The meeting commenced at 1112 hours with the following in attendance.
Name Representing
Mick Day (Chairman)
Boyd Potts (Secretary) Orpheus.C.C.
Huw Jones (Access Officer)
Spencer Drew (Treasurer)
Tim Long (Conservation Officer)
Rhian Hicks (Biological Recorder)
Andy Fan-ant (Geological Recorder)
Ali Garman (Survey Officer) Draenan Diggers.
Sue Mabbett South Wales.C.C.
Ian Wilton-Jones Brynmawr.C.C.
Ben Lovett Morgannwg.C.C.
Pete Bolt Bristol Exploration.C.
Dave Lewis Cwmbran.C.C.
John Cooper Chelsea-S.S.
Martin Laverty Grwp Ogofeydd Garimpeiros
Paul Stacey Croydon-C.C.
Chris Densham Oxford University.C.C.
Elsie Little Cambrian.C.C.Representative

Also present as Observers were: Frank Baguley-CCC Secretary, Rhys Williams, Pauline Rigby, Tim Barter, Charles Bailey, Louise Maurice, Bill Gascoigne, Judith Mullington, John Stevens, Arthur Millett, Andy Harp, Steve Roberts.

Chairman's opening remarks

The Chairman welcomed everyone. He explained that this was the first of our Biennial (2 yearly) General Meetings and that at this meeting the Officers would be elected to serve for the next two year period.


No apologies were received. Noted that all groups were represented except Wessex.C.C.

Minutes of the meeting of 13th October 1996

A query was raised on whether the 'Recorders' listed under item 6 on todays agenda were Voting Officers. After discussion it was agreed that a misinterpretation was made at the October meeting and that all these posts should be listed under Voting Officers.

3(a) Once this item was agreed the Minutes were accepted unanimously.

3(b) There were no other matters arising.

4 Minutes of the meeting of 1st March 1997:

4(a) The minutes were accepted unanimously.

4(b) Item 7. Change 'Biannual' to 'Biennial'.

Officers Reports

5(a) Secretary:

Already circulated. Acceptance proposed by J. Cooper, seconded T. Long, agreed. Thanks were recorded for the secretary's work.

5(b) Treasurer:

Already circulated.

(i). Question on BCRA Insurance cover taken out by PDCMG. Noted that it covers the Officers and Committee but not other club cavers. Noted that clubs need to take out their own insurance.

(ii). Agreed that we publish a list of donations to PDCMG with the minutes.

(iii). Agreed that we approach Cambrian.C.C. in connection with support for day to day expenses for the Group. The Treasurer agreed to write on the Group's behalf. Proposed S. Mabbett, seconded T. Long. That the accounts be accepted subject to ratification. Agreed.

5(c) Permit Secretary:

Already circulated. The published trip breakdown was noted with interest. More detailed information could be made available if necessary. Proposed P. Bolt, seconded I. Wilton-Jones. That the report be accepted, Agreed.

5(d) Conservation Officer:

Already circulated. The report was discussed and it was noted that Section 2 and 3 would be dealt with under separate headings on this meeting's agenda.

(i). A few offenders have been warned over the use of Carbide which is banned in the cave.

(ii). A discussion was held on the clearing of disused 'camps'. It was agreed to ask Wessex C.C. to take note of this item.

(iii). A document was circulated by members of the C.S.S. in connection with taping. A discussion ensued and various points emerged.
Taping policy needs strengthening for the future.
Reminders need to be sent to persuade groups to carry out promptly the taping policy.
Still a few major and minor routes to be completed.
Routes still needing to be taped will be published on the WWW.

Proposed B. Potts, seconded S. Mabbett. That the Conservation Officer's report be accepted. Agreed.

Recorders Reports

6(a) Survey Secretary:

A Draft Policy Document was circulated.

(i). The Survey Secretary reported that he had received data from Oxford U.C.C. and Brynmawr C.C. The Oxford data is also held on the Web. There was a discussion with the Secretary, Chelsea and Oxford over data transfer. It was suggested that all Grade 2 data be passed over when it is publicly available.

(ii). The Chairman requested that we look at the Draft Policy. It was suggested we need a definition to replace 'BCRA Grade 2'. Proposed that we change to 'at least tape and compass'.

A suggestion was made by lan Wilton-Jones that we record the fact in the policy that some C.S.S. members are producing a Grade 5 survey.

It was noted that permanent survey stations are being made and recorded for future use.

A long and sensible discussion then ensued over the best way to supply and record information.

The comment was made that we need the data to produce a complete line survey so we can supply this to people such as the Coal Authority. A request was made that the Grade 5 surveyors supply information to a lower grade just for the passages they EXPLORE.

It was pointed out by J. Stevens and A. Millett that the Grade 5 survey information was not Chelsea's but their own. They also stated that information could be extracted for the line survey from the Grade 5, once printed, but they would not supply 'data' to the pool even though this was needed to facilitate a complete line survey.

This item was not resolved and the meeting moved on.

One other item was amended on the Draft Survey Policy. It was agreed that the sentence under the heading future Enhancements' would read; All survey data, for which consent to publish has been given, will be made freely available on a web site'. It was then proposed by B. Potts that the Survey Policy be adopted -with the minor changes noted. Seconded C. Densham.

The proposal was passed with one abstention. (Croydon C.C.)

Then proposed S. Mabbett, seconded H. Jones, That the Survey Secretary's report be adopted. Agreed.

Biological Recorder:

Information is being received and recorded and is available for use on request

Please send all information so a record can be kept. Reports on any kind of sightings - such as bats, moths, flies etc - are very welcome. Information can be passed on via E. Mail, the Log Book or by post. Thanks were recorded for me report.

Geological Recorder:

Report already circulated.

The Recorder commented that results were still awaited on the dating referred to in sections one and two.

Noted that a lot of old Stal is broken in many different sites around the cave. This is worth further investigation.

Suggested that Hydrology be part of the Recorder's remit. It was pointed out that Bill Gascoigne could be very helpful over this item. It was agreed unanimously that the report be accepted. Proposed J. Cooper, seconded C. Densham.

Recorded that both R. Hicks and B. Gascoigne had left me meeting by this point.

Election of any new Member Clubs:

There were no applications.

There was a discussion on whether Gwent C.R.O. should be officially represented. They already have many members present in other guises. It was agreed that the Group wait for an official proposal before further discussion is held.

Election of Officers for 2 year term:

The Chairman does not need to be elected. He was invited to continue in the post and agreed.

Secretary: Boyd Potts. Prop T. Long, Sec C. Densham. Re-elected.

Treasurer Spencer Drew. Prop S. Mabbett. Sec I. Wilton-Jones. Re-elected.

Permit Secretary: Huw Jones wished to stand down. Andrew Harp was Prop T. Long. Sec P. Bolt. Elected.

Conservation Officer: Tim Long. Prop I. Wilton-Jones, Sec S. Drew. Re-elected.

8(e) Survey Secretary:

Ali German. Prop P. Bolt, Sec C. Densham. John Stevens. Prop J. Cooper, Sec A. Farrant. As there were two nominations a vote was held and Ali German was re-elected by 14 votes to 0.

8(f) Biological Recorder: Rhian Hicks. Prop S. Drew, Sec A. Farrant. Re-elected.

8(g) Geological Recorder Andy Farrant: Prop T. Long, Sec I. Wilton-Jones. Re-elected.

Land Purchase

9(a) Noted that the land we have expressed interest in is covered by the Coal Authority's "Lot 3', i.e. part of Gilwem Hill, me Northern Escarpment, and land bounded to the south by me minor road and to the east by the B4246 road. This produces a few small rents plus the large rent (2500 pounds per annum) for the mast on Gilwern Hill.

Tim Long then stated that a meeting had been held last Thursday wift interested purchasers. There was a possibility of setting up a limited company to give us liability protection.

There was then a long discussion on me viability of buying, noting that me Coal Authority would probably still hold the mineral rights; also noting that a consortium bid is not out of the question.

All alternatives need exploring such as Rental, Management or Purchase.

9(b) The proposals from Tim Long's Conservation Report were then put.

(i). 'PDCMG shall endeavour to safeguard access to OgofDraenan after the Coal Authority land sale. This may be by land purchase scheme or as part of a consortium, or by entering into a management agreement with a future owner.' Proposed T. Long, seconded I. Wilton-Jones. Agreed unanimously.

(ii). 'PDCMG shall appoint a 'land purchase sub- committee' which shall be authorised to enter into negotiations with land agents and other interested parties on behalf of PDCMG and to enter into an appropriate purchase or management agreement. Without prejudicing the aims and policies of PDCMG, it shall be the intention to cooperate with others (particularly local residents) interested in purchasing land in lot 3, rather than compete against them.' Proposed T. Long, seconded I. Wilton-Jones. Agreed unanimously.

It was agreed that me sub-committee be Tim Barter, Tim Long, Ben Lovett, Ali Gannan and lan Wilton-Jones and that they work separately from the main Group over negotiations and finance.

It was agreed that if necessary a meeting of me PDCMG could be called to resolve any problems which the sub-committee could not sort out.

9(c) There was then a brief discussion on how to obtain finance for the project. Agreed all avenues be explored; i.e. Lottery, Foundation for Sports and Arts Grants, Loans, Donations, Local Authorities etc.

Coal Authority Licence: Statement by the Secretary.

All members of the Group had been circulated with the latest agreement. This was still under negotiation and to this effect a Solicitor. Ursula Collie, has agreed to act on our behalf.

We are still trying to rewrite the terms and to sort out the financial commitment.

A further report will be given when the negotiations have progressed or come to a conclusion.

Constitutional Changes: Proposed by me Secretary.

15 11(a) It was suggested by Sue Mabbett that we take the proposals in sections. First up to and including section 10: then section 12; and lastly section 11. This was agreed.

11(b) After discussion it was agreed to leave section 4.8. in place. Once this was done then a proposal was made to accept all the other changes up to and including 10.1. Seconded J. Cooper. Agreed.

11(c) After explanation from the Secretary and a Discussion by me

Group a proposal was made to accept all section 12. Seconded S. Mabbett. Agreed.

11(d) A discussion then ensued on section 11.2. Morgannwg members stated that they were happy to see this change now that PDCMG was property established and a well run and going concem.Pinally the following was proposed by Tim Long.

The Trustees shall dispose of the assets, records, etc; of the Group to a suitable body with similar aims and objectives.' Seconded B. Potts. Agreed unanimously.

Election of Trustees:

Chris Densham, Tim Long and Charles Bailey agreed to be appointed as Trustees subject to assurances to be supplied by the committee in the near future.

They were proposed by B. Potts and seconded by J. Cooper and elected unanimously.

It was then agreed that Item 14.- A.O.B. be taken next.


14(a) A request was made by Gwent C.R.O. for access to Ogof Draenan for a rescue practice on the 28th June, also to be able to use the Ogofone. There were no objections to either request.

14(b) John Stevens then asked if Surveyors and others could also use Ogofones. The Group saw no difficulty with this so long as its purpose was not to seek out other entrances.

13 Policy re. other possible entrances:

A long discussion was held on the pros and cons of 2nd Entrances.

Arguments were put on Conservation grounds both for and against second entrances.

A suggestion was made that an entrance further in the cave might avoid the need for any camps and might help to avoid severe damage in certain areas.

An argument was put that a second entrance might encourage more bats, but a further study is necessary on that point.

There was also discussion on the Coal Authority policy on second entrances - they have so far shown a negative attitude.

Only one consensus seemed to emerge in the brief time available and that was that me present closed (Nunnery) second entrance was not in the right place to be considered. However at this point the discussion had to be adjourned due to the closure of the meeting place and the Chairman ruled that the Second Entrance would be an item on the agenda of the next meeting.

In the meantime the Secretary will circulate all me discussion documents produced by various Group members.

Next Meeting

This has been set for Sunday 9th November 1997. To be held at the Gwesty Bach at Brynmawr at 10.30am. (Please note me earlier time).