No 192 February 1964
Monthly Journal Of The Bristol Exploration Club
B Vol. XVIII No. 2
Once again, we are afraid; there is no cover for the B.B. The Editor has no time to contact the printers, but a volunteer has come forward, and there may be some hopes for a cover next month. As the person who insisted on a printed cover when taking over the B.B., the editor finds it particularly galling that the present state of affaires has occurred. It is the usual story. Promises have been made, but not kept. Unfortunately, a mixture of shaky transport, being away on firm’s business and cottage building has prevented him from personally chasing the offender. Let us hope we have our cover again soon. “Alfie” _______________________________________________________________________________________ CAVING MEET – SOUTH WALES. A Caving meet has been arranged for the South Wales area for the weekend 25/26 April. Accommodation will be provided at the cottage of the South Wales Caving Club, with trips to Ogof Ffynnon Ddu and Pant Mawr. Will members who are interested in going on this meet please contact me by Thursday, 2nd April at the latest, in order that advance booking of accommodation mat be made. All offers of transport will be gladly accepted. “Mo” Marriott, Caving Secretary _______________________________________________________________________________________ We are sorry to hear that our worthy chairman, Dan Hasell, has recently lost part of a finger in an accident. Members will be pleased to hear, on the other hand, that “Sago” is now up and about again, after the recent loss of his leg. _______________________________________________________________________________________
NORTH WALES (18th and 19th, January 1964) by Carol Sandall. After a restful night at the Peterborough and Wellingborough Montaineering Club’s jointly owned cottage at Gefnan, near Bethesda; our party of seven, which consisted of Roy Bennett, Tony Dunn, John Howliston, Bob White, Lionel Williams, Alan and myself left the cottage on a sunny Saturday morning feeling reasonably fit. As we were making our way to some climbs on Elidir Pillar we came upon Lake Marchlyn Mawr which was partly frozen. Alan decided to try the ice and ended on his rear. The party scrambled round the edge of the lake, admiring the ice formations that had formed on the rocks. On reaching the climbs which centred on Gendarme, we split into two groups. Tony, Bob, Alan and myself climbed a short gully while Roy, John and Lionel climbed on the arête. After a brief lunch, we climbed up a slippery gully reaching a ridge below the summit of Klidir Fawr. Before us was a magnificent view of mist rolling over the Glyders and Carnedds. The way back lay over Mynydd Perfedd. This was nice walking on springy grass to the last peak called Carnedd y Filiast. From this viewpoint, the Elidir Fawr appears like a perfect cone. A rapid descent was made past the Bethesda slate quarries to the cottage.
Page 2 After a meal and a tidy up, we motored through Bethel (which has five chapels and not one pub) to the Staffords’ residence. The men, accompanied by John, left to obtain refreshments from a pub nearby. I was told that free sandwiches were supplied at this particular pub. It was raining, so we bid the Staffords goodnight at a reasonable hour. Sunday morning dawned misty and damp. We packed up and proceeded to Ogwen where John Stafford met us. Accompanied by John Stafford, Roy and John set off to climb the direct route on Glyder Fawr; Tony and Lionel to climb near the Devil’s Kitchen while Alan, Bob and myself walked up Y Griben to the Glyders. After spending an hour walking in circles in the mist, we eventually retraced our route and scrambled down the Bristly Ridge. Night had fallen by the time Roy and his party arrived at the cars, there were explanations of wet slippery rock and missing holds. After a bite to eat, we set off for home. A most enjoyable weekend. _______________________________________________________________________________________ The climbing secretary would like to announce that the next Climbing Trip will be to Cornwall at Easter. Please contact him for further details. _______________________________________________________________________________________ Personal.... Congratulations to Sid and Sylvia Hobbs on the birth of their son. The editor was told all the details, and will buy the parents suitable drinks when he sees them next to atone for forgetting! _______________________________________________________________________________________
Mathematical Puzzles – by ‘Sett’ (2) First, the solutions to last month’s problems. (A) If we add the total length of the four vertical steps, we find it is one inch. Similarly for the four horizontal steps. Thus the total distance from A to B is 2 inches. This argument still applies no matter how short the steps become. Note that this form of argument does form a feasible, but a complicated way of determining the area of the triangle ABC. (M) Let there be a fraction x/y reduced to its simplest terms, which is equal to √2. Then x squared equals two y squared. Since the R.H.S. is even, x must be even, because the square of an odd number is always odd. Therefore we can write x = 2a and therefore we have 4a2 = 2y2 or y2 = 2a2. We use a similar argument to show that y must be even, but if x and y are both even, then x/y is not in its lowest terms. Therefore the original assumption is incorrect and it is not possible to represent √2 as a fraction. Therefore it must be irrational. This argument can be applied to any number that is not a perfect square. Pam and Spike produced the correct solution to last month’s (A) problem, but they admitted that they had sufficient qualifications between them to count as mathematicians. Kevin also guessed the right answer, but was unable to prove it. Bob Bagshaw finally claimed the pint in the Cock Tavern near Oxford Circus. Richard Roberts sent in a correct solution to the (M) section, but was three days behind Bobby. Hard luck, Richard, but try again this month. (A) You are presented with twelve pennies all identical in appearance, but one is different in weight from the other 11. With a pair of scales, but no weights, determine in three weighings which is the odd coin and whether it is heavier or lighter. (M) If you solved the above problem when it was bandied about in the B.E.C. many years ago, try this one. Is twelve the maximum number for which you can solve the above problem? Is it still the same if we do not require to know if the odd coin is light or heavy? Obtain a general solution for any number of weighings, together with a general method _______________________________________________________________________________________ Because of the inevitable lateness of the Christmas B.B., it has been decided this year to print the list of members names and addresses in NOVEMBER B.B. The editor realises that this is a very early announcement of this fact, but happens to have a space to fill up on the page!
Numerous trips were made to St. Cuthbert’s and Eastwater during December and January, of which some were of particular interest. On the 21st December, Phil Davies, Bob Cannicott and Nick Harte took 24 feet of maypole into St. Cuthbert’s to explore the passage above Kanchenjunga (the one where water comes from). About five hundred feet of new passage was found which followed the bedding that forms the roof of Quarry Corner. The way out was found via a rift which led to Long Chamber Extension. No name has been given to this passage yet! On the 30th, Roger Stenner did some more survey work in Cuthbert’s which included the area between Lower Mud Hall and Traverse Chamber. Roger reports that stations have been left for the future survey of the Rocky Boulder series. On an evening trip into Cuthbert’s on 7th of January, Kevin Abbey. Barry Lane and Frank Jones went to Gour Rift and decided to climb it, just above the duck. The object of the climb was to investigate the possibilities of bypassing the duck. After a climb of about thirty feet, a narrow rift seemed to continue, through which the sound of water was heard. Has anyone else investigated this? On the 12th January, digging was continued at the back of the Dinning room by Mo Marriott and others. Mo reports that another ten feet of passage was gained which looks into a ‘T’ junction. Both side passages of this junction are choked and only about twenty feet of new passage was found in all. The lower (left hand) passage seems to have possibilities for more digging while the other leads to an extremely small stream passage. On the 26th January, Brian Reynolds took a tourist party around St. Cuthbert’s and reports that, while ascending the Wire Rift, one of the party slipped and a piece of wire went through her finger. It is proposed to start digging at the South East Inlet (Puke Swynne) in Swildons in the near future. It anyone interested? If so, contact Barry Lane. _______________________________________________________________________________________
On the Hill by ‘Stalagmite’ When I started writing this feature, I was amazed at the amount of activity going unpublished on Mendip. However, there now seems to be a dearth of interesting news, but here goes! February this year sees the first publication of as Speleological year book full of interesting information on all the most likely looking booze ups – sorry – dinners, of the various clubs. It may be noted that despite our own C.A. Marriott being on the advisory panel of the publication, no mention of the B.E.C. A.G.M. has been made. This could, I suppose, be due to the botch up we made of the 1963 A.G.M. There is at the rear of the book a notice of a bi-monthly magazine, the Speleologist. Obviously American influenced! I also notice that Cerberus offer an open challenge at skittles. I’m sure that, had this been ‘shuvvers’ we could have accepted their offer. The club will soon be saying goodbye, and my personal good wishes to Tom and Rusty who are migrating again. This time to Canada.
Page 4 News of the Wessex is that they are thinking of a change of premises, further away from the Hunters at that, with prospect of a farm in the Haydon Drove direction. It appears it would be a toss up between White Hart, Wells, the Slab House or the Hunters for their local. There is also a strong rumour that, after John Cornwell’s dice with the floor at Hillgrove they will be erecting crash barriers on all bunks. Talking of bunk, someone submitted to me the other day from C.S.S. (Kerebos) an occasional bulletin on Speleological Research sites on Eastern Mendip in which the official Wessex dig Thrupe Swallet is described as “excavated in 1936 but closed due to dangerous rock.” Do the Wessex know this? I cannot list the clubs from which I have heard no news at all, sufficient that there seems to be plenty of secretive caving clubs on Mendip! The general dearth on news does, however, give me a chance to include one or two snippets of information which have belatedly come my way, though not, unfortunately of a caving nature. I hear, for instance, that a B.E.C. team was beaten at ‘Boat Race’ at the S.M.C.C. dinner, by a team who I understand rejoice in the name of Ken’s Crappers. Bad show, B.E.C. I also hear of a strange Orange Squash Cult which has gained foothold at the Hunters. I find it hard to believe, but I am told it has even caused ‘honking’. As far as I am concerned, the mere thought is enough. The cave research in South Wales again emphasises the absolute (to me) stupidity of using non-cavers in these operations. On B.E.C. interviews, two cavers were heard to say that conditions were normal for this type of cave, while the miners declared it to be suicidal (I wonder what the miners would think of Tankard? – Ed.) Remembering back to Peak Cavern, it might be interesting for members to give this subject a thought and air their views in the club magazine. _______________________________________________________________________________________
…….by Ian Dear.
Rivers of London. By Nicholas J. Barton. Published by Phoenix House &Leicester University Press at 21/From Kew to Erith, the Thames has fifteen tributaries, of which ten are underground. The book traces the history of these streams, with water wheels and quays to the present day. After an introductory chapter dealing with topography and history of the city, there are detailed accounts of each lost river, giving its past and present courses and uses. Finally there is a chapter with the alliterative title of ‘Disaster, Diseases and Drains.’ This is a very readable book, written by a learned author and includes an extensive bibliography. To a Londoner, who can follow the course of rivers under streets and buildings familiar to him, it will be a book to spur him on to further discoveries. I found this book quite fascinating and I feel that it could be in the club library for our London members. _______________________________________________________________________________________ A thought for 1964 …….by the Editor Looking through the Speleological Yearbook and Diary, it can be seen that the B.E.C. is one of the twelve pre-war caving clubs listed. It is also very high up in the list for total size. This makes the B.E.C. one of the oldest and biggest clubs in the country. Lack of cover at present notwithstanding, does the B.B. reflect this state of affairs? This year, in October if all goes well, we shall have reached the Two Hundredth publication of the B.B. It is true that we have few articles, mainly on foreign caves, up our sleeve, but this is largely hand to mouth existence makes for a small B.B. The Christmass B.B. recently showed what could be done, and the editor hopes that, later on in the year, he will have more free time to devote to the B.B. We have many members in the club – most of whom can write, and there are plenty of aspects of club activities from which to choose if writing and article. The B.B. has been through rough periods before, but let’s try to make 1964 good year and get enough stuff coming in to be able at least to have a bumper 200th number as well as a large Christmas edition. How about it blokes?