Grampian Speleological Group Newsletter
Number 109, 13 July 2001

Newsletter @g-s-g.demon.co.uk


Caving Restarts as Foot & Mouth Continues

The number of foot and mouth cases in the UK is now wandering along at about four per day in Cumbria and Yorkshire - well down from the peak of 60 reached in late March. Soon after the first cases appeared in February it was obvious this was a major outbreak affecting several widely separated areas. Caving clubs voluntarily restricted their activities and many closed their huts. Restrictions on access to the countryside were imposed across the whole of the UK. Caving effectively stopped even in areas like Assynt - several hundred kilometres away from the nearest case. The effect on tourism and on a wide variety of country-based businesses has been dire. Caving shops have seen customers all but disappear, and we'd encourage you to go out and buy some shiny new equipment with all that petrol money you've saved by not caving. As reported later the GSG has done its bit to help!

The Latest on Access - Scotland

Over a month has passed without a single new case in Scotland, and the Scottish Assembly is publishing a list of all closed footpaths in Scotland on its website. Evidently some landowners are posting their own illegal notices, and walkers by checking the list (on their WAP/GPRS enabled mobile phone?) will be able to ignore any illegally posted signs. Details can be found on:-

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/agri/footandmouth/default.asp

The July 6th list has everything north of Glasgow/Edinburgh open except for a couple of paths in Perth and Kinross, the St Kilda island group, and that cluster of crofts around the lad in Tongue who visited his family in Cumbria. Any other closures are probably not official and might be safely(?) ignored. The web site promises regular updates. So there will still be some notices around (mostly in the infected areas near the English border), dogs are unwelcome and visitors are requested to follow a 'Comeback Code.' Further south the position is more complex and could change overnight.

England & Wales

Further south the recent outbreak in the Settle area is keeping Yorkshire closed for some time to come - possibly several months. Alan Steele of Inglesport thinks the local authorities are being far too cautious at reopening foot paths and for a time there was talk of a mass trespass. Some paths are being reopened, but at a painfully low rate for any prospect of recovery to 'normal' caving this year. Some caves in South Wales, Mendip and Derbyshire are reopening. A good summary of the latest cave access news can be found on the National Caving Association web site:- http://www.nca.org.uk/

Ireland

Ireland has had a total of 4 cases and doesn't want any more. The NAMHO conference has been cancelled and cavers from the other side of the Irish Sea are unwelcome.

Prognosis

Even once the number of cases falls to zero, don't count on caving restarting in the infected areas immediately. The Foot and Mouth virus can survive for long periods in the right conditions. Farmers are not allowed to restock for six months to give time for the virus to die. Cool neutral conditions are the worst and you can find out more on survival time at:-

http://www.caving.org.uk/news/fmdv_in_cavewater.html


GSG Equipment Purchases

The GSG has spent over 500 with Bat Products (run by GSG member Tony Jarratt) on caving helmets, lamps and SRT gear to loan to novices. Help support your caving shops now in their time of need and they may still be there when you need them in the future.


The Comeback Code

Much of Scotland's countryside is free of foot and mouth disease and is open for outdoor pursuits and tourism. However, given the serious nature of the disease, care is still required. This Code outlines sensible precautions for those coming back to enjoy the countryside. While large areas of Scotland are accessible it is wise to check that your particular destination is open before you travel.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS ADVICE TO AVOID ENDANGERING

FARM ANIMALS AND PEOPLE'S LIVELIHOODS

The Code is based on expert advice from the State Veterinary Service and on guidance previously issued by the Scottish Executive Rural Affairs Department, which is responsible for action to contain and eradicate foot and mouth disease.


Annual General Meeting 2001

This year's AGM was held on Saturday 17th February in Derek and Liz's house in Winchburgh. Despite several of the committee and other active members being away in Meghalaya, 14 members responded to our appeal and we were quorate (>10% of membership). A resolution was passed that will allow us to hold the AGM in January instead of February, and avoid this problem in future years.

The Recorder, Secretary, Treasurer and Hut Warden presented their reports. Copies are included with this Newsletter. Some snippets are:-

Taigh nam Famh

Peter Dowswell had looked unsuccessfully for someone in Elphin to regularly clean the hut. Hut income was down on the previous year due to a low turn out in May and no pathbuilders over the summer. Major investments in kitchen improvements resulted in an overall deficit which avoided corporation tax for another year on hut income. We agreed to raise hut fees for non-members to 5 per night. All other rates remain the same. A proposal to build a lean to type conservatory to the front of the kitchen area was approved. Andy Peggie volunteered to draw up the plans. Approved, but less clearly, was the idea of converting the wood store into a sauna. Improving the showers by installing an instant type gas heater was also approved.

Election of Office Bearers

There being no other candidates for any of the positions the entire committee was re-elected unopposed:- Chairman & Hut Warden - Peter Dowswell; Treasurer - Ivan Young;
Recorder - Alan Jeffreys; Secretary - Elizabeth Ellis;
Caving Secretary - Fraser Simpson; Tackle Master - Colin Jamieson

Annual Dinner

Yorkshire won over Assynt by 12 votes to 4 for the 2001 Annual Dinner - however see later for the effect of foot and mouth on the decision.

Publications

A third edition of Caves of Assynt is seen as a priority and much of the text and figures are ready. Some text changes particularly for Traligill are required. Photographs of the lesser visited sites, checking locations with GPS and revising descriptions should occupy us during the coming months. The aim is to publish before the Annual Diner or BCRA conference. Caves of Appin is next on the list and requires additional work including more surveys.

Expeditions 2001/2002

There is trip to the Dolomites this September. Jura has been suggested for 2002 and a return to the Vercours in 2003. Meghalaya will no doubt be on for February 2002.


GSG Annual Dinner 2001

In view of the current problems with foot and mouth in Yorkshire the committee after some deliberation decided that the venue of the Annual Dinner should be changed from Yorkshire to Sutherland. The main reason for this is that there is absolutely no guarantee of being able to cave in Yorkshire and there are still likely to be restrictions on movement elsewhere in the dales. Rather than go through the motions of polling all the members again it seemed logical to move to the second choice at the AGM which was Sutherland. This decision is not as yet irrevocable so if you feel particularly strongly about it please get in touch with one of the committee members as soon as possible to state your views. If we do not get any feedback by the end of July then we will proceed with organising it in Sutherland.

Peter Dowswell


Caving News

Assynt

Smoo Survey and Dives

SNH were very pleased with the quality of the survey produced by Andy Peggie and with Tim Lawson's report. Andy is producing a CD with all the information plus many photographs including several panoramas. It still requires a few finishing touches at which point interested parties are invited to negotiate with him for a copy.

Simon Brooks dived the upstream sump at the end of the final passage. He descended a steep slope then found a tightish slot leading down to a low wide bedding. On a later attempt he penetrated a few meters along this but it all got too tight. Colin Coventry has been talking to a PhD student in Aberdeen who is keen to construct and test a mini-ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) in the sump.

Scotland Street Tunnel and Edinburgh Castle

An excellent day out was had by all people attending this meet and we all appreciate John Crae's work in arranging it.

Scotland Street tunnel runs from Scotland Street up to Waverley Station and runs underneath many Edinburgh landmarks. It is interesting for a number of reasons, not least the fact that during the second World War it served as an air raid shelter for part of central Edinburgh.

It was approached from the Scotland Street end where after passing through a normally locked gate you have to wade across a knee deep pond filled with interesting debris for about fifty feet before reaching 'dry land'. The tunnel, of u-shaped first stone then brick-lined construction, continues at a slight incline all the way to Waverley, the last section, underneath Waverley Market, being restricted to a 1.5 metre corrugated tunnel before coming to a stop at a large iron gate.

There are a surprisingly large number of gours and some quite long straws, at their best where there is more seepage into the tunnel, albeit in one case closely resembling what I would expect to be coming out of a cracked sewer.

The remains of the air raid shelter buildings occur about half way along the tunnel and consist of what appear to be messing and washing facilities plus the longest line of crappers (wooden plank in an open brick cubicle variety) you ever saw.

For the afternoon session we repaired to Edinburgh Castle where courtesy of Historic Scotland we were given access to those parts normal people don't reach - the new access tunnel driven through the rock, the casements underneath the Great Hall and best of all the remnants of King David's tower which is totally enclosed and built over by the half moon battery. Due to the large number of visitors in the castle and the fact that we looked a bit like a tour we seemed to keep acquiring foreign tourists - eventually dissuaded - probably a missed opportunity for Ivan.

King David's Tower consists of an interesting jumble of half rubble filled rooms pretty much in the dark which eventually lead to the head of a very tall chamber. Here you can just make out the floor about thirty feet below and a very old and rickety wooden staircase leads down to what is apparently nick-named the lion's den - most impressive. We were mostly precluded for safety reasons from descending this staircase, but as they say Jim S has been everywhere.

A fine day out.

Peter Dowswell


Gilmerton Subsidence

Ancient limestone workings continue to blight householders in the Gilmerton area of Edinburgh. The last Newsletter reported the overnight subsidence in Ferniehill that led to immediate evacuation of an entire street. Thirty-three homes have since been bulldozed there. That initiated a series of investigations that led to the demolition of 54 flats in nearby Moredun Park and precautionary evacuation of 141 houses in Hyvots Loan and Hyvots Avenue. All of them may be demolished.

On the 6th June it was reported that 14 houses built about 50 years ago in Gilmerton Dykes Road were also thought to be built over limestone workings. Drilling found voids under the area and residents were given three months to prepare for possible evacuation. Edinburgh Council own some of the properties and was contemplating pumping cement filler into the mines at a cost of perhaps 20,000 per house and approaching insurance companies to share the expense. Thirty people had already being evacuated from the site. The mine predates the earliest OS maps of the area published in the 1850s, so the extent and location of the workings is largely unknown. Even the GSG wasn't around then!

The latest news (20 June) is that the nearby brand new Park Grove Barratt estate may also be affected. The worst case is that householders who moved in within the last year could see their houses demolished. If there is a threat, then it is more likely that concrete 'pillars' could be pumped into the workings.

There are many other old quarries in the Gilmerton limestone. All of them could have unmapped stoop and room workings leading off, and investigations are likely to continue to spread over a large area of west Edinburgh.


Realism Comes to Artificial Caving

In case there is anybody in the caving world who has yet to hear of it, one upon a time in April ...

A new artificial cave at the Welsh International Climbing Centre in Trelewis near Merthyr Tydfil has proved its realism by trapping a well known visiting caver who was trying out the tightest of its squeezes. Pulling a rope tied around his ankles failed to extract him, and a pneumatic drill had to be employed to remove some of the all embracing concrete. And who was the celebrity? None other than Steve Round of Bernies in Ingleton. So be careful what you say when ordering your breakfast there!


Forthcoming Meets and Events

See the events page for details.

Contact us at the Cambridge (0131 225 4266) on a Tuesday evening to learn of the many local and Scottish trips not included in the list. (Tel home:- 01383 860653) Fraser Simpson


N A M H O

The GSG's application to joining NAMHO has been accepted. Contrary to the last report our representative will be Roger Galloway the instigator of much of the recent activity in West Lothian shale mines. Jim Alexander had to decline the post because of too many work and family commitments.

GSG Trip to Nenthead Cumbria

Weekend of 21, 22 July 2001 - With Yorkshire caving still closed and unlikely to open in the near future an alternative trip to the mines in Nenthead is in the planning. Jim Alexander is sorting out guides so we can make the most of the extensive systems. This is being scheduled for the weekend of 21/22 July and a brief description of some of the trips follows:-.

The plan is to get bunkhouse accommodation. There are several in the area, but we have to book. If you are interested give me a shout Once I get a better idea of numbers I will get a bunkhouse booked.

Roger Galloway

NAMHO Conference 2001

Following the cancellation of the Irish meet, Northern Mine Research Society has agreed with NAMHO that it will host a two day conference on September 15th and 16th this year.

Because of likely ongoing problems with FMD it has been decided to hold it on a self contained site at a large hotel near Bradford, where reasonable terms have been negotiated. The area has a wide range of other attractions which delegates will be able to visit.

The theme of the conference - "Mining History and Beyond" - will concentrate on aspects of mining history which have so far received little attention, and look to the future.

Because of the urgency of the situation, and contrary to the normal practice of inviting speakers from other organisations, we have established a core of speakers who are recognised as leaders of their various fields, but anyone offering to give a lecture on our theme will, of course, be given serious consideration.

Information is on the website:- http://www.mroe.freeserve.co.uk/nmrs/namho.htm


GSG Autumn Trip to the Dolomites

The GSG's autumn trip to the Dolomites will take place from 1st to 15th September and is now in the final stages of planning. Accommodation has been arranged near Arabba in the Campolongo area, which provides good access to the Sella Group, the Marmolada and the Falzorego Pass. It is only half an hour's drive from Cortina where the 1999 trip was based.

Sixteen people have so far committed themselves to the trip, but if anyone else is interested there is still time to be included. If so let me know at the earliest opportunity.

Peter Dowswell


The GSG Slide Scanner

The GSG is now the proud owner of a slide scanner. At present it is installed on Peter Dowswell machine, but is transferable to any other with a SCSI interface card. This opens up a whole new source of images for Newsletters and Bulletins.


....... F A R E W E L L, D E A R Y O U T H .......

Pete Dowswell and Dick Grindley cordially invite you to help them celebrate: A half century of existence and thirty years of caving with octuple decadence.

A pig bake will commence at 2.00pm on Saturday 22nd September 2001 At Taigh nam Famh

A barrel will be provided, supplemented by many other fine comestibles

All members welcome

Please tell Pete if you are coming. (01592 202627)


Meghalaya, India 2001

Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Expedition 2001

Synopsis of the cave exploration expedition(s) to Meghalaya, North East India - Feb/March 2001

The 2001 Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Project Expedition spent the month of February in Meghalaya, North East India during which time the main expedition surveyed 35.16 km's of new cave passage. This alongside exploration by a small team from the Bristol Exploration Club, who worked in parallel with the main expedition and themselves surveyed 4 km's of new passage, takes the total length of surveyed cave passage in this part of India to over 190 km's. Which, considering that regular systematic cave exploration only began in 1992 continues to be testament to the potential of the Meghalaya and its future as a significant caving region. In the last five years (expeditions) alone well over 120 km's of cave passage have been surveyed.

The main multi-national 2001 expedition team was the largest that has yet visited Meghalaya and included 13 cavers from the UK, 7 from Germany, an Austrian and a Swiss Caver. Spending just over three weeks in the field the expedition worked in partnership with members of the Shillong based Meghalaya Adventurers Association, with whom the cave exploration project has been working since 1994. Exploration concentrated on two areas these being Sutnga in the Jaintia Hills, and a short reconnaissance to Borsora in the West Khasi Hills. Sutnga being the focus of the previous years expedition that surveyed 20.3 km's of cave in February/March 2000. Borsora in contrast being the remote Langrin Karst area that is one of Meghalaya's largest and more difficult to access karst areas, yet offering considerable cave potential. During the course of the recent expedition a total of 28 new caves were explored to yield a total of 35.16 km's of surveyed cave passage.

In the Borsora Area a small team of six cavers made a 10 days reconnaissance during which time 9 caves were explored to yield 5.4 km's of new passage. Much of this consisted of fine river passage, which is typical of the type of cave found in Meghalaya. These included Krem Khlieh Kherthang at 2.8 km's in length; Ronga Cave at 1.9 km's in length and Rongbaljong Cave at 0.6 km's in length. More importantly local contacts were made and information on many other caves collected, some of which are likely to be of a vertical nature. Following the success of the reconnaissance a return is planned with a larger team in February 2002.

The main body of the expedition was concentrated in the Sutnga area building on the work that had been done during the very successful 2000 expedition. Here several large systems were explored that included Krem Umthloo at 12.4 km's in length making it India's third longest cave. Krem Shynrong Labbit at 5.7 km's in length and Krem Risang at 4.5 km's in length. In similar style to many of the caves explored during the 'Caving in the Abode of the Clouds 2000' expedition all of the aforementioned caves began with a vertical entrance series. This consisted of 60 to 70m of descent usually broken into three or four pitches that gave access to many kilometres of large streamways and trunk passages. In addition to the exploration of new caves several existing caves were also extended. The most significant of these being Krem Iawe that was extended from 1.1 km's in length to 2.7 km's and is still going.

After the main body of the expedition had left the few team members still remaining in Meghalaya returned once again to the Cherrapunjee Area to continued exploration began in 1992. Amazingly, yet another new cave was located and an existing cave, Krem Mawmluh, extended to 7.0 km's in length.

As is becoming a trend with the cave exploration in North East India information of new leads (caves) collected exceeded the number of leads (caves) being investigated by a factor of over 2:1, suggesting a significant amount of cave passage still remains to be explored. Needless to say a large multi-national team will be returning to Sutnga and the surrounding area in February 2002.

The main 2001 expedition team included three biologists and as part of the expeditions work a detailed biological survey was conducted in Krem Shynrang Labbit, alongside smaller scale surveys made in other caves. This work should contribute greatly to the understanding of of the Speleo-Biology of Meghalayan Caves that apart from the excellent work conducted in Siju Cave by Kemp and Chopra in 1922 has received relatively little attention.

The small team of four from the Bristol Exploration Club initially concentrated their efforts on the limestones in the Kopili Valley in the N.E. Indian State of Assam. Here only two caves could be explored Gufa Pachkilo (200m) and Gufa Kalimundi (244m) before insurgency (Local Civil Disorder) problems meant the BEC team had to cut short their stay and return to the adjacent State of Meghalaya. After liaising with the main team they then turned their attention to the areas of Mawlong, Ichimati and Shella that lie to the south of Cherrapunjee, areas previously visited by the Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Project in 1995. Here Krem Alum yielded 700m of passage, Umsong River Caves 1 and 2 yielded 800m of passage and Krem Lyngar Longer 900m of large canyon passage. On the final day a tourist visit to a known cave, Krem Soh Shympi discovered a 15m deep pitch that lead to 1.5kms of new passage consisting of a small stream passage and a very large abandoned canyon passage. Regretfully there was insufficient time to survey this latter discovery. The team also returned to the Balpakram Area in the Garo Hills that had been the focus of much activity in 1992 and 1994, regretfully there were no new caves to be found. However, a total of 15 new caves were explored to yield over 4 km's of surveyed passage.

As in previous years the main expedition and the BEC expedition worked in close collaboration with the Shillong based Meghalaya Adventurers Association, the State and Regional Tourist Departments and local people, and are indebted to them for their continued support. More caving equipment was donated to the Meghalaya Adventurers in order to continue supporting them in conducting their own cave exploration and involving a greater number of local Meghalayan young people in the activity of caving.

Along with the more serious side of cave exploration the expedition members once again enjoyed a busy social scene of local events, such as the Sutnga Village Annual Bull Fight and Fete and numerous parties in the company of the expeditions ever growing number of friends from Shillong and Meghalaya in general.

Simon Brooks - Expedition Co-ordinator,

Caving in the Abode of the Clouds Project. (Fax 44 01298 84784 or Email moorlands @fenetre.co.uk)


Elphin Caving Centre

Good progress has been made with various bits and pieces at the hut. The external painting is now about half done, some internal painting has been completed, the base coat on the harling of the wood store is complete and a retaining wall started at the back of the area between the two sheds. A new slab has been half completed which will provide the base for another wood store - this time a semi-open one - some theorists swear the wood dries faster this way.

If you are up there and have any spare time please continue the painting or mow the grass. The grass will improve the more we cut it, and it grows at a horrendous rate. Plans are well advanced for a conservatory and hut building weekends will be included in the autumn.

Inside a CD rack has been screwed to the wall and the kitchen now has some metal oven trays for the preparation of multiple Walford style mega-breakfasts. A couple of holly bushes have been planted to replace those eaten by the rabbits last winter. Mike O'Driscoll is busy removing the grass and weeds from under the trees growing round the boundary and laying plastic and wood bark to keep it free. The car park has also been given its annual drink of weedkiller.

Confirmed Taigh nam Famh Bookings

Date (nights) GroupSize
Jul 14/15 2001 The Jamieson clan 5ish
28/29 GSG - digging in Rana, hut maintenance lots
Aug 3/4/5 Agilent Technologies - Ivan & friends 6 2002
May 3->11? 2002 Mendip Migration 2001 (core time - bank holiday is on 6th) lots?
June 12->15 Douglas Wood & friends (fishing) 12

Hut fees are 5.00 per night for non-members and 2.50 for GSG and BEC members. Reduced to 3.00 and 2.00 for children, students, unemployed and OAPs. Camping is at a reduced rate of 2.00 only when the hut is full. Rates for the Knockan hut are 50% of these.

If you want to stay in the hut please tell the Hut Warden - Peter Dowswell as soon as possible to check if there will be space (01592 202627).


Membership News

We welcome five new members with this issue:- Mark Brown, Jonathan Davies, Deidre Nagle, Jayne Stead and Daragh o'Hare. All are experienced cavers. Jonathan dived with Simon in Smoo earlier this year, Deidre lives in Kilfernora (who mentioned a GSG Co Clare expedition?), Jayne with 20 years caving experience is sharing joint membership with Tony Boycott and Daragh with plenty of Irish caving experience manages an oriental restaurant in an Edinburgh hotel. Could this be a pointer to future Taigh nam Famh theme evenings?

Norman Murphy reports:- I'm making one of my periodic trips to visit family south of Perth, Australia. I mentioned to son that I'd be happy to revisit some of the caves in the Margaret River/Augusta area. He said "OK, and by the way, have you seen this website?" Well, I hadn't, but it's at least mildly interesting. Check out:- http://www.netserv.net.au/cwork/

It's a nice part of the world to visit, if any GSG members are looking for somewhere a bit different. And the Margaret River wines are superb!

Letter from America (recently received by GSG web site)

Hello,

I guess this goes to a generic newsletter thingy of some kind but I thought I'd try anyway. I'm Kevin, the Canuck guest that tagged along with the GSG group in India last year. I'm just writing to say hi, and that I'm likely going to move to Britain this fall for a job. One interview is in Cambridge, the other is in Manchester, and in both places I'm going to inquire about caving. I had such an awesome time in India that caving warrants further investigation on my part (like maybe how to not get lost and unnecessarily go through @%@% boulder chokes!)

Since meeting the British crew I've been in a couple of other caves. One is of course Carlsbad, because I currently live in New Mexico. Get this - NASA has sent scientists to spider cave to examine the bacteria growing on the roof of one segment of the cave; they hope to use this for clues when they look for life on Mars again. It was funny because at the end of the tour, the guy turned out the light and told the other tourists how in the early 1900s, the first explorers of the caves got lost, and were in total darkness for about a day.

"Imagine what that would feel like..." he goes.
"No lights..." uh huh.
"Maybe no food..." uh huh. Shiver. Anyway that seemed like a replay of the last day I spent in Mawshun II!

Carlsbad is terrific, but the main cave way is virtually paved, which is a good idea for the generic tourist but makes it all seem so... Disney-esque to everyone else.

The second cave was in Belize. If you're ever in San Ignacio, go to MayaWalk and go on their tour of a cave - can't remember the extremely long name - but basically a decade ago some archaeologists went deep into a watery cave labyrinth and discovered a huge chamber that served as a Mayan sacrifice room. The room itself has remained untouched over the centuries, making the pottery and skeletal findings very rare there.

Anyway, most probably don't remember me but if you like, check out my web site at http://uk.geocities.com/zaredbaron

Cheers from Santa Fe, New Mexico

Kevin


Vandalism in Carlsbad Caverns

From the 06/25/01 NPS morning report reported on alt.caving

Rangers Laura Denny and Bridget Bohnet received a report of visitors off-trail in a closed area of the cave on the afternoon of June 9th. Park employees Paul Burger and Stan Allison had been taking water samples in the Kings Palace area when they saw two people leave the trail and enter a darkened area. Denny and Bohnet searched the area and found Brian Stanley and friend hiding in an extremely delicate area of the Queen's Chamber. The pair, who were traveling from Maine to Oregon, had several freshly-broken stalactites and drug paraphernalia and marijuana in their possession. They were issued nine mandatory-appearance violation notices, including citations for destruction of natural resources, off-trail travel, entering a closed area, smoking in a cave, and possession of a controlled substance. A court date is pending. In recent months, the park has experienced an increase in incidents involving vandalism and damage to cave formations. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Las Cruces is handling the prosecution of all of these cases.


Assynt News

Inchnadamph Hotel Sold!

The Archibalds have sold the Inch and are in the process of buying a hotel near Reeth (Yorkshire Dave country) in North Yorkshire. There was a BBQ at the Inch on 7th July where Paul was presented with a brace of ice axes by Assynt MRT. We'll still be seeing him as he intends remaining a GSG member and he's booked into the Dolomites trip this September. We've not had the chance to meet the new owners yet, and know very little except they come from Devon.

Road Accidents

The road north to Elphin has been shut twice recently. Once when a lorry went off the road killing the driver at Ardcharnich, and once last week when a motorcyclist and car collided on the Braemar to Ullapool section landing both in Raigmore hospital. He was one of a party of hillwalkers staying at the hut and had been returning from a strenuous two days doing the Sheneval Six set of Munros.

Bone Caves relocated!

According to a new signpost at the Allt nan Uamh car park the Bone Caves lie 4km away to the east. That's a real drag as it'll now take us twice as long to walk there! Two stout galvanised steel supports have also appeared awaiting a large informative notice. Drivers should beware of the three knee high boulders partially embedded in the ground.


Internet Caving

The GSG site maintained by Andrew Brooks is at:- http://www.caves.org.uk/gsg/

Email for the GSG can be sent to:- ivan @g-s-g.demon.co.uk

Email for the Bulletin should be sent to:- goon90 @hotmail.com

This Newsletter was emailed to all members with a known current email address. All you have to do to receive it is to send me an email, and I'll add you to the distribution list. ivan @g-s-g.demon.co.uk


Bulletin Alert

September is the publication date for the next Bulletin and now is not too early to submit your literary masterpieces. Please give thought to submissions - of various lengths - and also to colour photographs for the centre-fold (these need not be related to text but must have proper titling). All contributions to Alan Jeffreys. R E M I N D E R S

1) Tell Peter Dowswell (or Ivan) as soon as possible of hut bookings. Remember it is first come first served. And don't forget to pay afterwards!

2) Let the committee know immediately if you know of a great place for the Annual Dinner

3) Send address list changes and corrections to Ivan

4) Send contributions NOW to Goon for the September 2001 GSG Bulletin.


GSG publications (prices to non-members in brackets)

Caves of Skye            6.00 (8.50)  QRA Assynt and Coigach
Caving Songs of Mendip - 3.00 (4.00)  Field Guide  -      10.00 (12.00)
The Southern Highlands - 1.20 (1.50)  Caves of Schichallion 3.00 (4.00)*
Appin Cave Guide -       1.50 (2.00)* Buddy reading
                                      (Caving in Couplets)  2.00 (2.50)
                        * out of print - photocopies available

Postage extra - order from:- Alan Jeffreys, 8 Scone Gardens, Edinburgh, EH8 7DQ (0131 661 1123)

or:- Ivan Young, 45 Maitland Road, Kirkliston, West Lothian, EH29 9AP (0131 333 3084)

Please make cheques payable to "G.S.G."

FOR SALE FORD SIERRA FOR SALE

A good goer going for a few hundred quid! Contact Alan Jeffreys for details (0131 661 1123)


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