Save Dunoon Pier…

Dunoon pier, late autumn light

Dunoon has this lovely old wooden pier at it’s centre, jutting out into the Clyde Estuary – a relic from the golden age of Clyde Steamers, when half of Glasgow took their trips doon the watter. In fact, the pier is the last surviving one of it’s type.

We have been fortunate enough to use some of the old buildings on the pier for worship/art events in the past. Piers are lovely places- neither one thing nor the other and lend themselves well to art/worship/meditation. Check out this event for instance.

Out of the front door, Dunoon pier


A couple of years ago the pier lost it’s purpose as a working landing place for the ferries- partly because of a new linkspan, but also because there is not longer a car ferry link to the town centre. It needs a fortune spending on it, and we are watching it’s slow decline into the sea, despite it being a listed building of national importance.

You can help raise concern about this pier by signing the petition intended to put pressure on Argyll and Bute council to find the resources to actually do something with the pier- to bring it back to life again…


Otters- under Dunoon pier?!

I was admiring the dramatic sky over the Clyde this evening (about 9PM) so I took my camera down to Dunoon pier to take some photos-

There is a bit of a rig doing something to the water works- but it looks a bit like an oilfield has been found just off Dunoon!

I decided to change to the longer lens, and while I was fiddling (of course it would be whilst the camera had NO LENS!) swimming in front of me, less than 10 metres away, were two otters.


I could not believe my eyes.

I attached the lens as fast as I  could, but this was my first effort, as they rolled over one another playfully-

Oops. Well it was very dark, and I was very excited.

I have never seen an otter in the wild before- and here they were, in Dunoon? Right in the centre, under the pier? On holiday perhaps?

I wondered whether I could be seeing something else- a couple of cats learning to swim? Mink? But actually, two otters at play that close are not easily mistaken for anything else.

They saw me watching them, and swam to the old pier, where they paused and watched me. So here are the photo’s-

I believe that otter have been spotted in all sorts of urban areas along the Clyde, even in Glasgow. But I have not heard of them being seen in Dunoon.

A couple of young otters on their way out along the Clyde perhaps? Doon the watter for a holiday?

‘Long now’ weekend pics…

We have had a lovely weekend.

We set up Aoradh’s ‘Long now’ installation (developed for Greenbelt Festival last year) on Dunoon pier.

We spent Friday evening and Saturday morning setting up the lovely old Victorian room in a wooden building on the end of the pier. Considering we set the thing up in one hour for Greenbelt, this was luxury indeed!

The installation was then open to the public all day Saturday. One couple in particular will live in our memory. They were visiting Dunoon for the day to say goodbye to their grandmother, who was dying in the hospice. Whilst waiting for the ferry wondering what to do to pass an hour, they came into the worship space. And found themselves considering their life line, in the context of the certain knowledge that they would not see their grandmother again in this life. It is almost as if we set up this thing over the weekend just for them! May their times be blessed…

Today, we met for a meal in the holy space- then we sang some songs and Audrey led us through communion. I love these times… and as I have said before, the setting up and breaking down is worship for me.

So- some pictures…

‘Long now’ worship space, Dunoon pier, tomorrow…

We are just back from setting up the space on Dunoon pier for tomorrows Aoradh ‘Long now’ worship event…

It is always such a lovely place to be- an old wooden pavilion, spilling over with light (in fact often too much light, we have to mask off the windows.) Setting up and breaking down of the spaces we have set up there has always been a huge part of the pleasure of the thing. It is a time of companionship, laughter, shared meals and just the occasional moments of irritation as we all have our different understanding of how things should be done…

This is what the long now is about- if you are in the area, please come!

Welcome to ‘The long now’

You are invited to participate in a journey through time.

As you travel, you will make your own mark- your own timeline.

You will stop at stations symbolising-

  • LIFE time…

Wherever we stand- whatever our perspective- we are standing in the NOW.

It is always NOW.

You will be invited to linger in this holy space that God gave us- NOW.

Finally you will be asked to think about the future;

the NOWs still being given to us, like gifts to unwrap.

In all these things

May we be learning to be grateful for the past

To participate graciously in the present

And to live in hope for the future.