Generous, wise, kind, popular, wicked sense of humour, privilege to know and always smiling, were amongst the words and phrases frequently included in anecdotes at former CDG Chairman Bryan “Scoff” Schofield’s funeral service. When producing the tribute that begins this NL, his guidance would have been most welcome (again) but in his absence I hope we have got it right. The words written attempt to capture Scoff’s character without dwelling on his subterranean achievements. These are already chronicled and will be compiled and retold again shortly elsewhere. I cannot thank the authors of these pieces enough for writing such personal accounts of Scoff so soon after his passing; the challenge in doing so must have been significant. Scoff’s selflessness and genuine interest was apparent in all my dealings with him, most notably on a difficult diving rescue (and its aftermath), when he volunteered to fix my barely functional diving harness just a few months before he died, and for donating parts for a long-planned Scoff Bag.
This Newsletter includes a large variety of dive logs representing endeavours within the UK and overseas by cave divers from different backgrounds, demonstrating the breadth of CDG activity that Scoff sought to guide during his tenure as Chairman. Some of the reports have been submitted via the new CDG website – made possible by Steve Robinson, Christine Grosart, Matt Jenkinson, Dave Ryall, Scoff and Andrew Ward who have enhanced the CDG’s digital presence. In addition to Martyn Farr’s latest edition of The Darkness Beckons (p 32), CDG members have also made significant contributions to the recently published Northern Caves guide (Allshorn and Swire) and Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales Volume 2 (Waltham and Lowe) which complement the Northern Sump Index and which should interest those attending the AGM in Yorkshire in April.