Annual Report

We're a small team, but work hard to ensuring British mountain heritage is preserved and accessed for all. Read below about what we've recently been up to.


2018 has been another busy year for the Mountain Heritage Trust with the opening of a new exhibition, attendance at events, continued partner working, the recruitment of new trustees and staff, along with significant acquisitions and numerous enquiries.

Accessions this year have included four significant collections: the Peter Boardman Collection, the Nat Allen Collection, the Dorothy Kellogg Collection and the Burgess Brothers Collection.

February saw the recruitment of two new trustees: Chris Martin (strategy) and Christine Renouf (HR/Office Management).

In March the Mercer’s company agreed to extend the Preservation Project until November 2018.  The project evaluation report was completed and sent in at the beginning of December. Underspend in the project amounted to £1800 but the Mercer’s company kindly agreed to us keeping the money to purchase more boxes, another dehumidifier for the store and more conservation materials.

In April, the first of several talks, part of the Royal Geographical Society’s North West Region Open Programme was held at the Blencathra centre. A joint project between MHT, RGS and FSC the talk by Mary-Ann Ochota FRGS considered the theme Explorers, Anthropologists and Tourists: what’s the difference?

May saw the opening of the Man and Mountain Exhibition celebrating the life of Chris Bonington at Keswick Museum. The exhibition, thirteen months in the making, was curated by Julie Summers and funded by a successful Heritage Lottery Bid.  It ran until 6 January 2019.

Charlotte McCarthy was recruited as the new Collections Manager of the MHT in June, covering Kelda Roe’s maternity leave (see Recruitment section for more information) and commenced work in July.

The second RGS/MHT/FSC talk was held at Blencathra on 25th July and centered on the Mallory/Irvine 1924 Expedition to Mount Everest showcasing archive materials from both the RGS and MHT collections. Forty seven people attended the talk which raised three hundred pounds for the Trust.

In July, an article written by the MHT Collection Manager [Kelda Roe] entitled Gwen Moffatt: Britain’s first female mountain guide appeared in the Special Repositories edition of the Archives and Records Association magazine.

Throughout the year the Trust has also worked to develop its collections taking in 56 new collections and individual objects. We have worked to promote access to the collections in our care by answering 129 enquiries and by supporting researchers and independent projects linked to mountain heritage. We have also been seen out and about promoting the Trust’s work at a range of events – from the British Mountaineering Council AGM, to the Kendal Mountain Festival in November.

December saw our volunteers begin work cataloguing and archiving the Ken Wilson collection after completing work on the papers of Pete Boardman. Work also began re-designing the website and Jonny travelled to the BMC in Manchester to begin looking ahead to a busy 2019 programme which includes the BMC's 75 year anniversary.

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