Thursday, 10 April 2008

Railing about railings

Stornoway is one of the few places in Great Britain to have held on to its cast iron railings. Elsewhere in the country, they were taken away during World War II for use in the war effort.

A new exhibition, which opened in Museum nan Eilean today, will highlight this aspect of local history. Three years ago, I went on a guided tour of the various pieces of ironwork. They have all been catalogued on this webpage. It is high in graphics content, and will take time to load, particularly on a slow connection.

Stornoway doesn't just have cast-iron railings, its guttering and downpipes are also made of it. Most of it was made in the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, which had a catalogue full of moulds. The difference with wrought iron is that no piece is the same in wrought iron, as it is hand-crafted.

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