My first insight into a pub for climbers was in my first weekend at Kintail at the Kintail Lodge Hotel where I sat in awe with my shandy as the Mountain Rescue Team and the locals sang lots of folk songs and there was great craic. Over the years the Pubs became a place for us to get some heat from the tents or the village halls with limited heating we were staying in. You met many of the local characters and other climbers, most of us could write a book on the nights as we travelled over Scotland every weekend, meeting so many folk. We had the odd bit of trouble usually over the local lassies but that was quickly sorted out and the pubs and ceilidhs were good fun. The team knew many of the local characters and we brought some money into the local area through the pub and dances. We met many keepers great contacts and a dram could open a locked gate to the hills. We also met some other climbers the climbing community was a small one in these days. We all have memories of these days, how the pubs have changed nowadays but I will always be thankful for the help they gave us. This was especially true after a big call out when we arrived off the hill in time for last orders. It was a place to unwind and we were looked after.
I will never forget the soup and sandwiches or the very salty chips in the Braeraich Hotel in Newtonmore to make you drink more. Long gone are the Police coming into the Pub and telling us we had a Call -out always a nightmare involving a night drive to another area to help another team. The local teams went home on the long call outs we were stuck away from our families sometimes for several days once 10 days as we moved form Call – out to Call – out. It took a toll on our families these were the days before mobile phones and advice on PTSD. Things have moved on nowadays and for the better but I still have great memories of these pubs and Hotels. The characters and locals who helped us over the years. You know who you are here is a few places. Please feel free to comment and add. your tales.
Lock Ins – a few places that looked after us.
Cubby – Such as the infamous Clachaig lock – ins! Problem with the Kingie was that they lasted about three days. It was dubbed the Kingshouse triangle by the young lads (as seen from the Buachaille), as folk literary disappeared!
Imp in Fort William, Jacobite and the famous bell?
Phil Morrison – The PUFFER AGROUND with Libby and Graham who closed their Restaurant and opened it to the Kinloss Team over Christmas 1975.
John Hubbarb – Brodick Arms on Arran, Easter Grant, I asked when do you close, barmaid said October
Ian Mathison at Kintail Lodge was the man for after hours.
Angus Jack – Aultguish, followed by a traverse of the fireplace.
Pete Kay – Sligacan Skye 6 in the morning after a night stretcher carry from the Bastier tooth 71 ish
Portnalong – Great music and craic.
Andy Craig – Ogilvie Arms Glen Clova – lock in, stovies, singing and back to the village hall without falling into the burn off the single plank bridge.
John Thompson – Don’t forget the cook shack combo around the bomb.
Dave Gerrard – Fort William, 70,s Imperial, Fairly late, in walks PC Angus McLean “Are you boys for staying all night” ? Silence “Cause if you are I’ll be joining you.”
Graham Golding – Fife Arms at Braemar. Definitely wouldn’t happen now.
Ballahullish local pub and the Onich Hotel full of lovely lassies..
Newtonmore – Braeraich Hotel – free chips with lots of salt to entice you to drink!
Roybridge Hotel – wild nights “the battle of Royfridge” very good after call outs.
Scouse Atkins – Cairndow and Lochinver I am still recovering to this day/
Rum – Post Office after a call out, no money with us and got drink on tick !
Eigg – party after Call – out
Islay party after a Call – See Don Shanks Comment they shut at 2200 ON THE DOT.
St Kilda – Puffin Inn.
P. Winn – Padarn lake me and weasel Kennedy listening in to Joe brown and Don Whillans
Douglas Hotel Bethesda – they charged you in old money, looked after us
Cobbies – Capel – wild nights after Call -outs
England – Davie Walker – Tweedies Grasmere. Well fed after many call-outs at any hour of the night.
Jon Kerr – Great Strickland Arms near Penrith and Gosforth West Cumbria
Roger Jon – Great Strickland was always colder inside than out… even in the depths of winter
Alaska – Talketna – when does pub close – winter was the answer.
Dougie Crawford – Self medicating for PTSD….not the best strategy, but all we had at the time….memories for life. So true!
I may have missed many but any tales are welcome.
Don Shanks – One place we Didn,t get a lock in was the Scalisaig hotel on Colonsay on the Atlantique call-out, miserable sod closed at 10 and we hitched a ride on the back of the council lorry to the cowshed billet we were staying
Stay well stay safe.