There were only a few EXCS "official" events this year, though they were well attended. walking climbing and diving in disused quarries took place during a camping/barbecueing weekend in Wales. A cycling weekend in Derbyshire featured the sprog's caving trip where several very young children were coaxed to the head of the Garlands Pitch in Giants Hole. Some adults were coaxed below it, but made a speedy retreat. A few people made their first underground appearance for several years on November's Grange Rigg/Christmas Pot trip.
Quite a few EXCS live in Leeds now, so there has been an unprecedented amount of "born again" caving. The Journal deadline precludes a full account. I will only mention that Nick Thorne came dressed as a Seventies caver for a laugh. He told us of the days when SRT was floor caving, done with yachting ropes tied with Figure of Eight knots, adorned with rope protectors and thrown down the pitch with the water.
It is encouraging to see that some recent graduates have joined EXCS and are appearing on trips. 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. Adam Cooper was Spanner-man for a geriatrics' trip down Notts Pot, and Wookey was astounded at our use of double-lines and a ship's pulley down Car recently. However, EXCS continues to consist mainly of people who pursue their own activities (caving, diving (above and below ground), cycling (ditto), walking, climbing, drinking, holidaying abroad), while remaining in touch via newsletters and dinners.
So why should you join EXCS and, and what do you get for your money? There is some debate about the rôle of EXCS at the moment, but the theory is that you pay £5/year and get a newsletter every month with a meets list, and news about what people are doing. Unfortunately it doesn't always work out like this. People are reluctant to organise events, and do not write in with their news. EXCS should not be a static club that you join, instead you should become EXCS when you leave Cambridge. EXCS is whatever you make it.
If you want to receive newsletter, send £5 and your address to Dave Gibson who looks after the address list. EXCS maintain an address list of all ex-CUCC 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 the subscription renewals should be sent. Julian and Naomi Griffiths look after our caving tackle.