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  • Highlands, the


  • Ceremonies
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  • Amateur


  • 1920s

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Overall rating:


Reference number: 7702

Date: 1929

Director: filmed by George Sang, Harry MacRobert

Sound: silent

Original format: 16mm

Colour: bw

Fiction: Non-Fiction

Running time: 17.54 minsc

Description: Amateur footage of groups of mountaineering club members climbing Ben Nevis for the opening ceremony of the Charles Inglis Clark Memorial hut.

Film has been preserved with the assistance of the Scottish Mountaineering Trust.

Information regarding the hut on the SMC website can be found at the following link:-

Following detailed information supplied by Hon. Archivist, Scottish Mountaineering Club:-
"The S.M.C. Hut on Ben Nevis was endowed by William Inglis Clark and his wife Jane Inglis Clark in memory of their son Charles (1888-1918), who died in the War in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Dr Clark (Oakwood, Rosslyn Castle) was a chemist who was involved in innovations in ink manufacture, and also a pioneer of colour photography. He was Club President from 1913 to 1919, and wrote the first guide book to Ben Nevis. His wife Jane founded the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club in 1908, along with her daughter Mabel and Lucy Smith. Jane wrote a book about her life – Pictures and Memories (Moray Press, 1938). Mabel was married to Robert Jeffrey by the time of the Hut opening.

The film was made by George Sang (Secretary, Magdala Crescent, Edinburgh) and Harry MacRobert (Vice-President, ‘Nithsdale’, Kilmacolm). It has a duration of approximately 19 minutes. The opening ceremony is preceded by several sections showing Ben Nevis, mountaineering technique, the Ballachulish Ferry, gatherings of SMC members at the Alexandra Hotel and of LSCC members at the so-called Luncheon Stone on the path to the North Face, and people on foot and horseback on the way to the Hut. There are two short sections after the ceremony dealing with the descent. The climbers showing off their skills, and carrying heavy rucksacks are Harry MacRobert, James H. B. Bell, and Alex Harrison. Mrs Clark takes a turn at the helm of the Ballachulish Ferry. The principals at the opening ceremony are Dr and Mrs Clark, George T. Glover (President), and the Reverend A.E. Robertson (Vice-President)."

Shotlist: [shot-listed from mini DV - manual control track - timings are approximate because of inter-titles rolling in gate]

S.M.C. Official Film Pictures photographed by Messrs. MacRobert and Sang - CHARLES INGLIS CLARK HUT Opening ceremony. The Hut was presented and officially opened by the donors, Dr. & Mrs Inglis Clark, on Easter Monday, 1st April, 1929 - gvs of Ben Nevis range with snow in gullies and on peaks (1.12) l/s of hut and mountains above - ANTICS OF TAME HUT ROPE ON BEING TOLD OF CEREMONY - animated shots of ropes inter-twining - APPROACHING FORT WILLIAM VIA LOCH TULLA AND BALLACHULISH FERRY - l/shots of steam train crossing landscape - gvs of loch, mountains and ferry slipway (2.47) ..... FEATURING CHARON'S BRIDE - shots of two women on ferry as men swivel the turntable - Mrs. Clark takes the wheel of the ferry as it crosses to the opposite bank (3.47) PARTY IN GLEN NEVIS TRICKY WORK ON A WIRE BRIDGE - group of walkers in glen - man crossing wire rope bridge - TRAVERSING A SNOWY SLOPE - group of walkers crossing snow on side of mountain, one slips and slides (4.56) TOILSOME ASCENT IN DEEP SNOW - shots of climbers walking up slope through hard snow and cutting foot-holes (6.55) shots of climbers walking along ridge - PROVISIONING PARTY AT ACHANTEE FARM - ONE OF THEM ATTEMPTS TO ENLIST THE SERVICES OF THE LOCAL PONY HE IS REBUFFED - shots of climbers preparing to set off and feeding pony - THEY ALL SAY WHAT THEY THINK OF THE PHOTOGRAPHER WHEN THEY FIND HE HAS FORGOTTEN THE POTATOES - c/u shots of climbers - HEAVY LOADS ARE HARD WORK AND SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE IN AS LARGE A RADIATION AREA AS POSSIBLE - shots of climbers, one removes shirt in the heat - A REST BEFORE PLUNGING INTO THE SHADE - group of climbers relaxing and fooling around for camera (9.26) A LITTLE WASHING UP SHEWING THE USE OF HUT SLIPPERS - shots of climber washing cup in stream - shots of climbers setting off from hut (10.08) GROUP IN FRONT OF ALEXANDRA HOTEL FORT WILLIAM - group of Scottish Mountaineering Club members outside hotel - AN EX AND A VICE PRESIDENT COME TO PROTEST AGAINST PUBLICITY WITH TEARS IN THEIR EYES - two members approach camera smiling broadly - CLOSE UP OF EYE WITH TEARS! - c/u shots of mountain stream - DR. AND MRS. CLARK START FOR THE HUT - dark shots of people setting off up slope on horseback - THE L.S.C.C. PAUSE EN ROUTE FPR LUNCHEON - shot of group of climbers sitting in snow at the 'Luncheon Stone' on the north face eating lunch - GATHERING AT THE HUT (11.51) shots of groups of climbers standing around hut - THE CHARMING SMILE THAT DOES NOT READILY COME OFF - shot of woman approaching camera - ARRIVALS AND GREETINGS - shots of groups of climbers standing around hut - MRS INGLIS CLARK AND THE DR. ADDRESS THE ASSEMBLED AND SHIVERING MULTITUDE - mid and c/u shots of Dr and Mrs Clark - shot of assembled crowd - THE REV. A.E. ROBERTSON CONDUCTS THE DEDICATION SERVICE (13.48) shots of minister and Dr Clark addressing the crowd - THE PRESIDENT DRAWS ATTENTION TO THE BEAUTIES OF THE SURROUNDING SCENERY - c/u shot of President - . . . BUT IS PENSIVE PROBABLY TRANSPORT PROBLEMS - long pan from President across assembled crowd and up to mountain peak - MRS INGLIS CLARK OPENS THE DOOR AND INVITES THE MOB WITHIN - THEY GO. YET THE HUT DOES NOT BURST - wide and c/u shots of climbers entering hut - THE LAST TO LEAVE NOTICE NO PERISHABLE FOOD MAY BE LEFT IN THE HUT - THIS MEMBER HAS DONE HIS BEST AND GOES SLOWLY IN CONSEQUENCE - shot of man walking along snowy path - SHADES OF EVENING FALL IN THE GLEN - THE DONORS, THE JEFFRIES AND AN EX-PRESIDENT OF THE L.S.C.C. - dark shots of climbers on hillside (17.54)