Clachaig’s rich history
Clachaig has been around for a very long time. That much we know. Anecdotal tales keeping popping up detailing the many associations with Clachaig over the years. So, we thought that it was about time we documented some of the detail.
For starters, here’s what was happening at Clachaig over 100 years ago.
Clachaig has long since claimed to be at the heart of Scottish mountaineering and here’s a little evidence to support that claim. If you can read the names you soon see that its a veritable who’s who of gentlemen climbers of a time gone by. Collie, Munro, Naismith, Slingsby, Glover… just some of the many names associated with the pioneering routes made in Glencoe.
Further back still, we came across an entry in the District of Glencoe & Appin Marriage Register. On 13th August 1866 Malcolm McIntyre, a fox hunter from Auchtreachtan (presumably Achtriochtan – the farm just up the glen from Clachaig) married Janet Maclennan, an innkeeper at Clachaig.
The inn also gets a mention in the Register of Births. Two years previous to this, on 17th February 1864, Janet Maclennan gave birth to Duncanina at Clachaig.
So there’s 143 years of history already!
Here’s an extract from the obituary of Gordon Rees-Jones, which was brought to our attention by a customer with a keen interest in the link between Lochaber and the commando training in WWII.
Geoffrey Rees-Jones, who has died aged 90, was a founder member of No5 Commando and a Welsh international rugby player; a pioneer in the training of Special Forces during the Second World War, he subsequently had a distinguished career in the academic world.
Rees-Jones joined No5 Commando in July 1940 at its inception. The War Office was concerned by the lack of mountain troops and asked that soldiers with a knowledge of climbing come forward. Rees-Jones volunteered and was stationed at the Clachaig Hotel in Glencoe where he and his comrades ran a course for several months and proved to the War Office that ordinary soldiers could be turned into mountaineers. Comrades remember that he had a fine tenor voice and an inexhaustible repertoire of rugby songs.
The full obituary can be read on the GlencoeScotland blog. Fascinating stuff.
Glencoe Holidays circa 1938
A couple of photos which date to around 1938, possibly a year or so later.
These were discovered in old family photo albums by Helen Keyte and are of her grandparents, presumably on a holiday in the area as there are other local scenes featured too.
Helen goes on to say,
“My Grandparents lived in Callander, having spent a large part of their lives in India. I assume they had a holiday in Glencoe as there are a few photos (not very good) of Glencoe and one of the Ballachulish hotel.
My Grandparents were Col. William Reith John Scroggie (Indian Medical Army) and his wife Marjorie.
So, not a great deal has changed. Heading to the Highlands, and Clachaig of course, for a bit of of a break is obviously nothing new! Man yhanks for the photos, Helen.
(click on the images for gallery view)
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