Thursday, 17 August 2017

The Best Seamen in the Firth

Old Bo'ness Iron Co building

     Sitting on the hill-side overlooking the Firth of Forth lies a small town called Borrowstounness, or Bo'ness as it is known. It's history can be traced back to Roman times and remnants of the Antonine Wall run through the town centre. However, its importance in Scottish history doesn't stop there and I decided to visit the town recently to stretch my legs and take a look around.

Over-looking the Firth of Forth

    Once Scotland's second largest port, Bo'ness shipped coal and salt to Europe, with France and Holland being main traders. While the harbour is no longer in use there is evidence in the town of its industrial past, which included coal-mining, ship-building and iron metalwork.

    Interestingly enough in its heyday, author of 'Robinson Crusoe,'  Daniel Defoe visited here and wrote about the town in his book, 'A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain' (1724) praising the local men as, the best seamen in the Firth.

The town of Bo'ness
    Standing on the harbour looking back towards the town, if it wasn't for a few obvious modern-day additions, the grey-stone buildings make you believe you're living in times gone by. The old churches, town hall and the library funded by Andrew Carnegie dominate the town.

Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway site

    My last stop in the town was the Bo'ness and Kinneil Railway site, unfortunately film crews were filming and I couldn't access the station and platform. But, I did manage to take a few photos of some of the carriages and trucks there. For railway enthusiasts and especially children it's a great place, Thomas the Tank Engine visits frequently and there is a railway museum which is a must.



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