Sunday, 12 January 2020

Thirteen Ramblers from Biggar enjoyed a most interesting walk exploring Douglas Estate. The walk began in the village centre and continued down the Main Street, passing the memorial to James Gavin, a tailor who had his ears cut off because he supported the Covenanters and was later banished to Barbados, and the Church with its unusual octagonal bell tower and clock donated to the village by Mary Queen of Scots and thought to be the oldest working clock in Scotland ( although it wasn't working on the day of the walk), and finally the Polish Memorial Garden which brought together three Polish memorials from 1940 which had lain in and around the village.

Further on in the Estate grounds, Stable Lake was quite placid and very attractive and the memorial which commemorates the disbanding of the Cameronian Regiment in 1968 offered a moment of reflection and a photo opportunity. Nearby, the only remaining tower of Castle Douglas, which had been re-named Castle Dangerous by Sir Walter Scott in his book of the same name, stood as a lonely reminder of past times.

The trail soon entered woodland where the Group was mesmerised by a forester in the distance operating a huge machine which grabbed a tree,cut it down, stripped the side branches and cut it into lengths all in one continuous movement. Otherwise the woodland walk was quite peaceful, although a little muddy underfoot. Leaving the woods the Group crossed the playing fields to admire the striking statue of young James Douglas, Earl of Angus, who had originally raised the Cameronian Regiment as part of the British Army in 1689 and was sadly killed only three years later, aged 21, at the Battle of Steinkirk ( Flanders).

Finally, the Group enjoyed a first class lunch at the Scrib Tree Cafe in Douglas village centre.

The walk was 4 miles led by Bernard Airlie