In 2023, Mountain Heritage Trust was on an upward trend with the Collections Manager a year into the role; the elevation of the Admin Assistant to Finance & Administration Assistant; the engagement of a Marketing & IT company and a new Chair established in the role. A pivotal moment in 2023 was the recruitment of eight enthusiastic new Trustees who came with a range of skills and experience. This all gave the Trust a better footing in moving forward after the difficult previous years post-Covid.
With updated strategic plans being put in place to restructure the Trust’s running, supported by a Trustee strategic group, meant there was light on the horizon for future success. Work began in putting plans together to raise the profile of the Trust in the wider world and show how important the heritage of British Mountaineering is. This also included plans for ways forward to seek funding to build the infrastructure at the MHT Blencathra base in Cumbria.
A large piece of work was completed by the Collections Manager in conducting an ‘audit’ of collections in the Blencathra archive building. With this initial phase audit completion, it highlights the significant items depicting the rich history of British Mountaineering which is cared for by MHT. With the help of some of the new trustees, the internal library collection of MHT books was re-ordered on their shelves to make the library more accessible. The other MHT library (Chorley Hopkinson book collection) donated to MHT still sits at the National Trust’s property at Allan Bank in Cumbria.
The Collections Manager also continued with the backlog of accessions that had built up over the previous years. A notable accession was Lord Hunt’s trunk (an early 20th century wooden trunk which belonged to Lord Hunt’s father Captain Cecil Edwin Hunt.) Whether this was used in the 1953 expedition is being researched. Another exciting donation to the Trust was the photographic archive of Ken Wilson, one of the most important figures in mountaineering publishing, both magazines and books. Taking in such accessions and establishing their provenance takes some time alongside the Collection Managers other tasks. Regular enquiries show a great interest in what the Trust is doing.
Once the new Trustee board are settled in, the future for developing MHT further with their help and experience, is very bright. 2024 should see some positive projects developed.
Please note that anyone looking at MHT on the Charity Commission website will see incorrect reporting that "we are overdue the last due report". This is due to technical issues when the CC moved to a system of 'my Charity Commission Account
You can download previous years annual reports by clicking below: