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Tributes to Frank Williams

7th April 1949 - 22nd February 2021
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Terry and I were saddened to be told by Phil and Sheila Passmore of the sudden death of their lifelong friend Frank from Covid 19 earlier this year. We didn’t see much of Frank after we moved to Cumbria in 1971 but there was one memorable time Terry and I together with some other climbing friends from Windermere got to the summit of Scafell in January snow only to find Frank and the lads sitting by the cairn. A pleasant surprise.

Frank, Phil Passmore, Jim Wright (no relation), Phil Watts and Big Bill Oates joined the Pegasus Club together in the late 1960’s. They were a group of friends from school in Nottingham.

All took part in the caving and underground trips and we remember the day when Frank had two falls from the ladder in Hollandtwine Mine but luckily wasn’t injured. ( The incident is recorded Here ) All the lads expressed a keen interest in climbing with us so we perhaps saw more of them than other Pegasus members. Frank, Bill and Phil Passmore were musicians so shared a common love of folk music. 

Terry and Barbara Wright


On the summit of Scafell 1971

Clockwise: Barbara Wright, Jim Wright, Steve Booth, Pete Booth,

Frank Williams & Bill Oates

We all met at Greenwood Secondary Bilateral School in Nottingham in 1959 with the exception of Jim Wright and Phil Watts who came a year later.

Within the first week friendships were formed and have lasted a lifetime and beyond.
We all had a thirst for adventure and camping so forays into Derbyshire by bicycle, train or the X2 bus became the norm during weekends and holidays. It was inevitable that once we had ventured underground in caves and accessible mines around Matlock Bath with torches and candles we realised that we weren’t going to get very far. We “needed a bigger boat”.

When we were all in employment we could venture further afield and met some guys from the Red Rose Caving Club who asked us to join them on a trip down Quaking Pot. Following on from this experience we all agreed we should join a local Nottingham club and we sought out the Pegasus Club in “The Royal Children” one Thursday evening.

The entertainment for our outings was mainly provided by Frank on his 5 string banjo, mandolin and guitar and Bill on guitar. It was always folk or Blue Grass. Frank and 3 others formed a Blue Grass band together with his wife Chris who played a double bass. They performed around folk clubs and on Radio Nottingham.

Frank was a talented man in many fields. His continued interest in rocks led him to a first degree in Geology and a PHD. Being much involved with the British Geological Society he travelled and lectured in the subject in America and other places.

Frank is greatly missed by his wife and family of course but there were many fortunate to have known him.

Phil Passmore

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