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Score of The Wessex Cave Club Hymn
In the early 1960's the Shepton Mallet Caving Club had many members who were inter-related. Alfie Collins wrote this one for one of the caving dinners to a tune loosely base on Paddy Roberts "Tattoed Lady". The first two verses use the first 16 bars, then the third verse uses the the remaining bars and the fourth verse starts again from the first bar i.e. the third and sixth verses use bar 17 to the end. Mike Thompson was a solicitor by profession, Andy George married Fred Davis, Norbert Casteret was a famous French speleologist and Brian Ellis married Fred Davis's sister, Pauline. Ken Dawes was the club secretary and, being Cornish, was born west of the River Tamar.

While some caving clubs want apart from their subs,
Some species of qualification,
There is one caving clique that is really unique,
And insists on you having relations.

If related to Thompson your progress just romps on,
If membership you should solicit,
And if George was the name it would be just the same,
Acceptance to be more explicit.

If you're called Casteret you can just sneak away,
Whatever your titles to fame are,
For if entry you've planned to this exclusive band,
You must be born west of the Tamar.

But if your name is Causer there'd be scarcely a pause or,
A hitch in arrangements to greet you,
If to Ellis your kin you'd be welcomed right in,
With everyone wanting to meet you.

Now if your name is Davis, permission to cave is,
Your right, as for Luckwell or Fowler,
And you might just squeeze in though your chances are thin,
If you were related to Towler.

You can bottom each pot, every rift crack and grot,
You may know every cave to perfection,
But if entry you've planned to this exclusive band,
You must, have a family connection.

So take a good luck at the caving stud book,
And see what page your name is kept on,
And if its not there, then I really don't care,
For your chances of joining the Shepton.

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