Tuesday 17 July 2012


Mindful that my bus pass might be beginning to rust up, I entrained ( enbussed ?) for the bewitching little village of Plean.

Plean is one of the so called Eastern Villages, along with Cowie and Fallin. For "Eastern" read "former mining".
Being on the main A9 between Falkirk and Stirling, Plean has not fared as badly as some of the isolated rural pit villages.

Once 90% cooncil hooses, there are now thriving pockets of "bott hooses" and the remaining municipal stock seems to be tidy and in good repair.

While most folk work away from the village, there is one major employer who seems to be doing well. Now on a large, well equipped site, they started up, ironically, in the disused former pit head buildings.

Tempting as it was to pop in for a spot of banter with Jack, Victor and Boabby, the barman, I set off at a brisk pace up the quaintly titled President Kennedy Drive. Well, when I say brisk, you know what I mean.

                                         My objective.

                                  Sic transit gloria mundi

                                 The wildflower meadow

                    Lots of these little Common Spotted chaps

    And lots of these little beauties - Greater Butterfly Orchids

The North bing. It didn't used to be here. It used to be about half a mile away, brooding and overhanging the A9 as you passed the pit entering the village from the Larbert direction. It was decided to move it back into the estate and spread it about and landscape it. And how did they move it ? They built a giant conveyer belt. Yes they did !. All the hardware is long gone, but I had hoped to find the remains of the track. Must have been looking in the wrong place.

All things considered, better than sitting on my arse waiting for God !


  1. Strange innit. I must have driven past there loads of times over the years without giving it a single thought. Just goes to show that everywhere has a reason for being, and its own history.
    Get all the use you can out of that bus pass, OM, because it's on their hit list.
    Cheers, Alen

    1. Let them try! I didn't fight in two world wars and one world cup (Gemany'74. Only undefeated team in the tournament!) to let a bunch of Jeremy Hunts take away my bus pass.

      Incidentally, Boswell's Bus Pass by Stewart Campbell is a good read.

      Also this.
      (I know, I know. Just was your hands after reading it !)

    2. Just read it. That's great. That's an achievement. What a fantastic blog you could write doing that. Michael Palin should tour Scotland on a bus pass instead of visiting yurts on camels. I'm off to work inspired . . .

    3. Hold the front page, eh. Actually, it's given me a wee idea. Research required !