Climbers always reach new heights as Wolverhampton club celebrate year of platinum
Liaison Officer Dave Holland has been a member of the Wolverhampton Mountaineering Club since 1970, when he was 17.
The club began life as the YMCA Mountaineering Club in November 1951 after a meeting of over 30 people at the YMCA on Stafford Street.
As a child, David, now 67, always enjoyed going out and doing different activities and was a member of the Boy Scouts.
He recalled: “What interested me in joining the mountaineering club was doing outdoor activities with the scouts, but they didn’t really have the facilities at the time.
“I wanted to be able to experience the outdoors, walking in the mountains, so it was a good time to get into the club.
“I also wanted to be able to get away from the West Midlands and go to the mountains.”
The early days saw the club operate as part of the YMCA, but he made the decision to go their separate ways after members felt the YMCA was unlikely to fund the mountaineering section, even though memberships continued to go downhill. increase.
As a result, an extraordinary general meeting was held on December 7, 1953 and saw the club change its name to Wolverhampton Mountaineering Club.
Memberships at the time were 10 / – (50p) per year, 15 / – for joint husband and wife membership and 7/6 for junior membership, with the club based at the Walsall Street schools.
Over time the club started to lose members so made the decision to move meetings to the Giffard Arms on Victoria Street, starting a tradition of downtown pubs for meeting venues that continues today. .
David said when he joined the club they were meeting in a pub in Wolverhampton city center.
He added: “The pub is long gone now, but I remember going in and meeting everyone and finding that they were the kind of people who shared the same interests and hobbies.
“We would meet every Tuesday, usually with 20 to 40 people coming in, then going out on weekends to go up a hill somewhere.”
He also rented his first chalet in Dinas Mawddwy in North West Wales, Tyn-y-Ffordd, in 1955, another tradition he has kept to the present day, now owning Tal Y Braich in Deiniolen.
Over the years, the club have undertaken great climbs across the world, the largest being several members ascending the treacherous K2 in the Karakoram Range, the second highest mountain in the world and also the deadliest.
The club are still going strong after almost 70 years of racing, and for David the time has been some of the best of his life.
He said: “It started me on the mountaineering path and I have made a lot of friends over the years.
“The club has always been part of the community and is still going strong now if people want to go out and experience the mountains and the camaraderie.”