January 28-29th Annual Dinner and AGM Some 30+ members gathered for some slap up feasting at The Bear in Crickhowell, including Tony Moult over from Poland. Steve Sharp showed some video filmed with his GoPro that included a virtual tour of the pretty OCAF Lower Series. Sunday’s AGM provided a friendly forum to discuss the club’s governance and its activities. We welcome Helen Farr on to the committee and Matt Voysey as our newsletter editor.
February 24-26th Mines in CornwallAn excellent time was had in Cornwall, with eight members enjoying the delights of mine exploration, coast walking, pasty eating, beer drinking, sunshine and even ice cream. Saturday's venture was to Bellan Mine in the Cot Valley. On Sunday we went to Cligga Mine, very impressive and dramatically situated in the cliffs with multiple windows looking out to sea. Lots of big passages and interesting geology. View photos
March 17-19th Whitewalls Holiday Booze WeekendWe had an excellent trip to OFD Northern Lights Series on Saturday, with a bumper turn out 16 cavers attending. Most of ushadn't ever ventured into this section of the cave before, and we were all very impressed by the diversity of the cave passages and formations. This was followed by an evening of holiday-themed fun, with a good variety ofbeverages brought for all to enjoy or endure (not many dead). Sunday's caving trips were to Craig a Ffynnon and Moults Hole.
CHELSEASPELÆOLOGICALSOCIETYCaving in Wales,the South of England,and beyond
April 12-19th Easter in Northern ScotlandA week of splendid scenery in the Far North of Scotland staying at the Grampian hut. We did a good mix of activities while we were there including caving, mountain hiking, coast walking, assisting mountain rescue with a casualty carry, and enjoying the local beers. High water levels meant that some of the caves were more "lively" than usual, and while above ground we were basking in a mix of glorious sunshine and snow. View photos.
May 5-7th Whitewalls Cottage MaintenanceA weekend of hut maintenance activities, see photos, with a bit of botany thrown in. Early May is the best time to see the bluebell woods above Crickhowell or wonder at carpets of primroses, orchids, saxifrage, and rare trees coming into leaf and flower on the Craig y Cilau national nature reserve near Whitewalls.
May 26th-29th YorkshireAs our meet coincided with the Bradford Winch Meet we were able to do a Gaping Gill through trip, entering Stream Passage Pot and exiting Bar Pot, marvelling at the GG Main Chamber on the way. Later on a pull-through trip from Top Sink to Wretched Rabbit took us around the Easegill System.
June 23rd-25th Summer BBQ at WhitewallsOn Saturday 11 intrepid cavers ventured into Draenen for an enjoyable jaunt to the pretty Waterfall Series. A very scenic and varied trip. Twenty-two members and millions of midges attended the BBQ, and the Sunday trip was made to Upper Southern Stream.
July 14-16th Pembrokeshire CoastGreat fun was had on the Pembrokeshire Meet. We stayed at a camp site in Little Haven within easy walking distance of the coast and decent pubs, and indulged in a multitude of activities including caving, kayaking, coast walking, puffin watching, and boozing by firelight. View photos.
August 4-6thMendipWe had a fun-packed weekend on Mendip, with caving trips to Wookey, Charterhouse, Home Close, Swildon's, Sidcot Swallet and Hobnail/Thrupe from Friday to Sunday. Plus a BBQ feast, drinks at The Hunters, lots of wriggling through the Shepton's obstacle course coffee table, and a visit to the festivities at The Belfry. View photos.
June 3rd Big SinkJoe Duxbury had very kindly offered to lead a Wet Sink trip on this weekend, but as all attendees on the day had actually done that before, we twisted Joe's arm to divert to Big Sink instead. We found this cave to provide a very interesting and sporty trip, and an enjoyable time was had by all.
October 13-15th North Wales Mines WeekendVarious club members did the hair-raising Croesor-Rhosydd mines through trip with the zip wires, inflatable dinghies and Indiana Jones style rickety bridges. Another ‘serious’ SRT trip into Llanberis Copper Mines Eastern Workings took place the next day. Thanks to LC&CC for use of their club hut at Tanygrisiau. View the meet photos and some more great photos of the through trip.
November 3rd-5th Bonfire WeekendCaving, bonfire, fireworks, barrels of beer, outdoors food and fun with caving chums. Based at Whitewalls.
December 1st-3rd Curry Weekend at WhitewallsLocal caving trips, then make and share a large variety of home-made curries. Rice and poppadoms, pickles etc provided.
August 25-28th Bank Holiday at WhitewallsMine, Wine and DinePaul Tarrant led nine club members through Nantymwyn Mine near Llandovery on the Saturday which began with a mine entrance hunt, then SRT and the blue stals (above). Stuart organised a white wine and cheese testing event for the Sunday evening which developed into some birthday celebrations with cake and indoors fireworks.
September 15-16th NewProperty & SRT PracticeThis was the weekend that work started on the Sunday School, now that we formally own it. A handful of members cleared the overgrown stone steps from the tram road, dug a trench at the back to help drainage, and removed most of the junk from inside. The basic SRT training session also went ahead with practice inside Whitewalls then on 5m and 25m pitches in the local quarry.
Sept 29th to October 1stHidden EarthThe BCRA’s National Conference was again at the tried and tested Churchill Academy in Churchill village on Mendip. Club members also got together for a Thai curry at a restaurant near Cheddar on the Saturday evening.