Annual Report 2014

Mountain Heritage Trust
The key role of the Mountain Heritage Trust (MHT) is to ensure that British mountaineering’s fascinating heritage is preserved.  Under our remit, artefacts, history and traditions are conserved, documented, made accessible and communicated to as wide an audience as possible.

MHT has continued to raise its profile during 2014 and encourage the public, as well as the mountaineering community, to understand the value of the work we do.  Most significantly, work on Keswick Museum and Art Gallery was completed and our first exhibition focussed on the first ascent of Central Buttress by Siegfried Herford and the subsequent effect of the First World War on the climbing community. The second exhibition marking the 60th Anniversary of the first ascent of Kangchenjunga and the first lightweight ascent in 1979, opens 14th May 2015.

Kangch in case

Our relationship with the National Trust continues to develop and MHT were involved in the ‘On the Edge’ Festival which was held at Sticklebarn, Langdale over a fabulous sunny weekend in July.  Of particular relevance was the Raven’s Pit event which saw Dave Birkett, Adam Hocking and James McHaffie swapping anecdotes and tall tales with Andy Kirkpatrick acting as Master of Ceremonies.

The Chorley Hopkinson Mountaineering Library, available to view in the Coleridge Room of Allan Bank, a National Trust property in Grasmere is proving popular with visitors. This significant mountaineering library is in a beautiful setting and the National Trust has employed Library Interns to help provide access to the collection when the house is open to the public.

In September MHT hosted its fourth Longlands Lecture, a biopic of Sandy Irvine, given by his great-niece, Julie Summers, which raised £1300 to add to our funds.

In October MHT held a successful dinner at the Law Society in London which saw Leo Houlding and Rebecca Stephens talking about their Everest experiences, which raised £18,600 and will help us to continue the valuable work we do and employ a part-time administrator.

Once again, MHT presented our ‘Show us Your Nuts’ event at Kendal Mountain Festival in November, which provided an opportunity to show off material from the collections. As ever, our archivist, Maxine Willett was on hand to answer questions and discuss issues.

On an archival level, Maxine continues to liaise with and advise archivists and librarians from climbing clubs such as the Alpine Club, Climbers’ Club, Fell & Rock Climbing Club, Pinnacle Club, Polaris Club and Rucksack Club. If any clubs require advice and guidance on capturing their history, either orally or in archive form, impartial advice is available from MHT Collections Manager and Archivist, Maxine Willett who has wide-ranging experience in all aspects of archive material, including oral history.

MHT welcomed new trustee Terry Tasker in March, whilst long term trustee Jim Lowther stepped down in September and Anna Van Oordt, in November.  We thank them both for their valued contributions. Finally, an enormous thanks goes to former Chair Julie Summers who has worked tirelessly to further our aims and was replaced in this capacity by former Trustee Jeff Ford. However, Julie will remain in touch by assisting with fund raising events and curatorial support. Other Trustees joining us in 2015 include former BMC President, Dr Charles Clarke.