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Bulletin

VIEWS: 19 PAGES: 8

									Bulletin
  Issue Number 2                                                                       April 2002


Club Hut Decision Looms




           At Special General Meeting — page 4
                          What is Red Rope ?                                            Also In This Issue
We are a socialist club for walkers, mountaineers and rock climbers                    +   RR’s New Training Officer Page
                                                                                                                      2
collectively organising day, weekend and week-long trips to mountains and the          +     The Lure of Lundy          3
                                                                                       +   Eco-Adventure Sports        2
countryside. All trips are aimed at providing for everyone, regardless of levels of    +     Freedom To Roam Guide       4
experience or income. We welcome people from all sections of the community and         +
                                                                                       +   Trip to North Devon
                                                                                             Nat.Mountaineering D.B.   35

aim to be non-sexist, non-racist and non-elitist in the way we organise, as well as    +
                                                                                       +     Not
                                                                                           Diary Noel in the Lakes     68
aiming to actively support child-carers. Please join us for a walk or climb sometime   +     Scotland Access             8
                                                                                       +   Who’s Who                   10
soon! (Joining form and trip form on back page)                                        +     Nine Days One Summer        9
                                                                                       +
                                                                                       +   Benny Rothman Tribute
                                                                                             Tirsuil West Expedition   11
                                                                                                                       11
Lookup Red Rope on the internet: www.redrope.org
National Trips 2003 on
Red Rope Comes                         Sweden last week in August first/               storage area. Angle poles
page 8                                 second week in September. I will                and extra guys added—
of Age on Internet
——————————                             be 59 years young and although                  £50.00
Red Rope members in                    fit travel @ 4 k.p.h.maximum as          +      Frame tent . Outer only—
Alps Fest                              loads can be heavy and days                     suit mess tent or checkpoint
                                       long, anyo ne interested                        for organised events—
There seems to be a deal of e n-       CONTACT                                         approx 10ft x 10ft.—£25
thusiasm this year amongst RR          Patrickasegan@hotmail.com                +      Camping gaz double burner
members for some Alpine acti v-        MOBILE 07903970602                              stove and 2x906 cylinders .
ity. Already about a dozen people      ——————————                                      Little used £ 30
have indicated that they would be      INTRODUCING                              +      Trespass ski suit, grey, me-
interested in joining a gathering a    RR’s New Training                               dium £40
Chamonix. Currently it looks like      Officer                                  +      Wet suit—long johns plus
the range of dates when some                                                           bolero top , red and blue,
people will be at the campsite in      We are pleased to                               small £40
Argentiere are the last two weeks      welcome Geoff                            +      Down-filled jacket, medium
of August and the first two weeks      Boyling from Ken-                               to large £20
of September. No booking is re-        dal onto the Na-                         Geoff adds:
quired for this event - just turn up   tional Committee                         RR Members may be interested
and join in - those coming so far      as our new Train-      Geoff Boyling —   to know about a shop in Winder-
                                                              Geoff asks: would
are of all abilities and aspirations   ing Officer.           you let this man
                                                                                mere that specialises in buying
range from PD to TD+, pure rock                               lead you over a   up bankrupt stock and selling it
                                                              mountain?
through to mixed and ice/snow          The plan is to have                      on a very low prices. This often
routes. There should be scope          skill-sharing and training opportu- includes reasonable quality walk-
for everyone. If the demand is         nities available (organised by           ing clothes.
great enough we may set up a           Geoff and members of the Tirsuli The Outdoor warehouse, 2 Victo-
Red Rope email circulation list to     North Wall Expedition Team) at ria Street, Windermere. Open 7
help with travel and climbing          the Joint Coventry/Leicester/            days a week. www.
plans.                                 National Committee weekend in outdoorwarehouse.co.uk
                                       Snowdonia July 5-7th. Organis- ————————
Colin Knowles colin.                   ers: Lizzie 024 76 444907/Adrian From: Pedro Botsaris :kyf@spray.se
                                                                                To: info@redrope.org.uk
knowles@bigfoot.com                    0116 29911362                            Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2002 1:35
—————————-                                                                    AM
Kungsleden Trail— Ca-                  New members of Red Rope may            Subject: international member
noeing Partner(s)                      be particularly interested in this     hi,
                                                                              My name is Pedro , i´m a climber from
Sought                                 weekend but anyone is welcome
                                                                              rio de janeiro/brazil.i´m going to london
                                       to let Geoff know what aspects of      on june(2002). I would like to know if the
Experienced backpacker pla n-          walking/climbing/navigating they       club accept international members.
ning to trek the Kungsleden            would like to study in more depth.     Want to meet people who climb and
                                                                              places to climb in uk.
(Kings Trail) and try some flat-
water wilderness canoeing in           Drop him a line at:14 Derwent          ____________________
                                       Drive, Kendal LA9 7PB 01539
                                       732729                                 Partners Sought for Mt.
                                       ——————————                             Kenya Ascent
                  Dead line            Cheap Gear in Winder-                  I’m looking for climbing partners for a 2-
                  for Next             mere                                   week trip to Kenya next December to at-
                                                                              tempt Mt. Kenya (5199m). Depart
                  Bulletin:                                                   approx 21 Dec; return 5th Jan 03. Nor-
                  20th July            For Sale from Geoff Boyling:           mal Route about AD to Difficile. Alpine
                  2002                                                        experience essential.
                  Jake Jackson         +     Lichfield Challenger 5 tent.     Contact Jake Jackson 0115 9143922 ;
                  Bulletin Editor                                             pjakejackson@hotmail.com
                                             Sleeps 4/5 with large cook-
                  (see Who’s Who                                 ing /
                  p. 10)

                                                    Page 2
RR Trip to North Devon
28 Dec 01—2 January 02

How It Happened That I
Believe in Fairies Again
We comfortable lodgings in a National
Trust hut. Daily fine weather to walk with
ever changing light. Sometimes red /
organge, other days green reflections in
the sea. When we finally had to leave
there was a subtle blue/ grey mist in the
air and all sorts of different tones of blue
could be seen. The Red Ropers were in
usual good spirits and the cooking and
cleaning was shared as always with the
help of little glasses of wine.
On New Years Evening, “Sylvester” , as I
called it to the amazement and merri-
ment of my English friends, we had a
magician amongst us as such things go,
sometimes the tricks did not quite work
out.
Looking around then, for a long time I
had not seen so many happy open faces
of adults who clearly were in touch with
some lovely childhood feelings. Good
fun .. I was touched by the openness of
the hearts.
But……. I discovered later that I had lost
my hearing aid. I told the group and, al-
ready resigned to the idea that maybe it
was gone for ever. Windy days and hats
on and off seemed to explain the loss.
As I was about to go to be on New
Year’s morning, I slipped in to my shoes
and in the left toe felt a little obstacle,  Countisbury towards Lynton
bending down, my finger then found my
hearing aid.
How happy and relieved I was!!! This
must have been a very kind fairy or more
like some fairies who took pity on me. It
just needed to be repaired.
But this was not the end of my good luck.
Later that day when we entered a pub to
have a little rest, a woman suddenly
stood in front of me saying “ Is this not
Elizabeth?”. We were glad and happy
having met so unexpectedly after my two
friends had moved from London to
Devon some time ago. The obligatory
photo was taken.
This was the beginning of New Year and
for me and my friends, believe you me,
surely there are some good fairies
around. Thank you!! Danke Schoen.

Elizabeth Flinspach

                                             Countisbury from Lynton



                                                          Page 3
 A Special General Meeting: Club Hut :
 To Buy or Not To Buy
At the last National Committee meeting       ney from Leicester to the hut took a lei-     loan we should be able to recoup our
it was decided to call a Special General     surely 3 hours. This could be de-             losses on the resale of the site, which is
Meeting (SGM) at which members will          creased appreciably with an injection of      likely to increase. We might be unable
decide whether to proceed with the pur-      urgency or increased dramatically with        to sell for a suitable price rapidly
chase of the Youth Hostel Association        Friday night traffic, but overall is com-     enough to satisfy the bank. We can
(YHA) building at Thirlmere in the Lake      parable for many members with a trip to       minimise this risk in two ways
District. This article serves two main       North Wales.                                  • Ensuring we plan and monitor the
purposes: as formal notice to members                                                        finances of the hut carefully so we can
of the meeting and its format, and a       2) What can I do there?                           act decisively when necessary.
means of giving members all the detail     For those unfamiliar with the Lake Dis-
collated to date.                          trict, the area offers high level fell walk -
                                                                                           • Holding sufficient funds in reserve to
                                           ing, valley walks, roadside and moun-             see us through a possible sale period.
Firstly, club protocol. The SGM will be tain crags, scrambling,
held at the Bridge Club, Manchester, at canoeing, sailing,
12 midday on Saturday 15th June 2002. mountain biking to
(Full directions and details below). The name the obvious ones
meeting is open to all members, pre-       of interest. These can
booking is not necessary and like an       be further sub-divided
AGM 10% of the members hip need to         into summer and winter
attend for the meeting to be quorate.      activities.
Technically, a vote to purchase a hut is
not constitutional and therefore a sim-    3) What will it cost?
ple majority in favour of purchase by      The guide price for the
those present would suffice. However       freehold interest in the
as the operational changes needed to       building is £70,000. The
make the hut run smoothly are constitu- property is currently be-
tional in some aspects, it is proposed     ing valued and a firm
that a two-thirds majority be considered price will be known
                                                                       The Thirlmere Youth Hostel
a prerequisite for the purchase to pro-    shortly. The purchase,
ceed. If the meeting decides to proceed financing and running costs will be de- 4) What sort of building is it?
to purchase there will be several other tailed fully in the business plan being          The hostel is a wooden single storey
crucial choices to be made on the day. drawn up for the SGM and will be avail- building with a mixture of solid fuel and
                                           able in advance on request and hope-          electric storage heating. Built originally
Secondly, information. The YHA are         fully on the website as well.                 for military use during WW2 it became
selling off several hostels around the                                                   the local school in the 50's when the toi-
country. For the most part these hostels 4) What Financial Risks does the                let block was added. The YHA acquired
are achieving lower booking levels than Club Run?                                        the building in 1979 and operated it as
the YHA desire, or are in need of repair/ The building though suitable to our pur- part of their hostel network continuously
renovation beyond the will of the YHA. poses, is of no significant economic              until October 2001 when it was closed.
The Thirlmere hostel falls into the latter value, and the asking price reflects just Habitually the hostel was closed from
category.                                  the value of the site. The price is the       October to April. It has mains electricity,
                                           site value-effectively the building comes water and sewerage with bottled gas
1) Where is it?                            free and therefore cannot become an           being used for cooking.
It is situated on the B5322 where it joins   economic liability. This means that if we
the A591 at the small hamlet of St           should become unable at any point to          5) How big is it?
Johns in the Vale. The A591 is the main      keep up the building or make it viable,       The current layout has a warden’s flat
road running south from Keswick to           or if it should be damaged or destroyed,      (two rooms), two 12 bed dormitories
Grasmere and access is straightforward       we lose no money (though clearly we           and one 4 bed dormitory. In addition
by public or private transport. The loca-    would have lost use value). It also           there are cooking and storage areas,
tion gives good access to several val-       means that any lender on the property         common areas, a dining room and toilet
leys in the Lake District and walking up     will not be particularly interested in what   facilities. Minor changes to the layout
onto the Helvellyn massif is possible di-    we do with the building or feel a stake       could be easily and cheaply carried out
rectly from the hut. The local pub is 10     in it- we will be much freer than the av-     if desired. In addition there is a large
mins walk, Keswick is 5 mins by car          erage mortgage holder. If we became           garden and picnic area. The existing
where the nearest shops are. The jour-       unable to keep up the payments on the         parking for 3 vehicles is easily extend-
                                                                                           able to 8 or more. Overall the building


                                                           Page 4
and grounds could accommodate a RR 8) What is being done now?                                 obviously be useful.
AGM comfortably.                              A loan cannot be organised without in-
                                              come and expenditure accounts for all           10) What is planned for the SGM?
6) Can we raise enough money to               club activities at a national level cover-      The venue will be open from 12 midday
buy the hostel?                               ing the last three years, so that is our        and there will be exhibits showing all
The club treasurer reported at the last       current area of main activity. Once the         the available information. Workshops
AGM that there was £8,000 in the hut          asking price is confirmed (and assum-           looking at particular aspects (principle
fund plus a surplus in the administration ing it is along the lines expected) the             objections to hut purchase, member
fund of a similar amount. We are cur-         National Committee will make a formal           loans, financial liability, demand from
rently working to produce exact current offer of purchase and instruct a valuer               other clubs etc etc) will be held. The
figures, but on the basis that the club       to act on behalf of the club. The offer         aim is to ensure the meeting is well in-
could use these funds to make a de-           will be subject to approval by the SGM.         formed and can focus on detailed dis-
posit payment of £10,000, the balance Information regarding the pricing struc-                cussion in a useful and constructive
of £60,000 would need to be found.            ture and occupancy levels of other huts         manner. After a full discussion the
Commercial loans are available up to a in the area is being added to give as                  meeting will move to a vote, which if
maximum of £52,500 (75% of the pur-           clear a picture as possible of likely oc-       carried will lead to detailed discussion
chase price). This leaves a shortfall of cupancy levels.                                      on practical issues for the purchase and
£7,500 that would have to be found                                                            management of the hut in the short
from within the club. This could be from 9) How can members get involved                      term. Working briefs will be agreed for
donations or loans from club members. ahead of the SGM?                                       some key roles in the post purchase
There are other permutations, but suf- Firstly, go and visit the hostel if you are            phase along with budgets.
fice to say that it is realistic for the club in the area. There are trips going to the
to consider this purchase. The SGM will lakes in May and June from different re-              11) How do I get to the meeting?
have to decide exactly how the money gions and the exterior of the building is                The Bridge Club, Manchester, has re-
is to be arranged.                            quite accessible.                               served a room for us and lunch can be
                                              There are many tasks that need com-             provided on a buffet style basis at £3
7) Can we maintain the repayments             pleting and all offers of help are most         per head including tea and coffee.
and upkeep?                                   welcome. Of most importance is the              Buses and directions: 41, 43, 44, 46, 48
To answer this we need to consider the need for a well-informed, articulate op-               140 and 143 from Piccadilly Bus Sta-
income and expenditure. The main ele- position voice. Naturally, those involved               tion. Get off just after Withington Vil-
ment of expenditure is the potential          so far are in favour of buying the hostel       lage, just after the road splits and the
bank loan and the exact monthly repay - and are prepared to argue their case at               bus goes to the right.
ments will depend on the interest rate        the SGM. However, the SGM needs to              train to Piccadilly - walk down (300
and the terms on which member loans hear from those members who are                           yards) to Piccadilly Bus station. (see
are made. The business plan will as-          against a hut purchase. Moreover, the           above)
sume the highest interest rate quoted         SGM will be best served if those argu-          From Chorlton Street Bus station, walk
for both elements. Outgoings for the          ing against the hut were prepared and           to Piccadilly bus station
hostel have been taken from the YHA           had access to all the facts and figures         Car: M6, M62 and then M60 to City
figures, which are based on the actual as they become available. They could                   Centre (A 5163 ) . When motorway
expenditure over the last three years,        even help in their collation. If this is you,   ends at Princess Park Way, turn right at
with allowance for winter usage.              please get involved and contact a mem-          signs to Didsbury and left up Palatine
Income will only be known once the            ber of the National Committee soonest.          Road (next lights). Through several
hostel becomes a hut and booking from The second most important element is                    sets of lights - Bridge club on left with
clubs start being accepted. However,          money. The less money that the club             lots of parking.
there are approximately 15 other club         has to borrow externally the less finan-        Regions are encouraged to arrange
huts in the Lake District that are shown cial exposure there is to the club and               communal transport and to facilitate this
on the BMC hut list. The business plan the more control we have over our own                  the club will subsidise transport from
assumes a nightly charge of £4.50pppn affairs. If the club cannot raise enough                the regions by making up any shortfall
which compares favourably with these cash to cover the deposit required of                    that arises from the national trip trans-
huts. Using this charge, the required         25% then the purchase cannot pro-               port charging system (any surplus to be
occupancy rate to break even has been ceed. Anyone wishing to make a dona-                    retained by the region).
calculated. Calculations have also been tion or loan is encouraged to contact
shown to illustrate the expected income any of the National Secretaries as early              Adrian O'Connor
if occupancy rates typical of the other       as possible.                                    Angela Benham
huts in the area are achieved. Overall, The next need is for volunteer workers                Andy Bateman
the calculations indicate that the finan- who are interested in bringing the hos-             Joint National Secretaries
cial risk is quite low given that the ex-     tel out of winter mothballs and back into
penditure would be covered by even            service. Basic DIY skills are required,
quite pessimistic levels of occupancy         and naturally workers will need equip-
when compared to other huts in the            ping, feeding and organising. More spe-
area.                                         cialist skills such as plumbing. electrics
                                              and car-                         pentry will


                                                             Page 5
Eco-Adventure Sports                    Our initial work has to develop an
                                        interactive website to allow any
We are writing to Red Rope to seek      people involved in adventure sports
members support for our new initia-     or a stakeholder in some way to
tive Eco-Adventure Sports. This is      help start define what are the key
a voluntary initiative promoting        issues to be addressed. We are
more sustainable adventure sport        also seeking to develop ways of
activities. Being a member of Red       bringing the key people in the ad-
Rope I feel many members will un-       venture sport sector together to
derstand where we are coming            consolidate their efforts, raise sus-
from in developing Eco-Adventure        tainability issues to the top of their
Sports and seek your support to get     agendas and to share good prac-
involved and encourage others to        tice and work together on common
take part.                              issues.

The idea for behind this initiative   Red Rope themselves have an is-
has been germinating over recent      sue to make a decision on regard-
years. Clare, Dick and myself are     ing sustainable practices. The club
the people behind it, all have a pas- hut and second home scene in ar-
sion for either adventure sports or   eas of deprivation such as remote
valuing and being in wild places.     rural areas we go into have come
Out of this has grown a concern       under attack from local communi-
about the impact of the sports both   ties. Do we want to follow down the
on the environment and the com-       track of other clubs or can we do
munities where we practice our        better and work with the community
sports.                               by providing low cost accommoda-
                                      tion for local people and a club hut
Our definition of an adventure sport for ourselves. Also can we make it
includes; rock climbing, mountain     sustainable in terms of materials
walking, mountaineering, mountain and energy/water use? These are
biking and cycle-touring, caving      challenges for Red Rope.
and pot-holing, para/hang-gliding,
mountain and cross country skiing Our website is now up and running
and canoeing/sea canoeing. This is and can be found on www.wco-
not an exhaustive list. The key as- adventuresports.org. You can
pects of these activities are they    register with the discussion group
are not just adrenaline activities,   from the website. If you don’t have
the surrounding environment forms access to the web you can still
part of the motivation for the activ- contribute, ring 0117 983 8204 and
ity.                                  leave your details with us. We will
                                      send you the response form.
We believe that to achieve a culture If you or any of your friends do
change of this magnitude requires have an interest in this area please
movement by all aspects of the ad- encourage them to get involved.
venture sports sector. This in-       Steve Marriott, Eco-Adventure
cludes; participants, support bod-    Sports, Steve.marriott@eco-
ies, outdoor activity businesses and adventuresports.org
the communities in the areas these ————————————
sports are carried out. It can only
be achieved by increasing the dia-
logue between all parties and seek-
ing commitment to work in partner-
ship to achieve a sustainable fu-
ture. This is the task ECAS seeks
to under-                      take.
               Page 6
                                                                 Fort William.       pitch. The climbing was scary & bold
                                                                 They had set up     but the screw was established & on he
                                                                 the tent, had a     continued to the belay (he hoped) not
                                                                 brew, & done a      realising that in fact this would be even
                                                                 fantastic quick     steeper & much narrower. He dare not
                                                                 solo up number      stop to put in another screw, it would
                                                                 2 Gully to top      be too strenuous, so he just went for it,
                                                                 out into a lot of   remembering some words to another
                                                                 slushy snow &       climbing partner (now one of our club’s
                                                                 early evening       esteemed officers) which had come
                                                                 sunshine with       back to haunt him from a previous
                                                                 clear views, &      climb, ‘you’re committed’!
                                                                 having to take a
                                                                 layer off. An al-   With total focus & panting he got to the
                                                                 most unheard of     belay & relieved, much relieved the
                                                                 event!              younger man brought up his partner.
                                                                                     The older man needed to second that
                                                                   Refreshed they pitch to steady his nerve & did so
                                                                   woke to find that slowly but well. So well that he got his
  Ben Nevis North Faces on 13th April 02                           Sunday was an head back & went onto to lead the next
                                                                   even better day. pitch. From then they were in ‘unison’
                                          What to do? They looked up- it had to of thought, feeling, & climbing that only
Springing Up The Ben                      be one of the 3 big grade 5 classics       a day like that could bring- the pure
                                          even though they had never lead at         beauty of climbing that the younger
The younger man could feel the ten-       this grade before. The younger man         man considers to be the reason why
sion tremor down the rope from the        only having seconded Zero a few            he pursues this sport.
older man who was 10 metres up the        years before. Orion despite it being in
icy gully where it had steepened con-     condition, looked a bit too exposed &      But what will be best remembered will
siderably. He was waiting for the inevi- would have to wait another day. There only be the joy of their time on the Ben
table, which came soon after. ‘I’m not was no doubt then- it had to ‘the point’- & ‘the point’ & the dream of the Orion
sure I’ve got the head for this’ said the & a party yesterday had said the neve Face- next spring perhaps.
older man.                                was great.
                                                                                                             Andrew Phillips
This was the first time they had          So now the younger man
climbed ice together since their jaunt    was faced with a decision.
up Les Bains 2 years ago. (See Red        Could he lead all 3 of the
Rope Bulletin March 2001 for a de-        grade 5 pitches, or could he
scription) & on the basis of this record persuade the older man to
the younger man wondered what sort do at least one of them? By
of epic they might be getting into now? now the party of 3 behind
                                          them or at least their leader
It had started so well. They had man-     (who they later found out
aged to be organised & got a long         was Dave Birkett-oh how
early April week -end away from work they were blessed to be in
& domestic responsibilities. Even more the company of a climbing
the weather in Scotland was mirac u-      god that day) had romped
lously ‘alpine & spring-like’ with clear  up the first very steep pitch.
blue skies & cold frosty nights, leaving
the higher climbs on the Ben in the       Words were exchanged -
best nick they had ever seen.             some sharp from the
                                          younger man, as is his way,
A few days before they had even been & they resolved to continue.
evening climbing, & climbing well on      The younger man with a lot
High Tor in their shorts! So prospects of trepidation but inspired by
for success looked good.                  the previous leader, began
                                          to make his way up ever
This was the Sunday of the week -end steepening & then vertical
& the day before they had walked up to ice towards the point some
the CIC hut on the Saturday morning       20 metres up where he had
following a long & late drive up from     seen him place his one &
Nottingham after work on the Friday, & only screw in the 40 metres
a few hours sleep in a bunkhouse in
                                                                                   Point Five Gully on 13th April 02
                                                           Page 7
Benny Rothman,                               cident: some of the London section of        Manchester, with its large Jewish com-
                                             the BWSF were at a camp at Rowarth           munity, was a focus for Sir Oswald
- activist, climber and                      and went for a ramble on Bleaklow. At        Mosley's British Union of Fascists, who
rambler                                      Yellowslacks Brook, the group, led by        set up clubs which offered cheap beer
                                             Rothman, were threatened by a group          and anti-semitism. When Mosley held a
Jim Perrin                                   of keepers. "It was not at all unusual for   rally at Belle Vue, Rothman, along with
The Guardian                                 ramblers to get very, very badly beaten      Eveline Taylor, who later married Jack
Friday January 25,                           by them," Rothman remembered, "and           Jones, went to protest, and they were
2002                                         of course, if you were working-class         violently manhandled out of the hall.
                                             there was no redress. Back at the camp       Towards the end of the decade,
The most important event in the move-        we decided that if, instead of six or        Rothman found work at AV Roe's air-
ment for access to open country in Brit-     seven, there'd been 40 or 50 of us, they     craft factory, where he was victimised
ain was the 1932 Kinder Scout Mass           wouldn't have been able to do it."           for his political beliefs, and then at Met-
Trespass. Its prime mover was a 20-          The Kinder Scout Mass Trespass took          ropolitan Vickers in Trafford Park, reput-
year-old Manchester communist in the         place shortly afterwards, on April 24        edly the most highly organised factory in
motor trade - Jewish by descent, tiny in     1932, following a rally at the quarry on     Britain - and the most enlightened to-
stature and fiery in rhetoric. Benny         Kinder Road, Hayfield, where it is now       wards its workers. He volunteered as an
Rothman, who has died aged 90, is now        commemorated by a plaque. The in-            ambulance driver for the International
revered as the patron saint of the British   tended speaker took fright at the sight of   Brigade in the Spanish Civil War, but
outdoor community.                           a police presence of 200 men, and            was rejected for the army in 1939 as
Rothman was the middle of five children      Rothman took his place. He castigated        being in a reserved occupation. After
of Romanian-Jewish parents who had           the organised rambling movement for          the second world war, he worked inde-
come to Britain at the turn of the cen-      inactivity, insisting that if concessions    fatigably in the trade union movement.
tury. His father ran hardware stalls at      were to be won, they must be fought for.     In 1979, his sense of achievement was
Glossop and Shaw markets. The family         Five hundred people marched on Kinder        shattered by Mrs Thatcher's policy on
were very poor, so that, although Benny      Scout - the highest hill in the Peak Dis-    the environment and access to it. He
won a scholarship to Manchester's Cen-       trict, across which there was then no        campaigned against the Tory country-
tral High school for boys, he had to         public right of way.                         side legislation with an energy which
leave at 14 when an errand boy's job         After a drunken keeper sprained an an-       astonished many who were 40 or 50
came up. At least he then had funds for      kle while assaulting a rambler, the event    years his junior. On the 50th anniver-
the two commitments of his life: the out-    became one of riotous assembly, and          sary of the Kinder Scout Mass Tres-
doors and political agitation.               five participants, including Rothman,        pass, he published a terse and resonant
In the summer of 1925, he left the back      were brought to trial. Witnesses from        account of the event. He cultivated an
streets of Manchester, cycled to north       the police and the water board - which       extraordinary range of allies in various
Wales and climbed Snowdon with a six-        owned some of Kinder and leased it for       causes, and became himself a central
penny map from Woolworths: "I was the        shooting - lined up to perjure them-         attraction at frequent rallies, where gifts
only person up there. It just hit me, that   selves.                                      undiminished over 50 years as a
great open view with the sea all             The judge subtly drew attention in his       speaker were displayed to a new gen-
around."                                     summing-up to the fact that three of the     eration of lovers of the outdoors.
In 1928, he was working as a motor           defendants were obviously Jewish, and        His importance, particularly in winning
trade apprentice in Deansgate, Man-          Rothman received a four-month prison         concessions at various stages of the
chester, when Bill Donne, a Scots me-        sentence. Even this newspaper's great        water privatisation bill, cannot be over-
chanic, invited him along to the eco-        radical predecessor, the Manchester          stressed. He made frequent appear-
nomic debates held on Sunday nights in       Guardian, adopted a sniffily schoolboy       ances on radio and television. But his
the Clarion Cafe on Manchester's Mar-        tone about the event: "Trespassing is        imagination wasn't just engaged by in-
ket Street - rousing occasions when          best done alone, or with one or two at       justice to users of the outdoors. He
Trotskyists, Independent Labour Party        the most companions. When you do it          would campaign as readily for a local
members, socialists and communists           with a crowd all the fun goes out of it."    group of pensioners as he would from a
would harangue each other under vivid,       After coming out of Leicester jail,          national platform.
stylised murals by left-wing painters.       Rothman moved to Burnley to help             Rothman was well under five feet tall, a
That year, Rothman joined the Young          work ers organise at the time of the Moor    strong man, calm-eyed, watchful and
Communist League. In the interwar            Loom strike, the north-east Lancashire       humorous, with a passionate and self-
years the YCL and its associated body,       textile dispute. After a year, it was de-    less conviction. Latterly he lived in the
the British Workers' Sports Federation       feated and thousands thrown out of           Manchester suburb of Timperley,
(BWSF), organised Derbyshire weekend         work. He returned to Manchester and          tended his allotment and continued to
camps. Run on a shoestring, using army       mended market traders' vans at Syd           ramble on the moors.
surplus equipment from the first world       Abram's garage in Cheetham. He was           His wife Lilian pre- deceased him. He is
war, they sucked in Manchester's poor        still active in the outdoors, and cam-       survived by his daughter and his son.
and unemployed. It was around the            paigned against the government's 1933        Bernard (Benny) Rothman, activist,
camp firesides that realisation dawned       bill to outlaw camping on any but official   climber and rambler, born June 1 1911;
about the process of theft which had put     sites, but another, more serious fight       died January 23 2002.
Derbyshire's moors into private hands.       was brewing.                                 See also
The Mass Trespass grew out of one in-        At that                           time,      www.wcml.org.uk/benny_r_contents.html



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