Sunday, 5 August 2007

Scaling Renewed Heights

Hi - welcome to the story of the re-publication of The Night Climbers of Cambridge - the 1937 classic climbing bible. As a thank you for visiting, readers of this blog should use NCBLOG as a coupon to get 10% off the book over on the Oleander site should they want a copy.


The Night Climbers of Cambridge was first published in October 1937 and rapidly followed by a revised second edition in November of the same year. It was reprinted in the 1950s but has since been out of print. It was authored under the pseudonym Whipplesnaith by a group of Cambridge graduates led by Noel Howard Symington and recounted their courageous / foolhardy nocturnal exploits as students climbing the ancient university and town buildings of Cambridge. Their travails were impressive enough but seem doubly so when you realise that they were weighed down by prehistoric photographic paraphernalia with which they recorded their efforts and achievements – all the while doing their best to avoid detection by university proctors, Bulldogs and, of course, the local 'Roberts'.. The result is a fascinating, humorous and, at times, adrenalin-inducing adventure.

The book has now become a cult classic and is much sought-after on the web via Abe Books and ebay etc with prices frequently reaching £150 for tatty 2nd edition reprints. It has become a bible for the buildering, free running and parkour communities – sports very prevalent at the moment.

Of the approx. 75 photographs in the book we have reproduced over half of them from the original negatives – the others have been scanned from the original prints. The negatives and prints (each print had several exposures developed and kept) were given to Oleander in the original wax-sealed and string-bound package in which they were returned to the author in 1955! Cracking that 52 year-old seal was a moment of highly prized - and rewarded - anticipation. The images were all digitally remastered and have emerged with much improved clarity and detail yet retain all the historic impact and charm of the originals.

The text has been completely re-set with the photographs placed in their contextually accurate positions – the one major change from the original. The book is available in hardback with a dustcover designed by the original author’s great-nephew.

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1 comment:

Philip said...
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