Saturday, 28 June 2014

Ready Steady Gallop - Painted Clydesdale Horses

A few weeks ago I posted an article about Scottish artist Malky McCormick painting a large plaster Clydesdale horse which can be read here. This horse and a number of others were to be displayed in the town of Hamilton in South Lanarkshire.

The horses are part of the Ready Steady Gallop event and are on display from 25th June until 6th September in Hamilton Town Centre in South Lanarkshire, although a few are located outwith the centre. I managed to photograph all but three of them and will get the remaining ones soon.

Hamilton Business Improvement District

The display has been organised by the Hamilton Business Improvement District to encourage visitors to the area and get some exercise at the same time!

Local artists have painted the horses and the results are quite stunning. Below are a few of the horses on display.

First World War Horse

First World War Horse
The First World War Horse is located outside Sainsbury's supermarket in Douglas Retail Park and is sponsored by the company. It is decorated with the British First World War Medal Trio including the Allied Victory Medal, the British War Medal and the 1914 Mons Star.

Horses in War

It was designed by Jayne Stokes in remembrance of the large number of Clydesdale horses conscripted for the war effort, many of whom suffered along with the brave men and women.

First World war Medal Trio
In the above photograph can be seen the First World War Medal Trio of the 1914 Mons Star, the British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal.

 Mons Star 

This bronze medal award was authorized by King George V in April 1917 for those who had served in France or Belgium between 5th August 1914 to midnight on 22nd November 1914 inclusive. The award was open to officers and men of the British and Indian Expeditionary Forces, doctors and nurses as well as Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Navy Reserve and Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve who served ashore with the Royal Naval Division in France or Belgium. There were approximately 378,000 1914 Stars issued. 

 British War Medal 
The silver or bronze medal was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war or entered service overseas between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918 inclusive. This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920. 

The Allied Victory Medal
Each of the allies issued their own bronze victory medal with a similar design, similar equivalent wording and identical ribbon. The British medal was designed by W. McMillan. The front depicts a winged classical figure representing victory.

'Regent' by Malky McCormick

Malky was seen recently in Hamilton Regent Shopping Centre painting 'Regent'.

Regent by Malky McCormick
'Regent' has the Scottish flags painted on it with the Lion Rampant on one side and the saltire on the other. Well-known Scottish people are also painted on the horse.

Regent by Malky McCormick

Scottish personalities on 'Regent'
The Scottish personalities on the above photograph include Andy Murray, Billy Connolly, and Sean Connery.

Above are just two of the horses. I will include some more on a later posting.

Further Information:

Ready, Steady, Gallop - all information relating to the event including location map.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Queen's Baton Relay at South Lanarkshire

The Queen's Baton Relay for the XX Commonwealth Games arrived in South Lanarkshire on Sunday 22nd June. It was launched on 9th October, 2013 at Buckingham Palace when Her Majesty The Queen placed Her message to the Commonwealth into the baton.

Baton has visited 70 countries

The baton has already passed through the other Commonwealth countries and seen by thousands of people. The finish line is in Glasgow where Her Majesty The Queen will read aloud Her message at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games on July 23rd.

In total, the baton will have covered 190,000 kilometres in 288 days and will have visited 70 nations and territories.

Baton at South Lanarkshire

Below are some photographs of the baton in the Palace Grounds in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire on June 22nd.

The Batonbearers are members of the public who have been nominated for the role.

Baton carried by a Batonbearer
Baton carried by a Batonbearer
Another Batonbearer
There were more than one Batonbearer during the relay.

Event at Hamilton Mausoleum
The Mausoleum is a local landmark and was the burial ground of the Dukes of Hamilton.

African band from Ghana
A band from Ghana were provided some entertainment.

Further Information:

XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Vintage Leyland Titan 484 Bus

On the way home from the golf on Saturday I passed a display of vintage vehicles in the street. A great attraction was a Leyland Titan 484 bus. I could not resist going back later and checking the bus out. I also took some photographs of the cars and will post them later.
A 484 Leyland Titan Bus
The 484 Leyland Titan bus above was operated by Central SMT from 1929 until 1976. The above vehicle entered service on 4th October, 1954 running from the bus depot in Bothwell Road in Hamilton to Cambuslang and Newton starting at 04.00 and returning to the depot at midnight. The route can be seen on this map.

Central SMT

The was formed in 1926, when the Glasgow General Omnibus Company was formed in Hamilton! A few years later it formed new ties with the Scottish Motor Traction company (SMT) of Edinburgh. Glasgow General expanded its Lanarkshire operations through acquisition of small independents  and built Waterloo Street Bus Station in Glasgow in 1929. More of the story of Central SMT can be read here.
75/76 Bus Route to Cambuslang
During that time there were many steel-making works in the Cambuslang/Newton area and as many people did not own cars, the service was well used. In March 1967 it was transferred to Nerston in East Kilbride and was then withdrawn from service. It was sold on 29th May 1969 to George Wilson of Stonehouse, who used it to transfer his workers to sites in East Kilbride for his building company.

Seat fabric
484 Preservation Group 

It was acquitted by a member of the 484 Preservation Group in October 2005 and preserved with a £50,000.00 grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Downstairs of the bus
The seat fabric was no longer available and was made specially by a local company to make the interior as authentic as possible.

Upper deck
The upper deck had long seats with a passageway to the right. The roof of the bus was low and so it was essential for passengers to bend to avoid hitting their heads on it!

Stairway of the bus
 The bus had an open doorway which would not be allowed these days in case someone had an accident and fell from the bus. It also must have been quite draughty in the winter.
Open doorway of the 484 bus
The 484 buses had hopper windows and of the original 13 windows, only 5 were of any use. McGregor Young in Coatbridge is a company which manufactures windows and they were able to make windows for the bus to the original design. More about the work of the 484 Preservation Group can be read here.

Elvis Cleaning Co.
Keeping the cars clean were a group of cleaners from the Elvis Cleaning Co. The certainly added some entertainment to the shoppers and also were good at singing!

Further Information

484 Preservation Group

McGregor Young of Coatbridge

Central SMT

Leyland Motors

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Canada Geese Growning Up

The Canada geese are still running onto the fairway to search for food in the ground. Here are some photographs which I took today. The baby birds are growing up fast.

Canada Geese on golf fairway

Making their way to the fourth tee!

The birds are growing up fast and will be stronger and bigger when winter is here.