From collection of F H Brindley
Brindley, F H (Sheffield News Pictures, 973 Abbeydale Road, Millhouses)
28 December 1946
About this image
Despite this view being identified as Black Rocks, Cromford, the location is actually in some doubt as the same place is given by the original photographer as being at Baslow in PTPD300139. Can anyone confirm which is correct?
The Cromford identification comes from a short typed article by the photographer attached to the original print:
'XMAS WEEK ROCK CLIMBING AT MATLOCK, Dec 28/46. The last MEET OF THE YEAR OF PEAK ROCK CLIMBING CLUB, of Sheffield district.
Snaps taken today, Sat Dec 28th/46 show the last meeting of the year, of PEAK CLIMBING CLUB, held at Black Rocks, Matlock [sic - Black Rocks are actually above Cromford], on ice covered rocks. W Ward of Sheffield made the first direct face climb of Pillar Rock, where photos show him doing some dangerous stunts, for the benefit of learners. BLACK ROCKS are a famous training ground for rock climbing who intend more serious work. The highest climb is not more than 100ft, but offers many nerve tests to new climbers.
During the climbing a snowstorm passed over, and made the icy rock nearly too cold even for the hardy youths of Sheffield, who claim to be immune from winter cold and rarely wear top-coats on the coldest days of December. Some of the members take a morning swim, having on some days to break the ice to enjoy their early morning plunge into open air ponds.
The hands of the photographer who also made some of the climbs, were too cold to operate. Frozen fingers lost their use, and he had to stop.
But some of the climbers continued to test muscle, till it was too dark to find the safest hand holds.'
The Sheffield-based Peak Climbing Club was a relatively new enterprise at the date of this photo, having been formed in 1942 by Ron Townsend (1919-2015), one of the foremost gritstone climbers in the post-war era. The Club was still active 70 years later.