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This evening, I am reporting on a piece of Scotland’s social history as manifested in a recently erected statue in Govan, part of Glasgow.
The statue was erected to commemorate Mary Barbour, a leading radical female social pioneer of the early 20th century who was an inspirational campaigner, activist and local government representative.
Mary was a key figure in the 1915 Rent Strikes, which exposed and protested against landlords who took advantage of the wartime economy to increase rents for workers, evicting those who could not pay. This was a time when Britain was engaged in the WW1 conflict and women were not granted limited voting rights until late 1918. At the time Govan was at the heart of Britain’s  commercial and military shipbuilding industry.
Mary’s campaign proved successful in forcing a change in legislation governing rented accommodation, which was the main source of housing for working people at the time.
Mary continued to campaign vigorously to improve housing and social conditions for working people. She was elected as one of the first woman councillors for Glasgow in 1920, and appointed the first woman Baillie (civic officer) of the City of Glasgow in 1924. 

The statue was unveiled to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Mary Barbour Statue at Govan Cross

Ailsa Craig, Firth of Clyde, Scotland.

This evening, I am focusing on Ailsa Craig, an ancient volcanic plug which sits in the Firth of Clyde (S.W.Scotland) about nine miles west of the town of Girvan on the Ayrshire coast.

Ailsa Craig viewed from Ayrshire Coast

The name Ailsa Craig translates from Gaelic into English as ‘Fairy Rock’.

More information:

  • Uninhabited and covers an area of two hundred and twenty acres, is two miles circumference and one hundred and ten feet high.
  • Formed from the plug of a Paleogene volcano, between 66 million and  23 million years ago.
  • Now effectively a bird sanctuary and home to colonies of gannets and puffins.
  • Historically, the island is best known as a source material for curling stones. There are reports that Ailsa Craig’s very smooth blue hone granite is used in 70 pct. of the world’s curling stones.
  • Kays of Mauchline have the sole lease to remove the only known source of the following three  granites: Ailsa Craig Common Green Granite, Ailsa Craig Blue Hone Granite and Ailsa Craig Red Hone Granite in the world. Extraction of between 1600 tons of Ailsa Craig Common Green granite and 400 tons of Ailsa Craig Blue Hone granite is an operation that takes place as required.The granite is transported to the mainland by boat to be stored and subsequently transformed into finished curling stones.

Curling on Lake of Menteith, Scotland

  • A mecca for bird watchers and naturalists. There are boat trips from Girvan. The paddle steamer, Waverley sometimes includes Ailsa Craig in its itinerary.
  • A good subject for photographers who can capture the island in the ever-changing light conditions. Sometimes the island disappears completely when shrouded in mist. Joke: ‘If you can see Ailsa Craig it’s going to rain, if you can’t see Ailsa Craig it is raining!’.

Ailsa Craig viewed from Isle of Arran

Telford Bridge (1812) at Sligachan, Skye.

This evening, I am posting information on Sligachan, a small settlement on the Isle of Skye, Scotland which is situated a few miles N.E. of Broadford on junction of A87 and A863. In the right weather conditions this spot offers excellent opportunities for photography. This is a popular stop for tour buses and independent tourists.

View towards Cuillins from Sligachan.

More information:

  • The name means ‘shelly place’ which indicates economic activity in days past as sea shells were a useful source of lime. To the N.E. is Loch Sligachan.
  • To the south is Glen Sligachan and the River Sligachan.
  • Is one of the best access points f0r the Cuillin Hills which attract large numbers of hikers and climbers.
  • At Sligachan can be found an infrastructure supporting outdoor orientated visitors: hotel, camp site, bunk house and mountain rescue post.
  • The hotel boasts both a micro brewery and a very well stocked whisky bar comprising about 200 single malts.
  • The three-span stone bridge dates from 1812 when constructed by famous engineer, Thomas Telford as part of a new road to Portree.

Black Cuillins reflected at Sligachan.

Bog Cotton at Sligachan, Skye.

Watery landscape at Sligachan

River in spate at Sligachan