TAC 27 May-Jul96

TAC 27 Index

Occasional Table Talk

Alan Blanco

Four new TACit Table booklets are planned for this year, and the Series Editor is getting worried. England, Wales, Ireland and The World are all due for the same sort of precise in-height analysis already given to the Highlands and Lowlands. The source of Ed's worries is the generic name to be used for some of these hills. Now if you were given the task of thinking George V of a name for the Hills of England, Wales and Ireland over Two Thousand feet, it surely wouldn't take much beard-scratching before you came up with the acronym Hewitts. Pretty obvious, pretty logical. No case to answer. Trouble is, by sheer unlucky coincidence, that is also Ed's surname. And he's worried that all his friends (don't laugh) will see this as another sign of his creeping megalomania, what with publishing his own book, having his fizzog in TGO, and all these Beeb requests to appear on radio progs that no-one ever listens to.

So anyway, he's asked me to set the record straight, before it gets crooked, which I'm happy to do. It's my fault. I admit it. I invented the name Hewitts. It's just an acronym, nothing more. Any resemblance to any person living or dead, or those you're not sure about, is entirely coincidental. I hope that's cleared the air on that particular subject.

Moving on to megahighmaniacs, you're no doubt excited at the prospect of the Baggers' Hall of Fame that Ed promised in TAC26. Seems to me more of a Cupboard-under-the-stairs of Fame, but here it is anyway, the Top Ten known Marilyn baggers as at the end of 1995:

1112 Rowland Bowker, Keswick (April 1996: 1184)
1070 Tony Payne, Lochgilphead (April 1996: 1112)
1067 Ann Bowker, Keswick (April 1996: 1143)
926 Colin Donnelly, Caernarfon
850 No publicity please, Scotland
845 John Crummett, Bradford (April 1996: 850)
612 Gordon Adshead, Manchester
600 Baggers anonymous, Moray
547 Alan Blanco, Glasgow (April 1996: 573)
519 Dave Hewitt, Glasgow (April 1996: 531)

I'll be refurbishing this hall at the end of 1996, so anyone who has climbed over 600 Marilyns by then, or has a friend who thinks they might have done, please get in touch, via TAC or by email to Blanco@udcf.gla.ac.uk

Politically aware readers, and others wondering why their council tax has just gone up by 36%, will have noticed that Scotland has been reorganised again, in another futile attempt to rustle up some more Tory councillors. This means that the County Tops, or Region Tops to be more politically correct, have disappeared into history alongside Strathclyde, Central and the rest. Instead we have a shiny new set of 32 Scottish councils. I tried to persuade Ed that TAC readers would lap up the full list of their highpoints, but he claimed that publishing it would leave less room for his own waffling, so you'll have to make do with edited highlights instead.

There are only 31 Council Tops, as Ben Macdui is shared by Moray and Aberdeenshire. Only five other Council Tops are Murdos - Ben Nevis, Ben Lawers, Ben More, Ben Cruachan and Glas Maol. This elite set is joined by four Corbetts (Goat Fell, Merrick, Broad Law and Clisham) and four Grahams (Culter Fell, Ben Cleuch, Blackcraig Hill and Blackhope Scar). Ten other Council Tops are also Marilyns; the six non-Marilyn summits are in Glasgow (Springburn Park, 110m), Falkirk (Darrach Hill, 357m), Inverclyde (Creuch Hill, 441m), North Lanarkshire (Cort-ma Law East Top, 525m), West Lothian (West Cairn Hill, 562m) and South Ayrshire (Kirriereoch Hill shoulder, 782m). I'm still trying to check on Dundee, as I think Craigowl Hill left to join Angus on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling, and the replacement is awaiting a work permit.

Wales has also become unitary-authority land, with 22 new Council Tops, while Albion itself is in total chaos. Avon, Cleveland and Humberside seem to have finally passed away, but elsewhere the gerrymandering meanders on. I'm not sure I can be bothered to keep up with it all, but I know a man who can. Some people are sadder than others.

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