Monday

Eileen Mansfield

Eileen Mansfield
1958-2009
It was with great sadness we learned that Eileen had passed away.

Laughter and fun were never far away when you were in her company. A close friend of Susan she joined the Moray Club in the late 1980s and was a regular companion on trips to the hills and weekends away, including many memorable annual dinners.
We all have our own fond memories of Eileen; whether crossing a river, scrambling in Glencoe, camping in Knoydart or kayaking at Gorton Sands, Back of Keppoch.
Her last club trip was on Beinn Sgritheall on the occasion of David's last munro.
There should have been many more good times to share with Eileen. We will never forget the fun we had in her company.

The article below was penned and illustrated by Eileen for the club's journal in 1990.
We didn't have digital cameras in the old days.

It's a super write up and captures her
 'Joie de vivre'

Seagulls, mist & Skye
22nd-24th Sept '89

After looking forward to a weekend away I was having second thoughts as I drove up to Tyndrum to meet Susan and Paul. It was raining cats and dogs and, liking my creature comforts, the prospect of staying in a tent was rapidly losing it's appeal. Arriving late at Tyndrum there was no sign of Susan - after waiting a while I decided just to go home when she appeared- there was no backing out now so off we set.
Thankfully the rain stopped and it was a pleasant drive. Susan decided to get petrol before we got on the ferry just in case there were no garages open on Skye – fat chance – 9pm and everything was closed. However on we went, passing Eilean Donan castle, a lovely sight floodlit. We met Roni, Bill and David at Kyle of Lochalsh and after a short crossing we set off for the Glenbrittle campsite.

Arriving in the dark it was great to find that our tents had already been put up – much appreciated. I was blowing up my airbed when Bruce politely enquired if I had asthma – I assured him it was a footpump – nothing more serious!

Everyone soon settled down to sleep although I was convinced it was raining all night but in the morning I realised the sea was pretty close, next time I go somewhere I must look at a map!

Paul was awake first next morning, Susan could be heard trying to convince him it was not yet breakfast time but without much success.
The morning looked promising and after breakfast Susan went off in search of petrol, Graham following her in case she ran out.

Meanwhile Bruce kept the rest of us entertained by sporting his new anti-midge hat – looking like a cross between Kathryn Hepburn in “African Queen” and a beekeeper.
Stuart provided some further ‘entertainment’ by asking why we were waiting, then upon being told the reason he announced he has a gallon of petrol in a can!

The various mutterings were broken up by the arrival of Susan and Graham – in Graham’s car. Susan then got a loan of Bill’s car and she set off with Paul. Bruce went off on his own somewhere and the rest of us set off for Sgurr nan Eag.

Wanting to know what I was letting myself in for I asked Bill for a description – he assured me I would manage it easily. Imagine, he said, the stone seats of a large amphitheatre, rocks like big slabs of gingerbread which would be really easy to walk up. At our first tea stop Bill choked on a sweet – that’s what he gets for telling lies!

Although by now it was only lunchtime the sky had darkened and a grey mist had settled over everything. I found it difficult climbing up and down over lumps of rock and on occasion muttered a few four letter words like good grief and help etc. Eventually we reached the top but it was difficult to appreciate the view through the thick grey mist. Time was getting on so we headed back to the campsite. It was wet and slippy on the way down and it was a relief to see the lights of the campsite, I’d never thought I’d be glad to see a tent!
Even the three minute shower for 10p seemed luxurious!

Glenbrittle boasts a ‘social caravan’ – full of modern comforts, plastic seats and bits of sad tinsel left over from Christmas.

Susan had a box of wine which made the caravan more ‘social’. She and Paul had spent a lovely day exploring the Quiraing in sunshine – Bruce had done a spot of abseiling – also in sunshine, it was hard to believe we were all on the same island – in Stuart’s case extremely hard to believe!
Sunday morning was grey and yucky.

This time the breakfast entertainment was provided by Graham chasing a seagull that had stolen his bacon. I’m sure the storekeeper trains them specially.
The weather forecast was not good so Susan, Paul and myself set off for home.

By the time we reached Kyleakin the sun had come out and it was a pleasant drive back to Glasgow.

I almost (but not quite) wished I had stayed on for another day’s climbing.

The campers were; Eileen, Susan, Paul, Bill, Roni, David, Bruce, Mark, Graham & Stuart


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love the drawings, especially the Social Caravan and Graham trying to save his bacon!
Alison

Susan Dyer said...

Great to see my old pal!

Lisa T said...

How can I get involved in the club as it looks great! I'm a keen hillwalker but tired of going on my own all the time

Moray Club said...

Hello Lisa T.
We always try to have fun when out and about! You are more than welcome to come along. Use the comments & information page to contact us and we'll get in touch.

Anonymous said...

was checking out the website and heard about eileen..reading the skye journal entry brought back some great memories..god bless her...david lockhart.

Moray Club said...

Hello David, great to hear from you. Didn't we have some cracking times. Very sad news about Eileen.