In Memoriam – Derek Seddon
By Jim Gregson
KMC members of long standing will be very sad to learn of the recent death of Derek Seddon, who joined the Club as far back as 1948. He served the Club for many years as a committee member, a very conscientious Secretary, and later Vice-President and President. Derek was also a pivotal figure in the search for and eventual purchase of our splendid hut, Ty Powdwr. Although not really a rock climber in the first rank Derek was an all-rounder but with a particular penchant for those incredibly demanding and arduous long-distance walks which have a strange appeal for members of northern climbing clubs. The pages of the KMC 50th Anniversary Journal contain a number of excerpts from newsletters which describe such outings as the classic Marsden to Edale walk, the Colne-Rowsley, the Four Inns and the Scottish 4,000s all of which Derek completed. On the Scottish 4s Derek accompanied Bowden and Millie Black (the first lady to complete this huge trek) going from west to east in a time of 54 hours for the 95 miles + 16,500 feet of ascent and descent. (At the same time a second KMC party of 3 also did the route from east to west which is thought to have been the first crossing in that direction)
Time in Derek's company was usually guaranteed to be full of humour and wide-ranging conversation, often studded with hilarious tales about events from the early years of the KMC. He was always a keen supporter of Club meets and other events. For many years after his retirement he was a key figure in the activities of "The Thursday Club", a group of older members who rain or shine went out every Thursday to walk in the hills and on the moors. Regrettably Derek had to eventually give this up as a medical condition began to seriously affect his balance. Later he had further medical problems which meant that he was unable to continue with what had been a lifetime of KMC activity.
The photographs with this notice will hopefully remind those of us who knew him for so long of a fine friend and companion on so many KMC ventures. (The KMC website holds a selection of Derek's own photographs from the early years of the KMC which show more of the collection of characters who have graced the membership over the years). Derek's role and contribution to KMC history marks him as one of our most illustrious fellow hill and mountain aficionados. His passing leaves a sizeable hole in our ranks, but he will for a long time fill a big compartment among our favourite memories.
RIP, old friend.
24 August 2017