Bird's Eye View of Bute

Engraved Stones

(2) Now 11-11-2009

(2) Now  11-11-2009

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Engraved Stones

Man has left his signature on this earth for thousands of years. Whether it has been a soft mark, as on the sandy beach or on a frozen loch which has got a light covering of snow, to the markings on a tree proffering“ ’your love of your girlfriend, or as in my photo, carved out of solid rock!.

We are a nation of, I've been there and I want everyone to see it. If you look carefully“ ’ at all Beech trees in our local woods you are bound to find at least one set of initials, sometimes carved that many years ago that they are now many metres up the trunk. Some are very hard to read as the tree tends to endeavour to grow bark over this intrusion but fails to cover it completely so it will last for many years leaving proof that you have been there on a certain date and year, to be left for all to see hopefully for ever as were your feelings at that time. For generations painters and decorators have left their mark on our internal walls after scraping of the old wallpaper. Before they start to re-paper, sizes and the amount of rolls required to do each room are recorded on the walls and also the names of the decorators in attendance. These marks will remain there until the buildings are demolished, a testimony to their work for all to see every so often.
Now with D.I.Y. We have more writings on the wall. Husbands, wives, in-laws, out-laws all wanting to save a few pounds, they now do the job themselves, and they add to the walls already festooned with writings. They add their names and their children’s also, plus their height and age at that given time. Even my own house has plenty on its walls, and I still do it when I build something, before it is covered, out comes the felt tipped pen and away I go. Name, rank and serial number. I have been in a large house on Bute that had been stripped of every piece of paper. It was like being in the art galleries, names and caricatures on every wall, it was amazing and some of the dates were one hundred and forty years old. I served my apprenticeship with D.M. Jenkins of Mill St. One year I was repairing a floor at Stuart Hall, when I came across a piece of wood that had been cut off with an axe. On this wood was my bosses name and date, which was 1921. He had repaired this same floor then, and now, I, his apprentice was doing the same for him 40 years later. If we leave our mark it gives information to those who follow, which can’t be bad.
How many of you have put a stone on to the pile at the top of Barone Hill with your initials scratched on them? And how many of you have left them on the school desks? That takes care of the pens and knives now we come to the hard stuff. You can't leave your mark on this in a few minutes, it takes time. Look at my picture. This boulder with James Oldham 1672 on it. It and others with engravings on them can be seen at Gallachan Bay at the mouth of a burn down from Ardnahoe farm. "Best way to see them is, park at scalpsie and go walkies with the family". Was there such a man? If so, he wanted to make sure that his mark would last a lifetime, and it has surpassed this with flying colours. But look at the date? This was engraved 330 years ago? It would be interesting to see if anyone on Bute could throw any light on this stone and the man who engraved it.

Norrie Mulholland

First Published in the Buteman 15-03-2002.

A few days later I was informed that the engraving was done by a man who lived in a nearby farm, but I think that he engraved the 6 upside down, and it should have read 1976, and going by how much it has deteriorated over the years, I think that I am right.

The second image was taken on 11-11-2009, and both photos are taken from other photos.

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