Mountaineer has Rotarians spellbound

Kinder Scout in the Peak District.
Kinder Scout in the Peak District.

Mountaineer Sheila George was the guest speaker at a recent meeting of the Rotary Club of Ellon.

Her enthusiasm for the subject shone out and she left her audience completely enthralled.

Sheila’s interest in the hills was fostered by her father, a clergyman, who used to organise climbs up Kinder Scout in the Peak District for unemployed men. She soon came to appreciate the benefits of hillwalking – fresh air, exercise and little in the way of cost.

Family holidays after the War were spent in the Trossachs or North Wales, where she developed an interest in rock climbing. A day in the hills for Sheila became a way to put personal problems into perspective.

Although there are not many mountains on the south coast of England, Sheila formed the Wessex Mountaineering Club when she stayed in Bournemouth.

They climbed the cliff faces along that south coast. She also became interested in caving at that time.

However, mountains were her real love and, when qualified as a teacher, she spent summer holidays climbing the Alps.

Her teaching career finally brought her to Applecross, surrounded by mountains and with a classroom overlooking The Minch to Skye.

She enjoyed the real community spirit there, the only down side being the dreaded midges!

Sheila finished off her talk with an excellent display of slides showing climbers in various precarious locations, and some fine shots of mountains from here in Scotland to the Matterhorn.

In giving his vote of thanks, Rotarian Gordon Fraser referred quite rightly to a magical talk.

If you are interested in the Rotary Club of Ellon, the work it does and the fun and fellowship its members have, email for further information.