Blood’s A Rover

Genuinely Scottish cinema is a hard thing to find and I think this project deserves some support. Please watch the trailers and consider supporting the crowdfunding effort.


Wee Ginger Dug


The Wee Ginger Fundraiser has exceeded its target by an amazing amount, so it’s only right that I give some space to some other projects which are worthy of consideration and support. We all know that the Scottish film industry is struggling, movies made in Scotland, about Scotland, and starring Scottish actors, are few and far between. But that doesn’t mean there is a lack of talent and ambition in this country, far from it. Tim Fraser-Granados is an Edinburgh based independent film maker. He’s currently working on a feature film, a Scottish neo-noir thriller, but as Scotland doesn’t have the same support for its film makers as is found in other countries, finding the financial backing to get the film off the ground is proving difficult.

Over to Tim …

Hello everyone!
I’m Tim Fraser-Granados, an indie filmmaker in Edinburgh who’s been hugely inspired by film noirs and Raymond…

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All Stop!


Today sees me starting (after a slightly alarming bureaucratic glitch-quickly resolved!) two weeks’ holiday.

Nothing booked in terms of going away due to only being back in full time work since April so I’m going to just play it by ear.

Today though, after three very intensive months learning my new craft and readjusting to full time and generally going at something akin to warp speed since April, I think it’ll be wise just to park at the roadside, shut down the engine and just sit quietly.

A couple of light domestic chores, some dog walking with my convalescing pal and maybe a book are all that’s on today’s menu.

I feel like Iggy Pop on a come-down! 😂

Much as I like the great man I feel that something calmer is required musically today so here’s my tune of choice. 😊

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I do love an unusual photo.
Great effort here from Elizabeth. 😊

Fig and Pen

dinerStill one of my favourite shots.

Taken with an iPhone from the passenger window of a moving vehicle.

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Meeting Nicola

An enjoyable read from a fellow Scot.
Do follow his blog.

Grouse Beater

800Nicola Sturgeon – First Minister of Scotland

Readers hoping for gossip will be sorely disappointed. I’m about to describe the events that took place before and after meeting our admired First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, (for the second time) but for those not yet had that pleasure I’ll convey what many  have perceived of her. She’s highly attentive, in control and absolutely focussed. She exudes authority, but not the disengaged aloofness of the moneyed classes, or the verbal correctness of a high court judge. It’s that old fashioned thing called unassailable integrity.

Two further observations: She practises the caution of those who learn a first meeting is what people are selling her, a built-in defence needed by any public person who receives praise and abuse from those it is her sworn duty to protect, and the society they live in. And secondly, she reads Grouse Beater. How often she read it I didn’t ask.


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Good things come to he who waits…


As previously mentioned I attended the Perth Model Railway Show today; arguably the best show in Scotland today and always worth the trip.

I had a particular reason for looking forward to this year’s show as a long-anticipated book had its premiere at the show.

‘The Port Road – Dumfries to Stranraer, Portpatrick, Kirkcudbright and Whithorn’ has been a title long in preparation as its author, Andy Swan will testify as the idea for this book first germinated over 20 years ago.

Coincidentally, this was around the period in 1996 when my interest in this Railway first flowered during a camping and walking trip with a mate which took in the section of the line from Gatehouse to Skerrow and New Galloway to Loch Ken.

This was the second week of a holiday which had also introduced me to the joys of the Waverley Route and also set in my mind the idea of a move within my then work to Carlisle.

In retrospect that holiday was actually a pivotal point in my life, leading directly to where I stand today but I digress; this piece is primarily about this book, a true Labour of love by its author, Andy Swan, like me a member of both the Caledonian and Glasgow and South Western Railway Associations. Both societies have actively supported the production of this book and if you wish to purchase a copy, I recommend you enquiry of either association and better still join them, then you will be entitled to a member discount and a CD of extra material, such was the depth of information uncovered by the extensive research.

The book, published by Lightmoor Press, already well established as the ‘go-to’ publisher of the CRA’s titles is beautifully presented and bound in the same highly attractive style as such titles as ‘Caledonian Railway Livery’ by Jim MacIntosh and ‘Branch Lines to Strathearn’ by John Young.

The book comprises of 300 pages comprising fourteen extensive chapters , three appendices and index/bibliography sections.

There is history, anecdote and travelogue within the pages and some of the most wonderful colour drawings along with a host of excellent photographs, the overwhelming majority of which this reader has never seen in print previously.


The above photos aren’t of the highest quality but I hope they give a little taster that will encourage you to support this title by purchasing, especially via the aforementioned societies.

There’s much information about operations, construction, background history and politics, the latter having had great influence in the development of the Railways in this part of Scotland due to its status as a gateway to Ireland.

A very interesting section also concerns the creation of Cairnryan Military Port, familiar today to travellers and countless wagon drivers as the point of arrival/departure for the Irish ferries and fast Catamarans.


This can’t be considered a true review of the book since I’ve only read chapter one and two so far, but a brief inspection of the title confirms to my mind that it will be generally regarded as the definitive work on its subject and it deserves also to be considered Andy’s personal magnum opus; he’s certainly put a Herculean effort into its creation.


‘The Port Road; Dumfries to Stranraer, Portpatrick, Kirkcudbright and Whithorn’ by Andrew F. Swan.

Lightmoor Press with the Caledonian Railway Association and the Glasgow & South Western Railway Association, 2017.

ISBN 9781911038214.

Please follow my site links for the above two associations and consider supporting them by becoming a member; their custodianship of the memory of these two great Scottish railway companies deserves continued support.


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Vintage Pair


Finally! Some modelling interest!


It’s long been a plan of mine to fill one of my display cases with examples of Scotland’s once extensive railway equipment output.

Above are two recently arrived models, both of great significance.

The blue locomotive is an example of the Caley’s ‘903’ or Cardean Class, generally regarded as that company’s flagship locomotive type.

The green locomotive is an example of the N***h B*****h Railway’s equivalent; the Reid ‘Atlantic’.

Both models were built from Cast kits, produced by GEM in the 1970s and now pretty hard to find.

Dimensionally they are a little compromised due to the limitations of 1960s/70s casting technology and also in the case of the 903, the fact that the kit was designed, as many of that era were, to fit on an off the shelf Triang/Hornby chassis.

No problem, I’m sure it will be possible to adapt them to modern finescale requirements but meantime, my priority is to finish Cardean in the correct lined blue livery; that shown is the earlier dark blue which isn’t correct for the 903s.

The Atlantic will be returned to the original NB lined olive livery and may well end up carrying the name Waverley if I can find suitable decals.

I’m off to Perth tomorrow so hopefully I will find the correct shade of blue for 903. It appears that Royal Air Force PRU blue corresponds the Correct BSC reference for Caley light blue so I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled at the Phoenix stand for a tin!

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Emergency appeal: malicious attack on pro-JC campaigner


r_swindPro-Corbyn blogger @Rachael_Swindon is one of the most tireless campaigners for Labour, Corbyn and a fairer society that you’ll ever find.

As well as blogging and creating some of the strongest memes to support Labour’s message, she is a full-time mother of two kids who also cares full-time for her disabled husband, who recently took a turn for the worse. As a result, she and her family are in the support group of ESA and PIP, which allowed them – just about – to scrape by, except when the DWP screwed up.

Until now.

Because of her effectiveness, Rachael has angered right-wingers both inside and outside the Labour party. Because she has a ‘donate’ button on her blog, in case the occasional donation comes in to help eke out meagre benefits, someone made a malicious report to the DWP, triggering an investigation.

Let’s be clear, Rachael has done nothing wrong –…

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