Scottish Tour Guide's Blog

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Paddle Steamer ‘Waverley’ at Science Centre, Glasgow, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on the Paddle Steamer,’Waverley’ which has a long association with Glasgow, Scotland.

Summary facts and information as follows:

  • Built 1946, Glasgow.
  • Operated on a commercial basis, on the Firth of Clyde, until withdrawn from service in 1973.
  • Ownership transferred to a charitable (not-for-profit) entity called Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1974 and subsequently restored.
  • Ranks as last seagoing passenger-carrying steamer in the world and listed as part of the (British) National Historic Fleet.
  • Tonnage: 693 grt. Speed: 14 knots. Power: Triple expansion steam engine. Passengers: Up to 925.
  • Now engaged in excursions around the Firth of Clyde (Scotland) and other parts of the British coast.

Signage at Fourways Roundabout, Dunblane, Scotland

This evening, I am posting information on the town of Dunblane in central Scotland.

Dunblane has a population of about 9,000, roughly one tenth the size of its larger neighbour, Stirling which attracts high volumes of tourists to its famous castle.

In recent times Dunblane has attracted publicity on two accounts:

  • Firstly, it is the home of Britain’s number one male tennis player, Andy Murray who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics.
  • Secondly, there was a school massacre here in 1996 resulting in the deaths of 16 children and one teacher, an act which triggered a further tightening of Britain’s already restrictive gun ownership laws.

The name is derived from the Gaelic word dun (meaning hill, mound,fortress or castle) and Blaan (chief monastery of Blaan, Bishop of Kingarth). In essence the town grew up around the impressive medieval Cathedral which still dominates the community.

Whilst Dunblane does not attract mass tourism on the scale of Stirling, the more discerning visitor would appreciate the wide range of historic buildings as illustrated below.

Here is the Dunblane Library which was originally established as the Dunblane Institute and Church Hall in 1907.

Dunblane Public Library

Image below shows St Blane’s Church which dates from 1854. Worship here is Presbyterian under Church of Scotland.

St Blane’s Church, Dunblane

Historic and colourful house, Dunblane, Scotland

This is the Leighton Library which dates from 1687 and was established by bequest of Robert Leighton, who was Bishop of Dunblane between 1661 and 1670.

Leighton Library, Dunblane

Historic houses in The Cross, Dunblane

Here is the Stirling Arms Hotel. Evidence suggests an inn has occupied this site since the 17th century.Current building dates from 1770. Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns visited here in 1787. He was subsequently appointed Excise Man ( tax collector) for Dunblane but died before taking up the appointment.

Riverside Pub, Dunblane, Scotland

Here is an evening view of Dunblane, with Cathedral in background and Allan Water (river) in foreground.

Allan Water and Dunblane

Below is an early 18th century marriage lintel with date and initials of the couple residing at the house.

18th century marriage lintel in Bridgend, Dunblane.

Here is Dunblane Railway Station which opened in 1848. Today, there are frequent services to Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Train leaving Dunblane Railway Station

Town Mill Stair, Dunblane

Image below shows the High Street. Note gold coloured post box (in foregound) attracting attention of photographers. This commemorates Andy Murray’s gold medal at the 2012 Olympics.

View of High Street, Dunblane

This building dates from 1844 and was the Sheriff Court, gaol and police station. Dunblane was an important legal centre in medieval times.

Former Sheriff Court, Dunblane

Here is Dunblane Museum, located opposite the Cathedral.

Dunblane Museum

Here is Dunblane Cathedral which dates from the 12th-15th centuries and ranks as one of Scotland’s important medieval churches. Originally Catholic but now Presbyterian.

Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland.

Here is St. Mary’s Episcopal Church which dates from 1845. Location is close to the Fourways roundabout.

St Mary’s Episcopal Church, Dunblane

Balhaldie House (below) was the town house of the Drummond family. William Drummond was a Jacobite spy who encouraged rebellion in 1745. Charles ¬†Edward Stuart ( aka ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’) slept here on night of Sept 11th 1745 en-route to Battle of Prestonpans.

Balhaldie House, Dunblane, Scotland

Jewish Section, Glasgow Necropolis

This morning, I collected a group from visiting cruise ship at Greenock and embarked on a tour of Glasgow’s Jewish sites as follows:

First to the Gorbals district where 19th century immigrants formed self-supporting communities. This area has been transformed from impoverishment and deprivation to modern, architecturally attractive residential housing.

Example of Gorbals architecture, Glasgow

Next, to Garnethill where we visited the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre ( which celebrates the experiences of Jewish people in Scotland over the past 200 years) and Garnethill Synagogue which dates from 1879 and ranks as one of the top 10 historic synagogues in the U.K.

Garnethill Synagogue, Glasgow

Garnethill Synagogue, Glasgow, Scotland

This video clip provides a summary of the history of the Jews in Scotland.

Next to the Jewish section of Glasgow Necropolis wherein are buried some 50 persons from the mid 19th century. This section of the burial ground is subject to repair and maintenance.

Jewish Section, Glasgow Necropolis

Next we paid a brief visit to Glasgow’s 13th century Cathedral and walked past¬†Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house which dates from the 1400s and was originally part of the Cathedral complex.

Glasgow Cathedral, Scotland

Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow

Next to Giffnock in south Glasgow where we visited the synagogue and then guests made purchases of items made of Jewish tartan at the adjacent restaurant.

Giffnock Synagogue, Glasgow, Scotland

Jewish Tartan at Glasgow, Scotland

Finally we had lunch at the Orchard Park Hotel following which guests were returned to their cruise ship in Greenock.

Weather today was dry, sunny and warm.