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British Deaf Association 'Mountain Venture', Lake District (1960)

Dramatic scenes of deaf students climbing mountains in rain, mist and occasional sun on a summer trip to the Lake District in 1960.

Non-Governmental Organisations sponsored film 1960 25 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for London's Screen Archives


This colour silent film from 1960 shows members of the British Deaf Association on a summer trip to the Lake District, where they enjoy rock climbing, fell walking and canoeing in the typically inconsistent sun, rain and mist of a British summer. Some of the scenes of members climbing the tricky rock of ‘Little Chamonix” are particularly impressive given the obvious difficulties of communication when you normally use sign language but are now holding on to a rope.

While earlier films in the BDA archive were shot by Joseph Foster and James Hudson, this slightly more professional offering was made by Charlie Wilson, who uses a great variety of shots – to some effect, given the dramatic landscape – and also more captions to help explain what is taking place. The result is an enjoyable record of the association’s summer camp, which subtly highlights the challenges members were happy to face when rock climbing. There are several nice touches – such as the one right at the start of the trip, where an instructor warns, ‘Some of you will be scared’, at which a grinning member of the party immediately points to his friend. British Deaf Association