Update 2017. Have edited the post to eliminate lost links, information on the Cairncurran Quarry has gone the way of many pages, abandoned and deleted. The wind turbines were denied by the local council but on appeal to the Scottish Office, permissions were granted, there are now three in the area to the east of the Green Rd.
Fri started with work and as lunchtime approached the sun rose high in the sky and it was decided another local stroll. Work was relatively interesting (huh?) as in the space of 10 mins, we had watched a woodpecker doing its thing, a treecreeper doing what it does best and a pair of grey squirrels playing what I assume was ‘Catch’ all over the nearby branches. Rushing home from work, throwing the boots on and a grab of my wee ruckie and off I headed. Yep, you have guessed it, first the Green Rd or to give its Google Map name, the Devol Rd. I had quick words with two of the golfie greenkeepers and as I dropped down the 5th fairway, a quick exchange of greetings with someone I have played a few rounds with, it would have been out for a round today but ole Bawb’s back is still a bit tender so a good walk is a good alternative. As I left the golf course area, I saw no work has started on the wind turbine that had been originally refused planning permission by our local council but recently won its appeal so soon a 200ft high single turbine will be a regular pass by.(UPDATE..work not due to start on this in the near future). The views looking north from the top of the Green Rd were spectacular with a clear look to the north and north-east, Bens Lomond, Venue and Donich among many others still showing a fair dusting of snow. On a personal preference, it would have been a nice day to be sitting on Donich’s summit, a favourite of mine. A right turn and off along a familiar stretch of road and joining the usual small flocks of sheep were new-born lambs who kept running towards the fence wondering at what was going past. Me ? I just thought of a good Rogan Josh with a naan.
A decision as it usually is when I reach any junction, right or left? and in this case I headed left (SE) towards Kilmacolm on what is known as the ‘back road’ to Kilmacolm from Greenock, the B788. The road was busy as it was early afternoon and I had to move to the verge on many occasions as I walked along. I passed local farms which populate this area and as I came over the rise between Auchenfoyle and Faulds, I could hear voices coming from the field on my left, it was workmen working on one of the pylons, I thought that I’d nip across the field and see what they were up to. The bottom half of the pylon being prepared and painted, I asked what the red flags high above them were for. It is the limit to which they can ascend the pylon, which was live I was informed. I noted all the work was done by hand. 400,000 volts and not an electric tool in sight. Back on to the road and I headed past Faulds farm and next was Cairncurran farm which has what seems to have an old quarry nearby, I took pictures of what may have been a fuel storage area there is mention of the quarry in HERE. Walking on, I resisted the temptation to head over the Clachers to Mathernock track, Clachers if you have been a regular reader of the blog means ‘a stony place’ and could be the old name for ‘the hill with no name’ plus the Chapel Farm at the start of this track is possibly the site or near the lost site of the ‘Chapel of Syde’. Off towards Kilmacolm it is, the road stayed relatively busy and as I passed Margarets Mill (old name Maulsmill(which was a corn mill, I’m led to believe), I remembered playing on a rope swing in the small barn many moons ago.
There is very little room at the side of the road as I start dropping down towards Kilmacolm and as I passed the road which takes you down to Duchal Castle, I thought ‘another day’, someone, possibly the nearby farm had planted daffodils on the road verge and although they were going back they were still a colourful scene. I reached the bend where I decided to head along the Blacksholm Rd to Netherwood and paused to take some photos of Balrossie (old name Bulrossie), a Grade B list building which now sadly lies in a neglected state whilst a buyer is found to develop the area, the house was built around 1899 as an orphan home for sailors children and later in the 1930’s was taken over by the Boys Brigade and was described as an outdoor training centre and in the 1960’s it was bought and used as a residential List ‘D’ school which closed in the mid ’90s. During the second world war, it served as the HQ for light AA. A many varied use over the near century it was in use. Richard H. Hunter (quick bio HERE) was the main benefactor of the original use as a Sailors Orphan Home along with a large donation from one of the Cayzer family whos family pile is outside the village of Newtyle where my XYL came from.
Heading along this road, I remembered reading a story about two of the local ‘farms’, Slates and Netherwood who had a ‘to do’ in the early 18th century in which the entire households including servants took part, I quote the piece ”To it they went ‘tuilzing and fighting’ with might and main, and, according to the indictment, ‘comeing together upon the said tuilzie, fell upon aneother and beat, bruized, and abused ane another most barbarouslie and inhumanelie upon the head, breasts, and oyr parts of their bodies, to the great effusion of their blood..
The Sheriff did not deal lightly with the accused fining each of them 50 Scots pounds and the wives 10 Scots pounds, the servants got off lightly with a 10 pound fine. ” Who says Kilmacolm was a genteel place ? Aye a right tuilzie indeed., leaving the scene of all that violence behind I dropped down and headed down towards Netherwood Rd and made for the cycle track where it was time to head homewards and as I arrived at the highest spot, I could see the snow-covered hills of Ben More, Stobinnean in the distance. In just under a mile, I arrived back home a bit foot weary but having enjoyed another local wander. The historical mentions on this blog post have been pieced together from varying sources and hopefully historically correct. The meaning of the word ‘tuilzie’ is broad as in quarrels, brawls, debates.
As an aside, I have noted a recent application for 50m high anemometer in the same Green Rd area. I found the earlier applicants for the wind turbine Landscape Statement which makes for interesting reading HERE
plus, I found this whilst doing some further research on Duchal castle, sadly it all became undone not due to any paranormal activity but by a plague………………………….of midges LOL HERE
All images will open out fully if you right click etc….