Captain Pugwash comes to the Holy Loch…


We don’t get many pirates in these parts. However, a few days ago there was an incident on the Holy Loch involving the boat above.

The Glen Masson is a posh small cruise boat of the rather grandiosely named Majestic Line. It was featured in last years Visit Scotland TV ad. Here she is last spring, beached for a bit of maintainance.

Recently whilst the Glen Masson was moored up, Captain Pugwash, along with Master Mate and his swarthy (is that a racist word?) band of cutthroats climbed aboard in the dead of night and helped themselves to all manner of treasures. Triumphantly they bundled their booty and made escape towards the high seas.

Except pride comes before a fall. In their excitement at a piratical job done well, they turned left rather than right.

This meant that rather than heading towards the mouth of the Clyde (and freedom) they sailed straight up the Loch, where they ran firmly aground.


Police and coastguards did the rest. Booty has been returned, the brave pirates are clinging to bobbing flotsam…

The report from the local paper is here.

The bottle in the roots…

The other day I walked past some of the many trees  blown over at the weekend, including this one-

As the tree fell, it pulled up some of it’s roots as if in a last clawing attempt to stay upright, and in doing so, it kicked up some soil.

As I walked by, I saw a glint in the soil, and so I stooped and pulled out this bottle-

This little bottle is a window into lots of different stories.

First of all, we know that the fallen tree has to have been planted after 1917 (as the bottle has that date on the bottom.)

Next, the logos on the bottle are a glimpse into the refreshments of another generation. “J A Reid, Chemist, Reid’s Lily Springs, Pure as a Lily, 500 feet deep, Helensburgh.”

Around 1883 J.R.Reid set up as a chemist and aerated water manufacturer with a shop and factory at different addresses on Clyde Street, and several years later he moved manufacture to the Lily Springs in James Street. This was later owned by the well known Garvie lemonade firm, closing in 1957 because of alleged contamination of the water and moving to Milngavie until they closed that factory around 1985.

(From here.)

This is what our parents parents parents were drinking on their picnics. Carbonated, sweetened spring water of questionable purity.

This is what caught me- at some point, around 100 years ago, someone opened up this rather posh looking bottle during a wee holiday trip ‘doon the watter’. They were more adventurous than most, as they were not drawn in by the fleshpots of Dunoon– which during this period was a bit like Blackpool- cinemas, theatres,  ice cream parlours and all sorts of amusements. They chose a trip along the coast of the Holy Loch.

Perhaps they were cyclists slaking their thirst.

Or perhaps part of a family group settling down on the grassy shore line whilst the kids played in the water.

We will never know.

The view from the middle of the Clyde…

I braved the low temperatures and crossed over to ‘the other side’ today. My intention was to go to Helensburgh, but Greenock was full of slithering cars and covered in freezing fog, so I rather tamely retreated.

But no time is wasted. I made some phone calls from the ferry- and appreciated the stillness.

The ferry is a great place to do this. It moves at a steady slow pace- giving around 25 minutes just to sit and think. It sometimes seems a very long time, and other times no time at all.

Today I had the camera with me too…