Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Perth regains City status

Perth lost official recognition as a city in 1975, when a local government shake-up led to the official removal of that status. It celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2010, and is classified as an ‘ecclesiastical city’ because it has a cathedral, but is (or I suppose I should now say ‘was’) legally considered a town.

Back in May 2010, we noticed Perth had delivered an application for restoration of city status to the UK Government. The reason for this being that City status is a reserved matter, granted by the Queen under royal prerogative on advice from ministers.

And the good news is that Perth (population about 44,000), is now set to become Scotland’s seventh city after winning a UK competition marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Perth was one of 25 towns across the UK which had applied for the civic honour via the jubilee competition.

Inverness achieved its City status in 2000, as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.

Perth will join Scotland’s other cities of: Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Stirling.

Scotland’s other cities are Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Stirling.

Perth regains city status after years of campaigning | Dundee and Tayside | STV News

Perth has a City Hall, and it’s B-Listed, but…

Perth City Hall

Perth City Hall 2011 © David Dixon

Since Perth got a new concert hall, the City Hall is no longer wanted, and after a developer failed to gain sufficient interest in plans to develop the building into shopping centre, the preferred option appears to be demolition, to allow a civic square to be created in its place.

Plans to demolish Perth City Hall unveiled


March 14, 2012 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Bute might feature in the BBC’s Coast series

Although it’s only a rumour, it’s being suggested that the Isle of Bute could be seen in the BBC popular ‘Coast’ series:

BUTE could feature in a future series of the BBC’s Coast documentary series, the island’s tourism and marketing group has been told.

The annual general meeting of VisitBute this week heard that the makers of the popular programme had shown an interest in examining the island’s role in the Second World War and in filming Rothesay’s famous Victorian toilets for possible inclusion in a future episode.

Bute in line to feature on ‘Coast’ – Local Headlines – The Buteman

The island played a significant role in the conflict, and its contribution is probably not the most widely known.

Much of the background to Bute’s role can be found here:

Isle of Bute V-Day

The Kyles Hydropathic Hotel at Port Bannatyne was requisitioned to serve as HMS Varbel, where much of the testing and training for Britain’s secret X-Craft was carried out, as was most of the training for Britain’s submariners.

Sadly, the grand hotel was unable to survive the cheap package holiday deals of the 1970s, and was demolished, but can be seen in the memorial picture below (if you cannot read the text, please click on the image to see the original):

Kyles Hydropathic memorial

Kyles Hydropathic memorial © Zak

Further pics of the memorial garden at Port Bannatyne can be seen here, and here.

Although relatively small, Bute also had boatyards which were pressed into service to repair was damaged vessels.

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Naval, World War II | , , , | Leave a comment

No support reported for Bute’s midnight ferry proposal

car ferry red xIt looks as if the suggestion that the wee ferry to Bute might see a late extension to its running – Bute’s wee ferry crossing could be extended to midnight – won’t even go as far a trial.

The local paper (The Buteman) reports that the local community council has received no support, and goes on to quote the Bute Community Council chair as saying:

BCC chair Grace Strong told the meeting: “Everyone I’ve been speaking to about a midnight ferry says, without exception, ‘what a daft idea’.”

‘No support’ for Kyles ferry extension plan – Local Headlines – The Buteman

I see the point, but it also seems to mark a pattern of similar suggestions over the years, with various changes to the schedules having been tried, and rejected.

I often refer to the ‘CalMac’ bashers, and wonder if they are behind these suggestions, and have no real interest in improving the island’s ferry service, but merely keep up a stream of (daft) suggestions intended to provide them with an easy means of later criticising the sole ferry operator.

Whatever the reasons, there is now a possibly more balanced proposal from the community council, and that is of a year-round extension of the wee ferry’s schedule to 9 pm.

At the moment, the wee ferry only runs this late during the summer timetable, and to 8 pm in the winter timetable.

They also suggest later sailings by the big ferry (Rothesay to Wemyss Bay) on Fridays and Saturdays.

(Local memories tell that the latter has been tried with the Rothesay ferry before – despite noisy demands for this extension at the time, nobody used it, and it was dropped.)

March 14, 2012 Posted by | Maritime, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment


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