Depth through thought

OUCC News 26th May 1993

Volume 3, number 12

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OUCC members will no doubt be sorry to hear that after several active years as a cave diver and frontline explorer with the club, Tony Seddon was injured in a punting accident on the club punting weekend recently. The incident was not serious. His inability to punt, however, was. Despite this, much fun was had, Chris produced a wonderful spread (yes, quite), and a punt was nearly sunk. Despite Steve bringing a gallon of Total Mind Fuck, many participants were still in a fit state later to sing along to Belgium's wonderful entry in the Eurovision song contest. Roofs were climbed.

Thanks everyone for turning up roughly on time for Charles Bailey's excellent talk on "that place" last week. Many thanks to Charles.

Sorry about the lack of DTT last week, but very little was contributed. Actually, there's no muck this week either. If you want to write something for DTT, do it! Many recipients of the thing love to hear what's going on in the club. Anyway, many thanks to the regular contributors.


Thursday 27th May: Exploration Club

Tim is talking about "50 ways to lose your lover" (at least that's what the poster says) at 8.30pm at the Human Sciences Centre, Banbury road. Don't bother coming: you've heard it before.

Mendip Weekend: 22nd-23rd May

Even though there was not a club trip to the Mendips last weekend, various groups of OUCC people banded together to organise their own little trips. On Saturday, Tony, Sean, Steve P., Helen, Chris V. and one other (a novice, I think) went down Stoke Lane. If that doesn't put the relatively new cavers off caving, then nothing will! On Sunday there were two semi-independent trips down Swillies; a novice trip to sump two and back, and a diving-practise trip in sumps two and three. On Saturday evening David and I met up with two novices and drove over to the MNRC. The two new people, Emma and Trish (both first year Modern Linguists at Magdalene) got the full Mendip experience. The only thing missing was the vodka session. Apart from that, they got a good dose of hearing cavers bullshit in the Playboy on Saturday evening, hearing more bullshit around a roaring fire at the MNRC, tasting the culinary delights of 'cavers stew', and finally being subjected to a hut full of drunk men celebrating a stag party, before going to bed and being kept awake half the night by someone snoring particularly loudly. Next morning, more new experiences....a trip to sump two and back. it was even a new experience for me too, going down Swildon's midmorning on a Sunday and only meeting one other small party (only three people) down there. The place was deserted! Also, extraordinarily dry. Emma and Trish seemed to enjoy themselves, and they were both fun to have along and good sports. Emma and I went to sump two and arrived just in time to watch Tim disappearing into the murky darkness on his first underground dive, being supervised by Tony. We emerged out of the cave to be greeted by a boiling hot sunny afternoon, and so we went straight to the pub in Priddy for a pint. A lovely weekend.
Jenny Vernon.

News From The Peak.

Reluctant to swim in the shit of Otter Hole and with a wedding invite in Burton I set of for a long weekend Up North. A few factoids from Sheffield first. SUSS got ripped off big time at the Daren car park. It would appear that the police are on the case. They have made a few arrests recently and have a major outfit under surveillance. Apparently on the day in question they watched the car park until 6.00, SUSS got out at 8.00.

Having got completely shit faced Thursday night with SUSS (Thousands of undergraduates in the club), and blown a huge wad in the Virgin Megastore (When will Oxford get a half-way decent record shop). I enjoyed a drive out to Burton to meet up with the Derbyshire cavers. Factoids here as well For those who want to know, Steve Meyers is working in North Wales (Plas Y Brenin) I believe. Quite a few people interested in Carno, so I passed on Charles's number.

Most of the weekend I was hanging out with the team organising the CAVERS FAIR 1993. This will be held at Pindale Farm, Castleton on the weekend of 9th-llth July. They have got an excellent location, this was the site used for the Cave rescue conference a couple of years back, with a similar organising team a fantastic weekend seems to be in the offing. Workshops include Cave Photography, Geology, Hydrology, SRT, Surveying, Explosives, Induction location. There will be trade and club tents. Stomp and barbecues, folk and alternative stuff, all this for only 15.00 for the weekend. More details from:

The Fair Manager
1 Wyeland Court
St Johns Road
Burton SK17 6XA

I've also got some booking forms if people want them. If I can think of a good excuse for not going down Carno then I'11 be going.
Jim Ramsden

Fred's Wedding?

We went to Fred Wickham's wedding reception on Sunday (16th). Unfortunately he wasn't getting married for two weeks, so we went to the Natural History Museum instead to look at dinosaurs. As you go out of the exhibition, curled up in a cage is a little parrot nosed dinosaur snoozing gently, and occasionally twitching its tail and mumbling as it dreams dinosaur dreams. We want to take it home!
Steve & Michelle

Bring Back Bolts?

There Is growing concern about the safety of the fixed DMM anchors in various caves. What appears to be happening is that some technoweenies, thinking the anchors a good idea are fitting them incorrectly. They are using araldite as a bonding resin. The problem would seem to be that araldite, while adhering to the anchor does not adhere so well to the rock, and thus comes loose. So lets be careful out there. The alternatives are

  1. Death(messy and embarrassing)
  2. Use Red Ring Bolts (little better)
  3. Quit SRT (Sensible!)
  4. Ignore all those shitty bits of steel and learn how to cave properly (Rig on Naturals)

Jim Ramsden

Book Review

OUCC Proceedings 14

A real treat to see the club coming out with a major publication so soon after the blockbuster "Proceedings 13"! A truly splendid issue, from its colour cover with superb pictures by Tim Guilford to the brilliant black and white of Just Awesome by Martin Hicks. Something for everyone here; exploration in Britain (Carno Adit), Spain (Pozu 2/7, no del Ojo de la Bruja, no Jultayu, oh call it a Sistema while you're at it), Spain (Yellow bag cave) and Spain (Cave of Dissolute Behaviour, if my Spanish serves me well). Good also to see that OUCC oldster, John Wilcock, in a cameo role as the eccentric scientist.

Some splendid surveys and a few memorable typos (Hello, Ursual Mead!) complete the issue. A very nice touch is the inclusion of the few articles of general interest by non OUCC members, and a "letters page" where the wider world of caving gets its say. The only defect really is that the printers seem to have made a bit of a cock-up with titling the cover. All in all an excellent value buy at £1.90.
Steve Roberts

Gerhard adds...

(just musing) about 3 years ago, with the days of Xitu glory sinking into oblivion, OUCC seemed to be a minor item in the hall of fame of British caving clubs. And now, almost an entire issue of Caves and Caving written by OUCC members. Fate takes strange twists. Nice to have a Carno survey to accompany the various Newsletter write-ups. Merry caving & see you in Spain (?),
Cheers, Gerhard

Top Tips for Avoiding Carno

Hide in the filing cabinet in the Hut. When Tim and Gavin arrive to clear out the remainder of the club gear leap out and beat them senseless with some hake (halibut will do). (Thank you Jim)