Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Coming Up: Steve Dean's ' A Winter day at Harrison's' exclusive.

A young Gordon Stainforth tackles Harrison test piece 'Niblick in 1968: G Stainforth©

"At the Kendal Mountain Festival in 2008, Jim Curran had an excellent exhibition of his paintings and drawings that included many images of the Sussex/Kent outcrops. I thought it very significant that Jim, who has travelled extensively amongst the great mountain ranges of the world, should find such inspiration for his work in a return to his own climbing roots. As I’ve already said we never forget first loves and Jim’s work was of great charm and captured much of the essence of Harrison’s and the nearby High Rocks. One of the paintings was a large work about 20ft x 10ft, of the wall at Harrison’s between Long Layback and The Limpet. It dominated the gallery and I joined other sad sandstone refugees who were picking out the lines of the various routes much to Jim’s amusement! It seems that early Sandstone addiction has this effect on many devotees. Gordon Stainforth started visiting Harrison’s in the mid sixties with his brother John, cycling down regularly from boarding school at Tonbridge. On one very funny occasion in a pub in Derby when we were shall I say somewhat well refreshed, Gordon stood up and commenced to enact every single move on the Harrison’s classic Niblick. His attention to detail was astonishing and  gave a clear indication not only of a healthy level of slight insanity, but a deep level of affection for the place just like my own. I’m pleased to report that no beer was spilt during Gordon’s performance! People in the pub looked on bemused as all this took place, but I know that such behaviour is not unusual among southern sandstone addicts.'

This Friday...a Footless exclusive. Steve Dean's beautifully evocative piece which looks back fondly at formative years spent at Harrison Rocks...darn sarf !