7 for 7.30Cotswold Club
H W (Bill) Tilman disappeared in the South Atlantic at the age of 79 leaving a legacy of some of the finest travel books ever written. The seven ‘Mountain / Travel’ books deal with his early life as the self-effacing military hero who, after a period of farming and exploration in Africa, became one of the enduring legends of high altitude climbing in the Himalayas. Having decided at the age of 53 that he was too old to continue climbing, Tilman took up sailing and for the rest of his life spent many months of each year sailing to high latitudes in a succession of Bristol Pilot Cutters, documenting the adventures in the eight ‘Sailing / Mountain Exploration’ books.
While neither of his official biographers have managed to get close to his real character, Bob Comlay is one of the few ‘eccentric’ crew-members who chose to return for a second voyage and this talk will bring to life the real experience of travelling with this remarkable man. The talk is illustrated by a large number of unpublished colour photographs and letters from a friendship that endured until Tilman’s loss at sea in 1978.
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