GSG Newsletter 122

15 March 2005

GSG Annual General Meeting

The AGM was held in Winchburgh on January 22nd and was attended by 14
members. Below are highlights of the morning's discussions. Any member
wishing to see the full minutes, please contact the Secretary.

Office Bearers Reports

Several reports were tabled - for those who could not attend the AGM,
these are available from the Secretary and copies are distributed with
this newsletter to GSG members.

The Treasurer reported a healthy surplus, despite the rise in BCA
insurance costs which were covered by last years increase in subs. No
increase would be needed for this year.

The Caving Secretary provided details of the new meets list - permits
have been obtained for several Yorkshire trips. Members are encouraged
to come along and to suggest other trips for the year

The Chairman reported that membership numbers haven't dropped despite
the increase in subs. In his capacity as Hut Warden, he reported a
significant increase in use throughout the year. The Conservatory is
completed, and volunteers are required for hut maintenance tasks.

Election of Office Bearers

There had been no nominations for new members of the Committee, so
the existing Office Bearers were re-elected.

Hon Recorder - Alan Jeffreys
Secretary - Elizabeth Ellis
Tacklemaster - Peter Ireson
Hut Warden - Peter Dowswell
Chairman - Peter Dowswell
Treasurer - Ivan Young
Caving Secretary - Fiona Ware

Annual Dinner

Results were as follows:

Appin - 2 postal = 2 votes

Skye - 3 + 2 postal = 5 votes

Yorkshire - 5 + 5 postal = 10 votes

Derbyshire - no votes

Mendip - 2 postal = 2 votes

South Wales - 2 + 1 postal = 3 votes

Yorkshire was declared the winner

Publications

Caves of Assynt is the major focus for completion this year, and
requires some surveys to be finished. Volume 5 of the Sutherland log is
now available price £8 from the Recorder. Material for the Bulletins is
requested well in advance of the print deadlines of March and October.
Expeditions - Suggestions for expeditions for 2005 included Northern
Ireland, Budapest/Hungary (Kate Janossy), Poland (Roger G). A trip to
Staff in May was discussed, and supported by those present.

Other Business

The Protection of Children Act requires some consideration - with
regard to taking parties of children underground. This will be discussed
at a future Committee meeting, and any members with views on this should
contact the Secretary.

Elizabeth Ellis

Many thanks to Elizabeth and Derek for hosting the meeting yet again
in their home.


GSG Annual Subscription 2005

Thank you to those members who have paid their 2005 annual
subscriptions. So far that is 114 of you with another 26 still managing
to delay. This means that the BCA membership and public liability
insurance for the 26 has lapsed, and they can no longer cave where
insurance is a condition of entry. They will also find themselves ex-
members of the GSG on the 1st April. If you are one of the 26, please
either tell me now if you are resigning from the GSG, or send me a
cheque for your 2005 subscription.

Ivan


First New Cave of 2005 found in Assynt

Martin Hayes has named the new cave he discovered near the Cuil Dhubh
sink Storm Cave. He found it in during an interesting mix of snow,
thunder and lighting on the 2nd January. As announced in the last
Newsletter he didn't explore the whole cave since he had a single
dimming lamp, was solo, nobody knew where he was and nobody else knew of
the new cave. A group of us drove to Glenbain Cottage the following day
intending to explore it. It was raining, the snow was thawing and the
river was running several inches deep over the concrete ford below
Glenbain Cottage. It wasn't much of a surprise to find Cuil Dhubh backed
up with water running down the overflow channel to Deep Depression and a
2.5 m deep lake covering the entrance to Storm Cave.

The next visit was in drier weather on the 29th January by Martin,
Ivan and Andy Peggie. This explored the cave to a large chamber sloping
steeply down to where a large almost static lake stretched off for at
least 7 m into the gloom. Photographs were taken, and we then attempted
to stabilize the entrance. This is a hole down through glacial debris
which is very easily eroded. We don't want this cave to suffer the fate
of the nearby Uamh an Coire Domhain (Cave of the Deep Depression) whose
entrance disappeared within two years. We built a rough and ready dry
stone dyke around the inside of the entrance and extended it partly
along the first part of the passage. It seems to be doing its job so
far, but needs more work done on it and we'd encourage you to add to it
when you visit the cave.

On the Sunday Julian Walford and Bob Jones found the lake had dropped
overnight and an inlet had been revealed that was vigorously churning
the surface. Julian also managed to squeeze down through boulders into a
crawl that led upstream towards the Cuil Dhubh sinks. He stopped at the
top of a very muddy slope leading down into a pool. This had water
cascading into it from an unseen passage round to the right.

A month later on the 26th February, while everyone else was setting
records at Rana, the next visit found the entrance much as it had been.
The lake, however, had dropped by several metres and Chris Chapman,
Simon Turner, Peter Reynolds, Jerry Ingram and Robin Forrest could climb
down a steep loose slope to walk along a few metres of streamway to
deepening water where a wetsuit became desirable. Chris and Simon kicked
and cut steps in the thick mud on the right hand wall for a rising
traverse to where they could see the rift continuing rift for 10 m or
more.

A mass assault on Sunday 27th February found the lake lower by
another metre or two. It was possible to walk along to what was
definitely a sump pool - though it too will probably drop still further
as the weather improves. Roger Galloway and Peter Dennis dug into
a muddy passage at the top of the rift that runs to the downstream sump,
but this is likely to communicate upwards to a choked shakehole on the
surface rather than bypass the sump. Julian took the Hilti drill and
removed a lump of rock to widen the squeeze into the upstream crawl. He
and Peter Dennis splashed around in the sumps and reported that the
upstream inlet came from an impenetrable fissure. More photos were taken
though the large population of steaming bodies meant that most of them
were failures.

The survey was assembled by John Crae from sketch surveys in the hut
log book and from his own observations. A full grade 5 survey is needed
to more precisely relate the passages to surface features especially the
Cuil Dhubh sinks and the site of Uamh an Coire Domhain.


Other Caving News

ASSYNT

  • Rana Hole - The first digging trip of 2005 was on the 28th January
    with Julian Walford, Bob Jones, John Heathcote and new member Paul
    Baxter. Only a couple of loads made it to the surface, but well over 100
    were stacked at the bottom of the main pitch by Paul, whose army
    experience resulted in the neatest stack anybody had ever seen down a
    cave. Digging was easy in soft orange clay and concentrated on a patch
    in front of the BBC ladder and on the northern side of the rift,

    One month later on 26th February a team of (eventually) ten
    dismantled Paul's neat pile, and with that plus additional spoil from
    digging, a total of 280 loads were hauled to the surface - a record for
    any one day. Members present were Roger, Martin, Julian, Bob and
    daughter Alison Jones, Ivan, John Crae, Peter Dennis, Peter Reynolds and
    Robin Forrest. The first 140 loads were removed in 136 minutes after
    which everyone stopped for lunch and a rest. There's still plenty to
    excavate and the water wasn't too much of a problem. As it built up in
    the dig it was bailed into the rift under the ladder where it drained
    away. It does appear that digging down rather than along the rift is the
    right way to go for now.

APPIN/OBAN

George Kennedy was busy last year investigating caves in the Appin and
Oban areas. He writes:-

  • Glen Duror - On the Sunday of the February 2004 G.S.G weekend in
    Appin
    I searched the gullies that lie high on the hillside above and to the
    east of Draught Caledonian. I discovered no caves although I did find
    one or two resurgences in the first gully I came to. The larger more
    prominent gully that almost cuts the hillside in two revealed nothing,
    and it did not show any signs of limestone. I have yet to explore the
    top half of this gully. Steep cliffs barred the way and I was not
    prepared to solo a nasty looking traverse, with my terrier Speedy.
  • Strontian mines - Myself, Fiona and kids were not sure if we were
    allowed to be here or not, but as there were no signs of human life we
    ventured forth into the mines which are still worked to this day. We
    found quite a few very deep shafts in a derelict part of the mines and
    some very massive caverns. We did not enter anything as it was too
    dangerous for kids and I am not experienced myself in such matters as
    descending deep shafts which my lamps could not penetrate, such was
    their depth. Although we could not explore in the caving sense we did
    find some very nice looking minerals - crystals of strontianite and a
    mineral which had the appearance of chunks of toffee stuck together.
  • River Fincharn cave, S. Lochawe - Access to this cave is via a farm on
    whose ground the cave lies. A knock on the farm's door revealed a
    friendly farmer who had no problem with me and Speedy going through his
    land to search for caves. A one and a half hour walk up the burn (with
    one of the farmer's sheepdogs in tow!) took us to the cave. Any chance
    of a through trip was put to a stop by the burn which was in full spate.
    I turned my attention to hunting for more caves. I found two or three
    entrances leading into limestone passage. As wee as they were I thought
    it may be worth a return trip with some digging tools in the hope that
    some engineering might reveal bigger passage way. These entrances I
    found above the Fincharn cave some 400 meters upstream.

    On the way back home I came across some hollows in the field just
    above the farm itself where I discovered at least four tiny burns which
    disappeared underground and reappeared about 200 metres or so down the
    field. Each place where a burn vanished underground there was an obvious
    hollow in the field, about a metre deep and choked with boulders.

  • Benderloch - I found three small sea caves - nothing worth visiting.
    Island of Luing - Situated on this island a ten minute walk from the
    ferry is a cave called 'The Fairy cave' (see GSG Newsletter 121). It has
    been visited a few times by locals, one of whom had told me the
    whereabouts of the cave. It is worth a visit if you are in the area as
    it sports some fine formations worth looking at and some 'engineering'
    could push a 'too tight' tube further. Further searching of the Island
    has revealed no more caves as yet.
  • Inverary - Checked out some caverns beside the road some 4 miles south
    of Inverary. A disappointing day as there were no caves, just shallow
    caverns that went nowhere.
  • Tyndrum Lead Mines - Had a great day out with Fiona exploring this
    fascinating area of old mines. We used the survey in the March 2004 GSG
    Bulletin as a guide and explored each level we could get into on our way
    up the hill. We discovered nothing new but had a good day, well worth a
    visit!!

    George Kennedy

  • Albion Pot - This was one of the main objectives of the February trip
    to Appin. Roger Galloway thought that the end looked hopeful while
    Malcolm McConville and Hugh Penney froze their b******s off in the
    stream as they worked on removing the tighter squeezes en route to
    Roger. He dug out a few bags of gravel and could see the way on quite
    clearly. Gorge joined them later and some extra stabilization work
    proved necessary as a couple of boulders on the climb down started
    moving and needed restrained. We'll need to add more scaffolding to make
    it safe.
  • Draught Caledonian - The other objective in February was to
    investigate the sink above and beyond the terminal chamber of Draught
    Caledonian Cave. This was taking a minuscule stream and was very
    positively dye tested to Draught Caledonian with a flow though time to
    the entrance of under one hour. Martin and Ivan dug the sink out and
    finished with a sloping void running with water and heading towards the
    cave. It's too early to say if we'll be able to intersect navigable
    passage beyond the terminal chamber, but we've made a good start.
  • Fence Resurgence - The small resurgence just downhill of the forest
    fence above Draught Caledonian was completely dry. This allowed Malcolm,
    Roger and Hugh to pull out a large quantity of earth and deepen it well
    below the normal water level; however the water probably issues from an
    impassible fissure at the back of the hole and prospects don't appear
    good.

YORKSHIRE

  • Juniper Gulf - This was a well attended meet. Saturday found a slight
    deficit in rope length preventing a complete descent so a return was
    necessary on Sunday with some extra string to reach the sump. Afterwards
    ropes were measured and marked with their true lengths.
  • Rumbling Hole in early March was descended by four members as showers
    of horizontal sleet swept the fell. A slight lapse in communications led
    to a rope bag being left at the entrance and required one member to do
    the entrance pitches twice only to hear when in earshot of the others
    that they were on their way out! The following day a most enjoyable trip
    in Notts II was guided by Nigel Robertson to a newly discovered and well
    decorated chamber.

Vale Martin Bishop

When I heard of Martin Bishop's passing I was reminded of a line from
an old hymn: "Time like an ever-rolling stream bears all its sons away".
Perhaps a particularly apt metaphor in this instance as Martin had been
so deeply involved in cave diving activities.

He spent many years as secretary of the Cave Diving Group and for a
time was also one of the first cavers to live in a house almost
literally on Priddy Green. Such proximity to Swildons's Hole often
resulted in a visit to his workshop to cobble together some kit for a
dive down the streamway.
Martin was a good friend to the Grampian - indeed he was a member for a
short while - providing help and advice to our budding group of club
divers in the 1980s.

He died suddenly in February, at work, aged 54, and though it's not
much consolation, I'm sure it would have been his preferred choice of
departure. However, it means that another friend disappears into Memory
Lane.

Alan Jeffreys


Waterproof 12-LED Head-torch

So far Julian Walford has bought and distributed several dozen of the
12-LED headtorches advertised in the last Newsletter. He still has a few
left so you will need to hurry if you want one.

They come with batteries (2 x alkaline AA cells), have an elasticated
headband and are excellent value for only £10. For more details look at
GSG Newsletter 121.

Julian's contact details are:-

Tel home:- 01847 890658, email:- jdwalford at iee.org


Meghalaya Expedition 2005

During February, a team of 20-30 cavers from the UK, Europe and
Meghalaya participated in the Caving in the Abode of the Clouds 2005
expedition to Meghalaya. Dan Harries, Fraser Simpson and Graham Marshall
formed the Scottish contingent. A camp was maintained on the Shnongrim
Ridge in the Jaintia Hills for the full 4 weeks of the expedition; a
regular venue over the past few years yielding over 100km of cave
passage. No easier leads are left and caving has become more arduous
with constricted or partially flooded cave passages. Despite this
another 10km was surveyed. Highlights included a significant new cave
called Krem Wah Ser. Synrang Ngap was extended and is still ongoing. It
now takes around 5 hours to reach the furthest point

Early in the expedition some cavers spent a few days investigating
the nearby area of Sielkan. It showed considerable promise and a return
is likely 2006. Others spent a couple of days in Simasi. They examined a
cave first visited in 2004 and found many large promising leads. Towards
the end of the expedition a group of nine visited the Rongdangi area in
the West Khasi Hills. Caves in the Morasora River area were connected to
the Mondel Kol system, now over 5.8km long. It is likely that there are
many more passages, but the dense forest makes finding entrances
difficult.

Brian Kharpran Daly and the Meghalayan Adventurers Association are
currently in the thick of a debate concerning cave conservation. A new
cement plant and limestone mining development in the Lumshnong area
threatens the existence of caves including the Kotsati / Um Lawan
system. At over 20km it is currently India's longest cave. A similar
development is proposed to harvest limestone from the western face of
the Shnongrim Ridge threatening many caves there. The debate is aired on
an almost daily basis in both the Meghalayan and national press. During
the expedition members of the team were interviewed by film crews and
journalists to seek their views on the proposed developments. (State
Govt directs cement plants to stop blasting ops, IBM to probe likely
damage caused to Lumshnong caves:-
http://www.theshillongtimes.com/A-5-feb.html)

Considerable progress was made in setting up a project to study the
biology of the Meghalayan caves. Brian Kharpran Daly has made good
progress in getting official authorisation for this. Brian, Simon Brooks
and Dan Harries visited the zoology department of the North East Hills
University in Shillong. Faculty members are enthusiastic about
establishing a biospeleological research program. Simon gave a talk to
students and staff on the cave mapping project, followed by Dan giving a
review of the current state of knowledge of Meghalayan cave biology.

In conclusion, the 2005 trip was a considerable success both in terms
of cave mapping and establishing the groundwork for further studies of
the caves. Initial plans for 2006 suggest a return to Shnongrim Ridge
where a smaller camp will be established for exploration on the Ridge,
and to act as base for visiting neighbouring areas such as Simasi and
Sielkan.

A full account of the expedition will be published in a future
edition of the GSG bulletin.

Dan Harries


Meghalaya Calendar 2005

With the now traditional timing, this year's Meghalaya calendar has
been printed. While most were shipped out to India with this year's
expedition a few are available to members at £4 (£4.50 including
postage). Again as in previous years it does not run from 1st January,
but covers a complete year starting on 1st March. Order your copy from
Ivan now.


Biospeleology Symposium in India

Dan Harries attended the XVII International Symposium on
Biospeleology in Raipur, India in November 2004. He gave a presentation
on the current state of knowledge of the cave fauna of Meghalaya. The
main aim was to build up contacts with Indian academics and stimulate
interest in further studies of the area. Hopefully this will result in
partnerships for future research and allow the development of a co-
ordinated program to study Meghalayan cave biology.

The presentation was well received and a number of Indian and foreign
academics expressed an interest in being involved in the proposed work.
At the end of the symposium a field visit was made to caves in the
Bastar region in the south of Chhattisgarh state. Two caves were
visited, they are fairly short, each with a passage length of the order
of 500m and are partially developed as show caves. No lighting has been
installed but some concrete steps and walkways have been built and it is
mandatory to employ a guide from the park staff when entering the caves.
Only a handful of short caves are documented in this region but it is
possible that many others are present amongst the densely forested
hills.

Dan returned with a fine addition to the GSG trophy shelf in Taigh
nam Famh (see photo right). His travel expenses were supported by grants
from the BCRA, the GSG and the Abode of the Clouds Expedition


Mendip Migration 2005

This year's Mendip Migration is in two parts. There will be a mixed
party of Wessex and GSG members staying in the hut for the last week of
April (23rd->29th) then moving to the Torrin Centre, Skye over the May
bank holiday (30th April ->6th May). There should be some space in and
outside the hut for other members to join in the activities in April
(contact Peter Dowswell to book your bunk/tent space), but the Torrin
Centre is theoretically full. It may be possible to find floor space and
there are plenty of alternatives including camping, youth hostel and
other hostels not too far away.


Opportunity to join Gloucester Speleo Society Trip to Montenegro

Following a 2004 GSS reconnoitre, in league with Serbian club Speleo
Odetse Beograd, Mark Tringham is planning to return to Montenegro for 2
or 3 weeks from 5th August 2005 for an expedition. The plan is to return
to a high graded area called the ??ijevo plateau (E on map attached) and
Mala River Gorge, not too far from the capital Podgorica. New
exploration potential occurs in a high mountainous karst area, with
mostly vertical potholes potentially leading down to resurgences in the
nearby Mala gorge approximately 1000m below and several km distant. The
area has not been explored much before and offers good potential for new
exploration. GSS only have about 5 members able to go and need some
extra experienced cavers to make the trip worthwhile. If any GSG members
are interested, please contact Mark by email on mtringham at vpc.co.uk.


High Pasture Cave - surface excavation starts

Steve Birch reports that a 8' x 4' trench has been opened up inside
the 'U' shaped structure. This is above the point where the geophysical
survey found anomalies that (Steve hopes) indicate the prehistoric
entrance to the cave. After only a few inches they have found a layer of
fire-cracked stone and plenty of archaeology: pottery, bone, charcoal,
arrowhead (Bronze age), stone hammer, red ochre and other Iron Age
artefacts. With so much so soon and perhaps another two to three feet
to go it could take quite some time to excavate the entrance if the
finds continue at the same rate.

The plan is to excavate the old entrance and install a second larger
shed nearby where the public can view static displays and watch
excavation proceeding inside the cave over CCTV. Steve has been working
hard to obtain all the permissions required and to get the grants needed
to fund it.


Expedition to Staffa

A proposal has been sent to National Trust for Scotland and Scottish
National Heritage to conduct a Baseline Survey of the sea caves within
the Staffa Site of Special Scientific Interest. The literature
identifies 8 caves in the cliffs around Staffa, namely Boat, MacKinnon's
Cormorants', Gunnar Mor, one unnamed cave on the north west cliff, Goat,
Clamshell and of course, Fingal's Cave. Of these, Boat cave, the unnamed
cave and Goat cave are stated as only being accessible by boat. Hence in
the first instance, the work will focus on the 5 caves where access
should be feasible on foot around low tide.

The proposal is to survey and photographically record the caves in
great detail. In addition, it is hoped to undertake a sample survey of
the sea life in the caves and record the shape and size of the columns.
The aim is to provide a baseline against which changes in the caves can
be monitored and undertake some brand new research work.

The current proposal for surveying is to use a 'Total Station', a
device which combines the best elements of a theodolite and a laser
range finder, to provide as output, the x, y and z co-ordinates of each
point measured. Combined with this, is the intent to make a photographic
record covering all of the cave floor, walls and ceiling. However, the
possibility of sea damage on what is an expensive piece of equipment,
plus uncertainty over how long it takes to make these records, might
mean that a lesser quality survey will be produced.

As a consequence, the proposal to NTS and SNH is based on three trips
to Staffa. The first, proposed for Saturday 7 and/or Sunday 8 May, is to
confirm accessibility of the caves, conduct preliminary assessments of
effort requirements and generally get to know the island. The second
trip is proposed to take place around either Saturday 23 July or Sunday
21 August or Monday 19 September. The key feature of these dates is that
very low tides are predicted so as to help access to the caves. The
favoured date is 21 August. Initial estimates suggest that the trip will
require 5 days on the island. The plan is to hire a boat to take us out
in the evening so we can start work first thing the following day and
carry on through until the boat comes and picks us up 5 days later. The
third trip will require a boat and planning for that awaits gaining
experience from the first two trips.

This proposal offers a rare opportunity to visit a location where
commercial trips provide less than an hour's time on the island, barely
enough to see Fingal's Cave. If you are interested, then please contact
me so I can book your names in. It is likely that the preliminary trip
will be limited to 11 people, being the capacity of the cheapest boat.
The hire cost for this boat was £175 last year, so it represents good
value for money. The summer trip needs at least 5 people, but the work
is there for up to 11. Costs will be higher, reflecting the need to hire
equipment. Some support is being sought for this. Obviously those who
want to go on both trips will get preference to those who only want to
go on the preliminary trip.

If you want to know more, then please contact me.

Bob Mehew, Tel home:- 01704 569107, Robert.Mehew at tesco.net


Forthcoming Meets and Events

Please send your requests and suggestions for other meets to me.
Request permitted caves for the Annual Dinner weekend NOW to get your
favourite on the list - I haven't received any suggestions yet and it's
first come, first served- I can be contacted at home on 0131 667 3698,
or at work on 0131 247 4345 and f.ware at nms.ac.uk.

Fiona Ware - GSG Caving Secretary


Elphin Caving Centre

The hut survived the tremendous winter gales almost totally
unscathed. Roger found a couple of roof tiles from the bunk room roof on
the golf course and replaced them. Further along several tiles just
below the ridge were displaced slightly and a broken one was replaced by
Ivan. This shows that fitting clips to all the tiles when we constructed
the roof and not just at the edges was a wise precaution.

You may ask what happened to the curtains in the sitting area. They
were removed when it was repainted and an attempt at cleaning resulted
in complete disintegration. We plan to fit blinds instead.

Hut fees are £5.00 per night for non-members and £2.50 for GSG and
BEC members. Reduced to £3.00 and £2.00 for children, students, the
unemployed and OAPs. Camping is at a reduced rate of £2.00 only when
the
hut is full. Day fees are £1.00 for members and £2.00 for non-members.

If you want to stay in the hut please contact the Hut Warden - Peter
Dowswell as soon as possible to check if there will be space (01456
229250, hutbookings at gsg.org.uk).

Hut-building

There are plenty of jobs to do to keep keen hutbuilders from caving
when the weather is inclement. We still have to complete the painting of
the seating area, fit the new front door, upgrade the lighting in the
shed to something that will work without much flicking of the switch,
and either repair or replace both showers. I suspect there won't be any
major projects starting for some time while the Hut Warden sorts out his
own new home.


Membership News

New Members

Paul Baxter,
John Crowsley,
David Morrison,
Lewis Press,
Rob Rolph,
Richard Simpson

New Addresses

Alice Dowswell,
Stephan Honig,
Jerry Ingram

Other changes

Mary Harrison email,
Lisa Kamphausen mobile,
Philip Miles email

Graham (Jake) Johnson and Rebecca Campbell

At 11.30am on Monday 14th of February, the marriage of Graham Johnson
and Rebecca Campbell took place in Smoo Cave in North West Sutherland.
The wedding party, tastefully attired in climbing boots, waterproof
jackets and trousers, listened to the call of fulmars and a tumbling
waterfall as the ceremony was conducted in this magnificent
amphitheatre.

At the ceremony with Jake and Becky were: - Raymond
Hoy, John Ross, Colin Coventry, Rory, Liz Ambler, and Janet Hoy, and Cap
the dog. After the ceremony, the guests repaired to Colin's house for
refreshments.

Hearty congratulations to Mr and Mrs Johnson on this unique and happy
occasion.

Raymond Hoy

Jake and Becky weren't the first to wed in Smoo Cave. On the 28 June
2002 the Northern Times reported on the wedding of a couple from
Dumfries. It was reportedly a quiet wedding apart from the waterfall -
just like Jake and Becky's!


Internet Caving

The GSG site maintained by Andrew Brooks is at:-
http://www.gsg.org.uk/

Other Scottish caving clubs:-

Aberdeen University Potholing and Caving Club

Glasgow University Potholing Association

The Newsgroups of alt.caving and uk.rec.caving are now almost unused.
To find out what is really happening in the caving world (in the UK at
least) go to the ukCaving forum on the ukCaving.com site at
http://www.ukcaving.com/

The next site might not be about caves but it is certainly about the
Underground - with a capital 'U'. This has a fascinating collection of
information on and pictures of abandoned stations and other tunnels not
accessible by the general public. One old station (Aldwych) has been
regularly used as a film set and the WWII deep shelter shown is used for
document storage. Well worth a visit.
http://www.starfury.demon.co.uk/uground/


Assynt News

  • Still leaning - The public telephone box near the hut hasn't
    disappeared yet. We signed the petition being circulated by other Elphin
    residents objecting to its removal. BT were planning to close 257 of the
    692 phone boxes in Highland but the volume of protest may make them
    reconsider.
  • Community Buy-outs go ahead - The residents of Coigach have voted
    127
    to 76 in favour of buying Drumrunie Forest (Cul Mor and Cul Beag). They
    are therefore competing with Assynt who voted earlier by a 2 to 1
    majority to buy the three lots of Glencanisp (Suilven), Glencanisp Lodge
    and Drumrunie from the Vestey family. The two communities have said that
    they will work together to run the land if necessary. A hostile buyout
    on Lewis has also won the vote to buy the land where a major wind farm
    is planned. If it goes ahead they'd be in position to receive a healthy
    revenue stream from the generators. For area plans and all the
    documentation concerned with the bids see the Register of Community
    Interests in Land at:- http://rcil.ros.gov.uk/
  • Windy weather - The exceptional winds in January caused some damage
    in Assynt. The caravan parked behind the Alt was comprehensively
    dismantled and spread across the hillside, the Inch lost part of its
    flat roof and suffered water damage to several rooms, and many trees
    were blown down. The hut lost a couple of tiles (replaced by Roger) and
    another was cracked and has been replaced.

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