Saturday, 11 June 2011

Carry on up the glen

The day started badly. I boiled over my porridge. The mood worsened when I read that that odious little shit Brian Souter had been allowed to purchase a knighthood.In fact Mrs. OM had to contact the community council and the village's state of alert was raided to Defcon 1 ( Imminent probability of radge attack !). Fresh air and exercise were prescribed and I set off for the Glen Road. Now, as you probably know, every town and village in Scotland has a Glen Road. I think it was an edict of Malcolm Canmore or something.

They tend to be much the same - big hooses sitting up on terraces. Old stone ones lower down and flashy modern ones of the type favoured by drug dealers, gangland enforcers, people traffickers and IT consultants further up.

Our Glen Road is now  a footpath, although it used to be a full-on tarmac B road between Bridge of Allan and Dunblane, popular with the youth for experimenting with motor vehicles which they were not legally entitled to drive/ride. The polis rarely came up here, and if they did, they were obviously engaged in some illicit activity of their own, and never bothered us.

This is the reason for the change in status of the road !

There are some fields up here that look a bit - well odd.
That's because they used to be orchards. Scotland once had a significant top fruit industry, In this area Scott of Drumdruills was the big name, and I think they had connections with the jam industry in Carluke.

This is the bridge where, I remember still, I had an OMFG moment on the Velocette 350. Character forming, but.

Who remembers this scandal ? The politician involved claimed that it was a sett-up

The road/path now joins up with Dunblane's Glen Road and the pair of them skip merrily, hand-in-hand towards Sheriffmuir.Now I had itended carrying on to Sheriffmuir, but thunder was starting to rumble and I didn't fancy 3 miles of narrow tarmac on a Saturday lunchtime with everyperson and his cousin heading for the Inn.So I cut off on the Kippenrait track and headed for the Waltersmuir reservoir.

There's something apocalyptic about clear fell.

I was fascinated by this bogie at the base of the dam wall. Flanged wheels running on metal rails(hidden by the grass) with a cable going up to a pulley at the top and coming down again (you can just see it in the foreground). Presumably something (bagged ?) was loaded onto the platform then onto the trolley - the cable is hitched to the lorry( land rover ?) which then drives forward and pulls the load to the top station. But what is it that needs to be carried up ? All was revealed later - much later

I raced up the steps(?) expecting to see several hectares of prime Scottish H2O, but hey - shockaroonie !!!!!
Naturally, my first reaction was that some white van(tanker?) men from the drought ridden South had 'ad it away on their toes. Then I reckoned that it had been emptied for maintenance.

The truth, dear reader only penetrated my thick skull when I was uploading the piccies. Duh ! It's now a fish farm innit ? You spotted that right away, didn't you. And the bogie is to take up the bags of ants eggs or whatever.

Beautifully preserved "Water Board" iron fence.

So.where now ? I was heading for Pendreich farm, and the 25k showed a path about a mile from where I was across the moor. It did look a bit suspiciously green and tufty. I squelched off on a bearing to intersect with the track.( Hope that wasn't too technical for you there.)

I came across a raised grassy road which I followed for a while even though it did not appear to be going in the direction I wanted to go (OS- what do they know) At this point it became obvious that it wasn't a road - it was a pipe track. This called for desperate measures, and, as a last resort, I got out the map and compass, worked out where I was, where I wanted to get to, and how to get there. Now, I know some of you consider this to be cheating, but it was starting to rain

Found the farm, got on the road and home to tea and scones.

Maybe I should try this. Seems like great fun for coffin dodgers like me !


  1. Taking a bearing whilst standing on a pipe-track can have unusual results... Either because the pipe is made of steel or the water wellying along inside can cause weird effects with your little floating magnetic needle thing.

    That's all a bit too technical too, innit? It's best just to aim for the pub. That always works.

  2. Well I'll take your word for Brian Souter being a Shit ! in all honesty I've never heard of him ? but I'm not going to Google, Shit info. as I lead a very sheltered life drinking wine in the hills
    cheers Danny

  3. Hi,
    I play bowls and hopefully have a long time before i dodge the coffin!!

  4. Mmmm. Magnetic you say, Alan. What will they think of next. Here's a technical question for you; why haven't they metricated the 360 degrees in a circle ? Surely an SI circle should have 100 degrees ?
    Wino, here's a clue - think John Ford/John Wayne
    Bob, welcome. We have all sorts on here (see previous comments !)My old Dad was bowling until he was 90.