Depth through thought

OUCC News 3rd March 1993

Volume 3, number 7

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This week sees some ideas on club income and membership from old Moneyhan (below). They are for discussion, and I for one think they are a pile of do-do's. The counter argument of all this "playing the game" is that it raises questions about whether a club member should be a source of income, or a member of the club. Nevertheless, a does seem a bit unfair to me that the hordes of novices we introduce to caving, with the wear and tear they cause our gear, and attention, thrill and mind-broadening experience we give them, that the University should not take their participation into account when allocating the goodies. Another possibility might be to have a "probationary" membership (or "novice membership") which was either free, or carried a nominal cost. This might be upgraded, say, on a novice's first full weekend trip (or equivalent) when they might reasonably be expected to pay their full membership fee. Just an idea.

As well as money matters, there is (yet another) Carno report, and your beautiful new committee line up detailed below. Incidentally, it anyone has ideas on speaker meetings next term, they should get talking to Chris right away.


Last week saw the Cave Club's one great yearly flirt with democracy, the Annual General Meeting. There was a moderate turnout. Most conspicuous by their absence, however. were the club's new and relatively new cavers. This was a pity. All week, smoke filled rooms had buzzed with worthy talk of filling this year's commune with new blood, new ideas, new directions... No chance. Instead, this is what you've landed yourselves with....

President: Steve "Old Grumbler" Roberts
Chair: Tim "Cockroach Brain" Guilford
Secretary: Jenny "Hard-Rock-And-Back" Vernon
Meets Sec.: Chris "Where's-My-Canoe?'' Densham
Tackle: Dave "Now-I've-Got-All-The-Gear" Bell
Lamppost: Gavin "Huh" Lowe
Loris: David: "Sump-One-And-Back" Monaghan
Treasurer: Paul "OUCC-Token-Student" Mann

Actually, this is slightly unfair on Jenny and Chris, who haven' had a club post before, but apart from them you've got yourself a bunch of veteran fogies.

One consolation, however, was that with no position contested then was a breathtakingly swift voting procedure in which everyone got simultaneously voted in unanimously, leaving us plenty of time to drink too much ESB at the Harcourt. Ah, democracy!
Tim Guilford

Caving news
Carno update

Gavin, Tony and Tim were joined by Charles Bailey of the Brynmawr on Saturday for another trip into the Littoral Zone Extensions in Carno. Hang on: why wasn't Charles hard at work in their new extensions in the West, so close to the entrance? Bit odd, until you learn that even by Carno standards the new extensions beyond Last Stand Choke are really horrid affair. Muddy, then pebbly (so you come out pebble-dashed), rather tight, very awkward, and extremely flood-prone. However, a pair of high avens at the current end look very promising apparently, but for the moment progress seems to have slowed.

Down South, Tony and I ploughed our way to the new stuff beyond Tumbling Bay Traverse, and continued bolting up a nasty, muddy aven, attempting to follow the draught. All went well, and Tony made a rather daunting push high up the climb before securing a bolt ready for the ladder, which he promptly dropped. Much hysterical laughter later, and some grovelling-in-mud-looking-for-ladder activity by Tim, all was sorted and Tony announced that it was my turn to finish the push across a bold step into a gaping black space. I promptly dropped the bolt driver straight down the ladder. Lucidly, it landed on top of Tony. This would not of course have been possible if Tony had been anywhere except below me on the same ladder, so the moral of the story is that lucky people share. Unfortunately, the black space soon pinched off, and left us draught-less at the top of a 65ft aven wanting to go home. Which we promptly did, some 5 hours after starting the climb.

Gavin and Charles, meanwhile, had been digging in No-Ways chamber and thereabouts. Although promising as a long-term dig-site, Gavin was this time rewarded with no more than a squashed pinky when the choke fought back (well, how would you like it if some maniac started pulling rocks out of your bottom?). It now looks as if attention will turn more towards the entrance area of the extensions, where Gavin found a short section of new passage heading North off Sensory Drive.

We fumbled our way out, Tony all the time extolling the virtues of caving on carbide in a dry, muddy, crawly cave without a water plug for his reservoir, changed in a bitter cold, and ached all the ,, the WSG (the South Wales club that to say yes). Then we sang and burnt more furniture and toasted marshmallows into the night. Next day there was much bullshitting at Charles' house, where I managed to break the toilet seat, and then back via a wander over the surface shakeholes above Carno. Some of them are huge, and one Looks rather diggable. Perhaps, if Carno continues to get harder again....
Tim Guilford

Accountancy Corner

You will remember from the TGM that Tim mentioned that we should think about whether we want to try to increase the size of our membership, because this affects the amount of money that we an given by the Clubs Committee. This arose from a discussion that was held at Harley Road between Tim (OUCC Chair), Gavin (Lamppost), Jenny (Secretary), David (Loris)(*) and Melissa (Harley Road resident, occasional caver, Treasurer of OU Dance Society and member of the Clubs Committee, for those of you who don't know).

There were two main points to come out of the discussion, The first is that what I am proposing might be seen as unethical by those of you who are more concerned about going caving than working out ways of diddling the Clubs Committee. Please bear with me! The second is that we are not doing ourselves any favours with our present membership policy.

The Clubs Committee has very little information on which to base decisions about the validity of grant applications that it receives. One of the main criteria that it uses. therefore, is the number of members in the club requesting the grant: large numbers of members mean lots of people will benefit from the grant. We neat membership of OUCC as a serious matter, it is quite expensive, and we don't ask people to join until they are sure that they want to. We thus don't have the huge membership that many other societies can claim, and this adversely affects our submissions to the Clubs Committee.

It would be in our interests to increase our membership, and one way to do this would be make the first year's membership of OUCC cost £2. This would be collected by redefining the "gear hire" fee on a novice meet to "membership". Our membership would double, because all the people who come on novice trips would become members. The fraction of our membership made up of undergraduates would increase, which would be a good thing as far as the Clubs Committee is concerned.

That is what the Dance Society does: you have to pay £2 before you can come to any of their classes (which you also have to pay for!). They have 120 members, of whom Melissa reckons about half are no longer active, and they got £500 from the Clubs Committee last term (we got £100). So can we afford to maintain our scrupulously honest membership policy when many other clubs are more imaginative with their use of membership lists? On other words, if you can't beat'em, join 'em.)
David Monaghan

It looks as if the Cave Club is being run from Harley Road again. (Hey, hang on!...Ed)


Anyone for Footie? The gauntlet has been thrown down! The mountaineers have challenged us to a footie match. The suggested time is 2pm next Weds in the Parks, so if you had any childhood dreams of playing at Wembley, now is your moment! We're not sticking to 11 a side or anything like that, as many people as turn up can play, so don't be afraid, help defend the cave club's honour on the footie field!
Sherry Mayo


Bill Clinton's (who he?) email address is

Next week: John Major's phone number (office/home).

Mike Mead