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Waterfall and Bluebells, Busby, Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, April 30, 2009

This morning I visited the valley of the White Cart Water (river) at Busby Glen Park, Glasgow.

Key driver for my visit was to photograph the mass of bluebells which are now in seasonal bloom.

Although now a quiet area for relaxation, in the 18th and 19th centuries this was a hive of activity centred on water powered mills used in the cotton industry. Just close by are the remains of an iron age fort dating back about 2000 years providing evidence of the long era of occupation by man.

The name Busby would imply a Scandinavian origin as 'by' usually indicates a farm/settlement dating to the Viking era.

A very interesting spot offering much for nature lovers, photographers, archaeologists and students of industrial history.


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Spring Garden at Pollock House Glasgow Scotland

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This afternoon, I paid a visit to Pollock House, Glasgow. This is the ancestral home of the Maxwell family and dates from the mid 18th century. My visit focused on the exterior and in particular the formal gardens which are very colourful at this time of year.


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Provan Hall Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

This afternoon I enjoyed a private tour of this fascinating building which may date back to the late 1400s. Whilst the Hall is a contender for oldest house in Glasgow it is now located in midst of a modern social housing scheme. The caretaker was outstanding and obviously has a great passion for the building which is shortly to benefit from a USD6.0M refurbishment. The Hall is essentially a high status house with defensive wall. In the house the windows double up as ports for crossbows and guns. At certain periods in its history, the house was owned by the then mega rich Duke of Hamilton. There is a connection with Mary Queen of Scots-and three resident ghosts.

Provan Hall is close to Glasgow and definitely worth a visit.


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Nitshill Mining Disaster 1851 Scotland

Monday, April 27, 2009

This evening, I am focusing on a major mining disaster which occurred in what is now a fairly densely occupied residential community south of Glasgow at Nitshill. I have passed through this area on many occasions but only recently discovered that in the 19th century there was extensive deep coal mining in the area. It was at one of these pits-the Victoria- that a huge explosion occurred on March 15th 1851 which killed 61 miners (including two family groups of three) and leaving 65 infant children without breadwinners.

The mine belonged to the Coats family of nearby Paisley who were leading lights in the local textile industry.

The memorial stone shown in the image is located close to the War Memorial at Nitshill.

This disaster must have proved a catastrophic event in the local community at a time when there was no social security support for the bereaved.

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Inchinnan Early Christian Carved Stones Scotland

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This evening, I am posting images of some remarkable carved stones at Inchinnan, near Glasgow which I discovered recently.

Inchinnan was the home of the cult of St. Conval, a 7th century disciple of St. Kentigern. The three stones in the images below are located in the porch in front of Inchinnan Parish Church and protected by a narrow grill.

  • The large slab featuring a Central cross, surrounded by animal art on its face and side, may have been part of an important tomb, perhaps St. Conval.
  • Another stone is a simpler, cross-marked slab.
  • Third stone may belong with another set of stones, as covered in blog posting dated April 22nd 2009.
All three stones appear to have affinity with the famous Govan stones (at Govan, Glasgow) and may date from around the 10th century.

Contact me for more information on Glasgow's early Christian links.





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Scherger Lifting Bridge Inchinnan Scotland

Saturday, April 25, 2009

This evening, I am posting some images of an unusual bridge which straddles the White Cart river close to the Normandy Hotel, Inchinnan. This is quite an impressive piece of engineering and is the only Scherger type bridge still operating in Scotland. The bridge dates from 1923 and was recently refurbished by the local council.



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Surreal building plot Glasgow Scotland

Friday, April 24, 2009

This evening, I am posting something very unusual which caught my eye when out visiting sites at Inchinnan, near Glasgow.

This is not a major art work but in fact the foundations of a now abandoned industrial building project. Looks quite appealing in an unusual sort of way. At or near to this site airships were built between 1916 and 1921. Fascinating!


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Art Deco Architecture Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, April 23, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video of a fascinating building which I have just discovered, namely the India factory building west of Inchinnan. Now converted into a cafe/restaurant. Obviously restored to a high standard. The still image shows the futuristic extension behind the India building which is modelled on an airship gondola in recognition of the airships built there between 1916 and 1921. Very impressive!




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Inchinnan Christian Site Glasgow Scotland

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

This morning I am visiting a group of early Christian stones near Paisley.

These unremarkable looking stones are, in fact, very ancient. Inchinnan is the home of the cult of St. Conval, a 7th century disciple of of St. Kentigern (to whom Glasgow Cathedral is dedicated). Both stones are located in a small block in the grounds of the Normandy Hotel, protected by iron railings and are believed to be positioned in their original location close to the White Cart river. The two stones are:

  • St. Conval's Chariot, on which the saint is supposed to have sailed from Ireland to the Clyde. Water from the hollow in the stone was traditionally believed to have had healing properties.
  • The second stone is known as the Argyll Stone which gets its name from the tradition that Archibald, ninth Earl of Argyll, was captured here after the collapse of the Protestant invasion of 1685.
Image quality affected by restricted access due to the high railings which surround the site.

Another posting on similar topic will follow tomorrow.



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Greek Thomson Great Western Terrace Glasgow

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip of Great Western Terrace, Great Western Road, Glasgow.

This terrace was designed by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson 1867-77 and represents Glasgow's grandest terrace and a most unusual composition in which the taller houses are placed neither at the ends nor in the centre. The design relies on repetition and careful proportion.

If in the west end of Glasgow visit this magnificent piece of architecture.


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Orchids at Botanic Gardens Glasgow Scotland

Monday, April 20, 2009

Today, I am presenting a selection of images of orchids which I obtained from my recent visit to Glasgow's Botanic Gardens.

The Botanic Gardens are located in the West End of Glasgow. Entrance is free and a visit recommended.





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Paisley Scotland

Sunday, April 19, 2009

This morning I am enjoying spring sunshine. Image shows Paisley Abbey. Apologies for quality of image, which was posted direct from cellphone.

Paisley is something of a 'hidden gem' overshadowed by near neighbour, Glasgow. To the right of the image is Paisley Abbey which was founded in 1163. The religious site was originally a priory which became an Abbey answerable to Rome in 1245. It is believed that William Wallace aka 'Braveheart' was educated there.

The building to left of the image is Paisley Town Hall, a very grand Victorian building reflecting the wealth of the town which was built on textiles and thread making.



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Giffnock Glasgow Scotland in Bloom

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today, I have experienced severe technical problems uploading images to my Blog. Finally found a solution in posting direct from Cellphone via mobypicture. This posting is a quasi test. Image shows garden colours in this afternoon's very pleasant sunshine. Giffnock is a leafy suburb of Glasgow.


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Glasgow Botanic Gardens Scotland

Friday, April 17, 2009

This afternoon I visited Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, which date back to 1817. This was a great experience. I was particularly impressed with exotic and colourful orchids. I have many still images of the orchids but, regrettably, cannot upload them to blogger because the up-load process tonight is excruciatingly slow. I will try to post the orchid images tomorrow. In meantime I have managed to post a video taken of the flowering plants in the conservatory. I will certainly encourage visitors to Glasgow to visit this wonderful facility when in the West End of Glasgow.

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Central Station Architecture Glasgow Scotland

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This afternoon I am posting some images of Central Station following my recent visit. This is a magnificent Victorian era edifice originally built 1876-9 (Blythe and Cunningham) which today remains the busiest station in Scotland. The station was built on the site of the now defunct Grahamston and was opened 1879, extended 1901-1906 and restored in the late 1900s.

Thew station entrance features ornate iron-work. Seven pillars support the glazed port0-cochere arcade.

As a former commuter I can attest that Central is a pleasant enough terminus. Worth a visit, especially for visitors keen on architecture and design. Immediately outside the station you are confronted with some interesting Greek Thomson architecture.

I have some still images which I just can't upload

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City Chambers Glasgow Scotland

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This afternoon I paid a visit to Glasgow City Chambers ( City Hall) to view the superb internal decor and architecture. I could not venture beyond the ground floor which is cross shaped with mosaic floor and numerous granite columns supporting a very ornate ceiling.

The entrance to the building is at the head of the cross which incorporates an axis which runs east towards the reception area.

The Council operates official tours which run twice daily. I will join one of these to learn more of the origins and design of this stunning building dating from Victorian times when Glasgow was the second city of the British Empire and flaunted its wealth and status through buildings such as this.



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Colourful Spring Garden Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This afternoon I visited House for Art Lover garden, Bellahouston Park. As will be seen from the images below, the garden is a great credit to the people who manage it. Immaculate with vibrant colours generated by the daffodils and tulips and something of a hidden gem in the Glasgow scene.






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Scottish Parliament Building Edinburgh Scotland

Monday, April 13, 2009

This evening, I am posting a short video clip of the Scottish Parliament building at foot of the Royal Mile, Edinburgh.

The building houses the devolved Scottish parliament which became operational on Oct 11th 2004. There are 129 members of the parliament which has powers to pass legislation and alter tax rates.

The design of the building is somewhat controversial and the construction cost was equally so at GBP431M or 10 times over budget.

The building is accessible to the public and visitors can stay and witness proceedings in the chamber.


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Edinburgh Scotland in Bloom

Sunday, April 12, 2009

This afternoon, I led a small group tour around Edinburgh. Weather was excellent and the following images show off Edinburgh with benefit of blue skies and daffodills

The images were taken with back to Edinburgh Castle looking towards Princes St with Firth of Forth (waterway) in the background.









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Tour Greenbank Garden Glasgow Scotland

Saturday, April 11, 2009

This afternoon I joined in a tour of Greenbank Garden led by the resident Head Gardener. Key focus was hints and tips on herbaceous perennials. The tour was well attended. The sunshine and colours combined to provide a very pleasant experience.

The house and garden date from 1771 with the (walled) garden originally designed for fruit and vegetable growing. The soil is heavy clay but over the years has become workable through addition of humus and lime.

There are over 100 species of Bergenias and named cultivars in the garden.




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Roman Sites in Lake District England

Friday, April 10, 2009

This evening, I am posting some images of a couple of interesting Roman sites which I visited recently in the Lake District.

The first (still) image is of Hardknott Roman Fort or Mediobocdum. This large fort was built during the time of Hadrian (Emperor from AD117 to 138) by a Cohort of troops from Croatia. The walls were 12 feet thick. Other features include a double towered gateway, granaries, a bathhouse and commandant's quarters. Elevation is 800 feet and in winter this would have proved a hardship posting for the troops.



Here is a video clip of Alauna, at Maryport. This Roman fort is believed to have been closely linked to Hadrian's Wall just to the north. It was built by Vexillations of the Second Augustan Legion and the Twentieth Legion. Unfortunately, access to the actual site was restricted but adjacent is a museum full of Roman era artifacts and statues from the locality. To me the earthworks are redolent of Ardoch in Perthshire. In the video can be seen a replica of a Roman Watchtower.

For visitors interested in the Roman era, both of the above sites are deserving of a visit. (There is a good fish and chip shop at the sea front in Maryport!)



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Crummock Water Lake District England

Thursday, April 09, 2009

This evening, I am posting a couple of images of Crummock Water ("crooked lake") which is located close to Buttermere, in fact the two lakes were once one and are now separated by a slightly elevated flood plain. Crummock Water is about two and half miles long and much deeper than Buttermere. The latter is more accessible to visitors.




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Coniston Water Lake District England

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

This evening, I am posting a video clip of Coniston Water in the Lake District. This lake, which is some five miles long and half a mile wide, has associations with:

  • Arthur Ransome, author of Swallows and Amazons; and
  • Sir Malcolm and Donald Campbell, a father and son duo who between them set a series of speed records on the lake with Donald killed in a record attempt in 1967.
The boat in the video is the Steam Yacht Gondola which offers the grace and luxury of a bygone age.

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Meal Time for Mr Fox Glasgow Scotland

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

This evening, I am posting a couple of images taken a few hours ago of one of our 'pet' urban foxes enjoying a late afternoon snack.




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Silloth Cumbria England

Monday, April 06, 2009

Today, we visited the town of Silloth which is located on the Solway Firth with views of Scotland to the north.This town was described to us as being "tired", a description which may have an element of truth in it but we found the town basically clean and relatively prosperous although perhaps not first choice for a vacation.

Silloth exists due to an Act of Parliament in 1855 which authorised the building of a railway and dock facilities on the low-lying sandy coastline, a project which was completed in 1859 and hence this year is the 150th anniversary of completion. The dock still exists but the railway has gone although traces of it can be seen in the landscape.

Here is a video clip taken in the centre of the town
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Whinlatter Forest Park Lake District England.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Today we enjoyed various activities in and around Whinlatter Forest Park near Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwent Water in the Lake District.

One member availed of the 'Go Ape' experience, navigating around high wires in the trees whilst another went mountain biking along the many trails designed for that purpose.

Overall, this proved an excellent facility run by the Forestry Commission and well patronised by cyclists and walkers.

I obtained some reasonable pics, benefiting from combination of high elevation, lake views and benign weather conditions.


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Beatrix Potter Lake District England

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Today, we enjoyed an excellent short tour covering Wray Castle, Beatrix Potter's Hill Top Farm,village of Hawkeshead, Tarn How's (beauty spot), Coniston Water (lake), Yewdale Valley and Lake Windermere.
Weather was reasonably benign allowing good photo opportunties




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Eskdale Lake District England

Friday, April 03, 2009

Today we visited Eskdale in good weather offering great photo opps.

Starting at Ravenglass on the coast we took our bikes on the historic Eskdale and Ravenglass railway which is a quasi volunteer operated narrow guage railway originally established to transport iron ore in the 19th century. This little railway chugs happily through some stunning scenery. At end of the line we collected our bikes and ventured along some almost vertical roads to visit the well preserved Roman fort at Hardknott.


This is the Roman Fort at Hardknott. This is very well preserved, no doubt aided by remote location. One of the most impressive Roman sites I have visited in Britain.




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Buttermere Lake District

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Today, I walked a four mile plus route around the edge of Buttermere, a small lake surrounded by high dramatic peaks in Cumbria. We enjoyed blue skye and warm sunshine. Great opportunities for photos and videos.




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Derwentwater and Castlerigg Cumbria

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Today, we had an enjoyable boat trip on Derwentwater which lasted about one hour (in good weather). The boat trip lasted commenced at Keswick with stops at Nichol End, Hawes End, Low Brandelhow, High Brandelow, Lodore, and Ashness Gate.I obtained some good video and still images

Later we visited a magical place called Castlerigg Stone Circle which dates from between 1300 and 2500 BC.


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