St Patrick’s Day in Coatbridge, Scotland

Hello everybody! Today I have something special to show you. I was in Coatbridge, Scotland to see St Patrick’s Day Festival and was really happy to see all the bands playing, girls dancing and people walking in their fancy dresses. I love the Irish music and the drums, even if it was very cold today, it was worth coming to watch the bands.

Coatbridge is an urban town located on the eastern fringes of Glasgow, Scotland. The town quickly expanded during the late 18th century as a centre of iron making, in part because it had a direct canal link to Glasgow. Cheap unskilled labour was in large demand and as result the town became a popular destination for vast numbers of Irish arriving in Scotland during this period. One local historian estimates that 1,000 per week were arriving in west of Scotland at one point. Coatbridge today is well known as a working class town which has been described as “little Ireland”.

Majority of the Irish people came here during the famine period. The Great Famine (Irish: an Gorta Mór) was a period of mass starvation, disease and emigration in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. It is sometimes referred to, mostly outside Ireland, as the Irish Potato Famine because about two-fifths of the population was solely reliant on this cheap crop for a number of historical reasons.

During the famine approximately 1 million people died and a million more emigrated from Ireland, causing the island’s population to fall by between 20% and 25%.

Coatbridge is especially noted for its historical links with Ireland. This is largely due to large scale immigration into the town from Ulster (especially from County Donegal) in the 19th century and throughout most of the 20th century. Indeed, the town has been called ‘little Ireland’.

The most obvious manifestation of these links can be seen in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Festival. 

Dogs also celebrate :-)

St Patrick’s Day

The festival is sponsored by the Irish Government and Guinness. The festival runs for over a fortnight and includes lectures, film shows, dance/Gaelic football competitions and music performances. The festival is the largest Irish celebration in Scotland. I hope you like it. Bear with me I will upload more videos and photos for you to see. If you ever happen to be in Coatrbridge at this time of the year, remember about the Festival as it is a very interesting event to watch and take part.

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Lovely Irish man

Lovely Irish man

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating theheritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

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Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province ofNewfoundland and Labrador, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

Green man

Green man

Saint Patrick’s Day, or the Feast of Saint Patrick (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig, “the Day of the Festival of Patrick”), is a cultural and religious celebration held on 17 March, the traditional death date of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385–461), the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion (especially the Church of Ireland), the Eastern Orthodox Church, and Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, as well as celebrating theheritage and culture of the Irish in general. Celebrations generally involve public parades and festivals, céilithe, and the wearing of green attire or shamrocks. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day, which has encouraged and propagated the holiday’s tradition of alcohol consumption.

Saint Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province ofNewfoundland and Labrador, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also widely celebrated by the Irish diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, Canada, the United States, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

More of Irish tradition, Irish dance.

 

 

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Borrowstoun ( Bo’ness)

Borrowstounness commonly known as Bo’ness is a coastal town and parish in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies on a hillside on the south bank of the Firth of Forth within the Falkirk council area. At the 2001 census, Bo’ness had a resident population of 13,961, but according to a 2008 estimate this has since risen to 14,490. Until the local government reforms of the late 20th century, it lay within the county of West Lothian.

Bo'ness Kinneil Railway

Bo’ness Kinneil Railway

Bo’ness was formerly a centre of heavy industry, coal mining and had a major port. However, the town is now primarily a commuter town. The name Borrowstoun refers to a hamlet a short way inland from Borrowstounness. The suffix ‘ness’ (Gaelic for ‘headland’) serves to differentiate the larger town from the hamlet. The name itself is derived from the Old English Beornweardstun meaning ‘Beornweard’s settlement’. “Beornweard” is itself an Old English name. This was later corrupted to Borrowstoun, Scots for ‘town with a charter’. The town’s full name is rarely used, and is nowadays almost always contracted to Bo’ness. Present-day attractions in the town include the Bo’ness & Kinneil Railway and the Birkhill Fireclay Mine.

Steam train at the Bo'ness Kinneil Railway

Steam train at the Bo’ness Kinneil Railway

Kinneil House, built by the powerful Hamilton family in the 15th century, lies on the western edge of the town. In the grounds are a cottage whereJames Watt worked on his experimental steam engine and the steam cylinder of a Newcomen engine. The remains of an engine house are located in Kinningars Park, off Harbour Road. Bo’ness has a single secondary school, Bo’ness Academy, and five primary schools. There are a number of churches, including Bo’ness Old Kirk, Carriden Parish Church, St Andrew’s Parish Church, Craigmailen United Free Church, St. Catharine’s Episcopal Church, Bo’ness Apostolic Church, Bo’ness Baptist Church, The Bo’ness Salvation Army and St. Mary of the Assumption RC. Bo’ness is also home to the recently refurbished Hippodrome Cinema, which is the oldest picture house in Scotland. The building, along with many other buildings in Bo’ness, was designed by Matthew Steele, a local resident and architect. The Hippodrome was built in 1912.

Personally, what I like the most in Bo’ness is the old train station, the museum and old steam trains. I love everything vintage and last year I was there while a special event was taking place, trains were running and visitors could walk along the old train station, have a ride on the steam train and just go back in time to old days, which is wonderful. There are many events at the Railway to bring some joy to the visitors. According to the  BO’NESS STATION website :

 Family friendly heritage railway & museum – Passenger trains start and Museum opens 21 March 2015. 

Additionally, I love the museum, I just absolutely adore the old massive machines which are standing there in the museum, you can touch them, admire them and take photos. Check when the the museum is open so you will not go in vain, as once I traveled there in vain, and had only 10 minutes before they closed it.

Enjoy Scotland’s largest railway museum at Bo’ness

As the comment below says, there is nothing much to see in the town itself but if you are the old train lover, it is worth coming and spending a few hours there. People are lovely, smiling and friendly. I have been there a few times and am planning to go again.

If you want to see more photos of the station have a look at my website. 

Thank you for your visit 🙂

 

 

 

Balloch

Balloch is a small town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, at the foot of Loch Lomond.

Balloch, or Bealach, comes from the Gaelic word ‘bal’ (baile or ball) which means village or hamlet, so Balloch means village on the Loch – as in nearby Loch Lomond. The word can also mean “the pass”.

Balloch, Scotland

Balloch, Scotland

See more photos of Balloch

Balloch is at the north end of the Vale of Leven, straddling the River Levenitself. It connects to the larger town of Alexandria and to the smaller village of Jamestown, both of which are located to its south. It also borders the Kilpatrick Hills. To the east of the town lies the major local authority housing scheme in the area known as ‘The Haldane’ or ‘The Mill of Haldane’. At 56 degrees N, Balloch is at about the same latitude as Moscow.

With its accessible location at the southern end of Loch Lomond and just off the main road from Glasgow to the West Highlands, it is an important centre of tourism, especially from Glasgow and Dumbarton. The town has a number of hotels, inns and pubs, and there are cruises from Balloch up Loch Lomond, and other services, including to nearby locations like Luss, and the Renfrew Ferry service. The largest number of boats cruising on Loch Lomond leave from Balloch. It contains Balloch Country Park and Balloch Castle, and is at the southern end of the first Scottish national park, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park.

There is a Sea Life Centre located in the town. The Loch Lomond Youth Soccer Festival used to take place in the town. “Lochfoot” in the Jean Robertson novels of Jane Duncan is partly based on the town. The PS Maid of the Loch is currently being restored at Balloch pier.

The A811 road (based on an eighteenth-century military road) goes from Balloch to Stirling, and the A813 goes from Dumbarton to Balloch. The Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle path (part of National Cycle Route 7) ends at Balloch. The West Loch Lomond Cycle Path also runs from Balloch.
The town was formerly served by two railway stations on the
Caledonian and Dunbartonshire Junction Railway: Balloch Central, and Balloch Pier, which closed in 1988 and 1986, respectively. The town now has one railway station, which is a terminus of the North Clyde electric train service from Glasgow.

Luss

Luss is a village in Argyll & Bute, Scotland, on the west bank of Loch LomondHistorically in the County of Dunbarton, its original name is Clachan dubh, or ‘dark village’. Ben Lomond, the most southerly Munro, dominates the view north over the loch, and the Luss Hills rise to the west of the village.

Saint Kessog brought Christianity to Luss at some uncertain date in the ‘Dark Ages’. A number of early medieval and medieval monuments survive in the present churchyard, including simple cross-slabs which may date to as early as the 7th century AD, and a hogback grave-cover of the 11th century. A well-preserved late medieval effigy of abishop is preserved within the modern church.

Old Parish Church, Luss, Scotland

Old Parish Church, Luss, Scotland

The present Church of Scotland place of worship was built in 1875 bySir James Colquhoun, in memory of his father who had drowned in the loch in December 1873. The church is noted for its online services as well as for holding over one hundred weddings per year, most from outside the parish. Luss is the ancestral home of Clan Colquhoun.

Nowadays Luss is a conservation village, with a bypass carrying the busy A82 trunk road. Many of Luss’ cottages have been described as picturesque. The village has a kiltmaker and a bagpipe works. In recent years, Luss became famous as a result of being the main outdoor location for the Scottish Television drama series Take the High Road. Although the programme is no longer made, some in Luss remain proud of the connection: its fictional name, ‘Glendarroch,’ is used for some buildings.

Loch Lomond and Luss , Scotland

Loch Lomond and Luss , Scotland

About a mile south of the village, in a cove at Aldochlay, is a small figure on a stone plinth. A contemporary legendevolved that it is a memorial to a child drowned in the loch, but it was in fact erected in 1890 by a local stonemason, who found the statue in a London scrapyard. ‘Wee Peter’, as he is locally known, was moved to the site after a brief spell near the railway, and has remained there ever since.

The village hosts a water taxi service to Balloch, at the south of the loch, allowing visitors to transfer onwards to Glasgow by train or visit its shopping centre, Lomond Shores. Luss Pier is a popular starting point for boat trips on the loch.
The Loch Lomond Golf Club, which was for a number of years the site of the Barclays Scottish Open, is within the village’s borders.

See more images of Luss

Helensburgh

Helensburgh is a town in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It lies on the north shore of the Firth of Clydeand the eastern shore of the entrance to the GarelochHelensburgh was formerly in Dumbarton District, but was re-allocated under local government reorganisation in 1996. Prior to 1975 it was part of the former Dunbartonshire.

Helensburgh, Scotland

Streets of  Helensburgh on a sunny beautiful day in July, Scotland, United Kingdom 

Helensburgh was founded in 1776 when Sir James Colquhoun of Luss built spa baths on the site of Ardencaple Castle, which dated back to about 1600. He then had the seaside resort town constructed to the east of the spa on a formal layout in the style of Edinburgh New Town, and named it after his wife Helen. A ferry service he arranged across the Firth of Clyde to Greenock was successful in attracting residents who could commute from jobs there to attractive homes in the new town. Helensburgh became a favourite place of residence for shipping tycoons and tobacco merchants from Glasgow. At one point the small town had one quarter of Britain’s millionaires living there.

Helensburgh born coal miner Charles Harper emigrated to New South Wales (now a state of Australia) and became the first manager of the Metropolitan Coal Company before being killed in a mine accident in 1887. In that year, the company took over the mining lease on an area south of Sydney known as Camp Creek. When the coal mine opened the following year, the town was named Helensburgh, possibly named after his birthplace or after his daughter Helen. The two Helensburghs are now sister cities.

Helensburgh today acts as a commuter town for nearby Glasgow, with a population at the 2001 census of 14,626, and also serves as a main shopping centre for the area and for tourists attracted to the seaside resort. Helensburgh is also influenced by the presence of theClyde Naval Base at Faslane on the Gare Loch, a major local employer. The town is a popular destination for day trippers.

The seafront has an indoor swimming pool, an esplanade walk, a range of shops, cafes and pubs, and sailing facilities including Helensburgh Sailing Club. At Rhu, just beyond the town boundary, there is a marina.

The streets are built on a gentle slope rising to the north east, and at the brow of the hill a golf club has views looking south out over the town to the Clyde, and to the north across nearby Loch Lomond to the Trossachs hills.

Helensburgh is home to a number of annual events, with the local branch of Round Table running an annual fireworks display on Guy Fawkes Night and hosting a Real Ale Festival at the Sailing Club.

See more images of Helensburgh