Mites and Tites

RUMOURS ARE RIGHT: Congratulations are in order, the rumour reported in Pelobates 50 that Colin Bunce had got married has now been confirmed. Although this means that Colin has given up working at the Kilshanny Outdoor centre on a full-time basis, he still helps out there occasionally. However Colin and his wife Sheila (whom some of you may have met at last year's BCRA Conference) have set-up home in Ennis only a short drive from the Burren, Ireland's premier caving region. What's more Colin has recently been appointed secretary to the Burren Crawlers Caving Club so he obviously intends staying active on the caving scene.

OUCH! Two cavers were on a trip into Grady's Cave, Kentucky. On the way out one became aware of a severe chaffing of his penis. He could find no cause or solution and bore the pain and bloody wounds all the way out. Only when he took of f his wetsuit later did he discover that a hole had opened up in the crucial area. Stretched across this hole were a few taut nylon threads, the remains of worn out underwear. (Source : NSS News Vol 43. No. 11

RUNNING REPAIRS AT REIGATE Earlier this year local papers carried reports of "repair" work to some of the sandstone quarries at Reigate. According to the reports:

"A survey last June by the Royal School of Mines revealed structural weaknesses in parts of the. quarried maze beneath Tunnel Road and London Road. It showed that centuries of erosion and the stress of the abandoned workings - for sand for glassmaking - had caused land above the labyrinth to shift. The report added that constant weathering of the soft sandstone had meant that pressure on land above the cavities had become too great.

Although there was no danger to the public it was decided that repairs should take place as soon as possible. The cost of the work (€188,000) will be shared by Reigate and Banstead Council and a Derelict Land Grant from the Department of the Environment.

The unsound quarries are being securely sealed -with 15 inch walls - and then filled with quarry debris brought to the site from Nutfield.

Two shafts in the Town Hall grounds are being slowly filled with tonnes of "imported" sand, as is the huge cavern once used by the Reigate Minute Rifle Club. But the main working used for shooting - leading straight from the Tunnel Road - won't be affected.

The second part of the work will take place underneath London Road. The contractor will start to fill the quarries leading from the Red Cross Pub, and will reinforce the walls in "On the Rocks" wine bar.

Other quarries in the area will remain unaffected".

Whether this work really constitutes repairs or would be better discribed as the ruination of these sites is, I suppose, a matter of opinion.

EATING YOUR WORDS: Apologies are in order to Guy Jackson: his book review in the last issue of Pelobates contained an unfortunate typographical error that went unchecked. That should have read "detachable surveys" was misinterpreted as "delectable surveys". We commiserate with any unfortunate cavers who tried to digest their copies of OUCC Proceedings No.12. physically rather than mentally. (NB. Guy has offered to extract any broken teeth, for a small fee!)

PLAGIARISM LIVES: The 1987 Descent Caving Yearbook includes an entry for the South London Mine Exploration Group which seems to have 23 members, including a Mr. John Keating as its Secretary/Chairman. Readers of Pelobates may remember this gentleman as the person who published in British Mining No.19 a completely plagiarised copy of our Merstham Firestone Quarries report. (The only input he made was to remove the name Croydon Caving Club from the surveys, diagrams, etc. and add his own as the author of the report). we thought we had straightened this chap out after we met him at a seminar on Surrey Mines hosted by CN7HSS a couple of years or so ago but apparently we had not. In the Descent Handbook he is still touting this report as his own work. However the good Justice fairy has had some influence and a misprint has rendered its title as "Merstham Mines".

P.S. According to an addendum printed in Descent No.76 even the South London Mine Exploration Group does not exist curiouser and curiouser

MANAGEMENT COURSES these days frequently contain an "outward bound" element. This often includes abseiling. It beats me why anyone should think that Britain's managers would benefit from studying a technique which involves facing exactly the opposite way to the one in which you are going; making progress in short, sharp, often painful, jerks; and only allows progress in one direction: DOWNWARDS!