The Angry Corrie 17: Feb-Mar 1994
Hilluser havering (letters)
Your piece on the Durness / Erribol superquarry and the BBC TV Landward programme was excellent. Landward was, in my opinion, biased in favour of the development. The contribution made by those who opposed the scheme was selective and critically edited.
However, I am sure viewers were able to read between the lines, as you did. In consequence, and I think by default, the programme impact was one of horror, rather than of support for this ridiculous proposal.
A local opposition group has been formed to fight the scheme. TAC readers can help by contributing to the group fighting fund. Associate Membership only costs two pounds and, as your article highlighted, they need all the help they can get. Donations, please, to Jim Andrews, Blanakiel, Durness, by Lairg, Sutherland. Tel: Durness (0971) 5112780.
The programme makers have moved on, but the spectre of the superquarry remains. Please, if you can, help us send Iain Wilson and his superquarry boys packing.
("The sloppy writer guy...")
Ed. - TAC has signed up - and so should you!
I am sure I will elicit knowing smiles from TAC readers when I mention the Incredible Intelligent Sheep of Lairig Leacach Bothy. On a recent visit, I was returning from a walk over Stob Ban, and as I approached the bothy it started to rain. To my amazement, I saw a sheep run under the corrugated metal shelter. As this is so blatantly unsheeplike behaviour, I can only assume it is a hybrid, the result of a frustrated Munrobagger being over-amorous with a local sheep some years ago.
The next morning, I awoke to glorious sunshine and left the bothy, singing an old Paul Simon song as I went. To my further amazement, the sheep ran up to me, nuzzling and licking. Very odd.
Martin CC Bamford
Is Murdo aware of the tame sheep at Victoria Bridge? It eats XXX mints, honest.
Alex and Beth Dillon
Ed - What is this? Some kind of sheep lobby? We don't often have to pull editorial rank here at TAC, but sheep are woolly and stupid, and that's that. OK?
Why, oh why were there no questions in this year's Christmas quiz that appeared in the last two? Ever since I acquired a copy of the first quiz, I have been revising hard, and we all know that "revising" is synonymous with "question spotting". I thought I had it down to a T - Killin and Balquhidder (near enough), Cruachan etc - but now you've changed it and spoilt all my Christmas fun. I'll have to spend all my savings on a load of inordinately expensive OS maps.
Martin CC Beetham
Ed. - Surely maps are coordinately expensive?
Beset by injustices to such as Mountain bikers, Skiers, West Highland Wayers, an English publican in Glen Coe applying for a theme park, the NTS blatantly disobeying old Percy's instructions for the Glen, Arabs buying Wester Ross, Argyll police, Rock Tigers... (get on with it - Ed.) ...at last! A small moment of sanity in a world gone mad: Macgregor is no more!
No more helicopters and meeting "old friends". No more finding "amazing and interesting things" along the beach such as... a dead sea gull! But wait, in the great BBC way of things are we not in for a run of repeats? Have they set a precedent here in appointing a second-rate folk singer as some sort of mountain authority? Are we in for more of the same, who will be next? Tom McKean for instance, possibly the world's worst tactician. But do not fear! Just in the nick of time the Beeb redeems itself with the news that Andy Cameron is to go too! Hooray!!
Ed. - Any suggestions why Sir James was awarded his New Year MBE?
While realising that comparison has already been made between Murdo Munro and Roger Mellie's producer (TAC3, p18), I wonder if any of your readers notice the similarity between Murdo and Malcolm out of the Modern Parents? Are they perchance related? I think we should be told.
The recent appearance of Boring Snot-chin on the cover of your magazine has prompted me to waste most of my days inventing other mountain related anagrams. As you'll see when you try to reconstruct these anagrams, I'm a crap typist:
BRIAN BLESSED ON EVEREST
SCOTTISH MOUNTAINEERING TRUST
THE SCOTTISH MOUNTAINEERING CLUB
CHARLES INGLIS CLARKE HUT
SCOTTISH LANDOWNERS FEDERATION
Ed. - I've heard of cryptograms, so these must be craptypograms...
My eye was drawn to the back cover of TAC16 where you launch a campaign to abolish OS Sheet 12. This seems a very cruel fate for an innocent, harmless sheet of paper. In the spirit of the times, could not a take-over bid be mounted for it, which would allow Sheet 12 to continue to exist as part of a greater undertaking? Sheet 11 and Sheet 7 could form a consortium (perhaps with the backing of other threatened sheets) which would safeguard in perpetuity useful parts of Sheet 12.
I suggest that the area east of easting 32 (basically the coastline around Wick) moves into the area of paper currently occupied by the legend on Sheet 11. The area around Scrabster could be accommodated by a northward extension over the edge of the frame (as has happened to Red Point near Gairloch on Sheet 19). Sheet 7 could move a few miles south, as you suggested, to accommodate the remaining parts around Duncansby Head which would not fit onto Sheet 11. The new improved Sheet 11 would in fact use exactly the same size sheet of paper as does the current version, and would suffer only from the loss of its legend - perhaps this could be fitted inside the cover, instead of the advertising blurbs which fill this space now?
Interestingly, this is not a new idea. Back in the days when we had one-inch maps, Sheets 138 and 151 of the Seventh Series merged to form the much healthier sheet of Fishguard and Pembroke. This was achieved by displacing the legend into the sea.
Is your final suggestion to reduce the number of Landranger sheets to 190 part of a covert campaign to restore the one-inch Seventh Series? This after all also had 190 sheets - until the aforementioned merger of Fishguard and Pembroke reduced the total to 189.
Ed. - Legends being displaced into the sea certainly isn't a new idea. For instance, there's the legend of Cronus casting the testicles of Uranus into the Aegean off Cape Drepanum. Then there's the legend of the Bermuda Triangle, where a succession of crap TV shows starring Kate O'Mara vanished without trace mid-series.
Could I compliment you on the excellent article OS Sheet 12: Time for abolition. However, I wonder about the claim that only maps 12 and 46 do not include a Marilyn. Where's the Marilyn on Sheet 85?
Ed. - Well spotted, but we meant entirely Scottish maps. Once Alb gets invoked, there's no end to it.
Re OS overlaps (TAC16, p20):
If you think that the OS are bad now, have a look at their original maps of Scotland. A sheet could contain nothing but sea and a 1k square of Rubha X- or Y-Ness in a corner. This practice continues today in Norway, where a small island about Barra size will need three or four sheets, all of which are about 95% Arctic Ocean. Still, they have no overlaps - but at œ5 a sheet I have found them a major expense. (They are even more flimsy than ours - but at least the weather is usually better.)
PS - My "Top Ten" most mangled maps: 33, 41, 36, 25, 115 (the only one we use down here), 90 (except this one sometimes), 20, 43, 19, 50.
Ed. - This brings a thought to mind. Is it possible to compile reliable weather data comparing the eastern and western highlands simply by analysing the relative tattiness of maps? This seems sound provided the sample hillgoers visit, say, the Gorms and the Coe on a roughly equal basis. I've had to buy replacements for sheets such as 56 and 51, whereas 43 and 36 are still in good nick despite much use.