It’s been said – and with some cause – that a bothy without a fire is just a shed.
Well Callater Bothy may not have a fire yet, but it’s looking considerably more welcoming after this weekend.
Callater Bothy, sitting beside Callater Lodge beside the loch of the same name in Glen – you’ve guessed it – Callater, was subjected to an MBA Eastern Highlands makeover, with about 15 or more volunteers taking it apart and putting it together again.
Led by Maintenance Organiser John Gifford, with Kenny Freeman project managing, the volunteers replaced two old roofing panels and removed three panels at the front, replacing them with perspex and cutting light wells through roof and ceiling, bringing lots more light into what was once a very dark bothy. There’s also a roan pipe along the front of the bothy.
Inside, the sleeping platform was removed and a new wall built to split the one long room into two, one of which will have bunk beds (currently half built), with the other a living area which is smaller and easier to get warmer.
In the long term everyone is still hoping to persuade the estate to allow a stove or fireplace to be put in, but in the meantime the bothy is at least lighter and more welcoming.
Even with people working beside, through and over each other, though, there wasn’t time to complete all the work in the two days available, and it still remains to complete the bunks in the sleeping room, fit facings round the light wells, and, eventually, build an internal storm porch to keep more of the draughts out. As with all these jobs, completion will depend on availability of volunteers and weather but in John Gifford the bothy has a very keen MO with lots of drive, so I don’t think it should be too long before the work can be done.
I’ve included some photos of the work but, with a fading camera battery, I only managed to get the early stages of the work before it went dead on me. Other photos may be added later if anyone takes pity and sends me some on.