Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

This Ayr barber has a mouse problem

Almost didn’t get this pic – while backing up to catch the full height of the shopfront, backed into a damned bus stop. You ca see it reflected in the window.

As it was, I spent way too much time editing in the bits I missed.

But the window display was worth catching.

Levano's Barber Shop in Ayr's Sandgate

Levano’s Barber Shop in Ayr’s Sandgate

Let’s look a little closer and do the scene justice – have you looked in the bottom left corner?

Levano's Barber Shop Tableau

Levano’s Barber Shop Tableau

Yep, looks like there’s a problem here, and it’s not really a little problem either.

Going by that tail (and the fact that some comedian threw one of those into my garden a few years ago, it had red eyes), I’m going to say that mouse is really a rat!

Levano's Barber Shop Mousetrap

Levano’s Barber Shop Mousetrap

28/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cats are all just cats

No matter the size.

Cat stretch

Cat stretch

On the other hand, maybe they’re reborn cheating people 😉

OH! Hi honey…

28/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

PS Waverley gets £179,000 boost to recovery

The full boiler refit will need some £2 million to complete the work, but the first £179 k for dry docking has been secured.

Over £170,000 has been awarded to help a world famous steam ship sail again.

The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) has announced that it will provide immediate funding to support efforts to “Save The Waverley” following the withdrawal of the Paddle Steamer Waverley.

Waverley’s operators, Waverley Excursions, confirmed that the ship will need new boilers if she is ever to sail again with all sailings cancelled this season.

PSPS National Chairman, Peter Morley, commented “The PSPS was gifted Waverley for £1 back in 1974 as she was then, and still is, the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world.

“This week PSPS Trustees voted unanimously in favour of an immediate cash injection to Waverley of over £170,000 to fund the recent dry docking bill. This level of support will allow Waverley’s owning charity to bring forward plans to raise in excess of £2 million to replace the ship’s boilers.

“I appeal to everyone who has sailed on Waverley or wishes to see her back in steam to support our fund raising efforts to Save The Waverley.”

£170k lifeline cash awarded to Paddle Steamer Waverley

I really did toy with the idea of setting up a small museum (dedicated to tech) after spending a lot of my free time visiting museums, large and small, but it doesn’t take much research to convince you of the need for personally deep pockets, or a long string of friends, of friends, of friends… who have the relevant contacts in order to make such a thing a reality.

I had neither.

And am in some awe of those who can do this.

I’d probably also have to say I hold some others in contempt, as I’ve seen some people use their contacts to (apparently) raise millions to float their ideas of museums/ attractions, only to disappear without a trace. I’m not referring to fraudsters who get the cash then abscond (they may have been for all I know), but those who seem to line up all the backing, consume resources, then just evaporate with nothing to show.

The costs associated with the Waverley, and the long-running restoration of the Maid of the Loch, are, for me at least, a sobering warning as to how close to the edge such projects can be, even if they are successful and popular.

In the background, they can be eating money like they are burning it.

PS Waverley berthed at Science Centre

PS Waverley berthed at Science Centre

28/05/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Ayr may have been windy, but at least it was dry

I thought I might have made a mistake after jumping on a bus headed for Ayr yesterday, but when I got back and saw the big puddles and wet roads in Glasgow in the evening, reckoned I had made the right choice after all.

That said, on the sea front it was blowing a mini gale, and my nose wouldn’t stop running – it was noticeably colder than a previous visit a few weeks ago.

Even so, as we are only a few days from June, there were already people whose mindset was already set on ‘summer’.

While I was glad I’d packed a fleece to shove on under my windproof jacket, a few were already wandering the esplanade in shorts and bare feet!

Although none were braving the water (I remember how cold it was when I was a kid, and have never gone back in since), a few were already in ‘holiday mode’ and playing in the sand.

Ayr beach 28 May

Ayr beach 28 May

Since I was suitably ‘well wrapped’ I decided to wander out to the end of the pier, and the lighthouse.

Ayr Pier Lighthouse

Ayr Pier Lighthouse

It was pretty windy out there.

But – the locals had recently had a wee party in the sheltered area below the light.

Sardines and beer. Lovely 🙂

Ayr pier sardines and beer

Ayr pier sardines and beer

The coastguard observation tower was abandoned years ago, I’m almost surprised it has survived to this day and not been demolished by some local councillor wanting to score a few ‘Brownie Point’ for being brave, and removing a poor, defenceless ‘eyesore’.

As a tiny, I always wanted to see inside that tower – not happening now.

Believe it or not, you will find this structure described online as a ‘lighthouse’ on web sites selling stock photos!

I was out of circulation when the black rectangle was installed near the tower, so don’t know how old it is.

The oldest pic I’ve dug up so far dates from 2006, when it looked smarter than it does today. It’s some sort of coal monument or marker (I should have read the story given nearby, but didn’t as my runny nose was getting to be too irritating in the wind off the sea), made of coal dust mixed with resin.

It’s beginning to show its age, and is breaking up. Salty sea air and coastal weather is good at doing that.

Old observation tower and coal art

Old observation tower and coal art

I came back with a surprising haul of pics, so there may be more posts from this ‘chance’ outing.

28/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment


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