Author Topic: Update on Twll Du  (Read 24733 times)

Offline nobrotson

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #250 on: June 16, 2018, 04:55:59 pm »

The meetings referred to are those of the PDCMG which take place twice a year. The fact that you are unaware of this is somewhat surprising to me as you are friends with Chris and Fleur. It also perfectly emphasises the point made recently by Martin Laverty in this very thread concerning the lack of publicity given by the PDCMG concerning their own meetings.


Chris did tell me about the existence of the meetings, but not when and why. I don't think he was trying to actively avoid telling me, but probably thought the details of the meetings of no relevance to me because I don't live in Britain at present. I last saw him a while ago when we last went to yellow van and have become a lot more interested in this debate since then. I do agree that the meetings are not well advertised publically.


If you had known about and been able to attend the previous PDCMG meeting in November last year, you would have heard me say to Chris (in front of everyone else who was there) that I thought he was a good caver: just ask anyone who attended that meeting if you do not believe me. Like yourself, I have the utmost respect for his ability as a cave explorer: of that there is no doubt. I caved with him (and several other prominent members of OUCC) when Draenen was first discovered, so I know what I am talking about from first hand experience. I enjoyed these trips and, on a personal level, it does indeed sadden me greatly that things have developed the way they have in the years since.

However, (also like it would appear you yourself are starting to believe) I am convinced that Chris (and the PDCMG) have got it totally wrong when it comes to a single entrance policy for Ogof Draenen. Now, this should be no great problem as such: after all the world is full of people holding different opinions, isn't it? The problem arises when those holding one view force theirs upon others by forcibly applying a solution to secure an outcome in their favour: in this particular case it being the concreting shut of caves. Sadly, Chris has been the chief exponent of this from the very outset, going back to the days of the Nunnery and continuing right up until the present time. Sorry, but I have absolutely zero respect on this score for any caver (be it Chris or anybody else) who wants to deny other cavers access to caves by concreting their entrances. Do you?

I do agree it is unfortunate (from the point of view of both sides) that the situation has become so polarised (and personalised) over the years. If any newcomers to the debate (such as yourself) would like to become more involved to help try to bring about some sensible means of resolution, I am sure that would be appreciated by all concerned.

I hope this helps answer some of your queries, anything else feel free to ask.

Apologies for not answering your earlier questions back in March. Virtually all the points you raised had already been covered in endless debate on this very forum and, after careful deliberation, I thought it would achieve nothing to do so again. However, I was perhaps being a little hasty and should maybe have realised that someone new to the Draenen saga was, quite simply, unaware of this. Why not check back over some of the previous threads and see what you can find? All the answers you require will be there, I am sure. I will then come back and give you any answers you are still unsure of once you have a greater grasp of what has been said previously. Is this OK?

I will do more reading up on the issue in the coming months, I'm sure the points have been covered. I would like to see the debate resolved and once I know more I will start to become more active in it. Thanks for taking the time.
the man is mentally ill. I have seen him eat a plastic pie.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #251 on: May 12, 2019, 08:25:04 pm »
The next 6-monthly PDCMG meeting should take place in June 2019.  I'm trying to find out when and where and get the draft minutes of the last one.  The problem is the PDCMG website no longer exists in a functional form.  It has been defaced.

http://pdcmg.org.uk/

PDCMG said (Ali Garman said) at their November meeting that a new modern website would be published within, er, a week but that didn't happen.  Neither was their promise honoured to call an EGM early this year to revisit their single entrance policy, the cause of a lot of needless strife over the past 20+ years.  When asked at the Cambrian Caving Council AGM in March 2019, Sue Mabbett, the PDCMG Secretary, who came along to moan about Cambrian taking an interest when it wasn't welcome, blamed the lack of progress with holding an EGM on Chris Seal whose role in all this is being merely the rep for Chelsea Speleological Society.  Yes, I think that's it.

Will somebody please tell me what is going on and when the next PDCMG meeting will be and where etc etc.




Offline JohnMCooper

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #252 on: May 12, 2019, 08:32:10 pm »
I believe the Chairman is due back in the UK tomorrow.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #253 on: May 12, 2019, 08:55:03 pm »
Your faith in Les Williams to sort out the PDCMG is truly touching.  Have PDCMG got anybody left besides Sue Mabbett and Chris Densham?  They lost their geology officer; it looks like the webmaster has gone perhaps leaving them a little gift; and the fixed aids officer has left to "spend more time with his family".  Have I forgotten any others?

I'd have thought Les would be fully occupied right now with the upcoming BCA AGM (see separate thread) on 9th June and the BCA's latest survival ploy of not accepting BCA Council Officer nominations and AGM motions unless written on parchment with wet ink and delivered on horseback.

For those who collect being on committees and delight in attending them even if just to occupy a chair and then say nothing, also in June on the 2nd, is the OFD cave management committee at Penwyllt at the uncivilised hour of 9am on a Sunday.  Everyone welcome.  Could be fun as NRW is washing its hands of running cave access committees, and they didn't attend the last OFDCMC in November either.

I hope the PDCMG one doesn't clash with either of these other two June offerings.



Offline Andy Farrant

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #254 on: May 12, 2019, 11:02:10 pm »
Yes the PDCMG lost their geology officer, partly because of the farce that was Twll Ddu, but also issues with regard to the various entrances. None of these were helped by the actions of a certain S. France. There is a compromise to be had on all of the issues with Draenen, just no-one is interested in finding it. Rather the opposite, with people bent on inflaming things when the opposite needs to happen. That is also one of the reasons I haven't been to Whitewalls much in the past couple of years. What is it with certain older male cavers?? No wonder some caving clubs are finding it hard to recruit younger cavers.

Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #255 on: May 13, 2019, 12:10:47 am »
Defaced? Just modified to help stop people wasting their time, I'ld say, but someone should tell Tim Long as he supposedly took over the site in March 2018.

The site is archived at https://web.archive.org/web/20181107065955/http://pdcmg.org.uk/ and links to specific pages are still live (albeit comatose), so http://pdcmg.org.uk/minsmenu.htm is the link you want Stuart, but it is only of interest to historians until the PDCMG get it updated...


Offline Graigwen

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #256 on: May 13, 2019, 06:02:00 am »
I have no knowledge of the functioning of the shady body that is PDCMG beyond attending the autumn 2017 meeting as an observer. However I did notice that at some time in 2017/18 their web site was amended to withdraw the claim that their writ extended to Jackdaw's Quarry on the west bank of the Llwyd.

.

Offline NewStuff

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #257 on: May 13, 2019, 07:57:55 am »
just no-one is interested in finding it.
You mean the group that singlemindedly pursue a single entrance, despite being told by almost everybody else in the country with an interest in the place, that it's backwards & stupid.
Permission? Wassat den?

Offline Martin Laverty

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #258 on: May 13, 2019, 01:24:32 pm »
I have no knowledge of the functioning of the shady body that is PDCMG beyond attending the autumn 2017 meeting as an observer. However I did notice that at some time in 2017/18 their web site was amended to withdraw the claim that their writ extended to Jackdaw's Quarry on the west bank of the Llwyd.

Where did you note that? It's not what is said at http://pdcmg.org.uk/plancons2003.htm

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #259 on: May 13, 2019, 05:29:26 pm »
I have no knowledge of the functioning of the shady body that is PDCMG beyond attending the autumn 2017 meeting as an observer. However I did notice that at some time in 2017/18 their web site was amended to withdraw the claim that their writ extended to Jackdaw's Quarry on the west bank of the Llwyd.

Where did you note that? It's not what is said at http://pdcmg.org.uk/plancons2003.htm

Martin, from the link you give:

"This Document is principally concerned with Ogof Draenen but also relates to other caves and sites of speleological interest that fall with in the Ogof Draenen hydrological area. This area can be defined as being bounded by the following features; the Principal amongst these are:

    Siambri Ddu
    Ogof Ddwy Sir
    Jackdaw Quarry Cave
    Cwmavon Quarry Caves.
"

and the linked document goes on to describe the area of interest of PDCMG:

"The Area

The area we are concerned with is bounded by the following features:

To the NE the limit is the quarries of Gilwern hill,

To the N the limit is the Pwll Ddu embayment and the scarp face of the Blorenge,

The Easterly boundary is the eastern side of the Blorenge and the ridge running South from it. The extent to the south is the resurgences at Snatchwood.
"

This area going as far south as Snatchwood will include not only Graig Quarry (alias Ginger's Quarry), the Nant Maelor caves in Cwm Lasgarn and Jackdaw's Quarry.

A different description of "the area" appears on the Wayback machine in what is described as the November 2013 constitution:

"2  The Area
2.1  The Area involved relates to Ogof Draenen. This includes Pwll Du, Gilwern Hill and the Blorenge, together with land overlying the cave and including associated sites and its catchment area, collectively hereinafter referred to as The Area
"

I thought I had seen in 2016 a reference to a western boundary, but I don't see it now and could be mistaken although it is odd that the other boundaries are specified. Anyway, it is not a matter of great import having been overtaken by the passage of time. I don't know the truth about reports of people being dissuaded from digging at Graig Quarry by PDCMG .

Of course PDCMG can amend its constitution how it likes, it is just a bit odd that it seems somewhat shrouded in secrecy bearing in mind that it affects third parties as it states one of its aims is "To control access".



Offline Stuart France

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #260 on: May 13, 2019, 08:34:01 pm »
Yes the PDCMG lost their geology officer, partly because of the farce that was Twll Ddu, but also issues with regard to the various entrances. None of these were helped by the actions of a certain S. France. There is a compromise to be had on all of the issues with Draenen, just no-one is interested in finding it. Rather the opposite, with people bent on inflaming things when the opposite needs to happen. That is also one of the reasons I haven't been to Whitewalls much in the past couple of years. What is it with certain older male cavers?? No wonder some caving clubs are finding it hard to recruit younger cavers.

I do believe PDCMG's Geology Officer has not attended any meeting or sent his apologies or provided any report since 2015.  That is long before the Twll Du saga.  And this forum is not an appropriate place for any Chelsea members to launch ad hominem attacks on other club members or to suggest that particular Chelsea members are the direct cause of any downturn.  Let's have no more of that kind of thing here please.

Plenty of realistic compromises have been offered for Ogof Draenen, incuding the one put by the late Nig Rogers in 2009 who suggested Drws Cefn should be abandoned or closed in favour of the Nunnery being turned into an official entrance.  That was voted down unanimously but for Nig's club vote.  Most recently, Cambrian offered to pay for a gate and its installation at Twll Du and that idea was rejected as well.

As to controlling access, Drws Cefn was connected to Ogof Draenen in the summer of 2009 and has been gateless since the following summer, so the discovery of a connection is ten years old this summer.  In the year April 2018-March 2019 there were just two visits through Drws Cefn, one inward and one outward on different dates, plus a couple of visits by me simply to read the counter.  The Nunnery entrance has been open again since the spring of 2016, if not earlier, so that has clocked up 3 years too, and again the footfall is astonishingly low.  At the original entrance the footfall is typically less than 200 persons per year or 50 trips per year.  And all this fuss, just for that.

The most significant person to leave PDCMG recently is Charles Bailey who is (or was) a trustee and signatory to the contract providing for access to the original entrance.  It seems that what to do if a trustee wants to exit was not adequately considered.  I suppose that to get Charles off the contractual hook now they now have to determine the original contract somehow and sign a new one without him - with the remaining two people taking full responsibiity - or find a substitute for Charles to bring the numbers back up to three, or persuade Charles to change his mind, or structure it in a completely new way.  But judging from the resignation letter he sent to the November PDCMG meeting he is advocating compromise solutions too, and there has been little sign of any such yet other than the idea of calling an access policy EGM which is yet to be realised.

Which brings me back to my original question:  when is this June PDCMG meeting and where is the venue?














Offline Ogof anghenfil

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #261 on: May 13, 2019, 10:04:35 pm »
I heard that the PDCMG had decided to disband after the rumours of two further entrances since the concreting of Twll Du. Six entrances must of been too many.  :)

Offline martinr

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #262 on: May 14, 2019, 09:23:20 am »
Hello Mick

Offline mikem

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #263 on: May 14, 2019, 09:50:12 am »
It's not our "Mick", he just copied the post from here.

Offline Maj

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #264 on: May 14, 2019, 09:58:31 am »

As to controlling access, Drws Cefn was connected to Ogof Draenen in the summer of 2009 and has been gateless since the following summer, so the discovery of a connection is ten years old this summer.  In the year April 2018-March 2019 there were just two visits through Drws Cefn, one inward and one outward on different dates, plus a couple of visits by me simply to read the counter.  The Nunnery entrance has been open again since the spring of 2016, if not earlier, so that has clocked up 3 years too, and again the footfall is astonishingly low.  At the original entrance the footfall is typically less than 200 persons per year or 50 trips per year.  And all this fuss, just for that.

I'm sure like myself a lot of cavers are just staying clear until hopefully things are sorted. With two or even three sides to the arguments and without being involved (thank goodness) it's difficult to establish who is right and who is wrong (if there is a right & wrong). Seems to me there are also historical grudges and personal differences that some will just not let go.
 
I've never visited a particular local mine/quarry on Mendip due to the animosity surrounding access. I'm sure many others are staying clear too.
 
The point I'm making is that visitor numbers may well be low because of the politics/animosity/grudges/personality clashes etc & not because cavers aren't interested in visiting the caves, mines or quarries.
 

 
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Offline BradW

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #265 on: May 14, 2019, 10:02:01 am »
So, not allowing yourself to get sucked into political matters means you get to do more caving, and to visit more caves?

Offline royfellows

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #266 on: May 14, 2019, 10:25:52 am »
To most outsiders we are all 'potholers' and the politics and grudges that go with such a thing as 'potholing' would be regarded as beyond belief by many.
Sometimes one needs to step outside and look through a window to take in what is going on in the room.
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Offline mikem

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #267 on: May 14, 2019, 10:32:29 am »
It's actually quite common on all sorts of committees.

Offline crickleymal

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #268 on: May 14, 2019, 12:59:15 pm »
It's actually quite common on all sorts of committees.

True. You should see the politics in Bellringing.
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Offline royfellows

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #269 on: May 14, 2019, 02:02:06 pm »
 :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Offline ChrisJC

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #270 on: May 14, 2019, 09:27:49 pm »

The point I'm making is that visitor numbers may well be low because of the politics/animosity/grudges/personality clashes etc & not because cavers aren't interested in visiting the caves, mines or quarries.
 
Maj.

That is certainly true in my case. I can't be arsed with the politics, but when the common-sense stick has been sufficiently applied, I will be organising a visit to the system.

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Offline Stuart France

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #271 on: June 14, 2019, 09:42:55 pm »
The PDCMG website remains silent about their upcoming election meeting.

This next meeting of the cave management group is at 10am on Sunday 30th June at the Salisbury Community Hall in Gofilon, see:
https://venues4hire.org/venue/details/2976/salisbury-community-hall-govilon

As the meeting is not advertised on the PDCMG website, I have uploaded their agenda for you here:
http://cambriancavingcouncil.org.uk/pdcmg/Agenda30June2019.pdf

This is their election meeting that takes place once every 2 years to elect a new committee.  The current treasurer is not seeking re-election.  The fixed aids officer resigned last year and his predecessor is back as caretaker.  The geological officer resigned a while back and the post is unfilled.  One of their trustees (signatories to the access agreement) resigned last year and is unreplaced.  The webmaster role is obviously not really working and the person nominally responsible is another trustee.  Chairman is not an elected post but happens to be none other than Les Williams in a personal capacity rather than as an extension of being chairman of BCA.

If the access to and management of the largest cave in Wales matters to you, then this a meeting you must attend.

Stuart France
CCC Access Conservation Officer




Offline RobinGriffiths

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #272 on: June 15, 2019, 10:43:50 pm »
Quote
This is their election meeting that takes place once every 2 years to elect a new committee

2 years? Pah! Just wait until they adopt the 13 year cicadian cycle approach.

Offline Graigwen

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #273 on: June 16, 2019, 12:42:18 am »
One effect of PDCMG keeping the times and dates of their meetings secret is to ensure it remains a closed and self perpetuating body.

From their constitution:
"5.2 Clubs wishing to join the existing Group shall make written application to a general meeting. Clubs will be required to submit their application to the Hon. Secretary two weeks before the meeting and expand and elaborate upon their application at the meeting if requested to do so. "

.

Offline Stuart France

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Re: Update on Twll Du
« Reply #274 on: June 16, 2019, 12:42:55 pm »
Indeed.   The last approved minutes on the PDCMG website for a quorate meeting (available from the archived copy at Wayback machine) were November 2015.  There are no published minutes or even draft minutes for any PDCMG business during 2017-18.  There are no officers reports for their upcoming election meeting on 30th June, not that they have many folks left with sufficient interest to write reports, it seems.