Let Me Be Your Hero


By Ray West

Many things have changed since I joined the Ski Club of Manchester in 1960. Global warming which has severely curtailed Scottish skiing, so no more overnight journeys by road to Aviemore on a Friday evening after work, then a return journey on Sunday evening followed by surviving at work on Monday.

Another rapidly disappearing activity is local skiing in Derbyshire. Again no more early morning calls to find out whether there is any snow in Derbyshire. Expert local skiers would know which field had snow on it depending on the direction of the wind. One year we skied from the top of the Snake Pass very nearly into Glossop. On this occasion we were accompanied by Barry Lewis and Giles who now runs a ski school in the international resort of Val d'Isère. From humble beginnings one of our previous members Giles has become one of England's top ski teachers. The lust for adventure was only achieved by using a number of cars usually driven by the wives of members. This illustrates the spirit of the Club in those days. We were accompanied by my two Shelties who completed the course with no complaints from anyone.

All this has now gone mainly due to insurance problems and the climate. How can we reinvigorate the Club spirit so that skiers are not skiing as individuals who have joined the club for discounted holidays, but become real club members? To illustrate my case I give below five examples of Club spirit in the present and the past. All five qualify as heroes or heroines of the Ski Club (with apologies to Enrique). I am well aware that many other people have served the club well and have the club's well being at heart, but space is too short to list everybody. Running a club activity may not always qualify you as a hero or heroine of the ski club.

Pat Ashworth for running the end of season party in her house for 30 years. Harry Ashworth for helping Patrick Bryan enjoy many ski holidays despite Patrick having poor balance. (The Club has heard nothing of Patrick for some time, so if anyone has any information, please let us know). Ernie di Rollo for staying with me when I had a bad accident at Rossendale dry ski slope. Ernie drove me to Stepping Hill Hospital and stayed with me until the consultant had diagnosed a bad whiplash injury but no permanent damage. Brian Richardson for helping carry various dogs down cliff faces on a previous ski club Lakes hike. Nigel Koenen for virtually carrying me to the summit of Grasmoor with the help of Brian Richardson and also for designing and checking the short escape route from the main hike, so it was safe for me to proceed as I suffer from Parkinson's disease.

The above paragraph illustrates the wide scope for members to become heros of the club and for our club to become a place where friendship expands.

Enjoy your skiing next season.