Sunday, February 23, 2014

Climbing Ailsa - 2

As I mentioned last time, I visited Ailsa Craig in the off-season. That meant it cost a chunk of money to get there because I was the only one in Girvan that week who wanted to go to the island. But on the plus side, although it was expensive, I would have the island to myself for a few hours. 

Getting ashore on Ailsa requires stepping across a slimy derelict dock originally built to land supplies for the lighthouse. Similar to the Flannan Isles lighthouse, the Ailsa lighthouse had its own little trolley line that started at the dock. In the second photo you can see the trolley rails leading out to the crane at the end of the dock. The landing place here was the scene of a short battle in 1592, when Hew Barclay, the Laird of Ladyland, was killed. For more on this see book 1, chapter 2.  

Approaching the old dock
The dock and trolley tracks
The crane on the dock
Once ashore I followed the overgrown rails to the trolley's engine house.
The engine house
The engine - it's seen better days
Laying upside down in the grass was the trolley car. It's obviously been a while since it's been used. If the rails were not under the turf I might have been able to go for a ride.

Trolley Car - it, too, has seen better days
It was a very hot day, so after pausing to shed a layer of clothes I continued along the overgrown tracks to the lighthouse enclosure - which we'll see next time.

Next up - the lighthouse

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