Ta-Dah! A new old gatepost.

Don’t let anyone tell you that there’s nobody around today who can do what the Victorians did, because they can, as you can see from the new red sandstone gatepost which has appeared at Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy. The stonemason deserves praise, he or she has made a great job of it, or maybe it was a joint effort.

park gates complete

It’s a perfect copy of the original which was smashed to bits by a lorry last year. The only thing is it’s going to be a while before it weathers down to look like the originals. One of our normal winters will help the stone along the way and it’ll probably turn greenish fairly soon. But as you can see the beautiful details are so crisp when compared with the Victorian ones which are quite badly worn. Oh well, you can’t have everything I suppose.

Beveridge park gates complete 2

But it would be great if we could eventually have replacement gates too, I can’t see it ever happening though. But if you know the park and you aren’t old enough to have been around the area before World War 2, (no, I’m not that old!) the postcard below will give you an idea of what they looked like.

Beveridge Park Gates, Kirkcaldy

Mainly Grey

On Saturday we walked along the esplanade, as I said earlier and I took a few photos of the scene, just before the snow came and blasted us, you can see it coming to get us in the clouds. There is actually snow on the hills across on the other side of the Forth but unfortunatley you can’t see them in this photo.

Kirkcaldy shore 1

I took the photo below from the same position, just looking in the other direction, it’s at this point that the Firth of Forth flows into the North Sea and the next land which you get to is Denmark, so I’m told.

Kirkcaldy shore 2

Our walk today (Sunday) took us to the Beveridge Park – again and if you look closely you’ll see that this part of the boating pond is frozen, about half of it has thin ice on it.

Beveridge Park pond in January.

The local family of swans had just been fed by a family of humans and it was obviously time for them to do a bit of preening, stocktaking their feathers.

The swans 2

As you can see, the cygnets are in between their parents and are as big as they are now, just haven’t quite lost all of their brown feathers. In another couple of months daddy swan, the aggressive beastie that he is will force the cygnets to leave for pastures new and so the whole thing will start all over again. I wonder if they’ll manage more offspring this year, this is the first time they’ve ever had two cygnets and they often have none at all. They’re a bit rubbish as parents really, I think because the male swan spends most of his time chasing after geese, ducks and dogs – yes dogs! He apparently drowned a spaniel which was swimming in the pond, he just grabbed it by the back of its neck and held it under – that’s nature red in tooth and claw!

The swans 3

Anyway, as you can see, this is truly ‘shades of grey’ as Scotland often is whatever the season. It really makes you crave warm, vibrant colours, I think the Scandinavians feel the same about bright colours. I know I have a cheek to moan because most of Scotland seems to be under snow at the moment but – roll on the spring!

I imagine that if you live in a warm, bright colourful place, you might want to rest your retinas from time to time, if so you can do so looking at these very grey photos of a grey place.

Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland

Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy is one of those lovely old parks which sprang up at the back end of the 19th century. The postcard below shows the lovely old gate posts and gates as they were originally. Sadly they’ve gone from bad to worse in recent years. In common with most parks and homes the gates and railings disappeared sometime during World War II. They were removed as part of the war effort, the metal was supposed to be needed for war work – building ships or aeroplanes and the like.

Beveridge Park Gates, Kirkcaldy

Of course it was just a propaganda con to make the British people feel that they were contributing and helping Britain fight the Nazi terror. The metalwork just rusted away in dumps as it wasn’t the correct sort of metal. I’m annoyed about that because it would cost about £3,000 to replace ours!

I’m even more annoyed about the state of the gates now. I took the photo below just a couple of weeks ago and as you can see one of the lovely old red sandstone gateposts has gone. Apparently it was demolished by the back end of a circus trailer as it went through the gateway. That was over a year ago and absolutely nothing has happened since then.

Beveridge Park Gates 2012

I know it can take a long time for insurance claims to be settled but over a year seems just too long. Has there been a problem with the insurance, was the circus vehicle insured, who was stupid enough to allow a circus to set up business in the park? I think we should be told.

The entrance to the park is a pitiful sight when compared with how it used to look. New gates should have been commissioned for the centenary celebrations, it would be nice to think that the powers that be might think about doing it now or when they eventually get around to rebuilding the gatepost – if they ever do!

The Kirkcaldy Council should sort out the park gateway, instead of spending bucketloads of money on things like speed bumps which are completely useless, their only function seems to be to give work to the local car repair workshops as the bumps wreck the sills of some cars, no matter how they go across them, no matter how careful they are.

A Country Walk in Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland, part 4

These are some more of the photos which I took when we went for another walk into the farmland beyond Beveridge Park in Kirkcaldy, Fife.

Country Path Again

More hills and trees

Trees

Hills and trees 2

Hills and trees 1

From a distance it looks like quite a few of the trees are still comletely bare but they all have some growth I’m sure, although they are definitely further behind than usual. We’ve had such weird weather recently that they really don’t know whether it’s spring or winter.

Going for a good walk is an enjoyable way of burning off some calories and cheaper than joining a gym, in fact it costs nothing but time. It’s a shame we don’t all have somewhere nearby us which we can go and have a wander around to get some fresh air.

Wouldn’t it be lovely if the scientists could invent something like the holo-deck on Star Trek and you could decide where you wanted to spend your leisure time and suddenly just be there. Where would you choose to go?

A Country Walk in Kirkcaldy, Fife part 3

Do you remember we went for a walk about two months ago, down the Wizard’s Walk and into the farmland on the edge of Beveridge Park. You can see those posts here and here.

These are the photos which we took on Sunday, just to compare the leaf growth later in the season.

rural path

This is the crop growing in what was that bare ploughed field. As you can see, a lot of the trees still seem to be very bare.

hills and trees

The same field a bit further on. I have no idea what the crop is.
a field in Kirkcaldy

a crop hills and trees

One of the trees which is well in leaf now, some of them still have very little green showing. I believe this is a field maple.

Tree and flowers

Last time I didn’t take any photos of the golf course which is on the left hand side as you walk up the hill into the farmland but it might be of interest to golfers.

Kirkcaldy Golf Course

I must admit there are some lovely trees on the course.

Kirkcaldy Golf Course

Obviously this is just a teeny wee bit of the course. It was designed by Tom Morris in 1904 and if you’re interested in learning more about Kirkcaldy Golf Club, have a look here.

Kirkcaldy Golf Course

More photos tomorrow.

A Country Walk in Fife, Scotland.

I hope you’ve buffed up your virtual hiking boots because we’re off on a walk along a country track. We usually stick to walking along the esplanade or around a local park during the winter months but on Sunday it was a lovely day and we decided to go off piste and took a path out of the park and down to what has recently been called Wizard’s Walk after Michael Scot who was a scholar and apparently had ‘second sight’. He lived in the Balwearie area in the 12th century. You can read about him here.

carved wooden thistle

This is a carved thistle at the beginning of the walk which has been made from an old tree stump. The path leads you to a wee stream or burn which is quite pretty as it tumbles over the rocks. I think this stream fed one of the many mills which used to make linen in the town.
park mill stream

park mill dam

The field on the other side of the burn is home to a couple of very quiet horses who are obviously great pals. They both came over to have a look at us but only one came down into the stream to have a nice drink. At the moment the wild garlic is just beginning to flower and the air is fairly pungent with it, it seems to be taking over the whole area.

park mill stream and  horse

The horses didn’t stay long and then ambled back to their favourite corner of their field.

park mill stream and horses
At the end of the path we turned right and walked up a fairly steep farm track. The trees are still bare as you can see, apart from all the ivy which is galloping up their trunks and throttling them. I’d pull it all down if they were my trees. I’m going to go back this way in a couple of weeks just to see how different it all looks.

Country path
When you reach the top of the track there’s a good view of open fields, I think in a few weeks this place should be transformed when all the trees come into leaf and the crops start growing – whatever they are.

Ploughed fields

I don’t know about you, but I think this ploughed field is a thing of beauty. It must be quite a skill to be able to plough on what is quite steep and undulating land. It looks like it has been quilted.

furrows
This is another pair of horses which are further up the hill, they were too busy eating to even notice us, it’s nice that they seem to keep them in pairs so that they are company for each other.
field horses

The walk took us just over two hours but it was such a lovely day and there was plenty to see, it’s just great to be able to stretch your legs somewhere different after the winter. Don’t put your virtual boots away yet. The walk is only half done. Come back tomorrow for part two!