Thursday, 27 June 2013

Seen it all

This past weekend saw Pauline and I perform our adventure talk twice in a row in the Borders region of Scotland.  Our first night was in the very pretty town of Hawick, famous for it's woollen mills dating back to the height of the industrial revolution. The theatre is very modern, housed inside an old water mill, with a fun glass veranda hanging over the river next to the building where you can sit and have coffee with a view.

Further to the west the following night we were in Dumfries for our performance at the Theatre Royal.  This was a great little theatre, run by a voluntary organisation called the Guild of Players who have owned the theatre since 1959. Inside it was showing its age but was due for a £2m makeover in the coming year. However, on reflection I'm not surprised it was showing its age. I later discovered that it was Scotland's oldest working theatre, built in 1792.
Let's just put that into historical perspective for a moment.  1792 was the year the French Revolution began and the very first President of the United States, George Washington, laid the corner stone to start the construction of the now world famous White House.  Imagine that. We were performing in a theatre the same age as the White House. When the theatre finally receives it's makeover I'm sure it will thrive for another 200 years and beyond.

Experiencing very old structures didn't end with the there. We decided to stay in the Dumfries and Galloway region for the remainder of the weekend, and on the Sunday, on a bright but windy day, we set off on our Brompton bicycles on a circuit to the coast. Leaving Dumfries we crossed the River Nith on the Devorgilla bridge. 
This is the oldest surviving multi-arched bridge in Scotland and was constructed in the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus was born, who would go on to reach landfall in America in 1492.  And here was this little bridge, still being used over 600 years later.

From the discovery of America to the building of the White House, Dumfries has seen it all.

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