• Ghar Parau dinner invitation

    Have you or your club benefitted from Ghar Parau funding for an expedition?

    To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its creation, a meal is to be held at the Anchor Inn in Tideswell, Derbyshire on Saturday 11th February, 2023. As well as a meal there will be speakers on behalf of the original Ghar Parau explorers and the current GPF committee.

    Details here

BSA Premises, Settle

mikem

Well-known member
Presumably when BCRA formed:
 

Bob Mehew

Active member
I suggest you read C&KS 28(3). It depends upon which premises you are refering to. Cragdale (the police station) was 1940, the place across the road was I suspect 1963 but not sure since Simpson died in 1962.
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
I suggest you read C&KS 28(3). It depends upon which premises you are refering to. Cragdale (the police station) was 1940, the place across the road was I suspect 1963 but not sure since Simpson died in 1962.

Thank you, Bob. I had read that. It was the Commercial Yard premises I was referring to, and as I said earlier, that seems to have been 1973, which as Mikem says, was when the merger occurred. I wasn't sure whether they had lasted that long, as one could infer from Ian Plant's article 'The Future of B.S.A. Records and H.Q' in the BSA Bulletin October 1971 that there was consideration of moving out a couple of years earlier.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Pretty sure I've posted this picture on this forum in the past but, to help readers understand which is the building of interest in this topic, here it is (the one up the stairs)
BSA_FormerSettleHostel(2).jpg
.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Harry Long has kindly given me more comprehensive information about the BSA premises in Commercial Yard (also sometimes referred to as Percy's yard, after the plumbing business which was located in that area for many decades). The comments with my photo above are right regarding the upstairs area having been the BSA hostel. (The late Bert Bradshaw, former NPC president, often talked about this.) What I'd not been aware of is that at least some of the building behind the right wall in my photograph was also occupied by the BSA and was used as office space by Cymmie, after vacating the Cragdale premises (i.e. the former Settle police station building on the opposite side of Duke Street, now called "Cragdale Lodge" and converted into privately owned flats in recent years).

I'm very grateful to Harry for this information about the other BSA premises, which was new to me.

Langcliffe - that contemporary monochrome image is superb! Thanks for posting.
 

mikem

Well-known member
That image is part of the Peter Binns collection (which also has some info on the BSA):

& more details of the merger (different link to previous one):
 

langcliffe

Well-known member
Harry Long has kindly given me more comprehensive information about the BSA premises in Commercial Yard (also sometimes referred to as Percy's yard, after the plumbing business which was located in that area for many decades). The comments with my photo above are right regarding the upstairs area having been the BSA hostel. (The late Bert Bradshaw, former NPC president, often talked about this.) What I'd not been aware of is that at least some of the building behind the right wall in my photograph was also occupied by the BSA and was used as office space by Cymmie, after vacating the Cragdale premises (i.e. the former Settle police station building on the opposite side of Duke Street, now called "Cragdale Lodge" and converted into privately owned flats in recent years).

I'm very grateful to Harry for this information about the other BSA premises, which was new to me.

Langcliffe - that contemporary monochrome image is superb! Thanks for posting.

Yes - I had a long chat with Harry a couple of days ago on this very subject. The BSA Records, currently held by the BGS and which are being scanned by Goon and company, were apparently in a bookcase in Cymmie's office.

We are currently investigating the feasibility of putting the BSA records online, with cost being the major factor (30,000 images!). Three of the 100 volumes (and other assorted material) may, for the time being, be found here. You will probably be familiar with the GG volume, as it has been in the Online Archive for a number of years. The other two are Derbyshire volumes. The link points to a test program, which extracts the images on demand from the Cloud rather than from the local web server, and as such, may not always work as I play around!
 

mikem

Well-known member
Leo Palmer's note from 1936, in Proceedings of the prehistoric society, on their founding:

& report from 1937 in Nature magazine:
 
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mikem

Well-known member
From Steve Craven's review of Dave Judson's publication (which was Bob's link) - my highlight:
In 1935 Cymmie founded the BSA (British Speleological Association), the country's first truly national caving organisation, which in 1973 merged with the Cave Research Group to form the British Cave Research Association. He was the Librarian and Recorder until his death in 1962, and kept these items in his home.
In his will Cymmie left everything to his housekeeper and executrix, Chris Rawdin. There was the inevitable dispute over what belonged to the BSA and what to Cymmie. Rawdin, being in possession, sold the books to Messrs. Hollett of Sedbergh. Fortunately for the historian the archives were not sold, and remained in Cymmie's house in Commercial Yard, Settle.
In 1971 I took a week's leave and, by courtesy of the late Ian Plant, spent the time looking at the remains of the BSA library and records. The archives, which date back to 1383 (graffiti in Yordas Cave), include the BSA minute books. They are so vast that it would have needed much more time, even with modern technology, to do justice to the collection. Nevertheless I recorded what I could, and made a mental note to return later which I was unable to do.
In 1973, following the merger of the BSA with the Cave Research Group, the archives were moved and became inaccessible. Now, a generation later, the archives are in the process of being digitised and professionally kept at the British Geological Survey outside Nottingham. This has enabled David Judson, a former member of the YRC and one of the few remaining cavers who knew Cymmie, to look in detail at the BSA archives and to write a well illustrated appreciation thereof.
 
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langcliffe

Well-known member
I've managed to answer my own question! 1973 seems to be the answer.

With thanks to Mary Wilde of the British Caving Library, this has been more-or-less been confirmed by the BCRA Librarian's report in the BCRA Bulletin No. 3 published in February 1974: “The Duke Street premises in Settle, which formally housed the BSA records and possessions, have now been vacated.
 

Bob Mehew

Active member
Dave Judson's Cave Studies series booklet is available at CS18 if you have membership of BCRA. If I have it correct, although Simpson died in 1962, his housekeeper who was the main beneficiary of his will, remained in the house in Commercial Yard. Miken's extract of Dave Judson's booklet shows the material was still in that house in 1971. I guess the presumption is that the material did not move onwards until 1973. But is there any written confirmation of that?
 
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