ReportsPosted by Neil Kitchener Fri, June 08, 2018 08:19:03
The day was sunny as the small group of ramblers left the
arches at Gilmour Street Railway Station in Paisley on Cathies first walk as a
leader. Soon we were crossing the first of several bridges as we followed the
River Cart through the centre of town, stopping to admire statues of local heroes
while admiring the historical buildings which were intermingled with the new.
In the Square in front of the station musicians were playing music and the
statue of Wallace looked out over the town. We walked through the town noting
the Paisley Abbey on the left as we continued to follow the river. Crossing
more Victorian bridges with their unique character we made our way to the former
Coats thread factory. After we crossed the road, we caught the first sight of one
of the murals described in the Scots Magazine, a Kingfisher resplendent in its
We then followed the river before cutting through to our
first stop at the Threadmill Museum. Inside the building was a small museum
telling the history of Paisley threads making. Cathie had arranged to have a
short talk by a local historian on Paisleys rise to fame and fortune, thread,
silk and shawl making. He thrilled us with macabre tales about Christian Bale. At
the same time a woman came and showed us the designs and samples of the Renfrew
Tapestry which is being made by 1,000 volunteers to celebrate the past present
and future of Paisley.
After our lunch/coffee break, we made our way back through
the gardens to the next stop at Paisley Abbey. The building is rich in history
and we lingered amongst the cloisters and nave until the leader moved the party
on. We could have spent more time there as there were so many things to see. We
then continued down through the town past the Russell Institute which is a beautiful
A listed Art-Deco building, originally established the 1920’s as a health for
women and children, it was now adapting to the changing demands of the 20th
Century. We meandered down to the Bungalow which is a street with now
world-famous murals, they often had a connection to Paisley e.g. Gerry Rafferty
a local lad. However, John Lennon and Jimmy Hendrix were there representing the
world’s famous artists.
As we made our way back we noticed that the Sma’ Shot
Cottages , a set of preserved old houses were open. The guide gave us a tour of
the houses showing the way people lived in olden days and the changes that had
taken place over the years. The visit was like a time travel through the
development of the weaving industry and we were able to see examples of the old
hand weaving looms. Again, we were regaled with interesting tales relating to
We then made our way to the Black Bull, one of the oldest
pubs in Paisley which had a host of original features and a working juke box.
While there we spoke to some actors dressed as first world war soldiers who
were making a film about the Spanish Flu pandemic which killed millions of
people at the end of the war.
After a cold lemonade, the next part of the walk was up the steep
cobbled stones past the Coats Observatory to a viewpoint at the top of the
hill. If you closed your eyes you could hear the clogs and sparks as the
millworkers made their way up the hill to their respective churches.
The walkers then sang a song about a woman working in the
mill, dreaming of her valentine who would take her away from the drudgery of
the mill work. It is not clear how many of us were in key but we all sang with
passion and enthusiasm. The last part of the walk was back down the cobbled
streets passed the Quakers church to the cars and home.
Paisley is a town with a rich history and heritage, it is a
much undervalued place with a great deal of energy and character. A vote of
thanks was given by Marjorie and all agreed that although it was Cathie’s first
walk as a leader she had delivered a magical and surprising walk, the bridges
were only one part of the rich tapestry that made up this walk.
ReportsPosted by Neil Kitchener Sun, May 20, 2018 22:31:32
A couple of photos of the walk on Arran from Evelyn Cook
ReportsPosted by Liz Paterson Mon, May 14, 2018 19:50:53
ReportsPosted by Webmaster Mon, May 14, 2018 12:30:10
sheer co-incidence, an identical number of walkers (13), albeit at the earlier
time of 05:30, set off from Southbank to travel to Ardrossan to catch the 07:00
ferry to Arran. What a day we had! The sun shone from early on and was still
shining when we arrived back in Kirkintilloch after a wonderful day in Arran.
arrival at Ardrossan, we were joined by Caroline for our ferry trip and when we
reached Brodick, we had a welcoming committee of Eric and David McKenzie, who
had made the sensible decision to stay overnight on Friday. Our group now
comprised 16 eager hikers. After a pleasant bus journey almost half-way round
the island, we set off from Mid Thundergay to head for Coire Fhionn Lochan. We
stopped here for our coffee break in a beautiful setting. At this point, we
split into two groups, the larger group continued the climb to Meall Briorach
and the other group taking the more direct route to Glen Catacol. On three
separate occasions during the steep descent into Glen Catacol, we came across
some adders, either warming themselves in the sun or involved in some mating
Both groups met up at the Glen Catacol Hotel for some
well-earned refreshments in the beer garden before catching the bus back to
Brodick and the waiting ferry. All in all, it was a terrific day in stunning
scenery, wonderful weather and great company. Huge thanks to our leaders Alan
C, Alan T and Eric. The time, effort and expense involved in carrying out the
recces and in leading the walks on the day is very much appreciated.
The route taken by the main group is shown below: (Green=start, Red=finish)
Position on the island:
If anyone has any photos taken on the day, please feel free to add them to this report or, if you are unsure of the process, you can email them to me and I will do the necessary.
Some images added by Bob Cole:
Additional photos kindly submitted by Caroline:
ReportsPosted by Liz Paterson Sun, May 13, 2018 21:49:56
What a beautiful morning and 13 walkers left Kirkintilloch to head to Darvel.
With the number being 13, we say 12 and the leader (myself Liz Paterson)
Well, What can I say about this walk! I think it breaks the record for the walk that has the most stiles in it. It had 21 and it was a STYLISH WALK. The scenery in the Irvine valley was absolutely amazing. In glorious sunshine from Darvel we headed up what is called the Bankers, a tarred path to the top of a hill and then onto the open hills passing farms and soon into the woods along the side of the Gower burn, where we had a lovely stop for morning tea.
The route now once again was onto a tarred minor road, again uphill and over open countryside to link up with a minor road down to pass the dis used quarry and then crossing the busy main road to link up the Loudonhill walkway.
Reaching the Spirit of Scotland monument, we stopped for our well deserved lunch.
Some were a bit apprehensive with the Hill in full view, as you never really know what s up a leaders sleeve. But to their great delight this was not in the agenda. Unknown to them on the return leg of the walk, it was their legs that would soon tell the tale of the record breaking walk with 21 stiles all along the old railway track leading back to Darvel.
Verdict Tired but Happy Ramblers.
Photos to follow Courtesy of Ann Blair.
ReportsPosted by Ann Bain Sat, March 24, 2018 15:55:40
This walk was a last minute change to the programme because of treacherous underfoot conditions on the Meikle Bin recce which was to replace another walk.
Surinder's strollers numbered 17 and the walk started at the layby on the Crow Road.
Our group are multi talented and Eric occasionally demonstrates the Paso Doble at the start of a walk.
Meantime our leader was wandering what she had let herself in for.
A short walk along the road took us onto the track leading up to Holehead with the mighty Meikle Bin in the background.
After an arduous climb up to Holehead we stopped for our tea break just below the giant's golf tee.
No walk on Holehead is complete without a visit to our Trig point where pink paint can still be made out. Work party anyone?
Occasionally, a member will make a small faux pas, and once again Matt put his size 10 in it.
In fairness he was not the only one but I wasn't quick enough to snap the others.
Crossing back over the Crow Road we walked up to Waterhead through the forest, stopping for lunch in a sunny clearing.
A vote of thanks was given by Ella to Surinder particularly in view of the difficulties encountered in her recces for what was her first time as walk leader.
ReportsPosted by Liz Paterson Sun, December 24, 2017 20:10:10