Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Gatliff Trust

One of the other by elections of the early 1970's was at Chester-le-Street the stomping ground of my old friend and sometime Durham County Councillor Derek Morse. He and I regularly used to go walking in the Lakes. We also used to go on longer expeditions completing long distance footpaths like Wainwright's Coast to Coast and the West Highland Way. On one of our longer expeditions we went way out west and stayed in the little hostels run by the Gatliff Trust in the Western Isles. I think our last visit must have been in the late 1990s. The picture  is of the hostel at Garenin near Calloway on Lewis. Derek and I were there for several days including a Sabbath Day and believe me there was nothing like a Lewis Sabbath. Particularly memorable was our trip to the Wee Free Kirk with its Gaelic service and music. I found a youtube clip and it is certainly very close to the singing we heard, the harmonies in particular are quite amazing and very different

 I arrived home to find that the newsletter from the Gatliff Trust had come in the post and it brought back many memories of my visits. Now I don't know if Cameron would claim the Trust as an example of the Big Society but I certainly commend it as a group of enthusiasts who have made a real difference. It is well worth a visit to their website

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