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Scottish Tourism The Kelpies

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Helix Park situated between Falkirk and Grangemouth is the location of the Kelpies – the largest equine sculptures in the world. Good news is that access is open and free, fully compliant with Covid 19 guidelines. 
 
The Kelpies are two 30-metre-high horse head sculptures, awe inspiring in daylight and stunning when lit up at night. Designed by sculptor Andy Scott, they stand next to the extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal.  Inspired by Clydesdales, the two horses are made of structured steel, with stainless steel cladding. Completed in October 2013, the sculptures were opened to the public in April 2014. The cost of their construction, a tremendous feat of engineering, was five million pounds.
The name Kelpie was chosen by Scottish Canals, referring to a mythical shape shifting water spirit, usually taking the shape of a horse. The Sculptor Andy Scott said that he “took that concept and moved with it towards a more equine and contemporary response , shifting from any mythological references towards a socio – historical monument, intended to celebrate the horse’s role in industry and agriculture as well as the obvious association with the canals as tow horses” 
It has been suggested that the creature in Loch Ness might be a Kelpie. If you visit the loch, who knows, you might get a sighting! However, if you visit Helix Park, you can be sure that these Kelpies will, at all times be fully visible. 
You can also watch this short video with Andy Scott

In the nineteen sixties I worked in London stores. Worked as an Insurance Clerk in the City of London during the nineteen seventies. Divorced in the nineteen nineties. Now I am a retired Civil Servant, managing home and garden and escaping onto social media whenever possible.

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Architecture

A piece of Brighton’s West Pier for sale on eBay

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A piece of Brighton’s famous West Pier is now for sale starting at £ 850 on eBay. A surviving column that was once part of the West Pier since 1866. This column was the support for the glass windows at the Rotunda at the very end of the pier.

How can this salesman on eBay have a piece of the dock? The answer is simple, parts of the pier had been officially put up for sale to raise the money to restore one of the six original 1866 kiosks that stood on the pier. The item for sale is therefore an authentic piece of pier. Once refurbished, the kiosk will be placed on Brighton’s seafront, not far from where the ruins of the historic pier are located. If you want to buy it you can go here.

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Architecture

The strange Egyptian house in Penzance in Cornwall

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In all parts of the world there are always weird things to see and Cornwall is certainly no exception. If you go to Penzance, try to pass by the strange Egyptian house. It was built on Chapel Street by Plymouth architect John Foulston around 1835. At this time everything Egyptian was in fashion. In London at Piccadilly they had built the Egyptian Hall at the same time and the province tried to adapt to trends.

Photo: Jhsteel / CC BY-SA

It was a Plymouth bookseller who wanted this house, his name was John Lavin and he had a passion for maps and travel guides but he also traded minerals. He had then bought two properties here, which were in fact two cottages but he wanted to stand out so he had the two buildings join together with a single facade.

In addition to transforming the architecture of the two buildings, he also built a small mineral museum inside. The house still exists now and houses three apartments, it is a listed building. The interesting thing is that it is a precursor of the Art Deco that conquered the world a century later.

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Exhibition

London, exhibition of royal portraits in Greenwich

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Postponed due to the pandemic, this exhibition is expected to open on May 28, 2021 and will continue until October 31. It will be  at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich and tickets cost £ 10. The Tudors to Windsors exhibition will feature works by some of Britain’s most prominent artists, from court painters Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller to photographers Cecil Beaton and Annie Leibovitz and artists such as Andy Warhol. This major exhibition brings together works from the National Portrait Gallery, Greenwich Royal Museums and private collections.

Taken separately, these paintings are massive and impressive, but gathered together here the differences between the portraits become more pronounced. In fact, we pass from a majestic Victoria reign, an equally majestic and fat Henry VIII to the portrait of Prince Charles showing the heir to the throne with a sweater and riding boots. Obviously, it was only from the Tudor era that portrait painters had learned techniques to make portraits realistic. Of the previous kings and queens we have a vague idea of what they were really like.

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