Over breakfast I continued to read The Bradford Fire by Martin Fletcher (see my post: Day 9, 29th April). Showery weather was not encouraging, I carried on with the read until I finished the book at 11:30. I was expecting more circumstantial evidence to emerge about Heginbotham's involvement with the fire; he was the chairman of Bradford City Football Club at the time. His numerous businesses over the years had scored eight insurance claim fires, and the author brings this to our attention and quite rightly questions such unlikely coincidence, but no further evidence, circumstantial or otherwise is offered. Martin Fletcher does ponder why there was no police investigation into this man's affairs. Heginbotham's business dealings were often questionable, and he was proved to be an out and out liar regarding his declarations of ignorance about correspondence regarding safety requirements from various public bodies, and also regarding his announcement of plans for rebuilding the stand for which he said categorically that steel had already been purchased. All that was fiction.
The overwhelming facts emerging are the non-implementation by various governments over many years of recommendations made by various official enquiries into similar disasters at football grounds and other sporting events.
With all that rambling round in my head I jumped in the car and set off up the A9 to Helmsdale and did this final Marilyn (eleven in total I think).
I know I am not going to climb all the M's but I would like to think that I have done a good share of fairly difficult ones and that has been the case up here so far.There are many Ms that you can win by a very short walk and some where you can actually drive to the top. From the map today's hill appeared to almost qualify for "easy" albeit a four mile steep walk there and back, but on a Tarmac service road for transmitters on the summit.
There were two lots of masts on the summit plateau about quarter of a mile apart with a trig point plonked halfway between, but a couple of hundred yards across rough moorland off the road. To add to the confusion the Harold Street website (my source for the M's list) put the highest point in the middle of the moor between the first mast and the trig. On arrival I couldn't tell visually which was highest point and spent some time wandering about the moor visiting them all. GPS confirmed I was standing on Harold Street's grid reference but there was no cairn or other indication - anyway I have no qualms about giving this one a tick - 'twas a bit more a tricky than first indications from the map suggested.
Back in Helmsdale I found Thyme and Plaice, a free wi fi café. I hadn't noticed the name on entering, just the wi fi notice. I asked the girl for the password and got no result when I typed in "timeandplace", but all was resolved with a little smile. Here I met a father and daughter from California who were cycling round Scotland with good road bikes fitted with Ortleib pannier bags carrying their camping equipment. They had already been all the way up the west coast - a far cry from many foreign tourists who drive up the motorway and think they have seen our country. I do recommend Thyme and Plaice if you are passing by here.
Why, in all cafés, do they place your cake on top of the paper serviette so that it has often become messed up before you use it?
I am typing this on Saturday and I have decided to chill-out for the day before going home tomorrow, so no more Ms for the moment folks.
The Tarmac road - about halfway up
The most distant of the masts
Morvern from the undistinguished summit
Thyme and Plaice
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