Bennachie v Kinder Scout

The Raid on Bennachie by Professor Ian Carter Bennachie Again: p119-125

11 January 2018

The Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout took place on 24th April 1932. About 400 ramblers mainly from Manchester ‘invaded’ Kinder Scout in the Peak District and were confronted by a posse of gamekeepers and police. This event is credited with the political pressure which led to the ‘National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act’ of 1949. Ewan MacColl was inspired to write the ‘Manchester Rambler’ to celebrate this momentous occasion.

I’m a rambler, I’m a rambler from Manchester way
I get all my pleasure the hard moorland way
I may be a wage slave on Monday
But I am a free man on Sunday

On a similar theme Compton Mackenzie published his well-known novel ‘Monarch of the Glen’ in 1941. This summer the story of conflict in the hills was adapted for the stage at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

43 years before Kinder Scout hit the national headlines a similar invasion had taken place on the slopes of Aberdeenshire’s popular landmark: Bennachie.

On 23rd September 1889 Aberdeen Trades Council organised a mass ‘raid’ on Bennachie. About 400-500 arrived by train at Pitcaple station and proceeded unchallenged up the Mither Tap led by two pipers playing ‘Whaur Gadie rins’. Here they held a meeting in support of those whose ‘Commonty rights’ had been threatened by the 1859 division of Bennachie between 8 local estates.

There are several versions of ‘O! Gin I War Whaur Gadie rins’.
O! gin I were where Gadie rins
Where Gadie rins, where Gadie rins
O! gin I were where Gadie rins
By the foot o’Bennachie
I’ve roamed by Tweed, I’ve roamed by Tay,
By Border Nith and Highland Spey,
But dearer far to me than they
Are the braes o’ Bennachie.

Ref: Bennachie Again: p119-125 The Raid on Bennachie by Professor Ian Carter.

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