Sunday, 29 June 2014

River Clyde

Greenock's cruise season is well under way with a few new visitors to the Clyde this month.

The final visitor of the month had a relatively late arrival time this morning, coming at around 11am.

While waiting for Discovery, Arklow Fame passed on her way to Glasgow. The green-hulled Arklow ships are a regular sight on the Clyde.

Also seen were small boat Sponiel. I've never seen her before and not sure if she is a pleasure boat or a work boat.

A mute swan swam alongside the Esplanade towards Greenock then took off and flew back the way she came.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Bo'ness & Kinneil railway

The Bo'ness & Kinneil preserved railway is operated by the Scottish Railway Preservation Society.

The railway line runs from Bo'ness to Manuel with stops at Kinneil and Birkhill on the way.

 Our trip started at Bo'ness where steam loco 62712 Morayshire was returning from a tour. This year she has been repainted from her usual green LNER livery into black British Railways colours.

We then made our way to Birkhill station to await the arrival of the final tour of the day which was hauled by class 37 diesel loco 37401 Mary Queen of Scots.

Kinneil House

Kinneil House was built on land given to the Duke of Hamilton after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

The property fell into disrepair and was set to be demolished in the early 20th century until a series of decorative wall paintings were discovered in some of the rooms. These were considered to be of great enough historical importance to put a stop to the demolition.

The house is managed by The Friends of Kinneil and Historic Scotland and parts of the house are open to the public on a few days throughout the year. Because of the delicate paintings they operate a rule of no flash photography inside the building. This rule was on my visit applied over zealously as meaning no photography was allowed. However this did not apply to the grounds of the house.

The house was built during a period where the sovereignty of Scotland was being challenged. At the rear of the house are defensive gunloops from where the house could be protected.

In later years the house was occupied by industrialist John Roebuck who allowed James Watt to use the cottage behind the house while he was working on developing the steam engine, a part of which is displayed outside the remains of the cottage.

Nearby Kinneil Church has been unused since the 17th century and the only remaining parts of the ruin are the western gable wall and the graveyard.

The Kelpies

Scotland has a new tourist attraction. Standing at a height of 30 metres beside the M9 motorway are "The Kelpies", standing guard at the entrance to a new section of the Forth and Clyde Canal.

The artist Andy Scott based the sculptures on the heavy horses that would have once been commonplace throughout Scotland.

Each figure is made of steel and weighs over 300 tonnes.

Friday, 20 June 2014

River Clyde 20/06/14

The passengers on board Celebrity Infinity have seen the very best of Scotland's weather, in comparison to her last visit where she departed durning a thunderstorm.

The 2170 passengers departed sunny Greenock at 7pm, heading for Holyhead on north Wales.

Bulk carrier Egs Quest passed by the liner as she completed canting off the Esplanade.

Clydeport have recently handed the role of buoy maintenance to Briggs Marine.Here is workboat Cameron heading to Greenock carrying a red buoy.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Classic & Vintage cars

After the razzamatazz of the Gumball 3000 rally visiting Scotland, things took on a somewhat more sedate pace with a visit of the Scottish Western Thoroughbred Vehicle Club to Cornalees Visitor Centre in Greenock.

Cars dating back to the Ford Model T were proudly displayed by their owners while the public enjoyed these memories of past times.

Many of the cars were from relatively recent times and most definitely within the  lifetime of many of the visitors.

It is always good to see that these cars are being kept alive and in working order.

1975 MG Midget Mk III
VW Campervan
Riley RME
Delage DI
Ford Model T
Triumph TR2 1955

Gumball 3000 Rally

Prestwick Airport played host to some of the world's flashest supercars as the Gumball 3000 rally arrived in Scotland.

Seeing these fabulous cars more than made up for my 5:30am alarm call.

The procession made its way to Edinburgh for the start of the UK leg of the rally.

Rebellion R2K
Bughatti Veyron
Mercedes Benz SLS AMG
Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder
Ford GT followed by McLaren 12C
Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
Dodge Viper
Ferrari 458
Wiessmann MF5