\ Hip Displeasure: Darrin Frew » Tribute » Tom Weir: One Final Hike

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Saturday, July 08, 2006

Darrin Frew » Tribute » Tom Weir: One Final Hike

I have never been a fan of the indie popsters Aberfeldy but they did record a song called 'Tom Weir' and this gives me the tenuous link I require to post something about as far removed from pop culture as you can possible get.

The subject of Aberfeldys song, the one and only Tom Weir, was a great personal inspiration to myself and it was with great sadness that I read of his death last week, aged 91.

Tom was born into one of the poorest areas of Glasgow in 1914. To escape his rather grim surroundings he would get the bus out of the city and climb the Campsie Fells, a rugged spine of high cliffed hills that hem the city of Glasgow in from the North. It was here that he fell in love with the country side, changing his own life and in due course, the lives of many others.

After serving in the Second World War as an artillery officer in the battle for Italy, he became a full time outdoorsman and was one of the first men to explore the mountains of Nepal. He also explored other remote and mountainous areas including the Atlas range in North African and the mountains of Greenland and Iran but his great love was always the highlands of his home country.

He spent most of his life thereafter promoting and protecting the wild places of Scotland long before the term 'environmentalist' had even been coined. In particular his television programme 'Weir's Way', broadcast in the 70's and 80's, almost single-handedly inspired two generations of climbers, walkers, rural historians and environmentalists.

Tom, who was still climbing mountains well into his eighties, didn't believe in heaven and it's perhaps just as well for if anyone belonged wholly to the Scottish soil it was him.

Unending thanks Tom.

Tom Weir 1914 - 2006.


Blogger Loog said...

Though I think that our writing styles are diametric opposites, I really enjoyed this eulogy of sorts, Darrin.

I also like the way the blog is shaping up with all of us posting on it.

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