Soggy Sandwiches
Vickers Wellington L7845 on Muckle Cairn
(Distance covered = 9.2 mile/Ascent =+636m)

My first visit to Wellington L7845 was when Heather was dancing in a Championship in Forfar. Since then I have been back twice more with Meredith and Glynis, the nephew and niece of Joe Wetherson, one of the Wellington's crew.

On my first visit in 2012 it was one of those days when the weather just couldn't make its mind up what it was going to do. I dropped the girls at the venue at Forfar then it wasn't to far a drive to reach Glen Clova, where I was starting the walk.

Passing above Loch Wharral.

I hadn't had my new DSLR Camera very long on this trip so hadn't quite figured out all the settings, A lot of my early photos using this camera had dark areas in the corners, caused because I had two filters attached to the lens and the wide angle was catching the rim of the outermost one.

The Craigs of Loch Wharral

There was a landrover track then a reasonably defined path to follow most of the way up Ben Tirren and The Goet. Once onto the top of the bealach between the Goet and White Hill the path was more indistinct and boggy but an electric fence made navigating from here easy, the only problem being I was on the wrong side of it.

The live electric fence can be followed to within 300yards of the crashsite.

There's a cunning way I have devised to find out if an electric fence is live, I touch it and if I get a shock then it's live. This one was live but luckily there is a conveniently placed stile further on to cross it. On this day as the sky was clearing a bit and the sun was occasionally peeping through I could see the Wellington wreckage from quite a way off. This wasn't going to be the case when I visited the site a year later with Glynis and Meredith.

 A photo of the wreck of Wellington  L7845 was used on the front cover of a book I have which lists the  map references for a lot of wrecks throughout the UK. Before the advent of  the interweb this book was the only source of crashsite locations I had. Because the Author was trying to keep the Location of L7845 a secret however, it was not listed in the book, and the photo on the front cover had been reversed, something which caused me a little confusion when I tried to take a comparison photo (shown above). The photo on the front of the book was taken long ago, sometime in the 70's, the large section of tail is no longer in situ, it was reportedly carried away by a museum group and dumped about 100yrds away, presumably because it became too heavy. The part in the foreground of my comparison photo is from the top of the tailfin, I stood it up in the approximate position the tail used to be. It can be seen still attached to the top of the tail on the book cover.

 The image on the left is Remains of L7845 shown on the front cover of the guide book and the image above is the comparison photo I took after I cropped it and reversed it to match.




Above and below:-One of L7845's wings

A fuselage frame,still attached to the trailing edge of the frame of the wing root.Note the bits of wingspar at the left that can be found in Glen Affric(see here) and Glen Morriston(see here)

Above and below:-Both Bristol Pegasus engines are still in situ

The remains of the tail 100 yards east of the crashsite.

I visited L7845's crashsite again the following year to help relatives of one of the crew to lay a plaque in his memory. After we returned home they were contacted by a Recovery Group who were interested in recovering parts of the Wellington to help them in their project to restore a Wellington to flying condition. However after this group contacted the Landowner for permission they were told that anyone seen removing parts would end up on the wrong end of a shotgun. Something I found very amusing was the thought of the other Museum Group who had tried to remove the complete tail section, dropping it and running off down the hill after receiving a couple of rounds of shotgun pellets over their heads!
That would certainly explain why they were so irresponsible to ditch it 100 yards away and leave it instead of putting in back where they found it.

These two photos show the tail from Wellington N2980 which was recovered from Loch Ness on the left and the same piece of tail from L7845 on Muckle Cairn

Of all the times I have been in the Hills the weather when I returned to Muckle Cairn with Glynis and Meredith was the worst I can remember, it bucketed down from the moment we left the car and didn't stop for the whole day,even my sandwiches were soggy!
I also took my bagpipes to play a lament while they laid the plaque but by the time we got there they were well soaked as well, so I have an excuse for them sounding a bit off in this video.

Highland Cathedral on Muckle Cairn

(This link will take you to youtube to watch the video)

 The video does not do justice to the large amount of horizontal rain that we were experiencing at the time as we did not have any milk to add to it which is a trick Hollywood use to make rain visible to the camera.

Glynis and Meredith with the plaque they laid in memory of their Uncle Joe.

I returned to the crashsite with Glynis and Meredith and another one of their cousins again in 2014, as on their first visit all they had seen of the location was rain and mist and they hadn't seen the tail section. The weather on the second trip was a bit better but soon after reaching the crashsite we were hit with a storm which contained large hailstone. The weather quickly became worse than on their first visit. It would seem that my good luck with the weather was more than cancelled out by Glynis and Meredith's bad luck!

A closer view of the welsh slate Plaque.

In reflective mood in Glen Clova.

1970's photos