Sunday, June 25, 2017

Moffat Classic Cars at 20

This past weekend was the twentieth anniversary of the Moffat Rally! The Saturday involves some of the cars in a scenic fun run. Here's Chairman/Rally Organiser Gordon Bisset leading the first batch of cars away from Moffat main street.

Here are a few of my favourite cars.

I always look out for cars that I've owned in the past. Top marks for this good looking Reliant Scimitar!

When I had a Sunbeam Talbot back when I was a student, I had never heard of 'classic cars'. But this was my favourite 'old banger'.

Hillmans, such as this Minx, were the family cars for many years.

All heading out of Moffat, past the Beechgrove Sports Centre, to tackle the Beef Tub.

Not only cars!

Another lovely Scimitar!

And another Sunbeam Talbot. I look out every year for my first car - a Triumph Mayflower, but I've not seen one at Moffat ... yet!

A smart Landrover, in the final batch waiting for the off.

I liked the co-driver!

My pick of the day was this American classic, a Chevrolet Corvair 95. Unusual to see, and immaculate. Loved it. Read about the model here.

The weather was good for both days of the show, and the showground packed with cars on Sunday.

Pics © Skip Cottage

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Two Lakes

I was in need of a 'steam fix' yesterday, and an away day in the Lake District began at Haverthwaite, for a short ride on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite railway.

Providing the traction for the day was No 42073 British Railways Fairburn 2-6-4 tank, built in Brighton in 1950. Two of these Brighton-built locomotives survive in preservation on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway although one (No 42085) is currently in the engine shed, minus its boiler.

The short ride was popular yesterday, passengers including two tour groups which were heading for a boat trip on Windermere.

MV Teal (see here) was doing duty yesterday.

MV Teal was built at Barrow in 1936. Sections were transported to Lakeside by rail, and the boat assembled there.

I travelled back to Haverthwaite to get some more pics of 42073 in action.

Heading to Lakeside.

On my previous visits to the shed at Haverthwaite I would probably have paid little attention to No 20214. However, a recently article in the Railway Magazine about these Class 20s has meant I was able to appreciate the locomotive rather more! Details of 20214 are here and here.

After Haverthwaite, I headed home via the Kirkstone Pass and stopped off at Glenridding on Ullswater. I liked this shot of action on the water, taken from the steamer pier.

I had hoped to see MY Lady of the Lake, and was not disappointed. Here she is seen departing Glenridding. The vessel was launched on 26th June 1877, and is believed to be the oldest working passenger vessel in the world. Designed by Douglas Henson of Penrith, she was built at Rutherglen, transported in three sections by rail to Penrith. The sections were pulled by horse to Waterside near Pooley Bridge, where she was assembled. Originally steam powered, she was converted to diesel in 1936. More details here.

A trip on board now goes on to my 'to do' list! The Ullswater Steamers website is here.

Pics © Skip Cottage

Monday, June 05, 2017


The Woodland Garden at Ardkinglas, near Cairndow at the head of Loch Fyne, is one of my favourite places. I have visited a number of times and recently spent another day there.

Visiting at Rhododendron time you encounter sights like this.

And this!

I know that not everyone shares my love of Rhoddies, but I was just blown away by what I encountered last week.

The garden is also home to some spectacular trees, such as this European silver fir. It is around 250 years old and when young it may have been damaged by frost or deer, and it has grown with four large trunks!

More colour ...

And another 'Wow'!

Ardkinglas House was built by Sir Robert Lorimer for Sir Andrew Noble and completed in 1907. The earlier buildings on the estate are described here. The house, a family home, is only open to the public on certain days during the summer. I was lucky to be able to join a tour this time.

It helps to have a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide, and we certainly had that. One of the most interesting houses I've ever visited.

The OS map from 1874 shows a 'model railway' running along the shoreline at Ardkinglas. It was constructed in 1866. Its story is here.

The only surviving artifact relating to the model railway is this axle and wheels, on a shelf in the house!

The ornamental pond in the grounds is called 'The Caspian'.

The centrepiece of the Ladies' Garden (not usually open to the public) is this small pond, with an 'unusual' statue!

Azaleas galore! What a wonderful place.

The estate website is here. For a bird's eye view of the house and surroundings, see here.

Photos © Skip Cottage

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Making shopping fun

I'm not an enthusiastic shopper, so when I really need to go up to the 'big city', I usually try to combine things that I enjoy more. Like a hurl on the subway!

It was great to be serenaded by The Buchanan Street Preachers. 'House of the Rising Sun', if you are wondering. Excellent, and well worth the donation.

So, a nod to Donald, then breakfast at Starbucks in the Buchanan Galleries - it had been an early start!

But what's this. A 'happening' in the mall. The phones were out.

And the professional photographer was hard at work! This is Martin Shields, see here, on an assignment for the Buchanan Galleries.

We have a pop-up fashion show, with models showing clothes from various outlets. Catwalk:BG (here) 'showcasing the hottest summer looks from your favourite fashion stores at Buchanan Galleries'.

What a lovely group!

I'm rather long in the tooth to be considering another career in fashion photography, but I could not resist the opportunity of getting the camera out. Lovely dress. Lovely model. Made me feel small, even though she was wearing flats, she was waaaaay taller than me!

I wasn't trying to make him smile, honestly!

I tried to keep out of Martin's way. Unsuccessfully here.

There was a day when I would have worn a shirt like this! From Next, so you know.

My thanks to all who didn't seem to mind this old guy with his camera following them around the mall! The highlight of my Saturday shopping day.

The difficult shop over, it was lunch in Waterstones' cafe. There is nothing better that browsing a good bookshop.

I love books, and this is where it all started, in this building at the end of Mosspark Drive. It wasn't a nursery then. It was my local library and one of the most influential places in my life. I'm back now to the late 1950s! They eventually built a new, bigger, library behind, and the old building got a new use.


Thanks to the helpful staff of the Buchanan Galleries, to the models and their 'wrangler' Mhairi, and to Fiona Best. Pix are © Skip Cottage.