The fine tollbooth dominates the town. It replaced the ‘old tower’ which was the town gaol. The 'Lockerbie nick' was something quite different – in the final battle between the feuding Johnstone and Maxwell clans in 1593, many of the defeated Maxwells had their ears sliced off – a custom known as the Lockerbie nick.
In 2009 Al Megrahi, suffering from terminal cancer, was released on compassionate grounds and later died in his native Lybia.
A sulphur spring, found near Moffat, just a few miles further north, in 1630 put the little town on the map and it gained attraction as a spa town. It is popular with walkers in the nearby hills and is a popular stop for holiday coaches. This fascinating little town is full of interesting curiosities.
This exact replica of a 1944 Mk1x Supermarine Spitfire PT462 can be seen in the garden of a small bungalow in Moffat.
Air Chief Marshall Sir Hugh Dowding, C in C of Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain was born in Moffat and his house there is now part of a sheltered housing complex. The owner of the Spitfire intends to leave the model to Dowding House and the people of Moffat as a lasting memorial.
The Three Wise Monkeys don't seem to be too impressed by their neighbour.
A related story tells of a local man, one James Goodfellow, who was walking home late, the day after a burial, when he saw a dim light in the churchyard. He saw a pony and cart secreted nearby and sent it galloping off, forcing two miscreants to leave their grisly task and rush after it. In the graveyard he found an open coffin and just had time to hide the body behind a nearby gravestone and install himself in the coffin, covering himself with the pall, before the two body snatchers returned and lifted the coffin on to the cart and drove towards Kelso. After a short distance one of them leaned against the ‘body’ and cried “Jock, this body’s warm” whereupon James sat up and said, “If you had been where I have been, you would be warm” and the thieves fled. There was apparently no claim for the impounded horse and cart.
A similar eight sided building can be seen in the old graveyard at Callander.
Abbotsford overlooking the River Tweed to the north of Selkirk was Scott's home. and he died there in 1832. This veritable palace is open to the public.
Galashiels is also a centre for the tweed and woollens industry and also a commercial centre for the region.
The motto of this town is 'Sour Plums'.
The story goes that in 1337 a group of retreating English soldiers paused to gather wild plums growing near the joining of the Rivers Tweed and gala. The Englishmen were so engrossed in picking and eating the plums that they were surprised and slain by a party of Scottish soldiers. Their bodies were thrown into a trench known as the Englishmen's Syke.
This fine statue of a Border Reiver near the clock tower, reminds us of these groups of men, raiders who crossed the border especially at the beginning of the 17th century to plunder stock and other valuables
and even took hostages for ransom.
New Lanark in the Clyde Valley south east of Glasgow is a conservation village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist attraction.
It is situated in a deep valley alongside the Clyde Falls
from which the
mills at this point harnessed their power
The village was founded in 1786 by David Dale, who built cotton mills and housing for the mill workers. Dale's son-in-law, Robert Owen, became mill manager in 1800 who, as an industrialist also carried on the philanthropic approach and social reform. He instigated social and welfare programmes for his workers and improved the workers lot considerably for the 2,500 people who worked at the mills. He paid particular attention to the needs of the 500 or so children who also worked in the mills by opening the first infants school in Britain in 1817.
Robert Owen lived with his family in the house with nice garden with the church and some of the tenement buildings close by.
The church and the village shop were an important part of the community.
Water from the River Clyde was channelled alongside the mills and then via a sluice gate to turn the huge water wheel which in turn powered the machinery.
The schoolroom was large airy and well equipped..