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An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:21 pm

Essan wrote:
Bourach wrote:Not ‘my’ bothies and with the greatest of respect, you know nothing of my contribution or otherwise, to maintain and repair these special places,


Indeed, we don't. But everyone knows the contributions myself and Cairngormwander have made over the past few decades ;)

We also know that some of those who have been very vocal in opposition to The Bothy Bible are connected with a group who whose website opening advertises non MBA bothies whose owners have specifically stated should not be mentioned on the internet.

Methinks your anger is somewhat misplaced ;)


Hi Essan,

Thanks for all your and Neil's hard work over the years.

Now, would you care to discuss the An Cladach situation or continue with firing more chaff than a Tornado with a heat-seeking missile on it's tale?
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Bourach » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:37 pm

Essan wrote:
Bourach wrote:My attendance at this meeting, or otherwise, is irrelevant.


So you were not at the meeting, and yet claim to represent long standing Area members such as myself and the maintenance organisers for An Cladach.

Just clarifying ;)


Attend - Mebbes aye, mebbes naw.

Represent, did I claim that?

I would again refer you to the decisions minuted by Area Officer, which I’m sure were circulated to you.....and then perhaps Specsavers, as you seem to have difficulty reading (or perhaps understanding?) my comments.

..and bully for you and your contributions over the years. How many extra votes does that entitle you to?
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Essan » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:51 pm

Bourach wrote:
..and bully for you and your contributions over the years. How many extra votes does that entitle you to?


One more than you, whom, it appears has none ;)

If you want to get involved in the MBA, do so. As you don't, shut up.


Anyway, bored now ....
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Scraggygoat » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:53 pm

A correction to the suggestion that bothies were secret in the nineties and the hinted at implication that the SBB has somehow done hill goers as service in providing locations:

It must be remembered that bothy grid references have been readily available either through the MBA, or elsewhere since the mid-1990's, and for a period before that the MBA handbooks listed them by name, but ordered by geographic locations, meaning it was a very simple task to look at an OS map and locate them. So locations haven't been 'secret' in any sense for at least 3 decades.

I'm no fan of the Bothy bible, let's not forget Geoff Allan did not provide any of the owners the courtesy of asking if they wanted thier properties included. The MOs weren't asked either. For the record I'm equally no fan of the KPC, and whoever is undermining the MBA with the poison pen campaign deserves contempt. However the water that's flown under the bridge can't be put back ....... I fail to see what Ronnie hopes to pragmatically achieve (other than stirring).
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Bourach » Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:54 pm

Essan wrote:
Bourach wrote:
..and bully for you and your contributions over the years. How many extra votes does that entitle you to?


One more than you, whom, it appears has none ;) .


Again, that would be factually inaccurate.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby McMonty » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:46 pm

So to summarise 10 pages... A (yip, just the one) bothy is to close in the non-peak seasons (unless you've got loads of tweed and a gun then it's yee-haa time) almost a year from now due to unsubstantiated claims from an estate representative about a book that it has been agreed was going to be released regardless of whether the MBA plucked a feather from the golden goose or not?

There is an ethical debate on whether the MBA should have cashed in on the book but surely everyone can see from a purely business perspective that taking the cash injection from a project the MBA had no power to stop makes sense?

It's beginning to appear that Mr Allan has not covered himself in glory by not contacting some / all estate owners prior to publication and not contributing to resolving issues arisen from content errors in the book however pointing both barrels at like-minded bothy advocates surely isn't constructive? Just because some individuals may have voted a certain way previously or have allegiance with certain individuals that aren't popular or may have an over enthusiastic way of portraying their passion for bothy upkeep it may be beneficial to remember most contributors to this thread have something in common, they want the best for the bothies.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Sat Oct 19, 2019 7:37 am

McMonty wrote:... it may be beneficial to remember most contributors to this thread have something in common, they want the best for the bothies.

A point well made by one of the new trustees: someone who openly and actively opposed changes in the MBA Articles which were voted through at the AGM. I'm pretty sure he saw they were likely to be voted through but rather than lurk in the shadows and hurl harmful accusations he took the decision to become more deeply involved and actually influence the decision-making in a constructive way. And has done even from his first meeting as a trustee again. I disagree with some of what he argues for and have no doubt we will disagree further, but I have a huge amount of respect for this guy who said exactly the same as McMonty talking about the two 'sides' in the AGM debate: "We're all here because we love and want the best for bothies." (However he was talking about people who came along and engaged in the MBA rather than the non-constructive and positively harmful trolls.)
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Sat Oct 19, 2019 5:28 pm

Scraggygoat wrote:A correction to the suggestion that bothies were secret in the nineties and the hinted at implication that the SBB has somehow done hill goers as service in providing locations:

It must be remembered that bothy grid references have been readily available either through the MBA, or elsewhere since the mid-1990's, and for a period before that the MBA handbooks listed them by name, but ordered by geographic locations, meaning it was a very simple task to look at an OS map and locate them. So locations haven't been 'secret' in any sense for at least 3 decades.

I'm no fan of the Bothy bible, let's not forget Geoff Allan did not provide any of the owners the courtesy of asking if they wanted thier properties included. The MOs weren't asked either. For the record I'm equally no fan of the KPC, and whoever is undermining the MBA with the poison pen campaign deserves contempt. However the water that's flown under the bridge can't be put back ....... I fail to see what Ronnie hopes to pragmatically achieve (other than stirring).


Hi Scraggy,

The location of bothies is not the issue here or them being 'secret'. That is a diversionary argument deployed to distract people from the real issues of someone cashing in on bothies and aided by the MBA hierarchy that has now led to a bothy closure.

Your comments about Allan's lack of courtesy cannot be bettered other than to say he will not stop cashing in on bothies aka charitable assets - his new book is evidence of that. You ask what I (and many other MBA members) hope to 'pragmatically achieve'. Well that is simple:
1. The MBA should sever all ties with Allan and his book and do this publicly. This includes his new bothy cash-in book due to be out next Spring.
2. They should refund any and all monies received from the Bothy bible. Again publicly.
3. The MBA should publicly apologise for getting this 'bothy commercialisation' issue so badly wrong and publicly state that they will not do anything like this in the future.
4. And preferably strip Geoff Allan of his MBA membership as, let us not forget not only has he cashed in on bothies when asked by the MBA trustees to 'help' with the An Cladach closure he simply refused to do so. Does that sound like a bloke that has the future well-being of bothies at heart?

I hope that answers your questions.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Cairngormwanderer » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:04 pm

Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
You ask what I (and many other MBA members) hope to 'pragmatically achieve'. Well that is simple:
1. The MBA should sever all ties with Allan and his book and do this publicly. This includes his new bothy cash-in book due to be out next Spring.
2. They should refund any and all monies received from the Bothy bible. Again publicly.
3. The MBA should publicly apologise for getting this 'bothy commercialisation' issue so badly wrong and publicly state that they will not do anything like this in the future.
4. And preferably strip Geoff Allan of his MBA membership as, let us not forget not only has he cashed in on bothies when asked by the MBA trustees to 'help' with the An Cladach closure he simply refused to do so. Does that sound like a bloke that has the future well-being of bothies at heart?

I hope that answers your questions.


Four fairly straightforward demands. I look forward to seeing them put forward as motions and debated and voted on at the next AGM. Can't think why this hasn't happened before. (Actually I can.)
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:32 pm

Cairngormwanderer wrote:
Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
You ask what I (and many other MBA members) hope to 'pragmatically achieve'. Well that is simple:
1. The MBA should sever all ties with Allan and his book and do this publicly. This includes his new bothy cash-in book due to be out next Spring.
2. They should refund any and all monies received from the Bothy bible. Again publicly.
3. The MBA should publicly apologise for getting this 'bothy commercialisation' issue so badly wrong and publicly state that they will not do anything like this in the future.
4. And preferably strip Geoff Allan of his MBA membership as, let us not forget not only has he cashed in on bothies when asked by the MBA trustees to 'help' with the An Cladach closure he simply refused to do so. Does that sound like a bloke that has the future well-being of bothies at heart?

I hope that answers your questions.


Four fairly straightforward demands. I look forward to seeing them put forward as motions and debated and voted on at the next AGM. Can't think why this hasn't happened before. (Actually I can.)


Hi Neil,

At least some of those demands have already been made by the Southwest Highlands & Islands group as I'm sure you're aware. It would seem that, given the urgency of the An Cladach closure and similar threats to other bothies, that you will be aware of, perhaps you would use your trustee 'clout' and fast-track these requests so as to prevent another bothy closure due to the Bothy Bible before next October? Surely it would be a disaster if MBA bureaucracy prevented swift preventative action?

I also note that you did not ask for McMonty's real name. Funny that.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Ronnie Hillbagger » Sat Oct 19, 2019 6:48 pm

McMonty wrote:So to summarise 10 pages... A (yip, just the one) bothy is to close in the non-peak seasons (unless you've got loads of tweed and a gun then it's yee-haa time) almost a year from now due to unsubstantiated claims from an estate representative about a book that it has been agreed was going to be released regardless of whether the MBA plucked a feather from the golden goose or not?

There is an ethical debate on whether the MBA should have cashed in on the book but surely everyone can see from a purely business perspective that taking the cash injection from a project the MBA had no power to stop makes sense?

It's beginning to appear that Mr Allan has not covered himself in glory by not contacting some / all estate owners prior to publication and not contributing to resolving issues arisen from content errors in the book however pointing both barrels at like-minded bothy advocates surely isn't constructive? Just because some individuals may have voted a certain way previously or have allegiance with certain individuals that aren't popular or may have an over enthusiastic way of portraying their passion for bothy upkeep it may be beneficial to remember most contributors to this thread have something in common, they want the best for the bothies.



Hi McMonty,

The claims from the estate are not unsubstantiated - they are minuted in MBA minutes.

Are you saying that the 'arrangement' with Allan and his book is 'ethical' now given the fact that this has lead to a bothy closure. To follow your logic what would you say if Oxfam took cash from an arms company?

Your comments about Allan are bang on - he is obviously without shame. Criticism of the MBA - a Scottish charity - is fair and valid. The reason for the criticism continuing is that the incompetent trustees running the MBA not only refuse to change course but then go on the attack of anyone who dares to question them. Just see a few of the bully-boy posts from a present trustee on this thread. Although my MBA membership will lapse I, and no doubt many others, will not be silenced until the MBA trustees have a very serious rethink. Oh, and even if I was not an MBA member it would still be perfectly valid to question a Scottish charity.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby McMonty » Sat Oct 19, 2019 8:16 pm

Ach I'm sure you know what I meant? I don't doubt the estate's comments blaming the book are in some minutes but that does not mean their claims are factual, politicians are getting away with spouting the first nonsense that comes into their head whether correct or not so I've no doubt an estate representative would do likewise to validate their chosen action.

I'm saying the estate's comments are unsubstantiated because to date I've seen no direct correlation between the book and the reported increased / over usage of the bothy. Like most things I imagine individual bothy popularity will fluctuate every year, the An Cladach case may be partially due to the book however without concrete evidence it is an assumption to say that the only reason the bothy is busier is due to the book therefore the comments are unsubstantiated.

I thought my previous comment was clear in saying the acceptance of monies from the book profits was worthy of debate from an ethical perspective so not sure how you concluded that I believe the arrangement was ethical?

Also the Oxfam example seems a bit off to be honest, I assume MBA is Oxfam and Geoff Allan is the arms dealer right? So Geoff Allan is going to cause heightened conflict and suffering (new bothy users being the guns & ammunition and bothies being the poor souls caught in the conflict) which will cause the MBA further work to resolve, is that right? If so that sounds very much like you are keen to keep bothies to current select group of users rather than advertise them as a resource open to the general public.
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Sunset tripper » Sun Oct 20, 2019 12:17 am

Ronnie Hillbagger wrote:
You ask what I (and many other MBA members) hope to 'pragmatically achieve'. Well that is simple:
1. The MBA should sever all ties with Allan and his book and do this publicly. This includes his new bothy cash-in book due to be out next Spring.
2. They should refund any and all monies received from the Bothy bible. Again publicly.
3. The MBA should publicly apologise for getting this 'bothy commercialisation' issue so badly wrong and publicly state that they will not do anything like this in the future.
4. And preferably strip Geoff Allan of his MBA membership as, let us not forget not only has he cashed in on bothies when asked by the MBA trustees to 'help' with the An Cladach closure he simply refused to do so. Does that sound like a bloke that has the future well-being of bothies at heart?

I hope that answers your questions.



Ronnie, just having a look at the list of things you wish to achieve, and for all the bluster it amounts to very little.

1. Easy to do but has little effect.
2. Refunding money is going to harm MBA projects.
3. Why a public apology? Who actually wants that and what good would it do?
4.Strip the author of the evil book of his membership. Seriously? What good does that do other than, the MBA loses another £25 a year or whatever the fee is. You or the MBA cant ban anyone from the bothies no matter how much you wish to. :roll:

So what you have achieved there is - the MBA loses thousands of pounds but it is able to sit on the moral high ground judging and criticising all others (which appears to be a common theme) who are not as squeaky clean as themselves. Basically achieving nothing possibly less than nothing.

Instead of blaming other people, if you really care about the bothies, instead of the mud slinging why not come out from the shadows, get involved attend the AGMs and I'm sure you could make a difference.


If this thread has achieved one thing above all others it will have put people off getting involved in the MBA. If it had as big a readership it would probably do more damage than has allegedly been done by the evil book.

As a famous contributor on WH has said on occasion -
"Can you imagine being stuck in a bothy with that lot?"
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby Essan » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:03 am

You'll find that those who actually get involved with maintaining bothies are a much friendlier bunch :)


Meanwhile, I understand that Geoff is going to continue donating money to the MBA, and helping with the physical maintenance of bothies, whether those who do neither like it or not.

(btw a better analogy would be a member of the RSPB, who works as a volunteer on RSPB reserves, writing a book on the best places to go bird watching)
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Re: An Cladach to be closed due to Bothy Bible

Postby jupe1407 » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:16 am

McMonty wrote:that sounds very much like you are keen to keep bothies to current select group of users rather than advertise them as a resource open to the general public.


This is the most pertinent sentence on the entire thread, imo. In the days when I could be bothered with the various bothy-related Facebook pages, this largely involved wading through the anti-bothy book rantings of lunatic Hollis and his pals. It was funny for a while, but soon got quite tedious, and indeed the general impression was that Allan had committed the mortal sin of potentially opening up bothies to NEW PEOPLE. The absolute horror.
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