Postcard of an oil refinery

As any regular reader will know, I am fascinated with great churches. For a similar reason large industrial scapes attract me. There is a celebration of achievement for large structures that rise from the earth. Whither blocks of stone erected in the name of religion, or a nest of stainless steel looping into paths in the sky.

These images are distant compared to my church studies, more a contextual or postcard of an oil refinery. Certainly NOT ‘wish you were here’. The Grangemouth petrochemical cracker complex paints an unflattering foreground to Falkirk and Linlithgow. When misty with low cloud, flares on the stacks light-up the evening sky to over 20 miles away and pulse like a giant celestial heartbeat. Akin to the skies over Mount Doom for Lord of the Rings fans. The site is draped in atmosphere.

Were it not some half-assed ‘secure’ environment, I would spend more time in the streets of the complex studying form, light and all that glorious stainless spaghetti. (Photographs from 2009)



Longannet Power Station across the Forth estuary from Grangemouth. Built to supply electricity for the cracker.



Ochils over Dollar

An autumn stroll above the Ochils Dollar in Clackmannanshire. Castle Campbell (aka Castle Gloom) looks over the Forth Valley. Midday sun in November brought the colours to life as a mist creeps along the river Forth in the valley below.



Deforestation in the Ochils
Deforestation in the Ochils





Sunset on Castle Campbell over Dollar and the Forth Valley
Sunset on Castle Campbell over Dollar and the Forth Valley

Clackmannan in the Cold

This was a typically unpredictable morning. With a high pressure system in charge giving cold, frost and fog which had descended over Clackmannan meaning views were very peek-a-boo minute to minute. These photographs were taken from Kings Seat Hill upon which the parish of Clackmannan nestles.

It offers great views into Fife in the East, Ochils and Perthshire in the north, Stirling east and Falkirk to the south. The Bruce family settled and built one of the County of Clackmannanshire’s five towers to project their power.

Sunrise over the cold rooftops of Clackmannan


Robert the Bruce's Clackmannan Tower
Clackmannan Tower below the Moon


The Wallace Monument in Stirling and snow-capped Campsies in the distance with Alloa in the mist


Clackmannanshire and Kincardine bridges in cold weather with the heat of Grangemouth bubbling-up clouds


Robert the Bruce’s Clackmannan Tower in the mist


Snow-capped Ochils