Glasgow Gallivanting: August 2020

River Ericht at Blairgowrie

August was a month of activity on three levels. From the top – we went on holiday! Admittedly, this was our Easter Holiday postponed, but it still felt good to be out of the city for a while. The view above was ours for a week – more to follow in due course.

Level two – at weekends, we continued to walk in areas on the edge of or just outside Glasgow. Sometimes, this meant pretty countryside as below.

At other times we went to places that are not maybe obvious ones to visit, such as Bishopbriggs just over the  Glasgow border in East Dunbartonshire. However, this town has some interesting historical sites we wanted to visit. Mavis Valley, on the banks of the Forth and Clyde Canal, existed as a mining village from 1851 to 1955. You can see the rows of houses on the information board below. Today trees have reclaimed the site, but if you look carefully you can still see the remains of a wall here and there.

Tragedy struck Mavis Valley in 1913 when six of the 22 men who died in the Cadder Pit disaster were residents. There’s a memorial to them outside Bishopbriggs Library. (There’s another memorial at Lambhill Stables which I’ve posted about before).

In between Mavis Valley and the library, we came across some quirky critters!

We then walked out the other side of Bishopbriggs to Huntershill, home of 18th century radical Thomas Muir. Here we found a memorial cairn and the Martyr’s Gate commemorating Muir and four other men who were transported to Australia for sedition in 1793-4.

Muir’s family home, Huntershill House, is just across the road, and what a sorry state it is in! For a while, it was owned by the local council who sold it on a few years ago. It’s now on the Buildings at Risk Register – see what it should look like here.

Finally, on weekdays we continued with our lockdown routes after John finished work. We don’t take as many photographs now, but I still have a large backlog of themes that piqued our interest. Today, I’ve collected together some of the many messages that people have sent out during the various stages of lockdown. This bench in Partickhill, for example, has a message which changes daily. On both occasions that we stopped to photograph it we met the woman who created it. She seemed delighted by our interest.

In deepest, darkest lockdown people were sending messages to loved ones they could not meet, and a school gate held a poignant tribute to a teacher who had died.

Some messages expressed thanks, encouragement, or hope.

Children created lending libraries on tables and art galleries on fences.

Even canal boats had something to say.

I wasn’t sure what this was all about until I looked up Conversations From Calais which aims to re-humanise those affected by the refugee crisis by using public space to share conversations volunteers have had with migrants met in Calais.

There were many other political messages in evidence.

And finally, there was the plain odd!

So that was my August – a month of widening horizons. Unfortunately, this week things took a backward step with Glasgow being put into “local measures” because of increasing infection levels. It’s not lockdown, but we’re no longer allowed to visit other people’s homes. Here’s hoping that will have changed for the better by the end of the month. Happy September everyone!


  1. Anabel, we had a chance to do a little travelling within B.C. in August, but now COVID-19 new cases are climbing again here too — about 100 new cases a day in BC presently, and really big spikes in Ontario and Quebec. So our public health officials are recommending really pulling back, for example, celebrating Thanksgiving with household members only, and limiting contact to our six-person bubbles.



    • Very similar here – it all seemed to coincide with schools and colleges going back. We can’t visit anyone inside their homes now, apart from extended households, which you are allowed to be part of if you live alone, and for the purpose of care and assistance. Both of those exceptions allow us to visit my mum’s, fortunately. It’s scary worldwide.


  2. I was going to say how nice it is that you are able to get out a bit more but it seems that may be coming to an end. I did see on the news this morning that cases in the UK are on the rise again. Stay safe and well.


    • Cases are definitely on the rise. Schools are back and I dread to think what will happen when higher ed students start moving about the country. So far the new restrictions are on meeting people and not travel – so we can still get out of Glasgow for walks. It has scuppered family visits though because I can no longer take my mum to visit her sister. Mum and I are in restricted areas, my aunt isn’t.


  3. A mixed bag of a month. Such a shame Huntershill house is left as is. As for Thomas Muir, he might have died young but what a life he lived. You find the most intriguing places and stories!


  4. Looks like you still managed to get some interesting walks in (more interesting than the ones I’ve been on anyway)! I love all the Mavis Valley critters! Still a little bit weirded out by the use of “martyrs” to describe people who had been transported, as with the Tolpuddle martyrs that I blogged about some time ago, but I do get what they mean, I just always associated the term with people who had actually been executed or otherwise died for their beliefs before seeing it used in this way in Britain.


  5. Anabel, your August sounds heavenly. I’m sure it felt so good to get out and about. Wonderful that you finally got your Easter holiday, and I love all the messages that you photographed. Here’s hoping that your September is even more enjoyable. ~Terri


  6. I can’t believe another month has passed already again. Your August was very diverse and interesting. You two are active people with all those walks and explorations. I’m glad you finally got to take that Easter vacation.