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Glasgow Southside Tour

Monday, December 31, 2007

Today, I went out not anticipating any photo opps. However, in Giffnock (Glasgow Southside) came across this piper outside our local newsagent, which was a nice touch. However, only had my cellphone camera with me-hence quality is not A1. However, it is possible to enlarge by double clicking on the images.
Just a few hundred yards/meters away came across this memorial to a young lad who died on Christmas Eve-apparently, he just stepped out into the road and was killed by a car. Seems to have been a Celtic supporter. A sad event at any time let alone Christmas.


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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today, was mild and sunny with some snow on the high ground.

Here is a pic of Glasgow taken from southside looking towards Newton Mearns and Glasgow with the Campsie Fells in the background.

Note very small island in centre of the small loch (lake). This is probably a crannog-approx 2000 year old iron age dwelling.

Here are some Highland Cattle in their element-cold and poor quality hill pasture. Note snow on ground.


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Window on Glasgow Tour

Friday, December 28, 2007

Today, I went down to Glasgow with object of photographing the various statues in George Square. However, the Christmas gaudy fairground is still in situ so I had to give up and adopt Plan B, a visit to the Lighthouse, Scotland's centre for architecture, design and the City. I made the long climb up the Mackintosh Tower for some absolutely stunning views of Glasgow city, images of which are provided below.

Here is the spiral staircase looking down-quite a climb!

Here are various views of Glasgow taken on a dull December afternoon with rain in the air.

Here is the Mackintosh Tower staircase looking up.

Here is a one of the statues in George Square which i did manage to photo. James Watt, the son of a merchant, was born in Greenock, Scotland, in 1736.

Watt's main claim to fame is the refinement of the steam engine.

Here is the gaudy fairground in George Square. Unfortunately, it is due to remain in situ until around Jan 7th.


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Black Sheep Day

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Today is Boxing Day. Mild but very windy. Went out for a ride and encountered some flocks of black sheep. These are very unusual. The animals can be found on the very outer (southern) edge of Glasgow just beyond Newton Mearns. They seem quite happy just munching away.


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Christmas Day Tour

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Today is Christmas Day. Cold but sunny and clear with excellent visibility.

Went out for a ride on my bike south of Glasgow. Here are some images of Glasgow taken from the south side/Newton Mearns area looking north.


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Monday, December 24, 2007

Today, I have been collating images from a recent two day Scotland Tour taking in Glasgow,Stirling, Inverness, Loch Ness and Glencoe.

Here are some images of Stirling Castle

Main entrance

Bullet/cannon shot holes in the outer defences. These date from the 17th century.

Exterior of the Great Hall.
Exterior of the former Royal Palace the interior of which is undergoing extensive refurbishment.
Interior of Great Hall. Note Minstrels Gallery

Tapestry inside Great Hall
17th century decoration inside Chapel. This was undertaken by a Glasgow artist in anticipation of a visit by Charles I

More detail of decoration. Note specific reference to Charles I

Pub lunch at Birnam House Hotel, Birnam. It was good. Nice open fire on a cold day!

Ice on the River Braan, near Dunkeld.

Frozen pool near Ossian's Hall

Part frozen falls at Ossian's Hall

River Ness at Inverness at night.Quite colourful!

Trebuchet at Castle Urquhart

The following are various images of Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness. Bearing in mind time of year (mid winter) the weather was reasonably clement with good views of Loch Ness.

A friendly Robin at Castle Urquhart.

Overall, a good tour. We had the benefit of reasonably clear roads and almost exclusive access to the castles.


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Scotland Tour

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Today, I returned form a two day mini-tour. Lots of images to input but I am very tired. Here is an image of Castle Urquhart on Loch Ness.

Lots more tomorrow.


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Glasgow Diary

Friday, December 21, 2007

Today, collected clients from Glasgow International Airport. Weather pretty awful, cold and foggy with temp about 0 centigrade. Something of a shock for clients who come from much hotter climes. Plane was over an hour late-not bad for time of year. I hear on the news that airport staff are planning to strike early next year-mmmm.

Have provisionally booked clients in for a pantomime, a uniquely British tradition at this time of year.

No opps for pics today-but watch this space!


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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Not a lot of outside activity today. Spent most of the time on business admin and planning future tours. Also, Christmas is looming. Weather damp, cold and overcast-not very conducive to interesting pics. Hope to get up to speed with video over Christmas. Pleasing to see my website getting up the rankings for various categories of tours.

Hope to have something more interesting tomorrow.

Season's Greetings!


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Glasgow Southside

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today, was cold but sunny. Went for a spin around nearby Rouken Glen but was stymied when my pedal fell off!!

Anyway, I obtained a couple of pics of the part frozen boating bond which has a huge population of marine birds.


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Paisley Tour

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Today, I went to Paisley on a shopping trip. Paisley is a faded industrial town. Was formerly a textile boom town in the 19th century and still has street names evocative of that period, e.g.Cotton Street, Gauze Street, Linen Street.

Here is an image of Clarks Mills. The Mills actually started next to the Hammils which consists of a band of hard volcanic rock running across the river bed and forming a waterfall. The force of water flowing over the Hammils powered two mills, one at each side of the river.

They were established by the Clark Brothers in 1812. These two brothers had discovered that selling cotton thread for domestic sewing could be a profitable business, and had thereby laid the foundations for much of Paisley's fame and prosperity in the late nineteenth century.

View of River Cart with Town Hall on right

Paisley Abbey was founded when Walter Fitzalan signed a charter at Fotheringay in 1163.He was descended from the Norman conquerors and in 1141 was brought to Scotland by King David 1,the son of Malcolm Canmore and Saint Margaret. William Wallace was educated here. The image is of the West Door

View of Paisley Abbey

View of Paisley Town Hall- a reflection of Victorian confidence.


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Stirling and Glencoe tour

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Today, I led a tour to Glencoe and Stirling Castle. Images below. Yesterday's blog was incorrectly posted to (my error!).

Here is an image of the memorial to the victims of the infamous Glencoe Massacre 1692.

Glencoe museum. Note thatched roof. This is something like the original dwellings at time of the massacre.

View of Glencoe
Another view of Glencoe

Waterfall near Glencoe. This can be a gushing torrent after heavy rain, but quite subdue today.

Pipe band from Inveraray at Tyndrum.

Tapestry in the chapel at Stirling Castle.

Ceiling at Chapel. Note original decoration.

Great Hall at Stirling Castle

Seasonal view inside Great Hall
Barrel Vault ceiling at the Great Hall at Stirling Castle
Tour Guide in full flow at Stirling Castle

Tableaux in the kitchens at Stirling Castle

Entrance to the Castle

16th. century Palace at Stirling Castle
Another view of the entrance to the Castle
View of Palace Building at Stirling Castle

Overall, a good tour. Weather quite clement for time of year. Some snow on the tops of the hills.


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Night Photography Tour Glasgow

Friday, December 14, 2007

Today, I am re-submitting my blog content from last night which failed to publish.

Here is a pic taken from the Albert Bridge looking west down the Clyde.

The following three pics are taken form the Albert Bridge looking east towards the weir0and some flats. I like these.

This image is of Glasgow Cross and its seven storey Tolbooth Steeple which is topped by a clock and a stone crown. This feature was once part of a lager building, the Tolbooth which accommodation for the Town Clerk's office, the council hall and the city prison. Building dates from 1625-7 and designed by John Boyd.

I like this image which evokes a feeling of bustle and traffic.

This slightly wonky image is of St. Andrews in the Square and built 1739-59. It is no longer used for religious worship.

Glasgow is just great for a night time photo tour!


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Glasgow Tour at Night

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tonight I took off on my bike with objective of photographing a derelict church in the Gorbals. However, it was not, as I had expected, floodlit. So I continued on to Glasgow centre and took the following pics. OK, they are not technically perfect but one or two are interesting. I really need a full length tripod.

First one is Glasgow Cross

1625-7, John Boyd

The seven-storey Tolbooth Steeple is Glasgow Cross`s most important feature and it is topped by a clock and a stone crown. This was once part of a much larger building, the Tolbooth, which provided accommodation for the Town Clerk`s office, the council hall and the city prison.

St Andrews in the Square Church Architects: Allan Dreghorn & Mungo Naismith
1739-59 This is no longer in use for religious purposes.

Another pic of Glasgow Cross. This image gives a feeling of bustle and traffic.

The next three images are colourful. They are taken from Albert Bridge looking east towards the tidal weir with blocks of flats to the right.

This one ain't too good. Taken from the Albert Bridge looking west.

Overall, these images show the great potential the Glasgow presents for photography tours.


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Alexander Greek Thomson Tour Glasgow

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Today, I visited further Thomson designed properties in Glasgow's West End.

The following seven images are of Great Western Terrace, Great Western Road (1867-77).

This is Glasgow's grandest terrace and a most unusual composition in which the taller houses are placed not at each end but in the middle. The design is very severe, relying on interpretation and careful proportions; Thomson's friend and first biographer, the architect Thomas Gildard, wrote how.."The windows have no dressings but Greek goddesses could afford to appear undressed."

This local (Struthers Memorial) church at Westbourne Gardens G12 caught my eye. The church was designed in 1873 by John Honeyman, a partner of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and contains large stained-glass windows by Alfred Webster and Douglas Strachan. In 1913, a huge pipe organ was installed by Norman & Beard, and a large War Memorial was later placed on the pavement outside. Not strictly Thomson BUT here is a tenuous link as Mackintosh won a scholarship established upon the death of Thomson.

The following two images are of the five star, One Devonshire Gardens, a luxury hotel which features some fascinating stained glass windows dating back a hundred years or so.

These final three images are of Westbourne Terrace, 21-39 Hyndland Road (1870-81).

This was Thomson's last important terrace in which he incorporated the canted bay window into a monumental design of dominant horizontality. The composition, in fact, is subtly asymmetrical, and it is instructive to study how this is resolved in the overall symmetry.

Tour Alexander Greek Thomson with catswhiskerstours


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Glasgow Photo Tour

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Today, I got on my bike and went down to Glasgow City Centre to get some pics.This time I took a tripod.

Here is a pic of a casino on the River Clyde.The image following is one of many taken incorporating the Squinty Bridge.

Here is another casino, this time the Gala Rotunda which is located close to the SECC.

Here is a pic of the 'Armadillo' aka SECC & Clyde Auditorium

Here is one of many pics of the 'Squinty Bridge' This was built in 2006 and Known as "The Finnieston Bridge", "The Clyde Arc", and "The Squinty Bridge", this 169 metre long structure was openned in 2006, at a cost of £20 million. Built as a condition for the BBC to move its Scottish studios to the Southside of Glasgow, it is the first major road crossing to be completed on the River Clyde for 30 years, considerably opening up the area for commercial development on both sides, linking Finnieston and Govan. The bridge is very photogenic when lit up at night!

View of BBC Scotland offices on the waterfront.

View of the Science Centre and Tower.

Squinty Bridge taken with a little camera shake. Slightly surreal. I like it.

Normal view of the Squinty Bridge.

Here is pic of the Armadillo, a conference centre.

The Clyde at night
Science Centre Tower with flashing lights.

View down Buchanan Street, Glasgow

George Square Glasgow with seasonal fairground. Very spectacular!

A view of the Clyde looking east with Victoria and Albert bridges.

Glasgow has lots a raw material for a photography tour with Castswhiskerstours!


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Glasgow Tours

Friday, December 07, 2007

Today, I have been reviewing some images taken last night in centre of Glasgow. These were opportunistic pics taken without a tripod. Not brilliant pics but show great material for some better images.

Here is the Armadillo

View of Glasgow and the Clyde

View of the famous Squinty Bridge
Another view of the Squinty Bridge-with camera shake!!

Tour Glasgow with catswhiskerstours


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Glasgow Archaeology Tour

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Today, I went out on my bike to visit a major local archaeological site which I only learned of last night. Apparently, this site has been under investigation for months but some of the locals who operate/work almost along side did not know of its existence! I found it by enquiring at the sales office of the company which is constructing the new blocks of flats nearby. The site is actually located between Victoria Road and Pollockshaws Road. It appears to be some form of rescue dig. Had a brief chat with one of the excavation team who advised that they are investigating and 18th/19th century tenement block. All the pics are of the site including opportunistic shot of some passing mounted police. Within a year this site will probably be built over.


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Distillery Tour Scotland

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Today, I am focusing on Scotch Whisky which is one of Scotland's principal exports. There are about 95 working distilleries in Scotland some of which provide guided tours. Here are some images of a tour of Glengoyne Distillery, near Glasgow.

This image is taken in the visitor shop which displays a wide range of whisky related products-including Glengoyne single malt.

Here is the tour group and guide.

another view of the exterior-note the pagoda shape roof which is typical of Scottish distilleries.

A video presentation prior to commencement of the tour.

A distillery tour typically takes about one hour and is a worthwhile learning experience.


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Tour Edinburgh

Monday, December 03, 2007

Today, I am presenting a few images from my archive to provide a flavour for Scotland's Capital City.

Inside of the new Scottish Parliament building. Controversial architecture.

View of Princess Street with Calton Hill in the background

Royal Scottish Academy, Princes Street

Exterior view of the Scottish Parliament Building


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Tour Newquay Cornwall

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Today, I am catching up on my experiences in Newquay, Cornwall (England) during middle of the past week.

Newquay is a quaint fishing village/town located on the North coast of Cornwall. The fishing industry here is very much alive and in the summer there is the nearby Fistral Beach which is one of Britain's top surfing venues.

Here is a pic of Newquay Harbour

Lobster pots at Newquay Harbour

Harbour entrance

Birds eye view of Newquay Harbour

Promontory at Newquay looking towards the Atlantic. There are some nice, gentle walks which cover some spectacular scenery.

Here are some images of the Headland Hotel, Newquay. This has s superb location on a cliff edge with views of Fistral Beach. The Headland has a four star rating and has been awarded a rosette for dining.

View of Fistral Beach with Headland Hotel in background.

Another view of the Headland form Fistral with tide out.

View of Fistral Beach from the Headland Hotel

Entrance to the Headland Hotel
View of Newquay Harbour
Newquay Harbour


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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Today, I went out for a cycle ride to visit Glasgow centre and experience the Christmas shopping. Weather was OK. Rain pending but it managed to stay dry.

Glasgow has a Casino, here is a pic of the establishment which is on the banks of the Clyde.

Shoppers in Buchanan Street

Collecting for charity in Buchanan Street

Doctor Who phone box in Buchanan Street-now selling coffee.

View of George Square. Statue of Sir Walter Scott on plinth.

View of Glasgow City Chambers with Cenotaph

Gallery of Modern Art. This was the location of a 'tobacco baron's' mansion

Another view of the Gallery of Modern Art

German Market in Argyle Street

Found this farmers market in Queen's Park on way home. Very well patronised with a wide spread of produce. I bought some samosas.


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