Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Coming Up: Steve Dean's 'Forgotten Tigers'

Kath Bromfield on the bubbly first pitch of Ted Hicks' Ash Tree Wall: Photo Al Leary

" Compared with that of Ted Hicks, the name Bob Frost may not mean a great deal to many club members, but in the mid-nineteen thirties he was one of the finest climbers in the Wayfarers Club. The bulk of my information about Bob, come from several conversations I had with the late John Watson. John joined the Wayfarers Club in the early 1930s and provided me with a great deal of valuable information about the club at that time and the Idwal Hostel scene, and was of great help to me in writing "Hands of a Climber." Sadly, John died before the book was published in 1993. He was great company and had a wealth of stories about the club in the pre-war era. John was a close friend of Colin Kirkus and in the period 1933-1938 climbed a great deal both with Colin and with Bob Frost who was Colin's main partner for much of that period. The picture that John painted of Colin and Bob at this time was both fascinating and revealing. Both Colin and Bob were very modest and self effacing characters, but I was left in no doubt that Bob Frost was an outstanding climber both on snow and ice, and on rock. Relatively little is known about this gentle and modest man but the very high regard Colin Kirkus and AB Hargreaves had for him is important to reconsider, as Bob left little record of his exploits. What has emerged, is that in the period 1935-1937 Bob was climbing as well as anyone in Britain at the time and was a Wayfarer Tiger in the true sense of the word.'

This Friday,Steve Dean offers an account of two of the historic Wayfarers Club's Forgotten Tigers; Bob Frost and Ted Hicks.Two talented pre-war climbers who have remained somewhat in the shadow cast by the clubs more illustrious members.Most notably, Menlove Edwards and Colin Kirkus.