The Sovereign wreck – Life of Pi movie poster

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The fishing boat “The Sovereign” was wrecked on the rocks off the north coast of Scotland beside the villages of Cairnbulg and Inverallochy in 2005. Surprisingly, the image of the wreck appears to have been used as a reference for the poster for the movie “Life of Pi”.
Reported in several newspapers The Scotsman, Press and Journal, Daily Record, Mail, The Telegraph, Movie poster site


Cramond Island

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The causeway to Cramond Island is only uncovered at low tide, running alongside a line of concrete pylons which supported a defence boom during the Second World War. The whole area of the Firth of Forth, on the east side of Scotland near Edinburgh, was a major port during this period. Cramond Island was one of many defensive positions which protected shipping from attack by enemy surface vessels, submarines and aircraft.
The island is popular for visits when the tide is low and has attracted an amount of attention from overnight raves.


Loch Ryan Wild Oyster Fishery

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The oyster fishery in Loch Ryan, Scotland, is the only wild oyster fishery surviving in Britain.

After centuries of over fishing and industrial development the native oyster is either extinct in many places, or exists in such small numbers that their exploitation is not commercially viable. Certainly there are oyster farms where oysters are grown from seed, deliberately placed in tanks or bags and brought on with human help, as in fish farms.
The oyster fishery in Loch Ryan, however, is a managed wild fishery, having remained in the possession of the Wallace family since 1701 when the oyster beds were given to them by King William III. The fishery is currently manged by Rossmore Oysters Ltd.
Evidence of earlier substantial oyster fishing still exists on the east coast of Loch Ryan, though most has been obliterated by the construction of Stena Line’s new ferry terminal.

Once this food was commonplace, a staple part of the national diet, but now it’s an expensive luxury served in exclusive hotels and restaurants. Virtually all of the produce from Loch Ryan sells abroad in Spain and France, along with other fine Scottish seafood now strangely missing from the Scottish menu.


Glasgow Doocots


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Seemingly attracting little real public attention, these structures, created from salvaged and scavenged material and clad in metal sheet or corrigated iron, are scattered throughout Glasgow.
The doocots are built on small plots of land sometimes commandeered for that purpose, the council turning a blind eye to this local and traditional activity.
The purpose of the owner is not only to breed racing pigeons but also to attract and capture other pigeon fanciers birds and keep them captive, thereby building up a stock. New birds are attracted to the doocot by a male or female bird enticing a prospective mate to its new home. Rivalry between doocots is intense, it’s a competition of ownership.


Update Jan 2015

Crail Airfield Torpedo Attack Training

Crail Airfield Torpedo Attack Training - Click to open a 360' panorama tour

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The airfield at Crail was commissioned in 1940 as Royal Naval Air Station HMS Jackdaw to be the main Fleet Air Arm base for training pilots to fly low over the water and drop torpedoes.

For this purpose a large wood and steel supported plaster cyclorama was built, onto which was projected a moving ship target. The cyclorama has a painted sea and horizon, and was lit to simulate different times of day and conditions. The trainee pilot was able to simulate his attack, coordinating dropping his torpedo and its eventual arrival at its intended target. There were no video games in the 1940’s (!).

The shell of the building and whats left inside was listed as Category A in 2006. It appears to have survived to the present day despite the fact that the last permanently based aircraft left the site in 1947, since when it has been a Royal Navy Boys’ Training Facility, an Army Transit Camp, and a School for Linguistics. Some pig farming also took place here, a go cart track exists, and some minor farming is evident. Amateur car racing events (drag racing) are regularly held on the runway.


Up Helly Aa, Lerwick, Shetland

Up Helly Aa, Lerwick, Shetland

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The Viking festival of Up Helly Aa takes place every year on the last Tuesday of January. This is a strong community event, the preparations taking a full year and culminating in the burning of a Viking galley. Each year a new Guizer Jarl (Viking leader) and his viking squad lead a procession of hundreds of torch bearing guisers dressed in all manner of costumes to the final burning. The party lasts at least 24 hours, starting at about 5.30 am on the morning of the procession for the Vikings and lasting right through the day and night. Local halls of varying sizes around the island host packed evening events which are visited by the parties of guisers who do a “turn” to each audience. The acts can be traditional or, more likely, bizarre and surreal.


Robert Burns Mausoleum, Dumfries

Burns Monument, DumfriesClick on the Image above to open a Panorama Tour in a New Window
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The remains of Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) lie in the vault of a Grecian style mausoleum in the south eastern corner of Saint Michael’s Churchyard, Dumfries. The mausoleum was built by public subscription about 18 years after his death and his grave moved here (1815) from its original position in the north eastern corner, along with the graves of 2 of his deceased young sons who had died shortly after Burns. His wife Jean Armour also was interred here in 1834, and later, other members of his immediate family.


Arbroath Smokies

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For centuries, in communities all around the world, fish have been cooked and preserved by smoking them. However, they can only be called “Arbroath Smokies” if they’ve been smoked in Arbroath in a particular way.

Since the 19th Century the production of the Arbroath Smokie has remained largely unchanged, and the Smokie retains its appeal in contemporary times. Basically, the haddock is gutted and cleaned, prepared, split in two, but not separated, and then hung over a smoking fire in a covered oven, referred to as “a barrel”, for under an hour.


The Kelpies maquette – by Andy Scott


The Kelpies maquette

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The Kelpies, by sculptor Andy Scott, placed outside the Glasgow Science Centre and BBC Scotland studios are scale models of 100 foot high sculptures that are to be installed at a development near Falkirk.
A second pair of maquettes are currently on exhibition at Chicago Sculpture International, the only exhibits by a non U.S. artist in the show.

One year later – Finished Installation