Virtual Loose Ends V: Harbours and statues

Hello again,

Welcome to another Virtual Loose Ends, connections when we can’t travel. We left off at Neptune’s Staircase by the Caledonian Canal.

Barometer, Old Harbour, Dunbar: a monument featuring meteorological equipment at a harbour with a grey and orange sunset behind.

The Kingdom of Neptune is the sea. To sail the sea requires knowing about the weather, for which a barometer might be useful, such as the one at the Old Harbour in Dunbar, dedicated ‘to the fishermen of Dunbar to whose perilous industry the burgh owes so muh for its prosperity’. It was put there in 1856 and stands at the head of the harbour.

North Berwick Harbour: a series of yachts and dinghies with a curved building and a curved hill above it and a town.

Weather instruments also sit at North Berwick harbour. I was last at North Berwick in March and walked to the edge of the harbour to look out to the islands of the Forth, Fidra, Craigleith and the Lamb as well as the Bass Rock. It was bright but cold.

Anstruther: looking by a harbour wall across a sea with hills in the distance under a blue but slightly stormy sky.

Anstruther is in the East Neuk of Fife, a place known for picturesque villages and fishing. It is also right across the Forth from North Berwick, about 11 miles to be precise though by road it is much longer. What I would give for a fish supper sitting on a bench at Anstruther Harbour, looking back over the Forth.

Edinburgh city centre in the twilight: a city skyline including churches and a castle. A building with two towers is lit up in the centre, the Assembly Hall.

Thomas Chalmers was one of the instigators of the Disruption, a schism in the Church of Scotland which begat the Free Church of Scotland in 1843. Ministers walked from the Assembly Hall on the Mound in Edinburgh to Tanfield and formed their own church. Chalmers was born in Anstruther and connects quite dandily to the Assembly Hall. The Assembly Hall is one of the more prominent Edinburgh buildings, also housing New College, the Divinity college of Edinburgh University. From 1999 to 2004 it was the meeting place of the nascent Scottish Parliament prior to its move down the hill to Holyrood.

Princes Street Gardens: a tree-lined park with a castle and rock above.

Also close to the Assembly Hall is Princes Street Gardens. The Gardens are regularly used for big events, like the Hogmanay party and concerts during the Festival. I personally find walking through the Gardens a much more pleasant experience than navigating Princes Street.


Robert Louis Stevenson statue: a statue of a moustachioed man in a grand building with lights behind.

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote extensively about Edinburgh, the city of his birth. A grove of trees bears his name in Princes Street Gardens. A statue of him stands in Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, a dapper figure set in the splendour of Kelvingrove. It’s particularly fine.

Mary Barbour statue: a statue of a woman leading a march of people behind her. Behind the statue is a bus terminus with a bus sitting.

Mary Barbour was an activist who led a rent strike in Govan in 1915. A statue of her leading her people stands at Govan Cross, by the Subway station. It is a fitting tribute to her and a long-overdue one at that. I can’t think of any other connections between Mary Barbour and Stevenson except that both are statues in Glasgow.

That’s another Virtual Loose Ends. We will continue a week on Wednesday just across the Clyde. The blog goes on hiatus until then. Until then, keep safe. Cheers just now.


6 thoughts on “Virtual Loose Ends V: Harbours and statues

  1. Alli Templeton

    Really enjoyed this virutal loose ends, Kev, especially all those inviting maritime and harbour shots. I really like that barometer in Dunbar, being a functioning instrument and a memorial in one. Lovely feature. Hope all’s well with you.

    Liked by 1 person

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