Blair Castle And Gardens - a Memory of Dalry.
From 1975-1985 approx, when we were kids from Dalry we lived in the estate below Blair House about 1 mile from main entrance,The Blair Scheme. Myself and a few lads and girls from there used to go up there walking at evenings and weekends, as you turned into the main drive through those large black gates with stone pillars and walls to match there was a gate house, in all my years up there I never saw anyone in or around, but you knew there were eyes watching you. We walked towards the forester's lodge, we would pass through the high archway of trees bowed over like a protective tunnel of golden leaves and branches high above us. As we neared the forester's lodge we would cross over a bridge with wrought-iron railings, half of which had fallen down into water passing underneath, to the left is the lodge, to the right on the bend is what, if I can remember, was a willow tree whose branches touched the ground and gave us a good place to hide and carve our names on the tree bark, if you look you might see some still there today, but most are unrecognisable now. Then we would walk up round the red road towards the Blair Castle, then the residents were Colonel Borwick and Mrs Borwick. The Colonel was to us a fearsome man, as was his game keeper, Mr A Wylie, a crack shot with a rifle. We would then pass by the main drive in front of house as quickly as we could and nip into the outside pool for a quick swim, if it wasn't full of leaves that was. High above there was the old stable house, supposedly haunted by the Grey Lady. Then down past the Girl Guides' cabin on the left, punching the red-barked trees, Canadian pine I was told, but I'm not sure, God, that hurt although it was soft velvet texture to touch, when you hit it hard you knew you had hit a inanimate object... We then travelled over the wrought-iron bridge no 2 underpassing the Bpmbo burn, there was a small wrought-iron gate there which led to the back of the Blair House private garden and the ultimate goal - the chestnut trees - and if I remember rightly there was a wrought-iron bridge there also that took you to the ultimate goal no 2 - the gardens and orchard of plum trees, apple trees, gooseberries and strawberries all for the taking, all we had to do was scale the 12-foot wall at the back, walk along and help ourselves. Did I mention the gardener who was always there? But we never saw him until he caught us, kicked us in the backside and marched us out of his gardens as a warning... but if we didn't get caught it was down the road with our fruit in pockets and bags and time for tea... Those were my fondest memories of the Blair Estate and that area of Dalry. Wonderful times of days gone by...
Dedicated to all who were there...
A memory shared byon Jun 24th, 2010.
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