Thursday, 11 April 2013

Rucksack fashions and fetishes

While digging around for Rucksack Club articles for a previous post, I came upon the following  piece from September 1930. Rucksack fetishists will no doubt enjoy the references to carpet bags and bad packing, but it does provide some interesting period details about outdoor equipment from the pre-war era.

The Manchester Guardian, 10 September 1930

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Rücksack Club

Sharp-eyed fans of the Guardian's country diary archive column (yes, there are a few) might have noticed that today's piece has a small news item about the Rucksack Club sitting alongside it.

The Manchester Guardian, 11 April 1913
The Rucksack Club was formed in 1902 after JE Entwistle and AE Burns, two "novices with a good walking record and a secret ambition to handle a rope and axe", wrote to the Manchester City News suggesting that a mountaineering club be formed in the city. There was a good enough response to justify a start and it is still going strong today. Read more about its history here.

There were strong links between the Manchester Guardian and the club, especially during its early years, with news of climbing activities and annual reports regularly appearing on the pages of the paper. Several members of staff joined the group including Laurence Scott, eldest son of CP Scott, the long-serving Guardian editor.

On 14 November 1903, a small news piece appeared in which an umlaut has been added to the club's name, thus turning it into the exciting looking Rücksack Club. I rather like this, but the use of the diacritic appears to have been very short-lived.

The Manchester Guardian, 14 November 1903

Read more stories like this in the Guardian Book of Mountains. Also available as an ebook.