Reference Number:
GB 3075 JWI
Photographs of Joe Williams
Two boxes (1 Regular and 1 oversize)
Creator Name 1:
Williams | Joseph Stewart
Biog/Admin History:
Joseph Stewart Williams was born in Whitehaven on 18th December 1918. Joe's father Alfred had inherited the family business of Williams' Ladies Outfitters in Duke Street, Whitehaven and Joe joined the family firm on leaving school in the 1930s. Joe's activities during the weekends involved climbing the Lakeland fells. On the outbreak of World War II, Joe joined the Border Regiment, seeing service in France during the early part of the war. In February 1942 Joe was transferred to R.E.M.E and posted to Singapore, having retrained as a radar technician. Weeks later Joe was captured by Japanese forces and forced to assist in building the infamous Burma Road. He survived his ordeal and following hospitalisation in Rangoon in 1945, was able to return to his home.

After a period of readjustment, Joe met and married Doreen Pearson of Ennerdale in January 1946, known as Doree to her friends. The newly married couple then took over the family business following the death of Alfred Williams in the autumn of that year. Joe continued to pursue his love of hiking and climbing and taking photographs became a new passion. Joe was involved with the Whitehaven Camera Club, being its President for many years.

In 1947 Joe received the Rock Climbing Guides Certificate, issued by the British Mountaineering Council, which was newly established in that year. Joe split his time between helping in the shop and guiding clients on their chosen routes. Joe and Doreen travelled to Scotland and Corsica, although Joe went alone to the Sierra Nevada, having been invited there by a client.

In 1972 Joe collaborated on a book with Frank Monkhouse 'Climber and Fellwalker in Lakeland'. Joe was a co-author and spent much time in research and the taking of photographs featured in the book.

Joe Williams died in Whitehaven in 1979.
Archival History:
The items were given to Mick Tighe by Doreen Williams, having been located in the attic of the family home.
Acquisition Source:
Donated by Mick Tighe 18.04.2007.
Accession Number:
Scope and Content:
one album and one box containing negatives of landscapes, portraits, pictorial and climbing images, 17 black and white photographic boards, predominantly climbing images, 13 scanned colour images of postcards and telegrams sent following Joe Williams release as a Prisoner of War, plus copy photograph of J.E.B.Wright.
Original arrangement maintained. Most negatives have been indexed by Joe Williams.
Access Conditions:
This collection is open for consultation. Readers are advised to contact the Mountain Heritage Trust in advance of their visit in order to make an appointment.
Related Material:
Some records of the Whitehaven Camera Club are held at Whitehaven Record Office, Cumbria. A copy of 'Climber and Fellwalker in Lakeland' is held in MHT Collections.
Description compiled by Maxine Willett, Archivist
Access Points:
Lake District
Rock climbing
Williams, Joseph Stewart
Related Entities:
Cambridge University: King's College Archive Centre
West Sussex Record Office
2008-04-04 00:00:00
M Willett