Jura 1979

LEADER: Stephen Paynter

ASSISTANT LEADERS:- Ian Shortman, David Ward, Jeremy Biggs, David Davis,

Humphrey Southal1, Giles Henschel, Dick Light.

MEMBERS: Timothy Baxter, David Bentley, Philip Bower, John Fairey, Andrew Fawthrop, Lee Godfrey, Robert Greenwood,

Andrew Griffin, John Hornsey, David Hunt, Philip Jones, Geoffrey King, David Lee, Austin Madelaine, Keith Marsh, Ian Marshall,

Kevin Mott, Paul Nichols, Billy Orr, Paul Reed, Gary Robinson, Hugh Filton, Garry Stephenson,

Roy Tooth, Douglas Warburton, Tony Ward, Gary Yeo.

Thanks to David Bentley for supplying all the photos and captions.


I shuddered as I passed the telephone in the hall and made for the front door. "If that ‘phone rings now", I thought, “I'm gonna take out a contract on ‘Buzby’ and provide an interesting job for a telephone engineer'. Thank goodness for this expedition, I’ll be able to escape all this organising and paperwork" thinks cool-headed leader as he frees his rucksack from between the porch doors. Is this the reason leaders ever go on their expeditions, to take a break from the pre-expedition organisation?

Well, Jura 1979 was underway for me and it gradually gathered momentum and took shape over the next few days. Somehow the confused mass of bodies and equipment fused into a semblance of order and structure around that bastion of permanence - ‘Cruib Lodge’. Cruib must have been made for an SHS expedition and proved both a hospitable and charming host to us.

Something that never fails to surprise me about outward bound activities and especially SHS expeditions is their sheer eventfulness. The incredible amount of new and varied places, people and experiences which somehow get crammed into two short weeks. Jura 1979 was certainly no exception. There was the Jura Sports Day which was washed out for the first time in forty years. The memory of watching some locals engrossed in a hammer competition while I was eating hot meat pies and drinking a can of MacEwans will take a long time to evaporate. They were to a man in shirt sleeves and seemed oblivious to the absolutely torrential down-pour taking place.

Then one peaceful evening while resting after a day on the paps, some members of a yacht crew came ashore and reported two of their number missing on the island in plimsolls, tee-shirts and a compass but no map.' Our last search party didn't return until after midnight and during the operation both the Coastguard and Islay Lifeboat turned out. Meanwhile, intrepid expeditioneer Roy completes a reconnaissance for his 'Trans-Hebridean Trek'. The party is weary and sore but flushed with their success.


Eventfulness was certainly the trademark of Jura ‘79. I will always remember the epic which took place on the mud flats of Loch Tarbert, as Tim Baxter, Dave Bentley, Peter Youngson, the Jura minister, and myself fought an hour long battle with an outgoing tide + the new inflatable and engine, four 32 lbs gas cylinders, some considerable quantity of wood for furniture, a bread supply and the shell project which Peter was going to present to the expedition. We would get the inflatable into deep water, but by the time we had it loaded it would have grounded again. Well, eventually success seemed within our grasp as Peter laboured under the last gas cylinder, stuck fast in the mud, waited for me to manoeuvre the craft to him. Peter keeled over backwards and seeing him there in the mud with the cylinder in his lap left me helpless with the ridiculousness of the situation.

Roy’s ‘Trans-Hebridean Trek', a 50 mile four-day hike, actually set out twice, but on both occasions was forced back to base. Then tragedy struck on the eve of the Jura regatta. Harvey was demasted in transit and her resultant withdrawal from the expedition and the regatta was a great loss to us all. Good positions in the canoeing and swimming did something to raise morale.

It was events such as this, and many more, which wove together to form the unique character of Jura ‘79 and made it special for each one of us. Our memories may differ but we shared the experience together in a place of rugged breath-taking beauty bathed in calmness, peace and permanence and surrounded by a flow of rich, abundant life.

Thanks must go to Peter Youngson for his unreserved enthusiasm to help, not only with the excellent shell project and social interviews but also with the practical side of the expedition. Thanks also to Neil Maclnnes, Charlie MacLean and Jack Paton for their cheerful welcome, friendship and help with the difficult problem of transport and last but not least to the Jura people for the warmth and generosity they showed us throughout our stay.


Ian Shortman shows his backside as Giles Henshal fiddles with the outboard. Tony Ward and Paul Nichols make ready the boat.

Camp fire on the beach, Tony Ward far left, then unknown and next Ian Shortman and Dave Bentley on the right.

View at the back of the camp.

The Paps of Jura

"McEwan's Export. There was a local sports day held at the north of the island and it was decreed that we would walk there, some 15 miles. Everybody set off like hares and 5 of us just slugged at the back. However we decided that after the second car had passed we would thumb a lift. The first car we thumbed did stop and we arrived at the big house 2 hours earlier than anybody. The staff brought us tea and biscuits and then offered to sell us drinks - which turned out to be beer. Being a tortoise works for me!" Dave Bentley.  Right - Billy Orr, Kevin Mott, Tony Ward, Lee Godfrey, Autin Madelaine and Doug Warburton plus another showing off the tower of empty beer tins.

"Me [Dave Bentley], Paul Nichols and Tony Ward kill time in Craighouse after our boat was wrecked en route to the sailing regatta".

The long walk to Craighouse. Having reached the road it was time to grab 40 winks.

Another kip in the grass - a bit of a theme here!

Ready to set off on the journey to Craighouse for a visit to church with Steve Paynter. Not sure what the had and gloves were, for it was warm. We figured that a trip and overnight stay at the minister's house might result in some food.

One of the many cows on the island.

Cruib Lodge.

Washing the wetsuit - Ian Shortman with Austin Madelaine.

"It was our tents turn to do camp duties, Austin Madelaine, Lee Godfrey and Ian Marshal. This was the day we filled the portaloo with neat Blue".

Our tent

Ian Marshall, Lee Godfrey, Austin Madelaine and Billy Orr outside our tent.

Sailing the Harvey Wallbanger before she was wrecked. Sailing

The minister with his son showing off a salmon from his nets.

Dave Bentley? with salmon.

Our team in the regatta Ian Shortman about to enter the canoe race at the Regatta in Craighorse.
Cruib Lodge and the main marquee View of the back of the camp

Me and Austin Madelaine enjoying some grub, not sure what it was.