Thrutch Volume 7 May 1982

Journal of the Aberystwyth University Caving Club
  1. Editorial
  2. The Horror! The Mendips
  3. Even More from the Amphibians
  4. The Thrutch Caving Hut Guide
  5. What We Did In Our Holidays: Some New Finds In Mainland Malaysia
  6. Llanelli Coal Mines
  7. The 1981 Christmas Dinner
  8. The Cwmrheidol Slurry Bath or the Ochre-Pit Breakthrough
  9. A Summer's Tale (Or Trouble at t'Hut)
  10. Mendips Xmas Trip Report
  11. Terminal Velocity Club—Hon. Member
  12. The Darren Disaster
  13. The Medical Problem Page
  14. Action Replay


So here it is—THRUTCH NO. 7! Believe it or not, these 10 pages of absolute doggerel have taken just 8 months to produce. The good news is that we have at last escaped the tyranny of the pre-industrial banda machine which used to turn normal print into something resembling a subtle blend of hieroglyphics and runes. Also, for the first time since the Cader Fawr survey, a useful diagram is included. (At least useful if you're going to Malaysia).

Thanks to the mugs who I conned into writing at least a few words, and to the Publishers of B.C. books for the cover cartoon (although they hopefully won't find out).

The great mystery remains this—why have the 2 members who go under the collective name of H.Davies produced not one word despite having been members for 8 years between them?—prizes for the answer.


The Horror! The Mendips

One of Queen Elizabeth's champions Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester offered a serf a bag of gold to be lowered down Eldon Hole in Derbyshire to discover how deep it was. The serf's hair changed colour and he was hauled up unconscious. Awed observers estimated he had gone down about 750 feet. Last October Aber went caving, not to the above cave; in fact this story has nothing to do with it—I just happened to come across it while looking through a recent copy of New Society. I don't remember much at all except the horror of St. Dunstan's Well at 1 a.m., caving in a latex G-string and nipple-pads and getting lost in the mist outside G.B. cave. Also the horror of sleeping between Davies and Fenton, and finally the pleasure of the cafe at Burrington Combe. I think the serf was better off.

Rick "Ripper" Hirst

Even More from the Amphibians

(See earlier Thrutches)

Previous articles have illustrated the ability of various creatures to survive in the most horrendous environments, with no apparent sustenance available. Letters in the Times Diary last term (autumn) give further examples. One involved a reader who had taken an apparently empty shell home from the seaside, left it on the mantlepiece for a year, then found it to contain a live mollusc. The second concerned a snail at the British Museum which was found to be alive after spending three years glued to a piece of card. Due to the usual disarray involved with this production I've lost the exact details but further items will be welcomed.

The Thrutch Caving Hut Guide

(continued from earlier numbers)

E.H.Easy hut
M.H.Moderate hut
D.H.Difficult hut
V.D.H.Very difficult hut
S.H.Severe hut
S.S.H.Super-severe hut

5: Westminster Hut—Caerllwyn, near Penderyn


Quite a good hut but with some disadvantages, notably the distance of 2 miles to the Tafarn LIew Goch at Penderyn (the Red Lion). Cooking facilities are good and sleeping fairly good, especially the sensuous red light above the 14 bunks. Showers are available but the fact that they are in a separate block merits the D.H. rating—who can be bothered to get the key for them? The Bogotorium (beware the trams) is excellent, with a 6 inch gap between the walls and roof for ventilation to the wind and rain of the Brecon Beacons. Nettles and brambles discourage the use of other areas, especially at night. There was a notable lack of volunteers to find the cess pit to empty the bucket.

6: Penwyllt—camping next to it in the rain


This unusual arrangement allows the hardy caver to contrast the beautiful HOT showers of Penwyllt with his miserable cramped tent on a turd-covered bog outside. Other good points include the proximity of O.F.D. and Cwm Dwr preventing the use of the "car won't start" gambit. The Price's Arms at Coelbren is a delightful 4-mile stroll away along the old Brecon and Merthyr line (very sporting after dark especially the coils of wire lying all over it). Further sport is provided by 8 people sleeping in 3 tiny tents, trying not to touch the sides and let the water in. Waking in a tent in the Beacons is almost as character-building an experience as Penwyllt's capacity for not quite drying wet gear. All in all a bracing experience for those hardy outdoor types who sit in pubs and claim to be cavers.

7: Ingleton—Holme Head Caravan Park


The history of happy stays at Greenclose having ended (See Colin's article), Fenton arranged after series of complex phone calls to stay at Mrs. Moffat's site. This turned out to be a masterful move as the site is excellently placed for both pubcrawls of Ingleton (ending at the Marton Arms), and greasy breakfasts at Bernie's (I recommend the radio-active milk-shake). The vans are cheap and one had a T.V. set to boot. It also had a window for Hywel to boot. I hope we shall return.

Rob Jones

What We Did In Our Holidays: Some New Finds In Mainland Malaysia

The karst area of Selangor, peninsular Malaysia, contains perhaps the best-known cave systems in mainland South-East Asia (fig. 1). These caves are developed in the southern side of a single large karst tower known as Bukit Balu (fig. 2). To the west of the main cave area, however, the entrances to other caves have obviously long been known to locals since they contain extensive evidence of having been worked for guano for a considerable time.

Investigation of these entrances revealed their connection with major cave passages, one of which was found to be, at almost 130m, the deepest cave yet surveyed in South-east Asia. The entrance to this cave, named Gua Ganesha is a massive open pot in the top of the karst tower. Access to this point presents a number of problems, not least of which are the steep sides of the tower and the secondary rain forest and sharp, solutionally-eroded limestone pinnacles which cover the tower surface

From the entrance a spacious 96m pitch leads into the main chamber. A number of major leads can be seen opening off the pitch, but since the shaft is a free descent, access to these is difficult and they remain unexplored. The main chamber covers an area of almost 5,000 square metres, although much of its former volume is now occupied by an enormous debris cone comprised both of guano and of sediment derived from the surface via the main shaft. A light is almost unnecessary as for much of the day sunlight shines directly down the pitch and illuminates all but the furthest corners of the chamber.

From the main chamber there are three major routes on. The first leads to a smaller but nonetheless impressive, chamber with a single phreatic inlet which eventually becomes too tight. The second route leads out to an entrance high in the cliffs of the karst tower. The third route, a major phreatic trunk passage, connects via a 30m pitch to the already-known Gua Muzium at the base of the tower. This pitch leads from the passage floor, preventing access to the continuation of the phreatic trunk route, which is clearly visible on the far side of the pitch.

There is obviously considerable potential for further exploration within the cave, and perhaps the possibility of a connection with Gua Gelap, Peninsular Malaysia's longest cave (fig. 2). Several other caves were investigated in the rest of the tower and these are of equally impressive proportions and possess equal potential for extension. Unfortunately, owing to pressure of time, these remain unsurveyed.

of DMF/M9

Fig. 1 The geology of the Selangor karst, West Malaysia (after Gobbett and Tjia, 1973; Crowther, 1978).
The caves of Bukit Batu, Selangor, West Malaysia (partly after M- ure, 1961; Jennings, 1976).
Stephen Gale

Llanelli Coal Mines

The Llanelli Coalfield was worked intensively from the early 1700s, peaked in the 1880s and declined rapidly after the Great War. As a result older mines were incorporated into the newer ones and mine layouts are large and connect with other, separate collieries. Over 20 seams were worked, varying in size from a few inches to 9 feet. Within the 38 square kms. of the coalfield some 720 pits have so far been recorded but the total is still slowly rising. Many pits have been obliterated by urban growth, but of those which lie elsewhere, at least a dozen remain open and at least 100 sites are uninvestigated at present. Also, many old levels and drifts could be opened by a few hours digging.

Stradey Level

Originally opened 1832 and worked until 1865, also worked 1896–1899 and 1905–1267, the last mine to work within the coalfield. The Stradey Level worked the Pwll Little and Pwll Big Seams and the Black Rock Clay Seam, which left the entire mine covered in sticky yellow fireclay. Its comparatively recent closure means rails, trams and tools are intact as well as ½km. of tramway from its mouth to the Stradey Brickworks where the clay was used. The entrance is an arch dated 1897, going inwards for 400' until the original rock-cut entrance is reached. It features a large self-acting incline on which full trains going down pulled the empties up. At the top a heading goes westwards for a few hundred feet until it reaches a 5-yard fault, at which point there is a large fall. Shortly beyond this the heading is completely blocked by more falls. In this respect Stradey is good since the only other fall is halfway up the incline. Unfortunately most of the stulls (where the coal is actually dug out) are waste filled. It is essentially gas-free and the safest mine in the area.

Pencoed Slant

Blocked by a fall and water. It worked the Cwm Mawr Seam in the last ½ of the 19th. Century, but is very difficult to find except in winter for it lies in a heavily wooded valley.

Llanelly Colliery Company's 1903 Trial Level

Situated in Stradey Woods, this level may have been an attempt to prospect the Cilmaenllwyd Vein, but failed. It is a straightforward level and therefore rather pointless to explore. It was bricked up in 1980, but blasted open last September (not by me, officer!)

Troserch Colliery

Worked in the early 1900s and again after the last war. It has at least 3 levels into the Cille No. 2 Vein and 26 into the Cille No. 2 Vein. Only 3 are open, but most of the rest look diggable. No. 1 Level is the largest but is partially blocked by large blocks from the roof. No. 1 Level has a mudstone roof but, as is usual with such roofs, there is a large collapse not far in. No. 2 Level ditto.

Cwm Mawr Colliery

The main level of this working was penetrated to approx. 2300' at Xmas. The roof has collapsed in many places and in many others large blocks are parting from the roof. Just inside the entrance a large Uwch (bellstone) is waiting to drop and the mine is also filled with about 3' of water and after about 2000' the air quality falls rapidly. It does have some good points, though (it does?). Many of the stulls are still open and one can still crawl about in the actual workings and appreciate working conditions. Almost ½way along the level the main passage turns abruptly westwards up the seam to end at a large stopping across the passage, from which water runs. If this could be dismantled it would give access to considerable workings but the quantity of water is unknown. From the turn mentioned above move through a fallen stopping which probably separated late 19th. Century from workings dating from the 1900s. Beyond the stopping is 100' of good timbering but after this the roof is badly fallen. In this older section is a 16 inch iron oxide stal. and a small curtain. Exploration ceased here due to bad air.

At least five other levels are known to be open: the Gelligele dating to at least 1804; the Clyngerwen, a lead mine; a crop level near the latter; a roadside drift at Ffrwnes, and an outcrop level into the Cilmaenllwyd Vein near the Farriers Arms (at last he mentions a pub. This is more like it—Ed.) Most exciting though, are the many as yet unexplored collieries and the digging prospects.

Postscript—Equipment for Mining in this Area

This is basically the same as for caving except that carbide lamps, obviously, cannot be used. Both comforting and useful is a gas testing lamp or normal collier's lamp. I prefer the latter for they are more robust, and also because the gas testing lamp I possess doesn't have a glass windguard to protect the candle because it is a very early model. When using the usual collier's lamp the flame is adjusted to a standard height, subsequent changes indicating the presence of gas, the percentage of which can be quite accurately estimated. The flame increases in firedamp and decreases in blackdamp and whitedamp.

Map References for the above Collieries

StradeySN 487013
PencoedSN 485023
TrialSN 487018
TroserchSN 554037
Cwm MawrSN 484024
Rob Jones

The 1981 Christmas Dinner

All the terrible traditions which have made this club what it is (awful) were maintained at this memorable event. A large crowd was already drinking in The Downies Vaults when Davies and myself arrived for "cocktails" at about 6.20. Some of the freshers were well on the way to the top of the slippery slope by then. It was good to see a very large proportion wearing suitable dress, with many festooned with strange flowers purporting to be buttonholes. After an extended period of drinking we entered the Light of Asia at 8.30 and the hardier members returned to The Downies for more ale as soon as they had ordered.

Many ultra-hot curries later (and one cold chicken salad for Carruthers), speeches were made and prizes presented. Bunce the Great Orator made his famous philosophical utterance as president. Mr. Carruthers was awarded the "Mask of Death" as the person least expert at dicing with danger, and Liz received a picture of H's tool for some reason I cannot remember. My recollections of the later hours are destroyed along with the brain cells which contained them. Anyhow, Neil and Rob apparently saw an Arctic Fox on the bowling green on North Road and everyone else staggered away to various squalid digs and halls around Aber.

The Next One!—St. Dunstan's Day Dinner! May 19th


The Cwmrheidol Slurry Bath or the Ochre-Pit Breakthrough

Tuesday 16th March 7p.m. was set for the auspicious entry, according to astrological calculation and consultation of the Glyngorse Oracle, into the watery depths for the Cwmrheidol main adit and, to our surprise, a breakthrough into the Ystumen Mine system by 3 members of the more lunatic (?) fringe of the Aber miners, Fenton, Abdul and Bunce (Supported by sympathetic beer-swilling camp followers propping up the Cooper's bar).

Arriving after dark at Cwmrheidol, they stumbled around in the freezing winds trying to equip themselves for the long haul ahead. Bunce was in a grave personal dilemma as to whether to keep his one pair of pants on or not since there was little behind in his wetsuit, and eventually decided to dye them in ochre, being inclined to modesty. At last stumbling up the scree slope we arrive, baking in our neoprene, at the top adit. We intended to merely go past the fall about 300 yards in, wade through the water (chest-deep) and look at the formations at the end. After the small fall from a stope on the left, the roof level drops to give a pleasantly-refreshing duck that chilled the dick and left one foundering in the banked-up ochre mud on the other side trying to stop one's boots being fixatrophied to the bottom. Weird and wonderful formations were to be seen, long delicate straws and stalagmite bosses in little side levels and blocked stopes, and at one point a series of waterfall terraces formed from the dreaded ochre. Of course, nobody had remembered to bring a camera on the (originally) photographic trip.

Just before the end of the workings a small shaft stope on the left leads to a hole through deads into a large stope, with a steep footwall and the remains of a compressor pipe and a collapsed ladder at one side. Not to be outdone by a sheer rockface, Abdul "the leg" launched himself into a frantic climb using F. & B. as a human ladder – a pleasurable experience. However, 40' up and with few handholds, caution prevailed and a miraculous descent was made. On the way back to the duck we heard water falling in a hole to our left. On the previous trip Fenton, Kevin et al. had not looked closely at this. Now we saw a series of ladders climbing up the dizzy heights of a manway. Girding our loins (Blimey, I don't remember this!—Fenton), and with the spirit of adventure still strong (what?) we set off up the rotten wood and rusty metal hell-raiser. There are 5 ladders with platforms in between, in total about 125'. The top lapper has only a few rungs intact and needs some careful climbing. A top level gave rise to a whole series of collapsed stopings which looked most unsafe. The wallrock was pyretic and peeled away at a touch. Finding no way through here, including a possible continuation up the ladderway which was blocked 10' further up, with a fall held up by a piece of rail, we descended the ladderway.

We had little idea of the time but, dreaming of last orders at the Tynllidiart Arms, we paddled frantically through the Quagmire once more, through the ochre path and to the exit without losing a single man. The realities of changing out of sodden wetsuits down by the road, however, reduced our aspirations to a cup of tea and a long sleep. Bunce roared off on his bike, while the "Abdulmobile" took Dino and Abdul and a pool of ochre back to Glyngorse. Another success story for the caving club in managing to find another sado-masochistic excess in which to introduce first-timers to the delights of the underworld.


Coming Soon In Thrutch Number 8! ... More Mine Madness!

A Summer's Tale (Or Trouble at t'Hut)

It had been a good 4 days caving in Yorkshire, I thought as we drove back down the motorway on Tuesday. I needed a week to recover but didn't get one; after a phone call from Fenton, I found myself hitching back up the motorway on Thursday night. Despite the attempts of several bus drivers, I eventually arrived in Saltley, deepest Birmingham, and found Wendy, Kevin, Hywel and the Terrible Fenton Brothers. They were all inebriated and playing a strange dice game. When we got thrown out of the pub we moved to the Khyber Pass restaurant for various super-severe curries.

Friday noon the six of us stopped at Settle for coffee and then on to Swinsto Hole, an easy through trip to start with. Dino and I went in to ladder the short pitch out of the streamway and then we set off up the hilt to find the entrance. This was no trouble as I'd been there on Monday. The cave consists of following the stream down a series of pitches, abseiling on a doubled rope which is pulled down after you. From the final chamber a crawl leads to the impressive master cave streamway and the ladder back up to the entrance. It was a pleasant and uneventful trip, except for losing Kevin at the foot of the big pitch. He had hung around while the rest of us moved on and couldn't find the way on (although there is only one!) We returned and found him sitting atone in the dark "tortured by hallucinations".

The caving over, the next problem was somewhere to stay. The nearest hut I knew was N.P.C. at Greenclose so after chips and calls at various alehouses, we were able to sleep on their library floor. The night was spent playing strange word games, drinking whisky and eating large hunks of bread.

Saturday morning we returned to "Ye Olde Naked Man" at Settle for coffee and chose to do Sleets Gill, a new cave to all of us. Found the entrance easily and descended to the large phreatic main passage; an easy walk before the horror of Hydrophobia Passage, a long flat-out crawl through the stream. This leads to larger passage and The Ramp, a 100' long mud slope which caused great amusement and has some good formations at the top. We looked at the 15' sump but chickened out. We stopped on the way out, at Wendy's insistence, to do Revolting Hole; a 30' long cave with, said the book, a mud duck. After a long search a small hole in the grass was found and I ventured in. It was about 1 foot in diameter with a floor of stagnant liquid peat. After 10' there was a constriction, beyond which lay another 10' of passage. I emerged backwards and very muddy but no-one else seemed convinced that it was the right hole and they didn't go in. We returned to the hut via Settle and several pubs, but was locked so we left one of our cars outside assuming this would show we'd returned and went to the Marton Arms and it's infamous disco.

In the early hours some of the N.P.C. arrived and seemed upset that we hadn't broken into the hut to remove our notice. We tried to explain about the car but they seemed unimpressed. At 2a.m. Kevin's car wouldn't start so, for some reason I still can't remember, Fenton and I jogged the 5 miles back to the hut. In the morning we were told we had been banned from the place.

BUT the caving must go on! Down to Ye Olde Naked Man where Hywel chose Guy Fawkes Pot and Cave, with their rarely-attempted tight connection. We met a bloke from MUSS (who have dug in the area for years) and he joined us. We descended the short pitch just inside the pot and were nearly crushed by a large boulder which moved a few inches. as we passed below. The way on was a tight tube leading to a junction, from which both ways seemed impassable, and our "guide" didn't know the way. Eventually Hywel, encouraged by Kevin's voice from the Cave side, forced a way through followed by Dino and I. Hywel led Wendy and Lant back through, while the rest of us went down to Snool's Hole. Climb through an oil drum leads to a crawl in WARM water and then The Grim Bit-a 10' squeeze with little airspace. Dino left complaining of cramp, while Kevin and I looked at the excellent Omo Way with its white formations.

We returned to gather out meagre possessions and drove into the dark night with nowhere to sleep. Several pubs later we were admitted to the Bolton Hut by the only person staying there. Next morning back to Ye Olde Naked Man after which I left and the rest did Lower Long Churn. (And stayed in Brum again the next night to enjoy the hospitality of Chris Cooke and the Khyber Pass).

Colin Bunce

Mendips Xmas Trip Report

Dino, Lant, Wendy, Cara, Nicky, Hywel, Bunce

Usual organisational chaos but eventually all arrived at the Duke on Monday night. Colin and me were shocked to discover that the other 5 had done Manor Farm already that afternoon. Too keen for our liking – Bunce and I had hoped the time would involve no caving at all, and the meal of beef and wine given us by Cerberus on arrival had increased our taste for the easy life. Returned to the hut totally legless and proceeded to drink more, then the usual squeezing through chairs, coat-hangers etc. Next thing I remember is waking up still fully dressed in the middle of the floor. Noticed Bunce was also in evidence so between us we rekindled the fire and nodded off. In the morning it was discovered that we had burned the sheep skull which is usually on the wall above. The previous night's indulgences caused Lant and Wendy to honk (morning sickness?), the former an especially spectacular performance down the wall outside.

Tuesday we visited Wells Cathedral with the Aston renegades ("what do you think of the clock?"—"it's astronomical"). Eventually set off to do Cuckoo Cleeves, entering at about 3.30. Hywel's attempts at "gardening" the loose stones nearly killed us all. Although Nicky wimped out of the squeeze 4 of us went through to do some "exclusive swimming", only to find what seemed a bottomless pool with no room to swim. Going out through the crawl, an evil step of about 2 feet adds to the fun.

Tuesday night more manic drinking at Duke and Oakhill Inn and many bottles passed around in the hut. Amazed to see someone drink from bottles of sherry and whisky simultaneously yet live. I think it was on this night that a party including Nicky, Hywel and Lant went underground. However, St Dunstan's Well was not their destination. Weds. morning more throbbing heads and skull attacks, especially after the distribution of hideous sausage sandwiches to all but the greenest faces. After Chris "Gordon Blue" Cooke's curry of the previous night large queues formed outside the bog, from which foul smells drifted into the sleeping rooms above.

We set out for Bath to do Box Stone Mines, but Nicky's clutch cable broke and we had to push her most of the way through Bath's crowded streets. After tea at Sally Lunn's opted for the shorter trip down Swan Mine. Saw saws and a crane, plus 40 year old horse footprints (I didn't know horses lived that long). Steve Joyce's car, despite his "dead man's boots", did make it to Box. The usual debauchery at the Duke, and up till 2 again trying the coat-hanger. Left on Thursday, ignoring attempts to make us stay for the New Year itself, but deciding to do so next year. Lant, Wendy and Hywel (Selwyn) joined Cerberus.

Dino Fenton

Terminal Velocity Club—Hon. Member

We hereby confirm the appointment of Stephen Gale as an honorary member of this hallowed society. This title is below that of full member because although Mr. Gale was observed moving downhill at considerable speed, the only surviving member, Bunce, said terminal velocity wasn't attained.

The Darren Disaster

(A trip organised by Fenton on 30th.November 1981)

Neil arrived at Glyngorse 6.30 and was admitted by the girl upstairs, so read 2000A.D. and admitted Rob, Kevin and Abdul. They watched Blake's Seven while expecting Fenton to arrive. When he did he said he was too knackered, greatly annoying the assembled miners. The journey in Neil's van featuring the engine open into the interior of the van and the engine firing intermittently on 3–4 cylinders.

Arriving Pen-Bont-Rhydybeddan where Abdul said the mine was "up in those woods" but didn't know whereabouts. A vote on whether it was worth doing anything drew 2-all, so we set out carrying masses of equipment, wandering across what looked like a set for the start of 2001 A Space Odyssey. across shafts here and there, dropped stones down them and moved on. Eventually settled for a 50' climbing shaft. Kevin abseiled down to find it full of junk, dead sheep and billions of flies – that's where they go in winter! We all joined him to explore the single level which led off – it only went 15' and had a loose roof held up by air pressure alone.

While laddering out Rob got the lifeline and ladder caught up and had to perform various aerobatics to escape. Abdul tried to explore a level on the opposite side of the shaft from the ladder, but it didn't go. We returned to the cars with shouts of "thus is a big chamber!" and "don't the holes in the roof give a neat effect—just like stars!". Three of us went to Neil's at Cwmsymlog for cocoa, it now being half past midnight, and discussed ways of taking our revenge on Fenton for organising this abortion of a trip.

Neil Oakman/Rob Jones

The Medical Problem Page

Dear Doctor,

I am often told by older and wiser members of the club that wanking in caving huts can cause permanent damage. I do not, of course, participate myself but do know poor misguided fools who do.

Yours limp-wristedly
Worried Fresher

Dear worried,

Yes it can cause lasting damage, I'm afraid. You have, no doubt, noticed the drawn faces with their sunken eyes and buck teeth prevalent among veterans of a hundred trips and more. Also looks for delirium tremens when no beer has actually been consumed and people wearing only one sock or no socks at all, on Sundays.

Also easily noticeable is damage to the fabric of huts themselves, with strain cracks apparent on bunks, pieces of ceilings missing, and strange grooves in the floor of huts. Our own hovel, Cae Gynon, shows evidence of all of these.

Doctor Death

Dear Doctor,

Is it possible to lose one's virginity on a caving trip?

Ben T. Double

Dear Ben,

The "cherry" or Hymen Vulgaris, as we doctors know it, is indeed subjected to considerable stress on an average weekend caving. However, as such vast amounts of alcohol are consumed there is little likelihood of actual penetration since most males are terminally affected by "Nero's Bane" on these occasions.

Doctor Death

Action Replay

Owing to a lack of many trip reports from last term I have brought together my own personal highlights of the term's caving events...

South Wales—Penwyllt

Fresher's trip—usual chaos. No hut and no cave permits. Hywel's friend drives us down and then takes the van away. Cwm Dwr TWICE in a weekend. 3 mile walk down the slippery railway to the pub and back. 9 people in 3 2-man tents. Must remember to take some food on the next trip.


Featuring a return appearance by Wendy in the role of driver. St Dunstan's on Friday with 8 people; only 6 went through the sump (Dave Williams picked a good one for his first cave—Ed.). G.B. Cavern with rapidly rising water. Burrington Combe—the rot sets in with only 5 caving on Sunday—ladder/adder fiasco at the entrance to Goatchurch and fun in the Lobster Pot at Sidcot Swallet.

South Wales—Westminster S.G.

No bus driver so travellers par l'autoshed/beast; blowing the horn for a pint. Up to Pant Mawr for the famous Carruthers' leap. Down to the Red Lion for the E.S.B. (alright, so my memory becomes a bit vague at this point). If its Sunday then it must be Pulpit Hole—MUD!!!!!! One in the eye for Chris.


High speed driving from John. Luxury caravans with a T.V. Lower Long Churn without a wetsuit – cold and wet, superb prussic up Alum Pot. Marton Arms disco with only 7 hours' drinking. Hywel's amazing window trick and only half the club caving on Sunday again. Sunset Pot a lovely abseil.


Traditional christmas trip with more high-speed driving from John. The boredom of Giants' Hole again, but 2 lights going out on 1 trip. Huge meal (including brandy on the pudding) followed by slow drinking. The rot really sets in – only 2 caving on Sunday. Appearances by both Chris Cooke and Pete Bradbury (who got 3 parking tickets in Winnats Pass for his trouble). The reappearance of Wendy and a special guest appearance of Aberystwyth Kleptomaniacs Club in a Manchester Indian restaurant.

South Wales—Whitewalls

Bunce's birthday so stopped for a drink at Capel Bangor, just outside Aber. and then again at Llangurig to pick up Hywel. A wild street scene in Crickhowell as a crowd of cavers waving guitars rush through the streets in a bid to get pissed before closing time. Feeble attempts to light a fire in the hut. Vince produces the world's most hideous sleeping bag.

Four heroes dig through snow to find the entrance to Daren y Cilau although one (don't worry Rob we wont reveal who it was) wimps out. No fire exit sign visible. Rest a horrible trip into Aggie for freshers or the Steve Gale Mystery tour for the really unfortunate. Good drinking at the Bridge Inn after scaring away all their middle-class customers from the comfy chairs.

Vince tries to wade across the river which was in spate. We egged him on in the hope of a spectacular drowning, only to see him turn back when it went over knee-deep only a yard from the bank. Sunday the only 4 to cave come close to death on the sheer sides of Clydach Gorge (see Terminal Velocity Club).

Colin Bunce

Document history:

  • First published May 1982.
  • This digital edition published on the World Wide Web June 2010. This volume was scanned/typed by Andrew Barnes and edited by Rich Smith. Hard copy courtesy of South Wales Caving Club.

© 1982, 2010 Aberystwyth Caving Club