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“If it's really a road, how come I need a ferry to get to them?”
Fort William (or An Moireasdan in Gaelic) is a House of Fraser department store with a small town attached on the west coast of Scotland whose sole purpose in this world is to provide English tourists with cups of coffee and cuppa soups before they attempt to tackle Ben Nevis, Europe's handsomest tall mountain. Fort William is also well known as the last resting place of the salmon chieftain, Monty, the only salmon to have a moustache and the only animal known to talk fluently in hieroglyphics. A statue in the town centre commemorated his life until recently, when it suddenly no longer commemorated his life and instead commemorated that "Davie is well a dikhed."
The town was built in the Bronze age by Bronze age people who's descendants can still be found today in a little house in Loch Linnhe called The Crannog which is kind of like a living Skara Brae (an old house in Orkney). 20th Century settlers then migrated to the area in the late 1970's following the opening of Nevisport, a large shop in the town centre where people can walk about indoors in crampons and get laughed at by the locals. This combined with Morrisons next door makes it the focal point of the town, hence it's gaelic name being An Moireasdan. This used to be a Safeways but like the rest of the area it has been taken over by the Yorkshire company and lots of other dull people from down that way.
The surrounding area of Lochaber is strongly Cameron country, although David Cameron was beaten in the last election and was replaced by Lord Provost Charles Kennedy who pops up for a visit every now and then (normally when an election is coming up soon).
Geography & Geology
Fort William is really old, like really, really old. Not hundreds, not thousands, but billions of million years old. It is built beside a big lump of granite called Ben Nevis and lies the start of a big glen that was imaginitively named The Great Glen. A big fault runs beside Fort William too and one guess what it's called. You guessed it, The Great Glen Fault. This moves now and again causing localised earthquakes, although the town was devastated and rebuilt following the great 9.3RS earthquake of 1982. The region attracts geologists the world over where they all congregate around a little shop in Corpach and look at pretty rocks that don't even come from anywhere near Fort William.
The town is located next to Loch Linnhe, which to you and I is just the sea really just so that you can stand at sea level and realise that Ben Nevis isn't really all that big. Two roads lead out of the town, the one conjested up with Campervans to Inverness and the other down to Glasgow and Ballahellish. There is another road called The Road To The Isles but it doesn't go anywhere important unless you want a ferry to Eigg. This always confuses tourists as most don't quite understand how it can be a road to the isles without bridges. A railway line has also been built and recently appeared in Derek Acorah's Weird & Spooky Things in the UK as if you get the train north (towards Spean Bridge) then you end up going south towards Glasgow.
Fort William is also famed for it being one of the most prominent micro climates in the world. It rains. Every Day. Even when Heather the Weather says that there will be bright spells across the west, it still rains. If you drive towards Fort William, hoping for a nice sunny day, you will notice that the micro climate encompasses a radius of about 10 miles around the town as you can see the contrast of dark clouds in the sky to the sun that has been mentioned in the weather. Once within the micro climate it is strongly recommeneded to avoid being outside as the rain is strong enough to knock you over and/or can cause severe depression within minutes. It is because of this that the bbc do not mention fort william in the weather, as the forecast is predictable to the most clueless; it will rain. This results in the town's biggest export being disgruntled tourists who feck off back to London where it rains some more. The other exports are Aluminium (due to excavation of an Iron Age Recycling Centre near Caol) and locals, who can't get jobs because of the mass influx of Eastern Europeans.
- Fort William has a "good" Shinty team and another less "good" one called Kilmallie, called that because the good name had already been taken. Fort William recently won the league and was the first time that superpowers Newtonmore or Lochbroom hadn't won it in 112 years.
- On the other hand, Fort William have a crap football team but are one of the few Highland League teams that are actually from the Highlands. They actually do hold the Wooden Spoon record (doing their best to come last on 67 occasions).
- A nearby attraction called Neptune's Staircase is a set of steps (recently upgraded to escalator) that takes you to the top of Ben Nevis with minimal effort, a bit like the Fenicular Railway at Cairngorm.
- The Underwater Centre is the former town shopping centre that drowned because it rains so much.
- Michael MacRae is a well-known Fort William resident. He owns the largest house in the whole town having made his fortune selling 'pack-a-macs' to unfortunate tourists.
- Due to Global Cooling, a ski resort has been opened which utilises the facilities of their world class downhill mountain bike venue, Nevis Range on Ben Nevis, for all-year round expensive outdoor sports.
- In 1978 the town was overrun by a population of salmon from the North Sea. They caused numerous bar fights and lynchings. But they soon left as the town was too wet for them. A statue was erected in honour of the Salmon chief, Monty, but has since floated away.
- Fort William has the highest population of neds in the highlands. This is due to Fort Williams possesion of a McDonalds. All the neds live in housing estates called Caol (pronounced cool) or The Planny (pronounced shithole).
- Fort William and its micro climate has been the winner of The Most wettest Area in the World 1989,1991, 1993,1996,1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008. Coming second in all of the lastest 10 years' competitions to Amazonia.
- A Yorkshireman once tried to cross Fort William in a kayak. But drowned under heavy rainfall less than 40 meters from the starting line.
- Fort William is renowned for being the only town in Scotland smellable from space. When questioned, russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin said it smelt of "salty IRN BRU and sheep".
- Fort William is the source of Scotland's entire midge population. Scientists have agreed that if Fort William was to accidentally fall into the Great Glen chasm under the weight of a thermo-nuclear device, there would be no further use for midge repellent in Scotland.
- Inverlochy is famed for it's Railway Club. People and Mackays drive from far and wide, about 200 yards, to sup many a pint of the famous Tennants and McEwan lagers, to talk shite and drive home pished!
- As well as having the World's tallest mountain there is also a hill named after a cow. The cow was honoured after fighting in World War I. The story was adapted into film in 2011 with the seminal War Horse, where it was played by a horse. This hill can be distinguished by having the Cross of St George on its flanks unless the local Neds have painted over it with some tartan paint.
- Due mainly to a clerical error, it is the last Highland region still undergoing the Highland clearances. A 2009 report showed that 15% of council housing in the Plantation and Caol areas was occupied solely by sheep, with plans to tackle the other 85% within 15 years.
- For a week in 1987 Fort William was the focal point of professional Unicorn Chasers after several residents claimed to have seen a flying unicorn hovering over the town, the unicorn was later captured and dissected, revelling it to be millions of midges painstakingly superglued together. This is the town's 2nd biggest hoax, only topped by the "Outdoor Capital of the UK" campaign.
- Fort William's football team was once investigated by the SSPCA over allegations that the team was having a kickabout with a hedgehog. However, the case against the team was dropped when it was found out that the hedgehog managed to put five goals past them.
- Lochaber and Fort William residents are used to the ineptness of their Councillors. Councillors Foxley, Clark, Hunter and Gormley are so busy bitching and whining at each other, like 5 year old girls, that nothing actually ever gets done. As a result, Mothercare are opening a store in the Fort purely to sell them teddies and cots. Makes a change from another outdoor or charity shop I suppose!
- When HRH The Prince of Wales was refering to "monstrous carbuncles" he was actually looking into the future and seeing the newly built Kilmallie Free Church. Seriously, just because you stick some wooden cladding on it and some extra big windows doesn't make it aesthetically pleasing. In fact it looks like a glorified Argos garden shed which my Dad has done a shit job of putting up.
Why not go and see if Fort William are still bottom of the Highland League? In 2012, Fort William FC were riding high in the league in penultimate place, and Footy fans coming out of Morrison's were delighted to find they'll have away games at Ibrox in 2013, until someone pointed out that they'll still be in the Highland League as Glasgow Rangers have gone broke and that's where they will have to play.