Cambridge University Caving Club was formed as an undergraduate club at an inaugural meeting on 25th April 1949 and already had "several discoveries to our credit" by the first AGM on 6th June 1950. The observant will note that CUCC was FIFTY in 1999 - various celebrations happened for this momentous occasion. A history of the club's first twenty years was published in the club journal for 1970.
Many trips abroad were organised, even in the club's early days, visiting Greece, Norway (twice in the mid-fifties and again in the early sixties) and Libya (in 1959) many years before european expedition caving became common. The club aquired some notoriety as a result of a fire at the headquarters of the Bradford Pothole Club over the Christmas period in 1961, and again by going home to Cambridge leaving a member underground in South Wales, but on the whole, the club has maintained an excellent safety record compared with many of the younger university clubs.
The habit of offering new undergraduates "life" membership for a little less than three times the cost of a single year led to many graduates continuing to cave with the club - another factor helping to maintain a higher level of experience and thus safety. In 1968, a number of cavers came up to Jesus college, and this nucleus with a few others eventually formed the informal "Northern Branch" of CUCC.
At the end of the '70s, this evolved into the slightly more organised (on paper, at least) ex-Cambridge Speleologists, many members of which remain in contact. This august body has its own caving tackle, which occasionally gets used on exCS caving meets, but more often its members cave with other clubs, on CUCC expeditions, or engage in sundry other pursuits, particularly including dinners.
Details from this year's handout describing the club, of contacts,
meetings, pubs and current newsletters are here:
Back to CUCC Home page
CUCC newcomers' guide
Old (dated!) newsletters
CUCC Caving glossary (a little dated)
Club song: "The Wild Caver"
Austria Expedition Intro page