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YRC Committee. (1908) Proceedings of the Club. Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Journal Volume 2 Number 8: pp315-325. Leeds: YRC.

Proceedings Of The Club.

Club Proceedings, 1905-1906.

The Annual General Meeting was held at the Club Rooms on 23rd October 1906, when the Committee presented their 14th Annual Report. The Club then consisted of 9 Honorary and 91 Ordinary Members, being an increase of 8 Ordinary Members during the preceding twelve months.

During the year 6 General and 10 Committee Meetings were held. Six Lectures were given as follows :-

1905 -

November 22nd, "Speleology," by Mons. E. A. Martel, in the Philosophical Hall, Leeds.
December 12th. Club Evening. Short Papers.

1906 -

January 16th. "Over the Hills and Far Away," by Mr. W. Cecil Slingsby.
1 February 13th. "Climbing in France," by Mr. W. P. Haskett-Smith, in the Philosophical Hall, Leeds.
February 27th. "A Trip to Jamaica," by Mr. James Backhouse.
March 13th. "Old Climbs Re-visited," by Rev. L. S. Calvert.

The attendance at the Lectures was well sustained.

On 22nd November 1905, the Club was honoured by a visit from M. Martel, who gave a most delightful lecture on European Caves,[1] illustrated by a large number of slides of Subterranean Scenery. M. Martel enjoys a world-wide reputation as an enthusiastic and intrepid explorer of caves and pot-holes, and by coming over from Paris to visit us he paid the Club a graceful compliment, which he has further emphasized by allowing himself to be added to our list of Honorary Members.

Representatives of the Club were invited to attend the Annual Dinners of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, the Climbers' Club, and the Rucksack Club.

Two Club Meets were held during the year, the first at Whitsuntide, was devoted to the further exploration of Gaping Ghyll, when a large number of members attended to assist in the work entailed and to avail themselves of the opportunity to descend the pot-hole. The second was held on the 29th September at Chapel-le-Dale, and was well attended. The success of the Meets this year was greatly enhanced by the delightful weather.

At the request of the National Trust, the Club, in cooperation with other Leeds Societies, appealed for subscriptions for the purchase of the Gowbarrow Park Estate, near Ullswater, which has now been secured for , the use of the nation.

At the instance of a Committee formed to erect a memorial to the late Mr. C. E. Mathews, the Yorkshire Ramblers were invited to join in the movement. A memorial has been placed at Chamonix by the Alpine Club, and the Climbers' Club and the Yorkshire Ramblers' Club intend to place a suitable memorial in the neighbourhood of Snowdon.


The Annual General Meeting was held at the Club Rooms on Tuesday 29th October 1907, when the Committee presented their 15th Annual Report.

The Club then consisted of 11 Honorary and 102 Ordinary Members, an increase of 2 Honorary and 11 Ordinary Members in the twelve months named.

During the year 7 General and 8 Committee Meetings were held. Six Lectures were given as follows:-

1906 -

October 30th. "Scrambles amongst the Alps," by Mr. Edward Whymper, in the Philosophical Hall, Leeds.
November 27th. Short Papers. "The South East Aréte of the Nesthorn from the Bel Alp," by Mr. Geo. T. Lowe, and "A Fine Record," by Mr. J. A. Green.
December 11th "Gaping Ghyll," by Mr. A. E. Horn.

1907 -

January 15th. "Rambles and Scrambles in the English Lake District," by Mr. Claude E. Benson.
February 9th. Annual Club Dinner.
February 12th. "The Development of Yorkshire Rivers and Hills," by Professor Kendall.
March 26th. "Barbary and Spain." by Mr. John J. Brigg.

The Lectures were again well attended. Our old friend Mr. Edward Whymper was good enough to give us a delightful lecture entitled "Scrambles amongst the Alps" on 30th October 1906. Mr. Whymper's Lecture, illustrated by a series of extremely interesting lantern slides, was greatly enjoyed by a large audience of members and their friends. It is pleasant to remember that Mr. Whymper allowed himself to be elected our first Honorary Member in 1893, and the Club is indebted to him for many acts of kindness during the years that have elapsed since his election.

The Committee acknowledged gifts of books, journals, &c. to the Club Library, and invited members to make greater use of the Library and where possible to make additions to it. Representatives of the Club were invited to attend the Annual Dinners of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, the Climbers' Club and the Rucksack Club.

The Annual Club Meet was held on 5th October 1907, at Reeth-in-Swaledale. Unfortunately, Reeth, which is an excellent centre for dale and fell rambling, though not for pot-holing, is somewhat difficult of access, and the meet was not very numerously attended. It is increasingly difficult for the Committee to find fresh and suitable places for the Club Meets unless the members are able and willing to prolong their visit. An extension of the meets from Saturday to Monday night would make it possible for the members to go into many desirable districts hitherto unvisited by the Club, and the Committee hope the members will make an effort to support them in their attempts, to increase the scope and interest of these Meets.

The fifth Annual Club Dinner was held at the Hotel Metropole, Leeds, on the 9th February, 1907. The President, the Rev. L. S. Calvert, was in the chair, and fifty-five members and friends were present. Amongst the guests were Vice-Chancellor Hopkinson, of the Victoria University of Manchester, Mr. F. S. Goggs of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, Dr. Taylor of the Climbers' Club, and Mr. L. J. Oppenheimer of the Rucksack Club. The Dinner was followed by some excellent and amusing speeches and an admirably arranged musical programme. Vice-Chancellor Hopkinson who proposed the toast of the Yorkshire Ramblers' Club in a speech of great charm and interest, was enthusiastically elected an Honorary Member. He said:-

"I have a toast to propose which, in every assembly of self-respecting Englishmen, is received with enthusiasm - I mean, 'Ourselves.'

You will observe that, if I may not be accustomed to public speaking at all events I am accustomed to hearing public speaking and after-dinner speeches, because this is the way they begin: by making excuses for being there at all, and for speaking.

With regard to the first, I do not know that I can claim to be myself a rambler, but I daresay, in the course of the remarks I shall have the privilege of addressing to you, you will find that I am amply qualified for a rambler. Rambling has been defined as going from place to place without object, and my qualifications to be a rambler in that sense will be apparent before I sit down.

Now I must make a confession. I really ought not to be proposing this toast, except on this ground: I cannot claim to be a Yorkshireman, but I am half a Yorkshireman, and second to none for love of Yorkshiremen. I cannot qualify on any other ground. I am more or less fond of climbing, but I have done none of those fancy things one reads of in journals. Over the lower pitch of the Devil's Kitchen is quite sufficient for me, at my time of life, or even Deep Ghyll, I entering from the easy way. I don't know what sort of thing you do now, but that is my level. In a year or two I shall perhaps be progressing to something else.

Now I have another confession to make. Your Secretary kindly sent me your Journal, but when I would have read it today I found that I had left my glasses at home, and without them I could not read it - could hardly decipher a word.

I have merely, therefore, had an opportunity of looking at the pictures, and recalling some pleasant occasions when, enjoying the experience of such an experienced cragsman as Mr. J. W. Robinson one found various ways on the Pillar Rock interesting and occasionally exciting. Reading the large lines of some of the headings, I find that the club has been devoting a good deal of attention to those districts which go a considerable distance below the ordinary level. It struck me that there was a good motto you might now take for your club, and I suggest that it should appear in future editions of your Journal. It is this line: 'Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.' I daresay most of you will be familar with the motto, which means, 'If we cannot get to the top of Ruwenzori we will stir the puddles at the bottom of Gaping Ghyll Hole.'

But as I cannot be a climber except of what I might call 'fair middling kind of second class' - there is one thing in which I think I can join heartily with the most enthusiastic one here, and that is, love for your county of York. I think sometimes that we look perhaps too much on climbing from the gymnastic point of view. I do not mean to say there is not a great amount of advantage in that kind of strenuous work, which tightens up the nerves and muscles and makes you feel stronger, more vigorous, and more fearless. But the thing which binds us together most of all, however, is the love of the kind of scenery which you have in Yorkshire, and also the investigations into the archæology and into the history of the county which is so interesting and brilliant.

We picture ourselves far away in the North-West, where the turbulent water comes in flood, boiling over Caldron Snout, or where the Tees takes its plunge from the upper moorlands to the finest waterfall in England.

On the historical side there is the Minster of York, its noble towers rising from the broad agricultural plain of York. Or, again, we do not forget that you in Yorkshire claim perhaps   the most interesting, historically, of all the monastic monuments of England, in the most beautiful Abbey of Hilda, I which looks out upon the northern sea. Amongst your architectural glories also is the beautiful Abbey of Fountains, amongst the groves of the park which surrounds it. Perhaps best and most interesting of all, in its picturesque beauty, is Bolton's old monastic pile. Leaving the ecclesiastical buildings, I do not know that throughout England there is any old tower or old castle of more surpassing interest than Bolton Castle, in Wensleydale.

Speaking for myself, I know you will pardon me if I feel enthusiastic about this county of York and its scenery. I was born in a city on the other side of the Pennines, which has its virtues, but we can hardly say that the beauties of nature are the strongest amongst them. I remember well that my first taste of the joys of country life was by the side of the infant Aire, not very far from Malham. My greatest delight in childhood was to paddle in the Aire between Airton and Malham, or to learn to swim in the river. And for my part, I am rather sorry to think that some of those districts have changed. When I was a boy, it would seem extremely probable that there would be a nymph in the pool at the bottom of Janet's Cave. I do not say that I ever saw one there, but it would have been an exceedingly suitable place for one, fashioned in the costume that an artist would have assumed for her. Now, the motor car, with its smell, its dust, and its noise, is there, and the brake and the char-a-banc; and the quiet solitude of Janet's Cave is gone, and for ever; and in the presence of the motor car it is necessary to consider the proprieties of life, and no longer is one able to take a plunge in that pool.

Speaking of motor cars reminds me of a story, in which the motor car was used to point the moral and adorn a tale of religious instruction which is still given in some of the schools I believe, though I am not quite sure. I do not know whether that is so on this side of the hills, but I am told there are schools in Lancashire where religious instruction is given. The story is of a child who was asked what was meant by "the quick and the dead." The answer was: "The quick is those that can get out of the way of the motor car, and the dead is those that doesn't."

There are few points of the country that I have not wandered over with delight. I think that is a pleasure that becomes keener the longer you live, although it might not be stronger with regard to particular scenes. There may be scenes which impress you more in childhood than in after life; but as you get older your tastes get wider and more catholic. I do not think that even as a little child I could take an intenser delight than I now feel in the gorse-covered downs that lie above the cliffs along the side of the East Riding of Yorkshire. I do not think that with all the enthusiasm of youth one could take a keener pleasure in the red roofs that nestle in the cliffs of Robin Hood's Bay. One loves as much as ever the beautiful hills that border the valley of the Swale; more than ever appreciates the picturesqueness of the town of Richmond. I think one still may feel that the wilds of Wharfedale are as beautiful as ever they were in one of the earliest days.

I am quite sure that throughout the whole of the lands that we may wander over - whether it be in the more striking beauties of the Alps, the Wilder glories of Norway, or the more brilliant climate and the softer beauties of the hills of Greece - there is nothing that one can turn to with more abiding love than the various forms of beauty which are expressed in the different scenery of the County of York.

As Ramblers I am glad of having the opportunity of meeting you to-night. The interest you feel in nature, and the discoveries with, which your society has been connected, give me an interest not only in your county, but in you. I wish prosperity to your club, feeling assured that here you are uniting to a common love of nature a common joy in the active purposes of mountaineering and of walking, and the joys which come from the hearty good fellowship of those who meet together for common delights. I give you the "Yorkshire Ramblers' Club," coupling with it the name of the President."

The President, in responding, said:

"It is my experience that at club meetings of this kind there has been one invariable rule, which is that, apart from the Royal toasts, the first toast has always been entrusted to the President of the club, and not until to-night did I find the reason for this.

In listening to Vice-Chancellor Hopkinson's charming speech - which, I am sure, we are all delighted with, because it has been somewhat out of the usual round of the speeches we have had on similar occasions - I see the reason why the President should speak first, and that is that you do not wish to see the occupant of this chair, whom you have honoured by placing in that position, to be unduly humiliated by coming in a poor second.

Well, gentlemen, we have all listened with very great pleasure to all that Dr. Hopkinson has told us about our beautiful county. I know sometimes one may be too respectful of Yorkshire. It was only two or three months ago that I was down in Kent, and it was on the occasion of our disaster in cricket. Somebody said to me, "Yorkshire all out for so much." I said, "Good gracious, what is Yorkshire about? " Then a lady chimed in, "And I think it is what is Kent about?"  Yorkshire is not content with fancying itself equal, but it is always wanting to be on the top. I do know we fancy ourselves a good deal, but I think after hearing Dr. Hopkinson we shall be still more proud of this great county of Yorkshire.

Gentlemen, I cannot lay claim to any of the descriptive language that Dr. Hopkinson has used, but I must say a few words about this club of ours. We have increased in membership, yet, after all, membership is not the gauge of the strength of the club. In looking round, I cannot help seeing that there is an increase in the bonhomie and good fellowship that should be, after all, the great strength of any club.

From what Dr. Hopkinson has so kindly said about us, a stranger might think the Yorkshire Ramblers confine themselves to rambles in their own county, but I think we shall see that great things have been done by them outside the county, and outside England itself. We have Mr.Ullèn, who has been performing wonders in Norway. I do not care to mention the names in the presence of past masters of the Norwegian language - but you can read the account for yourselves in the Journal. Then we have great and new explorations in Gaping Ghyll, and a very charming lecture on that subject was given us a short time ago by Mr. Horn.

Other explorations of a different kind have been made in Scoska Cave, and last but not least I notice that our club has exercised great influence on the University of Cambridge, because, in the paper which was set for physical geography this year I notice in the most prominent position the question, "Define a Pot Hole? "  I venture to predict that on that paper the Yorkshire Ramblers would have scored full marks. All those things, of course, one can but glance at here. They are put down in detail in that excellent volume, the Journal. I think I shall not be unduly praising ourselves when I say that the Journal has had a marked influence in bringing this club of ours to greater notice before other clubs and the world at large, and I think you will agree with me when I say that the present number is in no way inferior to its predecessors. It strikes me as being full not only of very pleasant stories, so to speak - which are true - but it is a most instructive number. I am afraid, however, that in what I am saying I am only giving you dry-as-dust details, but my predecessor has unfortunately taken away all the bon-mots and I am left with nothing but dry facts. Our friend, Mr. Charles Edward Mathews, said,  "We don't want sense in these speeches, we want humour." Well, gentlemen, I am afraid a study of these points in the adjacent room has had a somewhat chastening effect on me tonight, and therefore I beg you will pardon any shortcoming in that respect. I fancy I can hear the sentiment which was voiced by a Yorkshireman not long ago when his counsel was making the best case he could for him in his defence. All the Yorkshireman said was, "He is a dreary beggar, is yon' "  Well, gentlemen, I am fully conscious of what you think - but happily, like the counsel, I cannot hear what is said.

We have been honoured, as you know, many times by the foremost climbers in the world, and by the greatest scholars, who have not thought it beneath them to come and give us most instructive lectures. Mr. Edward Whymper, Mr. Horace Walker, Mr. Charles Mathews (of honoured memory) have been with us at the festive board, and I am quite sure we are all the better for their happy words on many occasions, but I venture to think, gentlemen, that in no case have we been more indebted to a guest than we have been to-night to our genial friend Dr. Hopkinson.

Brilliant achievements, as you know, have not infrequently in times past been united to a love of the hills and mountains. I know we may flatter ourselves and hope that Dr. Hopkinson has thought this club of no insufficient merit to come here to join us to-night; but at the same time we must remember to whom we owe that presence, and that is to the influence of one who has been a member of the Yorkshire Ramblers from time immemorial. Mr. Cecil Slingsby has brought to our dinners more than one of these distinguished men, and fortunate is that club which enjoys his companionship and his fellowship. He has gone away from us for a bit - but after all is said and done, his chief interest is with the old Yorkshire Ramblers, and he cannot stay away from us. At this time of night, it is not for me to go on, being a dreary person, so I will conclude by saying to Dr. Hopkinson: We welcome you, sir, in the heartiest manner, and with our whole heart we thank you for your presence here to-night, and for the charming speech you have given us."

At this point, Mr. Lewis Moore proposed the election of Dr. Hopkinson as an honorary member of the club. So sudden a proposal, said Mr. Moore, was contrary to the constitution of the club; but he asked them to carry it with acclamation, and so identify Dr. Hopkinson more closely with the county for which he had such a genuine love.

The proposal was carried with great enthusiasm.

Responding to his election, Dr. Hopkinson said : "I wish to thank you most sincerely for the more than kind welcome you have given me, and for the high honour you have just conferred upon me by electing me an honorary member of your club. It is perfectly true that what first brought me here was an old friendship with a true friend and a generous companion, with whom it is always such a pleasure to go on any occasion. It is that friendship which brings me here, and it is new friendships which make me glad to continue here as one of your members."

Mr. A. Campbell, who next gave the toast of "Kindred Clubs," made amusing references to the Britisher's disposition to form clubs. The principal factors in the formation of such clubs as theirs were a common love of nature, and good fellowship; and never was it more necessary to have such clubs than in the present age of commercialism. They could look back to happy memories of their club life. He could not say much about the Alpine Club, except that they all regarded it with pious worship.

Speaking of the Scottish Mountaineering Club, Mr. Campbell mentioned that he had recently visited the north of Scotland. He enjoyed himself immensely, but his jaws were sore. It was the language - the names of the hills, that did it.

The Rucksack and other Clubs were spoken of in a friendly way.

The toast having been enthusiastically drunk, Mr. Goggs first responded on behalf of the Scottish Mountaineering Club. He said that it was not the first time that he had had the honour of being present at a Yorkshire Ramblers' Club Dinner, so he did not feel a stranger. He felt simply a climber amongst climbers. In the sport of climbing, there was a brotherhood and a freemasonry which was unknown, or not known to the same extent, in any other sport. He hoped that the kindly feeling which had existed between the two clubs would long continue.

Mr. W. Cecil Slingsby responded on behalf of the Alpine Club, of which, he mentioned, he had been a member for over a quarter of a century. About fifty years ago, a body of men met together who had climbed in the Alps, and they then formed the Alpine Club, which was the first club to recognise climbing as a great sport. In time, of course, the Alpine Club had a numerous progeny. The first born of truly British Mountaineering clubs was the Scottish Mountaineering Club. They had the very greatest sympathy with that club, and the Yorkshire club looked upon the Scottish Mountaineering Club as its elder sister. The second-born of British Clubs was the Cairngorm Club; the Yorkshire Ramblers' Club came next, and then the Climbers' Club. The good feeling existing between these clubs was all that could be desired, and he ventured to express the opinion that each one of the clubs had justified its existence a hundred times.

Fifty years ago, proceeded Mr. Slingsby, the only really recognised mountaineering playground was the Alps. The second playground was the Caucasus, and then in order the Andes, Norway, Skye, the Himalayas, New Zealand, the English Lake District, the Selkirks, and Wales. Finally it was discovered that the mountains of Scotland formed a fruitful field of discovery.

Prof. Clapham briefly proposed to the toast of "The Visitors."

Mr. L. J. Oppenheimer responded, and remarked that in the Yorkshire Ramblers' Club the Rucksack Club had a good ideal to aim for. He believed they had some of the Yorkshiremen's enthusiasm in the newer club, which was to follow the example of the former in producing a journal.

This concluded the toast list, and the gathering broke up shortly before eleven o'clock, after a most enjoyable evening.

The following Members have been elected since the issue of the last number of the Journal:-

Honorary Members.

Hopkinson, Alfred, K.C., M.A., B.C.L., L.L.D., Chancellor of the University, Manchester.
Martel.,E. A., 23, Rue d'Aumale, Paris.
Young, Geoffrey Winthrop, Stamford, Lincolnshire.

Ordinary Members.

Addyman, E. T. W., 9, Buckingham Mount, Headingley, Leeds.
Barran, Claude Roulston, Moor House, Headingley, Leeds.
Barstow, Frank H., Lynwood, Park Drive, Harrogate.
Botterill, Matthew, 122, Hyde Park Road, Leeds.
Buckley, James, 34, Cardigan Road, Headingley, Leeds.
Chappell, Lionel Sheard, 11, Grosvenor Terrace, Harrogate.
Greenwood, Walter H., 58, Queen's Road, Leeds.
Hepworth, Joseph, 19, Park Drive, Harrogate.
Ireland, Eric G., 8, Limedale Road, Moseley Hill, Liverpool.
Marshall, Rev. C. C., M.A., St. Chad's Vicarage, Far Headingley, Leeds.
Payne, Frank, Ashgate Cottage, Ashgate, near Chesterfield.
Roberts, Ernest Edward, M.A., Arran, Bagdale, Whitby.
Rule, Alexander, M.Sc., Ph.D.,110a, Hampton Road, Southport.
Wingfield, C. R. B., Onslow, Shrewsbury.

Re-elected Members.

Andrews, Edward, 8, Elmete Avenue, Roundhay, Leeds.
Leigh, Percy T., 6, Portland Crescent, Leeds.

Hard Knott Pinnacle, Eskdale.

The pinnacle mentioned in Mr. Percy Lund's paper, "Easter in Eskdale" (vide p. 22 of this volume of the Journal), as being high up on the W. face of Hard Knott was climbed on June 8th, 1908, by Messrs. Erik T. W. Addyman and Frank Barstow.

[1] This appears in the present number, see pp. 278 et seq.