1988 was a most successful year for the Club. Amongst the successes are: finding the best part of 2000ft of new cave in South Wales, including the important 1600ft find of Ogof Igam-Ogam which should trigger new thinking on the development of caves in the Little Neath River Valley; discovering a totally new cave approximately 2000ft long in Co. Clare, Ireland - Poll Dearg; directly participating in the discovery and exploration of over 3000ft of new cave extensions in Matienzo, Spain and proving the potential for further, deeper, potholes in the Gaxuilas area in Greece. These successes have brought the Club valuable publicity: Poll Dearg featured in Caves and Caving No's 39 and 41 and Descent 80 and 82; Igam-Ogam was the subject of a major article in Descent 83 as well as featuring on the front cover. Wider publicity was achieved by an article in The Great Outdoors on the theft of outdoor pursuits equipment based largely on Paul Stacey's report in Pelobates 51. The Club's credentials as a serious cavin9 group are more firmly established than at any time in its history.
That history now covers 25 years. It would obviously be nice to make 1989 - the year of the Club's Silver Jubilee - even more successful than 1988. The uncertainty in cave discovery and exploration means that success cannot be guaranteed, however hard members may work at it. But we can ensure that the significance of 1989 to the Club does not go unrecognised by staging some memorable events. I would have thought that the least we would want to do is stage a special Silver Jubilee Dinner (possibly in addition to the normal, annual December binge) to which we should try to attract as many of the Club's former members as possible. We tried to do this for the 21st anniversary but had only limited success. To ensure success this time we should start planning and organising for it now; dates need to be fixed and arrangements made.
A dinner need not be the only way of celebrating 25 years of Croydon Caving Club. A whole series of events based on Godre Pentre could be run - barbecues, fireworks, bonfires, a garden party even (how many other clubs have had one of these) - but even these need organising and publicising well in advance if we are to attract former members and not clash with other cottage bookings. Also, the more active members will doubtless want to run an expedition to somewhere or other next year. At the moment the only question seems to be: "Which is the more attractive, the speculative potential of Greece with a campsite next to a lake and a bar or the proven potential of Spain with a campsite next to a bar but the sea a short drive away?" It seems to me that both of them have features which could appeal to a wider contingent of current and former members than just the active, hardened cavers so either decision could be incorporated in the list of events designed to make 1989 memorable.
Clearly, what is needed now is for you, the current members, to think about what else could be done to mark the Club's silver jubilee and to let the Committee have your ideas and views. Better still, don't just have ideas, act on them and volunteer to organise some of the events yourself.