The Aylesbury Climbing Club has been running for over 50 years and was established in 1966.
Just before Christmas 1965, a brief note appeared in the Bucks herald to the effect that someone was trying to form a Climbing Club, and inviting anyone interested to contact them. As a result, a small group met in the bar at the King’s Head to discuss the matter. Jeff Shaw, who was responsible for the notice, told them about an Aylesbury Mountaineering Club that had existed some years earlier.
The local Educational Authority had taken an interest in this, and even provided generous financial assistance. However, as might have been guessed, their motives were not purely altruistic, and soon they started demanding their pound of flesh. Basically, they wanted members to take local students to the hills, and teach them to climb.
After this had gone on for some time, attendance at meets dwindled, and eventually the club was wound up. Jeff was determined that this would not happen again, and insisted from the outset that a different name should be used.
And so the Aylesbury Climbing Club was formed.
Potted history from our longest serving member and active club president, Jenny - (written 2016)
Looking back over my 45 (or is it 46?) years since joining the ACC some things haven’t changed that much. This is mainly because the monthly meets in England and Wales and annual week in Scotland are still the basis for members getting to the mountains.
The caring ethos of the club, the lasting friendships (and some marriages!), the sharing of the joy of the hills with new members who have never been on rock or the summit of a big (or a wee) mountain, happily, this is still at the heart of the club.
What has changed is the huge improvement in clothing gear and boots, the modernising of the huts, the building of the motorways, e‐mail and mobile communication and the big increase in climbing walls in our area.
In the early days of the club, Aylesbury College had the sole wall in our area, and that was only available if you enrolled in an evening class on Monday nights in term time. ACC provided the instructors (Yes, Paul and I taught for several years and some of you can blame us for your bad habits!). We then tempted our students to come to the pub and most of them became new members. Yet again the influence of alcohol in the club!
Probably the most notable change over all these years is the increase in members organising their own trips to Europe and indeed to all corners of the world, wherever there is something to climb. The awful Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001 certainly concentrated people’s minds as to where to go when many mountain areas were closed in the UK. The Club organised a trip to Ireland instead of Scotland and several members went to France and Spain to climb, finding that the cheap air fares equalled the big UK petrol bills and the weather was certainly more reliable.
Over the years many members have widened their climbing horizons and mountaineering experiences. So, whether you fancy a trip to anywhere in Europe, Africa, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Thailand and probably anywhere else in the world, ask around and there may well be someone who can help you.