Irvine and the Scottish Maritime Museum

Scottish Maritime Museum
Scottish Maritime Museum
A bright, sunny day in Scotland at the moment is worthy of note. Two in a row are as rare as hens’ teeth – this lovely day was the same weekend as last week’s Monday Walk. We started our visit to Irvine with a wander round the Maritime Museum – separately as John wanted to look at the great hulking engines and boats …

… whereas I preferred the items with more human interest.

I particularly liked the “shipbuilders” working high up in the roof.

The Harbourside area around the museum is picturesque.

Across the road is the café (what do you mean, did we go in? of course we did!) and more boats.

As we walked downriver, we noticed a series (we spotted seven, there might have been more) of special paving stones with Scots words. Each stone was themed: here are two – any guesses what the themes are? Bonus points for defining any of the words.

We passed The Ship Inn and a sculpture of a carter and his horse.

Then we came upon a flock of swans and a very aggressive goose who advanced, hissing, on John when he pointed his camera at it. No wonder some distilleries use them to protect the whisky.

Next, we came to The Big Idea, a museum devoted to Scottish inventors which was opened to celebrate the millennium and closed through lack of custom in 2003. It’s rather sad looking, and its massive carpark seems to be its main legacy – although John enjoyed photographing the footbridge with the names of some of his heroes.

By now we had reached the sea – I thought this picture made me look quite sinister, as if I was standing on the edge of the world. That was the intended effect anyway.

On the jetty at Irvine
On the pier at Irvine
On a previous visit, we walked from this point along the beach to the next town, Troon – see Twixmas at Troon. There be dragons! This time, we retraced our steps to the museum and headed home to Glasgow.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks.


35 thoughts on “Irvine and the Scottish Maritime Museum

  1. Su Leslie March 14, 2016 / 17:59

    Lovely walk! It’s so sad that an inventors museum should close. The Big T would be gutted (had he known it existed in the first place); it’s right up his street. I do like the paving stones — weather and food? My mum uses “snell” and “drookit”, and I’ve been known to confuse folks down here referring to days as being driech. Can’t remember the last time I had clootie dumpling, or neeps. Tatties have been replaced with low-GI kumara or sweet potato these days, but I still enjoy a wee dram and the odd jeellie-piece, though I haven’t thought of a sandwich as a “piece” for years. I remember when my family first came to NZ, absolutely cringing at my parents’ use of Scots. Now I try to make sure the boy-child understands at least a few words. Does that make me a grown-up, or just nostalgic? I’m not sure. Thanks for sharing your walk.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh March 14, 2016 / 18:14

      Thanks Su – top marks on knowing the Scots words! Yes, it’s sad about the museum. I think they get these great ideas about new attractions without working out how accessible they are going to be and what people will travel for. The Ayrshire coast isn’t all that handy unless you actually live in Ayrshire – even the Maritime Museum, which is well-established, seemed worryingly quiet to me (apart from the cafe).

      Liked by 2 people

      • Su Leslie March 14, 2016 / 18:19

        I think you’re right Anabel. There seems to have been an explosion of new museums here — every little town now has a nice new building housing the local collection (and to be fair, often the library too). Most of them manage on volunteer labour and scraping together funds from government grants and charitable trusts. They too, never seem particularly busy. But I am glad they do exist, if ony as somewhere to house archives (my favourite treasure troves).


        • Anabel Marsh March 14, 2016 / 18:23

          Yes, I think local is the key though. This museum just seems to have been plonked in Irvine without any kind of connection to its own history. That’s true of the maritime museum too, but a maritime museum in a harbour area makes some sense.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. Silvia Writes March 14, 2016 / 18:12

    Love the water pictures and the one on the pier. I’m with you — I like places with more human interest, although everything in this post looks interesting. We have a place called Irvine here in California, but it looks nothing like the above. 🙂 Thank you for sharing. Always an enjoyable visit.


    • Anabel Marsh March 14, 2016 / 18:16

      Thanks Silvia. I find it intriguing when we visit the States to find places with familiar names which are nothing like the original.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. restlessjo March 14, 2016 / 18:23

    I like those ‘shipbuilders’ too, Anabel. 🙂 And I much prefer neeps and tatties to sweet potato. 😦 Many thanks for the link.


    • Anabel Marsh March 14, 2016 / 18:26

      Funnily enough, I’m not keen on sweet potato either though it seems to be fashionable at the moment. Always a bit of a pain for me when the one veggie option contains it. Neeps and tatties are much better.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. dormousetidings March 14, 2016 / 20:54

    The Ship Inn looks inviting. Next time skip the cafe and check out the pub 😛


  5. abitofculture March 14, 2016 / 21:31

    You’ve reminded me of the lyrics to ‘Letter from America’ by the Proclaimers. ‘Irvine no more…’


  6. Heyjude March 14, 2016 / 23:34

    You have to wonder how many of the places / things built to celebrate the millennium have survived. I’m guessing that the stones refer to weather terms and food – I’d really like to know what bubblyjocks are!


    • Anabel Marsh March 15, 2016 / 07:03

      A bubbly jock is a turkey! Metaphorically could also be applied to The Big Idea……


      • Heyjude March 15, 2016 / 09:30

        Ha! Would never have thought of that, but it does make sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Birgit March 15, 2016 / 03:58

    Some great pictures you took. I love the sculpture of the dogs and the swans. They can be ornery and the goose…don’t get me started. The geese used to chase me all the time when I was young. I wonder if Dreich is three? Otherwise I haven’t got a clue. What a shame when a museum closes…where did all the stuff go?


    • Anabel Marsh March 15, 2016 / 07:11

      Dreich is a weather word! Miserable, dull weather. I don’t know about the stuff in the museum – I suspect it would be more display boards than artefacts but I don’t know, we never went. That tells you a lot about how well they promoted it. Normally John would jump at anything about science and engineering but I’m not sure we even knew about this at the time.


  8. anotherday2paradise March 15, 2016 / 19:42

    Lovely photos, Anabel. The swans are gorgeous. I have no idea what those signs are all about. 🙂


  9. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) March 16, 2016 / 14:58

    It looks like it was quite a day! That goose does look rather evil (as do you at the edge of the pier, but in a good way!). I like those shipbuilders too. They look like the sort of thing you might miss if you weren’t looking up.


    • Anabel Marsh March 16, 2016 / 16:34

      Yes, I almost did miss them. The goose was definitely evil. I was just pretending.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. hilarymb March 16, 2016 / 17:53

    Hi Anabel – what a pity about the Inventors’ Museum .. maybe it was just too far out. However glad you both had a happy time looking at your desired choices of items … ships or inside … then the cafe – always needy in this easterly wind …

    Cheers Hilary


    • Anabel Marsh March 16, 2016 / 18:16

      The cafe was a definite bonus! It was quite a cold day despite the sun.


  11. rosemaylily2014 March 21, 2016 / 07:12

    Glad you survived the encounter with the aggressive goose – I remember being quite scared of them as a child! Lovely walk – good to see the weather is improving! 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh March 21, 2016 / 07:55

      Yes, we’ve just had another lovely weekend with two good days in a row. Can’t believe our luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. inesephoto March 26, 2016 / 17:05

    What a lovely walk! The sculptures are so fun, and the moody goose looks like a direct descendant of the distillery guards. I love your photograph in the end of the post. Makes me think either it represents the end of the world, or the beginning of a bigger world 🙂


  13. jazzfeathers March 26, 2016 / 20:49

    Maybe because I’m a woman of the plains (well, even the small planes we have in Italy) I’m fascinated with the sea and sea life. I really enjoyed the pics of the boats.

    And the goose! I heard is said they are fierce animals. One of my aunt used to have a couple once. She said when they had their nest set up, it was impossibile getting near it. They would chase you down!


  14. philosophermouseofthehedge July 19, 2016 / 14:58

    Geese are quite agressive and can ouchie. Guard geese is no joke.
    Love the sea and boat stuff – we are in sailing area here


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