Trust’s firm hold on Blencathra

[ 0 ] April 26, 2017

Category: News, Notebook

Everest mountaineer Doug Scott (second left) address the opening of the Mountain Heritage Trust archive with (left to right) the BMC’s deputy CEO Nick Colton, poet Phil Houghton, and MHT chairman Jeff Ford (photo courtesy Terry Abraham)

Everest mountaineer Doug Scott (second left) address the opening of the Mountain Heritage Trust archive with (left to right) the BMC’s deputy CEO Nick Colton, poet Phil Houghton, and MHT chairman Jeff Ford (photo courtesy Terry Abraham)

The Mountain Heritage Trust has moved into a new home at the Field Studies Council’s Blencathra Centre near Threlkeld. The trust has moved into an office at the centre, where new archive has also been created to house a unique collection of artifacts that represent every period of Britain’s mountaineering history.

The archive includes collections donated by Sir Chris Bonington, journals, letters and carefully restored equipment donated by the family of Everest climber Joe Tasker, and the original glass plate camera owned by pioneering Lake District photographer G. P. Abraham of Keswick. Other collections are due to be passed to the trust as it gets established in its new home.

The great and the good from the worlds of mountaineering and outdoor studies gathered for the sun-blessed opening ceremony. They included MHT vice chairman Doug Scott CBE, FSC president Tim Burt, elite mountaineers Alan Hinkes and Nigel Vardy, MHT patron and artist John Innerdale, British Mountaineering Council deputy CEO Nick Colton, and representatives from the Fell and Rock Climbing Club. Lakeland poet Phil Houghton read out his poem ‘Piton’, composed for the occasion, and paintings by Blencathra artist Sue Foster were displayed.

Addressing the gathering, Doug Scott said the archive would be an important resource from which a new generation of climbers trained on indoor walls could learn of the activity’s outdoor roots and its rich history among Britain’s mountains.

Trust chairman Jeff Ford said the move to Blencathra Centre from a temporary base at Penrith Station – which had lasted eleven years – was made at suggestion of Penrith MP Rory Stewart.

An extract from Piton, by Phil Houghton:

Home
on the mountain
its racks and shelves
compress stratum of endeavour contain
thousands of feet
metres
of peaks
conquered
by them
– the household-names
of a Nation’s pride
its people, in their daily toil
each, their own “mountain
to climb”, yet
through them – a celebration of heroes
taking on explorations
conquests, on our behalf
– All are “mountaineers”, by proxy …

Leave a Reply