, Of Stalactites we take good care, We never do anything strenuous, When danger lurks we’re never there. But if we see a moderate pothole, Not too far, and not severe.

CHORUS We rope it in, we rope it in, We rope it in, we rope it in, To show the C.P.S. are here. Some term our duties extra rural, And little troglodytes we chase, And when we see formations mural, We stretch red tape all around the place, And if we see a natural fountain,

That’s set in nature holy sphere, We rope it in, we rope it in, We rope it in, we rope it in, To show the C.P.S. are here. ‘To lock all caverns’ is our motto, And save the goodly caves from sin, But just as we are finished, Some blighter digs another way in, But with our rope and tape and placards, We’ll battle onwards, never fear, We rope it in, we rope it in, We rope it in, we rope it in, To show the C.P.S. are here.

o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o0o T.H. Stanbury, Hon. Editor BB, 48 Novers Park Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.. R.J. Bagshaw, Hon. Sec. 56 Ponsford Road, Knowle, Bristol. 4.

Belfry Bulletin Number 104