CHAPTER 35. The Scottish Lakes

After lunch we started on our journey north. During the afternoon it was very wet and also quite bright with sunshine. We went through some of the most beautiful scenery since we left home.

World Tour 1938
Loch Lomond

We drove around the shores of Bonnie Loch Lomond and several of the other Scottish lakes up as far as Oban.

Our road took us very close to the Clyde shipyards and I thought I would have a shot at getting into the Yards of John Brown and Co. Ltd. where the sister ship to the Queen Mary is being built. I had tried from Glasgow to get permission, but apparently you have to make an appointment several days ahead and get permission of the Board of Directors before you are permitted to enter the yards. However, I knew there was nothing to lose and went ahead.

When I got to the gates I quite innocently pulled up the car as though there would be no difficulty in getting through and asked the two policemen on guard whether I could go to see the new Queen Elizabeth. They just smiled and said it could not be done. I tried every possible way and saw the man in charge inside, but I had to give it up. They told me they had turned away thousands for very obvious reasons. Then one of the men told me where I could go down a private lane and see the boat. We left the car and walked down to the spot and were delighted to see this great boat being built. We had seen a model at the Exhibition, but were able to get a better idea of the size of the ship when we saw it under construction. The King is to launch the boat in a couple of months time and that will be a sight I would like to see.

Although we could not see much of what was going on in the yards themselves I can well understand how the work was being handled after my visit to Stevens yards the day before. This delayed us on our journey for the best part of an hour, but it was well worth while.

World Tour 1938
Typical river scene in Scotland

 

Scottish moors after the only fall of snow we had on the trip

 

The roads were not good after we had travelled about 20 miles. When we left Glasgow we were on good wide roads.

World Tour 1938
Loch scene in the Highlands of Scotland

Shortly afterwards they got narrow and then they got bad and narrow. In several places when I met cars travelling in the opposite direction one or the other of us had to back to a spot where we could pass. On the one occasion I stopped to let a lady pass me and got too close to the edge, with the result that my front wheel sank down in the mud. Fortunately, my back wheel was on hard ground and I managed to back out on to the road again without much difficulty. If I had attempted to go forward I might have been stuck in the mud still.

The roads were the worst we have travelled on during our trip . Several times Lois and Elizabeth, who were sitting in the back seat, were thrown almost up to the roof when I went over some of the rough places. At one part we came to a few miles of ups and downs very much like the switchback railway.

World Tour 1938

Such a railway was at the Exhibition and I wanted one of them to come on it with me, but they refused. Here was a chance to get back some of my own and when we came to this part I took it as fast as I could in safety to give them the full effect of the switchback. After a few minutes it had disastrous results, for I had to stop and let them both out as my jolts had made them car sick.

We arrived at Oban at 8.20 and it was nearly ten o’clock before we could find accommodation. It seems to be a favourite holiday place and all the hotels and boarding houses are filled. I went to about a dozen before we were fixed up.

 

World Tour 1938
Lake steamer leaving Oban in Scotland

At 10 o’clock we sat down to tea and it is now 20 min past 11 and it is still quite light. As I have developed a cold through getting wet at the Exhibition I think I will go to bed and endeavour to shake it off.

 

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