GSG Newsletter 133

19 December 2007


The Rana Breakthroughs

The extra page mailed out with the last Newsletter told the story of
two successive breakthroughs in Rana Hole. The first on Monday October
30, just after the Annual Dinner weekend, found the first section of
passage since digging started in 1995 - on October 7th if my records
are accurate. This 30m extension was reduced to comparative
insignificance by the discovery of the following day.

On Tuesday with everyone else returned home only Julian Walford and
Bob Mehew were left. After surveying the new passage - the Skye-way -
they dug near its end where a draught issued from between boulders in
the floor. After about 45 minutes it was possible to squeeze down into a
chamber and continue enlarging the hole from below. The next two hours
were spent exploring what is one of the largest chambers in Sutherland.
They estimated it at 50m long and up to 20m wide. A fine crop of
stalactites at the western end urgently needed taping off to protect
them, and there were several prime digging sites. A distant stream could
be heard far below at several holes along the northern side of the
chamber. A very cautious slither beneath vulnerable stal led Julian
through a small grotto to the noise of perhaps another stream at the far
western end. The walls closed in and it was too tight for progress.

The return trip found the hose taking water from the dam spouting
forth more enthusiastically than when they entered. With slight
forebodings they returned to the dig, and were relieved to find the
water level unchanged. As they reached the dam, however, they found it
on the verge of overflowing. Heavy rain aloft had resulted in a small
waterfall down the entrance pitch and more water than the small diameter
hose draining the dam could take. They returned well satisfied with
their superb find and relieved at a narrow escape from an enforced
lengthy stay. Julian has named their discovery Two A's Chamber after
clAonAite and rAnA - Peter Glanvill and other misspellers of Scottish
cave names take note.

The following Sunday, Julian and Carol, Bob and Rosemary Jones,
Peter Reynolds and Robin Forest returned to Rana expecting a long baling
session. The water was unexpectedly only knee deep leading to the first
suspicion that it might slowly drain away. They taped off the vulnerable
formations while Bob took many photographs of them. Julian also washed
clean the formation he'd muddied when he'd investigated the far end
of the grotto. This is now taped off. The plan is to remove the rock
barrier Julian had to slide over to allow entry without endangering the
stalactites. Until then - keep out!

Before leaving, the yellow hose draining the dam was replaced by
32mm water pipe. This should take about four times the flow and there
was hope that that might be enough to keep the dig dry.

The next visit was a solo effort by Chris Warwick on Wednesday 7th
November. He found the dig almost full of water with the level about 8'
below the blue drainage pipe. Foam on the walls showed that the passage
must have been very comprehensively sumped with the water level well
above the roof of the passage. Baling is not a single person job and
with the water so high he abandoned thoughts of visiting the extensions.

Not to be defeated Chris returned with daughter Shona on the 10th
and found the water level in the dig had dropped a bit - confirmation
that it does slowly drain. Baling started and after dropping the water
level by 10' they 'half walked half bobbed' their way through.
They took a quick look being well impressed with the prospects for
further extensions and returned to the dig site after only 16 minutes.
Like Julian and Bob they found the level in the dig unchanged, but the
dam had just begun to overflow!

On the surface rain had started and water was flowing down the
hillside, across the shakehole and down the entrance shaft. This shows
that we need a still larger diameter pipe to stop the dam overflowing,
though I suspect in really heavy rain even extending the 4' corrugated
drain would be inadequate.

There were more visits on the weekend of the DIY curry evening. On
Friday 23rd November Roger Galloway and Annie Audsley found the water
only welly deep in the dig so went exploring. Over the weekend a mass
assault saw Fraser Simpson with camcorder and Graham Marshall and Anna
Ermakova with lights filming Goon and others as they explored the
Skye-way and Two A's Chamber. Ivan first digitally snapped his way
around the chamber then with Roger's help used the SCRO's Heyphones
to 'radiolocate' a couple of positions in the extensions on the
surface. John Crae took a laser level and a tape measure around the west
end of the chamber and Goon and Fraser started extracting boulders from
one promising hole. It was too tight for even Ross to squeeze down so we
knew we needed more serious rock breaking technology.

The weekend of the GSG Xmas Dinner dawned bright, cold and dry with
a fine display of the Geminid meteor shower for those who froze for long
enough outside the hut. On Saturday eleven members enjoyed an almost dry
descent of Rana and the water in the dig was less than welly deep for
most folk.

Alan (Goon) Jeffreys and Johann Fleury started work on one of the
most promising holes with a pinch bar brought by Goon. While they
managed to remove quite a bit of rubble one boulder defeated them, as
did the slot that could be seen heading tantalisingly down into a small
chamber with more openings leading on and further down. Ivan meantime
was testing Roger's latest Hilti capping gear on a rock bulge in the
dig, but the driver broke at the third cap. This was (quite fairly) to
the considerable annoyance of Goon who felt that the first priority
should have been to enlarge his dig.

Ivan then joined John Crae and his laser level to hold the end of
the tape as John recorded the eastern section of Two A's Chamber.
This'll result in another redrawing of the survey. Martin was there as
well, attempting to enlarge the gap between some boulders with a
sledgehammer to gain access to a crawl beneath them. This was going well
until the shaft snapped and the head fell down between boulders with no
hope of recovery.

Julian positioned a few laminated notices in the chamber warning
folk to keep out of the far western grotto and to take care both of
vulnerable formations and of unstable boulders. He then started to
enlarge the entrance crawl. Initially he was helped by Jackie Yuill and
Malika Friche, but the workforce grew as more and more members arrived
wanting to return to the surface. After the first half had been deepened
Julian finally allowed us all to leave.

On Sunday the workforce was much reduced as Ivan, John and Preston
White took the Hilti hammer drill to the hole in Two A's Chamber. The
loose boulder was ignored and a 15' deep shot-hole drilled into the
sloping ledge that obstructs the way down. This was charged with a
Snapper (a preassembled explosive charge) and well tamped with
newspaper. We had enough wire to fire it from The Skye-way using the
drill battery. There was a reassuringly muffled 'Crump!' which
should mean that the energy has gone into breaking rock and not
eardrums. With surface temperatures at -4o C Rana was draughting
strongly and we only just beat the bang fumes to the surface. If the
bang has done its work we should be able to drop straight into some new
passage on our next visit.

When John overlays his survey on the Claonaite survey this shows
that the hole I blasted in Two A's Chamber is about 20m above the
stream passage in Claonaite Seven and 10m horizontally from Belh Aven.
Since we can see down more than 5m and along for perhaps the same we are
very near to making the connection. We have to hope that the territory
proves to be stable enough for safe easy passage.

Ivan


GSG Annual Dinner

On the weekend of 27th/28th October, a record 69 people convened at
Saucy Mary's Lodge in Kyleakin to celebrate the 39th GSG Annual
Dinner. In addition to the current crop of young cavers, members from
the early days (you know who you are) had come from afar, and on walking
into the bar on Friday evening, I was delighted to see a sizeable
contingent of old friends from Mendip busy sampling the local real ales.

Saucy Mary's proved an excellent venue, with self-catering
bunkhouse-style accommodation and a B&B option for those who didn't
fancy cooking their own breakfast. For those of us who wanted a DIY
breakfast, it was just as well the rest of you chose to eat in the bar,
as the upstairs kitchen facilities couldn't cope with more than half a
dozen at a time!

Saturday dawned as Saturdays usually do on Skye - wet and windy.
Still, some good caving was done. A couple of parties chose to visit
Spar Cave, though we did have to wait for the tide to go down a bit
before we could get to the entrance. It was well worth the wait, though,
as the cave is extremely pretty. John Heathcote stripped for the
cameras, to wade chest-deep through the final pool, but the rest of us
were content with the formations on the near side of the pool.

Saucy Mary's management began preparations for the dinner at the
end of the afternoon by throwing the locals out of the bar. One lad, who
already had a skinful, took some time to shift, but went willingly
enough in the end. The rest of us then had to move temporarily out of
the bar to allow the dining tables to be set up. This was like putting
together a jigsaw puzzle - every table and chair had to go into the
right place in order to fit them in. Our host had obviously spent some
time planning this in advance.

The meal was good enough for people to talk about a future return to
the venue, though it was clear that the numbers in attendance had
stretched the kitchen and waiting staff to their limits. My own menu
choices (Cullen Skink and Venison Steak) were entirely acceptable. When
we were all replete, the usual after dinner ceremonies were conducted.
(Ed's note - Carol asked me for the details - but my aging memory is
probably worse than hers especially after marinating in Skye ale all
evening. So here goes. Any faults in the next paragraph are mine)

Peter Dowswell gave the toast to absent friends and special guest
Chris Harvey (Zot) first toasted the GSG then gave a most profound and
eloquent dissertation on - something of real significant and extremely
appropriate to the hushed(?) audience. This year's Golden Gnome award
was presented with the customary recitation of a specially crafted ode
to Norman Flux, who was applauded as a very worthy recipient. A special
presentation was made to Jim Salvona - see below - who also got into
the swing of things by offering a scintillating speech about something
or someone or.. Whatever they said, they were all much appreciated and
the boozy crew applauded them all enthusiastically. Anyway, back to
Carol.

After the dinner Fraser amused us with his 'Big Brother'
Megalaya film, and Julie showed us the recent discoveries in Upper
Flood. And of course we talked, and drank, and talked, and drank some
more, and drained the barrels of real ale one by one.

Sunday morning dawned better than Saturday, and Julian, John
Heathcote and I bagged a Red Coullin before the next weather front swept
in. Then Julian and I drove to Elphin, where (as you all know) the
twelve-year dig at Rana finally produced a breakthrough.

Carol Walford

Lines On Seeing A Fluxcavator in Spring


A frog it was whose domicile

Was rudely cleared away

By shovelling out the peat so vile

That in a pothole lay.



And so successfully was this done

That pothole grew quite deep,

As muck was hauled out, ton by ton

And stacked up in a heap.



In fact it got so deep we found

It hard to pull the bucket

From the dig face underground;

We almost said, 'Well.. Let's stop!'



But this is the age of technical skill

And scientific machinery.

So lots of scaff came up the hill

To accessorize the scenery.



Flumes were fitted down BBC pitch;

The waters reduced to a dribble.

And spoil came skywards with ne'er a hitch

In a new-fangled bucket - no, kibble.



Success down our Rana home from home,

Through boulders, rubble and ducks

We owe to the winner of this Golden Gnome:

A genius called Norman Flux.

Alan Jeffreys

Half a Century Underground

This is an auspicious occasion for various reasons - not the least
being that this is the largest dinner crowd we have attracted for many
years.

Many members will be aware that the 21st Century has witnessed a
fair number of 50 year anniversaries of caving clubs due to the great
explosion of caving activity following the 2nd World War. Indeed it will
only be 3½ years until the Grampian celebrate theirs. But tonight,
possibly a little tardily, we wish to recognise another anniversary -
or milestone, or indeed, two milestones. I say tardily because we are
probably a year or so out with the first, but use the second as an
excuse.

'Way back in the very, very early days of the GSG I had occasion
to write to the late Gerald Platten, who single-handedly edited, printed
and published the journal 'British Caver', in those days a wonderful
compendium of cave-related features, news items and literature extracts
from all over the UK and abroad. In replying to my letter, in the
spidery handwriting which resulted from severe arthritis, Gerald gave a
footnote which said:

'You have a very keen and able caver living near you' - and
gave the name and address of Jim Salvona who at that time lived in
Mountcastle Drive North, not a million miles from my family home in
Mountcastle Terrace.

So began an association which as lasted over forty years, with a
short antipodean break, during which Jim has pursued his interests in
all things underground with a dedication that would put most of us to
shame. It is no exaggeration to say that his knowledge of Scottish caves
and mines is so tremendous - and still retrievable from a young mind
in an ageing body - that everybody refers to him as a 'walking
encyclopaedia'.

We think his caving career spans 52 years, although we stand ready
to be corrected - it might be longer! He is also teetering on the
venerable age of 80 years, but still active, still caving, and still
pursuing his vast roll-call of references noted on OS maps! I venture to
think there will be very, very few, if any, other cavers of that age in
the UK still active in the field.

We would therefore like to recognise his many achievements tonight
and I call upon Pete Dowswell to deliver the oration.

Alan Jeffreys


Caving

SKYE - The weekend of the GSG Annual Dinner was wet, but we
didn't let that stop our caving activities. As mentioned in the dinner
notes, Spar Cave was visited by several parties. So was High Pasture
Cave. On the Saturday only the earliest group ventured through the duck
to the bottom as by the time they returned water levels were rising.
Water was flowing over the ground and down the entrance, and airspace
through the duck was steadily reducing. The end of Iris Cave was
'radiolocated' on the surface and a short dig gave a voice
connection into the higher level of the passage near the end. Other
caves visited include Camus Malag, Boulder Pot, Vampire Cave and Vampire
Pot.

YORKSHIRE - A descent of Rift Pot in October was followed by two
trips into Gavel Pot during November where the formations in
Glasfurd's Chamber and Passage were the reason for the second visit
and much photography. Also in November John Glover took wife Gill
through the novice-infested Long Churn Caves and found handlines had
been rigged past all the pools. Early December saw Lancaster Hole
descended and the columns in Colonnade Chamber admired.

LOTHIANS - A trip into Hillhouse Limestone Mine found it to have
grown 'Dangerous Cave' warning notices at its entrances though it
all seemed to be as stable as it ever was. A later traverse of Middleton
Limestone Mine was the excuse for Anna Ermakova to start contributing to
the photo gallery on the GSG's private web server. Photographs from
many of the caving trips mentioned in this and previous Newsletters
appear there. There are also images of the various Rana Hole surveys in
the photo albums for the new discoveries.


Annual General Meeting 2008

The 2008 GSG AGM will be held in Elizabeth and Derek's house in
Winchburgh on Saturday 19 January 2008 starting at 10:30 am. We need 10%
of the membership to attend for the meeting to be quorate. Please enter
it into your diary now and make a New Year resolution to attend. Please
tell Elizabeth in advance if you will be there.

The Management Committee is elected at our AGM. While the present
incumbents are probably prepared to continue to serve, new blood is
always welcome. A member wanting to be nominated for any post should
find a proposer and seconder within the Group and then contact the
Secretary.

Resolutions other than those affecting the constitution may be
accepted by the Chairman at the meeting. If you want to propose a
resolution, or there are issues you want to raise at the AGM please let
Elizabeth know in advance of the meeting, though it will still be
possible to raise them on the day.

2008 Annual Dinner

The location of the next GSG Annual Dinner will be decided by vote
at the AGM. The list will appear on the AGM notice that will be
distributed in early January. There are three entries on the list -
Sutherland, Argyll (eg Appin) and Yorkshire. If you'd like to propose
a fourth entry or can suggest a venue for any of the locations then
please do so.


GSG Annual Subscriptions for 2008

Next year's annual subscriptions are due on the 1st January 2008.
All GSG members are automatically enrolled in the British Caving
Association and a major part of your annual fee is to pay the BCA's
annual charge. This has increased this year to £16 (from £15) for
caving members, but remains unchanged at £5 for non-caving members.

Caving membership of BCA includes public liability insurance while
you are caving, and is required for access to many caves and mines. If
you only ever cave by yourself in Scotland there isn't any advantage
in having it except for the warm glow it will give you because you are
helping to support UK caving's national body. If you are a direct
individual member of BCA (a DIM) or a member of BCA through another
caving club you don't need to pay twice. You only pay the GSG part.

The GSG part of the annual subscription is again being kept
unchanged at £12 for full members and £14 for joint. Members in full
time education, who are unemployed or have retired and are over state
retirement age qualify for a 50% discount and Life members get a 100%
discount on this part. These amounts could be reviewed at the AGM on
19th January so get your payment in now!

If you do not pay by the end of January your membership of the BCA
will lapse as will the insurance cover it brings. The GSG constitution
is more generous and allows until the end of March for you to pay, but
if you want uninterrupted access to caves nation-wide you shouldn't. If
you do not pay by the end of March your membership of the GSG will
automatically be terminated whatever class of membership you have -
even Life. You have been warned!

To calculate your payment, decide whether you want to be a caving
(£16) or a non-caving (£5) member of BCA or whether you are already a
member (£0). Add on the GSG portion (£12) reduced by 50% (to £6) if a
student, unemployed or retired.

Joint members must decide independently if they want caving or
non-caving status and add on either £14 or £7 if BOTH qualify for a
reduction.

Examples:- A caving member pays £28, a non-caving member £17, a
student pays either £22 (caving) or £11 (non-caving). Joint members
pay £46 if both cave, £35 if only one caves and £24 if neither cave.

NOTE:- Please let me know your BCA membership number if you are
claiming exemption from the BCA membership fee. This helps BCA identify
you in their records.

Make your cheque payable to 'GSG' and send it now to Ivan Young

Ivan


NAMHO 2008

Further to the notice in the previous newsletter, here are some
details for your diary:

The conference will be held at the Scottish Mining Museum on
Saturday-Sunday, 12-13th July 2008. While this is running, it is
intended to offer local field trips in the morning (11am) and afternoon
(2pm) of both days. The mines etc so far nominated are:

  1. Birkhill Fireclay Mine No.2 (small working on this side of the river, opposite the bridge)
  2. Leven Seat Limestone Mine
  3. Cults Limestone Mine
  4. Bowden Hill Limestone Mine
  5. Hilderston 'Silver' Mine
  6. Alva Silver Mines
  7. Linhouse Water Shale Mine
  8. Whitequarries and Philpstoun Shale Mines
  9. Tarbrax open cast quarry (?)

Apart from No.8, all these are suggested for delegates over the
weekend. Short trips (such as Birkhill and Leven Seat) may be combined
in one half day trip. The main shale mines will be restricted to one
visit by a small team (no more than 8) on one day only.

Therefore we need members to be guides to each of the mines listed,
all day for both days. Of course, it may be that some of the mines are
not picked up and I would expect to be informed on the Friday evening
about which trips are 'on'. Bowden Hill and Hilderston are offered
as more committing trips. Guides will be expected to know where the
mines are; have a working knowledge of how to get out of the pillar and
stall workings and, if possible, have some background knowledge to
impart to visitors.

Following the conference, long distance trips will be offered, to be
run on Monday - Wednesday. Sites suggested are: Craiglea Slate Quarry,
Perthshire; Tyndrum Lead Mines and the Leadhills/Wanlockhead area (where
they hope to negotiate visits beyond the show mine associated with the
museum, and get to the bottom of the Pump Engine shaft). Guides would
be required for these outings as well - assuming there are any takers
of course.

Could I ask therefore, that Edinburgh area members make a special
effort to make themselves available for these jobs. Seven months
warning should allow you to participate IF you diary the dates now.

Alan Jeffreys


2007 Meets and Events

See the events page for details.

The Caving Secretary, Ross Davidson, wants your help to create the
meets list, especially for caves that need to be booked. Contact him
with your suggestions.


Lamb & Fox Closes

The Lamb and Fox pub so conveniently placed for the Pwll-Du Centre
and Ogof Draenen is closing at Christmas. It is reverting to a private
residence and cavers now have that much further to travel for food and
drink. We wish Brian and Carol Lewis all the best, thank them for their
hospitality, and are disappointed we won't be able to travel down to
join in their year end celebrations.


Membership News

New Members

Anna Ermakova,
Matthew Harpham,
Chris Leighton.

Other Changes

Graham (Jake) Johnson email,
Paul Williams email,
Stephen Elwell-Sutton, Tel mobile, work and fax

  • Nigel and Anne Robertson are leaving the UK to live in New Zealand.
    Nigel has a job in the University of Waikato, Hamilton in North Island.
    They are heading out on 16th January. This is a great excuse for a party,
    so: Saturday 12th January 2008, Ingleton Community Centre, 7-12pm,
    Bar, Band and Nibbles.
  • Alice Dowswell in a recent email from New Zealand confirmed that it
    has its attractions for speleologists. ' 8 Nov 2007 BRILLIANT NEWS!!
    I am in Wellington, New Zealand at the moment. I was caving in Waitomo
    area of N Island in a fun cave called Haggas Honking Holes a couple of
    days ago. A commercial trip in a group of 8 with two guides, but some
    proper caving. Most caves in the area were in flood, after over two days
    of almost constant rain, with trips cancelled but this trip was
    running - as I was told before the trip - 'as the water just runs
    right through the cave, there's just a bit more of it'... Please pass
    on congratulations to Julian and everyone else - sorry not to be there
    for the theme weekend! Best wishes Alice'
  • Lisa Kamphausen is another travelling member and sent an email report
    at the end of November. Here is a brief extract:-
    'I did mean to write an email for a while now, but you know how
    that goes... Got all the way to Jordan by bike, been here for over a
    month now, after 6009k, 355h in the saddle, 56days of cycling (10 days
    sightseeing in between), 4 punctures, one hailstorm, a LOT of rain and a
    LOT of sun and a LOT of mountains and loneliness and amazing scenery,
    these sort of in-your-face-amazing views where the enormousness of
    life, the universe and all the rest hits you a bit like a brick wall
    (tho that's second hand information cause I've never hit a brick wall.
    yet). Completely amazing simply. And best, if you ever need to restore
    your faith in humanity I can only recommend a long bike trip, people are
    fantastic and the world is good! Got so much help off strangers speaking
    strange languages, uncountable random acts of kindness, too much free
    food to eat (gave away most of it to the people who let me sleep in
    their houses / gardens / petrol stations / horse farms / olive plantations
    / deserts / cottonfields / laybys / take away restaurants / cafes /...)

    My head has already erased all the memories of the hard work and of
    getting chased by wild animals/scooter-riding-bastards or being thrown
    stones at, so it was kind of like your average Scottish
    winter-climbing experience :-).'

    I've left out the bit about the superb climbing in Jordan,
    exploring Wadi Rum and floating around in the Gulf of Arabba - no
    caving content and not a suitable subject for mid-winter in Scotland.
    Lisa expects to be back in Scotland next summer, or perhaps in February
    to talk to the Procurator Fiscal about her paddling exploits at Faslane!

  • Steve Birch is giving several lectures on the discoveries at High
    Pasture Cave. Peter Hardyman tells us that there is one in Dunbeath
    Heritage Centre at 7.30 p.m. on Wednesday 12th March 2008 titled '17
    Steps to the Iron Age Underworld: Excavations at High Pasture Cave,
    Skye.' It is repeated in Brora Community Centre Lounge at 7.30 p.m. on
    Monday 17th March 2008 and in Lochinver Village Hall at 7:45 pm on
    Thursday 18th October. These are being given as part of Aberdeen
    University's Evening Programme in The Highlands 2007-2008. Entry is
    £3. More details of the programme can be found in


    www.abdn.ac.uk/lifelonglearning/documents/highlands_programme_07_08.pdf

  • Peter Reynolds stars in the same programme several times with his
    lecture 'Understanding the Scottish Landscape.' There is one repeat
    left on Friday 11th April in Kirkton Village Hall from 8pm.

Elphin Caving Centre

The winter months bring a series of theme evenings. We've already
had the DIY curry evening in November and the Christmas Dinner in
December. Next on the menu are a Scottish Evening in January and one
dedicated to the High Savoy in March. Book your place at the table and
your bunk now with Peter. I've shown suggested dates for the 2008
Mendip Migration. If you plan to come, please get word to us soon. If
you don't, than when other clubs want to book the hut on those
weekends we'll be sorely tempted to take their deposits.

The Xmas Dinner was attended by 21 and left Ivan totally gob-smacked
when it morphed into an early 60th birthday celebration for him
including the unexpected arrival of two friends from East Lothian, a
musical birthday card, a special Carol Walford baked birthday cake and
an ode written and proclaimed by Goon.

It took Ivan completely by surprise and combined with Peter
Dowswell's accustomed superb catering lubricated with mulled wine then
bottles of bubbly made for a memorable evening.

Please help the Hut Warden by telling him if you plan to attend any
of the theme evenings, the Mendip Migration (dates please!) or plan to
stay in the hut at any other time. Avoids the problem of arriving to
find there is no space left!

Hut fees are £5.00 per night for non-members and £2.50 for GSG,
Bradford and BEC members. Reduced to £3.00 and £2.00 for children,
students, the unemployed and OAPs. Camping is at a reduced rate of
£2.00 only when the hut is full. Day fees are £1.00 for members and
£2.00 for non-members.

If you want to stay in the hut at any time please contact the Hut
Warden - Peter Dowswell - to check if there will be space
There will usually be a few bunks spare if large groups are staying.


Assynt News

The Alt at Christmas & New Year

Saturday 22nd - Traditional music with The Occasionals - 8pm start

Wednesday 26th - Boxing Day Charity Quiz supporting CHAS -
Children's Hospice Association Scotland - teams of 4 start 7pm. Free
post-quiz snacks

Saturday 29th - Live music with Mike Darren - musical
entertainer & funny man - 8pm start

Bar opening - Christmas Eve from 12 noon, Christmas Day & Boxing
Day from 1pm, Hogmanay from 12 noon, January 1st - Closed.

Meals - Christmas Day - fully booked. Kitchen closed on
Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day. Otherwise
Monday to Saturday 6pm to 8pm. Sunday lunch 1pm to 3pm.

Prior bookings recommended - 01854 666260.

The usual winter opening times are 5pm from Monday to Friday and
12:30 pm at weekends

The Inch at New Year

Last year the Inchnadamph Hotel arranged a New Year party and this
is being repeated. There will be music and a free buffet with fireworks
to follow. The Inch will be open from the 28th December at 5pm for
drinks - no food available to non-residents - except on New Years
Day when it might be open for an hour or so.


Internet Caving

Fraser MacKenzie responded to the last Newsletter (NL 132) by
telling us of a weather station maintained by Peter Fraser at the
Ardmair Point campsite. It has far more information available on the
weather than the Met Office's station at Loch Glascarnoch. It's also
closer to Assynt. Check it out at:-

http://ardmair.com/weather/Ardmair-Point.htm

Dick Grindley responding to NL 131 points out that as well as buying
BGS publications on-line, that the Geology Shop in the Reception Area of
BGS Headquarters, Murchison House, West Mains Road, Edinburgh stocks a
complete range of BGS geological maps, geological publications,
equipment & handbooks, mineral specimens & fossils etc. Seems to be
open normal office hours Mon-Fri & is located on West Mains Road between
the EdiUni King's Building site entrance and golf course/road up to
Blackford Hill. The shop is open between 9am and 5pm weekdays, closed
between 12.30 and 1.30pm.

http://shop.bgs.ac.uk/Bookshop/


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