Forfar & District
The club decided in late 2018 that a major repair was required, basically a reconstruction. Graeme Harris, our volunteer bourach custodian made contact with
the Mountain Bothy Association and meetings were held during the winter (December 2018-February 2019) with their representative, Alan Moore.
Graeme then drew up plans for the reconstruction and the materials required. Work then went ahead to source the materials, much of which has been donated. Bob Railton volunteered to help with coordination of supplies. Graeme then drew up a programme for dismantling the bourach, for transportation of materials to the site and for the reconstruction itself.
Bob collated some statistics for the job. See here.
Here is a timeline of work parties with some photos in reverse chronological order.
The Carn Dearg donated the use of their hut to hold the celebrations.
Attendees were:- Club members: Graham B, Graeme, Bob, Steve, Carolyn, Aileen, Colin, Linda, Mel, Ian, Lesley, Willie
Volunteers: James Bussey, Iain Smith, Kenny Wright, Catherine Harris
Supporters: Neil Sangster (the ranger), Bill & Helen Thomson
A group of 12 (Iain, James, Kenny, Colin, Linda, Mel, Ian, Graeme, Catherine, Bob, Graham B, Lesley) walked from the hut up to the bourach in deteriorating conditions - heavy rain by the time they arrived. The president opened a bottle of Talisker and they all had a dram to celebrate the renovation. It was dark when the last of the group returned to the hut to join the others. A mug of soup was provided to all to warm up (Linda), then the larger group of 20 sat down for a lovely meal of 2 main courses (Steve, Carolyn).
After the meal, the president, Graham, made a speech to thank everyone for their contribution in repairing the bourach, but special thanks to Graeme and Bob for their work in coordinating the project. Graeme then cut the superb cake, made by Aileen and Carolyn - a real work of art.
Some card games were played, and much chat followed around the stove. Most folk drifted away but 9 stayed overnight (Graeme, Catherine & Kenny in the hut and Colin, Linda, Carolyn, James, Iain, Steve in 5 campervans).
It was a late rise for most the next morning. Snow had fallen well down the hills overnight. After breakfast, it was a matter of cleaning the hut and all departed by early afternoon.
Bob R paid a visit. He extended the foam insulation on the sharp edge on the corrugated roofing above the door. This should help with any head injuries. He also fitted insulation around the door frame (on a earlier visit) on the right hand side. The attached photo shows the insulation, plus notices about the bungee straps, these are repeated on the inside of the Bourach for storage purposes.
Bob R paid a visit to DB to fit 2 fixings, 1 internal and 1 external. The purpose was to be able to keep the door open in both position using Bungee straps. The internal strap is permanently fitted and the external strap is hung loosely inside the DB on a peg. Bob also fitted a 50 mm piece of insulation to the sharp edge of corrugated sheeting above the door. More comments have been added since his last last visit, and this shows people have slept overnight.
Bob R went up to the bourach to fit "Fire Warning" signs. He found some appreciative comments in the log book. Bob also removed the last of the corrugated iron from the car parking area at the end of the forest road.
3 members attended (Bob R, Colin, Carolyn).
Left Ranger Centre at 09:00. The main purpose of the work party was to (a) complete the drilling of 3 holes for the wire brackets (b) fit the 6th wire (as 5 had already been fitted) and (c)
undo twisted wire couplings and tighten using Gripple wire tighteners to fit Gripple wire tightening clamps. Clamps and tool supplied by Ali P. Thank you.
Bob also fitted a central support to the bench inside.
The last of the old corrugated iron sheets were carried down (3 loads).
The group were back at the cars at 14:45.
8 attended (7 members : Bob R, Colin, Graham B, Roy, Alex, Carolyn, Lesley) and a volunteer, Ross Richardson.
The main purpose of the work party was to complete the turfing of the roof, by removing short turfs from the outside edges, and replacing with long turfs directed
into the centre of roof. At the same time making sure that the plastic caps over the fixing holes were fitted securely. This took most of the day, cutting
and dragging turfs in builder's bags from all over the hillside. Very hard work, but the job was completed.
A start was made to patching some holes in the north wall with turf. Bob worked on padding for the roof joists, fitted some "Mind your head" signs and installed the red post on the north side.
6 loads of old corrugated iron were carried down - 2 by some random hillwalkers, who where just out for a walk! Thank you to them for helping.
Unfortunately the drilling of holes for the wires for the roof stays failed, so this work is still to complete. A good day. Set off at 09:00 and returned at 16:30.
5 members attended - Graeme, Bob R, Colin, Debbie and Brian. Using the older roofing sheets, the roof was extended towards the path. 2 more support brackets were placed on the door. 5 brackets were fitted to the walls, by drilling into the hard stone. Fencing wire was fitted to the roof and brackets in triangular shape. This is is hold the outside of the roof down in case of very strong winds. More turf was cut in long strips to cover the extension of the roof. This leaves a few wee bits and pieces to complete on the structure and the turfing to be completed. 4 more loads of unwanted sheets of corrugated iron were carried down for recycling. The group reached the cars at 4pm after a good day's work.
8 attended. 5 members - Graeme, Bob R, Colin, Kenny, Steve & Kenny C, along with 3 volunteers, Ross Richardson and son Zach, and Kenny Wright from the Carn Dearg club. Ross carried up the refurbished door. Hooks, a washing line, brush, shovel and slates were fitted to the interior. Gravel was spread on the floor. The door was fitted to the feame, Then work started on the roof. A layer of old corrugated sheets was fitted parallel to the path, and secured to the joists below. Then 18 new corrugated sheets were laid at right angles on top, and secured to the joists, as well as bring bolted round the edges. Some of the outer sheets were trimmed with an angle-grinder. Then the turf, which had been removed at the start of the project was placed on top. About a third of the roof is now turfed. The rest will need another work party to complete. Unwanted older sheets of corrugated iron were cut up and some carried down. The group reached the cars at 7pm after a good day's work.
Bob R attended. 9 Royal Marines uplifted 10 bags of gravel at speed, each weighing 23 Kilos. 1 RM had 2 bags in his rucksack. A welcome pint in the Glen Clova Hotel afterwards.
2 members attended - Graeme & Kenny C, along with a joiner volunteer, Iain Smith. Bob R. also helped out by carrying up the door frame on Saturday. Iain did a fantastic job over the weekend - despite a lot of rain and a fair helping of lightning. A massive thank you to you, Iain. The work took all of Saturday and also Sunday morning. Bob R. did a great job shouldering the door frame up to us on Saturday. The timber frame and sleeping platform are now complete. The door frame is fitted ready for the door this next weekend.
Bob R has re-assembled the refurbished door. Notice the extra window in the door itself.
Bob R has been working on the door and has also repainted the plaque that is to be re-attached to the door.
2 members attended - Graeme & Kenny C. They were joined by Ross Richardson and his son, 'Disco' Zach. The group finished concreting in the brackets for the timber frame. They also brought down the wheelbarrow and various tools.
5 members attended - Graeme, Graham B, Bob R, Carolyn & Kenny C. There were 2 main tasks for the day - setting the steel brackets for the wooden framework in concrete (7 out of 10 were laid), and cutting more turf for covering the outside of the north wall and the RHS of the door. Concrete was mixed on the spot, with the carrying of water necessary from nearby burns.
Graeme had started work on the door, but Bob R voluntered to complete the job. Bob sent this photo of the shot-blasted and zinc-primed door. He's in the process of final painting of it. Note the new window within the door to let in more light.
The work party was based in the Carn Dearg Hut for the weekend. Aileen & Carolyn acted as caterers. James and Ian, the stoneworkers attended for their 2nd weekend. 2 members (Graeme & Ian) attended all weekend. Colin & Kenny Wright (Carn Dearg) attended on Saturday, and Graham B attended on Sunday.
The back wall was patched up, and the top of the wall was turfed.
Work continued on the NW corner, the west wall and the doorway. Great progress was made.
The work party was based in the Carn Dearg Hut for the weekend. Linda & Colin acted as caterers.
2 members (Graeme & Colin) helped the stone-workers at the bourach. James Bussey from Crieff was the professional who had volunteered.
Ian Wishart from Edinburgh, with some stone-working training, also attended. Bob R came up on Sunday morning to tidy up the new roofing materials
and carried down more old corrugated sheeting that that been exposed.
The weather was mixed. The group worked through several heavy showers (one with hail) on Saturday, and the early part of Sunday was wet, but cleared up later.
James has been up to look at the bourach, but with roof still on. When he saw the size of the job (without the roof), and the time available, he decided to concentrate on 3 areas :- the collapsed NW corner, the doorway and some of the back wall. Saturday saw the party dismantle the doorway and the corner, and strip the top part of the west wall. The doorway was exposed by removing lots of turf and soil. The NW corner was stripped to ground level. James estimated 3 tonnes of rock were removed. Most was dumped outside the door. James then set to work on rebuilding the corner. Graeme worked on rebuilding the right hand side of the doorway, and Colin and Ian worked on raising the the west wall.
The first job on Sunday morning was to drag a dead deer from below the bourach well down the hiil. It had died during calving. Work then continued on from Saturday and good progress was made. In the late afternoon, the group returned to the hut for refreshments and lot set to continue on the following weekend.
11 volunteers from the 45 Commando Royal Marines and 3 club members (Bob R, Ian, Graham B) were able to move all the remaining materials required up to the bourach. This ensures that the team who will be there on 8/8 June will be ready to go with the reconstruction. A big thanks to all involved.
Forfar Dispatch Article. Author unknown.
Graeme, Katherine (Graeme’s Daughter) and Bob R. Transported 4 pieces of the sarking, and brought down the last pieces of the old roof sections.
Colin, Carolyn, Nan and Bob R. Transported 10 posts and brought down some of the scrap roof.
Willie, Bob R and Stewart Miller with horses Angus and Brie. Transported 8 posts, and brought down some of the scrap roof.
Graeme, Ross & Mark (Richardson non-members) and Bob R. Transported 6 sheets of corrugated roofing. Brought down the door and frame, plus scrap roof sections.
Graeme, Ian, Roy, and Bob R. Transported 5 sheets of new galvanised corrugated roof (8’x3’). Brought down some of scrap roof to the bottom storage area.
Debbie, Brian, Steve, Graham B, Roy, and Bob R. Dismantled old roof. Turf removed and stored. Roof sheets removed and stored in 2 sections. One retained for further use, and one scrap area.