I always loved paintings and drawings of Mountains. I was cleaning up some of my books when out fell a card of a painting by Jean Thomas from Skye. Jean was a talented artist and I over the years bought many of her paintings and prints. Jean runs the Lochharport Gallery. She also painted birds and is such a talent, I often took the troops in at the end of a hill day to her gallery. Her husband was Pete Thomas an early guide on Skye who was also the Team Leader of Skye Mountain Rescue Team, I got to know him well. Pete also ran a bunkhouse that we used as a Base Camp with the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams on our weekend exercises. He also gave me the use of their flat for me my partner and the kids for a short holiday many years ago. We had a great time seeing the otters and coastline of Skye it was a wonderful few days. Sadly Pete passed away in 2002 when I was posted down South and missed his funeral on his gravestone it states “In loving memory Pete Thomas 1938 – 2002 Mountain Guide”.
Skye Pinnacle Ridge Sgur Na Gillian – Jean Thomas.
We had some money bequeathed to us (1994 ish?) from a Dr Don Bennet who had died and who had been an ex Deputy OIC of KMRT in the ‘50s. This was about £1100 in total (money instead of flowers at the funeral). KMRT must have made an impression on him and I’m guessing that he’d been on National Service and joined the team. I don’t even think that Sunshine (Ray Sefton) remembered his name (he did) (worth a try), but one of the really old ones might, so it’s worth asking some of them at the reunion. I can’t remember his name, but there is a little brass plaque on the painting (I think), so his name might be on there or on the back perhaps. I hope that the painting is at Lossiemouth).
The story of this painting. It was Commissioned for the 50 th Anniversary of the RAF Kinloss MRT IN 1994. Its classic as this is where the Lancaster Crashed in 1951 on the Triple Buttress of Beinn Eighe. That incident was a major influence on RAF Mountain Rescue that changed the training of all the RAF teams in the UK.
“Pat Donvan did the painting after I sent him a number of colour photographs of Being Eighe, some of the mountain and some of a stretcher party walking off which may have been taken in the Cairngorms. He cleverly put the photos together to produce the painting. I said that the most important thing was to make sure that you were at the front of the stretcher party directing proceedings!
That’s all I know, but I’ll let you know if anything else comes to mind.”
There are many other Mountain Artists Ginger Cain and his wonderful drawings and paintings from all over the World of so many Mountains.
Of course there is my pal Terry Moore who has given me several paintings they all mean so much to me.
What is yours ?