Cambridge Underground 1992 pp 1-2

President's Bit

Olly Betts

My "bit" will consist of a distilled version of the past year's newsletters, with any additional details my sleep starved brain invents along the way.

Okay: The AGM notices unfortunately failed to penetrate as far as Dave Howes (the retiring junior treasurer), and so we had to have an EGM to officially pass the accounts and keep the Societies Syndicate happy (ie. giving us money). This took place just before the garden party, which was held at Dan and Penny's house in Norfolk Street on Sunday 16th June. Mark Dougherty gave a first aid talk which was sufficiently gory that I fainted, and there was a CUCC mega lunch (last of the year), with a rather nice Guinness cake made by Gill. Afterwards a fair crowd moved to Leckhampton pool and either jumped in or avoided jumping in by giving Wookey moral support as he erected his new tent and discovered several bits missing. The day before, Saturday 15th, Juliette, Tess and Cath's "Liberated Lycra Party" was rained off Coe Fen, and was moved to Juliette's room, then to the Mill, and then to my room, via Juliette's room to pick up some tinnies. On Monday 17th, a select group of cavers challenged CUSAGC to a punt joust and won (if only by dint of being in wetsuits). The Alternative Dinner was at the Punch bowl the following weekend. Highlights were the band afterwards and Wadders being upended into a barrel of water.

Then hoards of people ran away to Austria, about which I will say little as Wookey has doubtless written pages on it, and it isn't in any of the newsletters. The only thing I will mention (since it's all that I can remember right now) is Henri rolling Wookey's van down a Swiss motorway on the way back and causing chaos which still hasn't quite subsided (I unrolled my tent a few hours ago to find a quantity of mashed potato powder inside!).

The next term started with a mad panic to try to get a room for the squash (tip: book one at the end of the summer term), but in the end it was very well attended, and Wookey did a very good slide show (well, I liked it). The novice meets went okay, and Yorks I overfilled quickly as we were in the YSS cottage. This was because there was a stag party staying in the school house, which provided much entertainment in the pub, with bottle-walking challenges and the like, ending with the bridegroom being tarred and feathered.

A novice from Clare, named Arthur Mountain, turned out to be for real and a little peeved at our doubting his existence. He tried to organise a formal hall, but the catering manager said "nay", so we descended on Pizza Hut for as much as you can eat for 3. Possibly embarrassed at his failure he has since faded away. A shame, as it would have been nice to have A. Mountain in the club.

The next weekend, we descended on Chris Densham's new house in Oxford for a house warming party on the way to Mendip for a bonfire party with UBSS. CUCC managed the notable achievement of outnumbering OUCC at an OUCC party in Oxford. On the caving side, a party tried to go down Eastwater, and got enmeshed in a rescue practice, whilst on Sunday, Wookey, Tony, AndyA and I got a chance to descend St. Cuthbert's Swallet, which is well worth a trip if you get the chance.

We had a committee meeting at which I ranted about the meet price being too high, but was out-ranted (I won't mention the meets account surplus) and we talked about possibly getting a minibus, an idea which seems to have faded (?). The optional car subsidy, paid to drivers on request, was abolished as it was rarely claimed and caused friction when it was.

Lunches began to feature baked potatoes to help combat the chilly weather and later crumpets became a fixture. The next term, plum crumble and ice cream were spotted on at least two occasions.

A party down Giant's in Derbyshire returned to the first pitch (Garlands pot) to find their ladder gone. Thanks to MarkM's climbing skills, they got out okay, but there has been no news on the ladder. Garlands Pot is some way into the cave, so it must have been removed by cavers, which makes the occurrence rather alarming. MikeTA commented that he had had a similar experience a largish number of years before.

Majorca finally happened with a full complement of eleven bodies, after Tess took Del's place at the eleventh hour (after I'd been trying to get rid of it for 2 months). Less caving happened than previous years. My excuse was because I slipped down a cliff and a rock fell on my foot on the first day. Others simply went climbing or walking instead.

After Majorca, Wookey, Gill, Tony, AndyA and I spent Christmas at the SWCC hut with Iain Miller. I fiddled with my survey program, and amused Iain somewhat by finally crunching his OFD data successfully about an hour before we were due to leave.

Then came New Year in the Ingleton Caravans, notable for being almost entirely couple free, except for Dan and Penny who don't count - ie don't get JulianT roiled up. Julian was reduced to complaining about his car, and winding Tanya up. After New Year, came the TOPS ski trip, rather full of cavers, who unsurprisingly managed to out-smeg and out-ski the mere mortals.

About this point, an innocent suggestion from someone (not me) that we should move to Churchill Bar, as it's nicer and cheaper, triggered an avalanche of ranting both for and against. Eventually I took a vote and the result was almost even, so we stayed in the Panton Arms.

The first of a number of CUCC video evenings was held in my room in late January. This was notable for MarkF borrowing a video from work which was "much better" than Jeremy's clockwork video. Guess what? The connections were decidedly non-standard and the picture we finally got by soldering the cable onto the video was unstable, so we moved to Jeremy's house in Impington.

The Annual Dinner was in Trinity this year, with the party at Jeremy's house afterwards. There was a lower old lag count than usual, but I still thought it was a good bash. My favourite bit was smashing up a matchbox car with a large hammer before awarding it to Juliette as a prize for towing Del's car into a wall.

In the Easter Vac, lots of people went to Doolin, Co. Clare, Ireland with a group from York Uni Cave & Pothole Club, and some people from OUCC. Lots of caving was done (yummy streamways) and lots of Guinness drunk. Ireland at Easter used to be a regular event in the CUCC calendar a few years ago. Let's hope it becomes one again.

After the vacation Gill took over lunches.

We had a good spread of permits for the Summer term, but no accommodation or minibuses booked, since Henri was busy trying to get good enough results to convert to medicine. However, this wasn't a problem, as there are enough cars in the club at present, and the Hill Inn is pleasant enough in Summer. A sizable Cambridge contingent (including me) went to the ExCS dinner in the Dales. I enjoyed it, 'though I'm not sure Adam Cooper did when Tony and Jeremy removed his clothes when he got stuck in a chair, and threw them onto the chandelier. Wookey hopefully has some good photos of Adam, naked save for a chair, throwing table mats at a chandelier in the hope of regaining his shreddies.

Hmmm. Think I should have a summary paragraph now. Here we go: In the last year CUCC had: 1 AGM, 1 EGM, 1 Garden party, 26 newsletters, 1 Annual dinner, 1 Alternative Dinner, 2 Formal Halls (successful), 1 Formal Hall (failed), 2 video evenings, 1 Expo, 4 Yorkshire Gear orders, at least 3 Open Air gear orders, 9 official Yorkshire meets, 3 official South Wales meets, 3 official Mendip meets, 1 punt joust, 1 Clay pigeon shooting, quite a lot of parties (I ran out of toes), 1 Ireland trip. Oh and 54 quotes. Please note, these figures are culled from newsletters and may well be wrong. We've also had countless lunches, pub meets, curries, rope washing evenings and SRT training sessions (both on Kelsey Kerridge and in staircase 33).


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