ABOUT THE GSG
The Grampian Speleological Group was formed in 1961 and is the oldest and largest caving club in Scotland. Its members have discovered and extended caves all over Scotland and the British Isles - a process that continues today. Further afield, members have participated in expeditions from Austria to Equador to Hawaii to Zimbabwe, and caved on all continents - except perhaps Antarctica.
Regular Watering Hole
Members meet every Tuesday evening in Leslie's Bar (45-47 Ratcliffe Terrace, Edinburgh) from about 8:30.
There are frequent buses from Princes Street that run along Nicholson Street and Clerk Street and drop you at Minto Street, a 4 minute walk from the pub. See the Lothian Buses website for schedules.
There are four main areas for caving in Scotland. See the map of Scotland for more details.
The Group publishes a list of forthcoming caving meets. Many caves in the main English and Welsh caving areas require booking well in advance, and these will appear in the Meets List. Other caves do not need booking and trips may be arranged at short notice. This applies particularly to Scottish caves. Anyone keen to go caving should contact the Group and check what the latest plans are. Either phone the Caving Secretary or contact us at the Cambridge Bar on Tuesday evening.
The Group runs a Field Hut in Elphin, Sutherland. It is ideally situated in the middle of Scotland's best caving area - Assynt. This is equipped with crockery, fridge, heater and light. Its best asset is te view of Canisp, Suilven and Cul Mor through the kitchen window. We have recently bought a site half a mile north which is an old croft has that we have renovated and extended. This is intended to be far more luxurious with electricity and running water amongst other novelties. The Elphin Caving Centre is now open.
Anyone can apply for membership, though we like to see new recruits underground with us before they part with their money. If you've never caved before then have a read of the information on the Try Caving website. The annual subscription is 17 pounds for a full member, 22 pounds for joint membership with 5 pound reduction for students, unemployed and retired members. Added to that will be any fees due to the national governing body BCA to cover insurance. Ask any committee member for a form.
The GSG publishes the GSG Bulletin twice a year and Newsletters every two to three months as required, both of which are free to members.
Over the years the GSG has been responsible for producing several cave guides to Scottish caving areas. The latest glossy publication, with full colour cover is Caves of Assynt. Also available, though in monochrome, is the Grampian Caving Manual. Photocopies of ealier out-of-print publications such as the Appin Cave Guide, the Caves of Schichallion, and the Caving Songs of Mendip may also be available.
Other publications authored by members include Scotland Underground by Alan Jeffreys (Oldham 1984) and the Southern Highlands (Salvona/Young 1988). Articles in both the caving and popular press also testify to the activity of the Group.
An article Biochemistry for Cavers, written by a GSG member, is available on-line.
|Caves of Skye||£6.00||£7.50|
Caves of Assynt
(few copies remain)
|£5.00||Reserved for members|
|QRA Assynt and Coigach Field Guide||£10.00||£12.00|
|The Southern Highlands||£1.20||£1.50|
|Caves of Schichallion *||£3.00||£4.00|
|Appin Cave Guide *||£1.50||£2.00|
|Caving Songs of Mendip||£3.00||£4.00|
|Buddy reading (Caving in Couplets)||£2.00||£2.50|
|Publications marked * are supplied as photocopies as the original is out of print.|
|ANUSC T-shirt (black XL)||£10.00||£10.00|
|GSG Bulletin index 1963-1988||Free if you send a 3.5inch disc with return postage.|
|GSG Library catalogue 1997|
All of the above can be ordered (postage is extra) from the address at the bottom of the page.
The club library is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe (north of Hadrian's Wall!) with several thousand items. These cover all aspects of caving in all parts of the world. There is also an extensive collection of photographs and transparencies, and a collection of caving videos (VHS) is gradually being built up. Most items are available on loan to members. The library catalogue is available for browsing.
Many members of the GSG are also members of the Scottish Cave Rescue Organisation (SCRO), and both founded it and provide most of the volunteers. The SCRO holds regular rescue practices from both caves and mines. Some of these are joint exercises with the local Mountain Rescue Team in Assynt. In contrast to the Yorkshire CRO who average one call-out per fortnight, the SCRO averages less than one per year. We encourage members to volunteer. Who knows, they could need assistance themselves one day.
To contact the club you may send e-mail to an address below, or write to: Alan Jeffreys, 8 Scone Gardens, Edinburgh, EH8 7DQ. Scotland.
Some GSG songs are now on the GSG Songs page.