Rochdale – part 2


Rochdale is the birthplace of the Society of Equitable Pioneers, the beginning of the Co-operative Society, something that they’re rightly proud of.

Rochdale Co-op

We visited a couple of interesting museums and walked around the town which has a river running through it, always a plus as far as I’m concerned. Apparently until recently the River Roch was completely hidden from view as a road had been built over it, now parts of it have been revealed, the bridge in the photo below is 800 years old.

River Roch

Since that photo was taken the work to open the area up has been done and it now looks like this.

Town Bridge + Hall, Rochdale

Rochdale is the only place that I’ve seen old cars used as planters, it’s a great idea I think. This isn’t a great photo though as I had to snap it while Jack was driving past. They used various types of old cars, well it keeps them out of landfills!

Car Planter

River Esk, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Last week, on our way back from Tyninghame, we stopped off in Musselburgh. I had never been there before, apart from just driving through it. As towns go it does have a plus as far as I’m concerned, in the shape of the River Esk which runs through the town. You can walk to it easily from the High Street.

River Esk and Bridge

I love the old bridge in this photo. I don’t know how many bridges there are over the River Esk in Musselburgh, but I’m sure I saw three within a short distance of each other.

River Esk and bridge

I love rivers so as you can see I had to get down there for a closer look. It was lovely and clear and very low due to the unusually dry weather we’ve been having. Obviously Jack took this photo and the more modern bridge in the background is the one I was standing on to take the previous photo of the old bridge.

River Esk

And the photo above is one just of the river. The planting on the banks of the river is lovely I think, all very cottage gardenish. It has a much more informal and natural look than the bedding plants which are usually plonked out by carried out by local councils.

Here’s a stitch of the two photos of the river. It gives more of an impression of the view.

River Esk Panorama

The houses here have a great location, view wise anyway, but I would worry about that river getting too friendly and coming to visit in very wet weather.

For some reason I had the impression that Musselburgh was quite posh but it isn’t at all, it’s just a typical Scottish town, so boring and unbeautiful that I didn’t take any photos of it. I did have a look in an estate agent’s window and was surprised that the house prices were quite reasonable considering that the town is just a very short drive from Edinburgh, but I don’t see us settling down in any of the Lothians. So the search continues, definitely looking to the west, a wee bit further anyway.

Glasgow Scotland Street School

We managed to fit in a visit to Glasgow just at the end of the school holidays here. My husband is a teacher so he will be back at the chalk face on Monday.

We drove over The Squinty Bridge for the first time. I really like it, I think it’s quite elegant. They’ve been doing some radical road tweaking recently (as usual) so it was all a bit confusing.

Day 330/366 - The Squinty Bridge

Eventually we got to our destination which was the Scotland Street School. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1905 and used as a primary school until 1979, it has now become a museum of education. The building is really stylish and very different from the very plain Victorian school which I went to.

It must have been nice to have some lovely coloured tiles and windows instead of the very utilitarian design of most schools.

They still had the belt (tawse) for punishment just like the rest of us, until it was banned in 1982 or thereabouts. They have one on show but I have one hanging up in my dining-room. It is quite a talking point as younger folk can’t believe that you could get ‘six of the best’ from such a heavy, thick strap of leather until fairly recently.

I can hardly believe it myself really, although I witnessed it plenty of times. I always managed to avoid it but lived in fear of it. Sometimes if a teacher couldn’t get someone to own up to a misdemeanour – the whole class ended up getting it.

Teachers must have had plenty of stamina then, anyway I digress.

If you are into Rennie Mackintosh architecture and design you will enjoy a visit to this school.

Perth, Scotland

Had a nice day out in Perth yesterday. We visited the J.D. Fergusson Gallery which has a good exhibition of his art – as you would expect. They have hundreds of his little sketches, mainly from the 1910 era when he was in Paris. I love to see artists’ doodles. He really seemed to be able to capture whole personalities on wee scraps of paper.

Upstairs, the gallery has works by various Scottish colourist artists and by people who were influenced by them. Here are three by Fergusson himself.

Fergusson paintings

Fergusson paintings

These are by other artists.

Three non-Fergussons

Three non-Fergussons

If you’re interested in art and are in the vicinity of Perth then this gallery is definitely worth a visit. For some reason it isn’t advertised in The Guardian Guide under exhibitions, which I usually rely on to keep me informed of what is going on.

The building itself is an old converted water tower and it is nice that they have been able to convert it into a useful facility. Admission is free too, which is always nice.

If you are interested in The Colourists, you should try to get a look at the Scottish Colourists 1900 – 1930 by Philip Long.

Book cover

Book cover

As we were close to the river we went for a stroll along the embankment, which has been spruced up in recent years and has stylish metal gates leading on to the river steps.

Embankment gates

Embankment gates

Unfortunately, it was a bit of a grey day yesterday. The river Tay was about as placid as I have ever seen it though and old bridges always look good. Perth Bridge was built in 1755 so it’s looking pretty good for its age.

Bridge over Tay at Perth

Bridge over Tay at Perth

I reckon it will be another week or two before the trees really start changing colour though and then the whole of Perthshire is really worth a visit, just for that.

Riverbank trees and Church

Riverbank trees and Church