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Boyd's photo diary.

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Jan 15 Feb 15 Mar 15 Apr 15 May 15 Jun 15
Jul 15 Aug 15 Sep 15 Oct 15 Nov 15 Dec 15
Tue 31 Mar 2015
I drove via Oban to the small lay-bye near Melfort. I wanted to see if I could identify the location of a photo taken around 1900 of a stagecoach on the 'Pass of Melfort' In 1956 a reservoir was built across part of the pass to supply a hydro-electric power station. The old road is now a very muddy track but well worth a walk.

Pass of Melfort carriage

The same view today. I couldn't stand on the exact spot because of dense undergrowth



A mile down the valley I came to the remains of the Melfort Gunpowder Works.

It seems to have been built by Harrison Ainslie & Co Ltd, Lindal, Ulverston, a mining and ore company


Gunpowder Works remains

Gunpowder Works remains

The original Gunpowder Works now form the Melfort Village of various dwellings and holiday homes. There is also a shop and restaurant

Sun 29 Mar 2015



The sun came out on my evening walk along the canal but the old Lancaster canal length was still full of puddles

Conventional photo of a lock at Johnson's Hillock

The same photo processing in Topaz software

Sat 28 Mar 2015

This evening was a dark and rainy walk along the Leeds and Liverpool canal at Town Lane.
 I've just bought the Topaz plugin software so converted the image to monochrome.

Fri 27 Mar 2015

A trip to J.38 truckstop on the M6
at Tebay for tea.

Thu 26 Mar 2015
For some inexplicable reason the Parish Council have removed the bordered flower bed by the Leyland/Clayton reservoir memorial mound and moved it across the road.

The view this afternoon.

The view on 4 Jan 2015

The new flower bed

Tue 24 Mar 2015
I noticed workmen on site at the old Hygienic Laundry building on Harpers Lane, Chorley this afternoon. The main buildings were demolished in 2009 but part of the first 1907 building has been left standing for the past 6 years. New houses will be built at the rear of the site but the building now standing is to be refurbished with new walls. The original company name of ‘CHORLEY AND DISTRICT HYGIENIC LAUNDRY’ was cut in the stone lintel over the door.
It was damaged during the 2009 demolition but thankfully the workmen have rescued what remains and it will be rebuilt in to the new refurbished building. It’s good to know a little bit of Chorley’s heritage will be preserved.

They plan to retain the roof for a new building

Hygienic Laundry in 1910

Part of the original lintel stone is to be preserved


Sun 22 Mar 2015

On the cycle track along the old railway. From Kentallen to Oban

As soon as I got home I went for a walk along the Leeds and Liverpool canal

Sat 21 Mar 2015


The small harbour at Lochalign is where some of the evacuees from St Kilda landed in 1930. It was near here that they set up new lives.

Lochalign new harbour

The St Kilda parliament before the 1930 evacuation

Island and highland life in the 19th century

Evening view from my camp above Kentallen and Loch Linnhe


Fri 20 Mar 2015


Catching the 09:45 ferry off Iona to cycle across Mull.

Calmac ferry at Oban

Thu 19 Mar 2015

Wet and windy camp on Iona

Wed 18 Mar 2015


After driving to Oban caught the ferry to Craignure on the Isle of Oban then cycled across to the Isle of Iona

Calmac ferry at Oban

17 miles to the ferry at Fionnphort and Iona

Low water night work on the Iona ferry slipway


Sun 15 Mar 2015


It's Mother's Day so walked to Withnell Fold to have a flask of coffee sat on Mum's memorial bench. Mum died in 2010.

Mum's memorial bench

Sat 14 Mar 2015


Drove to summit of Loch Ogle and left car in car park on the east side. Walked up the track to the transmitter mast near the summit. It was -4degC when I arrived. I then headed Beinn Leabhainn then south to Meall Buidhe. The weather was overcast and dull but at least it wasn't raining. Once back at the car I had and easy drive home

Meall Buidhe

Fri 13 Mar 2015


Drove via Grangemouth to Blackness Castle. It was late morning when I arrived and there was even warm sunshine. It’s my first visit and I always like surprises. It was fascinating to learn that the castle had been a Royal castle, garrison fort and state prison.

Blackness Castle, Firth of Forth, Scotland

Built in the 15th century it was used as a state prison until 1707. It was besieged and damaged by Oliver Cromwell's army in 1650. From 1870-74 it was converted to an ammunition depot and central depot for Scotland. It ceased that function after WW1.

Blackness Castle ammunition store

View from Blackness Castle of the 3 Forth Bridges

I then drove via Crieff to Loch Lednoch. There was a small car park and a few cars were already there. I walked up the glen and up to the Reservoir dam. Lednock dam was built in 1957 for the artificial loch, which provides the storage for St. Fillans power station.
It is one of only two diamond-headed buttress dams in Scotland - the other is at Errochty. Special attention was paid to the design of this dam, as it is close to occasional earth tremors on the faults associated with the Highland Boundary Complex, which passes close by.
To the right I passed two tunnel inlets and one brings water from the River Almond through about 3 miles of tunnels. I walked over Tharsuinn and back to the car.

Walking up to the Reservoir Dam

Lednock dam built in 1957

View of Loch Earn from St Fillans

Sun 08 Mar 2015


The Withnell Fold Sports and Social Club walk started out under dark skies and slight rain. By the half way point the clouds moved away to reveal many magnificent views. The route crossed the Leeds and Liverpool canal then via Marsh Lane to Brindle. At Top o’ th’ Lane we stopped to look at the site of the old Work House and the plaque on the wall that commemorates it. Above Birchin Lane and the M61 we stopped to admire the views out to the Ribble Estuary.

Above the M61 near Birchin Lane

The low afternoon sun helped to illuminate the River Lostock culvert under the line of the old Lancaster Canal. Then it was back on to the Leeds and Liverpool canal at the Top Lock at Wheelton and an east walk back to Withnell Fold Sports Club where tea, sandwiches and cake were waiting. The walk was just over 6.5miles.

About to enter the aqueduct.

We were treated to low sunshine as we passed under the River Lostock culvert under the line of the old Lancaster Canal. The canal was opened in 1803 but only carried barges as far as Walton Summit. The rest of the route to Preston was completed by tramway. The canal from Leeds was being constructed and eventually connected with the Lancaster canal at Whittle Springs in 1816. The Leeds and Liverpool canal was then completed, making it just over 126 miles long. John Rennie (1761 - 1821) was one of the engineers involved in the Lancaster Canal (1792 - 1803) and presumably this viaduct. He also designed London Bridge, which was completed by his son George after his death.

The house used to be the Navigation Inn. Now on Town Lane, Whittle-le-Woods.

Sat 07 Mar 2015

A lovely evening sky on my walk along the Leeds and Liverpool canal

Fri 06 Mar 2015


Astley Hall, Chorley is currently undergoing a major investigation of its structural components. Investigations have revealed many historical feature that were previously unknown. The first structure was built around 1578 by the Charnock family and had been extended and modified many times during following centuries.

Charles 1st and family

Chorley Council arranged for it to be opened to the public on Fri 6th March 2015 so that conducted tours could take place to show the work being done. They plan to re-open the hall in April 2015. Many thanks to Emily, Amy and Geoff for conducting the tours.

Panels removed

Appreciative audience

Astley Hall

Wed 04 Mar 2015


Evening drove to Wigan Archaeological Society to talk by David Ratledge about Roman Roads in Lancashire. Large use of LIDAR.


Below are examples of LIDAR images with all surface features removed.

Chorley Little Theatre

Sun 01 Mar 2015


A great gig by Richard Herring at the Chorley Little Theatre. After making a few hymn based jokes he was heckled by a lady who then walked out. All he’d done was point out the absurd lyrics in some children’s hymns. It was comedy gold.

The gig was 'Lord of the Dance Settee'

Chorley Little Theatre


The audience arriving

Richard Herring on his dance settee

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