Oxford University Cave Club

TGM Trinity 2003 


Minutes, etc.

"OUCC this term"

OUCC Home Page

Meeting started 9.35pm


Rosa Clements, Sarah McCullough, Eleanor Packham, Simon Goddard, John Pybus, Paul Garver, Steve Roberts, Matthew Balaam, Dave Legg, pod, Christina Dimas, Chris Pedersen. Apology:

Apologies for absence:

Hilary Greaves

Matters Arising from the 2002 Hilary Term TGM

  1. Steve produced the minutes for the Hilary TGM, 2003.
  2. A system for the upkeep of club LED lights and batteries was discussed again. We recalled that at the Hilary TGM, it was decided that individuals would be responsible for carrying their own spare batteries and replacing new batteries as and when required. Again, the idea of having a pool of club batteries which people could buy from was rejected.
  3. The 2002 Expedition has not yet been closed. It was suggested that Doyle should be asked to transfer the balance (£1100) to the special projects fund. We discussed seeking a donation from the fund to pay for damaged gear.
  4. Steve has booked the President's Invite meet a bit earlier this year so that more undergraduates would be able to attend. He has asked the Meets Secretary to book some permits.
  5. SRT wall in Iffley Road. Steve thinks that we are looking at a 15-18-metre wall that would be suitable for practising rigging, rescues and ladder climbs. It will probably cost £7,500-£7,900. The University has recognised the importance of us having an SRT wall (safety etc.) and in principle has agreed to make a contribution. Steve suggested a contribution of £2000 be made via OUCC. This was generally thought to be reasonable. Pod asked about special access for cavers. John thought that the only other users were likely to be mountaineers. Dave was concerned about other sports taking place in the hall interfering with use of the wall. It was agreed that these issues must be thoroughly discussed with the Sports Federation at the same time as funding is arranged. The meeting agreed to ask the special projects fund for a grant of £2000.
  6. The need to apply for supplementary grants from the Sports Federation was pointed out again. There has been no progress on this since the last meeting. John told us that University clubs are now penalised at a rate of 25% a week for late submission of grant applications. John has asked for a bigger annual grant. He has explained that we need this extra money annually rather than as a one-off payment as we are a successful club which has attracted a lot of new members who need to borrow club kit and we meet regularly, incurring significant travel costs. It was decided that the TGM must be in 5th week or before next term, so that we have time to put together a case for a one-off grant.
  7. Further to the Hilary TGM, nothing was done regarding AC Irvine grants for travel. Steve and Gavin will now contact the AC Irvine Fund regarding this.
  8. Matthew was mandated to sort out the rope washer.
  9. According to Simon, the trailer is currently being fixed and it should be finished by Saturday 14th June. Minimal repairs are being carried out. The meeting was told that the special projects fund was prepared to make a loan to cover the cost of repairing the trailer, if necessary.

Officers' Reports


No Report .


The club is running smoothly. The Chair says he hasn't done very much.


Eleanor reported that there has been some new interest in the club this term, with Christina and Mike joining us on trips for the first time. As usual, there have been Wednesday night meetings and talks at St. Cross. There has also been a curry, which was well attended. Eleanor told the meeting that the clubs committee had offered OUCC the opportunity to bid for office space at Bevington Road, but that she had thought it unnecessary, so declined it.


  1. The club is owed a lot of money by members, but also owes a few members a lot of money. The account is in credit, but there are trips that have not yet been paid for and gear that must be repaired. We will run at a loss this year as we are subsidising trips by £500 per year. The main expense on club trips is transport - we could do with more money from the university to cover this. We have also made a donation of £130 to the Cave Rescue.
  2. Membership fees were discussed again. Current fees are students - £10, country members - £25, novices - £5. We talked about raising the membership rate for students. Steve asked how much money this would raise, John thought approximately £100. The consensus seemed to be that a rise in student membership fees would be reasonable, but Chris Densham was concerned that it would act as a disincentive to novices to continue caving. John proposed an alternative of paying £5 per term. This was voted upon and carried; it was resolved that cavers in their first year of club membership will pay £5 per term and £15 per year thereafter. Steve requested from John information about new charges so that he could display them on the website. Also, John has tried to encourage payment by standing order.
  3. John brought up the issue of money for lights that was discussed at the last meeting and pointed out that we have allocated money for 4 lights that has since been diverted to pay for repairs on oversuits. He asked whether we should buy lights for novice season and accept that we will make a loss this year. John suggested setting a budget for new lights; Steve thought that £100 would be sufficient. We discussed prospective numbers on freshers' trips and agreed that we would probably have enough lights provided that members lent out their own where possible.

Meets Sec.:

Sarah asked for suggestions via email for next term's meets. Pod pointed out that the minibus has been under-utilised this term. Paul suggested that low turnout on trips has been a result of things being organised at the last minute and suggests that Sarah pursue potential meet co-ordinators more aggressively. John asked meet co-ordinators to make sure that new members filled out paperwork and that it was handed to him.

Gear officer:

Matthew told the meeting that the rope washer is under construction and that a lot of ropes need checking. Dave said that the rope has been checked and will be again after SRT week.

Safety Officer

Chris was mandated to sort out the cave radio system.

Expedition leader:

Dave told the meeting that the expedition and expedition members had received grants and the funding was coming together. Dave said that it is important to get T-shirt orders to him as quickly as possible and to pay in deposit and gear order cheques as a matter of urgency. Paul raised concerns about whether the objective was over ambitious due to the inexperience of many expedition members. Dave urged people to come on expedition.


  1. OUCC Proceedings: On behalf of Hilary, Eleanor asked whether anybody was working on OUCC Proceedings, volumes 14 and 15. Steve suggested that, as an alternative to formally publishing the journals, whoever possessed material for either volume, should email it to him and he would post it on the web. John offered to help to put together one volume, but was reluctant to take full responsibility. Steve agreed to contact Pauline and ask her to send material for volume 14 to Oxford as a first step. Steve suggested that unnecessary concern about glossiness is preventing progress on OUCC proceedings. It was agreed that volume 14 should be dealt with first and volume 15 should be discussed at the next TGM.
  2. SRT Wall: Email from Jon Roycroft was discussed under "Matters arising".
  3. Oxford Wilderness Medicine Conference: Steve told the meeting that he has been invited to do a presentation/workshop on caving medicine and rescue techniques for the Oxford Wilderness Conference in November and has asked Gavin to take his place. Gavin says he is too busy, so the presentation/ workshop must be a club effort.
  4. The ideal rack: Steve has been asked to put forward a project for Materials finalists and may ask them to design and evaluate the ideal rack.
  5. Insurance: Paul reported on the previous weekend's meet and the theft that occurred. The minibus was parked at the Burrington Combe toilet car park for 4-5 hours while people were underground. When people returned to the vehicle, the window was smashed and the door open. Christina lost approximately £200 of stuff; Chris Pedersen lost approximately £900 of stuff. The incident was reported to the police at the café; the café say that, if we ask, we can use their car park in future. Matthew said that Wessex have offered their hut as a place to leave valuables. According to word of mouth, break-ins occur regularly at the Burrington Combe car park. Eleanor said that the University's insurance policy would cover repairs to the minibus but not the cost of replacing what was stolen. Chris Pedersen said that he thought his stuff was covered by his own insurance policy. Eleanor asked whether the club would make a contribution to the cost of replacing Chris's and Christina's things if they were not covered by insurance. Chris Densham suggested appealing to the all members list for donations.
  6. AC Irvine Travel Fund: Dave told the meeting that the AC Irvine Travel Fund had been particularly generous this year, giving £225 to each applicant, and that he would write a letter of thanks.

Meeting closed at 11.05pm.