Jura 1983.

JURA EXPEDITION 1983

LEADER:  Hugh Lorimer

ASSISTANT LEADERS:  Tony Ball, David Broom,

Sue Hardy, Kevin Hobbs, Simon Lorimer, Alison Webster.

MEMBERS:  Tiffany Bannier, Joanne Darwent, Alison Jones, Sharmila Kar, Andrea Pointer, Xavier Bourgain,

Richard Butterworth, David Clough, James Cotton, Nigel Coultas, John Edwards, Nick Firbank, David Gillan, Richard Golsworthy,

Robert Gould, Kevin Hayler, Steven Hind, Chris Jessup, David Lankenau, Stephen Marchant, Nigel McDonald. Steven Oates, Paul Sutherland,

Jonathan Richards, Mathew Smith, Ian Whitworth.

Site of main camp:  Cruib Lodge (G.R. 567828). On site from July 20th to August 6th

Thanks to Simon and Hugh Lorimer for all the photos (I don't think they were sure who's photos were who's but Simon scanned hundreds recently and 'we' think we have the correct photos for this expedition, if however you spot a mistake, do let me know. Thanks)

LEADERS REPORT

It is one of those unfortunate things that Caledonian Macbraynes only operate daytime ferries and that there are only 24hrs in a day. This usually means that many members of an expedition to the Hebrides start their journey at 2 o'clock in the morning from Preston station and meet for breakfast in the middle of Glasgow station at 6 o'clock. So it was for the 1983 expedition to Jura, and by half past seven we were all settled in the coach for the ride to Kennacraig and the ferry. The first day of any expedition is always hard and it was past 9 in the evening before we all reached the site on Loch Tarbert. Tents were erected, food was prepared (well heated up) and eaten, and we all settled down for the night.

Cruib lodge is situated in the middle of Jura on the North side of Loch Tarbert. To get there we had to travel by boat for two miles along the loch from the road - the only alternative being to walk for an hour and a half over extremely rough country. The lodge provided an excellent food store, climbing store and medical room but for the most part we lived under canvas, using a large marquee for cooking, eating and socialising.

 

Left the 'Topper' and canoes on the beach and right, the camp set up around Cruib Lodge

By Thursday evening we had firmly established our camp, and began our activities with a mass capsize drill. In addition to the large number of canoes we also had the chance to use the new society 'Topper', a small 2 man sailing craft. Alison and Sue took many groups canoeing in Loch Tarbert, Simon and James took many more out in the Topper and for those who couldn't find craft of any form there was always the opportunity to swim - mad fools'.

By Hebridean standards the weather was superb with very little rain and sunshine on most days. We had the occasional blow but only once was there anything resembling a gale.

Kev and Dave had soon helped everyone to climb the cliff -behind the lodge and we were exploring for more climbs further afield. Sue put on her little black moustache and stood at the store room door to prevent us all from indulging ourselves. And if it was not the store room then she could usually be found patching up climbers, canoeists and leaders in the medical room.

The Topper sailing dinghy being put through it's paces by Richard Golsworthy and ?

In addition to its role as safety boat we were fortunate to be able to use the P4 as a ferry boat to take walking and climbing groups up, down and across the loch, with its help bivvies started early. The song books made a brief appearance before they mysteriously disappeared on a fortnights bivvy - the songs weren't that bad were they?

Our work party set to on the roof and made good many of the holes left by the wind and rain in the last few years. Having completed that task they then attempted to supplement our diet by building lobster pots -but you can't feed many people on a 2inch crab. Alison took a canoeing bivvy to Ruantallain, combining with a climbing bivvy to the same site. Sue and Simon took a group on a long bivvy to the Paps and Craighouse, and followed this with a bivvy bag bivvy to the top of Cruib. Dave, Kev and Tony went on a 9 man bivvy to the Paps in search of the song books - only to discover that they had been to the top several days previously and were well ahead of the search party.

Rock climbing near Cruib and the crew of Jura '83 outside Cruib Lodge.

 

See the second group photo below together with some names.*

 

The highlight of the expedition was our visit to the Ardlussa Games. After a slow start we entered many events and performed well in the Tug of War with the help of a special guest appearance by Roger Weatherly. Special mention must be made of Nigel Coultas whose Fosbury Flop was a novelty to the Island and Kevin Hobbs who made several valiant attempts to lunge the hammer across the field.

The bearded Roger Weatherley in red cagoule lends a hand.

Nigel Coultas demonstrates his jumping technique.

In the year before 1984 eight of us made a pilgrimage to Barnhill where George Orwell lived in 1948 to write 1984. It was interesting to see the place where Orwell wrote about Big Brother watching your every move, whatever you do; since Barnhill is situated in the wilds of Jura, miles from anywhere. Even in the summer there can only be a handful of visitors and the only watching eyes came from their cameras.

George Orwell's house at Barnhill

Jura has a great abundance of spectacular wildlife and we were all able to enjoy splendid views of red deer and mountain goats. Many walkers who watched where they placed their feet were also able to see adders and grass snakes in the heather. But all good holidays (whoops) expeditions have to come to an end and two weeks after we arrived, we prepared to leave. We packed early on the penultimate day and celebrated on the last night with a slap up barbecue - burgers, hot dogs and all. And the song books finally returned from their extended bivvy to the Paps and we all discovered what we had been missing. The loch Tarbert ferry service started early on the Saturday morning - we were on our way home. The race to catch the early train from Glasgow was lost when our coach hit a long nail on the road from the Isles. So yet again we were on Preston station in the early hours of the morning.

We are very grateful to all the islanders who have helped us. In particular we must thank Viscount Astor who has let us use his land for many years and is now selling the estate.

HUGH LORIMER

 

Above, the tent in the ferns. This is how I remember the area when camped there 10 years earlier, we arrived to set up camp and whilst treading down the bracken to place the tents, a cry of "ADDER" went up. This didn't give rise to a peaceful night's sleep and constant checking of footwear/sleeping bags etc was carried out for several days after. Tiffany Bannier picked herself out in the middle of the photos - by her yellow topped wellies!

Top right- When the expedition had departed? Looks like all the tents are gone and the area can be returned to ferns and adders.

Left - improvised skittle alley?

POSTSCRIPT

As the main party left Cruib after two and a half weeks there were just four of us left behind to take the equipment to Colonsay. By Saturday evening Finlay and Peter had collected us in their small boats and we had reached the Colonsay campsite. Sue, Simon, Tony and I then spent the best part of four days enjoying the Colonsay sunshine until the next expedition arrived. One such typical day started with a 3 mile walk to Kiloran Bay followed by eight hours swimming and sunbathing. Then followed a further hike to the Colonsay Hotel in Scalasaig and, after suitable refreshment, a stroll back to camp and a delicious camp meal 'a la Sue'. A glorious postscript to a Hebridean expedition.

HUGH

 

If you can name anyone in the photo then please get in touch - and yes there are 2 number 9s!

 

  1) Xavier Bourgain 

  2) Chris Jessup

  3) Ian Whitworth

  4) John Edwards

  5) Nick Firbank

  6) Richard Butterworth

  7) Nigel Coultas

  8) Dave Lankenau

  9) Richard Golsworthy (blond behind 8)

  9) Jonathan Richards (between 8 & 10!)

10) Dave Gillen

11)  Kevin Hobbs

12) James Cotton

13) Robert Gould

14) Tony Ball

15) Simon Lorimer

 

16) Stephen Marchant

17) Sue Hardy

18) Steven Hind

19) Alison Webster

20) Nigel McDonald

21) Kevin Hayler

22) Matthew Smith

23) Dave Broom

24) Dave Clough

25) Tiffany Bannier

26) Sharmila Kar

27) Alison Jones 

28) Andrea Pointer

29) Joanne Darwent

Thanks to Nick Firbank for his help in getting the name list started and to Tiffany Bannier for completing it.

CANOEING BIVVY

 

Having canoed in the past, the idea of a canoeing bivvy founded attractive so I put my name down on the list along with Kevin Hayler, Stephen Marchant. John Edwards, Bobby Gould and Tiffany Bannier. The Bivvy was to be led by Alison with Hugh escorting us in the P4.

We were to canoe along Loch Tarbert to Ruantallain where the loch meets the sea, and camp there. We were to camp with members of the climbing bivvy which brought our numbers to thirteen. The great day came and after breakfast we loaded our stuff into the P4, signed out and set off. The loch was quite calm and after one and a half hours we reached Ruantallain.

At Ruantallain we had lunch before pitching camp beside a pond. Then the climbers began to arrive in two's and three's. Tea-time arrived (unfortunately) and we gathered round the gas stove to see chopped up burgers, mixed veg, tinned tomatoes and Irish Stew all in the same pan. After eating that the rest of the evening was blurred. All I remember was sleeping outside in my bivvy bag, only to be awakened by Richard Butterworth at 1.30 asking who wanted to go and raid the AL's who were sleeping in a nearby hut. Myself and Stephen Merchant decided to go. The proposed plan of attack was to throw pebbles onto the tin roof of the hut and then repeat the same action 3 minutes later. The AL's however made no response!

The next morning we cooked breakfast in the hut - porridge and hard boiled egg. We prepared to leave only to find that the sea was much too rough to allow us to canoe back, so we had to walk the five miles back to camp in the pouring rain - an ideal end to an ideal bivvy!!

MATHEW SMITH

 

"The canoe bivvy photos are right, I remember that trip well. I'm sure we saw basking sharks, I remember we saw something big and dark in the water! I also remember capsizing in 2 feet of water right at the end and trying to stop myself going right over with my oar and all I ended up doing was filling my canoe with water! Wet through ready for the bivvy!! Then waking up to find we couldn't canoe back cos of the bad weather and having to walk all the way back in... my blue wellies!" Tiffany 

I think these two photos are from the canoe bivvy, the bottom photo is the bothy at Ruantallain as mentioned in Mathew Smith's write up opposite

A few lines above and below from Tiffany Bannier (I didn't write this myself, honestly!)

"This is awesome!!! :)) A few years ago I remember searching trying to find anything about S.H.S or any connections but was sad not to find anything on the internet.

I was on the S.H.S trip to Jura in 1983 and on the Harris Cravadale expedition in 1984. I still have all my leaflets, forms, booklets from S.H.S, they came with me to Australia!!

The expeditions were a huge highlight of my teen years and the experiences have stayed with me all these years. The memories are still very bright in my mind and I love looking at my old photos of the times.

On the Jura site the photos are correct :), I have a copy of some of them too! The ones of the topper, the 'sailor' is Richard Golsworthy. On the photo looking down at the camp with the bracken cleared around the tent, that's me in the middle!! I recognised the yellow topped blue wellies! Haha! One memory that sticks from that trip... the ticks! We used to have tick inspections every morning and evening, as they came out of the bracken to feed on you! I remember setting fire to a girls leg with meths to try and get one off... it didn't work!" Tiffany


 

 

Kevin Hobbs on the ferry.

Was there a 'no boots inside the lodge' policy?

Apparently, not only a 'no boots' but no person (unless an AL or Leader!)

Pogo stick or trying to dig the thin Jura soil?

Some photos thanks to David Broom

 

 A barbeque

Kevin Hobbs on the Paps bivvy

On the ferry possibly Steven Hind?

Kevin Hobbs relieved to get off the hills - (paps)

Tony Ball, James Cotton, Dave Lankenau, Kevin Hobbs, Paps bivvy.

Alison Webster. Bonfire at Ruantallain
Kevin Hobbs, Dave Lankenau, James Cotton, Tony Ball,  in the Paps. Alison me and Stephen Marchant in Ruantallain bothy.
 
And appropriately for the end -Dave Lankenau on the Paps