In autumn 1962, my father and seven other Glasgow mountaineers had a meeting to plan a climbing trip to the Taurus mountains in central Turkey. Initially their plan was to purchase a van to take them there and back and sell it when they returned. It was pointed out that the "Hillman Imp" car was going to go into production in Scotland in 1963 so they approached the manufacturer, Rootes, to lend them a couple of Imps for the trip. In return they would produce film documenting their journey and the use of the cars. Rootes agreed to their proposal. The advantage for them was that one of the party, Robin Chalmers, was an editor with BBC Television and an experienced TV cameraman.
So in August 1963 the eight of them set off with the two cars, a camera and film. It was only a 3 week trip so they had to travel hard; 800 km per day, stopping by the roadside, and sleeping in the open beside the cars.
Robin arranged for one of the cars to be fitted with clamps to support the camera for special shots and they stopped from time to time to make this film.
The climbing objective was Demir Kazik, the highest peak in the Taurus. They camped beside a village and hired donkeys to travel up to a high camp while the headman of the village guarded the gear. Six of the party got to the summit. Then a hard drive back to the UK.
In lending them the car and the camera, Rootes clearly took a chance on getting a useful film out the trip. For example they only had one camera and if that had broken down there would have been no film. It did not break down and as you can see from this video, Robin did an excellent job in shooting it. Rootes hired a firm to do the editing and at very modest cost (no bills for sending people on location) they got a very good promotional film. And my father and the rest of the team got a very memorable and inexpensive holiday.
The members of the expedition were: Robin Chalmers, Kenny Bryan, Chris and George Liddle, Alasdair Beaton, Eddie Thompson, Tom Murray and Iain MacLeod (my father).
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