Imperial System to Replace Metric on the Hills

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com Apr/2017
This news story has been read 9,826 times

The official start of the Brexit process has yielded early results, with the announcement that the Metric system is to be abolished and Imperial measurements reinstated on all UK mapping.

The reversion to Britain's traditional hodgepodge of miles, yards, feet and inches has been hailed as a foretaste of progress to come by prominent supporters of the Great British Outdoors.

photo
But... why?
© Baffled of Tunbridge Wells

"Long live the Imperial dream!" brayed Nigel Falange of the UKHills Independence Party. "This is a hysteric victory for old fashioned values."

"For too long our home grown peaks have suffered the indignity of foreign metres and kilometres, a ghastly continental affectation that literally belittles them. Alien alps come over here, steal the limelight, and look down on their bald old heads with ill-concealed haughtiness. 914 metres not only lacks poetry, but it makes a molehill of a mountain; with 3000 honest British feet they'll be able to stand tall on the world stage once more." 

"We have taken back control of our walks! Ramblers are free once again to measure their days in miles, without some ruler-wielding apparatchik dressed in flourescent euro-strides censoring our thoughts."

"Kilometres simply don't belong in the English country-cide, but you know where you are with leagues and furlongs."

It is believed that architects of the change seek to make as seamless as possible the absorption of the British outdoors into the US system, as UK hillwalking asserts its independence by realigning from European trekking towards American hiking. 

"Feet trump metres" as Falangist puts it "and as me old mucker Donald tweets, the American outdoors is hands-down the greatest. The GREATEST."

The timetable for the reintroduction of the Imperial system remains a matter of some conjecture however.

A source at the Ordnance Survey, the national mapping agency tasked with making all this work or suffering the consequences, paints a bleak prospect. The mole, who begged not to be named for fear of repercussions once the organisation is sold to the Chinese, predicts the changeover will be fraught with delay and difficulty.

"Every measurement on every map will have to be re-done" they sigh, tiredly; "every spot height re-calibrated and every contour line re-drawn. Entire libraries of guidebooks will become obsolete, and anyone with a paper map collection faces a significant replacement cost."  

"During the transition period, which could take at least ten years, the scope for ambiguity and confusion is obviously grave. Mountain rescue teams may still be talking in kilometres, while the casualty is an early convert to miles. The hills will be littered with missing persons."

"For the experts who actually have to implement it all, this is a living nightmare."

"And at the end of this monumentally stupid exercise in national outdoors re-branding, where will we actually have got? The hills will still be exactly as small as they were before; we will just have lumbered ourselves with a more antiquated, less efficient way of measuring them. We'll have set British hillwalking back centuries while the rest of the world strides into the future."

UKHIP, who have promised the changeover would be a seamless process that could be concluded as early as next week, if only ingrates would stop talking Imperial down and get into goose step behind the project, dismissed these fears as grounded.

"That's just the opinion of a so-called expert" sneered Farrago "and what do they know?"

 

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