After a third weekend work party, MBA members have completed a major refurbishment of Glas Allt Sheil bothy near the western end of Loch Muick.
A good turnout of volunteers at the final work party at the weekend there included folk from the Eastern Area MBA, members of Bob Scott’s Bothy Association and a couple unaffiliated.
Previous visits had seen the upstairs sleeping quarters insulated and wood-lined, and two of the downstairs stone walls insulated and lined, as well as installation of a new stove (replacing the previous stove donated by Friends of Bob Scott’s) and repairs to the flooring.
This final trip saw further insulation and lining, with two bunk beds built under the staircase and shelves added in a window bay and corner alcove, along with a lot of finishing work.
Officially, the bothy – an out-house of the main building, which is owned by the monarchy – is looked after by Dundee University Rucksack Club, but after discussions with the club it was agreed that the scale and nature of the work was beyond the resources and capabilities of students, so the MBA and BSBA provided the skills and personnel, along with a generous grant from the MBA to finance the project.
A number of Rucksack Club members attended and helped out at the first work party back in May, but the only students present this weekend were a rather bemused trio from the ‘neighbouring’ St Andrews University, who had come expecting a quiet evening and ended up drawn in to the usual BSBA ceilidh. One was snitched upon by his pals as able to play guitar and, despite his protestations of incompetence was prevailed upon to give us a tune on Bill Sutherland’s guitar, surprising everyone with a very fine-sounding piece of classical finger-picking.
Perhaps the most notable thing about the evening, though, was how warm the bothy was – inside and out – despite the sub-zero temperature and snow outside. Those who remembered the Glas Allt Sheil as it used to be could scarcely credit the difference some insulation and a good stove (helped by lots of coal and offcuts) has made to what used to be a cold, dark hovel of a place.
A good job well done.