'Transform Savile cottage into museum'

 

The Highland cottage owned by the late TV presenter Jimmy Savile should be transformed into a mountaineering museum, according to a leading author and broadcaster.

Cameron McNeish, a renowned mountain walker and commentator, has challenged suggestions that Allt Na Reigh, in Glencoe, should be demolished following vandalism of the property.

The cottage had previously been the home of Scottish mountaineer Hamish MacInnes, who invented revolutionary equipment at the premises such as the metal ice axe and mountain rescue gear which is widely used today.

Mr McNeish described MacInnes as "probably our greatest Scottish mountaineer" when speaking to BBC Radio Scotland.

He said: "At that house and the little adjoining workshop he invented some of the ice axes that have gone on to be the standard ice axes today, also tools used by mountain rescue teams.

"That will always be Hamish MacInnes's house and will always have that mountaineering historical significance.

"It would be a shame if those mountaineering memories were swept up along with the tarnished memories of Jimmy Savile."

The whitewashed building was sprayed with orange paint and "abusive slogans" last year, according to Northern Constabulary, after revelations of child and sex abuse allegations against the former Top Of The Pops and Jim'll Fix It host.

The words "Jimmy The Beast" were painted across the front of the building while "Beast" was sprayed over a side wall.

Previous plans to turn the remote property into a respite care centre for the disabled were abandoned when the Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust closed down in the wake of the scandal.

Highland councillor Andrew Baxter, who represents the Fort William and Ardnamurchan ward, had previously said that demolition of the cottage was a "final option" and had been suggested by local residents.

PA

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