Roy Pledger
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My name is Roy, I live at Otley in West Yorkshire and I am retired. I am not the best photographer and most of my pics depict the unusual.

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A well worn stone situated outside the Town Hall at Kendal in Cumbria known locally as the Ca Steean has been used to make proclamations for at least three centuries. It was originally part of the old market cross.

In the 17th century fear of spreading the plague was very real and many precautions were taken to stop the spread of this horrific disease. Quite often trades people would actually refuse to enter a community where there was any suspicion of the plague being present, and would leave goods on the outskirts. Many places had a plaque stone near the boundary, which had a hollow on top containing vinegar. Local people left money in the vinegar as payment for goods, to prevent any contamination.
Such a stone is preserved at the south east end of Devil’s Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria. An inscription thereon reads : ‘Fear God Honor the King 1633.’

The Ashton Memorial is situated in Williamson Park, Lancaster and has been described as England’s grandest folly and is often referred to as the Taj Mahal of the North. It was built between 1907 and 1909 by millionaire industrialist Baron Ashton in memory of his wife. It cost a staggering £80,000 to build – the equivalent of more than £4,500.000 in today’s money. It was designed by John Belcher in the Edwardian Baroque style and at 150 feet tall it dominates the local skyline. Built from Portland stone with a copper dome, the exterior of the building has sculptures representing Commerce, Industry, Science and Art. The interior floor is of black, white and red tiles with allegorical paintings inside the dome. It was damaged by fire in 1962 and restored in the mid 1980’s.

Tay Bridge Disaster

The Tay Railway Bridge some two miles in length and built in 1883-1888 is the successor to the ill-fated original bridge carrying the main line between Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The original bridge was blown down in a gale in 1879 whilst a train with six carriages was crossing and with heavy loss of life. The original bridge had been complete in 1878 to the design of Thomas Bouch who was responsible for the construction and maintenance of the bridge and he was knighted for his work shortly after Queen Victoria had used the bridge, At that time it was the longest bridge in the world. When the bridge collapsed it was thought that some 75 people were on the train and there were no survivors. A Court of Inquiry found that the fall of the bridge was occasioned by the insufficiency of the cross bracing and its fastenings to sustain the force of the gale. Bouch died within a year of the disaster his reputation in tatters. The disaster is one of the greatest bridge failures and is still one of the worst structural engineering failures in the UK.

This fish ladder, completed in 1951, is alongside the Pitlochry Power Station and dam on the River Tummel. It was constructed as a result of a 1943 Act of Parliament which laid a duty of care on the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board to preserved fish stocks in waterway power schemes. The first of its kind in Scotland, the ladder consists of 34 separate pools, each rising 1.6 feet higher than the last over 339 yards to enable fish, especially migrating salmon, to reach the upper part of the river beyond the dam. A fish counter records the number of fish making the journey and they can be observed at a special glass walled viewing area.

This fish ladder, completed in 1951, is alongside the Pitlochry Power Station and dam on the River Tummel. It was constructed as a result of a 1943 Act of Parliament which laid a duty of care on the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board to preserved fish stocks in waterway power schemes. The first of its kind in Scotland, the ladder consists of 34 separate pools, each rising 1.6 feet higher than the last over 339 yards to enable fish, especially migrating salmon, to reach the upper part of the river beyond the dam. A fish counter records the number of fish making the journey and they can be observed at a special glass walled viewing area.

Thomas Hetherington’s in the High Street at Moffat is said to be the oldest pharmacy in Scotland. It has been in continuous use since it was established in 1844. The original premises have been maintained with some modern modifications. Since 2007 it has been a Co-operative Pharmacy.

St Mary’s Tower is better known as The Old Steeple. A fine example of the late 15th century Gothic style, it is the oldest surviving building in Dundee. The tower, with eight bells, is 160 feet high and there are 232 steps to the top. It has been used as watch-tower and prison and is now in the care of the Town Council.

St Mary’s church was built in 1190 but it was destroyed in 1303. In 1462 the church was rebuilt by the Dundee Town Council with contribution by the Abbey of Lindores. A unique feature of the church was the length of the north and south transepts, which together with the nave and choir, made it the longest ecclesiastical building in Europe. A huge square tower was completed in the 1480’s and The Old Steeple, as it is known today, is the only part of the 15th century church which remains because the church was destroyed in 1547 and only the tower and the choir were saved. The Town Council subsequently rebuilt the open west end of the choir and established the St Mary’s church or East Kirk. Later the Town rebuilt the south transept to accommodate a second church, the South Kirk. In 1759 this curious building evolved further when the north transept was rebuilt and a third church, the North or Cross Church was established. Finally in 1789, the nave was rebuilt and St Clements or Steeple Kirk, was introduced. So the town had four separate churches under one roof with their own ministers and Kirk Session, sharing the one tower. Sadly in 1841, a fire broke out in the East Kirk which engulfed the East, North and South churches with only the nave and tower being saved. The North church was subsequently re-established elsewhere, but the East and South churches were rebuilt in 1844 with the three congregations continuing until the 1980’s when the Steeple Church and the South Church amalgamated with the South Church becoming a community centre. St Mary’s Tower is better known as The Old Steeple. A fine example of the late 15th century Gothic style, it is the oldest surviving building in Dundee. The tower, with eight bells, is 160 feet high and there are 232 steps to the top. It has been used as watch-tower and prison and is now in the care of the Town Council.

The Atholl Highlanders is a private infantry regiment in the employ of The Duke of Atholl based at Blair Atholl Castle. It is the only legal private army in Europe. It was formed in 1839 by the 6th Duke as a body guard and escorted Queen Victoria on her tour of Perthshire in 1842, following which the Queen granted the regiment with colours giving it official status. Although the regiment has never seen active service, many of its numbers served in the two World Wars. The Atholl Highlanders are now purely ceremonial and its 100 men, including pipes and drums, wear the Clan Murray tartan. The regiment’s officers are usually lairds from the surrounding area whilst the other ranks are mainly employed on the Atholl Estate. They parade at the Atholl Gathering at the end of May when they are inspected by the present Duke; and also march to the Braemar Games in September. The Duke also permits the regiment to parade on certain other occasions such as Royal visits and overseas tours.

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