The Angry Corrie 55: Oct-Nov 2002

Leblond ambition - the search for early Munroists

Ed. - Time for an update on various pieces of hill-list research, both for general information and in the hope that readers might contribute a few thoughts, recollections and observations of their own. TAC48 included updates to the Grahamists and Donaldists lists (first published in the 1999 TACit Press booklet The Grahams and the New Donalds) and to the Corbetteers list (first published in Corbett Tops and Corbetteers, also 1999). Each of these is now maintained on the TACit website, nested under the general heading:

Online seems the most sensible place for these lists as they can be updated and amended much more readily than in print. However, if anyone without web access would like a snapshot printout of any of the listings, just send a SAE to the usual TAC address. At the time of going to press the lists detail 19 Grahamists, 193 Corbetteers and 88 Donaldists, but there's no doubt that several - perhaps numerous - names are missing from each category, especially from the period before the mid-1980s. (It's highly unlikely, for example, that no one completed the Donalds between Percy Donald himself on 28/5/33 and Ken Andrew on 1/11/69, or that there were no Corbett completions in the 1950s and only three in the 1960s.) New names are always welcome, whether ancient or modern: the idea is to gradually compile as complete a record as possible. The basic details sought are: name, home city/town/village, the person's first ever Graham/Donald/Corbett (with date, as precise as possible) and their completion hill (again with date). Details such as age, what (if any) club the person is/was in, anecdotes etc are likewise welcome.

I've also been researching early Munroists: anyone within the first-100 timescale, ie pre-1971. Munroist 100 as currently listed in Munro's Tables is the late Mike G Geddes who completed on 13/9/70 (hill unknown at present). I'll publish much more detail on the Munroist research in due course, probably in TAC sometime during 2003, but for now it's again a case of appealing for information on anyone who completed their Munros pre-1971, regardless of whether they have been listed by the SMC (or, earlier, by Eric Maxwell of the Grampian Club in the original version of the list).

I've already made considerable progress, as those early Munroists and their friends and families already contacted will know. The final Munros have been established for 69 of the 113 pre-1971 people (covering 41 different hills), but some completions remain particularly mysterious and I'm especially keen to receive information on the following:

William Douglas McKinlay (completed Munros aged 43 in 1948)

Peggy Mitchell (unlisted, possibly completed 23/1/49)

Mary I Linklater-Shirras (completed aged 50 in 1960, died 1997, lived in the Culloden area)

Philip Arthur Larder (completed aged 29 on Ben Lomond 3/9/61, based in Edinburgh at the time, possibly later in any/all of Inverness, Darlington and Avebury)

John Mole Burnett (completed aged 47 on 1/6/62)

Albert Edward Robinson (completed 9/6/62)

Kenneth Duncan Shaw (completed aged 26 on 18/8/62)

William Lindesay Wood (completed aged 50 on 25/7/63)

Henry Standen King Stapley (completed Munros aged 54 on 20/4/65 and Furth on 30/10/65)

William T Taylor (completed Munros aged 47 on 26/9/65, Tops on 18/7/66 and Furth in 1967)

Norman McDonald (completed Munros 1965, Furth 1966)

Harry A Minns (completed Munros and Furth 1967)

Dick Smith (completed Munros and Tops 3/6/68, lived in London)

Elspet MacKay (completed aged 63 in June 1968)

Alister J Main (completed aged 25 on 7/7/68, died 25/8/68, possibly lived in Kingussie)

Roger Leblond Pearce (completed aged 39 on 30/7/68)

Walter Geoffrey Carter (completed Munros aged 53 on 11/6/69, Tops 1970, Furth 1971 and Munros again 1983).

I'd also be grateful for any gap-filling info on two well-known hill men who died young: Wilfred Joseph Amadeus Tauber (completed aged 20 on 5/4/69, died soloing Bezel at Gogarth in the first half of 1972; Pean bothy is dedicated to him) and Eric Beard (completed aged 37 on 16/5/69, died on M6 aged 38 on 16/11/69; put up famously fast times for the Cuillin ridge (4hr 9min 9sec) and the four main Cairngorm Munros (4hr 41min). Where did they complete and what were their dates of birth?

TAC 55 Index