I have had a loooong 12 hour working day, involving a trip to Campbeltown to chair some conferences. I took the first ferry over Loch Fyne from Portavadie to Tarbet, and had time to stop and take a few photos.
Campbeltown is a wonderful strange place- right out on the far western extremities of Kintyre. Go too far and you call of the edge of the world (or I suppose, end up in Ireland.) I walked around the town to clear my head between meetings and marveled at the fact that all the shops closed at lunchtime- presumably so the shop keepers could go shopping. It is like a place in its own micro-time zone. In a good way.
A storm was on the way, and I missed the ferry on the way back by about 2 minutes, which meant I either waited for an hour (with the risk that the ferries would be off) or drove home the long way, via Lochgilphead and Inveraray. I reluctantly did the hard miles.
It was good to be home- but my, how beautiful is the place in which I live and work.
I came across a lovely blog the other day- Westcoastings. Well worth checking out not just because the author is but a skip across the peninsular from here, but also because it is beautifully written.
It also mentioned Polphail village– a collection of empty buildings out along the coast built in the early 1970’s to house the workers of a proposed oil platform construction yard. The yard never happened, and the houses were never occupied. Instead they have lain empty for all these years, slowly soaking up the west coast weather and mouldering into the hillside. It stands as one of those failed 1970’s macro economic experiments gone wrong- and despite many false dawns no alternative use for the site was ever found.
It is already an atmospheric place- a strange piece of urban decay in the middle of wilderness- as if a slice of the inner city had been teleported in some kind of science fiction experiment gone wrong.
What I was not aware of however was that a Graffiti outfit called Agents of Change used Polphail as a blank canvas (hmm- perhaps that is not the best metaphor come to think of it) for all sorts of wonderful art.
So this afternoon we took a trip out there, cameras in hand.
It was a rather wonderful experience. It feels like some kind of furtive secret discovery, and the contrasts and contradictions land on you like lead weights as you wander round.
Soon it will all be gone, either because the site will be demolished, or simply because it will fall down. Either way, if you visit- be careful!
Here are some more pics- click to open…