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Storm brewing over Stirling

Storm brewing
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With Autumn approaching the first storm over Central Scotland terrified children and pets alike. My youngest son decided he is no longer scared of storms so off to Poppy’s Hill we went to Storm watch. Missed the light and sound show, but grabbed some iPhone shots of the dramatic cloud rolling in over the Ochils.

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Stirling’s monumental little secret

Roof between Nave and Altar

View from Nave
I have visited many churches and this one is stunning. The 14th century timber roof beams, graphic windows, and an organ to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.

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Fine buildings become special when the people who own, run and maintain them not only appreciate their wonder, but share it freely with others. It is staffed by friendly volunteers, knowledgeable in its construction and heritage. I visited this church many times and always received a warm welcome. If your are looking for discovery and enrichment while in Stirling, take an hour and make this part of your day. Judging by the visitors book, the rest of the world knows all about Stirling’s monumental little secret too.

View of Altar

This is my first Church Panorama taken near the Altar. Church of Holy Rude website here.


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Thomas Coats Memorial Church

I’ll keep this light on words as i think this building speaks for itself. This is Coats Memorial Church in Paisley, Renfrewshire. As an Engineering student I sat exams in its cold interior (with a trusty tip-ex bottle of etched maths formulae), but its the gothic exterior that grabs the eye in Paisley’s High Street.  Gargoyles galore. Thomas Coats Memorial Baptist church is named after one of the founders of J & P Coats Ltd, a thread manufacturer. Built in 1894 by Edinburgh architect Hippolyte J Blanc.

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Clackmannanshire Bridge, wherefor art thou earlier?

Clackmannanshire Bridge

The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation have given the new Clackmannanshire Bridge a “Highly Commended” in their annual awards. A perfect excuse to add my own gratitude to its existence, albeit late. I spent sixteen years travelling between Clackmannanshire and the Lothians in an earlier career. Each morning’s commute had a ten minute queue to negotiate Kincardine Village then cross the Forth and on to the M9. The return journey was similarly corrosive of productive time. Tapping the steering wheel for thirty minutes and more on a Friday. Adding-up this unproductive sinkhole reveals a total of thirty one days lasting twenty-four hours, spent waiting to cross the Forth. Can you believe that ?

Clackmannanshire Bridge

So any credit paid to this new bridge, its Architects, Construction teams, Planners etc is deserved. If it was completed sixteen years ago I could have walked the West Highland Way, painted the Himalaya in oils and still had time to build my sons a treehouse using fine-sanded matchsticks ! This photograph was taken shortly after the bridge opened in February 2009.