Saturday, 27 April 2013

100 Years and Counting

No, thankfully the 100 year birthday isn't mine, but Westerton Village near where I live.
Being a Gemini, I enjoy a dual existence in Westerton (close to Glasgow) and in Bute, where my novels are set.
And after being transported back to the Victorian Age last week on Bute, this week I managed to move a little forward into the Edwardian Age at the Westerton Village Gala day.

The Village children

The village has the distinction of being the first Garden Suburb built in Scotland on land given by Sir Archibald Campbell and the village road followed the same route as the railway line.

The Village under construction

The main road didn't go as far as Bearsden and the milk supplied by Westerton Farm was left at the top of the hill for the men of the village to collect in rotation and take down to the shop. The road was known locally as The Milky Way until the the villagers decided to build the road themselves and The Milky Way became Maxwell Avenue.

The Milky Way

Today's villagers participated enthusiastically in the event and it was particulary good to see such community spirit and interest in an age when so many people seem too busy to have much time for neighbours.
Perhaps the Edwardian spirit infused us all!

 Daisy Henderson,Colin MacKay and George MacIlwham of Classical Musicians Scotland ready to entertain the villagers in the tea room.

Votes for women!
The Station Master's House

Is this really Stephen, our librarian?

Photos by kind permission of

EDLC - contact Janice
Miller,Information and Archives Officer

Classical Musicians Scotland

The Westerton Villagers

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


On a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon visitors and locals alike had to look twice at some of the people strolling around Guildford Square in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. Had we all been the subject of time travel without realising it?
No, these 'Victorians' were in fact part of the Rothesay Heritage Town Trail, a joint enterprise by Brandanii Archaeology and Heritage, Achievement Bute and the Rothesay THI.
For one day only the town returned to the Victorian era with the creation of a Victorian parlour reoccupied by the Tannock family (who feature in the 1871 census), the display of objects from everyday life at the Bute Museum and a variety of 'pop-up' activities in the Square.
A number of the onlookers could be spied miming along to the old songs ably delivered by the schoolchildren and their teacher,suitably dressed in Victorian clothes, of course. A particular favourite seemed to be 'Ma wee school's the best wee school...'
And not to be outdone, the 'actors' staged an extract from their current play 'She stoops to Conquer' - a reminder of how important theatre was to everyone at that time.
When you added in the individual 'Victorians' talking about the history of the town, and the number of families going from venue to venue to complete the town trail quiz, the day proved a great success.
Now, I wonder who won the competition for the best set of whiskers? That's something I must find out!
A trio of gentlemen about to set off ... though the one on the left looks highly suspicious!

Fancy some buns,anyone?
The Tannock family at home
The schoolchildren seem remarkably well behaved.

Some very elegant ladies...and a friend!

Thank goodness it's all going well!
Who's going to try the Pennyfarthing first?



For more information about the Victorian Day, visit The Buteman website