The Angry Corrie 6: Mar-Apr 1992

Close encounters of the laird kind No.1

In a new feature - which will hopefully run and run to an extraordinarily long series, stretching far into the 21st century and establishing TAC as the Desert Island Discs of the fanzine world - we report on chance meetings with those who purport to own the hills we roam. So for starters, and to set your own memories flooding in, our very own Perkin Warbeck recalls a Lomondside encounter from the mid-eighties:

Some years ago, when The Angry Corrie was a twinkle in your editor's beard and he and his trusty "Best Boy" had time to climb hills, they were relaxing in the Inverbeg Inn after an afternoon up Glen Luss. Among the assorted shepherds and soap opera stars was a venerable figure in evening dress looking slightly misplaced.

Suddenly, like the Ancient Mariner, he speared us with a steely gaze.

- You'll have been on the hills then lads?

It was useless to deny it. Your editor only has one set of clothes and it kind of gives him away.

- Have you been on Beinn Narnain, Beinn Ime or The Cobbler? If so, you've been on my land.

What manner of man was this? The man who owns The Cobbler. The eponymous Arthur. Some pleasantries ensued before the steely gaze was again brought into action.

- You may be wondering, lads, why I'm in full evening dress.

OK, it had crossed our minds. It was, after all, only three-thirty in the afternoon.

- It so happens I'm a Grandmaster in the Masonic Lodge and have been these twenty years. I'm on my way to a Masonic function in the Albany Hotel.

Our first ever encounter with the owner of a hill and he was a performer of the secret rites - of bizarre rituals among the Narnain Boulders, where there are certainly plenty of bits of rock for the famous sequence:

A brother lies at the outer portal. What a finely shaped piece of stone thou hast, brother, for King Solomon's Temple.

In fact the great mystery of the concrete railroad up Beinn Narnain might be solved. Could King Solomon's Temple actually have been under construction until, with the ghastly martyring of Hiram Biff, the brothers called it off? A walk along the high water mark at Arrochar might reveal the buried tongues that would confirm it.

The cautious might care to add dividers and a set-square to their tick list for climbing the above hills.

TAC 6 Index