Based in the South Lakes but with members from all over the UK (and a few overseas!) K Fellfarers is one of the longest established outdoor clubs in the Lakes, and according to the late Harry Griffin in his book The Coniston Tigers, has the third oldest bunkhouse. It was started in the 1930’s by Somervell Bros (who later became K Shoes) as an employee benefit, and during the same period, a lease on the High House property in Seathwaite, Borrowdale was acquired for conversion into a bunkhouse. Ownership of the property subsequently passed to the National Trust who is now the lease owner.
In the early 1980’s, Clarks Shoes bought out K Shoes, and to ensure the clubs survival, it was decided to sever its links with K Shoes/Clarks and the club became open to anyone to join. It currently has over 130 members, including Life Members, and is a member of the BMC.
High House continues to be the focal point of the club. It is made available for external groups to hire, including corporate bodies such as training centres, though it is reserved for Fellfarers and their guests at all Bank Holidays, and other weekends and weeks throughout the year. See the High House page for availability and or information on staying there.
Working weekends are held in March and September every year and gives all members the opportunity to help with regular maintenance at High House, and are also a great way to meet other members. Fortunately, letting High House to other clubs enables us to pay local people to do the more difficult jobs.
K Fellfarers has reciprocal membership rights with the Oread club based in Derbyshire, so as well as having access to High House, Fellfarers also have access to Oread’s huts in Snowdonia and the Peak District.
Members don’t just meet at High House. There is a programme of walks throughout the year, along with other activities such as climbing and cycling and there are away meets in places such as Glencoe, the Peak District, Snowdonia, etc. There is also a calendar of social events throughout the year, including walk-meals, slide shows, quiz nights, flora and fauna walks, and the annual dinner.
The club is keen to hear from people who are interested in taking an active part in club activities.
Individual membership of the club costs £25 per year, and this runs from January to December.
To become a member you will need to -
- attend at least two events on the club's social calendar
- make yourself known to members of the committee
- be sponsored by two existing members.
You will then need to complete an application form (see club documents below) and send it to any committee member.
Apart from the advantages of belonging to an active outdoor club, the benefits of membership include unlimited access to High House at no extra cost and access to the BMC and the facilities that they provide.
K Fellfarers recognise that climbing and mountaineering are activities with a danger of personal injury or death. Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions and involvement.
President: Roger Atkinson
Vice Presidents: Mick Fox and Alec Reynolds
High House Trustees: Vicky Atkinson, Kevin Ford, Mick Fox and Mark Walsh
Main Committee –
Chairman: Mark Walsh
Secretary: Maja While
Maja has been a member and visiting high house since her childhood – caught on camera quite a few times in the fellfarers book! She grew up in Kendal and now lives in North Yorkshire but still visits both Kendal and High House frequently. Her main love is fell walking in the Lakes and Dales, but she also dabbles in orienteering, skiing, cycling and walking holidays in the Alps.
Treasurer: Helen Speed
High House Booking Secretary: Hugh Taylor
Hugh is the person to contact should you wish to book our bunk house in Borrowdale – High House – and the person to contact regarding this web site. His main interest in the outdoors is walking in the hills and mountains, and has trekked extensively including Nepal, the Pirin Mountains in Bulgaria, the Walkers Haute Route, Kilimanjaro, Concordia in Pakistan, and the GR20 in Corsica. His other main passion is music. He likes to play and sing folk music, and is usually to be found playing and playing in the English and European music session in the Oddfellows Arms in Kendal on the second Wednesday in each month, and in various other music sessions in the area. He plays in the English Country Dance Band ‘Tumbling Tom’, and is the contact for the band. He also plays bass guitar on the wild side with N’Dodo who play African jazz/rock music.
Social Secretary: Jan Lancaster
Jan’s first visit to High House was in 1985 as a guest of Maja. Jan enjoys supporting young people to get involved in outdoor activities and helped lead a junior sailing club for 8 years. She was involved in scouting as a parent helper for 10 years and helped lead a group on a canoeing-camping expedition in Norway. Jan has taken part in a wide range of outdoor activities, particularly kayaking and sailing but her first and main interest is hill walking, solo or in groups.
Newsletter Editor: Mick Fox
Mick has a wide interest and experience in the outdoors, including fell running, mountaineering, rock climbing, sailing, canoeing and caving. He is a regular at club climbing evenings in and around Kendal each Thursday. In the last few years his travels have taken him to the mountains of New Zealand, India, South Africa, Europe, Mexico, the USA and Morocco and his summer isn’t complete without a trip to the Alps. Closer to home, he is frequently out exploring the hills of Wales, Scotland and Northern England. He enjoys writing and edits the quarterly club newsletter
Vice Chair: Peter Blamire
Member: Robert Walsh
Robert used to be the youngest committee member, but has recently been usurped by his youger sister Laura. Having been a member since childhood, he now enjoys taking his own young family up to High House. He is a keen walker and mountain biker, with exploits taking him as far as the Rockies and Sierra Nevada mountains.
Member: Laura Walsh
Member: Pam Heseltine
Member: Sarah Jennings
As well as the full committee above, the club has three sub-committees to enable a focus on specific tasks within the club. These are –
To plan and organise all the main social events within the club such as booking huts, weekends away meets, day and evening walks, slide shows, etc
Chair – Jan Lancaster
Members - Clare Fox, Laura Walsh, Irene Ramsbottom
High House Sub-Committee.
To plan and organise the maintenance and development of the club hut High House.
Chair – Pam Heseltine
Members – Mark Walsh, John Walsh, Robert Walsh, Maja While, Kevin Smith
To take a strategic view of the club, to keep up to date its documentation such as the Constitution, and generally pick up all the boring bits of managing the club.
Chair – Hugh Taylor
Members – Roger Atkinson, Kevin Ford, Mick Fox