Club History

The Wessex Mountaineering Club has a long history, dating back to when it was formed in 1961.

In the early 1960, to most young adults who were born during the Second Word War, a visit to North Wales would be an annual holiday and not just a fleeting weekend visit. A visit to the Alps would be out of the question. However, on 29th January 1961, 35 people met for the first club walk and the club was officially formed on 16th February.

A qualified Alpine guide, Walter Watson became its first president and Mark Hogg, the person to whom we were most indebted, became its secretary. By the end of 1961, a full programme of meets was in operation. Our motorway system was not fully operational and a drive to the Lake District could take up to ten hours. Rock climbing meets were exploratory and the only guide to most of the Cornish climbs could be found on the walls of a local pub! Nailed boots were on their way out and hemp climbing ropes were still being used.

The huts in North Wales were rather primitive and camp sites tended not to have many facilities. We explored the Cornish Cliffs, the Dewerstone and Stanage Edge for the first time.

In 1965 two members were the first of many in our club, to complete the Snowdon 3000 peaks challenge. Our Cornish Whitsun meet was always a great attraction with members bringing their young families to enjoy not only the climbing but the wonderful beaches too! This also led to a number of marriages between members!

Of our current membership only I can recall those days.

Jack Crewe

The photo albums below provide a visual history of the club.

[cws_gpp_albums_gphotos access=own theme=’grid’ results_page=’photos’ show_title=1 num_results=10]