Last year I commented on EXCS's Evolution. EXCS had evolved into, or perhaps had brought together, groups of people who pursue their own activities caving, diving (above and below ground), cycling (ditto), walking, climbing, drinking, holidaying in foreign parts - but who remained in touch via the newsletter and the frequent dinners. That process seems to have continued this year, and it seems to suit most people, who see EXCS as a means of staying in touch rather than as an active club. It is apparent that there is still a surprising amount of caving being done on the quiet, but recently there have been murmuring that we ought to do some 'official' trips. Old lags have been seen in Caving Supplies replenishing their SRT gear, and conversations such as "well the trip might take as long as four hours" have been heard. The other trend that is apparent is that people are growing older and having babies. Several of these have appeared recently. And several more people have sworn not to have any.
Doug has continued as newsletter editor, producing some excellent issues. He is assisted by a small group of contributors including the enigmatic Archibald King, aged 87, who has been down the Garlands Pitch in Giants on many occasions. The 'official' meets in 1989 (which are more of a social event, than serious caving) included the London January Curry, followed by Chislehurst Caves (chalk mines), North Wales (at WMC hut), Peak Cavern, St. Cuthberts, CUCC Alternative Dinner in June, Lake District mega-walks and South Wales (at Whitewalls). A cycling weekend in the Peak District was combined with a summer dinner at the George in Alstonfield. A cycling/caving weekend at the end of November was combined with a dinner at the Sportsman's in Dent, at which Dave Harrison was presented with two 40th birthday cakes in the shape of a yellow- iced helmet and red-marzipan coated FX2. Some seriously cold camping (the sheep had ice on them) followed.
It is encouraging to see that some recent graduates have joined EXCS and are appearing on trips too. This has always been a problem in the past, since they have not always realised that EXCS is primarily their club, and not that of us old lags. If you want to receive newsletters, send £5 and your address to David Gibson who looks after the address list. EXCS maintain an address list of all exCUCC members, primarily to ensure that we get an invitation to the CUCC annual dinner. Newsletters are distributed by Doug Florence. The treasurer is Adam Cooper to whom subscription renewals should be sent. Julian & Naomi Griffiths look after the tackle.
[addresses and phone numbers removed from web edition - they are a decade out of date anyway !]