Secretary’s Report: Meeting of 29th March 2022

Chairman Peter Wilson opened the meeting with apologies from John Taylor, Mike South, Jim McPhail and Mike Tutt and reminded everyone about the forthcoming AGM on 26th April 2023. This will be an opportunity for members to stand for election and contribute to the smooth running of the Forum. For the next season, 2022-23, nominations are still required for Vice-Chairman, Registrar, and General Secretary.

David Alred was this week’s Speaker and brought along several trays of Kodachrome slides taken over 50 years of visits to the North-West Highlands of Scotland. In his opening remarks, he confessed to being drawn to this area because of its attractive yet wild scenery usually marked with a backdrop of rugged mountains rising up from sea-lochs cut into the coastline. Another positive for him was the ever-changing weather, where one could sometimes experience – and photograph – four different seasons in a day.

David’s presentation was designed for photo buffs and based on the careful composition of the subject with clever use of reflections in the Lochs and differing atmospheric and natural light conditions. So there was plenty to analyse on the aesthetics of the slides. There was no doubt in our minds that David had chosen this area as his favourite example of Wild Scotland and, for the benefit of those wishing to follow in his footsteps, here are some details of his route.

From Glasgow leave on the A82 towards Fort William, make a stop at the viewpoint on Rannock Moor with a wild landscape and distant views of Ben Nevis. Further along this road, there’s a junction to the left with a single-track road leading to the head of Loch Etive. This is the atmospheric route that is featured in the finale of the Bond film “Skyfall” when Bond returned with M to his childhood home “Skyfall”. In fact, Skyfall still exists in Dalness Lodge which was Ian Fleming’s family home, and can now be rented for £1200 a night complete with a butler and housekeeper!

Back to the A82 and onwards to Fort William and Corpach for an iconic picture looking back across Loch Eil to Fort William with Ben Nevis as the backdrop. Moving on, follow the A82 north alongside the Caledonian Canal to Invergarry and then left turn westwards on the A87 towards Skye, skirting the 5 Sisters mountains up on the right. Follow the River Shiel down to Loch Duich where David took us off to the left and stopped a couple of nights in Gleneig which overlooks the sea outlet of Loch Hourn.

Back to the A87 and on to Dornie at the sea end of Loch Duich. Continue towards Skye but before the Skye Bridge, turn right and North on the A890 to Strathcarron and then turn back south on the A896 to Lochcarron village. Continue on A896 for a few miles then take a left on a single track road signposted to the seaside village of Applecross.

From Applecross re-trace the route back to the A896 and continue North on to Loch Sheildaig and Loch Torridon. Sheildaig has shops and accommodation and is within easy striking distance of Inverness which should be your final destination. Judging from the remoteness shown in most photos it would seem essential to plan accommodation and eating well in advance. Or better still, have the freedom of a camper van.

In his vote of thanks, Ian Blyth commended David on his informative narrative and excellent photographs of a stunning area of Scotland.

Next week the team from Harrogate Hospital Radio will enlighten us on their non-surgical operations.

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