Sun 31st Mar, 2019

Archives Meet

Emily Pitts

Dave Shotton


Members: Mark Ashley, Alan Barber, Christine Beeston, Laura Bond, John Castick, Roger Dyke, Kate Harvey, Tim Howarth, Alan (L) Jones, Oi Ding Koy, Colin Maddison, Craig & Sue Marsden, Neville McMillan, Dan O’Brien, Emily Pitts, Peter Scholefield, Dave Shotton, Andy & Jo Stratford, Mary Stuart, Peter Walker, Dave Wylie (23)

Guests: Janis Barber, Yvonne Hägglund (2)

About two dozen members and friends joined Emily Pitts and Dave Shotton at Sedgley Park Rugby Club for an evening revisiting the history of the KMC as told through the KMC archives. This was despite a date clash with both Mothers’ Day and the BMC AGM in Buxton!

Arranged on various tables and display stands were a series of themed displays making use of such items as Newsletters, Journals, Handbooks, photos, newspaper cuttings, Annual Dinner menu cards, historical meet and hut logbooks, Committee minute books, correspondence and other documents, paperwork relating to the purchase and development of Ty Powdwr, published books, and some ‘period’ climbing equipment. This was a rare chance for members to examine at close hand the tangible, physical resources held within the KMC archives and to appreciate the breadth and scope of historical material which has been accumulated by various careful hands over the past 75 years! A creative timeline of key dates in the history of the Club was realised by means of labels pegged out on a thread of life spun (as if by the Fates of Ancient Greek myth) between display stands. The evening proceeded by means of open access to the materials on display, talks on various themes by Emily and Dave S with help from various others (in particular Andy Stratford and Alan (L) Jones), a break for food (home made by Emily and including some delicious cakes of course!) and hot beverages or drinks from the bar, some group photos organised by Emily, and more general discussion and questions, with the sharing of some Club memories.

The themes chosen were:

1. Post-war climbing (the early years of the KMC in the context of the post-WW2 period)

2. Newsletters, Journals and Handbooks

3. A sociable club (the social side of the club as shown by Annual Dinners etc)

4. Adventures (some of the Club’s mountain-related activities over the years)

5. KMC characters (just a few of the memorable names from Club history)

6. Huts (materials relating to Irish Row and Ty Powdwr)

7. Books (by or about KMC members)

8. Just like today (a few contentious items that seem to keep recurring at intervals!)

Dave highlighted the importance of the KMC Newsletter as a record of the Club’s life, and recommended the excellent selection of Newsletter articles which had already been made by Chris Thickett in his Anniversary Journals of 1994 and 2004 and which had often guided Dave in his own explorations of the archives. Members were able to examine Newsletters, photos and other materials dating right back to the very early years of the Club, which was of course founded towards the end of World War 2. Such materials gave a vivid picture of how the Club grew during its early years – although a time of post-war austerity, it soon became a period of rebuilding and optimism, with newly available equipment, expanding horizons and expectations for travel and leisure time, and widening employment opportunities, as recorded in lively detail in Newsletters of the time. The life of the Club has of course continued since then, with no shortage of adventures, characters, controversies and great accomplishments, all reflected in contemporary records.

The Handbooks also gave an invaluable insight into developments of equipment, communications and advertising, even though it was clear that the basic concept of the Handbook had remained remarkably consistent since the late 1940s!

Various people lent assistance with presentations during the evening. Andy Stratford read out a humorous short address by Bowden Black from the 9th Annual Dinner in 1954. Alan (L) Jones talked a little about his Gone But Not Forgotten project, which collects historical obituary articles and appreciations of past members of the club who are no longer with us. We also heard an extract from an audio recording of Len Stubbs talking about the early years of the club and the ultimate decision to name it the Karabiner Mountaineering Club.

Emily and Dave pointed out that one of the pleasures of delving into the archives is the occasional unexpected connection made between an artefact (such as a set of photos at an outdoor event with a caption identifying the rather ‘colourful’ Ernest Marples MP at a microphone, or a metal print block bearing the Club logo) and some document tucked away elsewhere explaining its background (such as the faded newspaper cutting about the 1961 Festival of Rambling in Edale attended by the very same Ernest Marples, or the note in the Committee minutes for 1946 recording an order for just such a ‘zinco’ print block). Similarly, perhaps an item of correspondence or a note in the minutes for a distant AGM or Committee Meeting will provide the background to a particular Constitutional amendment or Club custom still applicable today – Emily asked Dave to read out some correspondence explaining the origin of the continuing policy of not allowing university mountaineering clubs to use Ty Powdwr (an issue about which Dave revealed he did have a little additional knowledge).

The evening finished off with a general discussion and shared memories of the Club and historical aspects of the local walking and climbing environment, including the 1932 Kinder Trespass and its leading participants.

Thanks to:

- Tim Howarth and Laura Bond and Emily’s houseguest Yvonne for helping Dave and Emily set up

- Andy Stratford for his Annual Dinner speech reading

- Alan (L) Jones for his talk about the Gone But Not Forgotten project

- ‘Grumpy’ John from Sedgley Park Rugby Club who helped with arrangements on the evening in addition to serving drinks at the bar

- Paul Evans for allowing onscreen display of the draft version of his forthcoming booklet on KMC first ascents at the Roaches and Hen Cloud

- Chris Thickett for his excellent work on the 1994 and 2004 Journals which gave us a invaluable head start on themes and materials

- everyone who came along on the night!

Report by Dave Shotton



Dave Shotton



Meet Promo:

KMC has a tremendous history, with a great number of first ascents and achievements of members throughout its 75 years. 

Our 2019 '75 years of Mountaineering' event will take us on an adventure through a curated selection from the archive, viewable during the afternoon at your leisure, followed by an evening event where the story of this esteemed club will unfurl in image, written word and spoken word. 

Food and drinks will be served during the evening, with an opportunity for members of all ages and lengths of membership, along with friends & family, to meet, socialise and enjoy the company of fellow adventurers. 


Mark the date in your diary.



Emily Pitts



Meet Promo:

An Evening with the KMC Archive

'75 years of Mountaineering' 

Sunday 31st March 2019

Book by Fri 15th March

KMC has a tremendous history, with a great number of first ascents and achievements of members throughout its 75 years. 

Our 2019 '75 years of Mountaineering' event will take us on an adventure through a curated selection from the archive, viewable from 5.30pm at your leisure, followed by an evening event where the story of our esteemed club will unfurl in image, written word and spoken word. 

Over the last 18 months, Dave Shotton has been working diligently on a variety of aspects of the KMC archive. He and I hope to bring these images, diary entries and artefacts to life. Thanks to Dave for the work he has done and for helping to create this event.

Food & drinks will be served during the evening, with an opportunity for members of all ages and lengths of membership, along with friends & family, to meet, socialise and enjoy the company of fellow adventurers. 


Where: Sedgley Park Rugby Club

This venue is just 5 minutes’ drive from the M60 motorway network in Whitefield. There is ample parking and wheelchair access. There is a bar and the room is very comfortable.

Timings:

5.30 - 6.30pm:          Open Access to the archive, with drinks

6.30 - 7pm:                Welcome

7pm - 8pm:                The archive brought to life

8pm – 8.30:               Drinks & food break

8.30 - 9.30:                Talks, discussion and questions

9.30 - 10pm:              Close

Price:

The price of this event will cover food (including cake), tea/coffee and room hire costs at £17 per person. Please pay into the KMC Account or send a cheque to Emily Pitts. 

Who can come?

Anyone and everyone. Please invite new, old and lapsed members, friends, members of others clubs and family to take a trip down the KMC memory lane and see what the club used to be like from the 1940’s to the present day.

Book a place

Please book with Jared Kitchen direct no later than Friday 15th March by emailing meets@karabiner.org.

Want to get involved?

I’m looking for help with some of the logistics and delivery for this event. Please email me: hello@emilypitts.com if you can offer 4-6 hours of help during March or on the day of the archive event to help set up. Thank you.

Like most KMC members, I’m proud to be part of the club. It’s such a pleasure to read through meet reports, diary entries and other paraphernalia linked to the club and even more of a delight to be able to work with Dave on this event to share the archive for wider viewing.

I look forward to seeing you at the event, sharing your own memories and enjoying the archive alongside members new, old and in-between.

Emily Pitts



Emily Pitts



Meet Promo:



Emily Pitts







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Karabiner Mountaineering Club