Rogue's Gallery

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Today I dropped by Ron Fawcett's house to pick up the second half of his autobiography, which I've been ghosting for him over the last few months. The poor man's fingers were bone white – he suffers from Raynaud's Syndrome – so we huddled round the fire for a chat about corrections and additions. One late source of information are the new routes books Phil Kelly is painstakingly scanning and putting online. His site is under construction, but with Phil's help I managed to get a look at the Stoney Middleton café books from the early and mid 1980s, the first of which was dubbed the Rogue's Gallery. I had forgotten how many route descriptions were disfigured by sarcastic remarks. Now we have the internet, such books are a thing of the past, and the comments are online. The reflex of nostalgia I felt was intense. My favourite nugget so far is seeing the description for Beau Geste, perhaps the most seminal gritstone route climbed in the 1980s, certainly the early 1980s. Woodward starts his description: 'Climbs the obscure and insignificant arete 20ft L of Holly Groove.' Sense of humour, that boy.

Posted by Ed Douglas at 3.45 PM