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ARTICLE: Millican Dalton - The Professor of Adventure

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 UKC Articles 20 May 2021

Iona Glen tells the story of Millican Dalton (1867-1947), a self-styled 'Professor of Adventure' who lived in a cave in Borrowdale and led camping and climbing trips in the vicinity of Keswick. Photos by kind permission of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club.

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 Mick Ward 21 May 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Absolutely loved this. Many thanks to Iona Glen for researching and writing it and to Natalie for getting it on here for us all to read.

Have always been fascinated by Millican Dalton. The title, the Professor of Adventure just says it all!

Mick

1
 Darron 21 May 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Excellent, really enjoyed that. Minor point: Boy Scouts founded in 1907 not 1908.

 Sean Kelly 21 May 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

That belay he has looks well dodgy by modern standards. It's one down, all down! And Mabel Baker was some character,  and her ascent of CB really groundbreaking for its day.

Thanks for posting.

In reply to UKC Articles:

Cracking read. Have really enjoyed the longer profiles and historical pieces here of late.

Post edited at 14:35
 Jim Hamilton 21 May 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

Matthew Entwistle‘s biography on Dalton is worth a read. Based on this, I don’t agree with the article's “inequality of access” spin.  He was a lowly insurance clerk not a knight of the realm!  Entwistle says the details of Dalton's friendship with the Epping Forest Keepers are uncertain.  Dalton was though "charismatic and instantly likeable", which probably went a long way with his dealings in life.  

It seems as though he rented the land for his camp above High Lodore Farm.  The landowner of Castle Crag donated it to the NT in memory of his son and men of Borrowdale killed in WW1, so they may well have been of the benevolent type, and tuned a blind eye to the cave activities of the novelty/celebrity Dalton.  

Incidentally it looks as though he didn’t quite get to climb in his eightieth year, he died early in 1947 aged 79.

In reply to Jim Hamilton:

I don't agree with the "inequalities" spin either, and all other aspects of identity politics, political correctness and wokeism - keep well away from climbing.

Westmorland doesn't have an "e" either.

Top man the professor. There are some living, extant modern-day examples.

Thank God!

DC

9
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> I don't agree with the "inequalities" spin either, and all other aspects of identity politics, political correctness and wokeism - keep well away from climbing.

For petes sake.... You sound like you swallowed the Daily Mail whole. Mentioning class is not identity poltics or wokeism. Economic inequality is real and has always been a factor in access to the countryside - case in point, how often are the working class credentials of Brown and Whillans et al mentioned? They were better climbers but they also stood out because prior to their generation climbing for the sake of it was predominantly a pastime for the rich. Stop trying to airbrush history so you can peddle a culture war in the present.

2
 Stroppy 25 May 2021
In reply to Jim Hamilton:

> Incidentally it looks as though he didn’t quite get to climb in his eightieth year, he died early in 1947 aged 79.

I hate to be a pedant (no I don't), but when you are 79, are you not therefore in your 'eightieth year'. In the same way that when you are age 0, you could be said to be in your 'first year'?

 Lankyman 25 May 2021
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> That belay he has looks well dodgy by modern standards. It's one down, all down!

The second must not fall .....

 Jim Hamilton 25 May 2021
In reply to Stroppy:

yes you're quite right!

 Dave Ferguson 26 May 2021
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

> I don't agree with the "inequalities" spin either, and all other aspects of identity politics, political correctness and wokeism - keep well away from climbing.

can you enlighten us as to your definition of "wokeism" and maybe give us an example to aid our understanding. 

thanks

Dave

1
 wercat 27 May 2021
In reply to UKC Articles:

I don't know whether anything came of it but Mick Tighe gave a great lecture in Penrith in the mid 90s(?) and at the end of it he showed some plates of Millican Dalton. IIRC he had been allowed access to part of the Abraham brothers collection (might be wrong).

In reply to Dave Ferguson:

> can you enlighten us as to your definition of "wokeism" and maybe give us an example to aid our understanding. 

> thanks

> Dave

Not really inclined but should maybe try. I was agreeing with the sentiment expressed by JH that there was no problem for Dalton to access the hills as an ordinary man, as did many other ordinary men and women. The class system did not prevent him. To think otherwise might be a "woke" interpretation and overt political correctness or identity politics.

DC

1
 DD72 27 May 2021
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Does having left-wing pacifist beliefs make you woke?

andy kirkpatrick 03 Jun 2021
In reply to UKC Articles: A great introduction to the man and his time. 


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