Commemorative plaque unveiled

Angus Provost Helen Oswald addressing those gathered for the unveiling of the plaque.
Angus Provost Helen Oswald addressing those gathered for the unveiling of the plaque.

A commemorative plaque honouring the work of Sir Hugh Munro of Lindertis has been unveiled at the Gateway to the Glens Museum.

The curator and museum staff welcomed Angus Provost Helen Oswald on Friday to unveil the plaque near the entrance to the Kirriemuir building.

It was commissioned by Historic Scotland as part of their Commemorative Plaques scheme which began in 2012 - all nominations recognise people who have made a significant contribution to Scotland and its people.

Sir Hugh Thomas Munro was born in London in 1856. He was the eldest of nine children, and the son of Sir Campbell Munro of Lindertis, the family home just outside Kirriemuir.

As the home at Lindertis no longer stands, it was decided the museum was the ideal location for the personal tribute to the work of the famous mountaineer.

He is credited with “inspiring generations of mountaineers” with his meticulous tables of mountains over 3000 feet,

Munro was an original member of the Scottish Mountaineering Club which was founded in Glasgow in 1889. As a boy he was an avid collector; shells, fossils, eggs etc. It was while on a trip to Stuttgart aged 17, to learn German, that he became attracted to the mountains. The two attractions; collecting and mountains, would later be productively fused.

He entered politics for a while, standing once as the Conservative for Kirkcaldy Burghs, in 1885. He worked hard at organising the local political life in Forfarshire, and also served on the County Council.

In 1891 the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal published his now famous ‘Tables of Heights over 3000 Feet.’

He was 33 years old when he began his monumental task for the SMC, in December 1889. At that time he had personally visited only 42 tops. Fellow climbers were invaluable sources of knowledge, as of course were the O.S. one-inch and six-inch maps. He finished the list in the summer of 1891, with a total of 283 separate 3000-foot mountains.

Ironically, Munro was fated not to climb all the Munros on his list. Having said that, from a strict point of view he had only one mountain left to do, the easy Carn Cloich-mhuilinn. He had in fact attempted the inaccessible pinnacle several times, as he was almost certainly intending to climb not only all the Munros, but as a main target all the tops. Of the 538 tops he listed, he climbed 535.

Today, over four thousand people have completed the Munros, enjoying the challenge and exercise along the way. Many have their names and dates, along with a unique ‘Munroist Number’, recorded annually in the Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal.

Among those who attended the unveiling on Friday were Stewart Logan, vice-president of the Munro Society and Angus Councillor Ronnie Proctor.