The Angry Corrie 16: Dec 1993-Jan 1994


Hilluser havering (letters)

Dear TAC,

In the Bothygate Conspiracy (TAC15, pp8-9), the most interesting question must be how your ace reporter buys a pint having already bought the tape with all his money! Temporal transfer pockets perhaps, or does the Scottish Munro Centre in fact move due to the physical effect of the metaphysical pockets and the origin and number of coins appearing therein. Further revelations are awaited with bated breath and ice axe at the ready.

Yours,

John Morris
Kincardine

Ed. - Are metaphysical pockets what metaphysical poets have in their cagoules ... ?

Dear TAC,

Whilst recently on a cycling holiday (see p3 and pp14-15 for more on this kind of behaviour - Ed.), a friend and I were merrily singing a '60s song when suddenly we realised that we had stumbled upon yet another famous hillwalking Percy, even more famous than Percy Sledge from 'I'AC 14. The Percy I am referring to is none other than Robert Plant, known as Percy by all Led Zep types. The song in question was "Babe I'm gonna leave you", from their first album, with lines such as:

"Babe I've gotta ramble..

"We're gonna walk in the park every day... "

So, was this just a coincidence, or was Mr Plant keen on bagging a few Munros of a weekend rather than doing the normal rock star thing? Well, his weekend pastime obviously provided inspiration for other songs such as Ramble On, Misty Mountain Hop, Over the Hills and Far Away, Trampled Under Foot and Black Mountain Side.

Pretty conclusive, eh?

Stephen Eglen,

aka Dr Fumble Bum
Norfalbion

Ed. - Not really. But here's apicture of Percy Plant:

Dear TAC,

Further to my letter included in your previous edition of The Angry Field, I might add that no mention has yet been made of Percy Law, that noble eminence of 304m some way south of the quaint Highland community of Town Yetholm. I sincerely trust you will remedy this disgraceful omission forthwith.

Yours &c,

Sir Hector Persiflage, Swindon

Dear TAC,

"New AgeTravellers" have escaped media attention of late, but one band in particular has brought to light a problem peculiar to Scotland. These travellers spent last winter in a layby on Loch Laggan-side in the Central Highlands. The repercussions of their visit have now to be met by all travellers to this area. Anyone who passes the layby where they camped will notice that large boulders have now been placed to block off access to all who would use the layby.

While I sympathise in some ways with the New Age people, their actions are eroding the rights of all travellers. Let's look at one case in particular, the "Scottish Travelling People", the "Tinkers".

Tinkers for over a century now have put up with depravation and persecution because they would not conform to a "settled " way of life. Scots tinkers are mainly of old Highland stock. They have been travelling the North since the Clearances, and they have had to fight long and hard to get recognised status in the scheme of things.

Along come the New Age Travellers, who are mostly people discontented with their lot in life. They lean heavily on "The State", and contribute little to the work or economy of where they live.

Tinkers, on the other hand, travelled and still travel to find work. And much of their travelling is done for this alone. I am not saying that no Tinker ever claims state benefit. Nor that no New Age Traveller would accept work. But it seems to me, and this is a personal opinion, that though New Age Travellers may have a say in where and how they want to live, their actions should not have repercussions for other minority groups, be they Tinkers, hillwalkers, caravaners, or for that matter anyone who enjoys free access to the countryside.

Yours,

Dave McFadzean

Thornhill
Dumfriesshire

Ed. - Since when has it been a bad thing to claim state benefit? Mind you, until only recently it was okay to be a single parent.

Dear TAC,

Looking at Forestry Commission land around Argyll now, I can hardly believe it's less than ten years since I wrote a piece in The Herald bitching about "The creeping green plague of blanket forestry."

In that time, drove roads, coffin routes and other ancient tracks have been reopened, thousands of broadleaf trees have been planted and the hard outlines of conifer plantations "softened."

The dedicated guys at the top have plenty of other ideas to improve matters, including plans to further regenerate areas of Scots pine, indigenous oak, birch and rowan.

But it looks as though they're not going to be allowed to do it. Why? Because this collection of misbegotten ratbags some people call a government is about to break its promise not to privatise the Commission. We all know what that will mean; you can hear them: "Of course we will take a sympathetic view of access and the environment, but our first duty must be to our shareholders.

So, unless TAC's motley readership wants forestry policies back where they were 20 years ago, a massive campaign must be launched against this latest double-cross.

Write thousands of letters to the press (local and national), TV and radio, MPs, conservation organisations and above all Viceroy Lang and Sir Hector Monro MP, the doddering auld eejit who's supposed to be in charge of such things. My MP, Ray Michie, tells me Monro doesn't seem to know what's going on, which will surprise no one.

Yours,

Jack Wills
Isle of Seil

Dear TAC,

Can you tell me if the addition of these 3000ft tops, overlooked by Mr Bearhop, affect the position of the SMC?

Top ("..." means made-up name) Height Parent Grid ref Aggyness
Stuc a'Choire Dhuibh Bhig 915m Liathach 944582 Very
"Stob Coire na Cloiche" (E ridge) 915m Ceath'nan 075228 Slight
"Stuc Fraoch Choire" (N ridge) 916m Ceath'nan 052254 A bit
Stob an Duine Ruaidh 918m Starav 124410 Quite

Also, Beinn a'Bhuird S top has moved a bit further N and higher. (It's not at all aggy.)

There is a rumour going around that the 4th Pinnacle of Gillean is possibly "in". Go for it Murdo!

And by the way, Kinder Scout (TAC15, p5) has three trig points! Does this increase its Coefficient of Agginess?

Yours,

Richard Webb
Wolverhamptalbion

Ed. - Not sure - but this is obviously the origin of the phrase "Aggy Aggy Aggy".

Dear TAC,

I really must protest. Not only does your so-called "fanzine" repeatedly plagiarise well-respected television programmes such as Crimewatch UK, The Golden Cagoule and Eurotrash, but now you have unscrupulously delved into the realm of poetry also. I have before me a first edition of Prof DJ Horseman and Sir James Ure's Pearls of English Poetry, 1923-82, in which the following bears uncanny resemblance to Hugh Tooby's "poem", The Einich Pine, in TAC15 (p16):

The Habitat Pine

Soft shafts of pearl I 00 watts
downlight the Habitat pine
in a sea of cushions
at the edge of the store.

"This pine sofa stands alone
itself complete;
if madam prefers an ancient piece
she should go to Antiques-U-Like
round the corner

"And these pines stand
for what have been left
by the throng of the sale;
not only Ratners sell crap."

I trust you will write to "Mr Tooby (presuming this to be his real name, which I very much doubt), and inform him of the laws and statutes governing this kind of behaviour. How can your magazine ever be regarded as a serious literary joumal with such slipshod editors at the helm?

Yours,

Michael Ignaffieff

Albania


TAC 16 Index