Cambridge Underground 1979 pp 2-3


Last year's editorial comments apply equally well this year. You did't buy Cambridge Underground 1978 ? Inconceivable/ you didn't miss much/ the secretary still has a few copies left. (In summary, thanks for articles/ production help/ adverts/ buying it.)

In fact, last year's production got quite a good reception - it's always pleasing to read a complimentary review with a few positive suggestions (Caves & Caving No. 2). I just wish I could speak warmly in return of the aforementioned BCRA publication. Of course I realise that any such journal is run on a tight budget, but the layout did leave a lot to be desired. All the more credit therefore to Bruce Bedford for his superb scaled-up Descent No. 40. I see the Descent institution as a great contribution to the progress of British Caving, but would like to make two comments, ed-to-ed as it were. Firstly, that joke 'Published every two months' annoys me. Goodness knows why Cambridge Underground survives, but surely Descent will only be fully appreciated when it succeeds to its aims of disseminating news on a regular basis. And I don't mean every six months.

The other question (and this is not intended as a criticism) is directed more to those (modest ?) people who delay in reporting their own work. I find it curious, for example, that the grapevine was buzzing with reports of a certain major discovery in the Dales way back in October, while the 'Magazine for Cavers' still seems happily oblivious to the fact . Allegiance to a club journal or fear of piracy are two excellent reasons for witholding such news, but it would be good to see more co-operation with a central body - and why not Descent ? (No, I don't have shares in it!)

While on this subject, it was unfortunate to read in Kendal Speleological Society's Newsletter 9 about our attributed pirating of Winshaw Gill. Ours was an independent and apparently coincidental attack, and it is interesting to conclude therefore that both clubs suspected the other of devious tactics. Indeed it would be encouraging to see some damping down of the growing animosity between groups and certain individuals which appears to be an inevitable consequence of the growing popularity and increased formality of any sport. Relying frequently on the hospitality of other clubs, CUCC simply cannot afford to tour the country cultivating a bad reputation and making enemies; I could point out, for example, that we are still greeted regularly in South Wales with "You're the club that ..." To put the story straight, one person was left in OFD because we had to get the minibus back to Cambridge, but that was in the early sixties.

There are few people, in fact, who have first hand knowledge of what went on in the Club even three years ago, and it is always amusing when we older chappies hear that such-and-such a thing is 'traditional' just because it happened last year ! The Annual Dinner Awards are a good example of something whose origins are already bathed in mystery, and it might be of interest to newer members to set down the glorious winners of the major awards since their inception:

Golden BooSilver Slipper
1975Steve Perry-
1976Pete GoodmanBert Brady
1977Andy WaddingtonIain Crossley
1978Andy WaddingtonMike Shearme
1979Dave GibsonSally Sharpe

Well that's all for this year, apart from thanking all those listed in the index. Special thanks also to Dave Gibson and Piete Brookes for their help with this production. You'll have to find a new editor next year !

Mike Perryman

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