Reading University Caving Club

The new Committee members of 2016:

Thanks to all those who came to the pie night yesterday and all those who volunteered for the roles below.

President- Alex Stephenson
Secretary- Jeremy Holzke
Treasurer- Ivan Syrovoiskii
Tackle Master- Ben Tout
Permit Sec – Christopher David Chapple Holt
Social Sec – Harvey Connolly
Wellbeing Officer – Harvey Connolly
Webmaster – Jeremy Holzke
Cake Sec- Alex Stephenson
Floating Committee Member – Patrick Hathway


Here’s to another great year of caving! 🙂

Pie Night & AGM 7pm,22nd March 2016 @ Sweeney’s and Todd’s



This is an IMPORTANT MEETING PLEASE ATTEND!!! We will be discussing the new committee for next year. Obviously the more people there the better the AGM will be. If you are interested in standing for a place in the committee please message Alex or me before hand with what you hope to run for.

Here is a list of the Committee role which we need to confirm for next year.

Positions marked with a * are position ONLY available to people who will be students of the UoR for the following year however all other positions are available to all club members.

Responsible for organising trips by co-ordinating all the other committee members. Chasing up people and making sure other committee members’ jobs get done! Organising freshers fair, finding drivers for trips, shopping for the trips, attending SRT training sessions, helping with the kit cleaning, helping with the budget request, attending union meetings and delegating out jobs that you can’t do yourself.

Responsible for booking the huts and sorting out keys filling out risk assessments for all the trips, writing minutes for committee meetings, chasing up issues with union, booking minibuses, attend union meetings and picking up the pieces when the president messes up!

Money Money Money! Collecting membership/sportsfed, collecting trip fees at the pub and before each trip, paying the hut fees, keeping a track of all money that goes in and out of the club, writing the budget request, budgeting for the year, seeking external sponsorship, apply for Alumni fund grant.

Tackle Master
Taking responsibility for all of the kit the club owns by renewing kit when necessary, keeping an inventory of what we own, making sure our kit is in a usable condition, organising kit cleaning, CHARGING THE BATTERIES, remembering the tackle hut keys for when the president forgets them!
This coming year we may be moving from the tackle hut (BooHoo) so this may be something the tackle master will have to follow up and organise.

Permit Secretary
Find out what caves people would like to try and obtain permits/leaders for them!

Social Secretary
PARTIES!!! Organising socials throughout the year which cater to both students in Reading and members who live further away. Making a conscious effort to make everyone feel welcome and being a friendly point of contact especially for newbies who are a little shy to speak to the executive committee.

Training officer
Leading or organising SRT training throughout the year and making sure that the training given is consistent.

Web Master
Upkeep / updating of the website, posting up our photos / trip reports. I’m pretty sure they do other things as well but I have no understanding of this – best to speak to Patrick!

Cake Secretary
Possibly the most important job in the club. Supplying us with cake on our trips so that when we get hungry we have something to munch on. You can be as creative as you like, we’re not fussy!

March 2016 Trips

On the 6th of Feb, there is a caving BBQ party. This is in aid of charity. For more details, look on our facebook caving group. Please let Chrissie know if you’d like to go by friday.


We have two events coming up in March:

  • Southern CHECC which will take place on 4th to the 6th.
  • South Wales trip on the 18th to the 19th of March


Trip Dates Spring Term 2014

16th – 18th January: Whitewalls, South Wales
30th Jan – 1st February: Joint Mountaineers and Cavers @ Yorkshire
13th – 15th February: Derbyshire (Most likely the Orpheus)
27th – 29th February: Bounce Below @ North Wales
13th – 15th March: SCHECC


To book yourself on any trip contact sam @ ~ 07584414292

RUCC First Caving trip to South Wales (3-5 Oct)

Defaid sanctaidd yn mynd i’r cymoedd!! In welsh that translates as “Holy sheep we’re heading to the valleys!”

For our first freshers weekend we are heading to the “South Wales Caving Club”, based in Penwyllt, near Abercraf, fifteen miles up the valley from Swansea.

South Wales is one of the finest caving regions in the UK and again has a vast range of cave systems ideal for beginners or those of you looking for a challenge.

Check out the caves on offer…

A fun weekend of caving, games, food and Alcohol await so join us. It will be the be the start of your caving careers 🙂

Contact myself @ to confirm your place or use the link below…

Facebook_logo-2Visit this page on Facebook to join

Fresher Trips 2014

Welcome freshers

Are you interested in trying caving and want to find out more? We will be at the sports fayre, 11am to 5pm on the 25th September. Alternately you can ether come to one of our 2 presentations on the 25th September, at 6pm, location TBA. If you can’t make then you can come on the 30th September, at 7pm, location TBA.

We also have a number of fantastic trips planned:

Sunday 28th September – freshers day trip to the Mendips – only £7

Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th October – freshers trip to south wales – reduced from to £15 from £35

Friday 17th to Sunday 19th October – freshers trip to the Mendips – only £35

The prises for the weekend trips include transport, accommodation and food (complete with full English breakfast).
For more information look on our Facebook page.

Crete Trip Report

Posted on behalf of J Bouchard

Over the summer a few of us flew to Heraklion in Crete to spend a couple of weeks “quasi caving”. In short this means we pretend we are going on a hardcore expedition to find new caves but actually spend more time drinking Rachi (local spirit, not of the ghost variety) and snorkelling, or talking about snorkelling in Andy Kuszyk’s case.

After a 4 hour flight and we landed in Heraklion, either via hire car or local bus transfer we soon found ourselves being looked after by our generous hosts, the Gadanakis family in the village of Dafni.

Yiorgos showed Andy how to dance(!) in preparation for the local Paniyiri, a Cretian religious festival: church followed by party, dancing, eating & drinking, a video may soon be available on YouTube courtesy of Meyres Kuszyk. Amelia Handley was intrigued by the triple fleck caving rope adoring the village church bell, I kid you not. Pre my arrival, Henry Dawson and Yiorgos had a couple of promising new cave entrances, one with a significant pause before their test stone hit the floor, but in the following days we choose to go outdoor caving instead aka gorge walking and swimming. See pics.

The Gadanakis family are resident in a small village in the Sitias region of Crete, it is literally so small that you are always within a stone’s throw of one of the family members’ houses. The Speleo Ingle (English Cavers) seemed to be flavour of the month and we were treated to some delicious local food as well as a chance to catch up with Anna Tsakalaki and also some local cavers from last year.

At the end of August, SPOK (Speleogical Club of Crete) hosted the 16th Cretian Caving Conference, the equivalent of the UK’s Hidden Earth. After a heavy night on the Rachi and fuelled by Spaghetti Bolognese, Henry and Yiorgos set off down Le Maxim a -250m cave with only 2 hours sleep. Needless to say they weren’t keen to join in with the Spelio Olympics assault course later in the afternoon. A big thank you to the organisers who were very welcoming and after a few ‘Milate Anglikas’ we worked out that their English was infinitely better than our Greek.

See – Try Google Chrome Translate if your Greek is as bad as mine!

On our rest days we visited the family farm and helped to feed the animals – I use this term loosely, I mainly cowered in the corner when the dogs barked and got scared of the wasps which were megalo. Andy and Mesh agreed that open top 4×4 travel is the way forward and Amelia Handley and I tried to prove this later by hiring a quad, but sadly we broke the drive chain within 36 hours. Oops.

I’ll cut a long story short and let you look at the pics, having tried some cave snorkelling I’m not in a rush to do any cave diving! And we’ll have to wait to hear from Henry on whether that pitch goes or not….

View the Full Photo Gallery »

Trips For Next Term Announced

Preparations are now in earnest for the start of next term, when we have lots of exciting things planned – both for our new and current members! The dates and locations of all the trips next term have now been announced:

Day Trip: Mendips – Sunday 6th October

Mendips Day Trip - October 2011

We realise that joining a new club is a big commitment, particularly for a sport as unusual as caving! We’re therefore running a day-trip at the beginning of the Autumn Term to allow people to try it out. All are welcome to come on this taster session with us before they become a member – regardless of their level of experience. What’s more, it’s an absolute bargain, as the trip will only cost £10! If nothing else, it should make for a fun day out 😉

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a video of last year’s taster session, to show what fun you could be having!

You can sign up for a day trip at the Fresher’s Fayre or the presentation afterwards, or by emailing our president. Also see our Facebook event:

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First Weekend Trip: South Wales – 11th–13th October

South Wales Trip 1 (Whitewalls) - October 2011

A club tradition of several years’ pedigree, we begin the Autumn term at the Chelsea Spelaeological Society hut, Whitewalls Cottage, overlooking the town of Llangattock.

To give you an idea of what we’ll be doing, here and here are some photos from our trips in years gone by, and here are some professional-quality photos of the caves within walking distance.

We’ll definitely be visiting Agen Allwedd and Eglwys Faen, and probably send some more confident oldies on the Daren – Cnwc though-trip, and as always a couple of people will flake out and go for a walk in the mountains or something. There really is something for everyone!

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Second Weekend Trip: South Wales – 18th–20th October

Our second trip of the term will be to the upper reaches of the River Neath and River Melte, staying at the Croydon Caving Club hut, Godre Pente, in the delightful Welsh village of Ystradfellte. Any new member who can pronounce it (who isn’t Welsh) will win a mystery prize!

Here are some photos from our visit in 2011, to give you a feel for the sorts of things we do, and if you’re really keen to do your homework, here are some professional photos of the caves nearby.

For complete beginners, we’ll do a short trip into Town Drain and Bridge Cave, which will be a very gentle introduction to what caves are like, but there’s plenty more on offer if you feel up to it!

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Third Weekend Trip: Mendips – 1st–3rd November (With Fireworks!)

mendip fireworks

Alas! The famous annual Priddy Fireworks Display has been cancelled, and is unlikely to ever return, due to the over-zealous application of Health & Safety legislation. In defiance of this sentiment, the BEC are having their own fireworks at the Belfry, which will of course be MUCH safer and far more healthy.

I couldn’t find any recent good photos of our times at the Belfry fireworks, but here’s an album from aaaaaaages ago which is well worth a look.

Come along for a weekend of caving, partying and pyromaniacal debauchery.

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Fourth Weekend Trip: CHECC (in Derbyshire) – 22nd–24th November

CHECC 2010

The caving event of the year! Organised by CHECC (the Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs), this is the annual meetup of almost all the university caving clubs in the country, with around 400 students in attendance! Expect lots of wild partying, dancing (not always fully clothed!), competitions including the Annual Beer Pong and Squeeze Machine championships, exhibitions and displays, etc, etc! We might even get around to doing some caving at some point… 😀 This year it’s being held in the Rotary Centre at Castleton, in Derbyshire.

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You can sign up for any of these trips by speaking to Emma (our president) or Laura (our secretary) at one of our social events, sending us an email, or joining one of the Facebook events linked to above. See the Trips page for more details about our trips.

Photos from Our Amazing New Club Camera

Below are a selection of photos from the amazing new camera the club has purchased with the incredibly generous grant we received from the Alumni Fund, which consists of donations from many alumni of Reading University. We are hugely grateful to everyone who made it possible for us to produce such fantastic photos!





Click on each photo to see a full-sized version. I am sure that this is just the beginning of a whole collection of brilliant photos during the years ahead, which will really bring the wonders of our underground world to life!