some random jottings from the dusty vaults of Steve Murray’s memory

This could become a series to be continued in future Pelobates issues…………..

Sitting around the newly installed fire over the Easter Break at Godre Pentre, we had a few laughs remembering earlier years and characters in the club. We decided it could be a good article for the forthcoming Pelobates. We decided it best not to name names Bowman’s van (hired vehicle) early 70s - who was the girl on the trip got into the van with 2 bottles of spirits and already in great spirits herself? A great trip to Derbyshire staying in Buxton at the Eldon PC followed, but it was a late arrival that night.

Poor former member B D ? was very ill. It could have been the drink but he was encouraged to vomit heartily and cheered on with gusto by his companions. Sadly for one of the cheering group, the sick one was not lying on his own sleeping bag -which absorbed most of the vomit. The Club warden was happy as no staining of the mattress but the owner of the sleeping bag had a cold night.

What a difference the old hired minibus used to make. Did it used to contribute to reputation Croydon used to have as a boozy club? Of course there was the CCC drinking song. Perhaps we will publish the words in a future edition.

Did anyone used to make their own descending gear? One of our greyer members used to, but it never saw active service beyond practice at the Croydon Fire tower. Those evenings at the fire tower, the days before Health and Safety Rules and Risk Assessments. Those were fun evenings out at the fire tower, great for new members. A few of the firemen would come out for a bit of sport too! One member on his first trip with the Croydon remembers meeting Bangor CC up at the entrance Aygill Cave? in Yorkshire. At top of first pitch they met a group that were freaking out at the drop of the first pitch in front of them. They gave up so our Croydon man went down and found the Croydon ladders were 6 feet short. So they abandoned too! Member went down and completed the cave the next morning. He subsequently joined CCC.

One member reminisced how he needed to go to the toilet (number two) on a train and had to dispose of the contents out of the window……. What’s that got to do with caving?

Who was the member who got into into kite flying after caving? Wind surfer? Great raconteur ………….where is he now?

Who got trapped underwater in Igam Ogam Sump 3 ? Caught his neck in a diver’s line but got released by a fellow caver who cut him free with a hacksaw blade. ( Just happened to have a hacksaw blade to hand?) Nostrils tracking the cave roof while the cutting was going on. You don’t forget that sort of experience in a hurry.

The same caver defaecated himself (he used a different word) when another team member slipped and whacked him on the helmet. He thought the roof was coming in on him.

Switzerland exploration. Sieben Hengste, 225 Pot. Out of control? Abseiled down the funnel, but no way on. Typical of many of the blind pots out there with no way on. Then heavy rains started and material began going down the shaft You could still see the exit up top but no way out of the falling rocks. A memorable exit from the pot No shelter at the bottom for the last man up who had to wait while his colleague climbed. He doesn’t want to go down there again. His first year with the Croydon, but he’s still with us.

A few of the older members remembered going into the some adits around the beaches at St Agnes in Cornwall. We were fortunate then to have a member who was something of a specialist on the Cornish mines. Quite amazing places. Sadly the member who used to lead those trips is no longer with us RIP John.

Steve Murray