I'm heading off to Scotland with my
bike with a few objectives. I set off just after 05:30am to cycle to
Preston Railway Station to catch the 06:40am train to Glasgow. The
ticket price is worth commenting on. Buying mine as an advanced
ticket earlier in the week I paid £9.90 for the single ticket with a
senior railcard. If I'd bought it on the day with no card it would
have been over £60.
The train was on time and I enjoyed
the clear views across Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland hills. It was
sunny and warm outside. We reached Glasgow at 09:12 and I took my
time getting stuff ready before cycling to the Clyde then the cycle
trail along the bankside and under the M8. The cycle route followed
a pedestrian overpass then I followed cycle tracks by the road to
at Glasgow Central
Glasgow Central Railway Station
The track followed the River Kelvin
for a while. I was here earlier this year in January and had to turn
back because the park was still covered in snow ad ice. Then I had
to find an alternative way round. I had no problems today and the
sunny weather helped. There was an interesting information board by
some ruins. It had been a flint grinding mill.
Woodside Flint Mill remains
North Woodside Flint Mill
North Woodside Flint Mill: The first
mill on this site was built around 1765 as a barley mill. Later it
was used to grind gunpowder for the Napoleonic Wars. It was
reconstructed as a Flint Mill in 1846 and was used until the late
1950s. After roasting the flint was ground to powder and used in the
pottery industry to lighten the colour and help to make a hard
Eventfully the track took me up to
join the Forth & Clyde canal. I followed some locks and basins
upwards to a longer stretch of towpath. My main objective of the day
is to visit the Arria sculpture near Cumbernauld. The artist is Andy
Scott and his workshop is near to the canal route in north Glasgow.
Forth and Clyde Canal
I left the canal and cycled to the
industrial estate where his workshop is. At the gatehouse I was told
he was away, possibly out of the country, but there was a part
completed artwork outside his workshop. I cycled over for a look
then rejoined the canal route.
Andy Scott's workshop
line of the Antonine Wall near Croy,
the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.
I rode on to Kirkintillock where I'd
been in Dec 2014 and then had to be careful because of ice over the
pavements. I continued to near Kilsyth where I left the canal and
had to endure the roads. I headed south and had a long climb before
turning off on a quieter road towards Cumbernauld.
Arria by Andy Scott Jan 2011
The sculpture Arria stands 10 metres tall and faces towards the town
of Cumbernauld. Commissioned by Campsies Centre Cumbernauld Ltd, she
is a cultural landmark that enhances the town centre ad its environs
for visitors and residents.
She was designed and created by renown Scottish sculpure Andy Scott
at his studio in Glasgow, and took 18 months to design and
Arria is made in 13 sections which are bolted together and weigh 7
tonnes. She is a welded steel fabrication and was galvanised by
Highland Colour Coaters in Cumbernauld. Her production involved a
host of specialists and professionals, including lighting designers,
structural engineers, project managers, haulage and crane
contractors as well as the artist and his team.
The name Arria was selected through a competition and was suggested
by Bethany and Louise Reid.
The sculpture also includes the poem "Watershed" written for the
sculpture by Scottish poet Jim Carruth.
Arria was inaugurated by HRH The Princess Royal in January 2011.
I reached the Tesco supermarket and
called in to buy 2, 2lt bottles of water at 17p each and some
pastries for £1 for lunch. I'd found a cycle track on the on-line
map and followed it towards the cemetery area and the
Arria sculpture by
Andy Scott. Down the lane I took the minor path towards the
statue. I'd seen it several times before as I'd driven along the M90
but wasn't able to appreciate it because I only saw it for a few
second as I passed at 70mph.
and part of the poem
"Watershed" by Jim Carruth
by Jim Carruth
The first sounds spoken
from the springís core
are of a new beginning
of people and place
a poetry that bubbles
and gargles to the surface
to leave this watershed
flow east and west
in a rush of words
that tumble and fall
to join the conversations
of two great rivers
a voice calling out
I belong I belong
adding to the language
of sea and ocean.
a voice calling out
I thought my tent was well out of the
way and wasnít too near the path Iíd wheeled my bike down. Later in
the evening there was bank on my tent and when I looked out saw two
youths (male) running away as fast as they could. The missile was an
empty beer bottle which fortunately hadnít done any damage to the
tent. I always wonder why some people do senseless acts of vandalism