It was built around the same time as St Bride’s in East Kilbride, another huge brick box designed by GKC. St Patrick’s is not quite as ornate as St Bride’s (although it’s strange to describe either building as ornate) but it is still striking.
The use of windows and roof lights to let in the light in interesting ways is one of its best features.
There is a very good paper on the history of St Patrick’s and development of other Gillespie, Kidd and Coia buildings on the St Patrick’s website (PDF).
The church and GKC buildings are feted in the architectural world. The paper (PDF) balances this with tales of leaky roofs and drafts that would knock old ladies off their feet.
Thankfully St Patrick’s has been carefully looked after and is a remarkable church to visit.
Thought I would squeeze in another island while the weather is still decent. Off to Rothesay we go.
Rothesay is the main town on the Isle of Bute. It is easy to get there from Glasgow by train and as a bonus, you get to go through Wemyss* Bay Station, one of the most beautiful railway stations in the UK.
Get off the train and go down the adjoining walkway to get the ferry (operated by CalMac). The scenic crossing through the First of Clyde takes around 35 minutes.
Bute is one of the easiest islands to visit, because it’s so accessible. Get off the ferry and you’re right in the centre of Rothesay. The Esplanade has a lovely vintage seaside feel.
There are all kinds of shops and odd things to look at. Sadly, Zavaroni’s, home of the Top Hat (an ice cream cone with a Tunnock’s snowball squashed into it), and the Victorian toilets were both closed.
This little gem was still open – I was taking a picture of the shopfront, thinking it had long closed, when the owner came back from lunch and gave me a wee look inside. He said he’ll be closing up at the end of the year.
How can you compete with young guns like Wesley Snips?
After that it was time to head home again, with a beautiful view of all the Victorian villas along the shore and a plan to see more of Bute on my next visit.
They were a while ago now, but what I did on my summer holidays was go to Oban (a town on the west coast of Scotland) with the goal of getting to as many Scottish islands as possible. Getting to, and staying on the islands has been pretty challenging this year – getting to the big islands was pretty much out of the question, but there are lots of small ones that are easily reachable from Oban or nearby.
Number 1: Easdale Island
Easdale is one of my favourite places on Earth. Home to the World Stone Skimming Championships, it is relatively easy to get to, and can be walked round in a day, or an afternoon depending on how much you want to see.
It is one of the Slate Islands – a chain of small islands in the Inner Hebrides, and is pitted with deep pools made from disused slate quarries.
The island is car-free – residents have wheelbarrows instead.
The small 10-people ferry runs regularly from Ellanabeich, which is also a pretty wee place.
The crossing takes about 5 minutes, and it is not possible to book it (there’s usually no need).
For the last few months (actually, more like years) I’ve been sorting through 18 years of digital photos scattered over hard disks, HD cards and even floppy disks. I almost lost them all once, and after that I decided it was time to make something a bit more permanent, for my own records if nothing else.
So here is Beside The Seaside – book one in what will be a series of photobooks, self-published in very small editions. Featuring 60 full colour photos of the British seaside, it is a neat and sturdy A5 softcover book.
You too can have a copy, if you so desire. The price of £8 includes UK Postage and Packaging (Royal Mail second class). If you’d like the book signed or dedicated to someone please add a note during checkout.
I recently visited Clifton Cathedral in Bristol, or the Cathedral Church of SS Peter and Paul, to give it its Sunday name. [Wikipedia]
The Roman Catholic cathedral was designed by Ronald Weeks and a team from the Percy Thomas Partnership, and was completed in 1973. It is now Grade II Listed.
Hexagons and equilateral triangles are key to the design of the whole building.
It had just reopened for services again as restrictions were lifted.
“Originally intended to be executed in stone (it was thought that these would be damaged by later building work), the Stations were made by William Mitchell using Faircrete (a mixture of concrete, resin & nylon fibres). The artist was asked about what reaction people had to his work: ‘Well the work is a bit hairy I suppose, but then so was the experience of crucifixion.’” – from Wikipedia.
Even the bins are carefully designed. The walls show the shape of the timber used to cast the concrete.