Mary mCFARLANE - Secretary
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Hello, I’m Mary McFarlane, and I am honoured to have been elected as Club Secretary.
My first Munro, at the age of 11 or 12, was Ben Starav. This was followed by Ben Lomond – reached by public transport – the Maid of the Loch (yes, I know...a bit of history) and the ‘Blue trains’; the necessity of sticking to a timetable lent wings to our feet: it would have been a very long walk home if we had ‘missed the boat’.
I have a life-long love of the outdoors and have spent many happy hours on hills locally and further afield. I have learned a lot about the flora and fauna of our countryside and I am always happy to share information with anyone who is interested. I also have a life-time’s accumulation of books about the hills, so if I don’t know, I can find out.
A poster for Westerinch Mountaineering Club (later renamed) caught my attention on a visit to Cotswold’s Livingston store in 2009 and it wasn’t long before I went on a Club outing and found a friendly band of fellow enthusiasts. Some of them had little hill-walking experience, but they were all keen to get out among our hills and I was happy to join them. One of the most exciting walks I participated in was an Easter outing to the Arrochar Alps in 2012 – I had been ‘up the Cobbler’ on several occasions, but this time was special because I was able to undertake the scramble to the top of the rocky pillar that is the true summit of the hill!
I enjoyed being an ‘ordinary’ member of the Club but took up the call to join the Committee because the Club has given me opportunities to visit so many interesting places and I wanted to ensure others would benefit in the same way in the future.
I hope I can help to continue to develop the Club and its members and to provide an interesting programme of outings that will satisfy existing members and inspire new members to participate in our great hobby among the wonderful and varied hills of our country. I look forward to seeing you on one of our outings soon.
Colin mccolgan - I.T. Coordinator
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Hi, I'm Colin and I've recently taken over this post. Please be patient while I come up with something suitably informative and amusing to fill this space, with the obligatory outdoor photo shot of course.
Jim JACK - Treasurer
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Hi, I’m Jim Jack and at the 2015 club AGM I was elected to the post of treasurer.
I’ve been living in Bathgate for the past 25 years.
I began hiking in earnest about 5 years ago. I was walking with a good friend of mine, from South Lanarkshire, who has been totally blind for the past 21 years of his 44 year existence. I joined him and his Guide Dog to raise funds for the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. In his company I have walked the West Highland Way, The John Buchan Way, The Clyde Walkway, The Kelvin Way and many many laps of Chatelherault Country Park in Hamilton. Away from the straight and narrow we have scaled The Broughton Heights and Tinto Hill several times. I liked the view from the summits but the best view of all was of Scotland’s highest pub at Wanlockhead !!! Through my association with him I walked up my first Munros.
In September 2014, at a social event, I met one of the committee members of the WLMC who described the activities of the club. By this time I had been bitten by the hiking/hill walking bug and was reassured by the committee member that I didn’t have to be a mountaineer to enjoy the activities of the club as the members were of mixed ability. I went along to my first pub meet and found the members to be very sociable and encouraging so I joined. One of my aims was to scout out possible outings which could be undertaken by my blind friend with his guide dog alongside. So far scouting activities have been scarce, mainly because most of the club outings I’ve been on have been shrouded in mist – you have been warned 😉
Another reason I joined the club was that although I enjoy lapping “Shatlearo” with my friend, he is obviously disadvantaged in transport access so I was keen to meet up with mixed ability hikers in the Bathgate area. I haven’t been disappointed as the members have provided great company and have been generous in passing on tips and tricks of the hiking/hill walking variety.
I would recommend this friendly club to any in the area who read this and are searching for such a club and, BTW, you don’t have to be a mountaineer 😉
Mike KNIPe - COmmittee Member
Hi, I'm Mike Knipe, the founder of the WLMC. Although I hail from south of the border, my heart is firmly in Scotland but I suppose that's what happens when you marry a Scot!
My love of the mountains comes from my time in the scouts and then Venture scouts, a love I took to University where I joined the Bristol Uni Explorers club, eventually becoming Vice President. However, after graduating in 2000 and living in the east of England, my opportunity to get out to the hills became quite limited.
When I moved to Scotland in 2006 I immediately hunted out a 'local' mountaineering club based in Edinburgh and also discovered Munro Bagging. Although I enjoyed some great weekends away, my work meant I missed out all too often, so I decided to establish my own club. The WesterInch Mountaineering Club was born in December 2006, and a few years later was renamed the West Lothian MC and gone from strength to strength.
Getting out to the hills and our passion for wildlife and the natural world is the best escape for my wife Lynn and I from our hectic jobs. I established my own Veterinary Practice four years ago with Vets4Pets, based in Airdrie and Lynn now works with me at the practise. We have a cat Willow, Wally the fish/whale and six Giant African Land Snails. We also own enough camping gear to host T in the Park, recently adding a Campervan to our collection of ways to get out in to the wilds and away from it all!
I hope to see you out in the hills very soon.