Evening Lecture: Plum Worrall: Adventures.
Tue 6th Feb, 2018
A huge vote of thanks to John Rosenfield, who generously gave his time to talk to us about Plum Worrall, KMC founder member, following the publication of his new book:
Chasing Snowflakes: The life of the remarkable Norman Worrall known to the world as ‘PLUM’.
“Plum Worrall; He spent his early life among the Peak District hills, and his later years in the Cairngorm Mountains, with many trips to the great mountains of Europe in between. A skier, mountaineer, leader, teacher. In each of these he pursued the highest standards of excellence. A man whose cheerful and kind disposition inspired respect and affection in everyone who ever met him. We shall not see his like again. This is Plum’s story”
When John first contacted us, he joked about being snowed in, in his adopted home town of Aviemore. As it transpired, the snow in Glossop proved to be more of a hindrance to members; a number of people were unable to attend due to snow in the hills of the Peak.
It was a pleasure to hear about Plum’s various adventures around the globe during John’s enlightening lecture. Many members who knew Plum commented that they learnt new things about him. After the talk, members had a chance to speak to John about the artefacts brought with him and about his book. John was very glad to be able to speak to various elder members of the club in person, some of whom in fact feature in his biography of Plum. He has received some useful feedback since the publication of his book late last year, and also enjoyed looking at more photos of the KMC in the 1940s and 50s from Len Stubbs's collection in the archives at my house on Wednesday, and is already contemplating the possibility of a revised edition with an additional chapter of new information!
John Rosenfield kindly presented a number of items to Dave Shotton for the KMC archive after the talk:
1) Graeme Dingle 'Wall of Shadows: The New Zealand Jannu Adventure'. Foreword by Sir Edmund Hillary. Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland (NZ), 1976.
Account of the 1975 NZ expedition to climb the North Face of Jannu ( 8,586m a.k.a. Kumbhakarna), an outlier of Kangchenjunga in Eastern Nepal. Expedition members included former KMC members Pete Farrell and (as expedition doctor) Brian 'Trog' Fearnley. Expedition apparently overcame the difficulties of the North Face but failed to summit.
2) Laurence Fearnley 'The Hut Builder'. Penguin (NZ), Auckland (NZ), 2010.
Novel about a lover of wild places by the name of Boden Black (!) who builds a hut on the slopes of Mount Cook and climbs to the summit with Sir Edmund Hillary. Laurence Fearnley is the daughter (otherwise known as Jeni) of the abovementioned Brian 'Trog' Fearnley and his wife Wendy (née Swann - also a member of the KMC). John Rosenfield tells me he is still trying to find out if the choice of the hero's name is entirely coincidental!
Pete Farrell - KMC member 1955-73. Emigrated to NZ. Current details unclear.
Wendy (Swann) Fearnley - KMC member 1953-57. Lives in New Zealand.
Dr Brian Fearnley - KMC member 1953-73. Emigrated to NZ with Wendy. Passed away in the late 1990’s.
3) Menu Card: A copy of the menu card from Plum's presentation dinner in Aviemore in 1986 to mark his retirement as a ski instructor with the Scottish YHA. Plum was approaching 67 at the time of the dinner; his retirement from the SYHA was not entirely voluntary. However he went on to instruct, mainly for Interski in Courmayeur, for a further decade of winter seasons until 1996!
Missed out on the lecture? A video of the lecture will be available on Youtube soon.
Buy the Book:
Anyone wishing to purchase a copy of the book at a cost of £15 can do so by emailing John: firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendees: Alan Barber, Janice Barber, Neville McMillan, Roger Dyke, Dave Wavey, Chris Thickett, Peter Walker, Gwen Walker, Al Metelko, Alan (L) Jones, John Dobson, Dave Shotton, Pat Holt, David Somerfield, Christine Beeston, Paul Tongue, Bob Haynes, Duncan McDiarmid (guest of speaker), Emily Pitts (host), John Rosenfield (Speaker)
Plum Worrall was a KMC founder member. He led a fascinating life, firstly in the Peak District and then in Scotland.
Our speaker, John Rosenfield, a close friend of Plum, brings his freshly printed biography of Plum and a series of wonderful, heartwarming stories to share with KMC members at this early evening lecture. The lecture will be followed by a chance to speak to John in the relaxed and friendly environment of the MCC café.
Are you interested in adventure?
Have a passion for mountaineering history?
Love to see a photo of the first ever KMC annual dinner (in 1945!!)?
You must attend this lecture, where you can enjoy all of this and more, in the company of friendly current KMC members. If you're thinking of joining the club, this will be an excellent opportunity to meet members of all ages and to get a feel for the club, its history and where we are heading in the 21st century.
Venue: Manchester Climbing Centre Base Camp Room
Doors open: 6.15pm
Lecture start: 6:30pm
Lecture end/ informal discussions in Café: 7:45pm onwards
Tickets: £4 each
& pay on the door
John will be singing copies of his book on the night, so bring your copy or your wallet.