The History of the YMC
In 1941 a group of young lads from a grammar school in Wakefield got together to go hill walking and to practice climbing on the local outcrops. They decided to call themselves The Junior Mountaineering Club of Yorkshire.
The membership expanded and eventually in the mid 1940s, a Constitution was drafted and an Honorary Secretary appointed. Soon afterwards the first Honorary Treasurer was appointed, with the affairs of the Club being dealt with by the members in the absence of a President or a committee.
In these early days there were many climbing expeditions to the Lake District, Wales and Scotland. Several visits to Rhum resulted in the production in 1946 of the JMCY climbing ‘Guide to the Isle of Rhum’.
By 1949 the membership had grown to 21, although in subsequent years this dwindled, resulting in an attempt to recruit new members. This proved unsuccessful until late in 1951, when climbing courses were held by the Leeds branch of the Central Council of Physical Recreation. Members of the JMCY agreed to be instructors, with the trainees being encouraged to join the Club.
There followed a sudden healthy increase in membership and at the 1952 AGM it was agreed that the Club should be renamed The Yorkshire Mountaineering Club. A President was appointed along with other Officers and a committee of five was elected.
In the 1960s the Club took on the role of publishing the definitive guide books for both Yorkshire Gritstone and Yorkshire Limestone and has continued with this commitment to the present day, producing guide books that have been well accepted and supported by the climbing community.
In 1972 the club purchased four derelict dwellings from a row of miners’ cottages in the Coppermines Valley, Coniston in the Lake District. After a lot of hard work and considerable commitment by club members, these were renovated and made habitable over the next year or so, to become the Club’s cottage. The cottage has since given much enjoyment not only to members but also to other clubs and organisations to which it has been let out. In recent years the Club has undertaken major refurbishment and extension works, which have resulted in a modern and well equipped cottage that is much appreciated and well respected by all who use it.
In 2006 the Club changed its status and became incorporated as a Mutual Society under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965.
The Club currently has a membership of around 200 and always welcomes new members who have an interest in climbing and mountain activities.