Friday, 27 January 2017

Wednesday 25th January

The walk:

Alan, Davie Mc, Dougie, Gus, Ian, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Paul, Rex, Robert

Thanks again to Johnny for the coffee and scones before the bus was taken to Barassie for the walk along the beach back to Irvine on a decent January morning. The wind was behind us which made the walking easier.
(Allan and Johnny stayed behind to prepare for the evening).

 The Burns Supper:

Alan, Allan, Davie C, Davie Mc, Dougie, George, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Johnny, Kenny T, Paul, Rex, Robert, Ronnie

This was, yet again, another excellent evening with everyone contributing in their own way. Thanks especially to Johnny (and Helen) for hosting the event and for putting in the effort in the kitchen. Robert chaired proceedings with panache (anyone for wabbit?) and the main speeches from Davie Mc, Jimmy and Gus were informative and entertaining. Everyone else chipped in with a reading and Ian (hiding his light under a bushel) and Ronnie provided musical accompaniment. It was good to have Davie C back with us for the night, and in good form. We wish him well in his recovery.
Paul happily? agreed to be the chairman for the Burns Supper in 2018.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Arrangements for Wed 1st February

Meet in Muirkirk beside the Kaimes building at 10.00.a.m.(the car park for Cairntable walk) The walk will be the Lunkey Hole walk.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Smugglers' Trail 18 January

Alan, Allan, Davie Mc, Gus, Jim, Johnny, Kenny R, Kenny T, Malcolm, Rex, Robert

We partook of coffee and bacon rolls at Malcolm’s on a grey but reasonably mild morning before setting off for the castle car park and the Smuggler’s (or is it Smugglers’) Trail. Thanks to Anne and Malcolm for their hospitality!
The early going was a wee bit muddy, but nothing exceptional, and we were soon at the top of the trail and heading down past the reservoir (no stopping for coffee today – too soon after Malcolm’s) and on to the main road. Passing up through Loans, Davie, still traumatised by Benwhat, led a group past the turn-off for the trail and up to the tarmac road down to the Marr Rugby Field, whereas those a bit further behind turned off at the usual path. The second group made the usual lunch stop at the benches a minute or two before the main party and had their choice of seats.
The farm track from the rugby pitches to Crosbie Kirk was pretty muddy, but before long we were crossing the road and heading for the golf course, noting that work was being done to provide a better approach to the bridge over the railway. The course was as busy as we’ve seen it recently, with the hardy souls taking advantage of the wind-free conditions. The walk along the beach was straightforward with plenty of firm sand to make the going easy, and before long we were at McKays (no apostrophe as there weren’t any on the signs outside). Holly wasn’t allowed in the bar so, above and beyond the call of duty, the assembled company agreed to join Davie and Holly in the beer garden outside. The things we do to give Holly some company! Anyway, as the afternoon progressed and we cooled down after the walk, hats, then jackets, then gloves went on before eventually it was time for the bus back to Dundonald.
All in we had taken about three hours from start to finish, with the various gizmos reckoning between seven and eight miles. A good day out!


Thursday, 19 January 2017

Arrangements for 25 January

Meet at Johnny's at 9.30. Provisions can be dropped off for the Burns Night.
The plan is to take the bus to Troon and walk back to Irvine, although this might change depending on conditions.

 JM adding this onto Allan's post

 Burns Night  

1800 – 1830 –The Gathering – (Like all posh events)
 1830 – 1930 - The Meal
 1930 – 2030  - Immortal Memory
                        Readings and Songs
2030 - 2040 – Interval
 2040 – 2140  Toast to the Lassies
                      Readings and Songs
2140 – 2150 - Interval
 2150 – 2240 - Toast to the Drouthy Ooters
                       Readings and Songs
 2300 - Carriages 
 for starters

Robert McGarry - Chairman
David Clunie – Address to the (tinned) Haggis ++
David McMeekin – Immortal Memory
Alan Stewart –  The Bonie Moor-Hen
Jimmy Johnstone – Toast to the Lassies
Ronnie Thompson – Music/songs/laughter
Johnny Matthews -  A Man's A Man For A' That
Gus Kerr – Toast to the Drouthy Ooters 
Allan Sim – To a Louse
Paul Crankshaw – O, Were I On Parnassus Hill
George Hewitt  - A Glasgow Thing
Rex Porter   -  The Road not Taken
Kenny Thompson - Youth
Douglas Muir – Holy Willies’ Prayer
Ian Doolan – Community Sing Along with accordion
Jim Dinnet – gluten free haggis ??

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Hurlford to Darvel 11 January

Allan, Davie Mc, Gus, Kenny T, Jim, Malcolm, Paul & Rex-ish

The forecast was for strong winds with wintry showers so, as we took coffee and scones at the CafĂ© Derval, many thanks again to Kay and Davie, the decision was made to stay low, take the bus to Hurlford, and walk back. Rex performed a ‘now you see him, now you don’t' act as, when arrived, he took a call and had to return to Ayr to attend to an issue at one of his properties – and he didn’t leave his fiver!
With full weatherproofing on from the start, we made our way up to the main street to catch the 9.58 bus and had to run to catch it. Thanks go to the driver for waiting for us. It was little compensation to find the bus then turned left and passed Davie’s road end. Typical!
Having reached Hurlford we took the familiar Grougar Path and made good progress, especially since the elements were coming from behind us – good planning! Davie, Paul and Holly veered off and took the lower riverside path whilst the rest decided to stay on firmer footing and followed the road up to Loudoun Kirk. They were surprised to find that they had arrived first, and sat down at the steps under the tree canopy for lunch – this was the only stop of the day. Ten minutes later the ‘stragglers’ arrived and stock was taken of the day so far. The weather had been better than forecast, and although blustery, we had encountered only a couple of short showers and, indeed, for most of the time we were in winter sunshine.
Davie’s advice was to follow the road from here as the alternative path was a ‘glaur-hole’ (Derval speak) and so we walked up to the entrance to Loudoun Estate and turned past the school, taking time to pause and wonder what would happen if we went in and asked the Headie if Alan McQ could come out to play. As we hit Galston a notion was put forward as to whether we just got the bus back from here but, before Allan could catch his breath and answer, the consensus of opinion was to finish what had been started. These guys watch too many quiz shows!
Anyway, as we followed the Valley Trail on the new cycle track, we noticed that, although money had been spent on the new path, lack of foresight (or even more money) had meant that the river bank had not been protected from erosion, as had happened before, and that it wouldn’t be long before parts of the new track were lost. Wonderful!
Newmilns was made in good time and, as we paused briefly outside the Riverside Inn, Davie said “Forty minutes from here”. And so it came to pass that forty minutes later we were back at the cars, arriving at 1.35pm.
We had ‘won a watch’ with the weather, all things considered, and headed back to the aforementioned Riverside Inn for FRT.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Arrangements for 18th January

Meet at Malcolm's for bacon rolls at 9:30 am. The plan is to do the Smugglers' Trail. Bring your bus passes.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Benwhat, Lethanhill, Burnfoothill 4 January

Alan McQ, Allan, Andrew D, Davie Mc, Gus, Ian, Jim, Jimmy, Kenny T, Malcolm, Paul, Robert

Meeting at the entrance to Chalmerston, we exchanged New Year greetings and welcomed Alan McQuiston, still actively engaged at the chalk face (or maybe the smartboard face would be more accurate) and Andrew, Jim’s son, fresh from saving the Borders from floods and a partner in the civil engineering firm Dinnett, Dunnit and Dammit.
We couldn’t have had better weather for the first outing of the year with an overnight frost on the ground and bright, clear blue skies above. Just after ten we headed up the access road and went straight on before following the track to the left towards the remains of Benwhat (or Benquhat). The rapid pace up the road meant that it was not too long before some layers were discarded in the sunshine. Underfoot conditions had been good so far and there was no cold wind to speak of. Coffee was taken at the Benwhat marker stone whilst Davie contemplated our next move. The plan was to follow the path of the old railway and he decided to head upwards to find it, despite being advised that it was below us. Undeterred he crossed over some really wet and boggy terrain before disappearing up to his oxters (only slight exaggeration). At the sight of the conditions ahead and, in the knowledge that the railway was thirty metres below us, the majority turned back and found the path with ease. Davie was joined by Alan, Paul and Robert and proceeded up the side of the hill to the war memorial before coming down to rejoin us further along the track. By this time underfoot conditions were variable ranging from the good to the wet. As we trekked towards the forest which contains the remnants of Lethanhill, Gus was seeking help with some crossword clues. Eventually when asked where we were actually heading, he said ‘Four across, five down, No more questions!’
Just beyond the forest is the Lethanhill and Burnfoothill war memorial, and this is where we stopped for lunch, overlooking the valley and Patna. A low sun and the neighbouring trees meant that we were in the shade whilst we ate, a piece of poor planning if ever there was one! Can’t get the staff these days!
Heading off downhill we came to the ‘inclined plane’ and the remains of the winding house?

Where's Peter when you need him?

Going down
Interesting brickwork caused some discussion, with the consensus of opinion being that the angle of the bricks would be at right angles to the wires for added strength. The industrial heritage centre was soon reached, but little time was spent exploring as we set off along the railway track back towards the access road to Chalmerston. This part of the walk was not too pleasant as walking on the stone ballast and avoiding the slippy sleepers proved to be a challenge. Nonetheless, we arrived back at the cars in just under four and a half hours, having had a good, but tiring, at least for the less fit of us, day out in excellent conditions.

Who him?

Scotrail's new rolling stock arrives
FRT was taken at the Dalmellington Inn.


Some more images from the Doon valley

The Standing Stones of Dalmellington - just above the parking area.
Negotiating the gate at the start.
Climbing the opencast road.
Reflections of a good walk.

At the Benquat memorial.
The more adventurous of us leaving the Benquat war memorial.
Lunch at the Lethanhill war memorial.
A brick structure at the Scottish Industrial Railway Centre at Dunaskin.

Industrial revolutions Danny mcascill

Alan sent me a link to this video shot in the Dunaskin industrial site. You can find it on YouTube by typing in the the above info . I need a lesson on how to get the actual link on to the blog. It is certainly worth a look as we walked through the place yesterday.

Bob, you click on Link in the tool bar next to the photo icon and past in the URL! Et voilĂ !