My Lochearnhead Mug

To you this porcelain mug with simple logo is most likely quite boring. But allow me to explain its most appreciated aspects. An excellent handle. Easily contains any good hot drink, or cold for that matter. And key to a few memories.

Lochearnhead in Scotland is the place you'll find a disused railway station that was bought by Hertfordshire Scouts to be a centre for scouting activities. As a teenager I well remember camping at this base camp, rising early and making the short walk up the mountain to wash in a fresh stream. Being at the western end of Loch Earn it presented my first opportunity to try dinghy sailing. As I recall ours was the only dinghy that didn't get to the eastern end fast enough to leave time to get back, so we were unceremoniously taken back via the camp's mini-bus.

Then there was the time about 30 of us left the station for a three day hike. After setting tents up for the first night, depositing our kit and sleeping bags, the leaders took 26 of us off for an evening walk leaving four others to cook up an evening meal.

After about an hour the fog descended and our group became engulfed, barely able to see more than 12 feet in front of us. Despite their best endeavours, maps and compasses, the elite declared we were lost. One of them decided to head for a road, found said road, then came back to us, and we followed them to this road.

Starving, and with relentless cold drizzle coming down, we trooped along this road. Eventually a vehicle came along, our plight was explained, and action was taken to get word back to the station to send out transport to get us all back. I was very cold and hungry and it was probably about 9pm, some 4 hours after we left our pitched tents and equipment and very dark by the time we got back.

Our food was somewhere up in the mountains, and the skeleton crew at the station did their best to rustle up a meal of sorts. My tin mug was up in the hills, and recognising that we all needed something to drink out of, these Lochearnhead mugs were issued. The soup I had from that mug that night was most welcome, and that's why I appreciate this particular mug.