Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Stornoway notes

In recent weeks, I was pleased to notice a few changes around town. The area around the Nicolson clocktower has been turned into a public amenity, focused on skate boarders. A few seating benches are provided as well, for those less inclined to chance life and limb on the jumps.

Museum nan Eilean, on Francis Street, reopened at the end of September with a new exhibition, entitled Fonn is Duthchas. This now stretches across both floors of the museum building. It is a focus on all aspects of the Highlands and Islands. A good preview can be had on this website. The exhibition, which has toured several major venues in Scotland, closes on 1 December.

The accommodation block for Lews Castle College, on Bayhead, appears to be in use, although it is by no means complete. I have no information on progress, so comments on that welcome. The building has taken the place of the old YM building, which was demolished a year ago. Although largely hidden from view by trees, it does look quite smart and appears to fit in well with surroundings.

The view along Newton Street has been substantially altered, following the demolition of the four fuel tanks in front of the powerstation at the Battery over the past couple of weeks. This should also be obvious from the ferry.

Finally, Stornoway's collection of fine cast-iron railings will be photographed in the weeks to come. Unlike most towns in the UK, Stornoway's railings were not ripped out during World War II to assist in the war effort. A largely futile effort, as you cannot melt down cast iron.

1 comment:

  1. "The skateboarding plaza is a good idea, and will doubtless witness a great deal of activity. We have an equivalent area in Albuquerque, somewhat more complex (including two elaborate pits) always busy. # Looking forward to the photographs of the cast iron railings, Arnish. You may want to show what they adorn/demarcate etc.: a fuller picture as it were instead of mere disembodied railings. Thanks."

    mjc from NM,USA
    "MJC, the railings adorn houses and stand on the boundary walls between front gardens and the pavements. "

    Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway
    "I have a feeling, having visited an Albuquerque site, that the weather forecast is somewhat more conducive to skatebaording than grey Stornoway. Was the cooking pan sacrifice also a bit of a con to make the hoi pollloi feel they were 'doing their bit' for the war effort?"

    Flying Cat from an admiring glance
    "The cooking pans, made of aluminium, could actually be melted down to make airplanes, FC"

    Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway
    "Hence Spitfires. Now all is made clear."

    mjc from NM,USA
    "Thank goodness for that. And if all the aluminium pans had been substituted with cast iron ones, it would have saved us the Big Aluminium Pan Scare of the eighties, when we were told cooking in them would have a deleterious effect on bipedal brains...what a pity the railings were wasted...wonder where they are now..."

    Flying Cat from examining synapses
    "Holloway Prison, FC? "

    mjc from NM,USA
    "If only mjc, if only FC was in Holloway Prison, mmmm, nice thought though."

    Tws from Up The Road
    "I'm just practising caterwauling my Christmas Carols and studiously ignoring Tws..."

    Flying Cat from no more jail for me mate!
    "Just to say how much I enjoy your sagely blogs, Arnish, and the mystery of the morale-boosting railing-removal in WWII continues to perplex us all!"

    Direcleit from England
    "I wouldn't mind being in Holloway. have you tasted the food in Barlinnie?"

    Malkie from Glasgow
    "No, Malkie. You upped me there."

    mjc from NM,USA