North Uist, Loch Eport 1989.

The Last S.H.S Expedition

North Uist 1989.

Leader: Ian Earnshaw.

Assistant leaders: Rob McDermott (DL); Jo Sage (DL); Gary Sage; Jeremy Clough;

Kim Atkinson; Heidi Albert; Mark Langley; Marian Blackwell; Edi Albert.

Members: Andy Hounam; Keith MacDonald; Andrew Ward; Alex Bradbury; Dominic Gallacher; James Munley; Simon Pollard; Mark Heslop;

Phil Squance; Wayne Mountford; Kevin Goddard; Mark MacKenzie; Martyn Pegg: Mark Goodman; Elizabeth Spencer;

Terry Campbell; Melanie Williamson; Paul Amiss, Samantha Hall, Paul Stannard, Chris Bohin.

Thanks to Andy Ward, Elizabeth Spencer and Rob McDermott for sending in photos.

Leader's Report

As most of you will know this was my first expedition as a Leader. It was also the first time I had been to North Uist, so as with most of the members I didn't quite know what was in store. Before I continue, I would like to thank John MacDonald and Fiona Pearson without whom the expedition could have been much worse.

As with all good expeditions it started with the traditional hour or two hanging around Glasgow waiting for everyone to arrive before continuing on to Uig for an overnight stay. After the tents had been put up it was time for supper — the look on the barmaids face at Uig when Rob and I asked for 32 baked potatoes with cheese will stay with me for years.

The camp site from Burrabhal (assuming I am correct that the camp is at

grid ref :-  NF 90263 62765 )

The campsite with Burrabhal behind

Looking back on those glorious sunny days (ha ha ha), there are several events which spring to mind; the first of which was a remarkable new design of marquee with extension. How it stayed up will remain one of the unsolved mysteries of the world, but if Mark ever goes into architecture, he will make a fortune!!

Two of the best days for me were when I took several members down to South Uist. For those of you who were with me, events at the bothy were, to say the least, memorable. For those of you not present, too gruesome to mention. All I will say is that 'packages' have a whole new meaning in my life.

I could go on for the next few pages (want a bet?? - Ed) writing about events from the loss of the P4 engine to Edi arriving in the middle of the night after swimming the loch but you will all have your own special memories.


A busy marquee.

The one I'm sure will stand out uppermost in the mind of anyone must be the final few hours, and the slight wind that blew away the cobwebs along with the odd tent or two!! It is one of those nights that you do not forget in a hurry. You all deserve my personal thanks  - we worked well as a team under very difficult circumstances — and if I ever have to go through anything like that again, there is no other group of people I would rather go through it with than you lot.

"Squashy" and Kev Goddard

Tents by the water, (they are just visible to the right of main camp in the first photo above).

Hill top bivvy

Drying clothes in the marquee


Anyway, some of you may know that Rob and I returned to North Uist the week after the expedition to a campsite that resembled the Somme! We salvaged what we could from the stuff left behind. Below you can see what was left of one of the tents!!

That is it from me, Thanks to everyone for their help especially my fellow Directors, and hope to see you sometime in the Hebrides.

Ian Earnshaw

The rest of the SHS report containing this and Jura 1988 Expeditions will be uploaded soon and I will add a bit more from the N Uist 89 trip soon.

Andy sent me the photos so as I wasn't sure where the campsite was for this Expedition I was able to ask him, he sent me this, and later the location (see map ref on first photo). Andy wasn't the only one who remembers the wet weather, there were several comments in the S.H.S report.

"There might be some info in the report I guess but I remember, it wasn't really really far from the road. There were various races to see who could get back first. I remember you had to run over peat cuttings to get there and it wasn't that hilly, though there was a hill beyond you can see in the photos.

 It can't have been that far away from the road as we had to abandon camp with a force 8/9/10 gale meant we had to flatten the tents and marquee(?) and sleep out in a friendly farmer's barn. It was a right mess and loads of the six man green tent poles were smashed and broken. Scary and exciting and brilliant. Some great comedy moments of young 'Lutonians' getting stuck armpit deep in bogs in the middle of the night. Priceless. If I find out any info I'll let you know. For me Jura 88 was great weather on the whole and then North Uist was just wet, wet, wet!"  Andy Ward


Above - Heidi Albert

Left - Ian Earnshaw

Photos thanks to Joanna Burgess (Née Walker)








The following photos were added on 03/12/2018

 Thanks to Elizabeth Spencer for getting in touch and sending the photos

Mel, Keith Camp
 Includes Mel, ?, ?, Keith McDonald, Philip Squance (Squashy), James Manly, Ian; Brad, Sam, Dom, Sharky Kim, Mark, Squashy 
Martin, Andrew Ward, Wayne, Brad, Mark  Mark
Jez, Martin  Marion, Mark, Jez, Heidi, Ian

Keith, Mark, Kev, Chris B, Simon Pollard, Ian, James, Marion, 

Approx clockwise Chris, Mel, Mar, Keith, Squashy, Brad, Jez (standing), Liz Spencer, Simon Pollard, Sharky, Andrew Ward 

The photos below are from Rob McDermott, thanks Rob

4 views labelled Loch Eport

The following 6 photos are all labelled Lochmaddy

The following 7 photos were labelled 'Before the hurricane' and show the campsite and activities proceeding as 'normal'.

North Uist 'bivvy' (above) and then a set of photos of 'The Teamwork Challenge' and 'Losing team punishment' below.

  Above is during and after the hurricane which hit the expedition when everyone was given shelter in a nearby barn. The following shots are the aftermath of the hurricane - a great record of the final days of the final expedition.

The last two photos were labelled 'Road End, North Uist 1989' and 'Uig ferry terminal'. I'm not sure if this was the beginning or the end of the expedition? My guess is the beginning particularly for 'Road End' as everyone looks clean and they are carrying stuff away from the shore? (NS)