Sunday, June 10, 2012

A. J. Cronin Plaque Unveiling!

What a wonderful evening it was on the 29th May this year when I attended the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate A. J. Cronin! It was unveiled by his biographer, Alan Davies, in Dumbarton Library where Cronin did the research for his first novel, "Hatter's Castle".
Dumbarton Library

Afterwards, Alan Davies gave a really excellent talk to a crowded room full of interested members of the public, and then answered questions for quite a while. If anyone reading this has even the slightest interest in Cronin, then please read Alan's recent book, "A J Cronin: The Man Who Created Dr Finlay’," as it really is a wealth of fascinating information and the only one of its kind.

Although Cronin was born in Cardross, he retained a life-long affection for Dumbarton. He once said, “Although I have travelled the world over I must say in all sincerity that my heart belongs to Dumbarton”. 

Cronin's biographer, Alan Davies, is in the middle. Gill Graham, the section head of 
West Dunbartonshire Libraries and Museums, is on the left. 
(I'm sorry I don't know the name of the gentleman on the right)

My husband, Geoffrey, standing beside a portrait of Cronin by Stephen Conroy

I am so delighted that this has happened at last and hope that other plaques may follow, especially in Cardross itself of course.

Please see my previous blog here for information about the new biography of A J Cronin

You can read a short excerpt here

Please click here for information about the artist Stephen Conroy

This news video clip from last year is very interesting (you can also hear Alan Davies speaking)  - click here

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cardross: Geilston Gardens

I visited these lovely National Trust gardens a few days ago and they greatly surpassed expectation. All the flower beds are well kept and there was a profusion of huge colourful flowering plants, many heavily scented (the gorgeous yellow azaleas most of all). 

There are many paths through the formal part of the garden and some through a wooded area too beside the burn and bridge. Many of the trees are mature and quite magnificent, especially the enormous Wellingtonia on the front lawn.

There was no one manning the wooden kiosk beside the car park when I was there but an "honesty box" was on the wall by the door. There's also a tea/coffee machine just inside where you can make a brew!

The gardens are on the west of Cardross, 18 miles north-west of Glasgow. 

I'd like to go back there again before long as my time was limited the day I visited!

(See the website here)