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16 October 2014

Arnish Lighthouse

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Railing about railings

Stornoway is one of the few places in Great Britain to have held on to its cast iron railings. Elsewhere in the country, they were taken away during World War II for use in the war effort.

A new exhibition, which opened in Museum nan Eilean today, will highlight this aspect of local history. Three years ago, I went on a guided tour of the various pieces of ironwork. They have all been catalogued on this webpage. It is high in graphics content, and will take time to load, particularly on a slow connection.

Stornoway doesn't just have cast-iron railings, its guttering and downpipes are also made of it. Most of it was made in the Saracen Foundry in Glasgow, which had a catalogue full of moulds. The difference with wrought iron is that no piece is the same in wrought iron, as it is hand-crafted.
Posted on Arnish Lighthouse at 22:15


thanks Arnish for the info, I had noticed there are plenty of railings, I like the neglected peeling paint kind, like the one I posted on my photo blog a couple of weeks ago, seeing the layers and imagining the stories,

island threads from lewis

Nice, Arnish, as was a previous posting of yours a year or so ago on Stornoway's cast iron heritage. So, cast iron cannot be recast without exploding, eh? Why is that, I wonder?

mjc from NM,USA

great snaps of the cast iron railings--but i think theyre more than onae in auckland nz up parnell rise and along the ponsonby road i passed some at xmas!

carol from over here

Hopefully you left them where you found them, Carol. I would not want to see them adorning some abode in the south of France ...

mjc from NM,USA

I've amended the lines regarding the 'exploding cast iron', as a little research showed that not to be correct.

Arnish Lighthouse from Stornoway

I did wonder about the exploding cast iron but didn't think to research it. One of the stories concerning the scrap collection drives that always amused me was the belief that the railings went into spitfires. Cast iron aeroplanes would have had a weight problem methinks. The mistake probably arose as aluminium scrap such as saucepans was also collected. Post war I believe it became apparent that the scrap drives whilst useful in the wider sense were, when connected to railings and saucepans, more of a psychological ( propaganda?) boost than anything else.

Hyper-Borean from The Foundry Bar

What a relief. I've been eyeing up our cast iron skillets wither ever-deepening apprehension since first reading this...nearly three days of iron care cast off...nothing to rail against now!

Flying Cat from Picketty Witch

AL, thanks for some more interesting local culture. Wrought iron is more expensive but also nicer, just because it has subtle variations. Maybe wrought iron doesn't expode but Henry Crun's knees did. I tried to explain exploding knees to my son when he was aged about 10 and it was hard going for both of us.

Barney from Swithiod agoon agin'

I expect he understood all about exploding knees once the replacements were in place...

Flying Cat from a hip joint

Barney! Another Goon Show enthusiast. Did you also try to explain Eccles's detachable legs that he took to work with him in a brown paper parcel. I've instructed that my funeral service should conclude with a rendering of the Ying Tong Song and that none of the mourning multitude should be allowed to leave the church until they have sung it.

malkie from Glasgow

I hope you're going to supply a word-sheet malkie; some of us are old enough to have forgotten all the words several times...

Flying Cat from seeking the bipedal braincell

Hi Malkie, hre have I ived for 40 years in a goonless desert. Detachable legs, aaargh! My absolute all time favorite is when Bluebottle asks Eccles for the time. This used to be possible to find on Auntie Beebes archives, haven't tried recently. I tried this pearl on one of my more recondite Swedish friends but it received a swinish, i.e. totally uncomprehending, reaction. Sic gloria mundi. Don't die yet, more laffs in liff, to paraphrase a certain corpulent correspondent on these pages. Was there never anything about wrought-iron railings onn the GS? Can you make a cast-iron case for it? And if so what will you put int said case? I rest my case, M'Lud.

Barney from Swithiod in a goono swoono

If my brain cell doesn't fail me, EffCee, it goes like this (maybe a bit too difficult for a feline): Ying Tong Ying Tong Ying Tong Ying Tong Ying Tong Tiddle-i-Po. Repeat this in various ways and keys until you are bored, exhausted or released from church. Goodness me, you are learning a lot these days!

Barney from Swithiod on a ying and a tong

There's also a bit that goes: Yiiiiiiiing tingy tingy tingy ying tong ting tong tiddle i po Take me back to Vienna (sounds of breaking wind). No mention of cast-iron railings Im afraid.

malkie from Glasgow

Only a catlover could substitute a yiddle with a tiddle, good for you Cap'n! (Mpu says its an iddle not a yiddle...he should know...)

Flying Cat from on the Yiddle-i-Po

i'll try singing that tonight if any patients decide to be difficult-it will either shut them up or i'll carted off to the loony bin!

carol from laughing her head off

so fc remembers pickety witch! would that be something to do with something that happened to fpu on sunday???

carol from ready for night duty

It's too long ago to remember...

Flying Cat from when was Sunday?

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