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Published September 13, 2022 Updated September 13, 2022

Hillbaggers Top 52 playing cards

Hillbaggers Top 52 playing cards designed by Caroline McCann, 2019.

2019 United Kingdom Top Munro Ltd Caroline McCann Nature & Environment Sports Add to Collection

Unless you are a mountaineer or fervent hill walker you probably won’t have heard of many of the terms used in this interesting pack. Hill bagging is an activity in which hikers, climbers, and mountaineers attempt to reach a collection of summits, published in the form of a list. The lists featured in this pack are the Munros, Corbetts, Wainwrights and the Welsh Hewitts, and 13 of each group are shown on each suit. Since there are many hundreds of mountains and hills that might have been included (there are 282 Munros alone) the pack portrays only a small selection.

The spades show the Munros (the mountains in Scotland over 3000 feet high); the clubs depict the Corbetts (Scottish hills between 2500 and 2999 feet high with a drop of at least 500 feet on all sides); the heart suit is devoted to the Wainwrights (the English peaks or fells described in Alfred Wainwright's seven-volume Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells); and the diamonds portray the Welsh Hewitts (hills in Wales over 2000 feet high with a drop of at least 98 feet all round).

Each card in the pack shows a picture of the relevant hill or mountain with brief description, height, and OS reference along the sides. The court cards are double-ended, with one end depicting the hill or mountain, the other depicting the King, Queen or Jack, each suit with differently coloured costumes. The pack was designed by Caroline McCann and was produced by Top Munro Ltd. in 2019.

Hillbaggers Top 52 playing cards designed by Caroline McCann, 2019 Hillbaggers Top 52 playing cards designed by Caroline McCann, 2019

Above: Hillbaggers Top 52 playing cards designed by Caroline McCann and produced by Top Munro Ltd, 2019.

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By Peter Burnett

Member since July 27, 2022

I graduated in Russian and East European Studies from Birmingham University in 1969. It was as an undergraduate in Moscow in 1968 that I stumbled upon my first 3 packs of “unusual” playing cards which fired my curiosity and thence my life-long interest. I began researching and collecting cards in the early 1970s, since when I’ve acquired over 3,330 packs of non-standard cards, mainly from North America, UK and Western Europe, and of course from Russia and the former communist countries.

Russian Playing Cards

Following my retirement from the Bodleian Library in Dec. 2007 I took up a new role as Head of Library Development at the International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) to support library development in low-income countries. This work necessitated regular training visits to many sub-Saharan African countries and also further afield, to Vietnam, Nepal and Bangladesh – all of which provided rich opportunities to further expand my playing card collection.

Since 2019 I’ve been working part-time in the Bodleian Library where I’ve been cataloguing the bequest of the late Donald Welsh, founder of the English Playing Card Society.


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