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Boyd's photo diary.

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Sat 31 Dec 2011

Just before midnight the skies across Chorley became a mass of firework displays as people celebrated the New Year

The night horizon above Chorley taken from Hurst Hill near White Coppice. In a few minutes it will be a mass of firework displays

- - - -

Was up a bit earlier than usual to clear up the aftermath of last nights late family Christmas meal. We shifted an excess of everything; food, beer & wine. Starting at 06:30pm and not finishing till after 10. It was too late to start washing up then so slept on it and completed the mammoth task this morning.

the aftermath

Sun 25 Dec 2011

Christmas Day

I was glad of the 3 mile walk to my brother Dean’s for Christmas dinner as it certainly gave me a good appetite. After a excellent and leisurely meal which took most of the afternoon I walked back home again. I was glad of the walk to work off some of the excess calories.

Fri 23 Dec 2011
After this morning's problems with Asda running out of critical stuff for Christmas with 2 days to go I called in at Allen's Butchers in Chorley for some burgers. They had lots of stock ready for the Christmas shoppers.

Thankfully there were plenty of sprouts

Almost empty shelves where the
bread should be.

I have most of the food in that I need for the Christmas period. There were a few bits and pieces left to get so I called in to Asda this morning. Thankfully they had plenty of sprouts but surprisingly they’d run out of Christmas Puddings. One of the assistants even phoned the store manager to check, and confirmed that they didn’t have any. So I had to drive to the Tesco store on Buckshaw where the shelves were full of all sizes of Christmas Puddings.
Earlier this year when I was shopping for a late Christmas meal (2nd Jan 2011) they’d run out of sprouts and I had to go to Buckshaw Tesco again to get some.

Thu 22 Dec 2011

This evening was a great day for British Cycling when Mark Cavendish was voted Sports Personality of the Year. He was there partly due to fantastic support of his team but mostly due his incredible cycling talent. He always acknowledges his team who help him get to a situation where he can win the race.
Tue 20 Dec 2011

I was out for a late afternoon cycle ride when I was passing the Church in Belmont. The light was fading and the floodlight was silhouetting the angel statue
Mon 12 Dec 2011

This is the last day of outings. The weather was still cloudy and rain as we wandered down to the ferry at 9:15. By the time we’d crossed the Loch the rain was even heavier. This time the coach took us south along the A82 then at the south end of Loch Lomond we turned left on to the A811 and followed it all the way to Stirling. I’d been looking forward to the trip as Stirling is a town I’d passed several times but never stopped to investigate. Most of us had booked a £5 each guided tour conducted from the bus with a couple of photo stops. The rest went off shopping until pick up time. Our local guide was Mike who joined us on the bus while John our driver did the driving. We started off by driving up to the castle passing some interesting buildings on the way including Holy Rude Church which is where James 6th (son of Mary Stuart) was crowned King. At the castle car park we had clear weather and some sun.

King Robert the Bruce and the Wallace Monument in the distance

The Wallace Monument

Soldiers lined up on the Esplanade 1930s

The same view today

Robert Burns

The Barnwell Brothers' pioneering flight
at Stirling Jan 1911
Sun 11 Dec 2011

A cloudy and rainy night. Breakfast was quite late at 8:45am then we caught the ferry across Loch Lomond to the west bank landing stage near the Hydro Power Station. The coach was parked there so we set off north along the A82 to Crianlarich then right along the A85. Descending in to Glen Dochart I’m always impressed by the old railway line and viaduct high up on the hillside. Apparently it was closed before the Beeching cuts.

At the bottom of the Glen we turned off left along the A827 for a short excustion to Killin. The bridge into the village crosses the River Dochart at this point form the very impressive Falls of Dochart. We were dropped off for a 15min visit and I made the most of it by seeing as much as I could from the bridge and up the river bank. We were soon on our way again, back along the A827 to the A85. Through Glen Ogle we turned left (east) along Loch Earn.

About to set off across Loch Lomond

Inversnaid Hotel 1907

Inversnaid Hotel 2011


Falls of Dochart


Glenturret Distillery

Glenturret Distillery

Through Comrie we continued to Crieff and our main destination of the Glenturret Distillery. We arrived at 12 noon, just in time for the guided tour we were booked on. The distillery makes the Glenturret Single Malt whiskey which is used as the central component of the Famous Grouse blended whiskey. It is the oldest working distillery in Scotland. Our guide for the tour was Robbie and he certainly knew his stuff. I was surprised how small the distillery was and it was put into perspective when he told of the vast output of the much larger and more industrial distilleries in Scotland. After the tour there was some sampling.

Glenturret Single Malt

Sat 10 Dec 2011

Late last night the sky was mostly clear and a temperature below zero. When I looked out this morning there had been some snow and the front window of my car was covered. Breakfast wasn’t until 08:15am but an announcement was made that higher up the road the snow was deeper and the coaches wouldn’t be able to get out so we would not be going for the planned excursion to Loch Achray Hotel for lunch. So lunch would be provided here instead. I wasn’t too bothered as there was some interesting walking nearby.

Inversnaid Bunkhouse, previously the Church

Looking across Loch Lomond from the entrance to Rob Roy's Cave

Rob Roy's Cave is well marked

Looking out of Rob Roy's Cave

Garrison of Inversnaid by Alexander Naysmyth (1758 - 1840)
Inversnaid Barracks was built in 1718 in an attempt to control the Highlanders

The same view today. Unfortunately the cloud has obscured the mountains

Fri 09 Dec 2011
I’m on another coach holiday organised by Lochs & Glens. This one is based on the east shore of Loch Lomond, staying in the Inversnaid Hotel. After yesterday’s storms across Scotland with a wind gust of 165mph recorded on Cairngorm I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get through to the hotel due to fallen trees etc This holiday I was driving and joining the coach party at the hotel.

The Inversnaid Hotel

Sunny afternoon view across Loch Lomond

Inversnaid Falls

The ruined settlement of Clach Buidhe
(pron. clach buie)
Abandoned in the late 1700s when the people moved to Fintry, Balfron and vale of Leven for work in the textile factories and better housing.

Night view across Loch Lomond by moonlight

Thu 08 Dec 2011

My 6 year old PC suffered a major hard drive failure a month ago and it took Steve (son) quite and while to replace it with another. It was a sign that a new machine was needed. This morning I picked the new machine up from Scan at Bolton. They had build the PC to our specification so lets hope it performs as well as they say it will.

Tue 06 Dec 2011

I drove to Tebay through dark, wet and windy weather. As I set off for a walk across the snpw covered Howgill Fells I looked back to see this view of the M6 Motorway.
Mon 05 Dec 2011

This afternoon I visited Manor Road Primary School to talk to the children who were members of the 'Young Reporters Club'. They are interested in preserving a nearby Victorian reservoir that United Utilities (owners) and Chorley Council want to demolish. The silver trowel that was used to lay the foundation stone for the associated Pumping Station in Aug 1883 still exists and is owned my a lady in Leyland. She came to the meeting to let the children hold the trowel.

Sun 04 Dec 2011

Wet and windy overnight so waited for first light to go for a cycle ride. The rain had stopped when I set off and I’d nearly got away with it until approaching Tockholes when it started again. At the car park and Information Centre I stopped briefly to use the bus shelter as a heavy shower passed overhead.

Sat 03 Dec 2011

Today the Whittle-le-Woods Christmas tree was put up on Waterhouse Green.

Fri 02 Dec 2011

This afternoon I attended the official opening of the new Whittle-le-Woods Playing Fields Pavilion on Kem Mill Lane, Whittle-le-Woods.Local celebrity Dave Spikey was there to do the official opening.A lot of the work was done by volunteers. Funding was also provided by:
Chorley Borough Council, Whittle-le-Woods Parish Council, Lancashire Environmental Fund, Community Foundation for Lancashire (Grassroots), Garfield Weston Foundation, Candis, The Rank Foundation and West Lancashire Freemasons’ Charity.

the new Sports Pavilion about to be opened

the team's shower. The ref has his own

Peter Higham, Dave Spikey and Barbara Higham just before the ribbon is cut to officially open the changing rooms

Dave Spikey secures the ball while the two football managers help him

the changing rooms are even centrally heated!

Thu 01 Dec 2011

I was passing the Parish Church of St Barnabas at Heapey this morning and stopped to take some photos of some windows being removed as the stonework is crumbling and needs replacing. A window on the opposite side of the church was blown in recently.

the first of five windows is removed before restoration work can be done on the stonework

a lot of the old stonework is having to be replaced with new.

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