Depth through thought

OUCC News 28th January 1998

Volume 8, Number 3

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Well at least we aren't hut-builders yet. But its a bit worrying that all of this issue's issues are about caving politics or related things. Didn't anyone go caving last weekend? I didn't (for political reasons).

It looks as if no-one is going to own up to having had the Ogof Draenen key last (even though we all know who it was), so I think we'd better declare it lost. I've started procedures to get us a replacement, but until then if you want to go down OD and walk into easy passage without doing any work (see Fleur's story below) you'll have to make other arrangements.

Draenen's future

All the bids are about to go in for Pwll Du, the land containing Ogof Draenen. The good news is that Cavers have managed to avoid having to put up any money themselves. Hurrah! We have hopefully managed to stay on the right side of those people who we know are interested in buying the land (that is, the local council and a local consortium). If either of those bids is successful, it looks as though access to cavers will be secure. So, all those large sums that people in the club generously pledged to contribute can now be spent on proper caving gear, rather than into buying an obscure and scrotty piece of ex-industrial wasteland. Thanks to everyone for offering so generously.

Caving Blues?

Last week Nobby (as Captain of Caving) was invites to the Atalanta's drinks party to be held this Monday. In the end he couldn't make it, but said he would put the invite in pigeon post to me so that Lev and I could go along and get some free booze.

Monday came and I arranged to meet Lev at 8pm. By the invite had still not arrived in my pigeon hole. I checked again at 7.55 - at last! Five minutes later Lev arrives. "We have a problem," I said, "It started an hour ago and the invites say 'jacket and tie'" Mmmmm. Ten minutes later I am home getting changed, twenty minutes later I am running over Magdalen Bridge in a pair of heels, and half an hour later Lev and I are happily drinking gin and tonics in Brasenose College.

In the end it was a very successful evening (apart from being sponsored by Andersen Consulting, so there were lots of free cocktails). We did some mingling, talked to some canoeist, Lacrosse players, blues dancers, sailers and the Captain of the Eton Fives. Then we did some networking. To join Atalanta's you have to be a sportswomen who represents the university. So what does 'represent' really mean? With the aid of a few cocktails I decided to find out. I accosted the membership secretary and Lev and I introduced ourselves. Apparently they are very interested in encouraging minority sports. In fact, the likes of Jo, Alison and I might even be able to join Atalanta's. In fact, there might even be money in it for us, they sponsor lots of team tours every year. This sounded promising so I gave them my name - soon I could be a member of the womens' blues society!

Website Abuse

Last weekend I was looking at the University of Cardiff Earth Sciences webpage in an attempt to sort out my life for next year. I came across a link to the University of Cardiff Caving Club website so I had a look. Along with all the usual stuff I was amazed to find abusive comments about OUCC and Draenen.

"Lately we've been trying to resist the lure of easy-to-find passage in Ogof Draenen......other clubs have crawled out of the woodwork for promise of easily found passage - don't be fooled into thinking they've done much more than walk into passage that was pretty much open for them........some of the Boy's-Own-Adventure-type stories in the caving press are a little sad to say the least (see OUCC's Crap)."

Needless to say I wasn't impressed! Just because they havn't found any passage lately. It has been calculated that over 150 manhours of caving time were spent clearing the Last Sandwich [I'd put it nearer 250, EP2], and that's excluding many hours on the A40, not to mention subsequent trips that cleared out the breakthrough after it collasped and the later stabilising trip. Perhaps we should be throwing down the gauntlet and challenging UCCC, after all at 35 minutes drive from OD whats their excuse?
Fleur Loveridge

[Our pet Cardiff University Student caver (10 years caving experience) would like to point out that she thought she'd heard of UCCC once, but wasnt sure - Ed.]

[the offensive matter is [link gone!]. Go on - have a laugh! EP2]

Llangattwg's future

Mynydd Llangattwg Cave Management / Advisory Committee

The meeting to elect members to this committee will be held at the Gwesty Bach, Brynmawr, on Friday 24th April 1998 at 8 p.m.

Anyone wishing to sit on the MLCMAC for the two years 1998 to 2000 should write to the Secretary before 10th April stating their expertise and experience with respect to the caves of Llangattwg and the surrounding area. They will be required to attend the meeting.

Caving under Llangattwg has met with troubled times over the past few years, with a range of unsubstantiated allegations made by a small number of vocal locals. The battles are slowly being won, with the protagonists becoming increasingly isolated.

Clearly, this has not created the best environment to encourage caving in the area, and together with the drain of cavers to other areas, notably Ogof Draenen, the amount of activity under Llangatwg is low relative to previous years. However, it is important that this committee maintains the high level of support for the caves in the area, as we have in the past. If you are involved under the mountain, please consider applying to sit on the committee and put a bit back into caving.

Charles Bailey, Hon Sec, MLCMAC
5 Old Rectory Close, Maesygwartha, Gilwern, Gwent, NP7 ODZ
Phone : 01873 831689
email :