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Reunion 30 years after mountain challenge

The proud moment when the Kirrie team reached the summit of Ben Nevis with their Land Rover.

The proud moment when the Kirrie team reached the summit of Ben Nevis with their Land Rover.

Members of a Kirriemuir team who successfully beat Britain’s highest peak in a Land Rover gathered recently to mark 30 years since their achievement.

The 15-strong group met at the Park Tavern, Roundyill, to reminisce about their trip up Ben Nevis with a Series One Land Rover in 1984, a fund-raising effort for the bone marrow unit at Glasgow University which raised £6,800.

Inspired by previous motorised ascents - including with a Model T Ford in 1911, a baby Austin in 1928 and by the Scottish Land Rover Club in 1963 - the team was the last to take on such a challenge.

They also successfully proved experts from the vehicle manufacturer wrong in the process.

David Orr, one of the team members, said: “There were 24 men in the last successful ascent when, in 1984, a Kirriemuir team reached the crown of the ‘Ben’ at 11.45 a.m. on Tuesday, June 5.”

The group had sought advice from Land Rover and were told that it was unlikely that any four-wheeled vehicle would make it to the summit given the condition of the track at the time.

Mr Orr added: “These Kirrie men celebrated by holding a reunion to recall those heady days when ‘one false turn of the wheel would mean a fall that would have destroyed the car and killed the driver’ and disproved Land Rover’s claim that ‘no four wheeled vehicle will reach the top in the next few years until the track is fully renovated’.

“The Kirrie men succeeded where big advertising budgets did not.”

 

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