Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Isle of Arran

The Isle of Arran is sometimes referred to as "Scotland in miniature".

A lot is crammed into this island from rugged mountains in the north to more gentle rolling hills in the south.

With Calmac reducing the ferry cost recently, a trip to the island was a temptation which I could not resist. The weather felt more like early autumn than the middle of November.

A return visit has already been decided on before the ferry prices go up for next year's summer season.

Calmac ferry Caledonian Isles entering Ardrossan Harbour
On our way to the beautiful Island of Arran
Bridge over Black Water
Warm autumn colours
View of Kilbrannan Sound and Kintyre peninsula
One of six stone circles on Machrie Moor
Only 3 stones remain standing in this circle
Cloud decending on the jagged mountains on the north of the island

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Dumbarton Fireworks Display 2014

Unlike Inverclyde Council who held their fireworks display on a wet Saturday evening, Dumbarton chose to have theirs on Guy Fawkes Night and also had a beautiful calm evening for their display.

I chose to stay on my own side of the river, having a wonderful view of the fireworks as they were launched from near the castle and rock.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Grangemouth and Bo'ness

A collection of photographs taken in and around Grangemouth and Bo'ness.

Grangemouth refinery
Mud flats at Bo'ness Nature Reserve
Longannet power station
Wagon used to remove clay fron the abandoned Birkhill Clay Mine
Woodland walk at Birkhill
Grangemouth refinery at night
Grangemouth refinery at night

Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway Steam Gala Day

With a name like Bo'ness & Kinneil railway steam gala day, this was an event that I had to see.

Locos 62712 Morayshire and 75242 ran up and down the line with a variety of carriages and wagons from the preservations society's stock.

75254 with two 1921 Calledonian railways carriages at Kinneil halt
1921 Caledonian Railway carriages
62712 Morayshire approaching Birkhill station
62712 Morayshire sits beside the engine shed at Bo'ness station
62712 Morayshire prepares for a trip at Bo'ness railway station
The train departing from platform 1 at Bo'ness.....has just departed!

Sunday, 12 October 2014


Flyboarding was a word and a sport that I had not heard of until this afternoon.

It's a bit like a skateboard without wheels. A strong jet of water is fed from a boat or jet-ski through an umbilical and comes out of two nozzles on the bottom of the board.

It looks to be immense fun and experienced flyboarders can perform dives and somersaults in mid air.

Perhaps the best way to describe it is to look at the pictures of the two boys demonstrating their manoeuvres below.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Operation Joint Warrior 142

The second NATO Joint Warrior exercise of 2014 has brought participants from the participating navies to the west of Scotland once again.

After an early start on Thursday morning we were disappointed to hear that many of the ships had gone to anchor instead of berthing at Faslane naval base.

Only 3 foreign ships came into Gareloch with many hours spent waiting in vain for the anchored vessels to take shelter in the base.

Only 2 ships headed for Glasgow, with KDM Peter Willemoes going up on Friday morning to join fellow Danish ship HDMS Hvidbjørnen which arrived the previous day.

With news over the weekend of impending bad weather, the departures were delayed from the usual Sunday till Monday, meaning I would not be around for them sailing.

After hearing on Sunday of the American oiler planning to leave ahead of the remainder of the ships, we headed for Cumbrae to catch her sailing down the Firth of Clyde from Loch Striven.

USS Vicksburg is the first arrival in Gareloch
The crew are all presented on deck
USS Vicksburg making her way to Faslane
USS Jason Dunham, an Arleigh Burke class destroyer is the next visitor
Looking forward to getting into port
Royal Navy minehunter HMS Blyth being followed by SD Eva, a SERCO personnel carrier
Spanish frigate SPS Cristobal Colon arriving on Thursday afternoon
SPS Cristobal Colon
KDM Peter Willemoes, an Iver Huitfeldt class frigate of the Royal Danish Navy passing Greenock on Friday
KDM Peter Willemoes heading to Glasgow
US support oiler USNS Kanawha
USNS Kanawha passing through the Cumbrae Gap

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Greenock Sugar Sheds

Built in the 1880's but lying mostly empty for the past 20, the Sugar Sheds were for a long time the hub of the sugar industry in Greenock.

After Tate & Lyle moved out of Greenock this wonderful Grade A listed building fell into neglect and was almost lost when it went on fire in 2006.

The sugar sheds, one of the finest examples of a red brick and cast iron building in the country, caught the public's eye when it was used as a venue for the 2011 Tall Ships Race when it came to Greenock.

Part of the Sugar Sheds  has been opened up for access by Absent Voices, a local art project which tells the story of Greenock's sugar industry. I went along to one of their events to photograph this beautiful building and it's surroundings.

Greenock's Sugar Sheds
Combined images
This was once a busy workplace
Old hinge, new string
Titan crane which would have been used to unload and load visiting ships