There was something rather appropriate about the choice of Buxton Opera House as a venue for an evening with Sir Ranulph Fiennes, with both star attraction and venue sharing an air of Empire and the style and sheer class of days long gone but somehow unfaded. In his smart trousers and jacket and with a ramrod straight back Sir Ranulph looked every bit the English Army Officer and successor to Shakleton and Scott as he strode onto stage before the…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 12:20

Steven Venables - The Legend of Eric Shipton

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It was 20 years since Stephen Venables had been to Buxton Opera House, but rarely can a return to the magnificent setting of this venue been more welcome or so well received. The lovingly restored classic Edwardian theatre proved the ideal setting for Venables as for 2 hours he held the audience in the palm of his hand and legends once more strode the stage. Eric Shipton's life is well chronicled and coming into the talk I already had a…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:02

Alex Roddie -The Only Genuine Jones: Reviewed

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The Only Genuine Jones is the latest in a line of books that cross the boundaries between being a mountaineering book and a great story in its own right. While books like Echoes, Fiva and, to an extent, Cold Wars have crossed this divide over recent years Alex Roddie's book takes a different route, setting well known, iconic, figures of mountaineering history in a fictional tale rather than retelling real life adventures mixed with insights into the central characters. In…
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 10:59

Everest 1953 by Mick Conefrey reviewed

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Never have I lifted the cover of a book with such a feeling of discomfort and foreboding as opening Everest 1953 for the first time. As a child I was brought up on the classics of the 1950's; Wilfred Noyce's South Col, Hertzog's Annapurna and the Big Daddy of them all - Sir John Hunt's Ascent of Everest. Hunt's definitive tome was the bible of a 10 year old obsessed with adventure, and every detail was hungrily devoured before taking…