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Art Deco – and more – in Castle Douglas

Castle Douglas is a small town in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. (I have seen the town’s name translated into French as Chateau Sans Chien. You have to be Scottish to get this. Castle Dug-less.) It has quite a few examples of more or less deco style.

Nikos Greek Restaurant:-

Nikos, Castle Douglas

Door detail, Nikos Greek Restaurant:-

Door Detail, Nikos, Castle Douglas

A former bank now a kids (clothes?) shop:-

Former Bank, Castle Douglas

Fine carved detailing round and above door on former bank:-

Door Detail, Former Bank, Castle Douglas

Telephone Exchange. Pity the windows’ eyes are poked out on this building:-

Castle Douglas Telephone Exchange

Castle Douglas Library is housed in a rather fine old building:-

Castle Douglas Library

The Weatherhouse by Nan Shepherd

Canongate, 2017, 211 p, including 3 p Glossary: plus ii p Dramatis Personae and vi p Introduction. First published 1930.

 The Weatherhouse cover

I don’t normally pick up a book according to its cover but I did in this case. It helped that the novel was by Nan Shepherd whose The Quarry Wood I enjoyed a year or so ago. Yet I was also attracted by the illustration which is almost in the style of a 1930s railway poster – a very Art Deco form – even down to the lettering. The house shown is actually wrong though; in two ways. It is much more of an English type of building rather than Scottish and it bears no relation at all to the hexagonal construction described in the text. Pretty, just the same.

That titular Weatherhouse is the home in Fetter-Rothnie of the Craigmyle family, which consists of matriarch Lang Leeb plus her daughters Annie, Theresa and the widowed Ellen. The story though, is more to do with how Garry Forbes, the intended of Lindsay Lorimer, in turn the daughter of Andrew, Lang Leeb’s cousin, came to become a proverb in Fetter-Rothnie.

The former Minister’s daughter, Louie Morgan, claimed after Forbes’s friend David Grey had died in the Great War that she and Grey had been secretly betrothed and carries Grey’s mother’s ring about her neck as proof. Forbes, home from the war as a convalescent, is convinced that can not be the case. He attempts, first to bring the falseness of Louie’s claim to the attention of the Kirk Session (which upsets Lindsay) and then to prevent his knowledge of Louie’s theft of the ring becoming more widely apprehended.

Despite what appears to be a focus on small matters The Weatherhouse nevertheless has a wider resonance, and has some humorous observations. The incidental mention of the man who, because of his brother, waited twenty years to wed his fiancée (who nevertheless brought him children “as a wedding gift”) shows life in those times was not entirely as straight-laced as might perhaps be thought.

Human dilemmas and emotions occur in all places and at all times. Shepherd shows us the humanity of her characters, in all their complexity. This is a fine companion piece to The Quarry Wood. Both these novels bear some similarities to Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s Sunset Song and Cloud Howe but don’t quite have the sweep of the first of those.

Pedant’s corner:- Amy Liptrot’s introduction says Shepherd’s writing is very localised to the foothills of the Grampian mountains and quotes two of the words she uses, stravaigin and collieshangie as being specific to that area. Stravaigin certainly has no such specificity.
In the glossary: keeing (keeking,) snored (smored.) Otherwise: “you’re as light ’s a feather” (light’s,) knit (knitted,) chose (choose,) “a moment before made up on her sister on the road” (before she made up,) a missing comma before a start quote mark.

Architecture in Wick, Sutherland, Scotland

On the way up to Orkney in June (posts, passim) we had time to stop off in Wick, Sutherland.

It has some Art Deco buildings! (Well, styling anyway.)

Bank of Scotland:-

Bank of Scotland Building, Wick, Sutherland

Detail:-

Art Deco Detail, Bank of Scotland, Wick

Minor deco style in De Vita’s:-

De Vita's, Wick

Another Bank. The TSB:-

TSB, Wick

A more modern building. It looked as if it was unfinished inside:-

Modern Building, Wick

Wick’s Wetherspoon’s is more traditional in construction:-

The Alexander Bain, Wick

Wetherspoon’s usually names its pubs after a local person of repute. This plaque on a wall round the corner told of Bain’s accomplishments:-

Alexander Bain Plaque, Wick

Karmsund Strait, Norway

The west coast of mainland Norway has a collection of islands off it which provide a reasonably sheltered passage north (or south.) Many ferries ply the waters, a vital lifeline in the days before North Sea oil and the building of roads to remoter regions, and still going.

Karmsund Strait is a passage between the island of Karmøy and the islands of Vestre Bokn and the mainland in the east.

The MV Black Watch approached the narrowest point of the strait towards nightfall:-

Nearing Karmsund Strait, Norway

These were electric pylons on Karmøy but not I think the ones on the photograph on the link above:-

Cable Pylons at Karmsund Strait

The very elegant Karmsund Bridge crosses the strait’s narrowest point:-

Bridge at Karmsund, Norway

Closer view. Note more pylons:-

Bridge at Karmsund, Closer View

Karmsund Bridge from below:-

Karmsund Bridge from Below

Reverse view:-

Karmsund Bridge Reverse View

The area was fairly built-up compared to the previous parts of Norway we’d seen:-

Houses by Karmsund Strait

There was even a house which might be described as Art Deco:-

Deco Style at Karmsund Strait

These were more Moderne than Deco:-

Moderne Style at Karmsund Strait

Art Deco Lettering, Stromness

I didn’t spot much that could be described as Art Deco on mainland Orkney. The lettering on mosaic background on this shop in Stromness came closest:-

Deco Lettering, Shop, Stromness

Once a soda fountain and coffee salon the shop has now been repurposed to sell clothes:-

Art Deco Lettering, Stromness

Art Deco in Bruges

There isn’t much Art Deco in the centre of Bruges, of course, but in the approach to Smedenpoort we saw this. Good rounded balconies and column, porthole windows:-

Art Deco Style, Bruges

And that building to the left has an interesting feature – a gold figure of a seated man:-

Gold Seated Man, Bruges

This one was a bit nearer to Smedenpoort. Rounded balcony, pillar, rule of three in windows, projecting canopy:-

Bruges, Art Deco Style Again

This doorway was striking:-

Art Deco Door, Bruges

I photographed this pair on the way back to the car. Note canopy over central bay on the one to the left:-

Art Deco, Bruges

It had a good doorway too:-

Another Deco Door, Bruges

And that greyer one had strong banding and a projection from its roofline. Pity its eyes have been “poked out”:-

Art Deco in Bruges

Art Deco in Matosinhos

We had a serendipitous metro stop opposite this lovely stylish building in Matosinhos. Pity the metro car’s windows intrude on the clarity:-

Art Deco, Matosinhos

I have no idea of the building’s purpose but it’s another striking one:-

Art Deco, Matosinhos

Art Deco, Matosinhos, Other View

Rule of three in the extension’s windows:-

Art Deco, Matosinhos, Extension

Art Deco in Porto (v): Armazéns Cunhas

This stunning Art Deco building fetauring a green peacock motif below the Novidade lettering is Armazéns Cunhas, a department store.

Stunning Art Deco, Porto

The shop’s motto is apparently “novelties, we sell cheaper.”

Armazéns Cunhas, Porto

Next door was the mundane by comparison, Era Porto Baixa:-

Art Deco, Porto

Gail Edwin Aguiar has some more stunning Deco from Porto on Flickr.

Coliseu at https://flic.kr/p/sWsaUi, Garagem Passos Manuel at https://flic.kr/p/tAJp5S.

And on Gail at Large, Serralves:-

Serralves

Serralves

Art Deco in Porto (iv)

The Wine Box, Porto, on the northern road approaches to Dom Luís I Bridge has Art Deco styling:-


The Wine Box, Porto

Another tall Deco building. Note cartouche below roofline:,-

Another Tall Deco Building Porto

This one’s yellow paintwork emphasises the strong horizontals:-

Art Deco Style, Porto

Terrace of Deco:-

Art Deco Terrace, Porto

Zoom to lower down the terrace:-

Art Deco Detail, Porto

Art Deco in Porto (iii)

Hotel Vincci, Porto, is a modern Deco style hotel by the banks of the River Douro. Helitours landing pad is in the foreground.

Art Deco Hotel, Porto

More of Hotel Vincci fron River Douro- plus heritage tram to left:-

Hotel Vincci Porto

Close-up. I like the clock:-

Hotel Vincci Porto, Close-up

There’s a different view of the hotel here.

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