The Angry Corrie 5: Jan-Feb 1992
I feel that I detect, having leafed through various editions of your erudite publication, that you seem to have some dislike of the "YUPpie".
Clearly, by definition, all hillwalkers are Upwardly mobile. Similarly, the majority could claim to be Persons. By the process of elimination, you must therefore dislike the Young part.
What I want to know is, why are you so against young folk?
Ed. - Damn! Rumbled! OK, it's time to come clean. Your TAC editorial board are a bunch of ageing conservative fuddy-duddies who want to see raucous youngsters barred from the hills altogether. What's so wrong about that?
How many footballers are named after Munros? Easy ones include Ben Oss-good and Geal (Chic) Charn-ley; a bit trickier is Ben Lui Donowa, but there must be many more.
Ed. - Right enough, we've come up with Beinn Ime-ri Varadi and, at a pinch, Sgurr Alasdair McCoist. The latter is a bit of a cheat, given that it's someone's name to start with, but the Super Ally's beloved Gers have never been averse to a spot of goalpost-moving/touchline narrowing themselves, have they now?
I realise the following letter isn't funny, but some things aren't too humorous. But what the hell!
One of the most interesting areas of controversy in recent months has been the "Conservation v Access" debate. Correspondingly large landowners and their respective organisations have tacked onto the "conservation" camp. No-one argues with sensible, appropriate controls, but these controls should not be used to allow certain estates the opportunity to carry on with practices such as illegal poisoning and shooting.
The rise of hillwalking has provided ample evidence of the obscene practices carried out upon some protected species. Restricting access to preserve "wildlife" is at present often a crude attempt at stopping walkers finding the corpses.
Do not entertain such hollow arguments.
I have just read (with disgust) in one of the "glossy" magazines, that an organisation - the BAA - is planning on having areas set aside for the purpose of abseiling only - complete with fixed bolts! If this happens (and I hope it won't), not only will we have the MOD, the Forestry Commission and absentee landlords, but we will have these people as well saying "Bugger off, you're not allowed here!"
So in the future, as you sit in your favourite pub in Glen Coe, how will you be able to spot one of these people? Will it be:
A. A badge pinned to their Goretex hat/jacket/condom?
B. The rolled-up trouser-leg and funny handshake?
C. The smug look of satisfaction (after telling people to bugger off)?
D. The "flat nose" - after too many slips?
E. The bolt through the neck? (Difficult to spot if they have beards.)
I think any of the above would fit the description.
Ed. - Hmm. I always thought BAA stood for British Aviation Authority, a fact which Harry's airport-vicinity address would tend to support. Are we not being told the plane truth?!
It has come to my attention that your magazine seems to be of the opinion that it is impossible to climb a Munro without having to climb over other people. I can only assume that this is because you Glaswegians never venture north of Glen Coe (annual visits to Skye or Torridon excepted).
To set the record straight, and not to deter peace-seeking walkers from the Munros, if you want to climb - and be the only person/people for miles - simply go north of the Great Glen on a weekday.
Ed. - Personally I try never to go north of Crianlarich myself
In June 1991 I was walking up to Stob Coire nan Lochan on my way to Bidean with a couple of friends when we came across a Channel Four filmcrew doing a piece on access to the hills with the Smiths (John - Shadow Chancellor, and Chris - the MP who had completed the Munros some time before). Apparently John Smith had then "done" 70 Munros since his heart attack and hopes to have been up 100 more before the election, since he doesn't expect to have much time for walking thereafter!
In August, another friend and I were scrambling along the top of Stac Pollaidh when we came across Muriel and her filmcrew doing a piece on "danglers" for the next Munro Show.
Is this is a record? And don't you think you should be doing a piece on erosion specifically caused by the humphing of film equipment up our beloved hills?
Yours (in parenthesis),
Ed. - I once walked past Brian "Clear the stage! Here I am!" Blessed in the street; does that count? (He was eating a piece at the time.)
Glad to see Zappa got a mention in TAC4. Is there any room for expansion on this?
P.S. - I saw a book along the same lines as Cameron McNeish's "The Best Hillwalking in Scotland", called "The Best Shooting in Scotland". What next?!
Ed. - How about "The Best Dead Animals in Scotland"?
If TAC does nothing else, it deserves lasting fame for providing H.Brown with the chance to write his best-ever piece. To say it took a long, long time for him to "come out" is probably petty and ungenerous. But I'll say it anyway.
So what happens now? Maybe your countless and ever-growing readership could be asked to report land abuses, overstocking of deer and sheep, private signs, beware of bulls, etc. Then you could do a wee list along with the names and addresses of offenders.
This would enable your countless and ever-growing readership to:
We'll get no help from the glossies. After all, an offending estate might belong to Count von Berghaus und Dachstein - and that would be bad for advertising.
You're doing a great job,
What a long-winded, pretentious boring old flatulent yon Tory councillor was. Keep up the political bias in your scurrilous organ.