River Usk 1996

River Usk, Wales, Autumn 1996

MATTHEW 2: The flight into Dyfed (and back again)

The faff was made of the village of Cwmdu and the river of Usk, in Powys, during the reign of President Burgess.

At about that time some canoeists from southern lands arrived in Cwmdu, asking “Where is this mighty river? For we have heard of its glory in far-off southern lands, and have come to paddle it.”

Many members were deeply disturbed by their question, and all of the elders were filled with dismay. They called a meeting of the leaders.

“Did the guides tell them where this river was to be found?” they asked.

“Yes, in Powys,” they said, “for this is what the great guide Storey wrote: ‘O little river of Usk, you are not merely an unimportant welsh stream, for a faff shall rise from you to embarrass thy people!'”

Then Burgess sent a private message to the committee, asking them to come and see him; at this meeting he discovered from them how to find this stream. Then he told them, “go to Powys and search for this stream. And when you find it, come back and tell me so I can go and paddle it too.”

After this interview, the guides set out again. And lo! The river appeared to them again. Their joy knew no bounds!

Entering the water, they gave it gifts of lemmings. Then they opened their purses and purchased refreshments. But when they tried to return to their home, they did not go toward Abergavenny to report to the great guide, for they have been in a dream when the elders had told them the way.

After they were gone, a great notion descended upon the elders, saying “let us get up and flee to Cwmdu via the market place, and stay there until the others arrive.” That same night they left for Cwmdu and stayed there until the others returned much later.

The driver of the scribes was concerned when he failed to recognise the path they followed. Sending a messenger to Bethlehem, he ordered that directions to Cwmdu be found.

Screams of anguish were heard from Cwmdu as one of the party entered the hall through a small aperture; Rachael weeping for her bruises – for they were many.

When the navigator found a local inn, he was told “ye, this is the way to Cwmdu,” and told him, “carry on, for those who seek the place shall find it yonder!”

So they carried on to Cwmdu with the scribes. But upon their advent they were frightened to learn that there was no room for a hall in the village. Thenceforth the navigator went from door to door, and found a babe living in a cottage, in this village of Cwmdu, in Dyfed. Then, after further consultations with the scribes, they were warned in a dream not to go to Swansea, and went instead to an inn at Llandeilo. This fulfilled the prediction of the guide: “for a faff shall rise from you.”

3 While they were in the inn, the multitude began preaching in the Welsh tongue. Their constant theme was, “turn from your heading… turn to Brecon… for the nature of you faff will soon show itself to you.” The driver made haste seeking a messenger and spake thus to his friend in far-off southern lands: “we are lost in Dyfed, and wish to contact the great guide Shorey, for the elders shall doubtless have become sorrowful at our absence. We must prepare our vehicle to convey ourselves – and return to whence we hath walked.”

Shorey’s clothing was woven from sheep’s hair and he wore a leather belt. His food was toasted bread and cheese. People from far-off southern lands went out into the wilderness to hear him preach, and when they confessed their swims, he baptized them in a river of tales.

Thus the scribes discovered the nature of their wrongdoings, and made haste to Brecon at elevated speed. And thence to the domicile of the elders, the village of Cwmdu, in Powys, in which place they found a multitude, saying “did’st we not tell you of the direction to follow?” and with them imbibing a glorious plethora of intoxicating liquors.

Andy’s Newer Testament

River Dee tour 1996

River Dee tour, Wales, October 1996

It takes just a few words to describe this tour.Mud, Mud and More Mud. Yes you have guessed it, it was muddy.

However we still managed to get a couple of days paddling in and a great party on the Saturday Night. The river was nice with lots of great swims down it and as for the party. Well in usual SUCC tradition we drunk all other uni’s under the table – NOT!!!

A great trip, loads of socialising and some great swims.

Lakes 1996

Lake District, Cumbria, 1-3 March 1996

At last we finally made it to the Lakes! Our first attempt a few weeks earlier had to be aborted at a late stage as the weather turned for the worst… Jack was spotted on the telly getting stuck in the snow, and this kind of put us off! I’m told by the few who braved the drifts that the rivers were storming that weekend.

Here’s some advice for anyone planning to paddle in the Lakes in March… DON’T GO!! It appears that the worthiness of the rivers is inversely proportional to the quality of the weather. We had almost blazing sunshine on Saturday, so you can probably work out from GCSE Maths what the Duddon was like. Scrapescrapescrape was the general situation until we arrived at the pseudo-big drop under the bridge (sorry, the name escapes me!) where Rachael pinned her Invader between two big pointy rocks and capsized upstream. At least three swimmers ensued. More scraping of expensive plastic took us to the get out. The best thing about this river is how you get to it from Ambleside… Wrynose Pass runs straight through some of the most stunning landscapes I’ve seen for, oh, at least since Scotland last year. And SUCC of course found ample excuse for an impromptu snowball fight at the top!

I’m not even going to mention the Cr*ke. It’ll bore you too much!!!

River Dee tour 1995

River Dee tour, Wales, November 1995

The weekend of the 18 November saw SUCC forgetting all about those essays due in this week and shooting off to N Wales, to join the throng of hardened and not-so-hardened canoeists throwing themselves down this rather coool river.

Saturday morning was really cool (and cold too), due in bulk to the fact that the bus arrived after closing time and we made it onto the river dead early before everyone else arrived and spoiled our fun by crowding it out (whingewhinge… let’s be more sensible next year, eh folks? It’s more fun for everyone if you aren’t going to land on someone trying to fight their way into the playhole!) The looping pool just above Nomads was, er… looping nicely, with plenty of quality piroettes from Facey, Andy W, Nev, Joe and everyone else really. Helen gave a noble demonstration of how to go fishing for rocks with your forehead, giving Dawn an opportunity to show off her first aid skills and the nurse at Wrexham Hospital some steri-strip-sticking practice. Bandages became a fashion item this weekend…

Woolacombe 1994

Woolacombe surf, Devon, October 1994

This was without a doubt the most Succesful trip of the Year, The trip was aimed at freshers mainly, and they turned up in abundance. The Surf was pretty abysmal. When we looked at Croyde it was absolutely flat, so we went to Woolacombe, It was very small surf 3-4 inches, but it was excellent conditions for teaching. Saturday night, we had to get out the hall by 7 O’clock because of the Bingo, so we all disappeared off to the Mariners Arms, for a Pub Quiz. The main entertainment for the evening was provided by Facey and Rachael. After drinking 5 pints, and then going around all the tables and drinking all the dreggs, Facey ended up on the winning team, and he managed to drink most of the prize: A bottle of wine. At Closing time, he ran out of the pub giggling, When he eventually got back to the hall, certain people thought that it would be a good idea to make him chunder, so that he got it out of his system, People tried to give him warm salt water to drink, he refused, and while doing so, he pushed the mug back into Robin Kellets face, chipping his tooth! Not exactly his best ever Succ weekend, as he also had his car vandalised, and he was meant to be going abroad in the next few days, but it had to be put off due to his dental problem. Meanwhile… in the main hall, we had a cake decorating contest. Involving Sponge cakes, and Squirty Cream and Custard. As the cakes were being judged, Rachael decided it would be a good idea to flatten all the cakes by slapping them, this triggered off the most horrific food fight ever known in Succ’s history, and as usual Alex was at the revieving end of most of it! We had barely managed to clean up the hall when the Hall’s caretaker came in to have a chat. Phew! ( Note: Even though Rachel caused the food fight, she did more than her share of cleaning up.) On the way back to Southampton, we had a slight detour via Simon’s house, so that he could see his mummy. (Nice Cake Mrs. Denman)