Pioneers of the Great Outdoor movement honoured

Craigallian memorial walkers from early 1930s  who started the outdoor walking movement called Craigallian Fire. West Highland Way next to Craigallian Loch before Strathblane.Jack Williamson,Ian Grieve,Tom McGuiness,Willie Grieve and David Campbell-designer '17/9/12'Photo Emma Mitchell
Craigallian memorial walkers from early 1930s who started the outdoor walking movement called Craigallian Fire. West Highland Way next to Craigallian Loch before Strathblane.Jack Williamson,Ian Grieve,Tom McGuiness,Willie Grieve and David Campbell-designer '17/9/12'Photo Emma Mitchell

A MEMORIAL to the pioneers of the outdoor movement in Scotland was unveiled on Saturday next to Craigallian Loch on the West Highland Way which was attended by around 100 people.

The monument known as the Craigallian Fire cost about £5,000 to construct and put in place and has taken four years’s to complete from when it was first suggested.

The cash was raised from donations from outdoor clubs, and organisations promoting the great outdoors and honours the young working class men and women who stopped by an impromptu fire for some warmth and a blether in the early 1930s.

These pioneers sought to escape the Great Depression and crushing poverty by walking into the Campsies and beyond.

One man who visited the spot in 1938, as a boy of 14, and helped the organisers of the memorial, brothers William and Iain Grieve, locate where the fire used to be is Tom McGuinness.

Although Tom, who has lived in Milngavie for more than 60 years, he was not part of the original ‘firesitter’, but recalls knowing many of them with fond memories and it was William and Iain who turned to him for help in researching the history of the fire.

The brothers’ late father Robert was involved in the fire and sparked their interest in what has become part of Scottish outdoor folklore.

Tom (88) who lost his sight when he was 57, was one of the 100 or so people who turned up to the unveiling and the cutting of a special cake.

The former optical engineer, along with the Grieves brothers gave a short speech thanking all those who had made this memorial possible.

For more information on the history of the fire visit www.craigallianfire.org.uk

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A FITTING TRIBUTE . . . some of the people that made the memorial possible. Left to right, Jack Williamson, Ian Grieve, Tom McGuiness, Willie Grieve and David Campbell. (Ref: m21455b) All pictures: EMMA MITCHELL

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CELEBRATORY CAKE . . . a special cake was baked for the occasion. (Ref:m21455d)

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A SLICE OF THE ACTION . . . outdoor enthusiasts of old mark the unveiling ceremony by cutting a cake. Left to right are the late Tom Weir’ wife Rhona, Bert Dobbie, Willie Grieves, Kay Grieve, and Fanny Grieve - Willie’s wife. (Ref:m21455d)