Depth through thought

OUCC News 27th November 2009

Volume 19, Number 15

DTT volume 19 (2009)

DTT Main Index

OUCC Home Page

Editor: Andrew Morgan

Upcoming trips:

Editors note

Sorry for the delay in publication this week - I was waiting for the news article on Ogof Draenen to be finalised.

Keith Potter

Steve Roberts

Keith Potter was a stalwart of the club in the Xitu era, and was a main force in pushing the cave down to the sump, making it the first ever UK exploration to below 1000m. He died diving in Wookey Hole in October 1981 (obituary). Most people who have been on a Spanish expedition will have seen the plaque to his memory in the entrance to Xitu.

Jim Hanwell emailed about a new book on the history of Wookey hole diving, which will be dedicated to the two divers who have lost their lives there: Gordon Marriott and Keith. He asked for pictures for the book's dedication page. I found a few in the archives. Jim's reply;

"Dear Steve, Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply to our request for photographs of Keith Potter... The launch of the book is planned to take place at the end of April 2010, in the cave itself of course. It would be good to have you and OUCC cavers there.

Kind regards, Jim"

West Brecon Cave Rescue Team

Claire Dallimore, Secretary, WBCRT

You may be aware that West Brecon Cave Rescue Team has recently merged with Gwent Cave Rescue Team. WBCRT relies on the enthusiasm and support of volunteers for both practices and rescues. I would like to invite members of your club to attend WBCRT practices and consider joining the Call-Out list. The next practice will be on the 12th December 2009 in the Gower Caves. I hope your members can give this some consideration.

Ogof Draenen New Entrance and PDCMG Business

At the TGM there was a unanimous vote of confidence for Chris Densham as our club rep for PDCMG. It was felt that Chris is currently doing a good job, has the experience of the cave and the politics, and it would perhaps be unwise to change our rep at this particular moment in time. There was an in-depth discussion of the new PDCMG policy on entrances, and of the suitability of the Drws Cefn entrance in respect of this policy. There was also a unanimous vote that the new entrance should be closed. There were no votes in favour of leaving the entrance open, or in favour of managing the new entrance with a gate. Most people who regularly dig in the cave, or have done trips in the cave were personally unhappy to see the entrance opened up. They felt it would lead to the increased degradation of the delicate areas near the new entrance, and would decrease the wilderness experience. Many people expressed concern that the landowners' views had not been sought before the opening of the Drws Cefn entrance, and deplored reports of intimidation of one of the landowners at the site of the capped second entrance. It was felt that the PDCMG should clearly state its support for the landowners' wishes and offer any assistance necessary.

The gods smile not on SRT practice.

Steve Roberts

9am - lovely weather. 10am - looking threatening. 10.20 - we are all rigged up and the first few SRT novices are going "over the top". Cue howling winds, blisteringly huge cold raindrops in torrents and hence a rational decision to buzz off but quick. 10.40: back at 143 with cups of tea.

Of course, the afternoon was nice and sunshiny, as was the previous day, from which times the session had been moved to the "optimum" 10am Sunday. Clearly the weather was divine contempt for SRT not being done in its proper environment. Roll on the Yorkshire weekend...