A personal summary from Dave Chaffey
This was my first RHSoc Dinner following my joining RHSoc a couple of years ago. I was planning to attend in 2020, but that was cancelled due to you-know-what.
It was nice to put names to faces as people arrived from all directions - some heading south from recent island trips, some heading from the East and some from South, heading on their way to island trips. I took the train up, walking from Roy Bridge for a few days, so it was good to have a well-connected location. The weather on the weekend of the dinner is best described as mixed, but anyone who planned their trip beforehand had some great weather. This was my view across Glen Roy early on Thursday, on the way to an easy river crossing.
We had a nice large room for the AGM and Dinner which gave plenty of room for showing entries from our 2020 photo competition, a merchandise stand featuring the calendars, mugs and T-shirts.
The AGM started in the early evening and most people had returned from their days bagging, so this had around 50 attendees. I appreciated the relatively informal, interactive and brief format (given that we had had the voting beforehand). I asked about interest in an (optional) email-based discussion group, mainly for discussing events and trips and to help get feedback from members. It was good to see interest for this and get feedback about need to moderate and option to have digests. So, watch out for that in a couple of months.
The dinner itself wasn’t quite as planned since the head chef went off sick 2 days before, but a three-course meal still transpired. Kudos to Jenny Hatfield who effectively arrange 3 dinners because of the 2020 cancellation and this last-minute hiccough with catering. I and many others appreciated the craft ale options available from the Glen Spean Brewing Co. that Jenny arranged.
The room was laid out in ‘awards’ format with around 8 to a table which made for good conversations. After the dinner the results from the photo competition were announced - a shortlist of 6 from each category were selected from attendees and I was delighted - and surprised to win one of the categories - an ad hoc photo while running up a Derbyshire Tump one Monday evening. There were many other excellent pictures that weren’t shortlisted, so to give a flavour of these we set up a laptop and projector to scroll through a 100 plus photos which gave an interesting challenge to recognise them. The shortlisted and winning photos for the categories will be covered in a separate post and here are the categories for the 2021 photo competition - entries open November 2021!
Next up, there was a lot of clapping as the many recipients of many badges for Marilyn, Hump, SIB, Tump and Dodd bagging were personally awarded. The prestigious ‘Mad Bagger’ award and an impressive-looking trophy went to Michael Earnshaw for completing the Simms in 2019. More details on his achievement in the next Mutters. He also completed the Marilyns in 2015.
As is customary, the location for next year was discussed, with a few options in England, which is next in turn, suggested by Barry Smith who is arranging next year’s meal, with his brother. Shropshire was most popular when we voted, so watch this space for details!
After the meal we were fortunate to have an entertaining talk by Alan Dawson, originator of the Relative Hills of Britain book and more recently, the High Hills of Britain book. It was interesting to hear about Alan’s motivations for creating his first book back in the 1980s and how his new book is closely aligned to Sir Hugh Munro's compilation with its extensive list of 538 tops and separate mountains - he is obviously a fan.