Knoydart 1977.

Leader: Craig Roscoe.

Members: Ian Arrow, Simon Atkinson, Don Campbell. John Cherrington, Neil Cornick, Benoit Hetier,

Paul Hillman, Neil Hyde, Tony Ingleby, Steven Jeff,  Hugh Lorimer, Gary Marshall, Ian Mayhew, Andrew Morris,

Mark Pratley, Ian Shortman, Bill Siggins, Gordon Stevenson, Simon Traynor, Pete Weston.



We viewed the site at Shamadalen with some suspicion; after all, the mainland of Scotland is not the Outer Hebrides. On arrival I had the feeling that the experience would be somehow diminished by this fact. Fortunately, I was wholly wrong; Knoydart provided a mountainous beauty unknown on the islands. We all felt this more than compensated. My first inkling as to the ultimate success of the expedition was when it became apparent just how badly it was starting off. Torrential rainfall and zero visibility on the crossing from Mallaig led the more pessimistic elements of our party to suggest that Bruce Watt was going along the wrong side of Skye. Needless to say Bruce Watt was right, and at last the village of Airor became visible through the rain. The weather remained exciting and provided us with the monsoon necessary to enliven the boring and unchallenging process of carrying all our equipment a mile to the site. At this point I must thank Don for sorting out the gear at the landing place, Simon for the prompt way in which everything was stored when it reached the house, and everyone else for some terrific sherparing in truly frightful conditions. True to form, the weather cleared up as soon as camp was established, we were little troubled by the weather from this point onwards, the only exception being the day of Tony's watersports in which rivers were caused to flow across cricket pitches, and Viking burials were re-enacted using an S.H.S canoe and the Frenchmen Ben.

Thanks to Gary Marshall who supplied all the photos and captions, although I may have assigned the wrong captions to some - I'm sure they will be spotted if I have. Nick

The stream in flood

Somebody canoeing in the stream after the rain! (Centre of photo)

Ours was very much an activities expedition. The walking potential of the site was exploited by everyone and few of us will forget the sight from the top of Ladhar Beinn; a landscape of mountains. A great deal of canoeing and boating was also done thanks to Tony's enthusiasm and Pete's astonishing ability to keep our outboard motor going. Mention must be made of the Mackerel slaughter performed by Gary (Davy Jones) Marshall and Co. Fishing expeditions yielded so much mackerel that it was necessary to follow the EEC and place a limit on the catch size. I seem to have gone off fish since the expedition. When none of the aforementioned activities were in progress, the entire camp was engaged in the Knoydart test-series (Kerry Packer please note.)

A large haul of mackerel on the bothy floor which fed the camp for a few days

Simon and Gary Marshall [Is that correct Gary]

Playing bridge on a very rainy day- Simon Atkinson, Hugh, Craig Roscoe Ian Arrow, Jock Stevenson?

Hugh Lorimer, John Cherrington, Jock Stevenson and ? at breakfast outside 

As our level of physical activity was high, our level of mental activity was almost non-existent. Only two projects ware carried out, both by Don, who took time off from walking us into the ground, to produce a woodland survey and a bird species diversity index. About this stage in the report it is traditional for a leader to list the memories of his expedition that he will 'carry with him to the grave.. I see no need. to depart from that tradition and will, therefore, beg everyone’s' indulgence. My most vivid memories are of the great race to the top of Ladhar Beinn, the breathtaking view from the top, sunset of the Cuillins and the state of my feet after the 58 mile return trip to Camusrory.

The boys at the shop at Inverie after an eight mile walk! Think we bought all the Mars bars!

Chopping fish boxes for the fire

Jock and fishing tackle

I think this is Simon Atkinson (Gary - is this correct?)

A couple of views of the Bothy, Gary Marshall, who sent in these photos wrote "The bothy is now inhabited by a nice couple who I met recently. Julie and I have just got back from Knoydart, we went to the bothy and I showed the couple the photos. They said it was just like that in 1981 when they moved in i.e., no electricity or water, just tilly lamps and bottled gas- and they had two small children"!

The officers with Ian Mayhew seated

A view up the coast

The expedition was a good one thanks to both people and place. It was over too soon however, and we went south with a sense of loss. I would like to thank everyone who made the expedition possible; the SHS administration, the expedition members and the inhabitants of Knoydart. My special thanks must go to Mr Ken Dixon who delivered our bread, Mr A MacDonald, the land-factor, and Mr. Bruce Watt whose punctuality puts British Rail to shame.

Jock and Chez (Cherrington) [If I've got that correct?]

The island at low tide

I have just received this photo [19/05/2017] from Craig Roscoe, his comments below.

"It really does bring back (good) memories.  I attach the ‘official’ expedition photograph of the Knoydart 77 expedition taken, I think, by Hugh Lorimer with a remote trigger.

On another point, the ‘crates of Guinness’ legend on Nick Deeley’s Mingulay one is entirely factual.  All we had to do was supply some photographs for their staff mag in return for their welcome product."