TAC 49 Index
A couple of snippets of real estate news. The Riddells of Glen Lyon - installers of an unloved gate at the main access point to the Carn Mairg Munros (see TAC42 p14, TAC43 p11 and Scotsman Outdoors 27/11/99) are renowned for their attempts to do their best for the area. They're famously keen, for instance, to keep intruders (walkers, canoeists, birdwatchers) out of this most beautiful of glens - and so it was interesting to see that a recent issue of the Perthshire Advertiser included a planning application by the Riddells to build four houses at Invervar. All in the best ecological taste, no doubt. (The Riddells will surely be less unhappy than most about the FaM crisis, as they don't want outsiders around at the best of times.)
And does anyone know whether the 'Beast of Deephope' is still around? Richard Webb reports this maniac's property as having been up for sale last year, and it would be interesting to hear whether he has actually gone - and to where, since he's to be avoided at all costs. Deep-hope (79/278138) stands at the start of the most natural route to the Borders Marilyn of Law Kneis, and a considerable number of hillgoers have encountered problems here over recent years, for instance Ann and Rowland Bowker in March 1995 and Chris Upson on 10/10/99. Chris's hassle was serious, as he recalls: 'I crossed the unmarked footbridge across the Ettrick Water at Deephope Farm and was immediately aware of shouting. I assumed it had nothing to do with me so I kept walking into the forest. But then an insane-looking red-faced man came charging towards me shouting and swearing and telling me in the most aggressive fashion possible to 'Just fucking fuck off out of here' over and over again. He blocked my path and raised his fists, then struck me in the chest and said he was going to give me a 'fucking good kicking now'. I made the mistake of trying to reason with him which only made him more angry with lots more 'Fucking good kickings' being promised. I turned to walk away, at which point he shoved me in the back. When I was some distance away he then started running straight at me down the public road with more threats of violence. I gave a statement at Selkirk police station, but they didn't seem interested, and haven't pursued it. I also gave a statement to Helen Hermiston at the nearby Angecroft Caravan Park from where I had phoned the police when I was feeling very shaky just after the assault. Helen had a folder with about 50 other statements from people abused and assaulted by the same Mr Irvine of Deephope, Ettrick.' So, has he gone? (It goes without saying that, until we're sure, Law Kneis should be approached by the infinitely more friendly eastern route, from Buccleuch.)
Also on the subject of less than amenable landowners, TAC39 (p9) documented the unfruitful period of the Knoy-dart Peninsula Ltd, immediate forerunner of the Knoydart Foundation's genuine attempt to manage the great west coast area for the common good. We reported that one of KPL's erstwhile directors, Christopher Harrison, was being held by the German authorities while his company was 'at the centre of an international fraud investigation'. Now another former KPL fat cat has been proven to be a crook: Stephen Hinchliffe, former Sock Shop, Saxone and Salisburys tycoon, was jailed for five years at the Old Bailey on 16 February for bribing his bank manager (also jailed) to the tune of £800,000 in order to obtain massive unsecured loans. Hinchliffe, the Oxford-educated mansion-owning vice-president of Hull City FC, was described by prosecuting consul as being prepared to pay 'anything to anyone' in order to build up his 'ram-shackle empire'. In a Guardian report of the case, Hinchliffe is shown strolling away from his shiny Merc, registration 1 SH. Once he gets out of the slammer he should enquire as to the availability of the even more personalised SH 1T.
On the trig front, an interesting development came in early February, when the editor met Charles Knowles of Sheffield and David Spencer of Nelson for an extremely damp tramp round a few mid-Pennine pillars. (Gads, the moor east of Nab Hill was wetter than many wet things.) The main objects of interest were intended to be the tw trigs on Soil Hill north of Halifax, as these (403m at 104/076313 and 399m at 104/078315) appeared to be the most adjacent pair on any Landranger sheet: a mere 250 metres apart. They were pointed out a while ago by Charles Everett of York, and anticipation was high as we squelched uphill from the Ogden car park. But, disaster - the 403m trig has gone, bulldozed into gooey-clay oblivion as part of an extensive opencast/quarrying scheme. Sacrilege, desecration, sacre bleu...
So the search is now on for Britain's new closest trigs. The best Scotland can offer appears to be the pair in Quarry Wood just west of Elgin: they're around 550 metres apart (127m at 28/180635 and 116m at 28/ 184633). But it would be surprising were there not a tighter fit somewhere in Englandandwales, even though none of the trigs in the promising Retford cluster stand with-in a kilometre of each other. Any suggestions?
Val Hamilton tuned in to a Radio Scotland weather forecast for climbers and walkers and heard an appeal to keep off the hills made by Chris Bonington, the 'patron saint of the BMC'. He's still plain Boring Snot-chin in TAC, though.
Is this the first case of bureaucratic subterfuge during the recent crisis? The Forestry Commission webpage of closure info is: www.forestry.gov.uk/footandmousedisease.html
TAC 49 Index