Scottish Snippets

31 March 2012

Number 624

The Scottish Snippets Newsletter in its original format began in April 1997 and continued in an unbroken series for 591 issues. Although no longer produced in that style, there is now this regular update on the new and updated pages on the Rampant Scotland site including "Scottie's Photo Diary From Scotland".

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Dumbarton Rocks

The original county of Dunbartonshire was split into two new administrative areas at the last reorganisation of local government in Scotland. Of course, they couldn't come up with a better name so the new regions became East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire! They lie to the north and west of Glasgow and to the north of the river Clyde. One source of confusion is that for historical reasons the town is spelt "Dumbarton" but the counties are "Dunbartonshire" with an "n". At the eastern edge is Loch Lomond and there are a number of castles in the area - particularly Dumbarton with its twin volcanic rocks with a recorded history as a stronghold which is longer than any other fortification in Britain. I have created a "Dunbartonshire Pictorial Tourist Guide" in the form of a Web-based slide show with 100 graphics taken in the area in recent years. Since I live in East Dunbartonshire I don't have to travel far to get illustrations! See Dunbartonshire Pictorial Tourist Guide.

Lewis Chessmen

The Lewis Chessmen are a group of 12th-century chess pieces made by the Vikings at a time when the Western Isles formed part of the Kingdom of Norway. They were uncovered under the sand in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. We mainly think of the Vikings for their warlike, savage reputation rather than creating such delicately carved ivory. Eleven of the 78 pieces found their way to the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh but the rest were sold to the British Museum in London. The chessmen were number 5 in the list of British archaeological finds selected by experts at the British Museum for a 2003 BBC TV documentary. For an illustrated article on these exquisitely carved chessmen, see: Lewis Chessmen

Pictorial Diary for March
Weather in January and February was extremely poor with a lot of dull grey days and little opportunity for photography. March eventually managed to produce some sunshine and warmer weather - so much so that records were broken for the warmest ever March day since records began. Aboyne in Aberdeenshire recorded 22.9C (73.2F) and Aviemore hit 22.1C (71.8F). Both places were warmer than Barcelona, Nice, Majorca and Faro. So I've been out and about with my camera and will have a "Scottie's pictorial Diary" for March in the next issue. The graphic here is of the daffodil covered slopes of Edinburgh Castle, with the buildings of Ramsay Gardens behind.

Next Newsletter
The next newsletter is scheduled for 14 April 2012.

Yours aye


Previous editions of this Newsletter are available in an Archive. The Index to the other pages of the Rampant Scotland site is available here.

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