Happy Christmas / Dog Tales – Exiled in England and then the return to Scotland.

Chapter 3

First of 12 ascents of the South Clunnie 9 Munros learning all the time.

In 1982 Heavy was posted to RAF Innsworth near Gloucester there was no Mountain Rescue team nearby. It was awful and when we arrived Heavy was told that no dogs were allowed on the station by the Station Warrant Officer. (SWO) He was a wild man.  As always Heavy ignored authority and we moved into an accommodation block with others and I slept in the room until the SWO found out. Heavy was back to working in the Catering Office and his boss let me come to work every day. I sat outside a lot and played with all the high ranking officers that lived there, they all liked me and played sticks and things. The SWO was not happy but could not get rid of me. I left him a message in the guardroom when Heavy was orderly Corporal one weekend!

We were saved by joining the Stafford Mountain Rescue Team where his mate Jim Morning was the Team Leader and had many great weekends as Heavy met them in his car at weekends in Wales or the Lakes. It was great to be back with the troops and I made many friends and climbed a lot more at the Peaks and other venues. At times we would meet the “odd jobs worth” on the crag or scrambled about or as I sat by the bags who wanted me on a lead but Heavy just gave them a hard time. It was long drives back at times 0300 in the morning and then straight back to work.

I slept, poor Heavy had to work. We did a few callouts one for an aircraft during the week a Harrier that crashed in Wales and I sniffed the fuel on the ridge in a night search. I had to watch as this was tricky place to be at the crash site and there were many sharp bits of metal, fuel and Heavy kept me away once they found it. The smell of fuel was overpowering to my nose and I was to find this out on many other occasions. I was glad to leave after the casualty had been recovered. We came back to Innsworth as heroes and life got easier, I was now a celebrity on the camp. Heavy upset more people on the camp and within a year we were heading back to Scotland.

I had been back twice with the RAF Stafford Team and what a trip. Once we went to the North West a huge journey and so no other humans, I did some big days, The Fannichs I think 9 Munro’s in a day , The An Teallach hills and Fisherfields and The Beinn Deargs, Seanna Bhraigh  hills my Munro book was getting ticked. I was also allowed to go to Stoer and had fun swimming round the Sea Stack with the seals whilst the troops climbed.  I also did a East to West of Scotland with Jim Morning,Bob Foreman and

East To West Scotland, With the Stafford Troops

At last we were posted from Innsworth for back to RAF Kinloss but first the RAF MRT Annual Winter Course. The car was packed with me in the passenger seat. The road was blocked on the A9 and we had to go by Braemar it was some drive and Heavy is not a great driver. We arrived at Grantown for the winter Course where Heavy was instructing I was immediately told in no way could I stay in the Centre. Welcome to Scotland!

To be continued

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Bothies, Corbetts and other hills, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Munros, Rock Climbing, SAR, Views Mountaineering, Weather. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Happy Christmas / Dog Tales – Exiled in England and then the return to Scotland.

  1. ptsd17 says:

    Merry Christmas Heavy, take care!

    Liked by 1 person

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