Welcome to Caving Wales / Ogofa Cymru

Stuart France

Active member
The Cambrian Caving Council AGM last weekend voted to adopt the new modernised name "Caving Wales" for our organisation. This is "Ogofa Cymru" in Welsh.

We've owned the caving.wales internet domain name for a while which redirects page requests to Cambrian's website hosted by the BCA. It will take us a while to deal with the ramifications of this name change, but our new name brings us into line with the modern style of sport.nation or nationality.sport, for example Canoe Wales and Welsh Athletics, making it more obvious to external contacts that we're the representative body for Caving in Wales. In my role as Access and Conservation Officer I found that my opposite numbers often had no idea what or where Cambrian was supposed to be let alone what a Council does other than talk now and again.

Last Sunday we also voted to replace the entire Constitution with a modernised one which had been out on consultation with member bodies and others since last summer and we thank them all for their valuable feedback which has been factored into the adopted version. The previous 1960s version had received only minor tweaks over the years - until now. The new constitution makes clear that we're still representing those adjacent parts of England with geological connections to Wales, like the Forest of Dean and Shropshire. It also reflects our wider offering nowadays like education/training, fixed aids, access management where there is a need, and so on. It also brings the Internet into the way we do business.

We've changed the Executive structure to create an Information Officer from the previous Webmaster and Editor roles, to abolish the Insurance & Legal Officer role since that is BCA's job, and to create a Recreational Mine Exploration Officer given the mining heritage there is in Wales and nearby in England. Other changes clarify and re-order content more logically. It might need a tweak at the 2025 AGM, but the main overhaul is now done. We'll publish this new version and the AGM minutes online "in due course".

Finally we have a better way of managing member bodies, being clearer about what we expect them to be and do. We have a number of dead email addresses or dead clubs on our books, apparently. This is anti-democratic as it means that potentially the right people are not getting our correspondence and the quorum for general meetings becomes artificially inflated. So we will shortly be contacting all member bodies for an update or confirmation of their current contact details. Persistently not replying to this correspondence will be interpreted as non-existence and it will result in being struck off!
 
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cavemanmike

Active member
Hi Stuart
Why don’t you put this on buddle pit. The mine explorer site, I think they would appreciate that
 

Pegasus

Administrator
Staff member
Well done Caving Wales, sounds excellent. Would you like me to amend the thread title to Ogofa Cymru? ...add the a?
 

royfellows

Well-known member
Mine exploration as a leisure activity in its own right has grown tremedously in the last few decades, and this is reflected by Caving Wales who has perceived the need for the office of a Recreational Mines Exploration Officer in order to reflect this. In fulfilling this role I look forward to meeting the anticipated demand for help and assistance on all matters mine related.
 

Katie

Active member
Great stuff! Sounds like you have all been very busy!
I look after club membership for the BCA - most clubs have now renewed (over 150) with the last few expected by the end of March.
Then I will send you (and the other regional bodies) a list of all the clubs and their contact details that ticked to indicate they wished to affiliate to you in 2024 :)
 

Stuart France

Active member
That will be great, thank you.

Caving or mining clubs, or other groups generally with a recreational underground interest, do, of course, have to apply to Caving Wales (or Cambrian as it used to be) to become members, or have done so in the past and been accepted. BCA can't create regional council memberships out of thin air.

One problem is that club etc officers sometimes use their own personal email address, and as we all know email addresses can and do change, so when the club changes its secretary there will be a new personal address - if that's the way the new person works. I dare say this problem affects BCA as well.

So to make life simpler and more reliable for everyone, I'd like to ask clubs to make sure their contact details passed to external organisations are in the generic style like secretary@mycavingclub.org.uk and not joe.bloggs@gmail.com - then when their secretary changes, there are no updates to do on external mailing lists and contact is not lost.

A gmail address does not indicate to us what club it is. Unfortunately BCA server's "mailchimp" function has no way to store meta-data like the club name associated with an email address of the gmail type. OK, we could do that on an external database I know, but there isn't one, as we're working with a system and records (scanty) that we inherited from other people.
 
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