This is where it all happened for me as a member of the Boys Brigade making up a group who needed another one to complete the journey. It was winter we had huge bags, they were all 15 and I was a skinny 13, it was the mid 60’s. After an awful nights camping and exhausted we made it next day to the bothy, got a fire going and absolutely soaked we dried in front of the fire. The smoky room and the tales from a couple of real bothy characters had me hooked and still does. My Mum could not believe the smell of wood smoke on my clothes but to me they were a badge of honour. From these simple days I have loved the bothies and they have been a huge part of my life. From wild call – outs,like Camusunary in Skye, to Sourlies in Knoydart, Sheneval and so many more each has a tale and so many have enjoyed the company and the tradition of a free wild shelter in Scotland. Some abuse them and it takes a great deal of skill to keep the landowners sweet all done by the good people of the MBA who maintain and look after the bothies.
Last year I spoke at the 50 th Anniversary of the Mountain Bothies Association (MBA) in Newtonmore what a bunch of people who do great things. It was a great honour to me at the time and I was amazed that from these early days in Galloway where that journey has taken me. Why don’t you join them and support a great cause? How many of us stop out the weather at a bothy for a break and have never put our hands in our pockets to support such a great tradition, feeling guilty, get donating!
Mountain Bothies – Celebrating 50 Years of the MBA
The MBA will be 50 in 2015 and to mark the occasion, we have compiled an anniversary book. It tells the story of how Bernard Heath formed the Association 50 years ago. It recalls how some of the buildings which are today’s bothies were found. It includes tales of work parties, some of which have found their way into MBA folklore, and shows that although materials and methods of working may have changed, the enthusiasm of volunteers has not. Illustrated by photographs, line drawings and cartoons, it is a celebration of 50 years of activity by our volunteers who take delight in maintaining simple shelters in remote country for the use and benefit of all who love wild and lonely places.
The book will cost £10 per copy including postage and packaging. All profits from its sale will go towards furthering the work of the Association.