Obituaries: G. K. Yeates (1910-1995), George Mackenzie Dunnet (1928-1995)

Published on 01 March 1996 in Obituaries

Yeates MA FRPS (1910-1995) The telephone rang. ‘Have you got a dinner jacket?’ It was our local RSPB rep. and Hon. Secretary of the Harrogate & District Naturalists’ Society, who was organising our first joint film show in the town way back in 1968. Why the question? The famous G. K. Yeates was to introduce the films, and, if I also was to appear on stage, I had better be properly dressed. This was the first of my many such annual meetings with this almost legendary photographer, writer and lecturer. I felt that I knew him well, having read, and reread, his Bird Haunts in Northern Britain (1948), companion to his earlier Bird Haunts in Southern Britain (1947). These and three other titles, concentrating on visits he had made to Spain, France and Iceland, inspired a whole generation of would-be naturalists to do more than simply list what they saw. George, through his words and wonderful photographs, invited us to explore wilderness with him. The art of just sitting and waiting for things to happen, lost to many today, was central to the wildlife photographer’s art in those days long gone. Having given up birdphotography in the mid 1960s, George then devoted most of his spare time to his other great love, fishing, and to growing alpines, and increasingly he withdrew from front-line ornithology. Dr Kevin Carlson, a great friend over many years, recalls that George used a Gandolfi mahogany-and-brass camera with a Cook Aviar lens and wooden Ashworth

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