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Bonington’s 1975 Everest expedition artefacts go on show at Canary Wharf

PUBLISHED: 18:54 21 September 2015 | UPDATED: 18:54 21 September 2015

40th anniversary of Bonington's Everest expedition

40th anniversary of Bonington's Everest expedition

1975 Bonington expedition

Bank bosses at Canary Wharf are feeling on top of the world on the anniversary of Brits conquering the highest mountain on the planet from a previously unsuccessful side.

Almost there... climber reaching peak of Everest in 1975Almost there... climber reaching peak of Everest in 1975

Thursday marks the 40th anniversary of an expedition led by veteran mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington in 1975 when four climbers—three of them British—got to the summit of Everest up the unconquered south-west face.

They were also the first Britons to get to the summit, which was originally conquered by the south-east face by New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in Coronation week in 1953.

Barclays, which sponsored the Bonington expedition 22 years later, is exhibiting artefacts at the bank’s Canary Wharf headquarters at 2 Churchill Place, on loan from surviving expedition members and its own company archives.

“The south-west face of Everest was one of the last great mountaineering challenges of the time,” Sir Chris said. “Many expeditions tried and failed to overcome it from 1970 onwards. The bank gave us the best chance of succeeding.”

South-west face of Everest... unconquered until Bonington in 1975South-west face of Everest... unconquered until Bonington in 1975

Items on show include mittens, a permit for Nepal and accompanying trekking map, reprints of original photographs taken by expedition members and a copy of a letter Bonington wrote to the bank’s chairman saying ‘thanks’ for paying for the trip.

The exhibition is on tour to four other branches around the country during October—Stockport, Kendal, Edinburgh and Derby.

Barclays, which was founded in 1690, has an historic track record of supporting pioneers, from the first steam railway to the Morris motorcar, as well as Bonington’s 1975 expedition.

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