Reading University Caving Club


Welcome For New Cavers!
Welcome For New Cavers!

Welcome For New Cavers!

Interested in joining us? Want to find out more? Why not visit our stall at the Fresher’s Fayre on Thursday 21st September (from 11am to 4pm)? Or come along to our presentation on Monday 25th September at 6:30pm in Palmer Building Room G04.

On the evening of Monday 2nd October [TBC], we hope to run a taster trip to the Reading Chalk Mines. On this trip, you can try a little underground exploration and see what it’s like. The club will also go on some longer weekend trips this term – see our trips page for details. Every week or two, we get together at a local pub, and we will also be arranging a number of other entertaining social events this term.

Follow us on Instagram or Join our Facebook group if you would like to stay up to date on all our planned events. Or if you have any questions about our club, get in touch with Charles – our president.

We look forward to meeting you!

Belfry Fireworks trip: 4th – 6th November 2016

Hi All,
The time has come to start organising the highly-anticipated Fireworks Trip to the Mendips.

We will be staying at the Belfry (caving hut owned by the Bristol Exploration Club) -same as on the last trip.
We have our usual array of Mendip caving trips planned, but there will also be opportunities to do some rarer caving trips, such as Stoke Lane Slocker, Priddy Green Sink, St Cuthberts and possibly others.

On Saturday evening we shall be joining in with activities organised by the BEC: there will be a presentation on the exploits of the BEC’s 2016 caving expedition to the Philippines and plans for 2017, followed by a large buffet of Filipino food – vegetable chow mien noodles, plain rice, crispy beef cooked in soy sauce and garlic, chicken Afritada, pudding of sticky rice cooked in condensed milk to form a flapjack – very sweet and tasty.
(the cost of this will be included in your trip fee)

Fireworks outside from 9.30pm & Disco after until late.

Throughout the night there will also be a bar selling Potholer Ale at £2.50 per pint.

The trip will cost £35.
At the moment we have 15 spaces available (until car & kit availability is confirmed), on a first-come-first-served basis.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO COME please pay on the RUSU Caving website ( : Look under “Products/Tickets” towards the bottom of the page.
You will need to have an account on the Student Union website (all current students have one set up by default), and you will need to be a member of Caving.
This is the only way to confirm your space on this trip.

If you are having technical difficulties, the lovely people in Student Activities (inside the students union building) will be able to help you (including taking a cash payment), but feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help too.

Eurospeleo 2016

Hi all,
As many of you know, Eurospeleo 2016 will be held in Yorkshire this August – expected to be the biggest UK caving event this century, with well over 1000 cavers from all around the world attending!

The next few days are your last chance to obtain heavily discounted tickets! Currently you can get tickets for only £60 for the whole week if you’re under 25, or £80 if you’re older.

Here’s why this is such a big deal: All the main caves in Yorkshire will be pre-rigged (using more than 9 kilometres of rope obtained specially for this event) providing easier access to some of the most amazing caves in Britain; and there will also be lots of talks, workshops, evening entertainment, partying, and general mayhem! Kind of like CHECC, but on a much bigger scale… In short, if you have even a passing interest in caving, this event is unmissable!

If you’re thinking of coming, join our Facebook event:
I know a number of you are planning to come for part of the event, but can’t make it for the whole week. If so, that’s cool – just add yourself to the event page above, and let us know what days you’ll be there, so people can coordinate travel plans etc…

For those who’ll be attending some of the time, you’ll also be able to get tickets on the door each day (subject to availability). These will cost £20 for all events that day as well as overnight camping; or £10 per evening including camping; or £5 evening only; or £5 per day caving only.

More details about the event here:
Buy tickets here:
Details of the rigged caves here:
Details of the evening entertainment here:

I look forward to seeing you there!

Upcoming events & trips

Upcoming trips/events:

A trip at the belfry is being held on the 1st of April to the third.

Also, there’s a greenhouse building and bonfire that will be held on the 6th of April as we now have a place to dry our kit!


Let me know if you’d like to go to any of these events (or click going on the Facebook event),  should be lots of fun and should be a nice gathering and everyone is welcome as always 🙂

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! 🙂

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


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.

New Committee Elected

And so that time of year comes around again… After a night of pie, speeches, pint downing, purple turtle, hardcore dancing, and some horrific hangovers, we elected our new committee for 2013-14! Here are details of our new committee:

President: Emma Camp
Secretary: Laura Muchmore
Treasurer: Anna Rabbett
Tackle Master: Yiorgos Gadanakis and Vizzle Neogi
Webmaster: Patrick Hathway
Social Secretary:Tim Varney
Permit Secretary: Chris Holt
Cake Secretary: Taren Sloss
Food Secretary: Martyn Compton
Training Officer: J Bouchard

Many thanks to everyone on the previous committee, ably led by Chrissie and May – it has been a fantastic year, and even the odd minor hiccup (involving snow, minibuses, and Ben’s keys) was handled masterfully! Best of luck to the new committee – I’m sure we have another amazing year ahead of us!

Start as you mean to go on!

Great news!

This Sunday, we took 12 newcomers to the Mendips to try out a spot of caving. One of them, Kenny, had a Go-Pro camera and chest harness mount for it, and this totally badass video is the result!

I think it really captures the ‘Nature’s Jungle-Gym’ aspect of the sport. Anyway, of the 9 newcomers who went down Swildon’s hole, only one didn’t make it to the sump, and she got pretty damn close! The group that went down GB had a great time too, apparently.

So, a successful day-trip, and a successful start to the term! If you’re thinking, ‘Good Heavens, that looks like a jolly good romp! What a pity I missed these wonderful people at the Freshers Fayre!’, then don’t fret; you can still join us in our exploring activities and social shenanigans. Just put your email address on our Mailing List, or Join us on Facebook, or pop along to The College Arms on a Monday night after 9pm! We’ve got plenty of weekend trips coming up; here’s a small selection:

Oct 12-14th – First weekend trip to South Wales – staying at the South Wales Caving Club (We’re sharing with Aberystwyth University, which should be a laugh!) (Also we’ve been given lots of FREE BEER which was left over from Amanda’s wedding!)

Oct 19-21st – Second weekend trip to South Wales – staying at Whitewalls, on Llangattock.
Nov 2-4th – Priddy fireworks trip – staying at the Cerberus. We’ll make an evening jaunt (in fancy-dress) to the annual fireworks display on Priddy Green, which is held in aid of the Mendip Cave Rescue Organisation.
Anyway, I need to stop writing blog posts and catch a train home, so hopefully we’ll see you soon!