Abseiling practice

Yes this is local.

Passed through Carlops one day in about 1996 and saw these guys up on top of ‘The Rock’. I parked the car in the little carpark and went up aound the small path at the back and asked if they minded if I did a few pics. It turned out they were from Broomlee Camp just outside the village.

The wooden hut visible in the first picture is the old Carlops Village Hall.

Scans from 35mm colour transparencies.




Following a couple of instances in recent years of bits falling off onto vehicles, ‘The Rock’ has now been fenced off around the base beside the car park. This doesn’t affect access to the lowly top however.

Fenced off!

Old main street

An old picture of West Linton I found on t’internet, provenance unknown. I can’t imagine it’s still in copyright so I’ll reproduce it here for the purposes of comparison.

Quite a few obvious changes, like the tobacconist at the right hand side and also some sort of shop opposite. Where the post office is now appears to have been a tearoom. It would be lovely to be able to find out who the kids were, but no way of finding out.

I thought I’d match up the old view with contemporary in the two images below it.





Aurora photographed from my garden, West Linton in 1992. Right of centre at the bottom is part of the constellation of Orion. Just visible as a tiny smudge two thirds of the way up on the right hand side are the Pleiades (M45). Out of curiosity, I recently overlaid it onto an astro software skychart (2nd pic) and it matches exactly for December 1992.

Scan from Ektachrome 35mm colour transparency.


December 1992 skychart and overlay



Creative graffiti

This makes me smile everytime I drive past it. I don’t condone graffiti, but when it’s clever and creative it sometimes works. It isn’t quite Banksy but it’s amusing. At the junction of the A766 and A702 near Ninemileburn, this road sign with stencilled spray painted ski jumper is still there a couple of years on.

Ken Smith, diary editor at ‘The Herald’ newspaper was good enough to include this in the paper after I emailed it to him shortly after the graffito deed was done. Quick snap on a little snappy camera with flash.



Carlops and A702

Carlops is a small village three miles from West Linton in the Scottish Borders, just outside the boundary with Midlothian.

The village was founded in 1784 and developed cotton weaving, coalmining and limestone mining.

The name derives from “Witches’ Leap” (Scots: ‘Carlins Lowp’) as near the south of the village there are two exposed rock faces about 20 metres in height facing each other with a similar distance between them. Folklore maintained that witches would leap from one face to the other, over the chasm, for entertainment of an evening.

This picture was taken from near the top of Patties Hill on a bitingly cold and windy November day (sometimes I doubt my sanity) and shows Carlops with the A702 trunk road snaking up towards West Linton.


A veritable forest of signage as you enter Carlops from Midlothian

West Linton

Nestling at the southern end of the Pentland Hills roughly 12 miles from Edinburgh, West Linton is an attractive little village with a population of 1547 people at the last 2011 census. Almost certainly there are somewhat more residents now in 2016, given that lots of new houses have been built since then, attracting an influx of new folk. The village has a long history and there has been a settlement here for several hundred years.

More information from Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Linton

Pictures below were shot from a cherry picker platform just above the spire of St Andrew’s church on a fairly overcast day.