Brompton Bicycle in Lanarkshire

A few years ago I bought a Dahon folding bicycle on Ebay. It is badged as a Raleigh bicycle but is made by Dahon. This has been a super bicycle and has taken me around London, Windsor and along the Grand Union Canal. It has also taken me to the Holy Isle (Lindisfarne), the Isle of Bute, Loch Lomond and many other areas in Scotland.  

The maximum distance I have travelled in one day is 55 miles, from Wanlockhead in South Lanarkshire to my home.   

However, I decided to buy a Brompton S3L 2014 because it folds just a bit smaller than the Dahon. The wheels are only 16 inches, but it still provides a smooth and fast ride. I took it for a spin on the cycle paths around Motherwell and Hamilton, visiting some interesting structures from the former estate of the Dukes of Hamilton.  

Brompton at Strathclyde Loch

The orange colour is quite distinctive. I wanted red but, they only had orange or white in the style with the ‘sports’ handlebars. 

Brompton at Chatelherault Hunting Lodge

Chatelherault was the former estate of the Dukes of Hamilton. The Hunting Lodge above was built in 1734 for the 5th Duke of Hamilton.

View from Chatelherault Lodge

The view above was towards Hamilton palace which was demolished in 1927 after suffering subsidence from mine workings.

On the Dukes Bridge over the River Avon

The Dukes Bridge was commissioned by William 11th Duke of Hamilton. It stands 80ft high over the Avon gorge allowing access to the ancient oaks and Cadzow Castle.

Outside the Mausoleum, Hamilton

The Mausoleum in Hamilton was the resting place of the Dukes of Hamilton and is situated in the grounds of the former Hamilton Palace. It held the record for the longest echo of any man-made structure in the world. Construction was begun in 1842 and completed in 1858.

It was a great way to test my bike and it was a bit of a head-turner as well.

Further Information:

Brompton 

Chatelherault Country Park

Advertisements

Ready Steady Gallop – Painted Clydesdale Horses

A few weeks ago I posted an article about Scottish artist Malky McCormick painting a large fibreglass Clydesdale horse which can be read here. This horse and a number of others were to be displayed in the town of Hamilton in South Lanarkshire.

The horses are part of the Ready Steady Gallop event and are mainly on display from 25th June until 6th September in Hamilton Town Centre in South Lanarkshire, although a few are located outwith the centre. I managed to photograph all but three of them and will get the remaining ones soon.

Hamilton Business Improvement District 

The display has been organised by the Hamilton Business Improvement District to encourage visitors to the area and get some exercise at the same time!

Local artists have painted the horses and the results are quite stunning. Below are a few of the horses on display.

First World War Horse

First World War Horse

The First World War Horse is located outside Sainsbury’s supermarket in Douglas Retail Park and is sponsored by the company. It is decorated with the British First World War Medal Trio including the Allied Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914 Mons Star.

Horses in War

It was designed by Jayne Stokes in remembrance of the large number of Clydesdale horses conscripted for the war effort, many of whom suffered along with the brave men and women.  

First World war Medal Trio

In the above photograph can be seen the First World War Medal Trio of the 1914 Mons Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

Mons Star 

This bronze medal award was authorized by King George V in April 1917 for those who had served in France or Belgium between 5th August 1914 to midnight on 22nd November 1914 inclusive. The award was open to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces, doctors and nurses as well as Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Navy Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who served ashore with the Royal Naval Division in France or Belgium. There were approximately 378,000 1914 Stars issued. 

British War Medal 

The silver or bronze medal was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. 

The Allied Victory Medal

Each of the allies issued their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory.

‘Regent’ by Malky McCormick

Malky was seen in Hamilton Regent Shopping Centre painting ‘Regent’.

Regent by Malky McCormick

‘Regent’ has the Scottish flags painted on it with the Lion Rampant on one side and the saltire on the other. Well-known Scottish people are also painted on the horse.

Malky painting the Lion Rampant on ‘Regent’

The Lion Rampant

The Lion Rampant is also known as the Royal Standard of Scotland and the Banner of the King of Scots. Its correct use is restricted by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland to only a few Great Officers of State who officially represent the Sovereign in Scotland.

It is used officially at the Scottish royal residences of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, and Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire, when The Queen is not in residence. The Royal Standard of the United Kingdom used in Scotland is flown when the Sovereign is present.

‘Regent’ by Malky McCormick
Scottish personalities on ‘Regent’

The Scottish personalities on the above photograph include Andy Murray, Billy Connolly, and Sean Connery.

Above are just two of the horses. I will include some more on a later posting.

Further Information:

Ready, Steady, Gallop – Information on all the horses including a downloadable location map and phone app.

Hamilton – South Lanarkshire

During the month of August my friends and I take a trip to the Edinburgh Festival to sample the atmosphere at this great event. However, today it was very wet so the visit was postponed until next Saturday when the forecast is for much brighter weather.

However, a bit of rain does not deter me from going out so I went to Chatelherault Country Park in Hamilton where the ‘Scotland’s Festival of History’ event was being held. The rain was very heavy when I arrived and the park was very quiet. While I was walking over to have a look at the history event I met a neighbour who had lost her dog in the park due to it being spooked by a loud noise. I felt obliged into helping her find the dog which we eventually succeeded in doing.

By this time the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. I looked round the event and took a photograph from the top of the hill in front of Chatelherault House. It looked poorly attended, which was probably due to the earlier wet weather and the charging of an entrance fee.

Scotland’s Festival of History

 Cadzow White Cattle

Walking back to Hamilton, I saw some of the Cadzow White Cattle in a field. These cattle used to freely roam on the Duke of Hamilton’s Estate. There are only two herds of these cattle left in the UK. The other herd is in Chillingham in Northumberland.

Cadzow White Cattle

 Avon Bridges

Further along I came to the Old Avon Bridge which was built before the 16th century and enlarged about the beginning of the 18th century. The bridge has been extensively restored and is said to have been built by the monks from Lesmahagow Priory.

This bridge has three segmental arches and the roadway averages 9ft in width. It has a cobbled surface which can be quite slippery when riding over it on a mountain bike. The bridge was once used by travellers to London.

Old Avon Bridge

From the Old Avon Bridge can be seen the new Avon Bridge which was built in the 19th Century and became the main bridge for travelling south.

Avon Bridge on the A72

Railway Bridge

From the other side of the Old Avon Bridge can be seen the railway bridge from Hamilton to Motherwell. The railway line was constructed in the 1840’s and contributed to the growth of Motherwell to becoming one of the major steel producing areas in the world.

Railway Bridge over the River Avon  

Avon Mill

In front on the railway bridge can be seen a small dam. This was to provide large quantities of water to power a mill which was situated near the present road bridge. Although a ruin at present, there is potential for this to be developed in the future.

Avon Lodge

On one side of Old Avon Bridge is a very old building which is still in use today both as a dwelling house and dog kennels. This was probably used in the past by weary travellers on their way south. The present owners have retained the character of the building, but this is probably due to it being a listed building. (A listed building in the United Kingdom is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest).

Avon Water

 River Avon

The remainder of my walk was through woodland paths. A closer look at the water on the River Avon showed how clear it was – the brown colour is from the peat particles in the riverbed.

Butterfly

 Wild Flowers and Insects

There were plenty of butterflies and some Honey bees to be seen. The Honey bees were attracted to the Creeping Thistle plants which were growing in abundance along the riverbed.

Creeping Thistle

Although regarded as a nuisance by gardeners, the Creeping Thistle is important to many insects including Honey bees and their seeds form an important part of the diet of many farmland birds.

 Friendly Dogs

Just before  completing my walk I met two Labrador dogs – Weston and Quiver. Weston had been trained as a guide dog for the blind, but just before completing his training failed when he started eating food from the pavement.

Quiver was only 4 months old and was starting his training to become a guide dog. Both dogs were lovely and friendly. Hopefully Quiver makes it as a guide dog and allows a blind person to have some independence.

It had been a good day after all, considering the wet start.