Depth through thought

OUCC News 9th June 1993

Volume 3, number 14

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Club finance issues still loom large in OUCC consciousness just now. Paul Mann has a document for circulation tonight that should allow everyone to understand what he is proposing, and why, well in advance of next Wednesday's EGM. My perception of the problem is that a whole array of "other" issues, of approach, of personality, of beliefs about club structure, have been allowed to become conflated with a basic resourcing problem. What ever one feels about the "other" issues, it does not change the basic fact that the club needs to sort out its income problem. So lets try and keep them separate for a moment (I admit I have been a prime offender here). I'm sure there'll be plenty of me and willing to rant about the other issues later.

I see the issues as two: one immediate, one longer term. Immediately, we need to balance the books. A bit of creative accounting can help, but extra income is essential. Paul, and others, have made some good suggestions, so lets discuss them next week by all means, but lets also get the action decided then and there. In the longer term, the problem is lack of people. Lack of people on expedition, so less opportunity to buy gear for use in Spain and in Britain the rest of the year. And lack of recruits to the club, so less membership. Although demographic "blips" may be responsible, I suspect that attitudes have more to do with it. What do people think?

I wonder if its time to do another search for missing club gear in your car, attic, or hamster pouch?


Hi all, OUCC will be having a summer dinner at the Hill Inn on Saturday 12th June. We will have the exclusive use of the dining room, and a band will be playing out the back as usual ( for a pound entry fee). We will be staying at Southerscales cottage, which is apparently quite salubrious, and is only a short stagger from the pub. It has the added advantage that no-one else will be there, except perhaps for some YUPC, who I said could come if there is room. So PLEASE tell me if you want to come, and if you want the veggie option for dinner. It should be a good bash, & you can even go caving too.
Chris Densham

EGM to discuss and decide changes to club levies will be next Wednesday, St. Hugh's 9pm.

Otter Hole

A few Sundays ago Steve, Michelle, Steve Phipps, Martin May (freshly returned from S. America) and I went to have a quickie between-tides trip to Otter Hole. Minor trauma occurred before leaving, due to the necessity of not turning up with more than the maximum number allowed for the trip. We needn't have worried - when we got there three extra people turned up, with permission to come on our trip to go stal bashing. Apparently this was to date the cave. Oh well.

Paul the guide turned up, and off we all glooped through the delicious mud. Well, it certainly felt like chocolate mousse. Arriving at the tidal sump early, we sat around playing in the mud. Glop, glop, glop went the sump. When it was down to a comfortable level, we waded across the pool, climbed through the eye hole, and were into the rest of the cave. Paul led the way, and we puffed after him. Some boulder chokey bits later, and we were into the pretty bits. There are stacks of formations, and lots of straws which have fallen onto boulders and yet magically remain intact. The Hall of the Thirteen is impressive - huge stal bosses & that sort of thing. Some of us went on to Straw Chamber, which has got some REALLY long straws in it. Then it was time to head out to beat the tide. Otter Hole is a good trip - the formations are fine, but the mud is unsurpassable.
Chris Densham

Money Matters: Fixer's Proposal Condensed

The proposal is that gear arrangements formalised between the club and expedition.

The expedition will try to cover the bulk of the costs of the OUCC gear, ensuring that there is enough of it and that it is maintained safely, providing the club is able to cover half the cost of the gear needing replacing because it is lost in Britain each year. The expedition will continue to provide for the publication of the proc. The club would be expected to maintain the lamps and associated items (charger, belts, helmets and wellies). If the clubs finances improve (only likely if we have many new members, massive grants, or manage to reduce gear loss), contributions towards new gear or the proc would be welcomed.

The use of the term "club" is used to distinguish the non expedition activities of OUCC from its expedition activities. It does not imply two separate entities, it is merely a convenient label given to a subset of the whole. Hopefully this might clarify where we all stand, I think that we have all been chasing our tails rather badly.
Paul Mann

Andy Riley Memorial Award For Speleo Innovation

At a time when techniques have become somewhat standardised (everyone using practically identical gear and techniques for:- clothing, SRT, Surveying....) those of us that do things a little differently or perhaps new are asked to submit their ideas for the above award so that standards can perhaps evolve and you can earn a little pocket money or even fame!

Ideas, be they a widget for filling your stinky or some kind of device for detecting caves, should be presented on one or two sheets of A4 (preferably with diagram ). A noticeboard will be made available at the BCRA annual conference in September, and entry of the competition is made simply by placing your poster on the noticeboard (with your name, address and tel. no, clearly indicated ). Ideas should be available for free distribution amongst the caving community (perhaps for example in C&C). The idea must have been demonstrated to work. Ideas will be judged on their contribution to the efficacy and/or safety of caving.

The Prize will be a cheque for £50 so get your ideas on paper!

- any further information contact:

Graham Naylor
Le Margain A
199 Rue Paul Elvard