Tuesday, 6 June 2017


Continuing the theme of decaying Scottish towns..

Irvine, on the south west Scottish coast, has seen better days. But unlike some similar places, Irvine seems split between prospering and decaying: walk along the river and you see nice looking town houses looking onto grassy banks of the river, with church spires poking up everywhere. But just a few hundred metres down the river and you come to an unholy architectural monstrosity that should never have been approved: the Rivergate Shopping Complex. A concrete box straddling the river, rather like one of those medieval bridges with shops on it. Except this is a concrete box, with a drug dealer in the walkways.

Nearer to the beach is another concrete box: the Magnum leisure centre, which looks more like a meat processing factory. It has been closed for a few years now. Teenagers were hanging around outside and a car was parked up and people seemed to be stripping pipework from the building.

A bridge onto a spit of land has been cut in half. A millenium project, a science museum, that was only open for a few years. Now the exhibits inside are caught in a time capsule, something like the visitor centre in Jurassic Park. There are (or were) plans to turn the place into a golf course (this is the "gold coast", with golf courses wherever you look).

On the beach front itself were parked up a lot of cars, all with their engines running and people inside enjoying a nutritious meal from KFC or similar. Crows sadly picked the remains of what was thrown out of their windows before they drove off.