Thursday, May 04, 2017

Trains and boats ... and the garden

Carlisle Station last Saturday. When this image appeared in my camera viewfinder, it so reminded me of myself as a little boy, fascinated by steam locomotives. I don't know who the young man is, but I hope he was enjoying his 'trainspotting', as I was too that day.

He was at Carlisle's Citadel Station, as was I, to see Tornado pulling the UK Railtour's 'The North Briton' excursion. The locomotive is definitely one of my favourites, and it is always great to get up close to it.

Trainspotting aside, I took the chance of a dry day recently to explore the Trossachs again. I have fond memories of this area from when I lived and worked in Glasgow, back in the day. I had almost forgotten just how beautiful it is.

Last time I saw the SS Sir Walter Scott she had a coal-fired boiler. She has since had a major rebuild but retains her original Matthew Paul and Company triple expansion steam engine, but now has two Cochran Wee Chieftain boilers running on bio-fuel. She looks good for being more than 100 years old! Built by Denny Bros Ltd at Dumbarton, she was dismantled before being transported by barge to Inversnaid on Loch Lomond. From there, she was taken in pieces to Stronachlachar by horse-drawn cart, where she was reassembled and made her maiden voyage on Loch Katrine in 1900.

I look forward to a wee sail on Loch Katrine during the summer.

Skip garden is reflecting the changing seasons, and Rhododendron 'Elizabeth' has burst into bloom the past few days.

And the beech trees on the road near Skip are just beginning to get their 2017 leaves.

As a break from the gardening today, I walked over the field to catch the Duchess of Sutherland storming through Wamphray on the West Coast Main Line, at the head of today's leg 6 of the Great Britain X railtour, see here. And an impressive sight it was!

Pics © Skip Cottage 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob
    Went on a sail from Stronachlachar to Trossachs pier yesterday - out on Sir Walter Scott and back on the Lady of the Lake. Sir Walter Scott has now seen three centuries! She was in wonderful nick. Weather was against us, but a privilege to travel on a ship that was built by the famous Denny's yard in Dumbarton and that entered service about thirteen years before the Titanic.