Spot Mortem

To those of you who came and supported the pig roast at the end of May, many thanks indeed and to those of you who did not - well, I think that the concensus is that you missed an interesting weekend.

The event went through despite repeated attempts to rain it off and in the end we catered for 51 people; more than expected as there were a significant number of late arrivals. Only one person said he would come and did not; this was due to an unscheduled appointment earlier in the day with a falling rock, confirming the fact that whenever we have a major event at the cottage there is a rescue callout for one of our members.

On a statistical note, the table below shows how Croydon Caving Clubs pig meat consumption compares with the usual quantity estimates made on these occasions:-

Meat - ozs per person



One small bread rolls worth. Only suitable for nice occasions.


Normal social events where there is other food available.


A good chunk of meat, suitable for when the roast is the main item.


Highly carnivorous; allows for plenty of second helpings.


What you lot ate at the pig roast. Utterly gannetous. Well done!

Not all of you will know that my pig supplier made a complete cock up of the very specific instructions that I had given him. I had arranged to pick the corpse up directly from the slaughterhouse in Cinderford on the Friday morning, only to find on arrival that our pig was one of a batch of five Old Spots killed that week and that Spotty had been sent back with the other four to an address in Stroud. There then followed some irate telephone calls and delaying of my appointments for that day whilst I drove back to reclaim Spotty before setting off hack down the M4 again for Llanelli.

This year, Sam and Nicola Knott arrived plus dog, and enabled us to continue the tradition of feeding the pigs ears and tail to a canine. Unusually, this appeared to have an aphrodisiac effect and the beast proceeded to mount Chris Fry. Despite this being the best offer he had had for a long time, Chris seemed reluctant to accept and to our disappointment, fought the animal off.

The competition to guess where the spot should be on the pig was a close finish with only a few bristles separating first and second place. I am pleased to say that only three or four people decided that the spot might be on its naughty bits. The results were:-


Gary Hopwood

1 bottle of Whiskey


Ron Smith

1 bottle of Port


Iain Whitehouse

1 bottle of Red Wine


Helen Wray

1 pigs ear

Due to our standard policy of continuous improvement, I have noted the following from observations and comments received:-

  1. Although this years fire grate was made from considerably heavier gauge metal than before, it still melted and collapsed. I have concluded that the fire gets hot.
  2. There was a request for larger plates; this correlates with the rate of meat consumption shown above.
  3. The forks were not up to the rigorous specifications needed to feed cavers and in future need to be stronger.
  4. There was too much salad.
  5. There was only one complaint about the beer; this will therefore be ignored.

I would be interested to hear any other comments or suggestions.

Although it is not the intention to make a profit at these events but to break even, the number of late arrivals and extras meant that income was higher than anticipated and there was a net surplus of £47.

There have been several suggestions as to how this should be used, which include:-

  1. Purchase of scaffolding equipment for further events; at the moment, I borrow it.
  2. Purchase of a Burco type water boiler for the cottage kitchen.
  3. Carry forward the surplus to the next major event.

I will let everybody know what we are going Io do when we do it.

A set of accounts for the pig roast is available should anybody wish to see it.

Lastly, my thanks as ever to the pig team without whom it would not all be possible:-

Simon Davies Audio sub-committee
Tania Davies Pig rotation and carving
P.C. Fry Leading fire stoker, law and order and chutney sub-committee
Graham Christian Wood cutting, son et lumiere and pig support hardware
Sheelagh Halsey Salads, stuffing and aneillarics

and additional thanks to Andy Todd, Chris Crowley and the Wray twins (?) for assistance with wood collection and processing; and Ellen Chandler for food preparation and barbecue.

Chris Grimmet