Tributes and Other Articles
about J.B. Glover.

I am very pleased to be able to include this material about the man who gave his name to the Glover Highlander walk. The material was sent to me by Alan Tees of the North-West Mountaineering Club in November 1997. I think all of us who have enjoyed this demanding walk will be interested in the person who it commemorates. Even at a distance in time and space we can feel something of what his friends thought of him.
JB Glover


Joey Glover was a founding member of the NWMC in 1955 and undoubtedly its leading light until his untimely death in 1976. The material here is an article from a local newspaper, and copies of tributes paid to him after his death at the hands of terrorists. It is generally thought he was not the intended victim when he answered the door to the gunmen.

"And on these steps a gunman slew
A man of peace, a man I knew."

Joey was cremated, and his ashes scattered on Errigal. He is survived by his wife Alison and daughter Lorna, both of who now live in England. Lorna came over to Ireland in the cease-fire year of 1995, with her family, and visited her father's cairn on Errigal. She takes a keen interest in the walk and I hope she will come over to see it sometime soon.

The Glover Walk. The "Muckish to Errigal" which was Joey's favourite walk originally started from Creeslough and went over Crockatee before ascending Muckish by the "Nose" (we may try this next year).
  NMWC staged a trial open walk in 1979 with guests from a number of clubs, including the Irish Ramblers, Sligo MC and UCGMC and indeed a formidable time was put up by Denis Rankin and Jim Patterson of 3 hrs 20 mins, albeit from the bottom of the Miners' Track to the road at Dunlewy.
Errigal The walk has now run for some 18 years, and participation has risen from around 50 to its height of 316 in 1996. To some extent it may have become a victim of its own success and action may have to be taken to curb the numbers in the interests of preventing erosion.

The familiar figure of Joey, in brick-red sweater and clashing yellow anorak, striding at an absurd pace over some distant summit, or zig-sagging steadily upwards into a mist - far ahead of the exhausted group traipsing along behind him - has, for the past quarter-century, been not so much an eccentricity as a fact of life in the Donegal highlands. And following him as less a hobby and more a way of life for those of us he introduced to the mountain ranges of the west of Ireland, through the North-West Mountaineering Club that he founded with friends in 1955 and that he has been the key figure of ever since.

His natural leadership was never in doubt; for all the crazy deviousness of his short-cuts by car, and for all his knack of getting a line of vehicles stranded, sunk to their back axles in very remote bog on some highly dubious track, his sense of the quickest way - or of the most interesting and varied way - of traversing a mountain proved unfailingly accurate. Many an enterprising effort to overtake him by apparently shorter route foundered; he had an intimate knowledge of the terrain of Donegal, accumulated over years of experience, which is almost certainly unequalled.

The loss of such a wealth of unrecorded knowledge is great; it is less than the personal loss felt at his death by every member of the Club. It is a rare individual who can, by sheer force of enthusiasm, generate enough zeal in a group to get everyone in it doing things like lugging firewood up Errigal one frosty night to burn the New Year in on its peak. Who but Joey would have conceived of the race over the highest ten peaks of Donegal, beginning at midnight, the Marathon from Muckish, and the 'Sperrin Skyway', and actually got us all racing like lunatics across them? Under who else's auspices, I wonder, would we ever have watched a sunrise over the Bluestacks from the summit of Lavagh Mar one icy 3 a.m.? And during those exciting annual 5-day Easter trips to Scotland, Wales, the Lake District, Kerry or Connemara, it was always a very brave person who, in face of Joey's tireless enthusiasm and undiminished energy, would at last initiate rebellion when the rest of us could hardly move a muscle.

His tenacity was astounding. Who else, having climbed Ben Nevis by mistake, would have promptly descended and rushed another 4,000' up the originally intended Aonachs? Who but Joey, indeed, would have climbed Ben Nevis accidentally in the first place?

Ben Nevis was only one out of his 1,275 summits - his passion for statistics was secondary only to his passion for mountains. Having bagged 181 3,000' peaks in Scotland, all 2,000' peaks in Ireland north of a line between Galway and Dublin, and all the 1,000' peaks of Donegal, he made off to the Alps and Dolomites.

But it is on the north-west ridge of the mountain he climbed 85 times, - Errigal - that we hope to erect a memorial to him.

-- The North-West Mountaineering Club.

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Mr J.B. Glover
Sportsman of the Week, a feature article. Although Mr. J.B. Glover (Joey) Glover only took up mountaineering at the age of 32, a time when most climbers are thinking of hanging up their boots [sic], he has already 'topped' an impressive total of 1275 mountains.
"I find that increasing age is no hindrance in a pastime which appeals more to the extrovert individual, as against sports which are controlled by rules, team effort and restrictions of playing space," he says.
Climbs Mountaineering can involve either hill-walking or climbing, which requires training and the use of specialised techniques. If a mountain is described as "any definable height over 1000 feet", Joey has climbed all those in Donegal and almost all those in Ulster and Connaught, including all peaks over 2000' north of the line from Dublin to Galway.
A 'Munro' is a peak of 3000 feet or more and Joey has topped all eleven in Ireland, all four in England, all fourteen in Wales and 118 of those in Scotland.
82 Climbs "My favourite mountain must be Errigal, as I have climbed it 82 times," he explained. "I am always seeking variations of known and unknown routes and have watched sunrise from it on two occasions."
He has also done a considerable amount of walking in Switzerland and the Dolomites, but there it consisted mostly of pass walking because he had not the training or the experience for climbing in the Alps.

Mountaineering requires good boots, adequate clothing, a compass, a torch, and a map, but 'experience' is probably the most useful attribute a mountaineer has. "It is important to know and recognise the limits of one's endurance in relation to the weather conditions," he explained.
"I myself must plead guilty on two accounts," he added. "Firstly, peak bagging, which is the wish to climb hills one has not been on before whether or not they are worth climbing, and secondly, a tendency to solo walk, which can be very dangerous if one does not leave word where one is going or when one is expected back."

"The secret of hill-walking is the knowledge of how to pace yourself with the maximum relation and minimum effort," he emphasised, "and I am sometimes amused to hear beginners complaining of the effort expended in climbing up the mountain though they must realise at the start that this the only way to get to the top!"

The North-West Mountaineering Club. The North-West Mountaineering Club, of which Mr. Glover has been chairman or president for most of the time since its inception in 1955, would like to see more youngsters taking up the sport as there is so much wonderful country within easy reach of the city.

The club will be celebrating it 25th anniversary with a dinner dance on April 4 (1970), and about fifty past and present members are expected to attend. Guests at the dinner will include Mr. Richard Doherty, chairman of the Londonderry District Sports Council, and representatives from the Ramblers' Club, in Dublin.
With a membership of more than twenty active members, the North-West Mountaineering Club has enjoyed several hundred outings, mostly in Donegal, but also throughout Ireland and in North Wales and the Lake District.

The Club has set a target of two long-distance walks from the summit of Muckish to the summit of Errigal and the Sperrin Skyway, from the highest point on the Feeny-Draperstown Road to the head of the Butterlope Glen.
There is no precedent for the Mountaineering Club in the Londonderry area, and it has only occasional contact with people who climb as individuals. Joey commented: "It is a sport in which one seldom encounters other hill-walkers, perhaps a merit of the occupation."

Variety As an indoor activity Joey is very keen on progressive jazz on the piano, and is a fan of Oscar Peterson. He plays the occasional game of golf for variety, but finds it a poor substitute for mountaineering.
"It is a game where one is committed as soon as one starts playing," he says, "and it is subject to the rules and disciplines which are foreign to the hill-walker."
  The original source of this article is unknown to me -- Simon Stewart.
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