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31 October 2010

The Alpine Club Winter Dinner 1910


Following on from my last post about what mountaineers eat when they dine, here is a lovely thing I picked up that shows exactly where everyone sat at one particular Alpine Club dinner in 1910. This seating plan came from a scrapbook created by the late Sir Locock who was an Alpine Club member. His place is marked by the red finger. It could take me years to research everybody on this list, but here is a taster of the VIPs who held club positions.


President: Hermann Woolley, Esq.


He held this position for one more year after this dinner and died 10 years later in 1920 at 74 years of age. He climbed in the Alps, the Canadian Rockies and the Caucasus (1880-1902). He did a number of first ascents and discovered the Columbia Glacier in the Rockies. He had a mountain named after him in 1898  - Mount Woolley in Alberta. He also took some great photographs. The one here sold for £1000.





Prof. J. Norman Collie

A great friend of Hermann, Norman Collie, aged 51 was Vice-President and sat at the head of one of the tables at this dinner. He was later to become President in 1920. He is said to be one of the greatest mountaineers of the early 1900s and was incredibly fit even though he was a heavy smoker. He has a climbing hold he cut called the Collie Step in Wales and he wrote many articles and a book called Climbing on the Himalaya and Other Mountain Ranges in 1902. Oh, and he also discovered neon gas and made the first practical applications of X-rays.


Capt. J.P. Farrar
Also Vice-President, Farrar was 53 at the time of the dinner and also sitting at the head of a table. He became President during WW1 (1917-1919) despite not writing any books or having mountains named after him. He did, however, complete almost every difficult climb and was well-known as one of the strongest alpinists. He was also part of the Mount Everest Committee that fund raised for Mallory's expedition.

J. J. Withers (Hon. Secretary)
He is the head of Sir Locock's table. There is little to be found on Withers. He did become President in 1932 but I think this was the second time he was president of something as I think he was also President of the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club in 1887.  He must have been one of those decent chaps from Cambridge as he was also in the rowing team in 1888!

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