Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Iron railings

Stornoway is one of the few places in Great Britain to have held on to its cast iron railings. Elsewhere in the country, they were taken away during World War II for use in the war effort.

A new exhibition, which opened in Museum nan Eilean today, will highlight this aspect of local history. Three years ago, I went on a guided tour of the various pieces of ironwork. They have all been catalogued on this webpage. It is high in graphics content, and will take time to load, particularly on a slow connection.

Stornoway doesn't just have cast-iron railings, its guttering and downpipes are also made of it. Most of it was made in the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, which had a catalogue full of moulds. The difference with wrought iron is that no piece is the same in wrought iron, as it is hand-crafted.

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Fisherman's memorial

The Isle of Lewis has more than its fair share of poignant memorials, and this is one of them. Taken in September 2006, this picture shows a personal memorial to a young fisherman, Craig Duffy, who drowned on 19 December 2004, when his fishing boat Audacious foundered on rocks nearby. His three crew were rescued.
The memorial stands about a hundred yards from the Arnish Lighthouse, and with the lighthouse I see the memorial every day from my location. A fancy-dress party was held in Stornoway a week or so ago in his memory.

It is noteworthy that this memorial stands within sight of the Iolaire Memorial, on the other side of Stornoway Harbour. As I have often mentioned on here, the Iolaire was a troopship which foundered on New Year's Day 1919, with the loss of 205 seamen who were returning home from World War I.