A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from Zoe Brown, Joe Brown’s daughter with this distressed message:
‘At some point about 20? years ago Dad lost track of his collection of black and white negatives which includes all his photographs from 1948 to probably the early 1970s. The Rock and Ice members were all in the habit of loaning their pictures out for people to copy for books etc but he has no idea as to where or who might have them, and our efforts to track them down have been unsuccessful. We are obviously hoping that they are still out there somewhere but are now at a loss. Very miserably most of the prints that would have come from them are now gone along the way as well. So we were wondering if there might be someway of publicising “The Hunt for Joe Brown’s lost negatives” in the hope that it might jog someone’s memory. Dad would obviously dearly love to get them back. And from a historic point of view, as Dad is now 89, it would be fantastic to get the stories behind the pictures before the opportunity is gone. They were last seen contained in a bound negative folder. Thanks’.
Zoe has been for some years been working on the archives and a biography of the great Joe Brown. Who can forget those iconic photos of Joe below Cenotaph Corner after the first ascent, those images are the fabric of mountaineering heritage. It is crucial the missing negatives are located and put in a place of safety.
If you could put out an appeal on your website to your members and followers we would be most grateful. Anybody with any knowledge of their whereabouts should either contact the Mountain Heritage Trust on firstname.lastname@example.org or, contact Zoe Brown on email@example.com. Or leave them at the Joe Brown shop (Llanberis; Capel Curig) or The Climbers Shops (Ambleside; Stony Stratford).