The Crossword Centre Clue-Writing Competition

CCCWC May competition voters’ comments
Clue no. 31: Part of group that beheld erstwhile members

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A clue to ELDERS.
3 comments refer to this clue (from 3 competitors, 0 others)

Here is the text

Comments on the clue
1.Too many superfluous words in hidden fodder. Definition is ambiguous
2.'Beheld' sounds out of place
3.Surface makes no real sense to me