Wednesday 30 April 2014

Return of Niall

Niall has returned to Langholm after his 3 month spell in Australia to join us for the first time since Christmas. He is fresh from completing a 3 day trek on the famous Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia and was keen to do Scotland's most famous trek namely the Potholm Trail. As we were advised by the weather man it was going to be a wet afternoon we opted for a short 5 mile walk today and this also enabled us to attend the retirement party at the Buccleuch Centre for Hilary Jack, who retires today.  

The Bluebells are much earlier this year and in about a week these ones will be spectacular.

These also are looking good and will soon be in full display probably 3 weeks ahead of schedule

On return to Langholm we took a walk round the old school playing field where they are completing the task of making it an all weather surface. We met a local gentleman connected with Langholm Rugby Club and he was commenting on how he thinks it is a waste of money and will never be used, almost with a hint of pleasure in his voice. I wish locals would be more positive and look on the bright side of things instead of being so negative. It is a great asset for the community and with correct management and planning should be used as much as possible.
Retiring Manager of the Buccleuch Centre Hilary with Last of the Summer Winer David at her retirement  tea this afternoon.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Esk Walk with Mrs. Horsburgh from Selkirk

Evelyn Horsburgh from Selkirk has attended every Langholm Walking Festival since they started in 2002 and is also a Patron of the Buccleuch Centre. Many months ago she asked me if she could walk the River Esk as she had heard it was particularly attractive. We fixed a date long in advance and today with a friend she headed down to Langholm on the bus from Selkirk to be met by myself, Tom, and John. The weather was good and we were soon at Canonbie and started the 7.5 mile walk back to Langholm.
Mrs. Horsburgh with her friend Heather and John and Tom

A nice view of the River Esk from high up the bank. This walk is very spectacular in places but you do need a guide to help you find the right way.

These were growing out of a dung heap at Hollows Mill. Would appreciate it if somebody could tell me what they are.

The 2 ladies at Hollows Mill Dam

At the end of the walk as we approached Skippers Bridge this lady was seen in the middle of the river netting in the shallows. Not sure who she was or what she was doing but I am sure she was legitimate and not poaching.

Monday 21 April 2014

A Visit to St James's Park

As an Easter Sunday Lunch treat Fiona booked us all lunch at St. James's Park the home of Newcastle United. This was paid for by her Father in Law Han and was a huge success. It was great value for money and included a tour of the stadium. Leo really enjoyed himself but I think that was more to do with the Ice Cream and free Easter Eggs.

The stadium holds over 52,000 supporters

The Home team dressing room. The visitors dressing room is much smaller.

Lunch in the Magpie Suite

Two very excited boys and even Gaye enjoyed herself

Most of the players jerseys hanging up were for foreign players

What a bowl of Ice Cream but he managed to eat the lot.

Well Done Hannah

We are so proud of our Granddaughter Hannah who decided she wanted to raise money for her Granny Gaye's Hospital. She made and sold loads of cakes and scones and raised the sum of £70 for Macmillan Cancer.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Innerleithen to Peebles along the old Railway Line

There is a certain attraction to walking along an old railway line with the main one being a lack of hills. The Last of the Summer Wine Walkers seem to be more attracted these days to walking on the level. Maybe it just enables us to talk more as this seems to play an important part of our walks.
Todays walk chosen by Tom started at Innerleithen at 10.30am where Tom and I met up with john, Martin, and Ken from Edinburgh to commence the 6 mile walk to Peebles. Innerleithen in a lovely small town and used to be the Rolls Royce of the Cashmere Knitwear Industry. In my days with Atlasair and UPS I used to ship thousands of Cashmere garments every week from Ballantynes of Innerleithen and Murray Allan of Innerleithen all over the world. Sadly neither of these companies now exist leaving Innerleithen a much poorer place. In the background of this photograph is the old Innerleithen railway station which is now in somebody's garden.

We crossed the River Tweed several times with this new pedestrian bridge having recently been built at enormous cost.

The walk took us through the new village of Cardrona which I have passed many times but never actually walked through. I had preconceived ideas of it being not a very nice place but I have to admit it looks rather nice with a village green surrounded by some lovely but expensive houses. 

The old railway station is used as the village store and a small cafe. Service was very slow and it took 20 minutes for us to get a cup of coffee. There was only one young girl working there and she was overwhelmed with a full house of customers.

On our walk we met this lovely pony who managed to eat my lunch time Apple.
The three golfers in our party are standing here discussing the merits of the 2 golfers playing a hole on the Cardrona Course. I thought it was only women that were bitchy but there is nothing quite like golfers commenting on other golfers who are not as good as them.
As we waited for the bus in Peebles I was telling the lads about the problems Niall Weatherstone was having with IKEA who were fitting his kitchen at Birkwood while he was in Australia when who should come round the corner but his daughter Lorna with her 2 children. What a coincidence so she just had time to have her photo taken when the bus appeared and we were off back to Innerleithen. An excellent walk on a nice day in good company what more can a man ask for. 

This is the new bridge we crossed over next to the Cardrona Golf Course. We passed along the entire length of the Golf Course and only counted 5 people playing so for this to pay its way it will need to have many more customers especially as this is Easter week and a time when many people are on holiday. We did pass many cyclists on the walk especially families with kids on tag along bikes and this proves how popular this area has become with cyclists. 

Just What the Doctor Ordered

After Gaye's operation in Edinburgh in mid March she has recovered well enough to have a short break holiday so at very short notice I booked a long weekend in Portpatrick last weekend staying at the lovely Rickwood Hotel which is run by Fred & Maggie Findlay. It proved to be a great success and we had a lovely time.
The Mull of Galloway Lighthouse which has just opened as a Community Project

Port Logan Botanical Gardens. These were well worth the visit as they were spectacular with daffodils still in full bloom plus the Azaleas making it a wealth of colour.

As we arrived at the Botanical Gardens the only cars in the car park were these ones plus a few more similar but not in the photograph. It made us think we had gone back in time. 

Portpatrick Harbour

A Eucalyptus tree in the grounds of Logan Botanical Gardens

Wednesday 9 April 2014

A New Path on an Old Walk

Whenever it is a wet Wednesday and our wee group of walkers have nothing planned away from Langholm we opt for an Umbrella walk round Potholm and today was no different. With much moaning and groaning mainly because the three of us could not think of any other route that was not deep in mud we headed off.
Just as we reached Langholm Academy John announced he had never seen his name on the Board of Duxes so Tom decided to put that right and we headed into the school.
So here it is with John R Irving Dux in 1963. An interesting fact is that only one Dux never left Langholm but left school and spent her entire life working in the town namely Jean White who was Dux in 1927 .
After leaving the school we headed up to Holmwood and noticed a gap in the wall so decided to explore and discovered this strange thing. If anybody can tell us what it was used for we would be grateful.
It seems to have been built in a man made mound and the tree on it has only grown there long after it fell into disuse.
It was probably built by the Buccleuch family as it is on the estate of what used to be the big house.
From there we walked along the path on the side of the wall from the road which we never knew existed.
Eventually we had to come back onto the road when just a hundred or so yards further along Tom took us to this notice
He had erected it 30 years ago when he worked for the council.
We headed on round Potholm and by the time we reached half way we met Mrs. Tootlepedal on her morning bike run and just as we left her the rain came on with a vengeance so we were very wet by the time we got home.
Despite the rain we had turned a boring walk into an eventful one so everybody was happy.
To end the blog I enclude a rare photo of 3 past Duxes taken on one of our Birthday Walks a few years ago. 
The Duxes are John Irving, Martin Little, and David Stevenson and the years they were Dux were 1963, 58, and 56.

Wednesday 2 April 2014

Burns Walk Hospitality from the Glovers

Todays Wednesday walk took us to Dumfries and the home of John and Marion Glover. They had extended an invitation to us to to the 5 mile Burns Walk through Dumfries and along the river Nith. We commenced from John and Marion's home in Albany Place where Bowman checked us out before we headed off on our walk.  

John joins us for a photo shoot.

Bowman acting as guard at the house. He is such a beautiful dog and is so well behaved. Wherever we go he makes friends and especially with women who find him irresistible.

Our route passed Dumfries Academy where David and Tom each spent 3 years of their lives many years ago.

The walk along the banks of the Nith took us past many bridges and this one takes the Glasgow railway line over the river. 
Another bridge this time for the A75 Dumfries by pass. The A75 crosses the river Nith 3 times in the space of about a mile.

We returned to Albany Place where John and Marion had laid on a lovely lunch and a very nice Beer so here is myself, John, and Tom toasting an excellent walk followed by superb hospitality.
The walk took us 2 hours to cover the 5 miles and the expected rain stayed away so it was a most enjoyable day out in excellent company.

Blog Archive